Special Treatment for Tamarack

The foreign business interests controlling TAMARACK Resort in Valley County continue their successful courting of Idaho government officials.

Their latest coup came as André Agassi and Steffi Graf along with their Canadian real estate partners got the Idaho House of Reps to pass a bill to give them a special exemption from the Idaho liquor laws which requires liquor by the glass to be sold only within cities.

State Rep Mark Snodgrass pushed the bill on economic terms saying it makes the hotel “marketable.” He didn’t mention that they could make some REAL cash by adding gambling and girls–like our neighbors in Nevada. Never mind Agassi Enterprises is headquartered in Las Vegas.

GUARDIAN frankly doesn’t care where or who sells booze (or gambling and girls for that matter) but the law should be uniform as in EQUAL PROTECTION UNDER LAW.

KBCI Channel 2 (cable 8) did a good story about the special legislation and used the CROW INN as an example of the inequity of the law. Crow Inn can only sell beer because they are outside the city limits. It is unfortunate that citizens have allowed the greed of foreign business interests to trump the laws of Idaho.

Here is a short list of other concessions and proposals made to Tamarack:

–Poison Creek Campground closed to local citizens with intentions of letting Tamarack build a marina on the site.

–Congressional delegation and Idaho land board are conspiring to trade 18 square miles of National Forest land surrounding Tamarack to state control with the intent of expanding Tamarack.

–Guv. Dirk is offering up a new highway over West Mountain with his GARVEE bond plan.

–The “developer tax” exempts owners of millions of dollars worth of Tamarack land from Valley County taxes while local owners see their values–and taxes skyrocket.

The bill awaits approval in the Idaho senate.

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. Tamarack, on and on, ad nauseum. I can only liken the whole operation to a malignant tumor. It, its opportunistic owners, and their supporters will not be satisfied until Valley County is just another Vale CO or Blaine County ID.

    By a wide margin the Idaho House of Reps voted to change our liquor laws and have kowtowed to the foreigners once again.

    I’m curious Dirk and gang; does French derriere have a better bouquet or taste better when you kiss it than your average carpetbagger’s bum?

  2. You know what also may be of interest to your readers are the politicians who own land in the area and when they acquired it. Its famously known that the Governor has land because of his apparent failure to pay his paltry land tax. He pays much less tax because of a loophole he helped maintain. But the Lt. Governor also owns tracts in the area. Also I believe there was a land swap between the state and feds approved by the land board which I understood was necessary to get the project off the ground. Now it seems to me that this smacks of an unholy alliance between government officials and the Tamarack business venture that looks very similar to insider trading. Do any readers have more information on land acquisitions by members of the land board in Valley County? How about state or federal legislators? It would be nice to know if these guys are looking out for the State’s interest or their own.

    Ed Note–
    The GUARDIAN cannot attest to information presented in comments on the blog. We too would like to know who owns what and when did they get it.

  3. I know it is hard for people to believe, but Tamarack could, might, will …go broke, even with the law change…. Impossible you say? You don’t remember the big auction of Condo’s at Elk Horn @ Sun Valley in the 70’s? $40,000 was the top price if I remember. When they go broke who will be buying the $250 a bottle wine then? Owners will be gone… but the banks will have a big sale.

    Law change for Albertsons??… and they leave town. Could happen at Tamarack. My do we all forget history. Hey let everyone in town have a liquor permit. Sell it in the stores like in New Orleans!! That would be more fair. I do feel sorry for the people that have been standing in line for a liquor permit. But lets be fair!

    Sorry if I have made any spelling mistakes… haven’t recovered from Fat Tuesday yet. Happy Easter everyone

  4. I agree with what The Guardian said in his introduction. And I appreciate the reflections of the other posters. Indeed, a casual observer might reasonably suspect some “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” is going on.

    HOWEVER… and maybe Mr. Common Sense can back me up on this… current laws aside, it would seem that a liquor license for a “resort” type facility might be less likely to impact the general public in a negative way, than would a liquor license for a roadside tavern. (I know… I know… it’s not right to suggest that common sense will prevail.)

    Think about it. If somebody gets soused in Andre’s Bar, in the five-star “Hotel Stefi” at Tamarack, there’s a good chance he’s within crawling distance of where he’ll pass out for the night. On the other hand, if somebody stops at the “Time for Two”* and ends up having five or six, there’s some likelihood he’ll hop in his ’86 F-150 and motor on down the highway, looking for an accident to be involved in.

    * NOTE about “Time for Two” – don’t look for it. It used to be at the corner of Meridian Road and Overland, years ago. I don’t want to pick on Crow Inn – they’re good people and they make a fine burger with “half and half” (fries AND salad).

  5. Steve
    You are so right… rich people don’t drive drunk… Oh wait, what about Ted Kennedy, George Bush (I’m trying to be politically correct here), Glen Campbell…. and in our own State…. Butch Otter. You know Steve maybe the rich don’t worry about drunk driving because they can get away with it.

    I have always wondered why the police don’t check all the folks coming out of the Arid Club on Friday night…. I guess they are walking to a 5 star hotel.

  6. Lets not lose the forest for the trees here. The liquor license exemption is just one small political favor in a cast of many. There is no doubt that the Tamarack venture is speculative, but it sure becomes less so when our leaders shoehorn exceptions to existing law and mortgage our kids future to assure volume public access to the resort. The Statesman this morning had a map showing the Governor’s pared down highway project. It sure looks like the powers that be are maintaining the highway to Tamarack as a top priority when all of us experience traffic woes on a daily basis that won’t be alleviated by that highway. Isn’t the “you scratch my back I’ll scratch yours” comment a way to gloss over as serious issue of ethics in our government.

  7. Porcupine, my friend… please re-read. I was not trying to make a distinction between rich and poor. I was observing that a bar in a resort hotel would likely cater to many folks who are lodging under the same roof, while a roadhouse kicks the stragglers out at 2am or whatever it is. (Sorry… I’m not a drinker.) EVERYBODY who drinks at a roadside bar will theoretically be going someplace afterwards, in many cases before sobering up.

  8. These threads seem to get off topic quickly. My obligatory on topic comment–Traffic on ID 55 was bad, very bad before Tamarack resort. I’m willing to argue the Garvee bond procedure will save us taxpayers many millions regarding a new highway to the Long Valley area. If we wait until the funds are saved–(hahaha, like that will ever happen). Anyway, if we wait, the costs of construction will soar, chiefly via rising right-of-way costs.

    Off topic comment–Back in 96 or so, I was driving west by the Crow Inn when someone pulled out (from Crow Inn) right in front of me. I watched this moron drive first on the shoulder then in the oncoming lane, WHILE cars were coming. I watched him pass cars on the windy section (blind curves) by WS Mesa. I called *ISP on my cell phone and low and behold the cops were able to nab the dude at Idaho and 4th.

    Where’s my get out of jail free card for that one? It was very likely this guy was gonna kill or injure someone, IMO.

    Moral: You can get just as drunk on beer as liquor, so why NOT let Crow Inn have a liquor license.

    To help solve the DWI problem, I suggest requiring breathalyzer ignition interlocks in every vehicle, just like seatbelts!!! The unit cost of such a device will be miniscule compared to DWI related accident costs and costs of court proceedings and jailing offenders–imo, of course.

  9. Steve

    Here is my point. Many people have condo’s and homes on the Lake at McCall. Don’t you think they will drive down to Tamarack for a nice night out? Remember the bar is just not for the people staying at the hotel.

    Boisecynic… I don’t disagree with giving everyone that wants one a liquor license. Heck sell it in the stores like Louisiana, but be fair. I do think you are going to have an argument with our friends from Eastern Idaho! Boise is not the center of the universe in Idaho… but sometimes we think so.

  10. To the editor… Please Please don’t forget about the bucket of clams at the Crow Inn… That is what they are famous for!

  11. Russ Babcock
    Mar 6, 2006, 8:07 am

    Porcupine….you remembered Glenn Campbell?

    It appears on all the reporting of Tamarack, they the will continue to get every perk possible.

    The Governor and the Senate and Congress of Idaho are going to show the people of Idaho who is boss. These folks are of a one party system and guess what readers…the system works for them. Complaining about their system falls on deaf ears. When they get their liquor license they will celebrate another perk they have achieved.

    Folks….the only way this changes is at the voting booth.

    As long as Idaho requires and votes a one party system, Albertson’s, HP and Tamarack do what they want, when they want.

    Please look at other candidates, they will work for the ideas written in the comments.
    There are folks running now for your goals, and willing to pay their fair share of property taxes.

    OH and Ben Crow is noted for his seafood!!!!

  12. Russ
    Oh yes I remember Glen Campbell… I spent one month of my life in Arkadelphia, Arkansas… and Glen Campbell is somewhat the local hero. That one month was the longest year of my life.

    ED NOTE–Ok guys, share the rest of the story!

  13. Glen was from Delight Arkansas very close to Arkadelphia…
    here is a link for his drinking problem….(ps wasn’t at the Crow Inn)

  14. abby perkins
    Apr 8, 2006, 12:19 am

    I don’t know why everyone calls this the “road to Tamarack” – have any of you looked at a topo map lately? Indian Valley is no where near Tamarack, it’s 25 miles over West Mountain which has nothing but one very difficult dirt track. The road may or may not be a good idea, I don’t know, but it doesn’t benefit the resort any.

    ED NOTE–The plans (map) we’ve seen indeed call for a “spur” over the hill to Tamarack.

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