Friday, October 13, 2006

Let's talk Colorado

The new state tourism marketing and advertising campaign was unveiled at the 2006 Governor's Tourism Conference in Keystone on Thursday. The campaign still awaits approval from the Colorado Tourism Board, which is expected next week.

MMG Worldwide developed the campaign, titled "Let's Talk Colorado," to have a more focused marketing strategy to target specific demographics to visit the state, said Clayton Ried, MMG president and managing partner. The campaign will not target specific cities, but rather focus on activities such as wine tasting, hiking or skiing, which may feature Colorado Springs area attractions. Ried said he was very interested in pursuing heritage tourism, which focuses on visitors interested in seeing historic or cultural attractions and locations.

The advertising company, with an office in Fort Collins, hopes the campaign will bring 30 million visitors to the state over time.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Better your business in 2007

The Better Business Bureau of Southern Colorado is hosting an informational meeting for businesses interested in turning in applications for the 2007 Excellence in Customer Service award from 7:45 to 10 a.m., Oct. 20 at the Leon Young Service Center, 1521 Hancock Expressway.

The meeting is free and refreshments will be provided. The program's pursose is to motivate people to go through the application process to help their business analyze and improve its service, and intigrate a philosophy of continuous improvement.

The application process is an invalueable service to a business by providing free, constructive feedback on how to improve a business- a service that would normally cost thousands- according to many winners of the 2006 Excellence in Customer Service program.

RSVP by Oct. 13 by contacting Debbie Montoya at 636-5076, ext. 129, toll-free at 866-206-1094 ext. 129 or by e-mail at

For more detailed information on this event, please contact Rebecca Herrera at 636-5076 ext. 116, or toll-free at 1-866-206-1094 ext. 116.

Military marching onward

Wednesday's 10th annual Southern Colorado Economic Forum, a large-scale event that tallies the economy and quality of life in the region in the past year, yielded updates about the expanding Fort Carson Army post.

Brig. Gen. Anne Macdonald, deputy commanding general at Fort Carson, said the post is preparing for an increase of 10,000 soldiers, not including family members, in the next two years. The total number of troops stationed at the Army base will balloon to 25,000. Sixty percent are married and have family members, and one-third will live on post.

The local economic impact of Fort Carson currently is nearly $1 billion annually, she said, including $662.1 million in military payroll, $147.4 million in civilian payroll,$60 million in operations, $13 million in utilities, $167.1 million in military procurement, $40 million for TriCare health insurance and $1.5 million for tuition assistance.

Fort Carson is responsible for 10 percent of all economic activity in Colorado Springs, Macdonald said.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Humana turns to the big screen for marketing effort

Humana, one of the nation's largest publicly traded health benefits company, is offering seniors eligible for Medicare a free screening of the 1942 classic "Casablanca." Attendees also have to sit through a short film called "Changing Lives," about Humana's new Mediare Advantage plans.

A local showing will be at 700 theaters around the nation, including Tinseltown Theatre, 1545 E. Cheyenne Mountain Blvd., at 10 a.m. Oct. 17, Oct. 24 and Oct. 31.

Showings also will be at Cinemark Carefree Circle Theatre, 3305 Cinema Point, at 10 a.m. on Oct. 12, Oct, 19, Oct. 26 and Nov. 2.

Refreshments will be served to all attendees. The special screening marks the first time in more than 60 yeras that the classic Huphrey Bogart epic will be seen nationally in movie theaters.

Seating is limited, so Medicare-eligible people and their caretakers may make resrvations by calling 1-866-836-7902 or see for more information.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Contractors in the west upbeat about 2007

Construction company executives in Colorado and seven other western states are bullish about the region's economy, according to a survey released by CIT Construction, a division of CIT Group, a New York-based commercial and consumer finance company. CIT Construction's 31st annual industry forecast found 41 percent of distributors and 39 percent of contractors in the west predict a better overall business picture in 2007 than they did in 2006. Seventy-one percent of contractors in the region said they expect more bidding opportunities in 2007, 32 percent of distributors predict more non-residential construction and 21 percent see more residential building in the year ahead. The survey included responses from construction industry leaders in Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming. “The Mountain region is fast-growing, fueling an optimistic outlook for the coming year by regional construction industry executives," said Kay Russell, senior vice president of CIT Construction. "According to almost half of all contractors in the region, the population growth is the primary driver of the construction boom.” More than 900 contractors and equipment distributors were surveyed via telephone interviews across the country for the survey. To obtain a copy, call (201) 460-2845.

Little Caesars looking to double empire

With four stores and more than 100 employees, regional Little Caesars Pizza franchisee Mike Scruggs Sr. is looking to double his holdings in El Paso County by the end of 2007 -- adding stores in Fountain, Falcon, Monument and the Rockrimmon area of Colorado Springs.

Monday, October 9, 2006

News from Out West

The Santa Fe Motel, 3 Manitou Ave., has reopened with three of the 23 cottage units being converted to long-term residential use by new owners Denise Cohen and Elizabeth Petropoulos. They eventually plan to add kitchens to the other motel units to increase the inventory of affordable rentals in Manitou.The motel had been in foreclosure with First Community Bank since the arrest of former owner Charles Bynum for possession and distribution of methamphetamine 14 months ago. The bank hired an environmental contractor to clean and decontaminate the unit used as a meth lab before making the sale in July.

Elsewhere, Gina Tompkins and Mary Barr have opened Mom's Too Envy at 2616 W. Colorado Ave., a maternity store that also will sell baby items.

Guadagnolis seek site for second Cowboys night club

Kathy and Sam Guadagnoli, who have operated Cowboy's Country & Western night club at 3910 Palmer Park Blvd. for nearly 20 years, are actively seeking a location for a second Cowboy's, probably in the northeast section of Colorado Springs. The Guadagnolis thought they had their spot, just off East Woodmen Road, but the deal "hit a snare" due to water and traffic issues according to Sam Guadagnoli, and had to be dropped. The couple is still looking for a site in that area, but also in Black Forest, Falcon or downtown. "We definitely want to open a second Cowboy's," Sam Guadagnoli said.