By Teya Vitu, IdahoBusinessReview.com March 14, 2018
Just a half mile apart, within the Snake River Landing mixed-use development, two entertainment venues strive to bolster group gatherings in Idaho Falls.
Idaho Falls developer Ball Ventures added The Waterfront multi-purpose building in July 2017 to offer indoor/outdoor staged events.
Nearby, on land donated by Ball Ventures, the Idaho Falls Auditorium district has all the balls in motion to potentially start construction on a 4,000-fixed-seat event center in the next year or so.
For 10 years, Ball Ventures improvised to bring warm weather outdoor events to its 450-acre Snake River Landing development just south of downtown Idaho Falls.
“We’ve always done events in the past,” said Eric Isom, chief development officer at Ball Ventures. “We have grassy lots with a tent. We hold numerous events in spring, summer and fall. They are always a little chancy because of rain.”
Snake River Landing in 15 years so far has converted a gravel pit into some 300,000 square feet of Class A office space, 34 single-family homes and 292 apartment units. So far only 40 acres have been developed between Interstate 15 and the Snake River.
Outdoor events still happen. But since July, Snake River Landing has had The Waterfront, a 9,000-square-foot event space that Isom would rather call a multi-purpose facility.
The Waterfront has capacity for 520 people inside and another 2,000 or 3,000 on a 1.5 acre lawn outside. The performance stage can entertain people inside or outside.
“The real unique thing with The Waterfront is it has a stage that has two openings, one that opens to the inside of the space, turn 90 degrees and you face an outdoor garage door (that opens to the lawn),” Isom said.
Before The Waterfront, Snake River Landing typically staged about 15 outdoor events a year. In the first six months, The Waterfront staged 30 events, Isom said.
The Waterfront has a 1,700-square-foot commercial kitchen.
“The idea was this was built so it could be an operating restaurant,” he said.
NBW Architects of Idaho Falls was the architect and Wind River Construction of Idaho Falls was the general contractor.
The Waterfront has become a venue for small concerts, wedding receptions, corporate dinners, birthday parties and chamber of commerce lunches.
Idaho Falls Event Center moves closer to possible construction start
The Idaho Falls Auditorium District has worked toward building a 4,000-fixed-seat arena since the district was established in 2011.
The arena would be home to an amateur hockey team, larger concerts and potentially indoor football, soccer, rodeo, truck pulls, ice shows and ballroom dancing competitions with upward of 6,500 seats, fixed and portable. A 10,000-square-foot banquet space is also in the works for the Idaho Falls Event Center, said Terri Gazdik, who chairs the IFAD board.
“It puts us on the map of eastern Idaho, western Wyoming and southern Montana,” Gazdik said. “This is something that does not exist (in eastern Idaho).”
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