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Biz Buzz: New event center under construction near funeral home in Ammon

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Do you want to know what’s happening in the eastern Idaho business scene? We’ve got you covered. Here is a rundown of this week’s business news across the valley.

BIZ BUZZ

AMMON

Owner of Ammon funeral home opening new event center in January

brian wood event center
Brian Wood is hoping to have The Brickyard Event Center up and running in January. | Rett Nelson, EastIdahoNews.com

AMMON – Brian Wood has noticed that fewer people are affiliated with a particular church.

As the owner of Wood Funeral Home in Ammon, he helps people make funeral arrangements for their loved ones every day. Many families want to have a celebration of life, but the funeral home’s chapel is a more formal venue than they’re used to.

“We’ll walk in the chapel and there are these beautiful pews and a nice podium up front with beautiful stained-glass windows. It may not resonate with them because they’re not a chapel-type of family and want to do something nontraditional,” Wood tells EastIdahoNews.com.

RELATED | Getting to Know Brian Wood of Wood Funeral Home

This increasing trend was the inspiration for a new construction project next door to the funeral home — a more than 10,000-square-foot event center at 1025 South Ammon Road. It’s named The Brickyard Event Center, and Wood and Wind River Construction broke ground on the project in May. Wood is hoping to have it up and running by January.

Though it will be available for funerals, the space can also be used for weddings, business meetings, birthday parties, family reunions and other occasions. Once complete, the building will be fully equipped with a catering kitchen, a main assembly room, bride’s room, mezzanine level and covered back patio. See some of the interior in the video player above.

“Any type of event that people want to hold will allow it,” says Wood.

brickyard construction
A construction worker working on the main assembly room. | Rett Nelson, EastIdahoNews.com

Before the event center was even conceived, Wood says he was seeing more families reach out to the Hilton Garden Inn and other venues with similar amenities to host their celebration of life.

“We’re the professionals at being able to help these families, and now we’re turning it over to the Hilton staff to figure it out, and they may not have the skill set,” Wood recalls thinking at the time.

While this was weighing heavily on his mind, the property next door to the funeral home went up for sale. The developer called him and asked if Wood had any interest in purchasing it before he put it on the market.

The property was zoned into three commercial lots. Wood and his wife, Kayla, bought two of them — one in 2018 and the other in 2019 — and had it rezoned into one commercial lot for the event center project. Once the Woods had the property paid off and owned it free and clear, they reached out to Wind River Construction, which had built the funeral home’s cremation center in 2018.

RELATED | Rising trend prompts opening of new cremation center in Ammon

“We just hit the ground running. We hired an architect, engineers and a general contractor, and we’ve been plowing forward,” Wood explains.

brickyard event center pic
The soon-to-be-completed Brickyard Event Center in Ammon. | Rett Nelson, EastIdahoNews.com

Quinn Webb, the president of Wind River Construction, says the event center will be the first of its kind in eastern Idaho, and they’re thrilled to be working on the project.

“We are really excited to be working on this project with Brian. The Wood family has historically provided our community with outstanding care and service, and with this new venue, will be able to reach a whole new realm of events,” Webb says. “It really will be an all-encompassing facility with a high-end, yet comfortable atmosphere. There is nothing like it in our area.”

Wood says many people have asked about the orange-colored paint on the stucco as they’ve driven past the building. He says it’s not the permanent color, but a waterproofing base layer for the exterior. It will ultimately be painted gray to match the brick on the outside.

With names like “Wood” and “brick” now part of the two businesses’ brands, he adds jokingly that he needs to eventually have a facility with the word “stone” to complete the ensemble.

The cost of renting the space has not yet been finalized. Wood says he’s still working on a pricing structure. He’s looking forward to seeing the project completed and hearing people’s responses to it.

BIZ BITS

New coffee shop opens in downtown Idaho Falls

IDAHO FALLS – Terri Ireland, who owns the Healing Hands Metaphysical Store in downtown Idaho Falls, just opened another downtown business. A coffee shop called The Egyptian, opened Tuesday, Oct. 26 with limited hours at 475 Park Avenue. Starting Nov. 1, it will be open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.

Ireland describes the shop as “the only internet cafe-style coffee shop that is open late.” It offers a variety of menu options, including coffee, soup, ice cream, Italian soda and psychedelic water, which is a canned drink made from soda water, fruit juices and herbs like Kava Kava and Damiana.

“It’s trending all over social media. It’s for folks that don’t like to drink but still like to relax and loosen up. Its effects are similar to having a glass of wine, but no alcohol. I carry it in Healing Hands too,” Ireland tells EastIdahoNews.com.

A more in-depth story will be posted soon at EastIdahoNews.com.

Popular outdoor sports equipment retailer opening in Jackson

JACKSON, Wyoming – Outdoor sports equipment retailer REI is opening a store in Jackson next week.

Store manager Jason Priest tells EastIdahoNews.com the 10,000-square-foot building is at 974 West Broadway inside the old Lucky’s Market grocery store. The grand opening is Nov. 5 and there will be a specialty bike, ski and snowboard shop staffed with certified mechanics to tune or repair equipment.

EastIdahoNews.com will post a more in-depth story soon.

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If you have a Biz Buzz item you want to share, send it to rett@eastidahonews.com. Remember to use “Biz Buzz” in the subject line. Also, don’t forget to sign up for the free Biz Buzz email newsletter.

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