Friday, July 25, 2008

Springs shares its business acumen

Mezyad Alterkawi, chief executive of the Riyadh Technology Incubation Center at King Saud University in Saudi Arabia, is visiting the Colorado Springs Technology Incubator through Friday (Aug. 10) to learn more about how such facilities operate in the United States.
Alterkawi arrived at the Springs incubator July 10 to gather information about technology entrepreneurs, private investing, venture capital, small businesses, technology-transfer programs and the details of managing an incubator. He also is meeting with officials from the city of Colorado Springs, the Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce, the Colorado Springs Economic Development Corp., the U.S. Air Force Academy and the University of Colorado at Boulder and Colorado Springs.
The Riyadh incubator, which now houses one company specializing in radio frequency-identification devices, opened in temporary quarters in May and will move into a 12-story building now under construction in about 18 months, Alterkawi said.
The Springs and Saudi incubators last week signed an agreement to sit in on each other’s meetings through video teleconferencing and form relationships between incubator companies that could include joint ventures, investments and other business opportunities.
The visit was set up through Khurshid Quershi, president and chief executive of zeeWAVES Systems Inc., an incubator tenant that develops antennae for wireless networks.

GRX singled out for environmental contributions

Denver-based Guaranteed Recycling Xperts, which has an office in Colorado Springs, received the first Greenovation Award from CSIA, Colorado's largest technology association.

The award honors an organization that is making a concerted effort to minimize and eliminate negative impact on the environment through sustainable and scientifically supported methods.

Guaranteed Recycling Xperts is an electronics waste recycler and has three facilities, including one in Colorado Springs. The company recycles all electronic devices and provides pick-up services for businesses and organizations.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Real estate professionals bullish on their companies

Commercial real estate professionals are a hearty lot. They recognize the worsening economic conditions nationally, but remain generally positive about the fortunes of their own companies. Those are some of the results of a survey of real estate professionals by accounting giant Grant Thornton LLP. In a survey this year, Grant Thornton found nearly six in 10 real estate executives -- 57 percent -- are pessimistic about the U.S. economy next year, and almost half -- 48 percent --feel the same about the real estate industry’s outlook. Those figures are up sharply from 2006, when 15 percent of survey respondents had a dim view of the national economy and 5 percent were pessimistic about the real estate industry’s outlook. In spite of the latest survey numbers, half of this year's respondents are optimistic about their own companies and only 12 percent had a pessimistic outlook. Other findings: When asked about the single most important issue facing their industry in the next year, 36 percent said the national economy; 21 percent cited earnings and operations; and 19 percent said the ability to borrow money. Also, 69 percent of survey respondents said they think unemployment rates in their industry will increase; 61 percent predicted commercial vacancy rates will rise; and 51 percent believe interest rates will fall. For its survey, Grant Thornton solicited online comments from nearly 1,900 real estate contacts in its database, and sought comments from 4,000 developers, owners and investors who are members of the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties.
The company collected 341 survey responses in March of this year. More information:

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Hotel occupancy declines in June

Hotel occupancy rates in Colorado Springs dropped by 1.6 percent in June compared with a year ago, according to the Rocky Mountain Lodging Report from the Colorado Hotel and Lodging Association. The average room rate fell 2.07 percent to $93.41, its sharpest decline since 2005. Statewide, occupancy rates declined 3.4 percent to 71 percent, although room rates rose $5.06 to $123.82.