Friday, December 22, 2006

Employees camp out at Intel

Blizzard of ’06 No. 2 left about 30 employees of Intel sleeping in cots overnight Wednesday and Thursday at the local computer chip plant, which operates 24/7.

Employees received food, drink and personal hygiene items. They also were kept updated on the storm’s progress.

As the weather worsened and roads closed, other employees were asked not to come in to work. Some worked on laptop computers at home, spokeswoman Judy Cara said.

“We never entirely shut down, but we had to stop some procedures because we didn’t have enough people to run the factory,” Cara said. “The lost production time was clearly not good but we have a great team of folks who will make up the time.”

Snow gets some in the spirit

Matt Chmielarczyk didn’t mind making the commute to work as sales manager at Mountain Chalet on Wednesday.

“We’re a mountaineering shop. We should be open when it snows,” he said.

And he got a nice holiday bonus. Every employee who went to work at the downtown shop during the blizzard got paid double time, said owner Dan Foster.

“Even though sales were down, we stepped up to thank the ones that made the effort to come in,” Foster said.

The shop closed early, 5 p.m. instead of 8 p.m. on Wednesday. Sales were stagnant, and Foster believes retail activity was simply lost to the forces that be.

“Compared to a typical week before Christmas it’s terribly slow, and I don’t think those sales will be made up. It hurts, but what are you going to do?”

Foster is counting on fellow shopping procrastinators to be out in full force post-blizzard.

Blizzard creates sales opportunity

The holiday blizzard gave some Faricy Boys Chrysler Jeep associates a new twist for their sales pitches.

After the dealership in the Powers Auto Park closed at 1 p.m. Wednesday, some associates headed home in their Jeeps and along the way pulled out vehicles stuck in the snow, said Ben Faricy, one of the dealership owners.

“They were mainly two-wheel drive vehicles,” he said.

Sales associates handed their business cards to the drivers, telling them to visit the dealership.

"Usually our business picks up significantly after a storm like this becaues everyone realizes two-wheel-drive vehicles aren’t cut out for this weather,” Faricy said.

By Thursday afternoon, employees were still plowing the 11-acre lot and using snow brooms to brush off some 400 vehicles.

“We’ve got three plow trucks out there,” Faricy said, “and it’ll probably take us the majority of Friday to get everything cleared.”

Snow brings headaches for holiday travelers

Have any of you experienced the same frustration Susan Richards had when she tried for hours to reacher her airline to rebook her flight? She called and called for hours only to get the same busy single and have her call dropped.

"It makes me feel like (the airline) doesn't care about any of customers because they don’t want to help correct any problem. And the airports know that the numbers are disconnected but they tell you to call anyway. It just seems very unprofessional," she said.

I started calling Frontier Airlines startingWednesday afternoon and finally gave up Thursday evening. I probably going to drive up to Denver International Airport on Saturday and stand in line at the ticket counter just because I think it's the only way I'm going to be able to reschedule my flight. What have you been through these past few days while trying to travel home for the holidays? We'd like to hear your story.

Chamber event rescheduled

Due to the inclement weather conditions, the Community Business After Hours and Speed Networking events have been rescheduled to Thursday Dec. 28 at Sodo, 527 S. Tejon St.

For more information, visit

Thursday, December 21, 2006

ATTENTION United Denver travelers, policy change for travel on Dec. 20 and 21

United Airlines is allowing passengers who are flying through Denver on Dec. 20 or 21 to change travel plans at no additional cost because of the winter snow storm.

Customers are encouraged to check flight status before going to the airport by visiting or calling (800) 864-8331 for automated, up-to-the minute flight arrival and departure information.
Customers can receive automatic updates via mobile phone, e-mail or pager, by registering for United EasyUpdate complimentary service at

For customers traveling to, from, or through Denver who would like to make one change to their return trip, rules and restrictions regarding standard change fees, advance purchases, day or time applications, blackouts and minimum or maximum stay requirements have been waived.

Customers who have not begun travel to, from, or through Denver may make one change to their travel plans without change fees or advance purchase requirements for the same itinerary. For a new itinerary, they can make one change without change fees. Rescheduled travel may be subject to higher fares if it does not meet original rule and booking-code restrictions or is a new itinerary.

This ticket wavier is available for customers traveling to, from, and through Denver who purchased ticket on Dec. 19 or earlier, for travel between Dec. 20 and Dec. 21, to/from/through Denver on any United®, United Express®, TedSM or United code-share flight. Origin and destination cities must remain the same.

Customers with already canceled flights are eligible to apply for a full refund.

SmartBox hauled to the Front Range

Richmond, Va.-based SmartBox, a provider of portable storage for commercial and residential use, is making its first venture outside the South by bringing a franchise to the Front Range in February. “Our new Denver franchise will be able to service nearly 4 million people from Fort Collins to Boulder and Denver to Colorado Springs,” said Dusty Rhodes, director of business development. SmartBox containers are 8 feet long, 7 feet tall and 5 feet wide. They can hold the contents of up to one and a half rooms and are delivered directly to customers’ doors. When the storage boxes are fully loaded, the customer calls the company to arrange transport to one of its warehouses or another location. SmartBox ( has franchises in Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, North Carolina and Virginia.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Business notebook

Colorado Springs-based education company Learning RX has 46 outlets nationwide with the Oct. 30 opening of a franchise in San Antonio, Texas. ...

With the encouragement of area contractors, Don and Susan Cotterman have expanded their family-owned The Door Co. into the Pueblo market after 12 years of operation in Colorado Springs at 615 Conrad St. The Door Co. sells residential and commercial lines of doors, hardware, as well as bath, office and office suite cabinetry. ...

Steve and Ginny Warren have acquired Colorado Cabinet Coatings (, a Colorado Springs company which performs cabinet refacing or replacement work. Steve has 19 years experience in the industry and Ginny has a bachelor's degree in interior design.

RealTime Shredding partners with UPS stores

Real Time Shredding Inc. of Colorado Springs is expanding its business along the Front Range by putting its machines in UPS Stores in Monument and the Denver Tech Center. The company's Self-Service Shredder cross-cut shreds paper, cardboard, credit cards, paper clips, staples, CDs, DVDs and floppy disks. The industrial-strength shredder can shred up to 200 sheets of paper a minute. Customers can bring in any material they want to shred for $1 per two-minute session at either location.The service is a natural extension of the document services, packing, shipping and mailbox and postal services UPS Stores already offer, according to Mike Fye, owner of The UPS Store in Monument. Whether it's someone who is ready to clean out the basement and destroy 15 years of old phone bills, or a business that needs to shred years worth of old documents, "it's easy, inexpensive and makes good sense," says Fye.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Traveling around on alternative fuels has a great map of alternative fueling stations around the nation so you can travel across the country and know the next place where you can fill up. (Click on Going Green under Category.)

It shows Colorado has:
  • 17 biodiesel fueling stations, including 2 public stations in Colorado Springs and 1 at Peterson AFB
  • 23 compressed natural gas fueling stations, including 2 in Colorado Springs, 1 at the Air Force Academy and 1 for Colorado Springs Utilities
  • 12 ethanol 85 fueling stations, including 1 public station in Colorado Springs, 1 at Fort Carson and 1 at Peterson AFB
  • 2 electric fueling stations, 0 in Colorado Springs
  • 0 hydrogen fueling stations
  • 0 liquified natural gas

Web site users also can add stations they know of.

Nominations for Chamber's Diversity Awards

The Greater Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce is seeking nominations for its annual Diversity Awards Luncheon on Jan. 24. Nominations are due Jan. 5.
  • Awards Categories include:
  • Small Business: 1-50 people
  • Mid-Size Business: 51-300 people
  • Large Business: 301+ people
  • Non-Profit 501 (c) 3

The awards are designed to recognize leading companies in the region for their commitment to diversity and inclusion. A panel of representatives from the Pikes Peak Coalition of Chambers will judge nominees based on the following criteria:

  • Work force diversity
  • Leadership
  • Education/Training
  • Community Inclusion

To be considered or to nominate a local company, print off the form and return by Jan. 5 to or mail to the address on the form. For more information go online.