Friday, December 1, 2006

Ent honored by trade group

The Credit Union National Association Mutual Group and CUNA Lending Council have selected Ent Federal Credit Union for one of five annual Credit Union Excellence in Lending awards.
Ent, southern Colorado's largest financial institution with $2 billion in assets, received the Mortgage Lending Excellence Award for credit unions with more than $250 million in assets during the CUNA Lending Council conference earlier this month in Indian Wells, Calif.
"This part year Ent has made strides in reaching out to interested home buyers in creative ways," said Jon Paukovich, real estate lending director for Ent.

Fountain Valley Chamber of Commerce New Board Members

The Fountain Valley Chamber of Commerce announced its new board of director members in its December newsletter.

They are:

  • Darlene Cruz of Colorado Mountain Bank
  • Diane Danner of Ent Federal Credit Union
  • Juan Flores of Pre-Paid Legal Services and a retired veteran
  • Shawn Heard, who was on the Fountain Valley Chamber of Commerce board for three years
  • Angela Hoyle of Security Service Federal Credit Union
  • Linda McGee of American Family Insurance
  • Linda Puckett of Maile's Gourmet Baskets
  • Linda Thompson of Sixties Chrome, and
  • Scott Turner of UMB Bank

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Ent looks for cards with more Élan

Ent Federal Credit Union began a new partnership this month with Élan Financial Services, a division of U.S. Bank, to issue and manage credit card accounts for its nearly 160,000 members.
The Colorado Springs-based financial institution has been in a similar partnership since 2001 with MBNA Corp., which was acquired Jan. 1 by Bank of America. MBNA started the partnership with Ent after buying its $36 million credit card portfolio in July 2001. Ent members with MBNA cards can still continue to use their cards; Élan will issue cards to those who apply for new accounts.

Élan offered Ent a wider variety of cards that will give its members more choice on types of cards such as platinum cards, cards for college students and cards for small businesses as well as giving members more choices in the rewards they earn, said Jim Moore, Ent's senior vice president. For more information, go to

Family Dollar Stores set to expand again

Family Dollar Stores Inc., which already has 10 stores in the Colorado Springs area, is planning to add three more here within the next 18 months according to Steve Heaps, the company's regional real estate manager. No locations have been selected yet.

Cog promotes Christmas train

The Pikes Peak Cog Railway has hired Santa and Mrs. Claus to attract passengers to its Christmas train this December, stopping with visitors for a one-hour visit halfway up the mountain at Four Mile Siding for hot chocolate, cider and cookies. Bring your cameras to take pictures with Santa. (The train will not go to the summit of Pikes Peak.)

Back in Manitou, Mrs. Claus will read Christmas poems and stories to visitors. Children will be given a small gift bag from Santa and the elves back at the train depot.

The train will depart twice a day, 10:30 a.m. and 1:20 p.m. on Dec. 2, 9, 16 and 23. Each trip will be about two hours in duration. Cost is $15 per person, ages 3 and up. Seating is limited and reservations are highly recommended. All bookings for the Christmas train must be made by calling 685-5401.

Investors buy out Ramtron's largest shareholder

Qimonda AG last week sold all 4.43 million shares and 262,663 warrants to buy shares in Colorado Springs-based Ramtron International Corp. to a group of 14 institutional and other investors.
The buyers include companies headed by Mordy Schron of New York; Asia Marketing Ltd. of Israel; Courtney Brown of Golden; C.E. Unterberg, Towbin Brett Moskowitz Investments of New York; companies headed by Sean Molloy of New York; Cortina Asset Management of Milwaukee; Ganot Corp. of Hollywood, Fla; Dennis Gates of El Cerrito, Calif.; Graham Partners of New York; partnerships headed by Yoav Roth of New York; Iroquois Master Fund Ltd.; SF Capital Partners Ltd. of St. Francis, Minn.; partnerships headed by Steven Becker and Wolfson Equities of New York.
Qimonda acquired the stake, which amount to a 19 percent stake in Ramtron, from its former parent company, Infineon Technologies AG when it was spun off from Infineon. The shares were acquired in an investment and licensing deal with Ramtron, which is based in Colorado Springs. As a result of the sale, Klaus Fleishmann and Doris Keitel-Schulz, who represented Qimonda on Ramtron's board, resigned as directors. Ramtron spokesman Lee Brown said the company has no immediate plans to replace them.
Ramtron's largest shareholder is now the National Electrical Benefit Fund of New York, which owns 2.55 million shares, or a 10.1 percent stake in the semiconductor development firm.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Regional Retail Rumblings

The hand-written signs on the door at Dewey's American Grill promising a "grand reopening" was someone's idea of a bad joke says the restaurant's attorney John Wasserman. Dewey's, at 4659 Centennial Blvd., closed for good Nov. 25, due to declining sales, Wasserman said. The other two Dewey's American Grills, in Highlands Ranch and Littleton, remain in business.

... Backyards & Billiards (Southern Colorado’s Home Resort Superstore) will have its second location open by Dec. 8, at 5860 Barnes Road, according to owners Greg and Nancy Bennett.

... Jared The Galleria of Jewelry is hosting a public Le Vian Jewelry Gala at its 1720 E. Woodmen Road store on November 30, from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

.... Chipotle Mexican Grill is bringing back its Burri-Toy promotion on Dec. 9-10. Any customer who brings in a new, unwrapped toy for patients at The Children's Hospital on those days will receive a free burrito. For store locations, visit

A better mousetrap from Innerwall

Colorado Springs-based computer security startup Innerwall Inc. has reached an agreement with Califronia-based Leapfrog Software Inc. to incorporate its system recovery software into Innerwall's security software.

Combining the two applications will allow Innerwall's Secure Enclave software not only to keep all devices in a network free of computer viruses, trojans, worms and other threats but also recover a failed computer system as quickly as it can be rebooted, said Innerwall Chief Executive Frank Ricotta. Leapfrog's software records all keystrokes to a computer's hard drive, he said.

"This is a cornerstone capability for our customers," Ricotta said. "It will allow us to covert significant deals and more than double our sales to $7 million next year from nearly $2 million this year."

The system recovery capability is a key feature requested by Innerwall's military customers, including the U.S. Army and U.S. Navy, as well as homeland security agencies that form a major part of the company's customer base, Ricotta said.

Deadline extended for Business for the Arts Award

The deadline for the Colorado Business Committee for the Art's annual award has been extended to Dec. 4 from Nov. 22.

At the 20th Annual Business for the Arts Awards in March 2007, the committee will recognize businesses for their leadership, commitment, and vision in developing partnerships and engagement with the arts.

Awards will be given for:
  • Philanthropy- recognizing corporate citizenship and generosity to arts and culture.
  • Innovation- recognizing a strategic use of arts to propel company success.
  • Workspace- paying tribute to an exceptional work environment that advances business objectives.
  • Workforce- recognizing business programs that engage employees with creativity and the arts.

For details on the awards and evaluation criteria, visit
For more information, visit

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Colorado Springs housing update

Metrostudy, the Houston-based research firm that compiles housing industry information in cities and counties nationwide, will present an overview of the latest quarterly data for Colorado Springs' new home market at 7:30 a.m. Dec. 13 at Security Title, 1277 Kelly Johnson Blvd., Suite 100, on the Springs' north side. The overview will include a look at housing starts, closings, supply and lot availability. The event costs $15 per person, but is limited to 80 people and is open only to members of the Colorado Springs Housing & Building Association. To register: Or, call the HBA's reservation line at 592-1800, ext 18.

Chamber Update Event rescheduled

The Greater Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce Update Event has been rescheduled to Dec. 15 from the original date of Nov. 30. The Chamber Update Event gives business people an opportunity to meet chamber staff and learn more about what is new at the organization.
Networking begins at 7:15 a.m, followed by a presentation from 7:45 to 9 a.m. There is no charge to attend. For reservations or more information, call 575-4381 or visit

Parking up and running at the airport

This time last year, the parking lots at the Colorado Springs Airport were under construction, creating headaches for some holiday travelers.
This year, all lots are open for short-term, long-term and valet parking.
The airport also has an overflow parking lot available for $4 a day. If the overflow lot is needed, signs will direct travelers to that lot, according to Kelly Koons, spokeswoman for the airport.
The airport also has a cell phone lot open. It is located off Milton Proby Expressway in part of a parking lot partially used for commercial vehicles.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Architects to hold annual bash

The American Institute of Architects' southern Colorado chapter will hold its annual networking and awards celebration ("Downtown: Great Skyline, Great Streets, Great Future") from 6:30 to 10 p.m. Dec. 8 at Colorado College's Bemis Hall, 920 N. Cascade Ave., in Colorado Springs. In addition to food and entertainment, three architectural firms will be honored with design awards. The cost is $35 for AIA members and $45 for non-members. To register, go to

Even the empty stores are decorated for holidays

Wanting a unified and appealing holiday look for stores in the city center, the Downtown Partnership of Colorado Springs has gotten permission from property owners to deck out three empty stores on Tejon Street with Christmas decorations. Officials of the Downtown Partnership and volunteers are working on the former Golf Break store at 120 N. Tejon St., the space at 115 N. Tejon and sections of the former Design Center at 27 S. Tejon St. "Both our planning committee and the arts and culture committee came up with the idea independently," said Beth Kosley of the Downtown Partnership. "The owners and their brokers were happy to cooperate. It will make these properties much more inviting to potential tenants and it will tie together the whole look of the downtown area."