LAVA HOT SPRINGS — A new bar in Lava Hot Springs is set to host its grand opening during Independence Day weekend and the owner says it will provide the best view in town for the only fireworks show currently scheduled in Bannock County.
Cody De Los Reyes, a recent transplant to Lava Hot Springs from Pocatello, says the bar he and his brother Brandon recently opened, The Rooftop Bar located at 289 E. First Aly S., will definitely be the place to enjoy Lava Hot Springs’ July 4 pyrotechnic display.
“The bar sits about 75 feet above Main Street in Lava Hot Springs and has a view of the entire Marsh Valley and the entire city of Lava,” De Los Reyes said. “We have three days’ worth of events planned for that weekend and are beyond excited. We had our soft opening a couple weekends ago and it has just taken off. I can’t even keep the beer in stock.”
The first of the three events is set for July 3 and will feature De Los Reyes stepping into the ring against professional boxer Logan Swallow, a Pocatello native. The Stars and Stripes Boxing Matches will feature six bouts and a professional midget wrestling match. The doors for this event open at 4 p.m., the first fight starts at 6 p.m. and De Los Reyes will battle Swallow at dusk, De Los Reyes said. The entry fee for this event is $30 and 5 percent of all admissions are being donated to the Professional Transformation Sports Development (PTSD) nonprofit organization.
“The main event fight is sort of unique because I am fighting the professional fighter,” De Los Reyes said. “After about 12 years I am throwing the gloves back on after giving the sport up. I’ll just say that I better not lose in my own bar.”
The Fourth of July at The Rooftop Bar will feature alternating performances from Pocatello native and rising country music star Kade Isakson as well as DJ Yev up until the start of the Lava Hot Springs fireworks show that starts at 10 p.m. The entry fee for this event is $20.
And on July 5, The Rooftop Bar will host the event, “Bring back Cinco de Mayo on Cinco de Julio,” which will involve a huge party in celebration of Cinco de Mayo because all bars throughout the state were closed for that day due to the coronavirus pandemic, De Los Reyes said. The event will feature a live Mariachi band and DJ all day long. The entry fee for this event is $15.
The grand opening of The Rooftop Bar will mark the end of a process Cody and Brandon first started three years ago with the aspirations to construct from the ground up a new hotel and bar in Lava Hot Springs.
The Rooftop Bar is located on the top-floor of the hotel, Lava Hillside Suites, of which the latter was first opened partially in 2018. De Los Reyes said the first two floors of the hotel opened in the summer of 2018, the next two floors were finished in the spring of 2019, and the top floor, which houses solely the bar, was finished a few weeks ago. Being longtime recreationists of Lava Hot Springs while struggling to find a top-of-the-line place to stay was the primary driving force for constructing a new hotel and bar, De Los Reyes said.
“Growing up here in Southeast Idaho, we would always go to Lava Hot Springs to soak in the hot pools but could never find a superior place to stay,” De Los Reyes said. “So my brother and I decided to design a building that is not just unique and very different but new and modern, too.”
The approximately 14,000-square-foot structure, built of mostly concrete and terraced into the hillside, is located a block away from Lava’s World Famous Hot Pools, three blocks from the Lava Olympic Swimming Complex and directly adjacent to the Centennial trailhead that leads to the iconic “L” that rests above the town. De Los Reyes said the mostly concrete structure will also stay warm and cozy in the winter months thanks to an internal heating system that pumps piping-hot, 120-degree mineral water through tubes within the concrete itself.
The hotel features nine, 1,200-square-foot rooms each with 600-square-foot covered outdoor patios, said De Los Reyes, adding that each room will comfortably sleep six. The rooms include vaulted ceilings, granite countertops, a kitchenette complete with a microwave and hot plate, an outdoor barbecue, smart televisions, and large walk-in showers.
“These are modern, state-of-the-art rooms with chic decor and the common amenities we all know and love,” De Los Reyes said. “But what we get the most love about is the geothermal-heated concrete.”
The Rooftop Bar will feature an array of about 50 different mixed drinks and beers but will not serve food, said De Los Reyes, adding that patrons are welcome to bring in any outside food items, but no outside beverages.
The most rewarding part of building the hotel and bar is that the De Los Reyes family was able to fund its construction entirely with money Cody and Brandon had saved from a combined eight Air Force deployments to the Middle East.
“We attribute a lot of what we have accomplished to our military careers,” De Los Reyes said. “We really owe a lot of how we started this business and how it progressed to our father, who was also a military man, and to the Air Force.”
De Los Reyes said they ran out of finances during the final stretch of completion, but were able to secure an investing partner and pay off the additional contribution within the first year of the hotel being open.
The troublesome aspect of the process was watching the cancellations of over 70 reservations for this spring and summer trickle in because of travel restrictions many states, including Idaho, implemented in response to COVID-19.
However, De Los Reyes has persevered and is looking forward to becoming another member of the Lava Hot Springs community.
”The most exciting part of this process for us was the moment we were able to shut off our no vacancy sign last year,” De Los Reyes said. “We are excited and thrilled to participate in the tourism of Lava Hot Springs, and I think the Fourth of July will bring a huge crowd to Lava, maybe more than we can handle but that’s all right.”