Having put his resort in good hands, hospitality pioneer Bob Templin can begin the next phase of his remarkable career.
The hostile 1983 takeover of Western Frontiers Inc. by Coeur d'Alene businessman Duane Hagadone was one of the best things that ever happened to Post Falls. It forced Bob Templin to take a long look at his adopted hometown.
He liked what Post Falls offered.
Where others saw a sleepy bedroom community, the hospitality pioneer saw potential. While most investors were scared away by a depressed housing market, he recognized a golden opportunity to buy Spokane River frontage at the heart of a large population base.
Most importantly, at 63, Templin had the courage and energy to start again. The rest is history. Templin's Resort not only has been successful since its doors opened on April 1, 1986, it has spurred a decade of commercial and industrial development that has transformed Post Falls.
Now, Templin has made a move that guarantees his fine resort will continue on long after he retires, if he ever does. The recent sale of Templin's riverside hotel to Cavanaughs Hospitality Corp. of Spokane means the resort will grow and prosper, and that Templin, at 74, finally will have time to devote to his dream of helping Post Falls build a legitimate downtown.
Templin found the right buyer. The Spokane corporation, founded by Idaho-born Lou Barbieri, punctuated a vigorous expansion phase recently by buying Spokane's Ridpath Hotel as well as hotels in Yakima and Idaho Falls. It also has a strong marketing and sales program, which should enable Cavanaughs Templin's Resort to tap into the huge Puget Sound market.
"Sun Valley's biggest market is Seattle," Templin pointed out this week. "In fact, it now gets more visitors in the summer from there than at any other time. We need to become a four-season area for Seattle, too."
Mr. Hospitality is prepared to help the new management team achieve that end. Rather than rest on his accomplishments, Templin plans to maintain his office at the resort, serve on Cavanaughs board of directors and represent the corporation on the Best Western board of governors and the Idaho Travel Council. So begins the next phase of a remarkable career that dates back 60 years, to Ritzville, where Templin, as a teenager, was paid $2.50 a week and worked eight hours a day, seven days a week. Two years ago, as Templin celebrated his golden anniversary in North Idaho, a former employee estimated Templin has fed and housed 55 million people, and employed 30,000 others in his various businesses.
Post Falls should count itself lucky that fate brought this indomitable businessman to its doorstep.
D.F. Oliveria/For the editorial board Copyright - Spokesman-Review