Friday, May 16, 2008

Cripple Creek casino revenue plunges again

Colorado casino revenues in April fell for the fourth straight month since the smoking ban took effect in January, dropping 7.1 percent from March and down 12.5 percent from April, 2007.

It was the second-biggest year-to-year decrease ever, behind March.

In Cripple Creek, revenue fell 6.4 percent to $10.7 million in April, off 13.3 percent from April, 2007.

Cripple Creek casinos have brought in a total of $42.6 million in 2008, off 14.7 percent from this point in 2007.

Sparrow Hawk flying to new home

Sparrow Hawk Cookware is moving - but not very far. Sam Eppley, owner of Sparrow Hawk at 12 E. Bijou St. downtown, bought the Pendleton building, 120 N. Tejon St., a few months ago. After renovating the main level, he plans to move Sparrow Hawk there at the start of August or so. He also owns the building on Bijou and will lease that space out. An architect's rendering of the new Sparrow Hawk is above.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Apartment vacancies decline

The Colorado Springs-area apartment vacancy rate fell to 9 percent in the first quarter of 2008, down from the fourth quarter of last year and the first quarter of 2007, according to a new survey from the Apartment Association of Southern Colorado. But the area's economic vacancy rate is falling, too -- a sign that renter incentives are poised to disappear. The economic vacancy rate takes into account the percentage of vacant apartments and combines that figure with rent discounts and other concessions. In the Springs area, the economic vacancy rate in the first quarter averaged 21.3 percent. The figure was unchanged from the fourth quarter of last year, but was down sharply from 25.6 percent in the first quarter of 2007. The economic vacancy rate typically increases when there are plenty of apartments available to rent, and it declines as the apartment market improves. In late 2004, when the single-family home industry was going strong, mortgage rates were low and thousands of people were buying houses, landlord and apartment owners had to offer plenty of incentives. As s result, the economic vacancy rate soared to 30 percent in the fourth quarter of 2004.

Apartment renters prefer newer and larger buildings

Renters are more likely to flock to newer and larger apartment complexes, according to a new vacancy and rent survey by the Apartment Association of Southern Colorado. In its first-quarter survey of the Colorado Springs market, the Apartment Association found that apartments constructed from 1990 to 1999 had a vacancy rate of 5.3 percent and those built from 2000 to 2004 had a vacancy rate of 6.8 percent. Apartments constructed in the 1950s had a vacancy rate of 22.5 percent, while 1970s-era apartments were 12.2 percent vacant in the first quarter. Meanwhile, apartment complexes with 200 to 349 units were 8.1 percent vacant in the first quarter, while those with 350 and more units had a vacancy rate of 9.5 percent. The highest first-quarter vacancy rate of 11.1 percent was found in apartment buildings of nine to 50 units.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Foreign travel still expected to be brisk

In a first-ever summer forecast for foreign travel, AAA Colorado expects 508,000 Coloradans will travel internationally this summer. That represents a 3.6 percent increase over the 468,000 who were estimated to have traveled overseas last summer.

The report includes automobile and air travel outside the U.S. Colorado travelers will spend $622 million while traveling overseas in June, July and August, a 7.2 percent increase from last summer, according to the report, which was prepared for AAA by Global Insight.

Nationally, AAA estimates 25.1 million Americans will travel internationally this summer, a 2.6 percent increase over 2007. China and India will see the largest increases in travel from U.S. citizens, while Canada and Mexico will remain the most popular destinations.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Interquest theater opens for Indiana

The new Hollywood Theaters Interquest Stadium 14 on Interquest Boulevard will open May 21 (technically, midnight May 22) for "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull."

CarMax draws hundreds of applicants

CarMaxThe Auto Superstore will open its Colorado Springs store June 5 at 4011 Tutt Blvd., near Security Service Field.
This will be the 96th store in the CarMax Inc. chain and the first in Colorado for the 15-year-old publicly traded company.
“This is a growing community — it’s the right size for us — and with this addition we’ll be continuous from coast to coast,” said Craig Meeks, general manager of the new store, who most recently ran a CarMax in Albuquerque, N.M.
A six-week job recruiting session to fill 85 openings drew 900 applicants, he said, adding that many were attracted to CarMax’s listing on Fortune magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For.”

Steve Ducoff named executive director for lodging association

Steve Ducoff, former CEO of the Billiards Congress of America and CEO of the Colorado Springs Sports Corporation, was named executive director of the Pikes Peak Lodging Association.