Friday, March 7, 2008

Black Hawk, Central City raise awareness about gaming tax revenues

The gaming towns of Black Hawk and Central City, west of Denver, are launching a public awareness campaign this month to tout the positive impacts of limited-stakes gaming for the state.

On March 7, mayors of both cities presented a check for $1.1 billion -- representing gaming tax revenues generated since 1991 -- to Ed Nichols, Colorado Historical Society's president.

Each year, the State Historical Fund, a project of the Colorado Historical Society, receives 28 percent of tax revenues generated by Colorado's casinos, including those in Cripple Creek.

The money is awarded in grants to public and nonprofit oganizations for historic preservation projects around the state. Since casinos began generating tax revenues in 1991, more than $300 million has been spent on preserving historic sites, including the state Capitol building, the Central City Opera House and the Kit Carson County Carousel in Burlington.

The campaign will include television ads and a Web site where the public can enter a contest,

Tough times for venture capital

Times are tough right now for venture capitalists, vSpring Capital partner Patrick Bultema told biotechnology entrepreneurs recently.
Venture capital funds have little to invest now because they haven’t been able to raise much money from institutional investors recently, Bultema said Tuesday at BioSoCo,the southern Colorado chapter of the Colorado BioScience Association. Bultema is based in the Springs, but his fund is based in Utah.
Attracting investment capital has been difficult because venture funds must use financial results from funds they created in 1999-2000 as the most recent performance example, Bultema said. Those returns were devastated by the 2001 collapse of the technology industry.
As a result, investors found private equity capital and hedge funds more attractive investments in recent years and slowed venture capital fundraising, he said. The credit crisis that began last year has made those investment less attractive, which should help venture funds, he added.
Until then, most venture funds have less to invest and are being more selective about their investments, Bultema said.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Architects to gather at CC's Packard Hall

Members of the Colorado South chapter of the American Institute of Architects are invited to attend a reception at 5:30 p.m. Friday, March 7, at Packard Hall (right) on the campus of Colorado College, 5 W. Cache La Poudre St., in Colorado Springs, which will be followed by a tour of the building's new addition. The addition was designed by Architectural Research Office of New York. The event is free to AIA members, and attendees will receive a complimentary copy of the book “Architecture as Teacher: Packard Hall at Colorado College," which was released last fall. Attendees also will have the opportunity to meet the book’s authors, Elaine Freed and Ruth Kolarik. The event begins with refreshments, followed by tours led by music and art department faculty. RSVP to 389-6835 or Packard Hall is on the southwest corner of Cache La Poudre and Cascade Avenue.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Wal-Mart, Colorado Department of Health launch statewide emergency preparedness program

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. are pairing up to increase the number of Coloradans who create emergency-preparedness kits for their homes, offices and cars.

From March 1 through March 9, residents can visit Colorado's 64 Wal-Marts and 15 Sam's Clubs to view sample emergency preparedness kits on display and pick up an informational brochure, available in English and Spanish, which includes a checklist of supplies needed to create a kit.

Volunteers from the Colorado Public Health and Medical Volunteer System will distribute brochures and answer questions.

At the end of the campaign, Wal-Mart and Sam's Club locations will donate emergency kit items to the National Organization on Disability's Emergency Preparedness Initiative, which helps people with disabilities be prepared.

More than half the population is not prepared for emergencies, said Chris Lindley, director of the state health department's Emergency Preparedness and Response Division.

In February, a state of emergency was declared in Park County, after snowstorms left 100 residents without access to food and ohter supplies, which the health department says is a reminder that emergencies can arise at any time and leave people without basic necessities.

As foreclosures rise, new home construction falls

There's increasing evidence that rising numbers of foreclosures are having an adverse effect on new home construction, not just the re-sale market, says economist Fred Crowley of the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. This chart Crowley assembled shows rising numbers of Colorado Springs and El Paso County foreclosures depicted by the red line, with single-family home building permits in blue heading in the opposite direction. When home buyers can find a foreclosed home for sale at a discounted price, they might be less likely to buy a new home, Crowley said.

Economist Crowley to speak at HBA meeting

Economist Fred Crowley (right) of the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs will discuss the state of the local economy during a breakfast meeting of the Housing and Building Association of Colorado Springs, on Wednesday, March 12, at the Doubletree Hotel Colorado Springs World Arena, 1775 E. Cheyenne Mountain Blvd., on the city's south side. Breakfast and registration begin at 7:30 a.m.; the program runs from 8 to 10 a.m. Among his topics, Crowley will discuss housing, job growth, interest rates and the effect of the military on the local economy. The event is $20 for HBA members and $40 for non-members. More information and to register: 592-1800 or

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Humana realigns offerings with acquisitions

Humana Inc. is aligning the company's dental subsidiary, HumanaDental Insurance Co., with products offered by two recent acquistions, CompBenefits and KMG America. The restructuring will enable employers to offer a wider range of benefit options to employees, Humana officials said.

Products under the label, "Humana Specialty Benefits," encompass dental and vision plans, life, disability, critical illness and accident insurance, wellness and work-life programs, behavioral health and others.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Location of new senior community released

The address of Holiday Retirement Corp.'s second independent living community in Colorado Springs has been released. The facility will be called Summit Glen and will be built at 4825 Old Farm Drive, said spokeswoman Linda Simeone.

The Salem, Ore.-based company is the world's largest owner and operator of retirement housing and also owns and manages Sunridge Retirement Residence at 5820 Flintridge Drive.

Construction of the new community is expected to be completed within a year, Simeone said, and will cost $12 to $15 million.