Robert G. Templin

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Robert G. Templin

Birthplace: Ritzville, Adams County, WA, United States
Death: February 27, 2017 (93)
Coeur D'Alene, Kootenai County, ID, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Ernest August Templin and Elsa Mela Templin
Husband of Rosemary Anne "Mary" Templin

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Robert G. Templin

Robert Templin has had 52 successful years of continuous experience in ownership, acquisition and disposition, transaction counseling, development, construction and management work in the Pacific Northwest. Born September 23, 1923 in Ritzville, Washington, he is a professional who comes to you with an excellent balance of specialized knowledge encompassing these many years of hospitality experience.

Bob is considered an expert in the hospitality industry, having pioneered the convention business in the Pacific Northwest (starting as a dishwasher at age 13 and working his way up to President & Chief Executive Officer), and is called upon by many appraisers, financial institutions, investors, and developers for advice in that area. Bob built his first restaurant in 1946 in Ritzville, Washington, moved to Coeur d'Alene a year later, opening Templin's Grill. In 1957 an adjacent motel and cocktail lounge were constructed. He converted Coeur d'Alene's first waterfront motel from existing apartments. During this time, Templin's Grill was featured twice in Ford Times, and was awarded McCall's Citation for Excellence of food and presentation as one of the top 13 restaurants in the nation.

In 1962, Bob Templin founded Western Frontiers, Inc., serving as President and Chief Executive Officer until it was sold in 1983. In 1964, the North Shore Resort Hotel was developed into a thriving visitor and convention facility. The Convention Center was built in 1966 to accommodate the ever-increasing convention and tourist business generated by Templin, a hotel lounge and a pool area were built, and expansion continued through 1974, making the Center the largest between Seattle and Minneapolis at the time. Shortly after completion of the North Shore Convention Center, American Management Company was formed, with Templin serving as President and C.E.O. It managed all of the Western Frontier's properties as well as facilities owned by others.

In 1976, the Great American Spaghetti Company and the first TJ's Pantry Family Restaurant were opened as part of an expansion program that continued aggressively, to include the construction of seven more TJ's Pantry's, the University Inn Best Western in Moscow, Idaho, the acquisition of the Holiday Inns of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho and Richland, Washington, and the management of the Jameson Dining Room in Wallace, Idaho and the Holiday Inn Downtown. Both Western Frontier, Inc. and American Management Company were sold in 1983.

Templin continues in this professional quality tradition to perform management, planning, consulting and development services for hospitality facilities. The Templin's constructed and opened Templin's Resort Hotel and Conference Center on the Spokane River in Post Falls, Idaho in 1986 and have built two additions with 168 guest rooms now available, as well as conference facilities, Marina, boat rentals, tennis courts, sauna, Mallard's Restaurant, heated indoor pool and fitness center. He has also built Falls Park Apartments and Milltown Service Center in Post Falls and has plan for developing downtown in Post Falls.
Soft-spoken Bob Templin is the epitome of the self-made man. A man of faith and determination, he points out his greatest accomplishments are his family and friends. "When all is said and done -- it's family, friends and patrons," he said. "If you don't have them when you're done, then you haven't succeeded." He and his wife Mary have three children.

Besides his work, his professional affiliations and extensive community services have kept him very busy. Starting in 1946 with the Coeur d'Alene Newcomers Club, being appointed to the Idaho Business Council, the Idaho Travel Council (twice) and appointed to the Best Western Governor for District II, Region 2-18 in 1986. He won the award for National Hospitality Industry Investment Conference - New York University. He is a member of the National Restaurant & Motel Association, Past President of the Idaho Inn Keepers Association, and member of the Post Falls Chamber of Commerce. He served as Past President of the Coeur d'Alene Jaycees, Past President of the Coeur d'Alene Chamber of Commerce and Past President and Founder of the Coeur d'Alene Central Development Association. He has served as Past Advisory Board Member for Washington Mutual Savings Bank, Board of Directors Member for Northwest District, Lutheran Church and Cavanaughs Hospitality Corporation. He is also a Past Member of the Holiday Inn, Inc., Government Affair Committee. Mr. Templin has been Founder & Member of Christ the King Lutheran Church, the Post Falls Educations Foundation & Post Falls Historical Society and many others.



Before there was the Coeur d’Alene Resort, there was the North Shore Resort Hotel and Bob Templin, the man who came to be known as Mr. Hospitality in the early years of the economic shift from timber to tourism.

Templin, a Post Falls developer, U.S. Army veteran and pioneer of North Idaho’s resort and tourism economy, died Tuesday morning at age 93. The hotelier, economic development booster and vigorous promoter of Post Falls was known as a shrewd businessman, devout Christian and genuinely nice guy.

His daughter, Blythe Templin, shared news of her father’s death on Facebook: “He was an amazing person that can never be replaced,” she wrote. “I feel so lucky to have had him as my dad. He was kind, loving, gentle and a man of God. I have never met anyone who knew him who didn’t love him.”

Templin and businessman Duane Hagadone largely were responsible for a thriving tourism industry that helped lift Kootenai County out of the economic doldrums of the 1980s. The two men also were rivals for a time.

Templin opened the North Shore Resort Hotel on downtown Coeur d’Alene’s lakefront in 1965 and completed a seven-story tower in 1973. But in 1983 he lost control of the hotel, as well as 17 other hospitality operations he owned or managed as part of his Western Frontier hospitality company, in a hostile corporate takeover orchestrated by Hagadone. Hagadone later rebuilt the North Shore into the Coeur d’Alene Resort.

Templin used an exception in his noncompete clause with Hagadone to build his Templin’s on the River resort hotel along the Spokane River in Post Falls in the mid-1980s.

The city had little hospitality business at the time, recalled Coeur d’Alene City Administrator Jim Hammond, a former Post Falls mayor and city manager.

“When he built Templin’s resort, the economy was in a downward tailspin, so it was a big risk. But it was a huge economic boost to the community in terms of both a restaurant and a hotel,” Hammond said.

“His investment put Post Falls on the map, so to speak, as something more than a bedroom community,” he said. “It was a substantial stimulus for the community.”

Templin sold the 167-room hotel to Cavanaughs Hospitality Corp. in 1998 but remained active in the hospitality business, serving as a governor of Best Western hotels. The hotel now operates under the Red Lion Hotels brand.

Post Falls Mayor Ron Jacobson called Templin a visionary and tireless promoter of tourism and economic development.

“He’s got his fingerprints all over town, he truly does,” Jacobson said Tuesday. “Back when he decided to build the resort on the river, there was nothing out there. He had the foresight and made it a viable project.”

Templin was active in the Post Falls Chamber of Commerce, going so far as to provide a building to house the agency, and was a driving force in forming an urban-renewal agency, which helped attract a major manufacturer to the city.

“He was a very astute businessman,” Jacobson said, “but I truly believe he had the people and the city of Post Falls at heart.”

Templin laid claim to dreaming up “River City” as a slogan for Post Falls, and he was instrumental in the development of Falls Park, a 22-acre spot on the Spokane River that provides scenic views of the Post Falls dam, Post Falls and the river gorge.

He also was closely involved in turning a former weed-infested field on Idaho Street into a community playfield named for the late Earl Warren. Warren Park is now a Post Falls city park.

Templin also helped establish a relationship between the city and Herborn, Germany, where Post Falls town founder Frederick Post was born. He was a tireless supporter of the Post Falls School District and campaigned vigorously for passage of a bond measure to build Post Falls High School, completed in 2000.

A decade ago Templin led a charge to save the old masonry-block Post Falls City Hall for public use, such as a museum. But voters in 2007 defeated a ballot measure to save the structure as the city built a new City Hall next door.

Templin also was involved with the Spokane River Property Owners Association, the Post Falls Historical Society and Christ the King Lutheran Church, which he helped found.

Bill Hemenway, a retired pastor at the church, knew Templin for 42 years.

“He was a self-made man – very bright with lots of common sense,” Hemenway said. “He was a problem solver. He just had a real gift with people.”

Templin was inducted into the Idaho Hall of Fame in 2001, along with Hagadone and the late World War II ace Gregory “Pappy” Boyington.

The son of German immigrants, Templin was born Sept. 23, 1923, in Ritzville. His humble entrance to the hospitality business began when he was 13, washing dishes at a restaurant in his hometown.

After returning from a stint in the U.S. Army during World War II, he and his brother, Del, pooled their money and opened a restaurant in Ritzville. Templin’s Grill was an overnight success and the first of 19 restaurants he would own in Eastern Washington, North Idaho and Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Templin also served in the Army during the Korean War. He was a longtime member of the American Legion and shared Post Falls Veteran of the Year honors in 2014.

“I remember seeing Bob when we’d have Veterans Day or Memorial Day ceremonies,” Jacobson said. “When Bob was able he was there. He was a proud veteran and always there to show his respect for those who served.”

Templin also was known for his generosity, going as far as to discreetly pay the bills of friends he saw eating in his restaurants, and giving free lodging to people from out of town who arrived for funerals at his church.

“I’ve heard versions of this story hundreds of times, where someone would come up to me and say, you know, my mom died back in Iowa and our family couldn’t afford to go back to the funeral, but Bob made it possible for us to do that,” said Hemenway, the retired pastor. “He was just an incredibly generous man. … Everywhere he went, it was a better place because he was there.”

Templin is survived by his wife of 52 years, Mary, who is 87, and their three children, five grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

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Robert G. Templin's Timeline

September 23, 1923
Ritzville, Adams County, WA, United States
February 27, 2017
Age 93
Coeur D'Alene, Kootenai County, ID, United States