Friday, November 10, 2006

Health snacks on United flights

United Airlines is giving customers another option for healthy snacks with its Smartpack. It's a trans-fat free, vegetarian-friendly snackbox for United customers on U.S. domestic flights three hours or longer.

The Smartpack snackbox includes Pita Break Lavash Multi Grain & Honey Grain Crackers, Glacier Ridge Farms White Cheddar Cheese, Hero Strawberry Preserves, SunGold Creamy Sunbutter, Vermont Village Cannery Organic Peach Applesauce, Bear Naked All-Natural Fruit and Nut Granola, Alacer Emergen-C Tangerine Fizzing Drink Mix and Bali's Best Latte Candy. The contents of the box total 895 calories.

United's other popular snackboxes are the Minimeal and Quickpick. All are available for $5 each on select United flights. Smartpack will replace United's previously offered Jumpstart snackbox.

Thursday, November 9, 2006

Shopping centers, malls stage holiday kickoff events

Anybody looking for an inexpensive way to celebrate the start of the holidays with their family has an entire circuit of shopping center and mall events to consider. The Promenade Shops at Briargate kick it off 5-7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 10, with its "Light Up The Holidays" program, featuring live music, entertainers, facepainters for the kids, free hot chocolate and treats and free Colorado Blue Spruce tree seedlings to the first 500 people. And Santa will light the tree.

On Saturday, Nov. 11, The Outlets at Castle Rock will take delivery on what they claim is the tallest fresh cut tree in Colorado, a 75 foot white fir, that will be decorated with 10,000 lights in preparation for a lighting ceremony at 4:30 p.m. Nov. 24.

The Citadel will work with NORAD for its Santa Tracking kickoff promotion at 7 p.m. Nov. 17. The Colorado Springs Children's Chorale and Youth Symphony will perform and each family will receive one free photo with Santa.

On Nov. 18, Chapel Hills Mall will parlay its 9 a.m.-noon Santa arrival event with the Festival of Giving. Visitors who pay $5 -- all of which is donated to charity -- get breakfast with Santa, free facepainting, chair massage, giveaways and complimentary gift wrapping.

Dance Colorado moves to new location

Ballroom studio Dance Colorado has moved to 612 S. Tejon Street after 15 years in Old Colorado City and will have a grand opening celebration Nov. 11 to show off the much larger digs. The main Cyd Charisse Ballroom has 2,400 square feet and with the adjacent Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire ballrooms there is a total of 4,200 square feet, more than double the space Brad and Lori Ackerman had at their former location at 2506 W. Colorado Ave. The grand opening at Dance Colorado ( will be in two parts with the 10 a.m.-4 p.m. session to feature free group lessons, dance demonstrations and a giveaway of group and private lesson packages. At 7:30-10:30 p.m. there will be professional and amateur dance demonstrations along with a semi-formal dance with a live band.

VW keeps the beat

Volkswagen's creation of the mobile amp hasn't electrified Colorado Springs buyers.

Heuberger Motors reports that the automaker's promotion that enables new VW buyers to get a First Act GarageMaster electric guitar that plays through the car's audio system hasn't been met with much fanfare from the 60 locals who have bought new VWs from the dealership since the promotion began Oct. 3.

The deal is being hyped on television commercials, radio commercials and print advertising, featuring Velvet Revolver guitarish Slash (formerly of Guns N' Roses) Grammy-award winning artist John Mayer and actor Christopher Guest of This Is Spinal Tap.

Wednesday, November 8, 2006

Regional Retail Rumblings

Advance Auto Parts marked the opening of its eighth store in the Colorado Springs area Thursday with a grand opening celebration at 2250 El Morro Road, where it intersects with South Academy Boulevard. The corporate-owned store will be managed by Jim Dickerson. ...

Delays in the buildout for The Original SoupMan restaurant at 10 S. Tejon St. have meant pushing back the opening date to Dec. 15 "at the earliest," says owner Debra Canale. It may not open until early January. The honor of opening the state's first Original SoupMan -- named for Al Yeganeh, aka "the Soup Nazi" -- will now go to the store at FlatIron Crossing Mall in Broomfield, which opens Nov. 10. Canale is planning to open two other franchises in Colorado Springs after the downtown store is established and other franchisees are planning to enter the Boulder and Castle Rock markets ...

Veda Salon & Spa, honored by The Gazette as the best Salon, best Spa and best place to work, has opened its third location in Colorado Springs, moving into Falcon Landing at 7443 North Academy Blvd. with about 60 employees. ...

Red Lobster is looking to go upscale. President Kim Lopdrup told the Orlando Sentinel that the 680-unit chain -- which has two restaurants in Colorado Springs -- will expand its daily fresh fish selection and it is testing more formal tableware, warmer lighting and dark wood paneling in a revised prototype. The report said Red Lobster may even introduce linen napkins.

Bigari launches book online

Colorado Springs entrepreneur Steve Bigari is marketing his first book "The Box You Got: Transforming the World You Live In" ($19.95) , via the Internet ( with an eye toward reaping dual benefits. The book is meant to get people thinking about what more they might be able to contribute to their communities. And whatever profits may come from the book will be donated to America's Family, the organization founded by Bigari when he was the area's biggest McDonald's franchisee, to assure benefits for low-income workers. "What’s in your box is YOU," the Web site says. "It’s your abilities, your passions, your life today. Right where you are."

Tuesday, November 7, 2006

Want more discounts with Chamber? Fill out a survey

The Greater Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce is asking members to fill out a survey for the purpose of possibly starting an Association Purchasing Program. The program will provide members with substantially discounted pricing from local, regional and national suppliers on many products and services members need to operate their businesses.
The program is not expected to launch until 2007.
For more information, call 635-1551.

Monday, November 6, 2006

Colorado ranked eight in nation for good business climate

The Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council recently released its 11th annual rankings of the states according to their public policy climates for small business and entrepreneurship in "The Small Business Survival Index 2006."

Colorado is ranked eighth best in the nation.

The survival index touches on businesses of all types-from the home-based consultants and venture capitalists to technology companies and manufacturing firms. The index analyzes 29 major government-imposed or government related costs affecting small business and entrepreneurs.

Internet Professionals cancel Nov. 9 awards banquet

The Colorado Association of Internet Professionals has postponed its Nov. 9 Web Awards banquet indefinitely because it lacked the necessary volunteer support to make it happen. "We hope to reorganize and reschedule the event sometime in the spring," said spokesman Dan VanWijk of Tech for Less Inc. The statewide Web Awards are meant to recognize superior Web development skills, with nine judges rating sites for their graphic design, usability, html code compliance, search engine compatibility, privacy and security policy.