Thursday, January 21, 2010

Summit Insurance Hosts Olympic-fun After Hours

On Wednesday, January 27th Summit Insurance Resource Group hosts an Olympic-style Chamber After Hours starting at 5 pm at their new location at the Mountain West Financial Center, located on the corner of Division and Highway 2.

Their team of experts welcome visitors get to know them at their new office on the top floor. They will provide complimentary hors d’oeuvres, wine and beer. They are adding to the fun and entertainment quotient with an Olympic Wii competition for the terrific door prizes.

Summit Insurance Resource Group, owned by Angela Potts-Bopp, is an independent insurance agency providing all aspects of business and personal insurance as well as health and life insurance. Built on a foundation of experience, integrity and dedication, Summit Insurance Resource Group can write a policy for every business or personal insurance need and can answer questions about insurance and risk management.

The Chamber After Hours is a monthly networking event and opportunity for the general public to meet and greet the local businesses within the Greater Sandpoint area. Business professionals are encouraged to bring plenty of business cards.

For more information about Summit Insurance Resource Group, call 265-9690. For more information about the Chamber, call 263-2161 or visit

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Original Taste of Sandpoint Serves Assortment of Cuisine

Tonight, treat family and friends at the Original Taste of Sandpoint presented by Dine Around Sandpoint – the official kick off event for the 2010 Winter Carnival. Savor flavors of Northwest cuisine, wines, and brews at “bite-sized” prices at the Sandpoint Business & Events Center on the corner of Pine and Euclid in downtown Sandpoint.

▪ 41 South – Sandpoint’s newer fine dining establishment owned by local restauranteur and community favorite Claudia Dick, 41 South stews up hatch green chili beef stew and stone harbor crab bisque.

▪ Bab’s Pizzaria – Pizzeria serves assortment of Italian with pizza, stromboli, savory pockets, fruit turnovers, and huckleberry cherry cheesecake.

▪ Bistro at the Inn at Sand Creek – Making premier showing at the Taste, the Bistro offers chipotle braised lamb shanks, goat cheese polenta cake, kobe beef cheek tacos, micros cilantro, queso fresco, and twice cooked salsa rojo.

▪ Chimney Rock Grill at Schweitzer – Taste welcomes back well-renowned eatery serving new England clam chowder, seared salmon with a petite parsley, shallot and caper salad on wild rice, and delicious apple caramel break pudding with whiskey sauce.

▪ Cruz Family Tamales – New business with well-known local chef Gabe Cruz cooking authentic pork & red chile tamales.

▪ Dish Home Cooking – Gary Peitz’s restaurant brings home cooking to the Taste for the second year with butternut squash salad with roasted butternut squash tossed with orzo, sautéed kale, parmesan, red onion, and pumpkin seeds with a honey-apple cider dressing in addition to a wine assortment of Cono Sur Sauvignon Blanc from Chile, Wily Jack Zinfandel, and Argentinian Malbec.

▪ Eichardt’s Pub Grill – A local favorite pub and grill serves a surprise menu.

▪ Evans Brothers Coffee Roasters - New coffee roaster business with Rick and master roaster Randy offer their freshly brewed coffee and hot cocoa.

▪ Ivano’s Ristorante – Seasoned veterans the Lippis toss together an Italian surprise.

▪ Laughing Dog Brewing – Local brewer and successful entrepreneurs brew Rocket Dog Rye IPA and Cream Ale.

▪ Liaison Catering – New caterer makes premiere appearance at the Taste with steak salad chimichurri on bruschetta, potato bleu bisque, and corinnns prawlinnns.

▪ MickDuff’s: Local downtown Sandpoint brewery owned by the Duff brothers serves up favorite brews.

▪ Pend d’Oreille Winery – Long-time award-winning winery serves 2007 Bistro Rouge, Washington, 2008 Chardonnay, Idaho, 2005 Merlot, Washington, and 2008 Huckleberry Blush.

▪ Pend Oreille Pasta & Wine Market – Ponderay market and caterer and recent Business of the Month winner will serve oven roasted portabella and crimini mushrooms in a black and yellow striped triangle-shaped ravioli in a brown butter sage sauce and homemade lemon pepper fusilli pasta lasagna with chicken, artichoke hearts and mushrooms in three cheese sauce.

▪ Pine Street Bakery – Baker extraordinaire returns with yummy desserts and baked goods.

▪ Skeyes the Limit – Priest River caterers Skeyes the Limit will delight crowds with sautéed triple sausage stuffed mushroom caps and hob nob shrimp served on a bed of romaine with a slice of baguette.

▪ Trinity at City Beach – Local favorite with a new location at City Beach has a New Orleans and Mexican flare with carnitas tacos and chicken, shrimp, andouille sausage gumbo.

▪ Winter Ridge Natural Foods – First-timer to the Taste but well-known foods market serves delectable surprises sure to be fresh and wholesome.

The Taste will be from 5 to 8 pm. Tickets are $1 a piece, with samples ranging in price from $3 to $7, and available at the door starting at 4:30 pm until the event concludes.

For more information on the Taste of Sandpoint, call (208) 263-2161 or visit For additional information on Winter Carnival, visit

And new this year, the dining continues throughout the Winter Carnival festivities until January 18th with Dine Around Sandpoint. Fifteen restaurants around town will feature specialty menu selections at a low price each evening, and diners will be entered to win a year of monthly dinners out. There will be free items, special events, and more.

This year the Taste of Sandpoint is proudly sponsored by 95.3 KPND and the Bonner County Daily Bee.

For more information, contact the Chamber at (208) 263-2161 or visit For more details on Winter Carnival, visit or call the Downtown Sandpoint Business Association at (208) 255-1876, and visit for details on the new Dine Around Sandpoint.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Meet the Media at Chamber Luncheon

Have you ever asked yourself how to get the media to notice your business or organization and how to get a reporter to show up to your event? On Thursday, January 14th a panel of local media will answer those questions and more in a lively discussion at the Chamber Power Luncheon moderated by David Keyes of the Bonner County Daily Bee. The Chamber welcomes Candice Smith of KXLY television, Chris Bessler of Keokee Creative Group, publisher of Sandpoint Online and Sandpoint Magazine, Caroline Lobsinger of Bonner County Daily Bee, and David Broughton of Blue Sky Broadcasting. The luncheon will be held at the Sandpoint Center Community Room, located at 414 Church Street, and begins at 11:30 am with networking and trade booths. Cost is $15 for members with reservations and $20 for the general public and includes lunch catered by Tango Café. The luncheon is sponsored by Horizon Credit Union. To register, call 263-2161 or visit

Monday, January 11, 2010

Bonner County Fairgrounds Celebrates Expansion

The Bonner County Fairgrounds, home to the Bonner County Fair and a plethora of events, is pleased to announce the expansion of their facilities. After receiving a $302,316 grant from the Idaho Parks & Recreation Department, they will build thirty-three campsites for RVs and trailers with ADA accessible bathrooms and showers in addition to a covered pavilion with a seating capacity of 36. The pavilion is at no cost to users but reservations are recommended, and sites will be $15 per night.

The grant was made possible through the support of cash match from Crane Construction, Northern Lights, Carter Country Farm & Feed, and the Bonner County Fair Foundation and the support of J.A. Sewell, City of Sandpoint, and Bonner County. The sites are scheduled for completion by the Lost in the 50s weekend in May and will be open until the end of October each year.

The Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce congratulates the Fairgrounds and their Board of Directors on this successful addition and recognizes the significant contribution these sites will have to keep visitors here to shop, dine and recreate during peak visitor months.

“I hope all members of the community, visitors and events will enjoy the new campgrounds,” said Fair Manager Rhonda Livingstone. “I appreciate all the work, support, and vision of the Fair Board, Commissioners, BCFF, and other contributors towards this project. Thanks to the Chamber for coverage and support. We love the partnership that has developed between us.”

Photo Caption: Pictured from left is Ambassador Ilani Kopiecki, Ambassador Chair Carol Warren, Ambassador Colleen Spickelmire, Monica Gunter holding granddaughter, Roberta Naccarato, Robert Snider cutting the ribbon, Chairman of the Bonner County Fairground Board Tim Cary, and Fair Manager Rhonda Livingstone.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Greater Sandpoint Chamber Begins New Year in New Locale

On January 4, 2010 the Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce opened their new Visitor Center and headquarters at 231 N. Third Avenue in Sandpoint in the PSB Community Plaza, a property which will encompass a mix of nonprofit and for-profit businesses.

Initiated after years of infrastructure issues at the location on Highway 95 along Sand Creek, the Board of Directors decided to move due to the financial constraints to incur from most recent flooding in December 2008.

“The Board of Directors spent a lot of time strategizing the pros and cons of moving, and I feel we made the best decision,” said Chairman of the Board Kathy Hubbard. The new location at PSB Community Plaza provides a financial savings, closer proximity to businesses, a location for meetings with an upstairs conference room, financial relief from providing a public restroom, and opportunities to promote more businesses in the Greater Sandpoint area to downtown visitors.

Another significant benefit is the ability to interface with agencies and organizations such as the Downtown Sandpoint Business Association (DSBA) within the plaza. “We have worked diligently these last two years to work cooperatively with other organizations, and this move will only foster more cohesiveness in the years to come,” said executive director Amy Little.

The Board is also negotiating a satellite Visitor Center during the high traffic months from Memorial Day to Labor Day in or near the city of Ponderay. “The Board was very cognizant that the Visitor Center’s location would now be downtown Sandpoint and that many of our members are not. That is why we’ve decided to either find a location in Ponderay or re-open the former building during our peak tourist season,” Hubbard said.

The Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce’s Visitor Center’s operating hours are Monday through Friday from 10 am to 4 pm during the winter months, and the center will open for extended hours during the summer. The general public is welcome to come visit the new center, and Chamber officials look forward to hosting a ribbon cutting and grand re-opening ceremony in February.

For more information, call (208) 263-2161 or visit

Photo Caption: Pictured is Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce Chairman of the Board Kathy Hubbard (center) with the Chamber staff in their new Visitor Center and headquarters in the PSB Community Plaza, located at 231 N. Third Avenue in Sandpoint. The Chamber, a 501 c(6) nonprofit organization promoting, supporting, and developing businesses in the Greater Sandpoint area, moved after over 30 years from their location on the Highway 95 corridor and re-opened on January 4, 2010. From left is programs & communications manager Heather Bennett, executive director Amy Little, operations manager Corrie Greene, and Visitor Center staff Claire Gervais and Melody Circo (not pictured).