Thursday, June 26, 2008

Russell 3000 shuffles index

After bouncing in and out of the Russell 3000 index at least twice in recent years, Colorado Springs-based Westmoreland Coal Co. will be back in the popular stock market barometer as of June 27, based on preliminary calculations.
Westmoreland and Springs-based Century Casinos Inc. were deleted last year from the index and instead became part of the Russell Microcap Index. Locally based Spectranetics Corp. remains part of the Russell 3000 index. Among other local public companies, Golden Cycle Gold Corp. will temporarily join the Russell Microcap index until it is acquired June 30 by South African mining giant AngloGold Ashanti Ltd., while Simtek Corp. will be dropped from the Microcap index. Ramtron International Corp. remains part of the Microcap index.
The changes are part of an annual reshuffling of the indices, which include the nation’s largest public companies based on the total value of each company’s stock. The Russell 3000 index includes the nation’s 3,000 largest public companies, while the Microcap index includes the smallest 1,000 members of the Russell 3000 and 1,000 additional smaller companies. Tacoma, Wash.-based Russell Investment Group will post revised lists of companies it is adding and dropping from the indices on at
Russell’s indices are used as benchmarks for more than $4 trillion in investments.

Fourth of July travel stable, AAA says

High gas prices apparently won’t keep people from traveling over the Fourth of July holiday. According to projections released Thursday by the American Automobile Association, a scant 0.8 percent fewer people in the western states were planning to travel this year compared with 2007. In total, AAA is projecting 10.48 million people in the West will leave home for the holiday. Nationwide, the agency predicts travel will be down 1.3 percent.
Those figures come despite climbing gas prices. AAA figures that a round trip between Colorado Springs and Denver will cost $19.14 this year, compared with $14.97 last year

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Spectranetics makes Fortune list

Spectranetics Corp. has made Fortune magazine’s annual list for a third time - a list of the nation’s fastest-growing small companies published by its small business sibling rather than the better-known list of 500 largest U.S. corporations.
The Colorado Springs-based medical laser manufacturer ranked 33rd in the Fortune Small Business 100 list published in the magazine’s July-August issue. Spectranetics ranked 62nd last year and 56th in 2006 among public companies with revenues of less than $200 million and a stock price of more than a $1 compiled by Zacks Investment Research Inc.
Spectranetics reported growth of more than 30 percent annually for the past three years in revenue, profit and total return to shareholders. The rankings are based on a composite of where the company ranks in growth of all three measures. No other Colorado Springs companies made the list. Dynamic Materials Corp. of Boulder, Health Grades Inc. of Golden, Mesa Laboratories Inc. of Lakewood and Royal Gold Inc. of Denver were ranked sixth, 35th, 62nd and 89th, respectively.
East Aurora, N.Y.-based aviation-parts manufacturer Astronics Corp., one of 24 manufacturing firms on the list, was ranked first.

Sportique will putter across downtown

Later this year, Sportique Scooters is moving from its current location at 431 E. Pikes Peak Ave. to a spot on S. Tejon St., across from McCabe's. Employees at Sportique said they'd planned to make the move sooner, but skyrocketing scooter sales - driven by $4 a gallon gasoline - will probably push the move off 'til the colder months.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

A "bigg" grand opening

Li'l Biggs is celebrating its recent opening with a grand opening celebration Friday and Saturday. Visitors will get free entrance to Little Biggtown, $5 in arcade credits and a free slice of pizza and a drink. Donations of $3 per person are encouraged; the money goes to the nonprofit America's Family.

Li'l Biggs, a restaurant and fun center geared toward kids 10 and younger, is the latest brand extension for Mr. Biggs Family Fun Center. It's at the northeast corner of Powers and Stetson Hills boulevards. Hours for the grand opening are 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Active adult community might be headed to Colorado Springs

Colorado Springs might be getting a maintenance-free housing community for 55-and-older residents. Ohio-based Epcon Communities, which has developed similar projects in 30 states, plans to launch construction of an 80- to 120-home neighborhood in the Springs in 2009. The project isn't a done deal, yet; Epcon looks for franchisees to develop most of its properties, and is still talking to potential owner-operators, said Dan Noreen, business development manager for Epcon Franchising. Also, Epcon is scouting sites for the neighborhood, he said. Based on its research, however, Epcon targeted the Springs because it has an increasingly older population that doesn't move around a lot, and solid incomes to support the purchase of Epcon homes, Noreen said. Epcon homes essentially are middle-range properties -- nicer than starter homes, but not in the luxury class, he said. Homes would range in size from about 1,100 to 1,800 square feet. Prices vary from city to city, but Colorado Springs' homes would start under $200,000, Noreen said. Each Epcon neighborhood has a community center and pool, among other amenities, he added. More information: and