Business

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

interquest_aerial_sm.jpg

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.

ABOUT BBB OF SOUTHERN COLORADO

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 Flyfrontier.com. 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 FlyFrontier.com 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:
COLORADO SPRINGS (COS) – LAS VEGAS (LAS)
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:
screen_shot_2016-01-12_at_9.31.33_am.png

(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 FlyFrontier.com 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 FlyFrontier.com. Additional travel services, such as baggage (www.flyfrontier.com/customer-service/travel-support/baggage) and advance seat assignments (www.flyfrontier.com/flight-info/seating-options) 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 FlyFrontier.com 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 FlyFrontier.com 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 FlyFrontier.com. Additional travel services, such as baggage (www.flyfrontier.com/customer-service/travel-support/baggage) and advance seat assignments (www.flyfrontier.com/flight-info/seating-options) 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 FlyFrontier.com 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

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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

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 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.

ABOUT CATALYST CAMPUS FOR TECHNOLOGY & INNOVATION
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 CatalystCampus.com 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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Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Colorado + $100 million = Biking state

Posted By on Wed, Sep 16, 2015 at 11:49 AM

Bikes are bigger business than you might think. - CASEY BRADLEY GENT
  • Casey Bradley Gent
  • Bikes are bigger business than you might think.

As a cyclist, I might have done a little dance this morning when this landed in my inbox: Gov. John Hickenlooper will spend $100 million over the next four years on bicycling infrastructure in an effort to make Colorado the No. 1 state for biking.

Say it with me: "We're No. 1!"

Now, I know some of you may be eyeballing this announcement with some cynicism. I mean, $100 million is a lot of dough. But bicycling infrastructure has been found to pay off big time for local economies. And, it can be a big plus for locals and tourists. I actually wrote a story not that long ago about the strides our city is taking to try to improve bicycling infrastructure. One would hope such a large statewide initiative will help Colorado Springs meet it's goals more quickly.

The announcement was just made, so we'll have to wait and see how it plays out. But here's all the information that's been released from the governor's office:

Gov. Hickenlooper announces $100 million commitment to Colorado’s biking infrastructure

DENVER — Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015 — Gov. John Hickenlooper today announced the state’s commitment of more than $100 million over the next four years to enhance Colorado’s ability to become the best state to ride a bike.

“Our goal is to make Colorado the best state for biking in the country,” said Hickenlooper. “These investments will help fuel our economic growth and tourism industry, move us toward a cleaner environment and advance our goal of being the healthiest state in the nation.”

Colorado is often ranked the fittest state, and was recently ranked the most physically active state in the country. Even with these stats, Colorado has an obesity rate of more than 21 percent, up from 16 percent in 2004. In addition, a nationwide study found that kids are only spending 4-7 minutes outside in unstructured play every day, but are spending 7-10 hours a day staring at screens. Biking is one of the ways Colorado is aiming to change these stats.

The four year plan and $100 million budget will allow Colorado to add bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure, better understand and market the cycling industry and support awareness and education efforts to promote safety.

“We want to encourage riders of all shapes, sizes and abilities and make biking as safe and accessible as possible statewide,” said Ken Gart, Colorado’s bike czar. “With more than 5,000 miles of biking trails throughout the state, and events like Pedal The Plains and the USA Pro Challenge, Colorado is poised to take this lead.”

The Colorado Pedals Project, Bicycle Colorado, Great Outdoors Colorado, and many more are working with the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), Office of Economic Development, Colorado Tourism Office, and other state agencies, to develop the overall strategy, distribute money, and accomplish shared goals.

CDOT is committed to spend at least 2.5 percent of its construction budget on bike and pedestrian programs including infrastructure.

“Coloradans have put a high priority on providing choice in how they get from A to B, whether for commuting or for recreation, and cycling for many is a key alternative," said Shailen Bhatt, executive director of the Colorado Department of Transportation. “At CDOT we believe that including cycling plans into road planning and construction will help us reduce congestion and contribute to solving the transportation challenges facing the Colorado."

Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) invests Lottery proceeds in Colorado's rivers, parks, open space, wildlife, and trails and has been the state's single largest funding source for trails.

“GOCO is excited to be a part of this new initiative and any opportunity to leverage funding to provide places for people to get outside from the backyard to the backcountry," said Lise Aangeenbrug, GOCO executive director.

Bicycle Colorado, one of the first statewide bicycle advocacy groups in the nation, and now the largest, encourages and promotes bicycling, increased safety, improved conditions and provides a voice for people who ride bicycles in Colorado.

“Bicycle Colorado is excited that more children, families and new cyclists will ride thanks to the improvements this funding will provide,” said Dan Grunig, Bicycle Colorado executive director. “Improved health and a stronger economy are other perks to come from this investment in better bicycling.”

Hickenlooper made the announcement at the Interbike Conference, the largest bicycle trade event in North America, bringing together manufacturers, retailers, industry advocates and media to conduct the business of cycling. He is the first governor to ever speak at the conference.

###

About GOCO
Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) invests a portion of Colorado Lottery proceeds to help preserve and enhance the state’s parks, trails, wildlife, rivers and open spaces. GOCO’s independent board awards competitive grants to local governments and land trusts, and makes investments through Colorado Parks and Wildlife. Created when voters approved a Constitutional Amendment in 1992, GOCO has since funded more than 4,500 projects in urban and rural areas in all 64 counties without any tax dollar support. For more information, visit goco.org.


About Bicycle Colorado
The mission of Bicycle Colorado, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, is to encourage and promote bicycling, increase safety, improve conditions and provide a voice for bicyclists in Colorado. Incorporated in 1992, Bicycle Colorado has a sustained and successful history of protecting and improving access for bicyclists on Colorado roads, paths and trails. For more information, and to become a member, please visit bicyclecolorado.org


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Thursday, September 10, 2015

Can't pay the bills? Maybe this will help.

Posted By on Thu, Sep 10, 2015 at 12:41 PM

J. ADRIAN STANLEY
  • J. Adrian Stanley
According to a recent survey, rents in this city are pretty low — at least compared to other Colorado cities.

I actually wrote about the survey for the paper (read it here). Anyway,  I recently read through the Facebook comments on my article and, well, a lot of you are pretty pissed off. Rent may be lower in Colorado Springs than it is in Boulder, you pointed out, but that doesn't mean that every family can afford to pay it. 

I get it. The economy has recovered, but that doesn't mean most of us are seeing those improvements in our paychecks. If we even get a paycheck.

Which brings me to the point of this blog: There's a job fair coming up at the end of the month. Pikes Peak Workforce Center has lined up over 120 companies for the event, which will be held September 30 at the Hotel Eleganté Conference and Event Center.

If this one is anything like the last job fair I saw there, you may want to line up early. Best of luck to all of you!


SAVE THE DATE!
Over 120 Hiring Companies Onboard for
PPWFC Fall Job Fair


September 10, 2015, Colorado Springs, CO – Over 120 companies have signed up for the PPWFC Annual Fall Job Fair. The Pikes Peak Workforce Center says that companies must have open positions to attend the Fall Job Fair and estimates there are potentially over 3,400 open positions available to the job fair attendees. With unemployment rates decreasing and hiring increasing, discouraged workers and those looking for a better job are encouraged to attend the Fall Job Fair, which is sponsored by KKTV 11 News.

WHERE: Hotel Eleganté Conference and Event Center, 2886 S Circle Drive, Colorado Springs, CO, 80906

WHEN: Wednesday, September 30, 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Veterans, transitioning military and eligible spouses are allowed early entry
at 9:30 a.m.

WHO: For all job seekers, 18 years or older. Over 120 hiring companies are planning to attend. A list of those companies is attached. Estimated job openings per industry are:

• Transportation: 1,163
• Customer Service/ Hospitality: 1,062
• Healthcare: 346
• Financial: 150
• IT: 65
• Education: 63
• Manufacturing: 60

Please note that the above numbers do not add up to the total openings.

HOW: Job seekers should register by signing into their accounts at www.connectingcolorado.com. To prepare for the Job Fair, job seekers should:

• Attend the How to Make the Job Fair Work for You! Workshop
• Research companies and apply online before the job fair
• Dress in business professional clothing and
• Bring their PPWFC scan card for express entry into the job fair.

NOTE: All Pikes Peak Workforce Center’s offices will be closed on September 30 so that staff may assist at the job fair.

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Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Springs Airport hosts firefighting tanker

Posted By on Wed, Aug 12, 2015 at 3:59 PM

An air tanker operation will move in at Colorado Springs Airport. - GILA NATIONAL FOREST
  • Gila National Forest
  • An air tanker operation will move in at Colorado Springs Airport.

After losing out earlier this year on the state's Center of Excellence for Advanced Technology Aerial Firefighting, which chose Rifle instead, Colorado Springs has something to crow about.

The Springs Airport has been selected by Global SuperTanker Services, LLC, as its operating base for the "world’s largest firefighting tanker," the company announced on Wednesday.

From the release:
Today, the company announced the completion of a definitive agreement to convert and operate Boeing 747-400 aircraft to be the fastest, longest-range, and most effective aerial firefighting platform in the world.

President, Jim Wheeler stated, “The Colorado Springs airport is centrally located and has the ideal support infrastructure to allow immediate response to virtually any national or global emergency.”

“The Global SuperTanker is a firefighting resource that can be called upon to help communities across our country and around the world. Having a critical resource like this in Colorado Springs will spotlight our beautiful City and enable us to position ourselves on the leading edge of aerial firefighting,” said Colorado Springs Fire Chief, Christopher P. Riley.

Bret Waters, Director of the Colorado Springs Office of Emergency Management, stated “Strong partnership is a key component to community emergency preparedness. We welcome the employees of Global SuperTanker and the tremendous capability they bring to our region.”
The company's news release:
Global SuperTanker Services, LLC, who today announced their project to build the world’s largest aerial firefighting tanker on a 747-400 platform, also announced plans to make Colorado Springs the operating base for the SuperTanker.

Global SuperTankers President Jim Wheeler stated, “The Colorado Springs airport is centrally located and has the ideal support infrastructure to allow immediate response to virtually any national or global emergency.” He further noted that “The principal factor in our decision has been the exceptional support of Mayor John Suthers, Airport Director Dan Gallagher and their teams, who have worked closely with us in finalizing our search for the SuperTanker base. We look forward to being an active part of the Colorado Spring’s community. We also believe Colorado Springs will benefit by not only having the SuperTanker firefighting presence, but will gain new jobs and services as a result.”

Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers stated, “Our community has seen, firsthand, the importance of aerial firefighting during the Waldo Canyon and Black Forest fires. We are fortunate to welcome Global SuperTanker employees and services to our city and our airport.”

“The selection of Colorado Springs Airport as Global SuperTanker's operating base further demonstrates the Airport's potential for job creation and community benefit. The entire Airport community welcomes them and we look forward to growing our partnership,” stated Airport Aviation Director, Dan Gallagher.

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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Medveds gain honor

Posted By on Wed, Apr 22, 2015 at 4:04 PM

The Medveds: A lifetime worth honoring. - COURTESY OF UCCS
  • Courtesy of UCCS
  • The Medveds: A lifetime worth honoring.
Local business couple Jon and Becky Medved have been chosen to receive the 2015 University of Colorado Colorado Springs College of Business Lifetime Entrepreneurship Award at a May 8 campus luncheon.

The couple has deep roots here and have been involved in a variety of business. Most recently, Jon Medved was named to the Colorado Springs Health Foundation board of trustees. The foundation disperses the proceeds from the city's lease of Memorial Hospital to University of Colorado Health.

From the news release:
Community and campus leaders will fill Gallogly Events Center in celebration of the Medved’s excellence in business and advocacy of several non-profits over the past 30 years.

“Jon and Becky have an inspiring record of transformative leadership both individually and as a couple,” Venkat Reddy, dean, College of Business, said. “We are delighted to select them as joint honorees for ourseventh annual event.”

Jon Medved's career primarily focused on organizational turn-arounds, leading companies such as Current, Walter Drake and CHEFS Catalog. Becky Medved, an MBA alumna of the UCCS College of Business, found her niche with start-ups as a principal in a marketing services company, Saligent, Inc., and a partner in two aging service technology businesses, RSCPros, LLC and Peak Age, Inc., both launched in collaboration with the UCCS Aging Center. The couple first met while working as colleagues at Current in the early 1980’s and today are married with two grown children.

The Medveds are dedicated volunteers and supporters of the Myron Stratton Home, the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum, UCCS Theatreworks, Discover Goodwill, Colorado Springs Conservatory and others. Becky Medved serves on the boards of the UCCS College of Business Alumni Association and Pikes Peak Community College, and she is also a trustee of both the University of Colorado Foundation and Penrose- St. —Francis Health Services Board. Jon Medved currently serves on board of directors for Woodford Manufacturing, G.E. Johnson, and Nehring Associates.

Jon and Becky Medved follow a list of distinguished past award recipients including Gary Loo (2009), Bruce Shepard (2010), Joe Woodford (2011), Cari Shaffer (2012), Chuck Murphy (2013), and David Jenkins (2014).

The award luncheon is a fundraising event to support the College of Business and its alumni and student initiatives including a newly launched Career Coaching Program. The luncheon begins at 11:30 a.m. May 8 in the Gallogly Events Center on the UCCS campus. Tickets are $150 each, $95 for UCCS College of Business alumni, and are available at www.uccs.edu/LEA or by calling (719) 255-5174.

Dean’s Circle sponsors of the award luncheon include Kirkpatrick Bank, Luisa Graff Jewelers, Nunn Construction, Inc., Penrose-St. Francis Health Services, Gray Line Tours of Colorado, Inc., and GE Johnson Construction.

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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

GE Johnson wins honor

Posted By on Wed, Apr 15, 2015 at 5:28 PM

An early rendering of the museum. GE Johnson is the contractor.
  • An early rendering of the museum. GE Johnson is the contractor.
Local contractor GE Johnson Construction Company gets a blue ribbon as one of Denver's Top Workplaces of 2015, as named by the Denver Post.

The company works in multiple states and is based in Colorado Springs. Its highest profile local job at the moment is the Olympic Museum and Hall of Fame, a topic we wrote about this week.

Here's more from the release about the company's honor:
The newspaper’s rankings designate the Top 100 work places in Colorado, broken out into large companies, midsize companies and small companies. GE Johnson was ranked #17 among midsize companies, and is the highest ranked construction firm in the Top 100.

The Denver Post invited 1,400 organizations across the state to participate in employee surveys to determine the Top 100 rankings. Anonymous surveys were distributed to employees, and evaluated in several categories, including company direction, execution, connection, pay and benefits, and overall employee satisfaction. This is the first year GE Johnson employees completed the Top 100 survey, so the ranking comes as a tremendous accomplishment.

As part of the survey process, employees were given the chance to provide testimonials of their experience with their company. One GE Johnson employee complimented the company’s leadership, saying “There is a family-like atmosphere. The executives are approachable and the owner is connected to the pulse of the company.” Another took the opportunity to speak about career development in the company, saying, “There is freedom to do as much as you want to do. The job is rewarding and the atmosphere is general happiness and excitement.”

“It’s an incredible honor to be recognized by the Denver Post as one of the best workplaces in the state of Colorado,” said Jim Johnson, President and CEO of GE Johnson, “My father founded the company with the idea that we should always act more like a family than a corporation. Now, nearly 50 years later, I’m proud that our employees feel valued because they truly are. The culture we have all helped build at GE Johnson is rare in our industry and in business in general; it’s a privilege to come to work with these folks every day.”

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Friday, March 27, 2015

Loyalty through leather — fight the trade

Posted By on Fri, Mar 27, 2015 at 11:53 AM

Early in 2014, the Indy ventured to India with local nonprofit Yobel International to report on a business training aimed partly at combatting the sex trade.
Purchasing a satchel bag is one way to aid the combatting of the sex trade in India. - THE LOYAL WORKSHOP
  • The Loyal Workshop
  • Purchasing a satchel bag is one way to aid the combatting of the sex trade in India.

We brought you this feature, "Trading Places." 

One source that was intentionally left out of that story was a couple named Sarah and Paul Beisly, who we did later introduce you to here, who are also working in Kolkata to liberate women from the trade via the sale of fair-trade craft items. 

Their business, The Loyal Workshop, finally, recently, launched with an "ethical leather goods store" featuring wallets, satchels and belts, currently. 

Shop there to support the company's mission or give them a like on Facebook to track their progress. 

You can also buy an "Advocate Wristband Pack" aimed at helping spread the word, which comes with several perks. 

Sarah and Paul Beisly, displaying a prototype in early 2014 in Kolkata. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Sarah and Paul Beisly, displaying a prototype in early 2014 in Kolkata.

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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Laura Neumann returns to the leisure biz

Posted By on Wed, Mar 25, 2015 at 4:26 PM

Neumann: Back to her roots. - FILE PHOTO
  • File photo
  • Neumann: Back to her roots.
Laura Neumann, Mayor Steve Bach's former chief of staff, has taken on the general manager position at Garden of the Gods Club and Resort.

But as she explains in an email:
The new owners of Garden of the Gods Club and Resort are true pioneers in every sense of the word. Not only with their vision for expanding the Club and Resort to include a Wellness offering (Spring 2016), but allowing me to “job share” the lead role—which is still considered rather unorthodox in our business.... They recognized the time I want/need to be with my teenagers (calling it a season in my life) and embraced it—versus resisting it. It’s pretty cutting edge in the hospitality world to allow an executive level person to do such—and I am very thankful!! 

Neumann worked for Bach from summer 2012 to March 1, 2014. She's also has worked under a consulting contract for the City for Champions tourism projects.

The employment announcement:
Garden of the Gods Club and Resort owners Judy Mackey and Brenda Smith, along with Gemstone Hotels & Resorts; our management partner, are pleased to announce the permanent appointment of Laura Neumann as General Manager.

Laura has proven herself as a transformative and collaborative leader whether through her role as strategic leader and public spokesperson of "City for Champions" this past year; or her role as Chief of Staff for the City of Colorado Springs; or her 24 years with Benchmark Hospitality International. During her tenure with Benchmark, she served seven years at Cheyenne Mountain Resort and The Country Club of Colorado as Vice President and General Manager where she was responsible for successfully repositioning the owner's asset and secured the AAA Four-Diamond award for the first time in property's history and achieved "Best Companies to Work for in Colorado" and led Benchmark’s philanthropic efforts for all 32 properties for three years prior to her departure.

When asking Laura where she gets her greatest professional fulfillment; she will quickly say her joy is in leading and developing people; which is echoed by many who have worked for her over the past two and half decades; with eleven of those years here in the Springs.

Laura, who has consistently stated her priority is with her family, was honored that Judy and Brenda not only recognized such, but embraced similar values. To learn they were willing to design a job-sharing proposal with Gemstone that respected her time limitations while aligning her experience and expertise with their business needs was compelling. "To have the opportunity to do work I love, at a destination rich with history, with owners of legendary vision, with a group of dedicated people with unlimited potential while not working a traditional schedule? How could anyone possibly resist? These women and the management group they have partnered with are remarkable in so many ways!"

As Judy and Brenda explained; "Our vision of wellness and life enrichment focuses on the well-being of the individual. All of us have seasons in our life where the devotion of our time shifts from one area to another; career, family, education, creative pursuits. We recognized Laura's need for time with family, know she shares our vision, and were willing to make accommodations for her in order to have her leadership and expertise. We're simply ‘walking our talk’ on our own life journeys".

Noted as "One of the Top Women to Watch in Colorado Springs in 2015" by Colorado Springs Business Journal, Laura Neumann has set excellent performance as her standard. With intelligent direction, compassionate leadership and skillful execution, Laura will be a significant catalyst for elevating the prominence of the Garden of the Gods Club and Resort in the hospitality industry. We are exceptionally honored to have Laura as the Resort’s General Manager and welcome her in her new role.

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