Friday, May 23, 2008

Colorado Springs home prices down in the first quarter

Colorado Springs' median home prices dropped 1.6 percent to $208,900 in the first quarter of 2008 when compared with the same period a year ago, according to recent figures released by the National Association of Realtors. The Springs fared better than some other cities in the state, according to the NAR; Denver's first-quarter median home prices fell 6.6 percent to $223,500 and Boulder's prices declined 4 percent to $355,700. To see the entire list, go to, click on "metropolitan area prices" and follow the appropriate links.

Four local dealerships participate in Chrysler's $2.99 a gallon gas promotion

Four local dealerships have joined Chrysler's "Let's Refuel America" promotion: Lithia Colorado Springs Jeep-Chrysler, Perkins Motor Co., The Faricy Boys and Colorado Springs Dodge.

Here's how it works: With the purchase of an eligible new Chrysler, Jeep or Dodge vehicles, buyers can receive a gas card that immediately lowers the price of gas to $2.99 a gallon -- and keeps it at that price for three years.

The offer is good through June 2 and is available on a wide range of vehicles, including new compacts, crossovers, minivans and pickup trucks. The cards work at eligible gas stations, up to 87 regular octane, E85 or diesel fuel.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

They say expressway, we say parkway

At the risk of being picky, why can't some large, out-of-town corporations get street names and other landmarks accurate when they're talking about Colorado Springs? A few months ago, Costco Wholesale Club, based in suburban Seattle, described the location of its first Colorado Springs store as Colorado Springs East -- a location that, like Colorado Springs North and Colorado Springs South, doesn't exist. Last week, Oregon-based Hollywood Theaters announced the opening of its new, 14-screen movie theater complex on the Springs' far north side and described its location as "Interstate 25 and Interquest Boulevard." Well, no, it's InterQuest Parkway -- and you can capitalize the "Q" in InterQuest while you're at it. This month, aerospace giant Northrop Grumman notified the news media of a ribbon cutting for its new office building "east of the Powers Boulevard and Milton Proby Expressway." Some people might drive as if it's an expressway, but, as a photo (above) from its April 2006 dedication shows, it's really Milton E. Proby Parkway. Everybody makes mistakes, of course. But let's just be glad that folks at these companies don't quit their day jobs to become map makers.

Online 'franchising basics' course offered

The U.S. Small Business Administration and FranNet are offering a free introduction to franchising course online.
The course covers 10 essential areas related to franchising, including How to Choose a Franchise and Is Franchising Right for You? Options, strategies for growth and pitfalls also are covered.

The course can be accessed from, under the Free Online Training icon. Select Franchising Basics in the Starting a Business section. The course can be learned at the participant's own speed and on their own time. A certification of completion is given to participants who finish the course.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Google makes no-cost online medical records available

Google this week opened to the public an online personal health record service, www.GoogleHealth.
The move comes after 18 months of development and a pilot program with 10,000 patients at the Cleveland Clinic.
Google Health allows users to store their medical records and lab test results online, along with information about medications, vaccinations and allergies. Users can enter some information and have data pulled from clinical records. Users also can decide whether to share information in their histories with health care providers.
Patient privacy experts have expressed concern that despite password protection, sensitive health information could be compromised. Google has said the system has the highest level of security.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Colorado-Mexico trade booming

Colorado exports to Mexico have grown an average of 13.8 percent a year in the 14 years since the North American Free Trade Agreement was enacted and totaled $949 million last year, said Eduardo Arnal, consul general of Mexico in Denver, Tuesday.
The state's exports to Mexico have grown more than four times as fast as exports send to the rest of the world since NAFTA's 1994 enactment, helping Mexico to move up from being Colorado's seventh-largest trading partner to the state's second-largest trading partner behind Canada during the 14-year period, Arnal said. He was the featured speaker during the Mayor's Seventh Annual International Lunch at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Colorado Springs.
Mexico last year bought more U.S. goods -- $140 billion -- than the United Kingdom, France, the Netherlands and Belgium combined -- $136 billion, Arnal said. Total trade between the the two nation's totaled $347 billion, ranking Mexico third behind Canada and China among U.S. trade partners.
"Trade is a win-win relationship for both countries," Arnal said, creating economic growth on both sides of the border. He cited a Goldman-Sachs study that predicted that Mexico would be among the world's five largest economies in 2040 along with the United States, China, India and Brazil.

Northrop Grumman to cut ribbon on new office building

Some ribbon-cuttings can be routine affairs, but not when one of the world's biggest aerospace companies is involved and when in it's in your own back yard. Top executives from Los Angeles-based Northrop Grumman Corp., along with state and city officials, will officially open Northrop Grumman's 130,000-square-foot office building at 4 p.m. Wednesday in Colorado Springs. The building is part of the Colorado Springs Airport's 1,000-acre business park, which is taking shape east of Powers Boulevard and Milton E. Proby Parkway on the city's far southeast side. Northrop Grumman will consolidate hundreds of its Springs-area workers into the new building. Among those expected to attend: Colorado Springs Mayor Lionel Rivera; Don Elliman, director of Colorado's Office of Economic Development and International Trade; John Faulkner, the city's assistant aviation director; Philip A. Teel, Northrop Grumman corporate vice president and president of Northrop Grumman Mission Systems sector; and Tim McMahon, Northrop Grumman corporate lead executive for the Colorado Springs region.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Springs Business Expo set for Thursday

One-stop shopping can be as important to business people as it is to consumers.
So, when more than 200 Pikes Peak region businesses gather Thursday for the 24th annual Springs Business Expo, they’ll have the opportunity to meet one another, sample new products and exchange ideas — all under one roof.
Hey, it’s better than a couple hundred power lunches, and nobody has to wrangle over who will pick up the check.
The Springs Business Expo, presented by the Greater Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce, will feature about 250 booths manned by Spring-area businesses.
About 2,000 attendees are expected throughout the day, she said. The expo isn’t limited to the business community; members of the public are invited to attend, as well.

WHAT: Springs Business Expo
WHEN: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday May 22, 2008.
WHERE: Phil Long Expo Center, 1515 Auto Mall Loop, near Chapel Hills Mall and Wal-Mart in northern Colorado Springs
COST: Free to online registrants who sign up before noon Wednesday; $10 afterwardand at the door
MORE INFORMATION: 635-1551 or visit and click on “calendar of events.”

Apartment association to hold annual banquet

The Apartment Association of Southern Colorado will hold its annual installation and awards banquet at 6 p.m. June 5 at the Doubletree Hotel World Arena, 1775 E. Cheyenne Mountain Blvd., on Colorado Springs' south side. Amy Moore of Holland Residential Group will be installed as board president. The cost to attend is $50 per person. More information or to register: 264-9195;; or