Wednesday, September 14, 2016

3 ways Nor'wood is locking up lower downtown

Posted By on Wed, Sep 14, 2016 at 10:49 AM

This building at 101 Costilla St. would be placed in a new entity with controlling interest held by Nor'wood Development Group under a deal given preliminary approval last month. - PAM ZUBECK
  • Pam Zubeck
  • This building at 101 Costilla St. would be placed in a new entity with controlling interest held by Nor'wood Development Group under a deal given preliminary approval last month.
Wednesday, the Independent reports on the latest maneuver by Nor'wood Development Group to control property in the lower downtown area known as the Southwest Downtown Urban Renewal Area.

Our story explains a "participation agreement," which won preliminary approval from the Pikes Peak Regional Building Department, would allow Nor'wood to take charge of the agency's two properties located in the URA. (Note the sidebar on how the agenda item was handled.)

This would add to the amount of property Nor'wood, headed by long-time developer David Jenkins ("Building an empire," Nov. 19, 2014) controls in the roughly 100-acre URA and enable the developer to advance plans to convert the largely dormant area into a mixed use urban setting.

The other two ways are:

• Persuade the city to build an underground parking garage beneath a city block owned by Nor'wood interests. ("Going underground," July 6, 2016)

• Enable the U.S. Olympic Museum and Hall of Fame to be built on 1.7 acres Nor'wood has pledged to donate in the immediate vicinity of the garage and the Regional Building property. Nor'wood also has made a play for city-owned property next door.

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Thursday, July 28, 2016

How to land $100 worth of goat

Posted By on Thu, Jul 28, 2016 at 3:17 PM

Former Indy blogger The Goat Cheese Lady is calling for support to bring her dream creamery to fruition. 

She's $13,000 shy of funds to install a foundation and get to market sooner. So she's making an appeal to some dedicated shoppers to each go big one a basket of goat-product goodies.

No, not to the tune of $240 worth of pudding, but for a tally of $100 for a mixed box of soaps, lotions and lip balms. Pickups would take place at Ranch Foods Direct's market. 

Full details are below:
Buy A $100 Box to Help Build The Goat Cheese Lady Creamery
For years, people have told me I ought to sell more of my goat milk lotion, soaps and lip balms. I ought to put them in stores, market them more on the internet, have more for sale at the farm. I know I should…but CHEESE is my passion. I love to MAKE CHEESE. I love to TEACH CHEESE. I want to SELL CHEESE. 
The Goat Cheese Lady's manufacturing department. - LINDSEY APARICIO
  • Lindsey Aparicio
  • The Goat Cheese Lady's manufacturing department.
I want to SELL CHEESE that reminds a person of what her Italian grandmother made. I want to SELL CHEESE that makes local restaurant chefs proud to have on their menus. I want to SELL CHEESE that brings our local terroir to the kitchens and dinner tables of cheese connoisseurs who appreciate and value the goat milk, green pasture, good hay, time, art and passion that go into making artisan cheese.
To realize my dream of making and selling cheese, my husband, our boys and I are building, after years of planning and designing, a small creamery in Penrose, Colorado, from which we can SELL CHEESE!
But we ran into a financial road block. After installing the septic tank for the creamery, we began getting bids for the foundation. $13,000. It was much more than we expected and pushes us way over our budget. We put on the brakes. I got mad. I cried. The creamery we thought would be up and running last May is only an empty septic tank in the ground. We can’t put in the foundation – thus using up much of our budget – and risk not having enough money to cover it with walls and a roof. It would be ruined. When my husband said we might have to wait one or two years, I yelled.
NO!! I don’t want to wait one or two years more to have our creamery. By the time our goats have their babies next Spring, I want to be using their milk to make and sell cheese.
I began to think, HOW CAN I MAKE $13,000…FAST? How can we cash flow the foundation so it puts us back into budget?
I could go back to work at a “regular job.” My answer, not surprising to those who know me, was no.
I could sell lots of soaps, lotions and lip balms. $5 a piece for a bar of soap or a 4 oz bottle of lotion means selling 2,600 individual bars and bottles. My brain couldn’t handle that number and it seemed out of reach.
OR WAIT! ….I could sell $100 Boxes filled with soaps, lotions and lip balms! That would mean only selling 130 boxes! I could wrap my mind around that idea!
So, the idea for the $100 Box was born. I will sell $100 Boxes of Goat Milk Soap, Lotion and Lip Balm and I only need to sell 130 to pour the floor of The Goat Cheese Lady Creamery, but I need your help!
HERE IS HOW YOU CAN HELP: Order a $100 Box (or two or three). Fill your showers, bathtubs, kitchen sinks and bathrooms with soap and lotion that has a purpose. Use your $100 Box to stock up on birthday gifts, hostess gifts, employee gifts, client and co-worker appreciation gifts or “just because” gifts. We make all of the Goat Milk Soap, Lotion and Lip Balm right here on our farm in small batches. You can help us raise the money to pour the foundation to take us one step closer to having The Goat Cheese Lady Creamery by next Spring!
HERE IS WHAT YOU GET: $100 of any combination our Goat Milk Soaps, Lotions and Lip Balms.
HERE IS HOW YOU DO IT: Fill out an order form. The soaps are $5 each, the lotions are $5 each for 4 oz bottles and $10 each for 8 oz bottles and the lip balms are $2.50 each. You choose from the scents and sizes until your total adds up to $100. You pay when you order and pick up your $100 Box at Ranch Foods Direct when all of your items are ready. We can also ship your $100 Box to you (shipping cost is not included in the $100).

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Monday, June 27, 2016

Anschutz grows his leisure empire

Posted By on Mon, Jun 27, 2016 at 1:33 PM

The Broadmoor is Anschutz's flagship leisure property. Now he owns another one. - CASEY BRADLEY GENT
  • Casey Bradley Gent
  • The Broadmoor is Anschutz's flagship leisure property. Now he owns another one.
Philip Anschutz, the billionaire owner of the Gazette, The Broadmoor and the Staples Center in Los Angeles, has added to his stable of entertainment/leisure venues with the recent purchase of Sea Island, according to the Atlanta Business Chronicle.

Anschutz, who recently did a deal with the City of Colorado Springs that didn't cost him a penny and gives his Broadmoor holdings a 189-acre boost in open space, bought Sea Island from Oaktree Capital Management of Los Angeles, Capital Avenue Group of New York, and Starwood Capital Group of Greenwich, Conn., which, with Anschutz, bought it out of bankruptcy in 2010 for $212 million, the Chronicle reported.

Also from the Chronicle:
Sea Island is home to The Cloister at Sea Island, The Lodge at Sea Island, The Spa at Sea Island, and the Georgian Room restaurant. It also has five miles of private beach on Georgia's southeastern coast, a Beach Club, tennis and squash centers, Yacht Club, Shooting School and Camp Cloister.
Rooms range from $525 to over $1,000 a night, according to Sea Island's website, depending on what kind of package deal you're seeking. The Broadmoor's charges are similar.

Surprisingly, the Gazette ran the story on Page 2 of its Sunday business section. In the past, news about The Broadmoor's additions, renovations and expansions have received more prominent treatment. Ironically, Sunday's business cover carried a story about the Springs reportedly becoming ground zero for more austere living than can be found at Sea Island and The Broadmoor — that being tiny homes.

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Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Speaking of conservation easements, what about BLR?

Posted By on Tue, May 17, 2016 at 8:47 AM

The Strawberry Fields conservation easement — part of the city's land trade with The Broadmoor — isn't the only high profile parcel in Colorado Springs that involves the Palmer Land Trust.

In a Feb. 18 email sent to city Parks Department officials by PLT's executive director Rebecca Jewett, she declines an apparent verbal invitation to present at the Feb. 24 public meeting on the Strawberry Fields open space issue.
I was given clear instruction by the Land Committee today that, while they are very interested in continuing discussions about this project, it is not appropriate for Palmer to publicly represent the project at the meeting on 2/24. This is further reinforced by the fact that I cannot be present. It is fine for the City and Broadmoor to say you are in discussions with Palmer about a conservation easement, but it is simply not yet appropriate for us to speak publicly about something that the board has not approved.
Jewett, who was planning a trip out of town, goes on to say, "I'm happy to chat further about this or Banning Lewis before I leave."

Of course, it's no secret that the Jenkins family, owners of Nor'wood Development Group, which purchased the Banning Lewis Ranch in 2014, has thought about setting aside a bunch of the acreage for public use. As we reported in November 2014:
The Palmer Land Trust and the Trust for Public Land say they hope 12,000 of the 18,500 acres are set aside for trails, conservation and other public uses. One potential method of securing those acres into perpetuity, says Palmer Land Trust's executive director, Rebecca Jewett, is a conservation easement, which requires a landowner to sacrifice development rights in exchange for a tax credit that can be sold for cash, though certain restrictions apply.
The Banning Lewis Ranch has a rather complicated history, but the short version is that when Nor'wood bought the property, it assumed the position of previous owner Ultra Petroleum of Houston in a federal legal case about whether the 1988 annexation agreement can be set aside. (The agreement demands a lot of infrastructure investment by developers.) 

In June 2015, the court ruled in the city's favor, saying the agreement isn't a contract that can simply be set aside. After that, Nor'wood said it would appeal the decision, and it did.
Every few months, the city and developer check in with the court to let the judge know if they've reached some kind of negotiated settlement. So far, nope. According to the latest filing, the parties again want additional time. Read the joint motion here:
One might expect there to be some progress made, considering that Mayor John Suthers' Chief of Staff Jeff Greene has been holding weekly meetings on Banning Lewis Ranch since early March.

Meantime, Colorado Springs Utilities is preparing to go to court on May 23 over land in the ranch used for its Southern Delivery System pipeline project for which Nor'wood's owners feel they're owed more than an appraisal said is due.

As we previously reported, the city paid $117,500, or $802 per acre, into an account to take possession pending a value finding. Banning Lewis Holdings LLC, an entity controlled by Nor'wood chairman David Jenkins, contends the 121 acres at issue is worth $4.1 million to $6.4 million.

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Wednesday, May 11, 2016

New taxable value for old St. Francis hospital?

Posted By on Wed, May 11, 2016 at 12:09 PM

A portion of the older part of St. Francis Hospital, 825 E. Pikes Peak Ave. - PAM ZUBECK
  • Pam Zubeck
  • A portion of the older part of St. Francis Hospital, 825 E. Pikes Peak Ave.
Last week, we reported on what the actual terms of the sale of St. Francis Hospital were, according to sources close to the deal. ("The real deal," May 4, 2016.)

The short version is that an entity created by David Jenkins, owner of Nor'wood Development Group, among the biggest developers in the region, paid $50,000 for the buildings and nine acres a few blocks east of downtown and another $1 million or so in a donation. That tax-deductible contribution went to the Penrose-St. Francis Health Foundation.

But that extra outlay wasn't figured into the value of the property for tax purposes, so Jenkins is still paying property taxes based on the $50,000 reported sales price.

When we asked David's son, Chris Jenkins, about that, he responded via email, saying, "As is public record a Nor'wood managed entity purchased the St. Francis property from Centura Health on January 31, 2014. Regarding our personal donations to philanthropic institutions, that information is private."

Now, County Assessor Steve Schleiker will revisit the taxable value, he tells the Independent in an email.

"I am reaching out to Dave and Chris Jenkins [his son] to discuss the [Indy] article and the considerations paid, and I hope to have this conversation in the next couple of days," he says.

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Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Land deals could mean tax windfall for Broadmoor

Posted By on Tue, Apr 19, 2016 at 1:49 PM

One view of the Ranch at Emerald Valley, a lease-hold The Broadmoor is hoping to own through a land swap with the Forest Service. - PAM ZUBECK
  • Pam Zubeck
  • One view of the Ranch at Emerald Valley, a lease-hold The Broadmoor is hoping to own through a land swap with the Forest Service.
The Broadmoor's land office must be abuzz these days, with work on its proposed land swap with the city, and also its pending deal with the U.S. Forest Service.

In both cases, The Broadmoor could realize a handsome tax benefit.

As we recently reported, The Broadmoor would claim a tax break of some kind totaling $1.45 million from the swap for city land. That's based on the idea that the city's land, including a 189-acre open space parcel known as Strawberry Fields, is worth much less than the parcels The Broadmoor would turn over to the city in the exchange.

From the proposed resolution:
"City Council hereby authorizes the acceptance of a donation of the difference in value between the City Property and the Broadmoor Property, if any, as determined by an appraisal conducted at the behest and expense of the Broadmoor."

(The city has refused to release the actual appraisals, but says The Broadmoor's land is worth about $3.6 million compared to the city's $2.2 million.)

Turns out, the same donation arrangement seems to be at work in the federal bill, which was introduced by Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., last August, and co-sponsored by Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo.

The Broadmoor wants to trade 320 acres for forest land near The Crags for the 82 acres upon which one of its newest wilderness getaways is located, the Ranch at Emerald Valley. (The Broadmoor bought the 320 acres, located on the west side of Pikes Peak, for $1.3 million in September 2013.) The resort currently operates the ranch under a 20-year lease with the Forest Service.

From the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources report on the pending Crags, Colorado Land Exchange Act of 2015

Section 5(a) requires the Secretary to conduct appraisals
of the parcels of land. Section 5(b) requires the land exchange
to be of equal value. If the value of the Federal land exceeds
the value of the non-Federal land, Broadmoor Hotel, Inc., must
make a cash equalization payment to be deposited into the fund
established under P.L. 90-171 (16 U.S.C. 484a). Any cash
equalization payments received by the Secretary are to be used
to acquire land or interests in land in Region 2 of the USFS.
If the value of the non-Federal land exceeds the value of the
Federal land, the surplus value of the non-Federal land will be
considered a donation by Broadmoor Hotel, Inc., to the U.S.
Government. Section 5(c) directs that the appraisals should not
take into account the special use permit at Emerald Valley
Ranch or the Barr Trail easement when determining the value of
the parcels.

The Congressional Budget Office reportedly has worked up a cost estimate, and we're trying to find out more about that. We're circle back if and when we obtain additional information.

Meantime, when we reported on the federal land swap back in January 2014, then Broadmoor CEO Steve Bartolin indicated a tax benefit was a distinct possibility when he said, "They [The Forest Service] get a higher-value piece of property" in exchange. 

According to the pending federal bill, "It is the intent of Congress that the land exchange be completed within one year." That would be Aug. 5, 2016.

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Monday, March 21, 2016

Holy cow, what a party house!

Posted By on Mon, Mar 21, 2016 at 4:18 PM

Here's a sight you might not see very often. A roll-off trash cart sitting outside a mansion, which is The Broadmoor's latest acquisition. The massive home is getting a mega upgrade. - PAM ZUBECK
  • Pam Zubeck
  • Here's a sight you might not see very often. A roll-off trash cart sitting outside a mansion, which is The Broadmoor's latest acquisition. The massive home is getting a mega upgrade.

While tooling around The Broadmoor area today, I drove by a mansion at 60 First Street, which had all the signs of a major overhaul.

It's The Broadmoor's latest expansion where, as the Gazette reported on Feb. 17, guests can party hearty at $8,500 a night.

The 11,562-square-foot home sits across from the resort and was purchased in December out of foreclosure for $1.9 million, a bargain considering it sold for $3,675,000 in 2007.

Looking for additional information on this house, we were amused when we stumbled onto a description of it on Note the home's location. The property, obviously, is no longer on the market.
60 1st St is a Single family located in Broadmoor, CO, in El Paso county. Built in 1930, this property was last sold for $3,675,000 in 2007 and currently has an estimated value of $1,833,919. 

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Friday, February 19, 2016

Drake emissions control "even better than expected"

Posted By on Fri, Feb 19, 2016 at 2:53 PM

Drake Power Plant emissions technology gets a good report. - PAM ZUBECK
  • Pam Zubeck
  • Drake Power Plant emissions technology gets a good report.
Neumann Systems Group announces that its pollution removal equipment attached to the city's Drake Power Plant has outperformed predictions.

The news release, which follows, doesn't mention the growing cost to the city of this equipment, which we covered here.

Colorado Springs, CO – February 19, 2016 - Neumann Systems Group, Inc. (NSG) today announced results of the first sulfur dioxide (SO2) removal testing of the NeuStream® desulfurization unit at the Colorado Springs Utilities’ (CSU) Martin Drake Power Plant, Unit 7. NSG CEO Dr. David K. Neumann said: “NeuStream® worked even better than expected. The very first test of the scrubber showed an ability to remove approximately 98.6% of the SO2.” As the figure below shows, the NeuStream® scrubber reduced the SO2 in the flue gas to a very small amount. Also shown on the graph is a line indicating the State of Colorado Air Quality monthly limit (.13lb/MMBTU) for SO2 emissions. As is obvious from the graph, performance of the NeuStream® Scrubber was significantly better than the air quality standard. The test data was recorded by the EPA certified and independently calibrated and maintained detection equipment mounted on the Martin Drake Unit 7 stack. Please note that the new State Air Quality limits for SO2 for Martin Drake Unit 6 and Unit 7 do not go into effect until the end of 2017. This initial test is being followed by several months of additional system start-up, load testing, parametric testing, performance optimization and full operational testing. Construction also continues on the Martin Drake Unit 6 NeuStream® scrubber with first scheduled operation during the Summer.

The first successful operation of the first NeuStream® desulfurization system is a result of the work of the dedicated and expert NSG team under the leadership and technical direction of Dr. J.P. Feve, Dr. Eric Klein and Mr. Nick Miller. Initial testing was conducted by a joint NSG/CSU team. During the past year CSU personnel have made significant contributions to bringing the system to the current point. Their contributions are in the areas of operating software development and testing, integration of equipment and software into Martin Drake, construction project management, maintenance of installed equipment and initial checkout and testing of equipment. CSU plant operators are currently being trained to take over full operation of the NeuStream® system.

Neumann Systems Group’s work for CSU is under a cost-plus-fee contract initiated in October 2011. Under NSG’s contract with CSU, a 3% fee is to be paid to CSU for NeuStream® system and service sales and a 5% fee for sales of each NeuStream system license. These fees are to be paid for a period of ten years after commencement of commercial operation of the Martin Drake NeuStream® system.

Marketing of the NeuStream® systems has been adversely affected by the cataclysmic changes in the energy and power generation industries. By the end of 2016 approximately 400 “unscrubbed” U.S. coal-burning units will be shut down. In part this is a result of the negative current administration’s policies relative to coal as a power source for the U.S. Another significant factor affecting the market for emissions control equipment is the relatively low cost and availability of natural gas. Natural gas is an alternative fuel with essentially no sulfur emissions and lower carbon dioxide emissions. Thus there is essentially no market in the U.S. for NeuStream® desulfurization systems. However, NSG is pursuing international market opportunities including ongoing negotiations with two Chinese companies for licensing and installation of the technology. The potential market as identified by one of the Chinese companies is several thousand small, coal-fired boiler systems used for power generation, heating and industrial applications. Natural gas is generally not available in China and when it is available it costs over five times the cost of coal. Therefore, no shift from coal use to natural gas use is expected in China for the foreseeable future. Additional NSG marketing and contracts for NeuStream® carbon capture equipment to several major US oil companies for use in Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) have been derailed by the oversupply and precipitous drop in the price of oil. NSG continues to seek other markets for the NeuStream® technology.

NeuStream® is a disruptive “platform” technology, meaning it has potential for revolutionary impact in a wide range of product areas important to the industrial and economic well-being of the United States and the rest of the World. NeuStream® technology enables cost effective capture of pollutants including greenhouse gases from a wide variety of emission sources. It also enables the cost effective use of these captured pollutants in the production of chemicals such as fertilizers and sulfuric and nitric acids; building materials such as gypsum; rare earth and strategic metals needed for energy efficiency, electric vehicle and wind and solar applications. Additionally, the NeuStream® technology has significant potential in other areas such as increasing the efficiency of production of bio-fuels, the cost effective production of pharmaceuticals such as the anti-malarial drug Artemisinin, and CO2 for enhanced oil recovery.

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Thursday, February 11, 2016

Growing north: More development announced

Posted By on Thu, Feb 11, 2016 at 10:42 AM


The city's north side will get another shot in the arm, according to an announcement just in from a Denver real estate firm that's acquired nearly 77 acres bordering Interquest Parkway and Interstate 25.

The development will bring apartments, offices, neighborhood retail and hotels. The news release:
Denver, CO, Feb. 11, 2016 – Etkin Johnson Real Estate Partners, Colorado’s leading commercial real estate developer, manager and investor, announced today it is acquiring 76.8 acres of vacant land at InterQuest, a high‐tech business park fronting Interstate 25 in northern Colorado Springs. The property’s strategic location, just east of the U.S. Air Force Academy, offers superior highway visibility and access as well as unobstructed views of nearby Pikes Peak. The site was purchased from Corporate Office
Properties Trust or (COPT) for $4.35 million.

Situated at the southeast corner of Interstate 25 and Interquest Parkway, the site is located at the epicenter of InterQuest, adjacent to office buildings, hotels, and key entertainment and retail at InterQuest Marketplace. This regional shopping center is located at the front door of Colorado Springs and provides north‐side consumers an updated alternative to the Chapel Hills/North Academy shopping district. Additionally, Great Wolf Resorts announced last summer it will transform the retail center’s unfinished Renaissance Hotel into a family‐style resort, which will open in late fall 2016 with a water
park, restaurants, children’s entertainment and meeting space. The resort expects to employ 400 to 500 full‐and part‐time workers.

Other neighboring properties have either experienced development in recent years or have near‐term projects slated. The increased activity in the area reflects the vibrancy of northern Colorado Springs’ rapidly growing submarket.

In addition to the recent land acquisition, Etkin Johnson owns and manages three office/flex properties in Colorado Springs, maintaining a presence in the region for more than 20 years.

“This is a particularly exciting opportunity to acquire bulk land with freeway frontage in a local market we’re already active in and familiar with,” said Derek Conn, director of finance at Etkin Johnson Real Estate Partners. Conn negotiated the transaction with Colorado Springs broker, Michael Payne Palmer of Quantum Commercial Group Inc. and Jim Capecelatro of Cushman & Wakefield Denver.

With significant infrastructure already in place, Etkin Johnson is planning a mixed‐use development project for the site, known as The Gateway at InterQuest, which will include a blend of apartments, office, neighborhood retail and hotels. The company plans to offer smaller pad sites for sale or build‐to-suit.

“Etkin Johnson is an ideal developer for this land, both in terms of their local efforts and the momentum it will bring to the northern submarket,” said Palmer. “They have an existing presence in Colorado Springs and a proven track record of successfully developing mixed‐use environments that attract residents, high‐tech companies and quality tenants.”

“This acquisition provides us the opportunity to utilize all of our core competencies as a long‐time, local investor in a market where substantial value can be created,” said Conn. “Our development plans will draw on the strengths of our more than 25‐year history in Colorado and will focus on creating a vibrant community in this fast‐growing area.”

About Etkin Johnson Real Estate Partners

Etkin Johnson Real Estate Partners is a Denver‐based development, investment, ownership and management company with a portfolio of more than 5 million square feet of office, hotel and industrial holdings worth in excess of $500 million.

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Wednesday, January 20, 2016

BBB: Don't buy stuff from these people

Posted By on Wed, Jan 20, 2016 at 1:01 PM

click image BBB: don't order magazines from these folks. - JESSICA SPENGLER
  • Jessica Spengler
  • BBB: don't order magazines from these folks.

I never get solicitors at my home. Over 10 years, I've had three trick-or-treaters and one magazine salesman. 

I hear from friends and coworkers, however, that most folks get a lot more knocks on their doors from political canvassers, sales people, Girl Scouts and religious proselytizers. And I guess that occasionally people buy things from these people.

Anyway, the Better Business Bureau is warning locals not to buy magazines from one such outfit.

"BBB cautions consumers against purchasing magazines from Young People Working LLC, Yeong Pablo Statron LLC and Lrumar Publications," a press release states.

Apparently, the BBB has received 127 complaints about Young People Working LLC in the last 12 months. Here are the details:

Better Business Bureau of Southern Colorado Provides Investigation Results of Local Organization
Consumers are advised to contact BBB before purchasing products from Young People Working LLC

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., Jan. 20, 2016 – Better Business Bureau of Southern Colorado (BBB) has completed an investigation of a Southern Colorado company – Young People Working LLC, known for going door to door to residents’ homes to sell magazine subscriptions.

The company is registered to Crystal Davis (who has also used her maiden name, Crystal Clark, in her businesses) at this address: 6660 Delmonico Drive, Suite D-470, Colorado Springs, CO 80919. BBB warns they are NOT an accredited business.

Within the last 12 months, 127 complaints have been processed and closed against Young People Working LLC.

· (5) Advertising/sales issues
· (3) Billing/collection issues
· (83) Delivery issues
· (36) Problems with Product/Service

BBB files indicate that this business has a pattern of complaints concerning service issues. Consumers have said they are not able to obtain refunds, products take a long time to be delivered, or the products do not arrive at all.

Complaints have been received from across the country. On September 4, 2015, the owner was presented with a Cease & Desist order from North Dakota.

Up until October 2015, the company was cooperating with BBB of Southern Colorado regarding these complaints. However, as complaints increased, the company stopped corresponding.

In addition, the owner of Young People Working LLC registered in the state of Colorado another door-to-door magazine sales company, Yeong Pablo Straton LLC, and the owner also has ties to Lrumar Publications.

BBB cautions consumers against purchasing magazines from Young People Working LLC, Yeong Pablo Statron LLC and Lrumar Publications.

For consumers seeking services or products, BBB advises consumers to use BBB’s website or call its offices to find an accredited business that has a recordable history of providing a specific type of service or product.

BBB offers these tips to citizens when (any) solicitors knock on their doors offering services:

1. Ask them for their BBB accreditation information. They should be able to provide this and should be willing to wait while the homeowner calls BBB to confirm.

2. If the soliciting company claims to be a contractor, ask for their insurance and bonding information.

3. Schedule a meeting at the soliciting company’s office to finalize any deal. This will help ensure they are a credible entity.

“Our organization exists to protect integrity and establish trust between businesses and consumers,” said Jonathan Liebert, CEO and executive director of Better Business Bureau of Southern Colorado.

“When a company does not follow good business practices, we investigate them before informing consumers and the public. We hope this will help get the word out to protect the public and legitimate businesses.”

Click on this link to read BBB Business Review on Young People Working LLC.


Since August of 1980, Better Business Bureau of Southern Colorado has helped consumers find businesses, brands, and charities they can trust. It serves 25 counties throughout Southern Colorado.

BBB of Southern Colorado sets standards for marketplace trust – to create a community of trustworthy businesses and charities – by encouraging and supporting best practices, educating consumers and businesses, celebrating business role models, and calling out and addressing substandard marketplace behavior.

BBB of Southern Colorado houses more than 29,000 reviews on companies in the region. In 2015, it processed 2,898 complaints and had 1.6 million page views on its website. All company and charity reports are available for free online.

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Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Frontier Airlines brings new service to COS

Posted By on Tue, Jan 12, 2016 at 10:12 AM

Daily non-stop service to Las Vegas from COS begins in April. - COURTESY FRONTIER AIRLINES
  • Courtesy Frontier Airlines
  • Daily non-stop service to Las Vegas from COS begins in April.

Frontier Airlines
will offer non-stop flights to Las Vegas from Colorado Springs in April, the Colorado Springs Airport announced in a news release this morning.

The announcement came at a news conference at the airport conducted by Mayor John Suthers.

The addition is part of an expansion of Frontier into 56 new markets across the country. Frontier ended all service to Colorado Springs in April 2013, according to the Gazette.

Here's the release:
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Frontier Airlines will launch new service in Colorado Springs with non-stops to Las Vegas that begin this April. Frontier is offering special introductory fares as low as $19 one-way on these new routes as of today at With The WORKS, fares are as low as $118.

Customers can take advantage of Frontier’s bundled choice, The WORKSsm, containing Frontier’s most popular options for one low price. The WORKS is available at at time of initial booking and includes one carry-on bag, one checked bag, best available seat including Stretch and Exit Row options, full refundability when canceled at least 24 hours prior to scheduled departure, no change fees and priority boarding.

“We have 18 new planes delivering this year, growing the fleet by nine additional units after retirements,” said Frontier Airlines President Barry Biffle. “We’re excited to bring Low Fares Done Right not only to the Colorado Springs area but to people in areas like Pueblo, Canon City and Castle Rock. Our low fares enable people to travel who were forced into their car or stay at home. We look forward to welcoming these new flyers soon.”

“On behalf of the City of Colorado Springs, I am honored to be the first to say Welcome Back to our great city. We are extremely proud to partner with Frontier Airlines and we are committed to the success of your business and to meeting the needs of all our air service customers,” said Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers.

Last week, Frontier announced 42 new markets, and, with today’s announcement in Colorado Springs as well as other cities throughout the United States, the total number of new markets to be launched this spring and summer will be 56.

Following is a summary of the new service:
F91089Leave COS: 12:00 p.m. Arrive: LAS 1:00 p.m.
F91088 Leave LAS: 8:20 a.m. Arrive: COS 11:05 a.m.
Aircraft: A319
Frequency: Daily

Following is summary of the new fares to be offered from Colorado Springs:

(1) Average is based on Department of Transportation Origin and Destination Survey, Year Ending, Second Quarter, 2015.
(2) New Frontier Fare – Fares are one way and do not require roundtrip purchase.
Fare(s) shown includes all transportation fees, surcharges and taxes, and are subject to change without notice. Seats are limited at these fares and certain flights and/or days of travel may be unavailable.
Depending on the fare type purchased, nonrefundable tickets may be transferred for a fee of up to $75, or reissued for alternate flights for a fee of up to $99, as well as a possible fare increase. The name change fee and itinerary change fee are inclusive of each other. Previously purchased tickets may not be exchanged for these special fare tickets. Flight segment(s) must be cancelled prior to scheduled departure time or the ticket(s) and all monies will be forfeited.
Tickets purchased at must be paid for at the time the reservation is made, and you may request a full refund up to 24 hours after the time of purchase, if the purchase is made 7 days (168 hours) or more prior to your flight's departure. This ticket may be canceled and refunded at the My Trips section on Additional travel services, such as baggage ( and advance seat assignments ( are available for purchase separately at an additional charge. Some markets do not offer daily service. Schedules are subject to change without notice. Flights are operated by Frontier Airlines. Other restrictions may apply.
(3) Intro Fare – Tickets must be purchased by 11:59 pm Eastern time on Feb. 17, 2016 for nonstop travel through Aug. 15, 2016. For flights operating Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday, off-peak fares are offered Tuesday. For flights operating Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, off-peak fares are offered Wednesday and Saturday. For flights operating daily, off-peak fares are offered Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday. The following blackout dates apply: May 28 & 31, 2016, and July 5, 2016.
Fares are one way and do not require roundtrip purchase.
Fare(s) shown includes all transportation fees, surcharges and taxes, and are subject to change without notice. Seats are limited at these fares and certain flights and/or days of travel may be unavailable.
Discount Den fares are only available at to members of Discount Den.
Depending on the fare type purchased, nonrefundable tickets may be transferred for a fee of up to $75, or reissued for alternate flights for a fee of up to $99, as well as a possible fare increase. The name change fee and itinerary change fee are not exclusive of each other. Previously purchased tickets may not be exchanged for these special fare tickets. Flight segment(s) must be cancelled prior to scheduled departure time or the ticket(s) and all monies will be forfeited.
Tickets purchased at must be paid for at the time the reservation is made, you may request a full refund up to 24 hours after the time of purchase, if the purchase is made 7 days (168 hours) or more prior to your flight's departure. This ticket may be canceled and refunded at the My Trips section on Additional travel services, such as baggage ( and advance seat assignments ( are available for purchase separately at an additional charge. Fares include all transportation fees, surcharges and taxes, and are subject to change without notice. Some markets do not offer daily service. Schedules are subject to change without notice. Flights are operated by Frontier Airlines. Other restrictions may apply.
(4) The WORKSsm is available at at time of initial booking; prices range from $49 to $69 each-way, based on round-trip purchase, and includes one carry-on bag, one checked bag, best available seat including Stretch and Exit Row options, full refundability when canceled at least 24 hours prior to scheduled departure, no change fees and priority boarding.

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Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Sunshare: The one that got away

Posted By on Wed, Jan 6, 2016 at 12:34 PM

David Amster-Olszewski, 28, the founder of SunShare, has landed on Forbes' 30 under 30 list in the energy category.

As the magazine reports: "This year’s standouts are perfecting innovations that could lead to new sources of low-carbon energy and massive energy savings."

Amster-Olszewski's blurb is as follows:
Sunshare is one of the nation's leading developers of community solar, in which communities chip in the cost of building a solar installation on  underutilitized land, then share in the power generated. The first project was in Colorado Springs where he worked with community members,  including the local utility, city council members and businesses to create a 500 MW Solar Garden. He previously worked at PowerLight Corp. and SunPower.
SunShare was born in Colorado Springs where Amster-Olszewski graduated from Colorado College. It's true he's built several solar gardens here, but when the Utilities Board in spring 2013 rolled back its solar program, he moved his company to Denver. Now, he also has an office in Minneapolis, Minn. So much for retaining the much coveted young professionals, eh?

We've written numerous times about SunShare, including here and here.

In July, the company said in a news release:
SunShare’s 2.5 megawatt (MWac) Pikes Peak Solar Garden Site has been turned on and is producing solar energy into Colorado Springs Utilities’ grid. The project is one of five solar garden sites that SunShare has developed throughout Colorado’s largest counties this year, in addition to two solar gardens in operation in Colorado Springs since 2012. These five solar gardens represent one of the largest Community Solar portfolios in the nation. At full capacity, the combined 8.2 MWac Community Solar portfolio is expected to generate approximately 350 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of energy over 20 years, which is enough to power 1,600 typical U.S. homes.

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Monday, December 21, 2015

Apartments coming to downtown

Posted By on Mon, Dec 21, 2015 at 3:02 PM

This is an artist's rendering of the Wahsatch project. - COURTESY NOR'WOOD DEVELOPMENT GROUP
  • Courtesy Nor'wood Development Group
  • This is an artist's rendering of the Wahsatch project.

Nor'wood Development Group
and Griffis Blessing are teaming up on two apartment complexes in the downtown area, the companies announced recently. The two projects will add a total of 356 units.

Chris Jenkins, with Nor'wood, says rents will start at $1,000 a month for one-bedroom units and go up to $1,800 or more per month for the premium two-bedroom units.

That might sound pricey, but according to the news release, plenty of amenities will be available, including views, proximity to micro breweries and art galleries, parking and a swimming pool.

Here's the release:
The first purpose built urban apartment project of this size in Downtown Colorado Springs will be located at the southwest corner of Colorado Avenue and Wahsatch Avenue and will anchor the emerging East End neighborhood with 169 new 1 and 2 bedroom apartments and loft style units located on the street and alley.

The building will provide residents with secure parking, fitness/yoga studio, resident clubhouse opening onto an outdoor pool/hot tub and lounge deck. Other building amenities include a dog wash, bike storage and repair shop, co-working spaces and a rooftop lounge with sweeping views of downtown and the Front Range. The project is steps away from micro breweries, art galleries, unique restaurants and more. Site preparations and demolition will begin in early 2016 and begin leasing to residents in the summer of 2017.

The second project, located in the 600 block of South Cascade Ave will have 187 new 1 and 2 bedroom apartments and will add life and vitality to an emerging area of Downtown; leasing to residents in 2018. Similar building amenities will offer residents a complete and active urban lifestyle in an established neighborhood setting adjacent to restaurants, coffee shops and recreation/trail connections.

“With these two apartment projects, the standard for urban living in downtown Colorado Springs will be set for years to come,” said Chris Jenkins, President of Nor’wood Development Group. “As our Downtown’s Renaissance gains momentum, urban living will be the cornerstone to transformation. We have seen urban living explode in every thriving middle weight city and believe now is the right time for our downtown. We are thrilled to
be working on such great infill projects in downtown.”

“More and more millenials and empty nesters are in search of a more compact and maintenance-free urban lifestyle rather than large suburban homes with time-consuming and costly maintenance and upkeep,” said Steve Engel, Chairman of Griffis Blessing. “A lock and go lifestyle, within walking distance to the best restaurants, boutique shops and cultural activities in downtown make these properties unique and desirable.

These properties will offer residents unprecedented access to leisure amenities that complement their urban lifestyle.”

Nor’wood Development Group is a locally owned full service real estate development and management company operating only in the Pikes Peak Region for more than 40 years with a diverse and growing portfolio of real estate. Griffis Blessing owns and manages over 8,500 apartment units throughout Colorado and Idaho.

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Monday, December 14, 2015

Catalyst Campus gets grant for high-tech lab

Posted By on Mon, Dec 14, 2015 at 4:37 PM

 The Catalyst Campus for Technology & Innovation, which seeks to advance technology in Southern Colorado and create jobs, was awarded a $750,000 grant from the Colorado Economic Development Commission to build out IT infrastructure and create a research and development lab and operations center. Partners plan to provide $1.5 million in matching funds for the projects.

The new center will produce satellite, space and GPS technologies for the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory and commercial purposes. Construction will begin in summer. 

Read on for more details:

Catalyst Campus lands $750,000 grant to build
private research, shared ‘collaboratory’ R & D lab

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., Dec. 14, 2015 – The Catalyst Campus for Technology & Innovation was awarded a $750,000 grant from the Colorado Economic Development Commission, to build out IT infrastructure and a unique industry-sponsored, cyber- and space-based research and development laboratory/operations center.

Partners of Catalyst Campus will provide $1.5 million in matching funds to establish the Cyber and Space Operations Center (CSOC), where satellite, space and GPS technologies will be tested and developed for the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory and ultimately for commercial applications.

With financial support from Catalyst Campus partners, Braxton Science and Technologies Group, LLC, and The O’Neil Group Company, LLC, the CSOC will provide a technology platform for industry partners to collaborate and deploy two SBIR (Small Business Innovation Research) contracts recently awarded to Braxton by the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL).

“Catalyst is grateful to Braxton and The O’Neil Group for supporting the launch of an R&D ‘collaboratory’ at the campus,” said Ingrid Richter, Economic Development Director for Catalyst Campus.

Construction on the CSOC will begin this summer and is expected to be completed by September 2016. After these initial AFRL contracts are deployed in 2016, the laboratory will be made available to other private companies, providing a co-working and co-utilization platform that allows start-ups, entrepreneurs, established companies and R&D projects to use the CSOC laboratory without initial start-up or exorbitant operating costs.

This unique operating model will make the Cyber and Space Operations Center the only space and satellite private research laboratory of its kind in the nation.

“We are honored that Catalyst Campus was chosen to receive this Advanced Industries Accelerator grant,” said Kevin O’Neil, CEO of The O’Neil Group Company. “This grant will support building an environment around cyber, satellite and space operations that is unheard of in the private aerospace industry. The opportunity for commercial application and workforce training in this environment is exponential.”

“The CSOC will create a synergistic opportunity to educate civilians, cadets, veterans and active military personnel in the practical application of cyber security, satellite research and operations, and software development.”

Once the infrastructure is in place and these projects are deployed, Catalyst Campus and industry partners plan to engage commercial companies in R&D, technology acceleration, and satellite testing capabilities.

Building the CSOC opens the door to innovations such as improving signal accuracy technology that can be used to enhance military operations and also be cross-pollinated to commercial markets to increase accuracy for Google mapping applications, Garmin devices, and GPS applications – all part of a multi-billion-dollar industry.

“I congratulate the Catalyst Campus for receiving this significant grant from the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade. This funding will be used to create a Cyber and Space Operations Center on the campus, and it is further evidence that Colorado Springs is rapidly becoming a national leader in cyber security.”

-John Suthers
Mayor of Colorado Springs

According to the Colorado Office of Economic Development & International Trade, the Advanced Industries Accelerator Programs grants are awarded to companies that “promote growth and sustainability in Colorado's seven advanced industries by helping drive innovation, accelerate commercialization, encourage public-private partnerships, increase access to early stage capital and create a strong ecosystem that increases the state’s global competitiveness.”

Catalyst Campus applied for the grant in September 2015 and received the award on Dec. 10 at the Colorado Economic Development Commission hearing, where several companies in Colorado received grants, ranging from $300,000 to $2.5 million.

Located in downtown Colorado Springs, Catalyst Campus advances technology in Southern Colorado. Catalyst Campus creates a centralized ecosystem to promote industry, education, and venture capital for these advanced industries: aerospace, defense and homeland security, electronics, technology and information, and advanced manufacturing.

Given the diverse resources of Southern Colorado, the Catalyst Campus aims to accelerate economic growth across multiple advanced industries and support workforce development for the Pikes Peak region.

Catalyst Campus offers 100,000 square feet of office/R&D lab space where start-ups as well as small- and medium-sized companies collaborate on innovative and emerging ideas to promote technological advancement, create high-skilled, high-paying jobs, and stimulate the commercialization of new products.

In addition, Catalyst Academy will be a training center that will fill workforce gaps in today's changing and high-demand technologies.

For more information, visit or call 719-244-0507.

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Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Building trails with thrifted clothes

Posted By on Tue, Sep 29, 2015 at 8:27 AM

Unfortunately, not everything sold at our yard sale. - J. ADRIAN STANLEY
  • J. Adrian Stanley
  • Unfortunately, not everything sold at our yard sale.
Over the weekend, my friends and I had a yard sale.

We thought we had done a pretty excellent job of it — placing signs at major intersections, letting our social networks know about the sale on Facebook and Twitter, pitching a big tent, and setting up an iPad for credit card sales. Despite our efforts, it was slow going throughout the day, and we eventually turned to our smartphones to post photos of our merchandise in an attempt to drum up sales.

It worked — to an extent. But at the end of the day, there were plenty of leftovers for the the thrift store. It was just a question of which thrift store to go to. Then I remembered that a new thrift store, Shift Thrift, had replied to one of my tweets, saying they'd love the leftovers.

I had recently heard of the store from a press release, and Susan Davies, executive director of the Trails and Open Space Coalition, had also emailed me to tell me about the store. It was a new shop, she wrote, and a new concept.

Shift Thrift is a social enterprise. It gives 30 percent of its proceeds to local charities — and donors get to choose what nonprofit they want to give to. Right now, donors can choose Rocky Mountain Field Institute, Trails and Open Space Coalition, Kids on Bikes, The Home Front Cares, Blue Star Recyclers or Springs Rescue Mission.

Davies let me know that a similar model at Mountain Equipment Recyclers was feeding $300 to $400 per month into TOSC.

"For a small non profit like mine," she wrote, "that’s a big deal!"

Mike Mazzola, Executive Director of Shift Thrift Store, wrote that as far as he knows, this is the first thrift store of its kind in the country. He's hoping to grow the store and expand it regionally, or maybe even nationally.

For now, though, the store is just getting started in a temporary location at 218 W. Colorado Ave. (under the Colorado Avenue bridge). The store hopes to find a permanent downtown location soon. 

After we wrapped up the garage sale, my friends and I decided to reward Shift Thrift for their social media savvy. The friendly staff were excited to see us and more than happy to help us unload our bounty.

And since Davies bothered to email me, we chose to give the nonprofit proceeds to TOSC this time around. 

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