Friday, February 9, 2007

Good Bill, Bad Bill -- Gov. Ritter, that is

What a difference a couple of days can make -- especially when it comes to heated political rhetoric. When Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter (right) vetoed a bill Friday that would have made it easier to establish all-union workplaces in the state, it generated this appreciative response from Tony Gagliardi, Colorado state director for the National Federation of Independent Business: "We applaud the governor for his courageous act in vetoing House Bill 1072. This could not have been easy for him, given the sizable support he received from organized labor during his campaign. Quite frankly, we are as stunned as we are elated. Small businesses will not always expect to be on the receiving end of such good news, but the message the Governor sent today tells us is that he is very sincere in his invitation to hear all sides and fairly weigh the arguments.”

Gagliardi added: “There is indeed a new sheriff in town, and he is serious about what he says. The Colorado political world has taken note.” Of course, Gagliardi wasn't quite so gracious on Monday, when he sent out a statement that skewered Sheriff, er, Gov. Ritter in advance of an expected bill signing: "I'm not holding out much hope he’ll do the right thing on this,” Gagliardi said. “Let’s face it ― unions want payback for all the support they gave him during his election. I’m expecting his executive scrawl over this nasty mess of legislation.”

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Springs company gets Grammy Award exposure

The term "goody bag" will take on a whole new meaning for the owners and staff of Colorado Springs-based Green Mountain Audio on Feb. 11 when the company brochure is included in the 250 gift bags given to each presenter and awardee at the Grammy Awards in Los Angeles. It will also get tucked into the gift bags at the Latin Grammy Awards later this year.

Green Mountain Audio ( was established in 1988 by physicist and speaker design pioneer Roy Johnson and is focused on creating "the ultimate in analog tube sound" with a two channel stereo system that includes state of the art speaker design by Green Mountain Audio. The brochure was in progress when Chae Chong (Metrotech Group LLC) heard the speakers at the recent Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. He deemed them as "the best in the world." The brochure idea surfaced in late 2006 during a talk between an EVtek principal and one of their clients, "Lady J," a voting member of the Grammy Awards. Chong believes this is the first time such a brochure has been included in Grammy gift bags.

Western wear store opens at The Promenade Shops

Girl of the Golden West, a women’s western wear retailer, opens its doors at The Promenade Shops at Briargate Saturday (Feb.10) on the shopping center's east side. The store will offer distinctive western wear for women, men and children along with home accessories by local artisans and artwork featuring images of the Pikes Peak region.

Owner Phoebe Schmidt says the idea for the store came to her after "an unsuccessful shopping trip to find some amusing cowboy boots." Visitors to the store on opening day will receive a free goodie bag.

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Big step for Colorado Springs shredding company

Colorado Springs-based RealTime Shredding has made a significant breakthrough in its second year by getting New Frontier Bank, based in Greeley, to become the first bank in the nation to acquire and install self-service shredding kiosks for customer and public use. New Frontier Bank has installed RealTime's Self-Service Shredder, the model designed specifically for business and consumer use, at its locations in Greeley, Longmont, and Windsor. The kiosks cross-cut shred paper, cardboard, credit cards, paper clips, staples, CDs, DVDs, and floppy disks. The industrial-strength shredder, featuring multiple control points for maximum safety, can shred up to 200 sheets of paper a minute. Customers and the general public can use RealTime Shredding ( kiosks at no charge. The kiosks are located in the banks' lobbies and are available for use during normal lobby hours of operation.

Ent looking pretty good for 50

Ent Federal Credit Union wants its 175,000 members to help it celebrate its 50th anniversary at a series of events next month.
The $2.1 billion financial institution is inviting members to visit any of its 24 branches in the Denver, Colorado Springs and Pueblo areas on March 7, including a special ceremony with longtime members at its Bon branch, 2336 N. Wahsatch Ave.
The credit union also will host "Ent: It's Your Future Expo" from 3-7 p.m. March 22 at the Antlers Hilton hotel, 4 S. Cascade Ave., featuring seminars, interactive displays and other activities. The expo also will feature the credit union's annual meeting, which includes election of directors and reports to members.
Ent was started by eight volunteers with $602 in deposits from 30 members at Ent Air Force Base (now site of the U.S. Olympic Training Center) and has grown to become southern Colorado's largest financial institution.
For information go to

Groundbreaking ahead for office condo project

A lunch and groundbreaking to launch construction of the Courtyards at Briargate, an office condominium project planned for the northside Briargate Business Campus, will take place Feb. 22 at Biaggi's Ristorante Italiano in the Promenade Shops at Briargate, southeast of Colorado Highway 83 and Briargate Parkway. The project is planned by California-based RDB Solomon Capital as a 14-building, 72,100-square-foot complex, northeast of Colorado 83 and Research Parkway and east of the Air Force Academy. A lunch will take place at 11:30 a.m. at the restaurant and will be followed by a groundbreaking ceremony at the nearby project site. More information or to attend: 487-3883 or

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Springs broker gets red-carpet treatment

Not everybody gets their names splashed across a national newspaper, but Colorado Springs commercial broker Doug Carter got the star treatment this week. Well, sort of. Carter, who last year joined national brokerage Sperry Van Ness Commercial Real Estate Advisors, was one of 68 brokers -- the company prefers to call them "advisors" -- to get their mugs included in a full-page Wall Street Journal ad Wednesday (page B9). The ad honored some of the company's more than 800 brokers from around the country who were top earners in 2006. Carter, who specializes in apartment properties, was one of two Colorado brokers in the ad.

Red Rock Shopping Center getting a new look

JFR Realty Company, which has owned the Red Rock Shopping Center on the city's west side for 15 years, is giving the place a facelift, with new facades for the two buildings, improved lighting in the parking lot and a new exterior paint job that will be similar to the nearby Safeway store. The project at the southwest corner of West Colorado Avenue and 31st Street is expected to be completed by the end of March.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

New Web site at The Broadmoor hotel

The Broadmoor five-star hotel in Colorado Springs recently launched a newWeb site

The site includes new navigation and interactive tools. Highlights include:

New health and wellness business opens

Jeff Bickford and Gail Gustafson, the original owners of Motion Studies Centers for Body, Mind and Spirit in Colorado Springs and Seattle, have moved back here and have a new business.

Their private practice focusing on health and wellness through movement, awareness and space is located in the office of Dr. John Daugherty, 1923 W. Colorado Ave.

For more information, see or

Monday, February 5, 2007

Cingular raises the bar in Pueblo

Big bucks helped bring Cingular Wireless to Pueblo, and the city and company are celebrating in a big way. At 11 a.m. Wednesday Feb. 7, Cingular Wireless and Pueblo officials will dedicate a 500-employee call center that's operating in a new 76,000-square-foot building at 100 S. Main St. on the Historic Arkansas Riverwalk in downtown Pueblo. The $18 million call center actually opened in December, but Wednesday will be a ceremonial ribbon cutting and dedication. About 400 employees who serve wireless customers in 10 Western states work in the building; another 100 will be on board by year's end, the company says. Pueblo city officials approved $5.67 million in incentives last year to help Cingular pay for call center-related equipment. In exchange, the company agreed to hire 500 people who will work at least 32 hours a week and earn at least $10 an hour in pay plus benefits, including health insurance. While the facility will be known as the Cingular Wireless Customer Care Center, the company's name is changing to AT&T to reflect its acquisition by AT&T Inc.

Old Colorado City merchants name new leader

Jim Heikes, owner of Thunder Mountain Trading Company, has been elected president of the Old Colorado City Associates (OCCA) merchants group by his 10 fellow board members. He replaces Carole Jourdan, who chose not to stand for re-election. OCCA has 42 members, about half of the businesses in the Old Colorado City district on West Colorado Avenue, between 24th Street and 27th Street.