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Robust Bidding for Idaho Lots at Priest Lake Nets $25.5 Million


Idaho's so-called "land bank" continues to swell, thanks in large part to robust bidding for desirable resort property near Coeur d'Alene's Priest Lake and McCall's Payette Lake. The latest round of auctions, on August 24 and 25, netted $25,580,124 for 51 state-owned lakefront lots at Priest Lake. State officials said competitive bids on five of the lots drove up selling prices by more than $625,000 over the appraised value of the property.

To date, 393 cottage sites have been sold- 253 at Priest Lake and 140 at Payette Lake - with most of the winning bidders being long-time leaseholders who own cottages on the lots. But in some cases, families who had vacationed on the properties for generations had to engage in some high bidding to remain on the lots, yet came out on the losing end. For example, two of the leased lots that received competitive bidding in the most recent auction for Priest Lake properties were won by someone other than the current leaseholder. State officials said those lots received so-called "upbids" of $415,000 and $13,700.

This weekend's auctions generated more than $25 million for the endowment fund that supports Idaho public schools.

$177,503,065 in auction receipts has been transferred to the "land bank" so far.