Friday, August 3, 2007

On your mark, get set, fasten!

Think you’ve got tool skills? Here’s your chance to prove it. The Colorado Springs Fastenal store, 1130 E. Fillmore St., will host the local running of Fastenal’s nationwide Ultimate Drive Challenge. Contents using a DeWalt cordless impactor drive down six screws (three into wood, three into metal) and then rachet down one nut as quickly as they can. The 10 fastest in the country will be flown to Homestead, Fla., to compete for a 2008 Dodge Ram 1500 Laramie packed with tools and gear. The local challenge will run from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Aug. 14 as part of an all-day sales event.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Stewart Title emphasizes Hispanic homeowners in the Springs

The Colorado Springs division of Stewart Title of Colorado has launched a full-service title and closing team targeting Hispanic home buyers and sellers. The Hispanic team will be based out of Stewart Title's downtown Springs office in the Plaza of the Rockies office complex, 111 S. Tejon St., Suite 111.

The Springs' rising Hispanic population was cited as a reason for offering the services. In addition to offering escrow documents and closing materials in Spanish, Stewart Title will have Spanish speaking employees and a "culturally relevant approach to servicing Hispanics," the company said. Stewart Title is committed to making its services “more welcoming to the Hispanic community,” said Tammy Perez-Baca, regional multicultural markets director for Stewart Title Guaranty Co.

Ken Barela, chairman of the Colorado Springs Hispanic Chamber of Commerce's board of directors, said businesses must understand the markets they serve. “There are rapid changes in our community's demographics occurring and the overall consumer base is requiring businesses to better understand the culture, values and different perspectives associated with this new era of diversity,” Barela said.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Krumbz crumbles

Robert "Chef Rob" Lemoine and girlfriend Pamela Raver opened Krumbz cake and pastry shop in early June at 321 N. Tejon St., the former Tejon Street Grocery and Deli. Within a month, they were gone, said Scott Long, who owns the building.

Long, who also owns the neighboring Tejon Street Wine Shoppe, said he learned Krumbz had closed when he found the store’s sign tossed in the trash. “He moved out overnight,” Long said of Lemoine.

Lemoine acknowledes he gave no warning. The rent was too high and business was too slow the first month, he said. “We started with really low capital,” he said.

Is that your final answer?

In today's Gazette story about the apartment industry, Colorado Springs real estate veteran Ken Greene, who works for Apartment Realty Advisors in Denver, was asked if a second-quarter dip in the Springs apartment vacancy rate signaled the start of an improvement in the market, or was just a one-time decline.

“That’s the $64 question," Greene said, "nobody really knows.” His response prompted this reply from some readers under the age of, oh, 40: What "$64 question" was he talking about?

OK, for those of you came out of the womb wearing an iPod, here's the answer. Greene's comment refers to the 1950s-era television game show called "The $64,000 Question," in which contestants answered a series of questions and saw their winnings increase for every correct answer. That program was based on a radio quiz show that started as 1940's "Take It or Leave It" and was renamed "The $64 Question" a decade later. Today's "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?" is based on those shows. More information:, the Web site for the Museum of Broadcast Communications.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Downtown Jamba Juice closing

Downtown Colorado Springs suffered another loss today as Jamba Juice, 15 E. Bijou St., was set to close its doors for good at 7 p.m. The downtown smoothie and juice shop opened 10 years ago as Zuka Juice.

“It’s our last day,” said franchise owner Dean Patzel. “Kind of a sad finish to 10 years.”
Patzel and his wife, Diane, own three other Jamba Juice stores in the Springs. They’re staying open, he said.

The downtown location was not an underperformer, he said. In fact, business has been up, possibly because of the closings in recent months of Michelle’s and Cold Stone Creamery downtown. But the shop was at an age that it needed a face-lift, he said, and corporate wanted a site with higher volume and more exposure.

“I agree with them,” Patzel said. “We’re excited about growth and we’d like to pursue opening a few more stores in town. This is kind of the first step in that whole process.”

New store opens at Promenade Shops

Olivia & Rose ( has opened at The Promenade Shops at Briargate, featuring fine paper products such as greeting cards, stationery, gift wrap and custom invitations and announcements. A grand opening celebration is set for Aug. 4. The Promenade Shops at Briargate also has welcomed back the Halloween Bootique. Located between Kirkland’s Home and Gymboree on the west side of the shopping center, the seasonal shop features costumes, wigs, masks and makeup.

Apply your green to brownfields

Here's a chance to double your money, while helping to clean up dilapidated and polluted areas. The Colorado Brownfields Foundation, a Littleton non-profit, has announced the billionaire Anschutz family of Colorado will match donations to the Brownfields Foundation up to $5,000 between now and Oct. 15. The tax deductible donations will help the foundation in its efforts to clean up brownfields around the state. The organization partners with communities, local governments and other non-profits to help reuse and redevelop sites where hazardous substances, pollutants or environmental contaminants hamper their clean-up. An estimated 1,000 brownfield sites -- including former gas stations, dry cleaners, manufacturing facilities, mine and milling sites and landfills -- exist in Colorado, the foundation says. The matching grants from the Anschutz family will help raise funds for the Brownfields Foundation, but also will shine a light on the importance of its work, the organizations says. More information: or 303-962-0941

Monday, July 30, 2007

Never mind

It took a Grand Canyon-sized leap in logic to conclude that construction of a pair of John Q. Hammons' hotels would be delayed in Colorado Springs, but the Colorado Springs Business Journal took the plunge.

On Friday, the weekly Business Journal ran an item on its daily electronic update with the headline "Colorado Springs hotel developer changes mind." The item went on to say that Hammons -- of Missouri, not the Springs -- had apparently put his proposed southwest downtown and northern Colorado Springs hotels "on the back burner." Because Hammons was moving ahead with a hotel project in Loveland, the Business Journal concluded, he therefore was delaying his Springs' hotels. The item carried no comment from Hammons, his company or local land developers where the Springs hotels will be built.

A Gazette call Friday to Hammons' senior vice president L. Scott Tarwater brought this comment: "Nothing could be further from the truth." He went on to say that Hammons' hotel in Loveland had no connection to the company's projects in the Springs. On Monday, the Business Journal retracted its Friday item -- sort of. The publication now said "it appears Colorado Springs isn't on the hotel construction back burner after all." The Business Journal didn't acknowledge its Friday item, but quoted Tarwater and an executive from Classic Cos. -- the Springs developer which owns land where one of the hotels will be built -- as saying the two local hotels are on schedule.

Former Albertsons becoming a Ross

A former Albertsons supermarket in Security is being transformed into a Ross clothing store. The new Ross at 302 Main St. is slated to open in early October.

Supervalu Inc., owner of the Albertsons grocery chain, closed the Albertsons in Security last summer along with two stores in Colorado Springs. Since then, Ross Stores, Inc. has announced an agreement to acquire certain leasehold rights to 46 former Albertsons sites in Colorado, California, Florida, Texas, Arizona and Oklahoma. While former Albertsons in Boulder and Highlands Ranch are also being remade into Ross stores, there’s no plan to do so with the two empty stores in the Springs, a spokeswoman said.