Monday, November 23, 2009

Old Town Guesthouse Honored with 12th Consecutive AAA’s Four-Diamond Rating

Colorado Springs, CO (Seiko Tran) — Shirley & Don Wick, Inn Keepers of the Old Town GuestHouse, are again honored with their 12th consecutive Four-Diamond rating from AAA.

“Old Town GuestHouse is proud to be one of the few lodging facilities in the state with an AAA four-diamond rating,” said Don and Shirley Wick, Inn Keepers of Old Town GuestHouse. “We are proud of this honor and strive for excellence each day in continuing the highest standards to please our guests.”

The GuestHouse caters to adults for leisure travel and gives corporate rates to business travelers. All rentals include breakfast, evening reception, off-street parking and virtually soundproof rooms. The environment is smoke free and eco-friendly. A special guest room offers disabled friendly lodging and an elevator makes all rooms fully accessible.

As a Colorado Springs Bed and Breakfast, they are part of a select group of properties that offer luxurious accommodations, fine breakfast dining and an attention to detail that is unequaled. The Old Town GuestHouse was newly built in 1997 as a bed and breakfast inn yet retains the charm of the original 1892 Firestation. Only a few steps away from quaint boutiques, galleries, antique shops and restaurants, the three story brick building is in perfect harmony with the 1859 period construction of Colorado Springs' historic Old Colorado City, also known as Old Town.

The GuestHouse has a private Conference Center. The center can accommodate over 40 persons and is equipped to offer videoconferencing. This videoconferencing site networks to provide national and international communication. The Conference Center, including our Video Conferencing capability, is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Old Town GuestHouse is located at 115 South 26th Street; just ½ block South of Colorado Avenue on 26th Street. For reservations or a tour, please call Old Town GuestHouse at 719-632-9194 or go online at

Trendy boutiques, classic jewelry, gourmet restaurants, exquisite art and a lovely, tree-lined avenue invite the children and their families to come and see what Old Colorado City has to offer visitors and guests. Please visit for more information about Old Colorado City.

Friday, November 20, 2009

December Workshops at the Pikes Peak Workforce Center

Colorado Springs, CO – The Pikes Peak Workforce Center encourages job seekers to learn new job search tips and techniques by attending one of its December workshops or networking groups. There is no charge to attend, but attendees must register with Connecting Colorado, the state job search database. (

Please note that PPWFC will be close at noon on Wednesday, December 23 and will be closed all day on Thursday December 24 and Friday December 25, 2009 in observance of the Christmas holiday. PPWFC will also be closed on Thursday December 31, 2009 and January 1, 2010 in observance of New Year’s Day.

NETWORK GROUPS: Ongoing job search and support on trends and leads!

· Job Search Group: Mondays, 10:00 a.m. to 12 noon. No registration required.

· 50+ Job Seekers Group: Thursdays, 11:00 a.m. to 12 noon. No registration required. PPWFC will be closed December 24, 25, 31 and January 1.

· Veterans: Regular sessions on December 1 and 8 from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m.; Federal Job Search workshop on December 16 or 23, check website for times. Register online at for Veterans sessions.

Live Orientation: Overview of PPWFC services with Q&A

Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, 9:00 or 10:30 a.m. No registration required. PPWFC will be closed December 24, 25, 31 and January 1.

Online Job Search and Basic Resume

Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9:30 a.m. to 12 noon

Beginners will learn how to write a resume, complete online job applications and set up a free email account. No registration required. Walk-ins welcome. PPWFC will be closed December 24, 25, 31 and January 1.

Managing Stress

Tuesdays, 1:30 to 3:00 p.m.

Learn tips and techniques for dealing with stress. No registration required. Walk-ins welcome.

Job Shop: Interview Skills and Network Techniques

Tuesdays, 9:00 a.m. to 12 Noon.

Learn to mine and network for leads; prepare to interview, negotiate salary and more! Register online at or call 719.667.3790.

Résumé ‘Righting!’ – Résumé and Portfolio Design

Mondays, 2:00 to 4:00 p.m.

Wednesdays, 10:00a.m. to 12 noon. No registration required.

Resumes often are a report of past accomplishments when they should be an advertisement of future potential. Job seekers who are over or under-qualified struggle with how best to present themselves. Attendees will learn the latest trends in resume design and content. No registration necessary, but please arrive on time.

There is no charge to attend these workshops; however, registration is required for most. Register at, click on the workshops under Employment and Careers or call 667-3790. All workshops are held at the main office, 2306 East Pikes Peak Avenue, Colorado Springs, 80909.


The Pikes Peak Workforce Center supports business and promotes employment by providing connecting employers and job seekers. PPWFC helps businesses solve their workforce-related business problems and helps residents with career transition. More information about the Pikes Peak Workforce Center can be found online at

Thursday, November 19, 2009

THE COMPREHENSIVE AUDIT WORKSHOP - 12/3/2009, Colorado Springs

Colorado Springs, CO (Seiko Tran) – Too busy to always keep up with the latest ins and outs of the workplace? Interested in creating and quickly implementing proven processes for increased productivity and efficiency? Feel like you are “compliant” but just want to be sure?

Join the experts for a complimentary & informative discussion on current best practices in the workplace on Thursday, December 3rd from 2:00-4:00 PM at the offices of Strategic Financial Partners located at 1755 Telstar Drive, Suite 501, Colorado Springs, CO 80920. This special workshop is brought to you by Tim Watson of Strategic Financial Partners, Tom Voake of Effective Choices Inc., Lili Tran & Marissa Walker of Human Capital Group and Meike Alberts of Perquest Payroll.

Topics discussed will include:

Human Resources

· Analyzing documents and evaluating current policies, practices & programs

· Investigating management philosophy & current HR practices

· Mitigating risk by developing a solid action plan

Employee Benefits

· How to establish a benefits “check up” outside of your annual renewal

· What is benefits audit? Will you be ready when the DOL calls?

· Learn the difference between a basic and in-depth audit


· Proper recordkeeping practices

· Understanding the IRS Lookback Period

· Employee vs. 1099 – Proper Classification

Retirement Plans

· Fee Transparency – Do you know and understand what you are paying?

· Fiduciary Awareness for Plan Sponsors

· Creating and monitoring an Investment Due Diligence Process

Lili Tran of Human Capital Group said, “Marisa and I have teamed up with Perquest Payroll, Strategic Financial Partners, and Effective Choices, Inc. for a complimentary overview presentation on auditing your HR, payroll, benefits and retirement programs. The event will be held on Thursday, December 3, 2009, from 2:00-4:00 p.m. at the Strategic Financial Partners offices. If you have any questions, please contact me (649-8170) or Marisa (964-2399) at Space is limited, so be sure to reserve your seat early. We hope you can join us for this information session.”

Human Capital Group, LLC, is a women-owned human resources management consulting company based in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

For more information on Human Capital Group, LLC, please go to, call (719) 649-8170 or 964-2399, or email

Monday, November 16, 2009

Designated Driver of Colorado Springs calls for New Year's volunteers

Hi Everyone,

Designated Driver of Colorado Springs is rapidly approaching our one year anniversary. Over the last few months I have been asked many times if we would still be around in 6 months or a year. Well, as I said each time I was asked, failure at this thing has never been an option. So, here we are over 1800 rides later and going strong. In fact, we have some REALLY exciting things going on. For now, I will just say keep your ears open because you will be hearing lots of good things about us very soon. Of course, you have been hearing good things all along J, but things just keep getting better and better.

As many of you know, we gave our first ride on New Years Eve of this year. And with New Years Eve not so far away, we are gearing up for what we anticipate will be an incredibly busy evening. That being said, I am writing this email and asking you all to help us out by passing it along to everyone you possibly can. Our typical Friday and Saturday nights have been requiring approximately 10 teams out each night. Our busiest night was Halloween, a total of 35 rides were given that night. So, if Halloween was that busy we are sure New Years Eve will be much busier than that.

We are looking for additional volunteers to help us through the entire holiday season starting after Thanksgiving. Of course New Years Eve being our biggest need. We will be needing both drivers and help with dispatch. If you can all pass this along and give me a call with any ideas or input you might have that would great. We continue to get an incredible response out in the community and I am confident we will be prepared to keep everyone in our community safe this holiday season and year around. Thank you all in advance.

Nonie Rispin
Designated Driver of Colorado Springs

Friday, November 13, 2009

The Bank at Broadmoor hosts Care and Share Drive-Up Donation Event

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The Bank at Broadmoor in conjunction with Christmas Décor by Timberline will host an evening Care and Share Drive-Up Donation event on Friday, November 20, 2009 from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm at 155 Lake Avenue.
The Bank at Broadmoor has collected canned food for Care and Share for the past several years in all four lobby locations. To help increase this year’s donations, Christmas Décor by Timberline has decorated the Lake Avenue bank with thousands of lights to bring attention to the event. Christmas Decor and The Bank at Broadmoor staff volunteers will accept cash and food donations for the Care and Share Food Bank.
To make it convenient to donate, citizens will be directed into the bank parking lot. Volunteers will be on hand to accept the donations and provide holiday treats, all from the comfort of their car!

This event provides another convenient drop-off area for the Care and Share Turkey Drive taking place on November 20th at several locations throughout the city. In addition, all four locations have drop boxes in the lobbies for donations.
The Bank at Broadmoor,, is a locally owned and operated community bank with overall deposits in excess of $160,000,000. The four convenient locations are 155 Lake Avenue, downtown at 501 S. Tejon Street, north at 440 Chapel Hills Drive and on the Westside at 3216 West Colorado Avenue.

Memorial Health System and Penrose-St. Francis Health Services Honored as 2009 Co-Champions of Community Health

Colorado Springs, CO - Peak Vista Community Health Centers held its fifth annual Breakfast of Champions (featuring Wheaties) today at the Broadmoor’s International Center. Mark Spitz, nine-time Olympic Gold Medalist in swimming, provided the keynote address to more than 800 attendees. The annual event raised more than $150,000 for primary medical, dental and behavioral health services for working families in the Pikes Peak Region. Raising awareness of the organization and its contributions to this community, the event also served to recognize the many champions associated with Peak Vista, especially volunteer physicians and dentists, and community partners.

El Pomar Foundation served as Breakfast of Champions Presenting Sponsor with Kathy and Bill Hybl recognized for being co-founders of the event. According to BJ Scott, president & CEO of Peak Vista. “While Mark had numerous healthcare resources to tap during his training, many of our patients have little to none when a healthcare need arises. Peak Vista is there for the many working families of El Paso and Teller counties when they have health-related needs…in essence, we serve as a champion for the 55,000 patients we care for each year.”

Peak Vista’s Breakfast of Champions recognized Memorial Health System and Penrose-St. Francis Health Services as its 2009 Co-Champions of Community Health for their partnership and ongoing support of Peak Vista’s initiatives. Nominees for the award must 1) exhibit outstanding advocacy for issues which directly impact our community’s health or 2) contribute financially to a measurable community health-related initiative or solicit significant funding for the same. Margaret Sabin, President and CEO of Penrose-St. Francis Health Services and Dr. Larry McEvoy, CEO of Memorial Health System accepted the awards on behalf of their organizations.

Peak Vista Community Health Centers is a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide exceptional healthcare for people facing access barriers. Established in 1971, Peak Vista annually offers primary medical, dental, and behavioral health services to more than 55,000 El Paso and Teller residents…most from working families without health insurance. To support Peak Vista financially or to learn more about Peak Vista, visit

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Mental Health Clients Artwork Featured in 2010 Calendar

“Expressions of Hope,” the 2010 Art Calendar featuring paintings by consumers of Pikes Peak Behavioral Health Group, is now on sale online and at local stores.

The artists are participants in the Art Therapy program. All proceeds from the sales will go back to the program. The calendars are $10.

“Sometimes people associate mental illness with crazy ideas; treat it as a negative,” said art therapist Kim Nguyen. “But (the clients) are full of creativity and an abundance of beauty. With the right direction, they can flourish.”

Such was the case with Tisha Gutierrez. For several years, she battled the stigma and denied herself treatment out of fear of retribution and losing her four children. After a nervous breakdown in 2004, Gutierrez started treatment at Pikes Peak Behavioral Health Group and one of her most effective treatments is paint and canvas.

“Once I get it out on the canvas, it’s not trapped,” she says. “It’s put on the wall and not stored away in my mind.”

Gutierrez’s work is featured in the 2010 Calendar. It can be purchased and viewed online at The calendars also are available at several Downtown Colorado Springs stores, including Poor Richard’s Bookstore and Colorado Co-op along Tejon Ave.

For more information about the art therapy and other Pikes Peak Behavioral Health Group programs, contact Nguyen at (719) 572-6244 Debuts as Pueblo Colorado’s Newest Consumer Directory and Resource Online

Pueblo, CO - ( – Internet advertising firm Buoyancy Digital, LLC is
pleased to announce the beta launch of, the newest and most
progressive directory of information, content and listings published by and for the
people of Pueblo, Colorado.

The site, still in its first phase of operations, will serve as a
resource for consumers, professionals and students alike to find what Pueblo has to
offer online, no matter what format, all with a local flavor.

On the business side, Pueblo businesses which have been used to paying hundreds
to thousands of dollars per year on advertising campaigns that reach a generally
focused audience, will be able to self-publish relevant targeted ads seen by users
who are seeking what your web site and business actually offers. Registered users of
the site have the ability today to publish searchable web listings
which may be linked to videos and pictures, classified listings, categorized banner
advertisements, and for the aspiring writers in the community, the ability to publish
articles of general or genre-specific interest.

According to Mr. Rabinowitz, site manager for, “As a consumer, I
have found it difficult to find various kinds of Pueblo focused info and local site
listings easily. addresses the need with a human-edited directory,
meaning that actual folks who live here have a hand in shaping what gets published
to the site, now and forever.”

“On the business side, local companies need cost effective solutions to reach the
targeted audiences available online who are interested in buying their goods and
services. Beyond being an advertising specialist, I am a Pueblo business owner and
have seen what the large national media companies’ charge, the level of service
offered, and the level of economic return they provide for businesses in Pueblo and
Colorado Springs for internet advertising. The next evolution for local business
advertising is to be found where your potential new customers are looking, at a
reasonable cost, and most importantly, where you can clearly see a return on your
investment with tools to measure the results that people in any line of work can
easily understand.”

The team at Buoyancy Digital has been in the field of internet
advertising and web site traffic management for over 10 years. The company mission
is to provide cost effective web site support and advertising services to meet the
needs of local business. The web site reflects this focused
commitment to support the consumers of Pueblo and local merchants alike.
For more information, please visit us online at

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

New Youth Workshops for November, Pikes Peak Workforce Center


Youths and Parents Will Learn How Youths Can Take Charge

of their Lives through Self Advocacy Training
Colorado Springs, CO (PPWFC) – The Youth Zone at the Pikes Peak Workforce Center will offer a new workshop, Self Advocacy, for youths, 14 through 21, and their parents in November. There is no charge to attend. Youths can register online at (click on the Youth Zone) or call 719.667.3860.

Self Advocacy, Wednesday, November 18, 2009, 4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Self-Advocacy Training is designed for both parents and youth participants. Young people will learn how to empower themselves by taking charge of their own lives and advocate for themselves in various situations including work, school, and the community. It will also include activities to build youth self-esteem.

Parents will learn how to let their children take better control of their own destinies and become more independent, while still providing support and guidance. And, parents will learn tips for effective parent–teen communications and will be provided with valuable information about youth resources. Workshops for both groups will be interactive and fun!

About the Youth Work Zone

The Youth Work Zone supports education and promotes employment for youth in El Paso and Teller counties. More information about the Youth Work Zone can be found online at

New: Peak Performance Business Consulting

Local Start-Up Consultancy Takes Unique Approach To Training Managers

Colorado Springs, CO (Seiko Tran) - Peak Performance Business Consulting is an organizational development company that focuses on improving skills and performance of key contributors.

Peak Performance Business Consulting uses a combination of assessment profiles, coaching and training to help employers create real and lasting performance improvement through behavior change.

Rather than taking a “blanket” approach to training, Peak Performance Business Consulting uses an “Understand, Learn, Coach and Reinforce Over Time” model that ensures training dollars are well spent and performance improvement actually occurs.

“We do this by understanding the type of person first. Then we help the learner acknowledge there are areas for improvement and get them to agree to take the necessary steps to improve. Without gaining acknowledgement and agreement, change is unlikely to occur,” says Stan Heister, President of Peak Performance Business Consulting.

“When the steps above are complete, we can then design targeted learning and coaching sessions that enable behavior change to take place. This, combined with practice and feedback complete the loop and absolutely results in performance improvement - and is a result of the real and lasting behavior change that we create” adds Heister.

”We find that when we ensure that each key contributor in the organization is given the opportunity and tools to thrive - they will thrive. And when they do, so does the company,” concludes Heister.

Stan Heister, President of Peak Performance Business Consulting has over 25 years of business experience in Sales, Marketing and Training. He has spent his last 9 years with Teradata Corporation where he was a Director in the Learning Organization. He has been responsible for Learning Strategy, Sales Strategy and Execution and the Training and Development of the global demand creation audience within Teradata. Stan has trained and coached sales teams in more than 25 countries.

Peak Performance Business Consulting anticipates and solves employee-related problems by using and combining:

* Assessments
* Executive coaching
* Strategic planning
* Supervisory, management, and leadership training programs
* Sales training programs
* Team Development
* Group facilitation
* Employee accountability training
* Surveys

This process provides the intelligence needed to take an individual approach to placing, training and coaching managers. The results are behavior change and growth in the individual which means performance improvement, higher level of self worth and fewer turnovers – and ultimately an increase in bottom line profits to the company.

For more info on Peak Performance Business Consulting, please contact Stan Heister at 719-434-1195.

Home Show on Fort Carson, November 14


Sat. 14 November – 11am-5pm - Best Hometown Home Show – Elkhorn Conference Center
Sponsorship booth $600.00 Sponsorship Fee includes 10 x 10 space and table, plus your name and logo on the “Traveling Banner”, AND a _ page full color ad in the December 09 and January 10 Hometown Editions (deadline for artwork is 6 November). . – Est. up to 50 vendors, Est. attendees 1,000 (open to public) *Additional Event Sponsor amenities below.

Why wait until Spring to start planning your home improvement, home buying, etc. MWR says, let’s do a Home Show in November so our folks can start getting their ideas and saving up for what are usually large purchases. We invite a variety of sponsors to attend a booth at this event, another ground breaker for MWR. Be a part of educating and sharing great information, products and services to Soldiers and Families who live off-post, on-post, or in the barracks. We plan to offer a prize to the FRG who brings the most people as well as a GRAND PRIZE of a variety pack of services and products from the event sponsors. Join in the fun and be a “Plank Owner” of this first ever event held at Fort Carson and show everyone that this is The Best Hometown in the Army! Not limited to, but recruiting the following sponsor categories:
Real Estate Agents - Home Builders – Furniture, electronics, and home décor stores – Lenders and on-post financial institutions – Florists – Nurseries – Landscapers – Home Improvement companies and stores – Thrift Stores – Fencing – Flooring – Decks – Fireplaces – Interior Decorators – Professional Organizers – Handymen – Carpet cleaning – Housekeeping – Exterminators – Chimney Sweeps – Hot Tubs – Matting/Framing – Cable and Internet providers – Home Security – Grocery and beverages – Educational Institutions – Day Care, etc.

Don’t miss out on this ground breaking event – call us today!

* If you like to have fun meeting people and interacting then YOU belong at one of the many DFMWR special events here at Fort Carson.

As the Commercial Sponsorship and Advertising Sales Manager for the Fort Carson Directorate of Family, Morale, Welfare, and Recreation Department I want to share with you some amazing opportunities to become involved with the soldiers and families of Fort Carson. With the arrival of the headquarters of 4th Infantry Division and the return of our two largest Brigades from war, Fort Carson is exploding with growth, new faces and lots of activity! Since April 2009 our event attendance has doubled for each event and program we have offered. Now is the time to be a household name on Fort Carson and meet your new customers face-to-face. As an event Sponsor YOU will have advertising and marketing opportunities on post and will meet the most important people there are, those who keep us free.

Get in Line for a Year's Worth of Free Chick-fil-A

Chick-fil-A Continues its expansion in Colorado Springs with its newest stand-alone restaurant opening Nov. 12; bringing nearly 65 new jobs to the area.

Chick-fil-A Will Give Away Free Year’s Supply to First 100 in Line at New Location on Garden of the Gods Rd.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.(CPCommunications)– The Chick-fil-A® restaurant chain and its Eat Mor Chikin® Cows will do their part to “boooost” and support the local economy with the opening of Colorado Springs’ newest stand-alone Chick-fil-A restaurant on Nov. 12 with a celebration that will include the giving away of more than $26,000 in free food and the creation of nearly 65 new jobs.

Chick-fil-A will award a one-year supply of free Chick-fil-A Meals (52 certificates) to each of the first 100 adults in line, age 18 and older with identification, at the Chick-fil-A restaurant located at 575 Garden of the Gods Rd. The line officially begins forming on Wednesday, Nov. 11 at 6 a.m. with the prizes being awarded Thursday, Nov. 12 sometime between 6 a.m. and 6:10 a.m. In the event that there are more than 100 eligible people by 6 a.m. on Wednesday,
Nov. 11, all 100 spots will be determined by a raffle. For complete rules, refer to The restaurant will open for business immediately thereafter.

Despite the country facing challenging economic times, Chick-fil-A continues to grow. The company announced in early July its plans to add an additional five new stand-alone Chick-fil-A restaurants this year, an increase from 64 to 69. Along with the opening of a new mall location and 10 licensed outlets this year, more than 4,500 new jobs will be created with Chick-fil-A’s expansion also providing a positive business impact in local communities.

The Colorado Springs restaurant is the third of four locations opening in Colorado within seven weeks and includes an opening in Longmont on the same day. The fourth location is scheduled to open in December in Aurora. The company will have opened five new restaurants this year in the state, including the April 23 opening in Sheridan.

“Chick-fil-A is grateful that we are in a position to continue our restaurant expansion,” said Chick-fil-A Inc. President and COO Dan Cathy, son of the chain’s founder Truett Cathy. “Our dedicated franchised Operators across the chain continue to provide freshly prepared Chick-fil-A menu items and exemplary service that keep our raving fans dining with us. We don’t take that for granted.”

One way Chick-fil-A thanks its most loyal customers is by giving away more than $26,000 in free food as part of its “First 100” promotion at each grand opening. Chick-fil-A’s raving fans often come from hours away, bringing tents, computers, furniture, games and even swimming pools to participate in the event which was launched more than six years ago to celebrate the opening of the chain’s first stand-alone restaurant in Arizona.

“Since that first person pulled up in our parking lot in 2003 and asked where to get in line, we’ve given away more than $10.2 million in free Chick-fil-A food at our stand-alone grand openings,” said Cathy, who has camped out at more than 97 of the events across the country.

"We’re flattered that our new customers think enough of our food and our service that they are willing to brave snow, wind, rain and triple-digit temperatures to help us celebrate each new Chick-fil-A opening year round. Plus, it’s just lots of fun.”
With nine years of Chick-fil-A Operator experience, Randy Watson has been selected to operate the new location. He is transferring from the Jefferson Village restaurant in Littleton to Colorado Springs, where his in-laws live and where he’s attended church with his family for the past nine years. Watson and his wife Linda have three children.
“Since its first chain restaurant opened more than 41 years ago, Chick-fil-A has set a high standard for its customers by providing freshly prepared food and personalized customer service,” said Watson. “My team and I look forward to extending that legacy at our Garden of the Gods restaurant and being involved locally with the community and local schools and churches such as supporting spirit nights, teacher appreciation luncheons and fundraisers.”

The Chick-fil-A on Garden of the Gods Road is open Monday through Saturday from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., serving a full breakfast menu until 10:30 a.m.

Panera Bread announces Coloring Contest Winners - Colorado Springs

Congratulations to the 2009 Winners of the Colorado Balloon Classic Coloring Contest sponsored by Panera Bread! The following winning artwork is featured on our website at

1st Place Winners:

Graycen Chamberlain – 4 & Under
Ryan Carmack – 5 to 8 Years
Rebecca Trefethen – 9 - 12 Years
Lauren Harclerode – 13 to 17 Years
Tina Alberico – 18 & Above

2nd Place Winners:

Madison Strickland – 4 & Under
Rileigh Hambly – 5 to 8 Years
Sara Martin – 9 to 12 Years
Ashley Mangus – 13 to 17 Years
Ashley Hatfield – 18 & Above

3rd Place Winners:

Brody Thompson – 4 & Under
Elizabeth Hemsworth – 5 to 8 Years
Chase Bingham – 9 to 12 Years
Allan Kenyon – 13 to 17 Years
Maria Thompson – 18 & Above

The event dates for the 34th annual Colorado Balloon Classic are September 4, 5 & 6, 2010.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Smashburger Debuts in Colorado Springs

It wasn't really a ribbon cutting, more of a premiere, although it was a small group and a very casual setting.

The marketing folks at Smash Burger invited a handful of local bloggers, including yours truly, to a free meal at the unveiling of their second Colorado Springs location to open within the past month. This one is at 3707 Bloomington Street, just off Powers and N. Carefree, next door to Qdoba. It's an interesting use of social media combined with real world contact, but I'll save that for another post on another blog.

Smash Burger was founded by Tom Ryan with the support of Denver based Consumer Capital Partners and after just 2.5 years or so, now has about 4 dozen locations in 11 states with dozens more in the planning stages.

The concept is fast casual, small neighborhood eateries. Their aim is to become "Every city's favorite burger place". So what sets them apart from a Burger King or McDonalds? Let's start with the burger. No frozen patties here. They use only fresh, never frozen ground Angus beef. The name comes from the process. I had the Classic 1/2 pound Smash Burger. It starts with a 1/2 pound ball of fresh ground meat, which is literally smashed (using a specially designed utensil) onto a hot buttered grill. The result is a burger about 6 inches in diameter and 3/8" thick with a tasty carmelized outside and a tender inside. You order it at the counter and it's brought to your table in a metal basket, with the lettuce, tomato, pickles and onions on one side of the open bun, and the hot burger and cheese on the other. Hot only meets cold when you put it together.

They also serve an assortment of beers, in a frosted mug if you like (I had the Blue Moon). You can take that to your table right from the counter. The atmosphere is cozy. It's probably less than half the size of your typical fast food restaurant. The fresh food and limited size really do give it the feel of a neighborhood diner.

Your burger, side and drink will likely run you about $8-$9, or 20-30% more than you might pay for more ordinary fast food, but it's really an apples and oranges comparison. It's better food, very reasonably priced and I'm not just saying that because the fed me.

Smash Burger is a tasty and welcome addition to the local dining scene. I hope we see one on the South Side soon. Best of luck and thanks for the grub!

Other Colorado Springs location: 5230 N. Nevada Ave

Fountain receives $2.1 million grant for smart grid project

Fountain, CO (Gain-Stovall Inc) - The City of Fountain will receive $2,123,500.00 to help fund its smart grid energy management project. The grant is part of $3.4 billion investment in smart grid technology nationwide. Local matching funds will be leveraged to create jobs and investment.

"This is great news for Fountain and an example of a successful collaboration by four municipalities” states Larry Patterson, City of Fountain Utilities Director. The application for funding request came from Fountain, Fort Collins, Loveland, and Longmont, who teamed up to make a more attractive package for stimulus funding consideration. Fountain received the second largest amount of funding in the project, with Fort Collins receiving the largest amount.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act provided funding, the majority of which will go toward installing a communications infrastructure system, servers, software and 16,000 smart electric meters. Currently, residents have to wait until they receive their electricity bill to learn how much power their homes consumed in the previous month. Installing the "automated meter infrastructure" will provide better communication on energy use between customers and energy providers. It opens up innovative possibilities, offering customers the choice to have energy use information at their fingertips. This system will enable integration of local renewable energy sources, such as solar panels, and future plug-in electric vehicles.

Customer chooses whether to utilize in-home features to reduce energy consumption and monthly bill
“While every outside meter will be replaced, it’s up to the customer to decide whether to utilize the enhanced features of the in-home display and switches to help cut their energy use to lower their bills” states Mike Vialpando, the Fountain Smart Grid Project Manager. In addition to the voluntary option of choosing enhanced features that enable in-home displays and smart thermostats, other optional features available at the customer’s request include air conditioning and electric water heater control switches.

The grant money will also pay for automated switches for the city's electrical grid, which will allow Fountain Utilities to continuously optimize the grid. "The switches allow us to automatically reconfigure our system to operate more efficiently, and reduce outage time" states Mike Vialpando. “Electrical grid security measures will also be paid for with the grant money,” he concludes.
Meter replacements will start in mid 2010 and utility customers will be notified when their replacement is scheduled. For more information about the Smart Grid project, contact Customer Service at 719-322-2010.

About Fountain Utilities
Fountain Utilities, an enterprise of the City of Fountain, delivers electricity and water to the City of Fountain and electricity to Widefield and portions of Security. The Electric Department serves approximately 40,000 residents of the Fountain Valley.