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New owner details plans for historic TF building


September 13, 2018

Annie Wooden

MAIN STREET REVIVAL - The historic Black Bear Inn in Thompson Falls was recently sold.

As an employee of Microsoft for more than 20 years, one of Daniel Moore's favorite parts of the job is mentoring interns. "It was so satisfying to watch them grow and become something more," Moore said. He's hoping to take that experience and apply it to a new project in Thompson Falls.

Moore and his wife Marlaina recently purchased the Black Bear Inn in Thompson Falls. The Main Street building was built in 1908 and throughout its history has housed various businesses, including a hotel and restaurant, and residences. (For more information on the history of The Black Bear, see Remember When on page 2.) The Moores are now undertaking the task of remodeling and revitalizing the building, which is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Daniel Moore addressed the Thompson Falls City Council on Monday, introducing the council to who they are and what they have planned for the building.

"We want to improve the quality of life, create local jobs, and keep dollars here in Thompson Falls," Moore told the council and a crowd of community members interested in the plans. The Moores plan to first open an open concept coffee shop on the south end of the building. Other plans for the historic building include retail space, as well as once again providing lodging. Moore told the council that they are looking to preserve and restore the historic aspects of the building. He also said that they plan to keep the grand parlor and possibly use it as a venue for live music, weddings or receptions.

Moore said having a space for live music is important to him. He noted that music was an inspiration and has always been a part of his life.

Moore told the city council that he and Marlaina considered many ideas for the Black Bear, all based on building community. "There are plenty of places in Sanders County to drink or gamble, and that doesn't seem to meet this goal. We're looking for ways to improve our quality of life and the fabric of our community to benefit current residents of all ages and attract the younger demographic."

When asked what he likes about Thompson Falls, Moore said that it is largely unspoiled. He said that when he and his wife were looking for a place to retire, they fell in love with the Thompson Falls area, and felt they could make a difference here. The Moores are from the Seattle area, where Marlaina works as a hairdresser and Daniel continues to work for Microsoft. The couple currently split time between Montana and Washington.

Moore said he has a background in general construction and has been hiring local laborers to help with the project. He also noted that before work began on the building, he researched the journey of the building.

"Every aspect of this building, I spent time researching," Moore said, highlighting the importance of cultural and historical preservation during the project, as well as investing in the town.

At the city council meeting on Monday, response was positive from the council and community members.

"This is history and I would love to see this for our community," council member Shawni Vaught said of the project. Council member Raoul Ribiero added that he appreciated the Moores "coming into town and taking on such an ambitious project."

Moore said that he hopes to have the coffee shop open in The Black Bear this fall.


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