Friday, April 4, 2008

Santa Fe may become studio city

Two weeks ago, The Gazette reported on the failure of a film incentive program in the Colorado state Legislature. Nearby New Mexico, meanwhile, continues its very successful (albeit very expensive) incentive program and continues to attract Hollywood productions.

The latest sign of New Mexico's film supremacy is an announcement that a new, "green," 172,000-square foot studio facility will be built in Santa Fe.

The press release says the studio will be "fully green," although it's unclear exactly what this means. Maybe this:

"Renowned architect Gary Bastien has created building plans utilizing Anasazi principles of traditional architecture and sacred geometry, as well as LEED-certified practices such as recycled materials, passive heating and cooling, water conservation and native landscaping."

The county is buying 65 acres for the studios from the state land office, then turning the land over to the production company that will run the studios. The plan's backers say the studio project will bring 500 jobs and $71 million in economic impact to the area.

The plan still has to be approved by the county.

Local Village Inn restaurant shuts down

The parent of Village Inn yielded to the weakening economy and its heavy debt, filing for bankruptcy and closing 56 restaurants across the country. In Colorado, four restaurants shut down Wednesday, including the one at 8050 N. Academy Blvd. in Colorado Springs. Denver-based Vicorp Restaurants hopes to stay alive through its Chapter 11 petition, keeping its remaining 343 Village Inn and Bakers Square restaurants open.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Falcon follow-up

I spoke with Falcon Broadband CFO Tim Coutts to get a few more details on Falcon’s merger with Englewood-based Prime Time Communications.

Coutts emphasized that the merger would mean “stepping on the accelerator” to provide service to existing communities, focusing on the Powers Boulevard corridor.

As far as Falcon’s existing customers are concerned, Coutts said they shouldn’t see any immediate changes. The combined company will still use the Falcon name here.

Coutts said Prime Time was interested in Falcon founder Randy DeYoung’s cable infrastructure experience, while Falcon should benefit from Prime Time’s internet television expertise.

“One of the things that I think made us attractive to them was some experience they didn’t have,” Coutts said. “In particular the construction aspect.”

Both DeYoung and Coutts will remain with the merged company.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Memorial Star Transport receives accreditation

Memorial Health System's medical transport program, called Memorial Star Transport, has become certified by the Commission on Accreditation of Medical Transport Systems. Colorado now requires medical transport systems to be accredited to be in compliance with nationally established industry standards, said Chris Valentine, spokesman for city-owned Memorial.

"We're proud we got this seal of approval the first time around," he said.

A three-day site visit and review of operations and documentation were conducted on the program, which consists of helicopter services, a critical-care ground ambulance and a fixed-wing plane. The medical transport team is based out of Memorial Hospital Central in Colorado Springs and is available 24/7 within a 150 mile radius.

The helicopter is equipped with life saving equipment for all adult medical trauma, high-risk obstetric patients and pediatric and neonatal patients. It travels at an average speed of 150 miles per hour.