The countdown is on for the opening of the new Mountain America Center in Idaho Falls. At a news conference Monday, the general manager of the center, Erik Hudson, announced the center will hold its ribbon cutting on Nov. 28. All that week the community is invited to tour the facility.

“I promise you that it will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for our guests,” Hudson said.

During the open house week, Mountain America Credit Union has teamed up with Operation Warm to hand out 500 coats to children in need.

“We try to give back to the communities in which we operate. We try to make a difference, a significant difference and what better way then a place where the community can gather,” said Sterling Nielsen, the CEO of Mountain America Credit Union.

Mountain America Credit Union will also hold financial education nights at the center to help local people become financially secure. The credit union helped 1 million people last year and it hopes to double that number this year.

The Mountain America Center has already announced upcoming events like the Mannheim Steamroller Christmas Concert on Dec. 13, which sold out so quickly they added a second show that day. Other announcements include Lindsey Stirling’s Snow Waltz Tour on Dec. 17 and Peppa Pig’s Adventure on Dec. 1. More announcements will come on Oct. 3, 10, 18, 25 and Nov. 3. Those events will include comedy acts, family entertainment shows, a country music act and more.

The main tenant of the 27,000 square foot Hero Arena is the Idaho Falls Spud Kings USPHL Junior A ice hockey franchise. The team is made up of players from the United States, Canada and Great Britain.

“Ladies and gentlemen, if you’ve never seen a hockey game live, you need to come out to this beautiful arena. It’s fast, it’s fun, it’s exciting and the action is almost non-stop,” said Kevin Greene, the general manager of the Idaho Falls Spud Kings.

Head coach Josh Hoff says the team hopes the players can build relationships with the community. That begins with their host families and continues through being involved as mentors, helping with school reading programs and more. He says they hold open practices, which means the community is welcome to watch.

Starting Monday, Oct. 3, the team will practice in the Joe Marmo/Wayne Lehto Ice Arena at Tautphaus Park. The team is already playing away games, including a series in Pueblo, Colorado this weekend. The first home series will be Dec. 2-4. You can get your tickets here.

The team has 2,000 available season seats with about 60 left. The suits have already sold out.

The title sponsor for the arena is Hero Meat Snacks, which is located in Shelley. Co-owner of Golden Valley Natural and Hero Meat Snacks, Ben Ball, says you’ll be able to buy Hero Meat Snacks at the best price in the country at the Mountain America Center.

“When the opportunity came to participate in this facility, we just thought it was a great way to become more involved in the community and to support our brand and we love all the activities and this is something that’s going to be a real benefit to our community and we’re excited to be a part of it,” Ball said.

The center also includes 11,000 square feet of meeting space in the Blue Cross of Idaho Conference Center. The center has partnered with Idaho Falls School District #91 and Bonneville County Joint School District #93 to host graduation ceremonies and sports games for years to come.

There will be five concession stands: Eagle Rock Burgers and Brew, Coyote Country Barbecue, El Flamingo Tacos, Crafty Pete’s Pie Shack and ToPo Tato.

The project first began in 2007 with a feasibility study that showed it was feasible for Idaho Falls to have an event center. Voters established the Idaho Falls Auditorium District in 2011 and the district broke ground for the Mountain America Center in May 2021. The $62 million center will open to the public Nov. 28.

You can buy seat plaques for $750, which gives you the right of first refusal to any ticketed event in the future. There are less than 400 of those plaques left. There is also the opportunity to buy a plaza brick for $250.