Bringing the Economy Home

Data Show State Used Vacant Governor’s Mansion 42 Times In Three Years

Governor's Housing Committee members Sen. Les Bock and Rep. Phylis King (D-Boise) want to sell the governor's mansion.

Idaho’s never-lived-in governor’s mansion will cost the state about $180,000 to maintain from now until next July.

The state has justified that cost by saying the mansion is frequently used by government departments and the first family.  So, we wanted to know just how often it’s used, and how much rent it brings in on a yearly basis.

The hilltop house was donated to the state by the Simplot family in 2005.  The Idaho Department of Administration has kept track of state agency events at the mansion since 2009.  Since June 19 of that year it has been used for 42 state retreats and meetings.  Those events brought in a total of $6,800 in rental fees over the last three years.

Show rows.
Governor's Mansion Use 2009-2012
6/19/2009Department of Corrections - Strategic Planning Meeting
12/4/2009 Department of Education Meeting
12/21/2009Bureau of Occupational Licenses Christmas Meeting
1/10/2010 House of Representatives Reception
1/26/2010 Department of Agriculture, Idaho Preferred Annual Meeting
2/23-25/2010 Liquor Division, Listing Meeting
5/17/2010Dept. of Commerce - International Reception
5/24-25/2010 Soil & Water Conservation Commission Meeting
7/12/2010State Board of Education - Senior Staff Retreat
9/1/2010Department of Commerce - Investment Delegation
9/5/2010DEQ Senior Staff Retreat
9/17/2010 Meridian District Education Foundation Annual Retreat
9/20/2010 Idaho Commission on Aging Meeting
10/20/2010 Department of Agriculture - Administration Meeting
12/13/2010Department of Education - Senior Staff Retreat
4/13/2011Department of Education - Senior Staff Retreat
5/11/2011 Division of Financial Management
5/25/2011Office of the CIO - Strategic Planning
6/1/2011 Department of Administration - Strategic Planning
6/8/2011DEQ Senior Staff Retreat
6/16/2011 IEN Content & Curriculum Meeting
6/21/2011 PERSI Investment Manager Conference
7/6-9/2011 PTE/Idaho FFA State Officer Training
8/19/2011Lt. Governor & Wyakin Warrior - Event
9/20/2011State Board of Education - Retreat
10/12/2011Department of Administration - Mgmt Training
10/25/2011 Department of Agriculture - South East Asia Dairy Group
11/9/2011Department of Administration - Mgmt Training
11/15/2011Idaho Fish & Game Annual Bureau meeting
11/30-12/1/2011 Idaho Bureau of Homeland Security Mgmt Meeting
12/16/2011Holiday Open House for the Public
1/11/2012BSU Health & Recreation Planning Retreat
2/7/2012BSU Economic Development - Keiretsu Forum
3/13/2012BSU Economic Development - Keiretsu Forum
3/19/2012 Department of Ed - Executive Team Meeting
4/10/2012BSU Economic Development - Keiretsu Forum
5/1/2012Department of Agriculture - Trade Mission Ambassadors
5/16-17/2012 State Board of Education - Retreat
5/24/2012Department of Agriculture - Korean Cheese Buyers
6/14/2012Division of Veteran's Services - Executive Leadership Meeting
6/26/2012Division of Human Resources - Strategic Planning Meeting
6/29/2012 Idaho Potato Commission - Simplot Mexico Buying Mission

Source: Idaho Department of Administration

Even though Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter and his wife, Lori Otter, don’t live at the house, it’s still considered their official residence.

The governor’s spokesman, Jon Hanian, says his office doesn’t track how many events the two host, but he estimates Gov. Otter uses the residence about once a month for things like cabinet meetings and fundraisers.  The first lady uses the home more often, says Hanian, estimating “several times per month”.

Upkeep of the governor’s mansion is funded by state tax revenue and the income generated from selling the previous governor’s mansion in 1989.

Costs to maintain the more than 7,000 square foot home include a $40,000 electricity budget, $80,000 for grounds maintenance, and $10,000 for security.

Two Boise Democratic lawmakers say it’s time to sell the home.  As a condition of funding upkeep for the coming year, the panel that oversees management of the mansion has agreed to a public meeting in mid-September to discuss whether the state should list it.

We want to hear from you, should the state hold on to the donated home or sell it?


  • Kev5140

    Sell it!!

  • NoZinBoise


  • Mariooch

    Give it to the homeless or turn it into a brothel for the political whores!

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