Friday, August 28, 2009

Volunteers Needed for Inaugural Scenic Half

Calling all volunteers for the Inaugural Scenic Half to serve on Saturday, September 19th and Sunday, September 20th. The following are positions needed:

Saturday, Sept 19th 3:00 pm - 7:00 pm and/or Sunday, Sept. 20th 6:00 am - 8 am
Need 6-8 organized and friendly volunteers to check in registered runners and distribute race packets and answer questions. Additionally, 2-4 volunteers needed to register new runners and enter their data into the timing company’s computers.

Water Stations
Sunday, September 20th
2-4 volunteers needed at the water stations located at the Start/Finish and Sagle Elementary School to prepare and pass out bananas, oranges, cookies, etc.

Flaggers/Traffic Control
Sunday, September 20th 8:45 am - 1 pm
Need volunteers to direct traffic on route where vehicles can cross. 2 volunteers will be assigned to the busiest intersections. Caution signs will be posted on the highway to warn traffic of an event ahead.

Flaggers will be assigned to a specific location for the duration of the event and will be given a flag and/or an orange safety vest. Flaggers will warn vehicles of runners on the path and will be responsible to ensure the safe crossing of the runners at every intersection.

Flaggers will stop runners at major intersections to allow the safe passing of runners. Exceptions to this will be when the vehicle voluntarily yields to runners when safe to do so. This is not a closed course and runners are expected to obey normal traffic rules. It is hoped that both vehicles and runners will use common sense and courtesy in these situations. Flaggers will need to be courteous to drivers, bikers and spectators at all times and yet, be capable of being assertive when needed to insure safety of runners.

Start/Finish Area
Sunday, September 20th
Need 1-2 volunteers to direct finishers at the finish line to the appropriate area for chip removal and to receive their finisher medals (1/2 Marathon only). 4 volunteers will remove timing chips from runners at the finish line and 2-4 volunteers will assist handing out medals to ½ Marathon finishers. The Mayor of Sandpoint has agreed to give out the medals to each finisher.

Baggage Check/Lost and Found
Sunday, September 20th
2-4 volunteers needed to manage baggage check near the start/finish area. Bags will be provided for the runners who wish to leave personal items in a safe place during the race. The bags will be marked with their bib number and can only be retrieved by the runner with that bib number. This will also be the location for Lost and Found.

Starbucks Coffee Sherpa
Sunday, September 20th
Starbucks Coffee has generously offered to provide coffee at the event. We need 1-2 volunteers to pick it up at the downtown Starbucks and transport to designated area at city beach.

Course Set Up/Tear Down
Several Weeks Prior to Event
Assist with clean up of path so that it is safe and attractive.

Saturday, Sept 19th
Prepare signs and course marking for Sunday's race. Review course for safety issues and condition.

Sunday, Sept 20th 5:30am-8:30am
Set up signs and course markings along route. Assist with setting up start/finish area, registration area, water and aid stations, and parking.

Sunday, Sept 20th 1:00pm-3:00pm
Need a few hearty volunteers to assist with taking down all signs, race tents, etc. at the conclusion of the days events.

Kids Fun Run
Saturday, Sept 19th at 3:00 pm

Other needs:
Parking attendants
Balloon Arch Set-Up

Please contact Allen McClelland, Washington Trust Bank at (208) 263-6146, (208) 946-7528, or email to sign-up or for addional information.

Volunteers are unpaid, not because they are worthless, but because they are priceless!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Leadership Sandpoint Class '09 After Hours Celebration

It’s time to celebrate for the Leadership Sandpoint Class of 2009 who recently completed the vigorous 2-year program. In the first year they learned and engaged with leaders about the complexities of the Greater Sandpoint community and as a class organized a yard sale to raise funds for the DayBreak Center. The second year they honed their skills and passed the baton of leadership by coordinated the classes for Leadership Sandpoint ‘10.

For an evening to remember, the Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce invites the community to an after hours celebration at the exquisite Enchanted Events facility located on Selle Road on Wednesday, August 26th at 5 pm. Complimentary hors d’oeuvres and drinks will be served in celebration of their accomplishments.

The Chamber would like to congratulate the following students graduating from Leadership Sandpoint ‘09: Amy Little, Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce; Dave Kulis, Schweitzer Mountain Resort; Derick Driggs, Wells Fargo Bank; Diane Ross, Bonner General Hospital; Jason Gritzner, US Forest Service; Keith Connolly, Horizon Credit Union; Kim Diercks, Panhandle State Bank; Lynda Metz, Bonner General Hospital; Rick Langford, Idaho Department of Labor; Stephanie Moss, Community Cancer Services; and Lee Hoge, Sandpoint Realty.

For more information on Leadership Sandpoint, visit or call (208) 263-0887.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Chamber Receives Grant Increase to Boost 'Heads in Beds'

The Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce was awarded a grant of $109,300 from the Idaho Tourism Council during their quarterly meeting held at Schweitzer Mountain Resort on August 4th. Funds granted through the ITC program are used for the promotion of tourism and travel to the region.

“We are so proud to be the recipient of these funds, especially when we were the only grantee in our region to receive an increase,” said Executive Director Amy Little. In a time when the lodging industry has been experiencing a slight decline, Little says they are fortunate to receive an increase of nearly ten percent over last year’s award. “Now the real work begins to show the ITC that we will be great stewards of the funds and maximize them to promote tourism to our beautiful area.”

Tourism is a $3 billion dollar industry in the state, and the Idaho Travel Council and the Tourism Development Division's activities are funded by a two percent lodging tax, paid by travelers and collected by the state's hotel, motel and private campground owners. Forty-five percent of those funds are distributed back through the Idaho Regional Travel and Convention Grant Program, and the Idaho Travel Council granted more than $3 million dollars in tourism marketing funds this year to 36 organizations to promote cities, towns, and regions of the state as tourist destinations through print and electronic advertising, brochures, travel shows, direct mail, industry research, and web sites.

Little explained that the money received locally is used for the purpose of promoting tourism through projects such as producing the annual visitor’s guide, regional advertising, and supporting local events that draw visitors from around the region. “None of the funds are used to offset staff salaries or to maintain the Visitor's Center,” Little said.

Annually, maintenance of the Visitor’s Center costs over $14,000 and is paid partially through Chamber and Visit Sandpoint membership dues. That figure doesn’t include staffing, but does include lawn care, insurance, maintenance and supplies for the restrooms. “Many people assume our center is supported by the state or the county and that we are just a public rest stop, but in all reality we are totally self-supporting.”

The Chamber Visitor’s Center, located at 1202 Hwy. 95, saw 11,606 visitors in 2008 and 4,886 visitors year-to-date in 2009. In the last two years the largest portion of travelers were from Canada, followed by travelers from Washington and California.

For more information on the Chamber and Visitor Center, call 263-0887, visit the Visit Sandpoint website at, or visit


An individual in town claims he represents Bulldog Bench and Sandpoint High School athletics. He is asking for money from local businesses to support SHS sports. Please be advised this individual is fraudulent and has no connection with SHS sports. Bonner County Daily Bee does have a legitimate poster that they are publishing for the school and will be donating at least $200 to the Athletic Department from the poster sales.

Read the full article in the Bonner County Daily Bee for more information at

Chamber Welcomes Holiday Inn Express & Suites

Holiday Inn Express & Suites celebrated their new hotel located on Highway 95 in Ponderay behind Slates Restaurant. Located minutes from downtown Sandpoint and from Schweitzer Mountain Resort, this new lodge includes spacious rooms and a wealth of amenities including an indoor pool, spa facilities, complimentary breakfast with outside seating on the deck, business services, high-speed internet access and wireless data connection, self-laundry facilities, health/fitness center, and more. Additionally, Holiday Inn Express & Suites has a meeting room with a seating capacity of 80 and catering provided by Slates Restaurant & Lounge. Pictured is owner Dave Stapleton cutting the ribbon with General Manager Joyce Baker and staff, construction forman Steve Klappenbach, the Chamber Ambassadors, Schweitzer Mountain Resort representative Dave Kulis, and Mayor Carol Kunzemann. For more information and reservations, call (208) 255-4500.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Mayors Address State of the Cities

The two cities nestled between Lake Pend Oreille and Schweitzer Mountain Ski Resort are the focus at an upcoming luncheon on Thursday, August 13th.

The Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce invites Sandpoint Mayor Gretchen Hellar and Ponderay Mayor Carol Kunzeman to address the state of the cities. They will provide an update on their work this past year, upcoming developments, and how these cities will work cooperatively for the betterment of future generations.

“Both Sandpoint and Ponderay are strong economic centers in our area,” said executive director Amy Little. “In the last year with the Byway construction, City of Sandpoint’s new comprehensive plan, and the City of Ponderay’s investment in their own City Planner, we hope to continue to keep businesses informed and engaged with our city leaders to foster business growth and development.”

The luncheon will be held at the Community Room located at 414 Church Street, and the cost is $15 for members and $20 for non-members. Register online at or call (208) 263-0887.

Chamber Welcomes Joe's Philly Cheesesteak

John and Pam Lueck celebrated their first anniversary as owners of Joe’s Philly Cheesesteak in downtown Sandpoint. Also joining them as daytime manager is long-time Sandpoint resident Tom Greger.

“Owning Joe’s was a way for us to become more involved in the Sandpoint community,” said John Lueck. “The highlight of the year has definitely been getting to know many of Sandpoint’s residents, downtown workers and tourists. Our goal is to offer Sandpoint residents and visitors good food, a friendly atmosphere and great prices.”

The Lueck ‘s have maintained the tradition of serving authentic Philly cheesesteaks started by former owner and Philadelphia native Joe Katz. Each cheesesteak is made from a generous portion of grilled steak and onions, cheese, and served on Amoroso rolls brought in from Philadelphia. In addition, they have expanded the menu to include hamburgers, hot dogs, fries, BLTs, veggie burgers, grilled cheese sandwiches, and milkshakes. A complete menu is available at

Locals seem happy to have a little piece of Philly in their own backyard. Recent customer comments include “best cheesesteak outside of Philadelphia,” “awesome hamburgers,” and the Lueck’s favorite, “we’ll be back.”

Joe’s Philly Cheesesteak is located at 102 Church Street between City Beach and the community parking lot. Store hours are Monday through Saturday, 10 am to 8 pm. For more information, call 263-1444 or visit