Friday, January 10, 2014

New businesses in Hailey doubled in 2013

Community Development Department aims for diversity

Express Staff Writer

Nineteen businesses opened and 15 closed in Hailey last year. Courtesy graphic

   Business activity picked up in Hailey in 2013, bringing 64 new jobs to the city, primarily in the food and service industries. Last year was the first year the city tracked the number of new jobs.
    The Hailey Community Development Department is working to add diversity to the local job market, by attracting high-tech, manufacturing and education businesses.
    Since the housing and real estate crash in 2008, city leaders have expressed interest in developing a local economy that is not based primarily on construction and tourism.
    According to a report presented by Community Development Director Micah Austin to the Hailey City Council on Monday, 19 new businesses opened in Hailey last year while 15 closed. In 2012, 28 businesses opened, but 37 closed, leaving a net loss of nine.
    The city’s net increase of four businesses last year was accompanied by 46 full-time jobs and 18 part-time jobs.
    “We have reached some stability in our business environment,” Austin told the City Council. “But we have some work to do in diversifying our economy.”
    Most businesses come to town without any help from the Community Development Department. Austin provides real estate, zoning and demographic information to many larger businesses interested in moving to Hailey. These talks become “economic development projects,” he said. There were 14 last year.
    Austin touted the success of three economic development projects in 2013. They are Papa Murphy’s pizza store, which opened recently on Main Street, the Valley Co-op, (which opened in Bellevue) and The Cottages eldercare facility, which is set to break ground in north Hailey.
    “Three out of 14 is pretty good in the economic development world,” Austin said.
    Austin said he also worked with Shopko retail store, an ammunition manufacturer and an assembly company, but none set up shop in the valley.
    Austin said several companies continue to be in talks with the city about possibly moving to Hailey. They include a whiskey distillery, a business that makes and sells skateboards, and a medical supply company.
    Austin said he would most like to attract higher education, light manufacturing and high-tech, location-neutral businesses to the valley.
    “Location-neutral companies could locate anywhere in the world, but chose to come to the valley because of the quality of life here,” he said.
    The Community Development Department is in continued discussions with Boise State University about the possibility of bringing an academic office or campus to the city, and with White-Leasure Development Co. about possible commercial development at the Blaine Manor site, which is on county-owned land.
    In other Hailey news:
l Don Keirn and Martha Burke were sworn in for four year terms on the City Council.
l Hailey received a $20,000 grant from the Seagraves Foundation to be used for improvements at Hop Porter Park. The Hailey Police Department also applied to the foundation for a $4,500 grant for ballistic vests.
l Terry Clark and Darin Sales were reappointed to the Hailey Parks and Lands Board. The city is seeking one more Parks and Lands Board member.
l Jeff Beacham was reappointed to the Tree Committee.
l The city is selling 79 surplus water meter vaults to Bellevue for $314 each.

About Comments

Comments with content that seeks to incite or inflame may be removed.

Comments that are in ALL CAPS may be removed.

Comments that are off-topic or that include profanity or personal attacks, libelous or other inappropriate material may be removed from the site. Entries that are unsigned or contain signatures by someone other than the actual author may be removed. We will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or any other policies governing this site. Use of this system denotes full acceptance of these conditions. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions. You are fully responsible for the content that you post.

The comments below are from the readers of and in no way represent the views of Express Publishing, Inc.

You may flag individual comments. You may also report an inappropriate or offensive comment by clicking here.

Flagging Comments: Flagging a comment tells a site administrator that a comment is inappropriate. You can find the flag option by pointing the mouse over the comment and clicking the 'Flag' link.

Flagging a comment is only counted once per person, and you won't need to do it multiple times.

Proper Flagging Guidelines: Every site has a different commenting policy - be sure to review the policy for this site before flagging comments. In general these types of comments should be flagged:

  • Spam
  • Ones violating this site's commenting policy
  • Clearly unrelated
  • Personal attacks on others
Comments should not be flagged for:
  • Disagreeing with the content
  • Being in a dispute with the commenter

Popular Comment Threads

 Local Weather 
Search archives:

Copyright © 2014 Express Publishing Inc.   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy
All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited. 

The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.