Morning News â€” Bob Hudson
Members of the Fort Hall Business Council, including LuJuan Tyler (with scissors), cut the ribbon celebrating the grand opening of the Shoshone-Bannock Hotel at Fort Hall on Friday. Joining the council are members of the Greater Blackfoot Chamber of Council board of directors.
Some of the people touring the Shoshone-Bannock Hotel and Event Center on Friday had good things to say about it.
"It's beautiful," said LaLyn Murray, who is bookkeeper at her husband's store, Vern's RadioShack of Blackfoot. "The rooms are outstanding.
"And the suites, who would not want to stay in that for an anniversary or something?
"This is a place you'd refer people to," Murray continued.
She and John and LaVerne Cegielnik of Chubbuck were among those who attended the grand opening celebration on Friday.
"It's really nice," said John. "The way it's set up with the pool and spas is pretty neat.
"The only thing we didn't like is they don't have a separate place for breakfast," he added.
Nathan Small, the chairman of the Fort Hall Business Council, noted that the hotel has been in the planning stages for several years. He recalled that tribal members had once discussed building such a facility near American Falls Reservoir.
"We're finally able to get this place built," he said. He said the Tribes were unable to get local financing, but received help from the Bank of Albuquerque in New Mexico.
"This is something that we're very proud," Small said. "A lot of this was to create jobs for our people."
The hotel features 156 rooms, restaurants, a gift shop and other amenities. Its event center, with rooms named in honor of chiefs from the tribe's past, will seat up to 1,400 people.
The facility will be on display for Bingham County residents on Wednesday when the Tribes sponsor the Blackfoot Chamber of Commerce's monthly after hours event from 5-7 p.m.