Friday, July 22, 2011

Sandpoint, Idaho - Most Beautiful Small Town in the USA

The Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce is happy to announce that Sandpoint, Idaho has been named the Most Beautiful Small Town in the USA by Rand McNally and USA Today. This honor comes to Sandpoint after weeks of travel by a lucky couple, Dan and JoAnne Schaub, who won the chance to go on the Best of the Road Rally. Last week they arrived in Los Angeles for the finale and celebration of the rally and on Thursday, July 21, the winning towns were announced at the Destination Marketing Association International’s Annual Convention being held in New Orleans, Louisiana.

There, the Shaub’s displayed their “traveler’s journal” to a group of judges and discussed each town’s individual beauty. It is tough to say how much the Schaub’s influenced the judges but, based on the tears that were exchanged on their departure of Sandpoint, it is easy to believe they were in Sandpoint’s corner. However, it was up to the judges and the competition was stiff with Baker City, Oregon, Coral Gables, Florida, Franklin, Tennessee, Marcos Island, Florida, and Pacifica, California all being contenders for the title.

Sandpoint was by far the smallest of the towns in the Most Beautiful category. What won the judges over? It could have been the serene landscape, the genuine small town feel, or the population of typical Americans living a dream life they have all chosen with humility. That is certainly what wins over every person who travels through, stops and strikes up a conversation with a local.

Citizens of Sandpoint embrace life with a large passion for the outdoors, a slow pace, and a friendly neighbor feel. It was not solely Sandpoint’s beauty that won the award because the town offers so much more than what is on the surface. Once you visit Sandpoint, you will fall in love with it. The best part about the Schaub’s visit is you can have the exact same experience as the Schaub’s. Sandpoint is a real small town, with genuine people who love living here, enjoying every day to the fullest. Art fills the shops, music floods the air, and bikes swamp the roads. A true destination unlike anywhere else.

A big thanks goes out to Dan and JoAnne Schaub for their participation in the Best of the Road Rally showing the world how great of a place we are, and to Rand McNally and USA Today Travel for sponsoring the rally. Most of all, an even larger thanks to all our local citizens and business owners who made this happen. Without you, the fabric of our community would not be the same.

For more information on Sandpoint, Idaho please contact the Visitor Center at 1-800-800-2106 or go to Please help us celebrate this summer by visiting and experiencing what we have to offer.

Monday, July 11, 2011

The Chamber welcomes Mack Deibel as our new Communications Specialist

Officially starting July 6th, Mack Deibel has joined the Chamber as the Communications Specialist. Having called Sandpoint home for many summers, he is happy to announce he is hanging his hat with us. This north Idaho local has spent the last 10 years traveling back and forth from here and Minnesota where he recently graduated from the University of Minnesota with a B.A. in Strategic Communications.

Prior to his work with us you may have had the pleasure of seeing him at Schweitzer Skiing, on the lake wakesurfing, or serving and making beer at MickDuff’s Brewing Company.

“I am looking forward to meeting all of the business owners and getting involved with community. If you see me out and about, please stop me and say hi!” -Mack Deibel.

Pend Oreille Health Care and North Idaho Spine Clinic Move to New Location

The Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce recognized Pend Oreille Health Care and North Idaho Spine Clinic with a ribbon cutting to celebrate their new location at 1207 Michigan Street, Suites B & C in Sandpoint.

Pend Oreille Health Care offers a full functioning family health care clinic. They treat both acute and chronic health care problems, provide men and women’s wellness exams, and well child and baby exams. Board certified nurse practitioners, Jane Hoover and Michelle Anderson make up the team at Pend Oreille Health Care. Jane is a certified asthma educator and is able to diagnose and treat most breathing issues. Michelle has a background in acute care internal medicine and cardiology. Both place a great emphasis on education and prevention of illness in their practices and are able to write prescriptions and follow through on therapies.

"We are loving our new location and the amount of increased room and space it gives us to better help our patients. We have expanded upon the rooms that we had at our last location. I recommend people come by and see what we have done differently from our previous location and what we have kept the same,” says Michelle.

Pend Oreille Health Care believes in partnering with their patients to deliver comprehensive health care targeted to their specific needs. They combine traditional health care with patient driven alternative therapies.

North Idaho Spine Clinic offers chiropractic care, specializing in understanding how the body relies on its nervous system for healthy function. At North Idaho Spine Clinic, Dr. William Mihin takes the time to understand what the root cause of the initial problem is. Working to facilitate healthy nerve function, he provides his clients with the means to prevent future problems.

Dr. Mihin also works with pregnant women to assure a healthy delivery by maintaining good pelvic alignment. After delivery, he helps to realign the pelvis to its natural state. With a focus on natural cures and healing, he also treats children for ear infections and other routine problems.

Please join the Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce in wishing Pend Oreille Health Care and North Idaho Spine Clinic continued success in the community. For more information, you can contact them at 208 265-2225.

Chamber Welcomes Affordable Housing Organizations to Sandpoint

The Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce recently welcomed the Bonner Community Housing Agency (BCHA) and Community Frameworks to the area with a ribbon cutting ceremony on June 16th. Sharing office space at 105 N. 2nd Ave. in Sandpoint, both BCHA and Community Frameworks work to bring affordable housing to Bonner and Boundary counties.

BCHA was established in 2007 and works directly with Idaho Housing and Finance (IHFA) to provide homebuyer education. Classes are held monthly through their “Finally Home” program. We are currently working directly with IHFA to provide a Community Land Trust to create affordable housing for families that make less than 80% of the area median income and keep these houses affordable for generations to come,” says BCHA administrator Chris Bassett. Stephen Drinkard is the President of the Board of Directors for BCHA.

Community Frameworks is a non-profit housing counseling provider and educator based out of Spokane, WA. They expanded their services into Northern Idaho in January, 2011 and share space with the Bonner Community Housing Agency. Community Frameworks has spent the last 15 years working one-on-one with homeowners to help them achieve a dream of homeownership. Their services are free to the public and include a credit and financial fitness evaluation. Through education and skill building assistance, Community Frameworks is able to assist with credit repair, budgeting, debt reduction, and ultimately attaining a mortgage.

“We plan to work with community members in Sandpoint and the surrounding area to help them stabilize their finances, provide the best possible education and assistance for their circumstance. We want to give them an opportunity to get ahead,” says Melody Kinkead of Community Frameworks.

To contact Bonner Community Housing Agency for more information, call Chris Bassett at 208 263-5720. For Community Frameworks, contact Melody Kinkead at 208 597-4968.

Chamber Honors Panhandle Special Needs as the Non-profit of the Month

The Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce recognizes Panhandle Special Needs, Inc. (PSNI) as the Non-profit of the Month for their contributions in serving those with disabilities in Bonner and Boundary counties. PSNI is located at 1424 N. Boyer in Sandpoint and has been training individuals for over the past 27 years in life skills, in-house work, and community based employment.

PSNI currently assists over 90 individuals in the greater Sandpoint area. Providing employment services for people who want to work and need assistance in finding the right match for their skills and abilities, they offer a variety of employment services to help the individual and the employer in a successful partnership.

PSNI also operates “The Cottage,” a unique thrift store located next door to the PSNI workshop. They sell gently used household items and re-discovered treasures to the community. All proceeds go to PSNI who then invest in training and obtaining gainful employment for their clients with disabilities. As a two-fold blessing, the cottage also generates work opportunities for their various clients who help with janitorial, decorating and cashiering duties among others.

Please join the Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce in congratulating PSNI in being honored as the Non-profit of the Month and wishing them continued success. For more information, contact them at 208 263-7022.