Old Structure, New Era

Historic gem finds new life in the heart of downtown

Published online: Jan 02, 2020 Articles, East Idaho Business, Home And Garden, Looking Back
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By Lee Radford

“This building stands as a worthy monument to the enterprise and industry of this community.”  So wrote The Times-Register newspaper on May 31, 1927, speaking of the Hotel Bonneville the day before it opened.  The history of this monument shows that the construction of the Hotel Bonneville was a unique effort on the part of the Idaho Falls community. 

The idea for a top tier hotel in the City of Idaho Falls was “the result of the pride of a number of people who wished to advance the community in the best way possible.”  The community wanted “the use of a strictly first-class hotel, with adequate accommodations and quality of service which would enable Idaho Falls, as a community, to invite public gatherings and conventions and to be prepared to take care of them in a way and manner, which would reflect credit on the community.”  

The Idaho Falls Chamber of Commerce went to work on this unlikely dream.  Achieving the goal involved the use of a system of subscribing financial investment from community members.  It also relied on the expertise of an investment brokerage firm, an architectural firm from San Francisco, and a manager with a background in running the Hotel Utah in Salt Lake City.  

But most importantly, achieving this dream meant uniting of over 500 individuals and businesses in making financial investments for the dream.  Today the list of those 500 stockholders reads like the who’s who in the history of the progress of Idaho Falls...

Click here for the full story in our December 2019 issue.


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