Big Idaho Potato Hotel

Building a six-ton potato on a trailer to tour the country seems crazy. But making the world’s first Big Idaho® Potato Hotel seems even crazier.

It all started back in 2012 when the Idaho Potato Commission (IPC) was looking to do something special for their 75th anniversary. Foerstel had a big idea: how about a touring titanic tuber spreading joy {and brand recognition} for Idaho’s most iconic agricultural product?

See how the original potato was built.

The Big Idaho Potato Truck hit the road, promoting heart-healthy living and give a “Big Helping” of Idaho hospitality to charities nationwide. It quickly became a pop-culture icon and it was clear that what was supposed to be a one year tour was going to become much more than that.

After half a decade of travel, the potato was getting road-weary. In 2018 it was replaced with a new fiberglass version that’s a bit narrower, and a lot lighter. Some might have been wondering what one would do with the previous potato but that’s a question we never had to ask because there had been someone lobbying for it for years.

See how the new potato was built!

Kristie Wolfe, a front-runner in the tiny house movement and an Idaho girl through and through, proposed the ultimate upcycle. With a track record of building unique and sustainable homes that she rents on Airbnb – from a secluded bamboo treehouse in Hawaii’s Fern Forest to an enchanting Hobbit Hole in the Columbia River Gorge mountainside – her work captures the attention of visitors for her unique buildings and flawless attention to detail. As one of the brand ambassadors, aka Tater Team, that traveled with the Big Idaho Potato on two tours, Kristie has had her sites – and a vision – on the potato from the getgo.

Kristie explain her vision.

The spud with a stunning view of the Owyhee mountains has been even more popular than any of us could have imagined, making news in over 28 countries, featured on 100’s of news reports, not to mention Live with Kelly and Ryan. It was also featured in People Magazine, Dwell and Women’s Day along with lots of local press, including this Idaho Statesman article.

At Foerstel, we are all for reusing and recycling and are thrilled to see the potato get a second life.

And besides, a potato hotel? What could be more Idaho than that?

Book your night here and follow along on the adventure on Instagram.

Kristie and the Big Idaho Potato Hotel.

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Tom Foerstel : Founder & President

Tom Foerstel

Founder & President

Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area in the 60’s, Tom developed a strong desire to create positive change for people and planet.

He went on to pursue his passion for art and design at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California, and worked for design firms in Southern California before moving to Boise, Idaho in the early 80’s. Foerstel Design opened its doors in 1985. Since its inception, the firm has cultivated a bold, happy, forward-looking team focussed on creating distinct and effective work on behalf of their clients.

An integral part of Tom’s philosophy is giving back to the community in which he lives — a company cornerstone that drives Foerstel’s long history of providing pro-bono services to local non-profit humanitarian and arts programs.

One of Tom’s proudest personal achievements is his ability to say Supercalifragilisticexpyalidocious backwards.