idaho: 20 Tips to Get Your Business Through this Economic Downturn - 03/27/20 11:16 AM
Whether you own or manage a business here are some tips and suggestions to help your North Idaho business survive the slowing economy
Okay, I know there’s a lot of BS between here and the info you want to know. So, if you are like me in college, just scroll down until you get to the info you need/want. I know you’ve already thought about a lot of this stuff. C’mon, you’ve been a successful business owner for a while now. But this is a good guide to keep you on track. My info is below, and I have offered my services … (1 comments)

idaho: Senior Empowerment Expo 2010: Sandpoint Real Estate Blog - 05/12/10 10:48 AM
On May 22, 2010 from 9am to 2pm at the Sandpoint Business & Events Center will be the first Senior Empowerment Expo 2010. This venue is to provide trusted resources for seniors and caregivers. Several guest speakers and presenters will be there to give info and resources for seniors and their families to learn about options for the twilight years.
I interviewed Rob Redford of Hearthstone Village and Annie Miller from the Sandpoint Life Care Center on Tuesday on my show: North Idaho Business broadcast on KSPT and KBFI.
Visit the Event Center at 102 S. Euclid Avenue in Sandpoint, Idaho … (0 comments)

idaho: More pics of downtown Sandpoint for Country Living Magazine: Sandpoint Real Estate Blog - 03/27/10 10:50 AM
So, as I wrote in my previous blog, besides being featured in a 6-page article in Where to Retire magazine, Country Living has asked me for photos of Sandpoint. They specifically wanted Main Street, but I let them know our main place of happenings is First Avenue. So, I took these pics this morning and sent them in to their New York headquarters.
You get a sneak peek at them first.

Cedar Street Bridge on First and Cedar

Farmin Park at Main and Oak in Sandpoint, Idaho

First Avenue in Sandpoint, Idaho

Historic Panida Theater on First … (2 comments)

idaho: Sandpoint, Idaho: A great place to live - 12/21/09 10:04 PM
The Story of Sandpoint, North Idaho
Sandpoint, North Idaho, Schweitzer Ski Resort, and Lake Pend Oreille gets a lot of attention, with a new article about to come out in Country Living magazine, and me, Gary Lirette, and Sandpoint recently featured in Where to Retire magazine. Now you want to know the inside story. In the last few years we have had literally dozens of articles, television shows, news reports, etc., that have touted our area as the paradise of the West. Sure, we have some of the same issues that most communities our size have to tackle, but the good far outpaces the bad. Tourism … (2 comments)

idaho: Idaho ranked as 14th Happiest State in study published in the journal Science - 12/17/09 01:11 PM
In a study just published by the UK's University of Warwick and Hamilton College Idaho was ranked the 14th happiest state in the US. The researchers used the happiness levels of a million individual US citizens to discover which are the best and worst states in which to live in the United States.
The study found a quantifiable correlation between objective quality of life factors such as air quality and congestion and the subjective opinions of those that live in the subject states. This correlation was made possible by a study by Stuart Gabriel and colleagues from UCLA published in 2003 … (0 comments)

idaho: Market Commentary from Chris Basset of MetLife Home Loans in Sandpoint, Idaho - 12/02/09 05:30 AM
Fannie Mae's shares are still falling, and they in turn tightening their lending requirements all together. One change is to get rid of all loans <80%LTV and no FICO's below 620.  This will mean a continued increase in volume for FHA loans that require a 620 FICO but only 3.5% down.  If you are selling a house that is in good condition, a good option is USDA Guaranteed.  No money down, and the income limit for a family of four is $73,600.   Condo approvals are available for Fannie and Freddie directly through MetLife.  We will have direct approvals for FHA … (0 comments)

idaho: Economic Commentary by Chris Bassett of MetLife in Sandpoint, ID - 11/05/09 - 11/05/09 02:02 AM
As we move into Winter, we are all expecting to see another 6 months of stimulus with the extension and expansion of the Home Buyer Tax Credit.  The current proposal being worked through the Senate keeps the First Time Home Buyer with an $8,000 credit and for people with ownership for 5 years or more a credit of $6,500.  We will keep our eyes and ears open as they iron out the unemployment bill that this extension and expansion is attached to.   Here is a solid commentary on the market from Mortgage News Daily, written by Victor Burek.
Mortgage rates … (0 comments)

idaho: Having the best web presence takes skills - How to best represent your clients from Sandpoint, Idaho REALTOR® Gary Lirette - 11/04/09 03:54 PM
With over 100 websites, there are few private individuals that can compare with my web presence. While in a company meeting, our broker, Jeff Bond, suggested that having YouTube videos would help a website's position in Google. So, using my tiny netbook, I put two videos on one of my sites right then and there.
This year those websites are on target to get over 450,000 hits. The websites range from pure real estate business, to art, community support, and a variety of other fields and interests, all about Sandpoint, North Idaho, and Schweitzer Mountain Ski Resort.
Other REALTORS® have to … (0 comments)

idaho: Sandpoint Long Bridge Swim - 08/01/09 11:07 AM
Today was the perfect day for a swim. The proverbial news on the airwaves called for temperatures to be the highest of the year so far. Not a cloud in the sky. The 1.76-mile swim was most likely in 65-70 degree water (usually the temperature is between 68-70 degrees) from the south end of the Long Bridge to the north. Two and a half hours was the allotted time limit for swimming the distance.
There were hundreds and hundreds of cheering onlookers, and with yesterday being the beginning of Sandpoint's Artwalk, the perfect day was … (0 comments)

idaho: Sandpoint Real Estate: Lake Pend Oreille, a great place to live - 07/31/09 03:30 AM
A Day on Lake Pend Oreille in Sandpoint, Idaho
Every year the REALTORS® from our office, Tomlinson Sandpoint Sotheby's International Realty, take to the massive waters of Lake Pend Oreille off the shores of Sandpoint, Idaho to preview the waterfront homes we represent. We make it a day of fun and camaraderie, learn a bit about the inlets and homes on the lake, and a good time is had by all.
The Pend Oreille River is wide and deep, but nothing compares to the open waters of Lake Pend Oreille. With 148 square miles, 111 miles of coastline, and over 50 … (0 comments)

idaho: North Idaho Wineries and Wine Bars in and near Sandpoint, Idaho - 06/26/09 03:09 AM
Sandpoint, North Idaho, & Eastern WashingtonWineries & Wine Bars
North Idaho Restaurants
Schweitzer Restaurants
North Idaho Bars
Idaho Cuisine
First, Gary Lirette is the author of the book Passion for Wine published by Hastings House. So, wine holds a special place in this writer's life. While there are many great areas of wine production in the world, it is our opinion that neighboring Washington State makes the best wine on the planet. Travel the awe-inspiring landscape of Northern Idaho and its narrow, far-north "Panhandle" and you will find a loop of 16 wineries; four of the wineries are located Idaho's borders, … (0 comments)

idaho: Biking and Hiking in North Idaho: Sandpoint Cycling and Hikes - 06/26/09 02:47 AM
So, mountain bikers and hikers have long known how totally outrageous North Idaho is for the sports for some time. But in 2005, when the NORBA National Championship was held at Schweitzer Mountain, the rest of the world found out our little secret. There are so many great runs and trails, it is hard to quantify. However, we will try to do just that in this web. Hiking in and around Sandpoint and North Idaho can vary from simple flat trails, to full-fledged mountain and rock climbing that could satisfy even the most X-treme athletes. Mountain biking in Sandpoint and the … (0 comments)

idaho: North Idaho Golf: Golf Courses around Sandpoint, Idaho - 06/26/09 01:23 AM
Golfing in Sandpoint, Bonner County, & North IdahoSandpoint Area Golf Courses
Well, the thought of golf in North Idaho may not occur to the avid golf enthusiast, but lovers of the links are finding out why so many are making the Idaho Panhandle a golfing destination. Most recently, Jack Nicklaus bought award-winning Hidden Lakes in Sandpoint, designing the course himself. Apparently, though Jack Nicklaus companies owns many golf courses, he only has designed a handful personally. So, this course should be something really special. Unfortunately, the beautiful clubhouse (shown below) burned down winter 2008. Rumors abound that Arnold Palmer has been … (0 comments)

idaho: An interview with a very special little girl named Grace in Sandpoint, Idaho - 04/20/09 04:30 PM
No long ago, I interviewed an adorable little girl, Grace Coughlin, on my radio show, North Idaho Arts & Adventure. See, during the art show I put on last winter, Betty Billups, a wonderful painter that lives in Sandpoint, related this story. (To learn more about the artist, visit Seems while Betty was on duty at the Schweitzer Art Gallery, a young girl approached her asking to purchase two paintings on display. It just so happened that Betty was the artist that had produced the art, which was tagged for $800. Being touched that this adorable little girl would want … (0 comments)

idaho: Sandpoint Spring & Summer Recreation Guide - 04/18/09 01:04 AM
While Schweitzer Mountain Ski Resort and winter sports and carnivals peppers snow season in Sandpoint, Lake Pend Oreille is the central figure of life in Sandpoint. Water sports and activities is the lifeblood of Sandpoint, but the events and festivals enhance the pastoral feel of North Idaho. The events are varied and wonderful: Lost in the 50's kicks off the season with it's tribute to rock n' roll featuring dances and big name acts, plus a grand vintage car parade and show. Follow that with the Wooden Boat Show, ArtWalk, Festival at Sandpoint, Dover Days, fairs, more art events, horse shows, … (0 comments)

idaho: Finally, some good news for Sandpoint, IDaho's outlook and our national condition. - 03/18/09 04:40 AM
March 18, 2009
By Gary Lirette, host of North Idaho Business radio show on KSPT and KBFI, and REALTOR® for Tomlinson Sandpoint Sotheby's International Realty
The stock market was up all week. MSNBC reported on March 18, 2009 that "Stocks had their fifth advance in six days Tuesday after a surprisingly strong report on home construction and building permit applications. Since the rally began last week, the Dow is up 849 points, or 13 percent."
Housing starts were up 22 Percent according CNBC (
Add to that on March 11, 2009 CNN reported applications for new mortgages are up 11%. (

idaho: History of Clark Fork, and Hope, Idaho - 03/17/09 04:11 AM
The Hope/Clark Fork area stretches along the shores of Lake Pend Oreille from the Pack River to the mouth of the Clark Fork River, the major waterways that feed mighty Pend Oreille. Lake Pend Oreille is one of the West's largest freshwater bodies of water with several islands near the Clark Fork estuary, including the islands off Hope and the Hope Peninsula, Warren, Cottage, Pearl, Eagle, and Memaloose Islands, as well as the Islands at the end of the Clark Fork River, called the Clark Fork Flats, which includes Derr Island. There are three major peninsulas that thrust into the lake: … (0 comments)

idaho: Things to Do in Sandpoint & Schweitzer Mountain - 12/13/08 11:41 AM
Wow! What a run we have had here in the North Idaho Panhandle. Schweitzer has spent millions on improvements and finally made Skiing Mag's Top 25. Spring 2008 had naming Sandpoint and Schweitzer Mountain Ski Resort one of the nation's Top 10 Resort Towns. There's always something going one. Winter events like Holly Eve, Winter Carnival, and Mardi Gras added to some great downhill runs. Spring brought Lost in the 50s, Spring Festivals, and marathons, and the fun continued through summer, with art and festivals, fishing derbys, Summer Sampler, 4th of July, the Wooden Boat Festival, the Festival at Sandpoint … (0 comments)

idaho: The Skinny on Sandpoint, Idaho - 12/13/08 11:38 AM
First, Lake Pend Oreille is the second largest freshwater lake and the deepest in the West with 111 miles of shoreline. Watersports, sailing, and racing are common and several boat cruises are offered. Next is Schweitzer Mountain Ski Resort, a top winter destination rated in the Top 25 in Skiing Magazine and Top 10 in Sunset Magazine, with the finest skiing and snowboarding with unbelievable panoramic views overlooking Lake Pend Oreille. With over 2,900 acres, 2,400 feet of vertical, 67 named runs and seven chairlifts, Schweitzer Mountain is a dream for downhill enthusiasts. There's also 32k of cross country trails, beautiful … (0 comments)

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Gary Lirette

Business & Investing in the Inland Northwest

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Address: Sandpoint, ID, 83864

Mobile: (208) 610-1384

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Sandpoint, Spokane, and Coeur d'Alene Guide and Blog by Author Gary Lirette - Greater Spokane Incorporated Ambassador, Author of Passion for Wine, and host of the North Idaho Business radio show.




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