Friday, March 26, 2010

Sandpoint Feature on KXLY's Explorer TV This Saturday

The town of Sandpoint is the main feature of KXLY’s Explorer TV scheduled Saturday, March 27th at 6:30 pm, a program exploring the best places to visit in the Northwest. Explorer guides Rick and Teresa Lukens journey through the town over the world famous Long Bridge to check out why this town was selected as one of ‘America’s Coolest Small Towns’ by BudgetTravel and frequently featured in nationally known publications like Sunset Magazine, Outside Magazine, USA Today, among others.

To learn more about Sandpoint, go to or call (800) 800-2106 or (208) 263-2161.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Sandpoint, ID makes Budget Travel's Top 20 Coolest Towns List

While some travelers escape to large cities like New York for their vacations, more and more are recognizing the value in escaping to a small town for a relaxing and meaningful getaway. Thus, Budget Travel Magazine has launched the “America’s Coolest Small Towns” contest, and Sandpoint, Idaho is among the top 20 finalists.

From now through May 9, travelers and small town loyalists can visit Budget Travel’s website and cast their vote for their favorite small town. They can even submit images of their favorite places, events and activities in that small town.

The Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce is excited that Sandpoint is among the top 20 favorite small towns in America. Chamber members are encouraging Sandpoint community members and even those who visit the small town to show their pride and love for this northern Idaho gem and cast their vote for Sandpoint as the Coolest Small Town in America.

“Being nominated for this award is a privilege for us. We are thrilled so many new people will discover how special our community is and hopefully plan a visit,” said Amy Little, President & CEO of the Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce. “Winning would be an amazing honor for us.”

To cast your vote for Sandpoint, Idaho, visit the following link online and vote for your favorite small towns in America:

Friday, March 19, 2010

Celebrating New Veterinary Service in Sagle

Fry Creek Animal Clinic celebrated their new business with the Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors in March 2010 after opening in June 2009.

Located near Fry Creek at 470889 Highway 95 in Sagle, Fry Creek Animal Clinic is a full-service veterinary clinic south of the Long Bridge. They provide a wide variety of services to small animals including spays, neuters, other surgeries, dental work, and emergency services.

In addition to regular visits, they offer shot clinics the second and fourth Saturday each month between 12 and 1 pm and encourage pet owners to obtain vaccines. They have offered a community service project, a cat spay and neuter clinic, in hopes that the reduced cost program can benefit the public with the feral and stray cat population.

The Clinic is owned and operated by Dr. Marvelee Higgins DVM, and husband Jerry Higgins. They and their staff are pleased to provide professional and compassionate care to pets in Bonner County. Dr. Higgins comes with a wealth of training and experience from Colorado State University, 8 years in busy California Clinics, Bonner Humane Society, and working as a relief Veterinarian. She is glad to be “home” where her father Cecil McConnell was born, raised and resides.

Fry Creek Animal Clinic is open Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5 pm with early drop offs at 7am and Saturdays, 9 am to 1 pm.

For more information, call (208) 263-7707.

Photo Caption: Fry Creek Animal Clinic owners and staff celebrate their new business with the Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors. Pictured from left is Ambassador Peggy Shadel, Paralee Gates, Barb Duncan with 4-legged chocolate lab Cocoa Higgins, owner Dr. Marvelee Higgins DVM with husband/partner Jerry Higgins, Lisa Butterworth, Trish McConnell, Shawn McConnell-Higgins, Shelley Lang, Megan Butterworth, Stefanie Creighton holding little lab pup Tully, and Ambassadors Erin Butler, Andrea Marich, Clem Hackworthy, and Ambassador chair Carol Warren.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Horizon Credit Union Honored Business of the Month

Horizon Credit Union, a member owned financial cooperative in Bonner County for over twenty years, received the Business of the Month award for March by the Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce.

In 1989 Horizon Credit Union began serving the Greater Sandpoint community on Superior Street, sharing one-half of a duplex for office space with a young family. “She was a great cook,” recalled VP Relationship Manager Steve Wilder. “Occasionally, she would sate our pangs with a sampling of what she would be serving her family that evening.”

He recounted, “Ever since our merger with Superior Federal Credit Union in 1989, the Sandpoint community responded very well to our attractive rates and service emphasized approach to banking. Relatively speaking, we are still a small financial institution here, but those early days were humble beginnings, for sure!”

Eventually Horizon Credit Union purchased an old service station site on Fifth Avenue and placed a single-wide mobile home onto that location to serve members. “Our members were patient and supportive as we grew enough in the next few years to be able to build the branch on the same site that sits here today,” Wilder said.

In 2003 Horizon Credit Union opened a second branch at Bonner Mall, and in 2007 opened the Bulldog Branch at the Sandpoint High School. The third branch offered an opportunity to teach students about finances and their financial future. The four student tellers act as ambassadors between the credit union and their peers. They receive a budget and have an active say in marketing, business development, financial empowerment, community outreach, and branch operations. Additionally, they provide their peers with financial education presentations.

The Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce thanks Horizon Credit Union for their continued involvement to support area businesses and for providing financial education to train the next generation on monetary stewardship.

For more information, visit the Sandpoint branch at 520 N. 5th Avenue or the Ponderay branch at Bonner Mall, call (208) 263-7525, or visit them online at

Photo Caption: Pictured, on left, is Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce board member and Ambassador Bridgette Bradshaw-Fleer from the Idaho Department of Labor giving the Business of the Month award to Horizon Credit Union. Receiving the award is Sandpoint branch manager Andrea Cordle and Ponderay branch manager Andrea Marich, on right.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Workshops Support Business Owners & Professionals

Small Budget, Big Buzz is the upcoming workshop in the TGIF Workshop Series presented by the Bonner Business Center and hosted by the Chamber’s Business Development committee. Launched in 2009, the series consists of monthly 90-minute workshops to support business owners and their employees and is made possible by sponsors Aaging Better In-Home Care, Horizon Credit Union, and Holiday Inn Express & Suites. In this next workshop, instructor Jennifer Leo, owner of GraphiComm Inc., discusses how to promote business without breaking the bank – how to craft the marketing message, produce effective marketing materials, pros and cons of social networking, what advertising can and can’t do for you, and advertising vs. publicity. The workshop will be on Friday, March 19th at the Holiday Inn Express & Suites from 12 to 1:30 pm. Reservations must be made by March 18th, and the cost is $15 for Chamber members and $20 for non-members. To reserve or learn about other upcoming workshops, contact the Chamber at 263-2161 or visit

Monday, March 8, 2010

Chamber Welcomes Sandpoint Women's Health

The Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce welcomes Sandpoint Women’s Health, a five-physician obstetric and gynecologic practice that has provided high-quality health care to the women of northern Idaho and beyond for over 25 years.

Their talented medical providers include: Bruce Honsinger, MD, Deborah Owen, MD, Margaret Bowden, MD, Camille Santarpio, DO, Kristin Algoe, MD, and Patty McLaughlin, CNP. Another valuable member of their team is their sonographer, Diana Contor, who provides on-site ultrasound services for their patients. The rest of their patient care team includes numerous talented, friendly staff members who continually strive to meet their patients’ needs.

Sandpoint Women’s Health provides patients from across the region with numerous services including well-women exams, menopause management, treatment of chronic pelvic pain, contraception and family planning, treatment of incontinence, provision of obstetrical care, and many more. Their physicians also perform in-office procedures, as well as hospital-based surgeries such as hysterectomies, endometrial ablations, and elective sterilizations, among others.

As always, Sandpoint Women’s Health is pleased to welcome new patients. Their office is open from 8 am to 5 pm Monday through Friday. They offer occasional evening clinics until 7 pm, as well as Saturday morning clinics to accommodate their busy patients. Also, they are pleased to be offering appointments in Bonners Ferry for their patients’ convenience.

Their Sandpoint location is in the Creekside Health Center at 420 N. 2nd Avenue in Suite 200. Their Bonners Ferry location is at the Panhandle Health District at 7402 Caribou Street on select days.

For additional information, contact Sandpoint Women’s Health at (208) 263-2173.

Photo Caption: The Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors welcome Sandpoint Women’s Health, an obstetric and gynecologic practice offering health care services to the women of northern Idaho.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Bonner County Career Fair on April 28

The Idaho Department of Labor and Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce will host the fifth annual Career Fair on April 28 at the Bonner Mall in Ponderay from noon to 6 p.m.

“The Career Fair is especially important to promote economic development by matching job seekers with employers,” Bridgette Bradshaw-Fleer of the Idaho Department of Labor said. “Even in this tough economy, businesses have available to them a large pool of highly qualified and skilled workers.”

Organizers invite businesses and organizations from the northern Idaho region to participate. An early bird special runs until March 23 so businesses are encouraged to reserve their spaces now.

The event is sponsored by Litehouse Inc., 95.3 KPND and Bonner County Daily Bee.

More information is available from the Idaho Department of Labor at (208) 263-7544. Participants can register for the Career Fair with the Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce at (208) 263-2161 or online at

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Let's Make One Thing Clear...Lake Pend Oreille

Lake Pend Oreille, stretching 65 miles in length connecting Idaho’s Bonner and Kootenai counties and the fifth deepest lake in the United States, is the focus at the Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce’s Power Luncheon on Thursday, March 11th. The Chamber welcomes Molly McCahon of Lake*A*Syst to discuss water quality efforts, pollution concerns, landscape solutions, and aquatic invasive species. The luncheon begins at 11:30 a.m. with networking, so be sure to bring business cards to enter for door prizes available through business exhibitors. The luncheon will be held at the Sandpoint Center’s Community Room, located at 414 Church Street, and is open to the general public. The cost is $15 for members with a reservation or $20 general admission. Registration online at or call (208) 263-2161 for more information.

Joyce Baker Receives Rookie of the Month

Joyce Baker, manager of the new Holiday Inn Express & Suites in Ponderay, received the Rookie of the Month award at the Chamber’s February Power Lunch, an award honoring a new member who is actively involved in supporting the business community.

After opening the Holiday Inn Express & Suites in the summer of 2009, Joyce became an active member of the new group Sandpoint Area Lodging & Tourism (SALT) and holds a position on the Chamber’s Recreation & Tourism Council. She is actively engaged with the Visit Sandpoint branch of the Chamber and takes advantage of the co-op advertising opportunities available through the tourism grant.

Holiday Inn Express & Suites is always maximizing opportunities to support the business community. They participated as a sponsor for the inaugural Scenic Half Marathon presented by Panhandle State Bank which brought runners from across the region who stayed over night, shopped, and dined at local establishments. They also welcomed and sponsored the Chamber’s 2010 TGIF Workshop series presented by the Bonner Business Center; and with their large meeting room facilities, more business professionals are attending and sharpening their skills.

The Chamber congratulates Joyce and her excellent staff for this award and wishes them continued success.

For more information about Holiday Inn Express & Suites, call (208) 255-4500 or visit

Photo Caption: Pictured is manager of Holiday Inn Express & Suites Joyce Baker, on left, accepting the award for Rookie of the Month from the Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce’s chair of the board Kathy Hubbard.