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Biz Buzz: Local venue gearing up for Western-themed Christmas show

Biz Buzz

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.



World fiddle champion and former Bar J Wrangler headlining Christmas show at Mountain River Ranch

hodgson and sites
Tim Hodgson, left, played the fiddle for the Bar J Wranglers for 34 years. He’ll be performing in Mountain River Ranch’s Christmas show in Ririe alongside Jacie Sites, right. | Rett Nelson,

RIRIE – Trent Tyler is excited about the upcoming Christmas season at Mountain River Ranch in Ririe.

The Rigby man partnered with Blake and Scott Larsen to buy the RV park and campground portion of the property last year after Tran King closed the business in 2020. Tyler revived the Christmas show in 2021 with the help of a local band, The Teton Riders.

RELATED | Biz Buzz: Popular RV park and campground reopens under new ownership

The band is now rehearsing for its second season, which begins on Nov. 25, and Tyler tells it’s even “bigger and better” than last year.

“We’ve got Tim Hodgson, who was a Bar J Wrangler for over 30 years,” Tyler says.

The Jackson, Wyoming-based group of Western-themed entertainers called it quits last December after 44 years.

RELATED | Cowboy singing group making a stop in eastern Idaho for one last bow

Two-time world fiddling champion Jacie Sites, who plays fiddle and guitar for The Teton Riders, was part of last year’s show at Mountain River Ranch. She played a role in recruiting Hodgson for the 2022 season. spoke with Sites and Hodgson during a rehearsal at the venue earlier this week. Watch it in the video above.

Tyler received numerous requests to bring back the Christmas show after buying the business in 2021. His expectations weren’t high, and he kept the performance dates to a minimum. After selling out nearly every show, he added six more dates.

With the addition of Hodgson for this year’s performances, Tyler says audiences can expect the band’s unique spin of Western entertainment that “follows in the steps of the Bar J Wranglers.”

“For the Christmas show, there’ll be some comedy … and country-Western songs with a real heavy dose of holiday music as well,” he says.

Each show includes dinner with your choice of barbecue chicken or beef with a baked potato, sweet corn, salad, bread and a Christmas cookie for dessert.

western village
Part of the Western village at Mountain River Ranch in Ririe. | Rett Nelson,

The show will be held in the venue near the Western village on Meadow Muffin Lane. The buildings will be lit up with Christmas lights and point the way for patrons.

RELATED | Mountain River Ranch closing its doors after 35 years of business

Tyler says this year’s show is “the greatest entertainment available,” and he is excited to carry on a tradition that Tran King started more than 35 years ago.

“It’s going to be an awesome event for people to come out as families, friends or businesses and celebrate the holidays. It’s a place not too far from home where they can have amazing entertainment and awesome food in an incredible environment,” says Tyler.

The season will run through Jan. 8. For tickets or to learn more, call (208) 538-7337. You can also visit the website.


Specialty pet store opens in Chubbuck

Joshua Pearson
Aquatic Oasis storefront | Joshua Pearson

CHUBBUCK – Everything you need to take care of your aquatic pets is available at a new store in Chubbuck.

Aquatic Oasis, which opened several months ago inside the Pine Ridge Mall, just added a whole new section and will be having a grand opening celebration.

The store has a variety of salt and freshwater fish, coral, reptiles, amphibians and spiders, along with supplies needed for their care.

Major promotions announced at The Bank of Commerce

IDAHO FALLS – Jeromy Hart was named the executive vice president and chief lending officer at The Bank of Commerce last week.

Hart has worked at the bank for more than 21 years and previously served as the senior vice president and area manager. In his new position, Hart will oversee all lending at the bank.

Justin Hokanson and Ben Webb were promoted as well. Hokanson replaces Hart as the new executive vice president and area manager. He is also the ag lending lead. Webb is now the senior vice president and credit administrator.

Sandy Jorgensen, who has been with The Bank of Commerce for 21 years, is the new senior vice president and human resources director.

New barbershop, hair salon opens in Rigby

RIGBY – People in Rigby now have a new option for getting a haircut or similar services.

The Hair Wranglers is now open at 180 West Main Street. It offers men’s haircuts and straight razor shaves, along with women’s haircuts, colors and perms. Other services like full body waxing, lash extensions and permanent makeup are also available.

To schedule an appointment or learn more, call (208) 881-0930 or visit the website.


Infusions at new health clinic in Idaho Falls help reduce symptoms for variety of conditions

EV fast chargers being deployed at local utility company next year

New Safety Prevention and Resource Center will help support youth and their families

All eyes on the consumer ahead of Black Friday and the holidays

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