After 52 years, Boise’s downtown Safari Inn has closed its doors

After decades of service and thousands of guests, the Safari Inn in downtown Boise has closed.

The land lease that’s been in place for 52 years finally came to an end, Barbara Steiger, a partner and general manager of the hotel, said Friday. A few employees remain in the building to clean and help move things, but they too will soon be gone. Everything has to be out by the end of the year.

Part of the hotel will become upscale apartments. Seattle-based Revolve Development bought one of the buildings the hotel had rooms in and will build about 40 apartments, the Statesman reported in June.

Steiger said her understanding is that the owners of the land, listed in Ada County property records as “Barnes Girdner Lori Rev Trust,” will probably open a new hotel where the rest of the Safari stands. That part now houses about 60 hotel rooms.

A contact for the trust could not be found Friday.

Safari Inn changes.JPG
Developers of the Main Street portion of the Safari Inn are converting the building’s 45 hotel rooms into apartments. The ground-floor businesses will remain, and Revolve Development of Seattle will add a new entrance at the far left side of the three-story building. Provided by Revolve Development via the city of Boise

The inn closed Sunday. Steiger is preparing to sell almost everything inside. The owners don’t want any of the Safari Inn’s linens or furniture for the new hotel, Steiger said, so there will be an open sale to get rid of it all.

“A couple of hotels have already contacted us interested in certain things,” she said. “We’re going to maybe let them in a few hours early to look, and then I think we’re going open it up to the public.”

From beds and dressers to coffee makers and microwaves, the hotel has more than 100 of almost everything, Steiger said.

The date of the liquidation sale is not yet confirmed — it could be the end of next week or the following week, Steiger said — but she plans to put out big signs to let people know that everything in the building is for sale.

All employees are getting a “nice severance,” Steiger said. There are no other hotels for the owners to move to, so they will instead need to find new jobs.

Steiger herself has worked there for 33 years. She joined the team about 20 years after the Safari Inn first opened its doors. She said she will be wrapping up paperwork and other final things until January or February of next year. After that, she’s not sure what comes next.

“I’m planning on nothing at this point,” Steiger said, “but sometimes, nothing isn’t so bad, you know?”

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Hayley covers local government for the Idaho Statesman with a primary focus on Boise. Previously, she worked for the Salisbury Daily Times, the Hartford Courant, the Denver Post and McClatchy’s D.C. bureau. Hayley graduated from Ohio University with degrees in journalism and political science.If you like seeing stories like this, please consider supporting our work with a digital subscription to the Idaho Statesman.