Downtown Boise hostel to close its doors

But the owner of Boise’s Idahostel says it could open at a new location in the spring.

kmoeller@idahostatesman.comAugust 24, 2013 


    Looking for used bunk beds, appliances or artwork? Idahostel will sell off furniture and other items throughout the day on Saturday, Aug. 31.

    Idahostel is at 280 N. 8th St., No. 103. Call 286-6476.

Entrepreneur Andrew Mentzer was set in July to sell the hostel that he opened in Downtown Boise almost three years ago.

But the deal fell through during the lease transfer process. Now Mentzer plans to close Idahostel at the end of August, when the lease is up.

Boise’s only hostel is on the main floor of the Idaho Building at 8th and Bannock streets.

It offers a low-cost, highly social option for travelers and college students passing through Boise. Dormitory beds at the hostel are $19 to $23 per night, depending on the season.

“It’s an important part of the cultural landscape of Boise,” Mentzer said. “I’m going to close down shop for now, and reopen someplace else.”

Mentzer, 30, who is finishing up a master’s degree in public administration at Boise State University, said he spent a year and a half trying to find the right buyer to purchase the hostel.

But the interested buyer, whose name wasn’t disclosed, didn’t pass muster with the owners of the Idaho Building.

“Everything looked great until we did a credit report on the buyer, and that was terrible,” said Ken Howell, owner of Park Lane Management Co. Howell is one of the owners of the Idaho Building; Park Lane Co. manages the building.

Howell said he tried to work with the potential buyer, but Mentzer said his landlord “kept moving the goal post.” Mentzer said he’s had differences with the building’s owners and would rather reopen somewhere else.

Howell said that he hadn’t heard that Mentzer planned to shut down the hostel at the end of August.

“I'm disappointed also,” he said. “They were a very good tenant. There were no issues.”

Mentzer estimates that he invested about $40,000 to $50,000 on improvements, including adding three bathrooms, sprinkler upgrades and walls. The hostel is set up for 18 to 20 guests. It provided long-term accommodations to a group of BSU students from China last year.

“It’s been a wonderful business, and I’ve had a great time doing it,” said Mentzer, a former Ada County planner. “A lot of money and time went into making it profitable.”

Katy Moeller: 377-6413

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