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Colorado - THU. 12/08/16
A Free Business Publication from Alpine Bank
 
 
CHANGES COMING FOR PUC
 
 
 

Joshua Epel, chairman of the Colorado Public Utilities Commission, said Tuesday that he will resign his post effective Jan. 1. Another member of the PUC, Glenn A. Vaad, will also leave Jan. 1 because his term expires. Epel has served as chair of the PUC since 2011 and was reappointed in 2014 to a term that was to expire Jan. 1, 2019. Members of the PUC are paid as full-time employees, appointed by the governor, confirmed by the state Senate and no more than two commissioners may be from the same political party. Epel is a Democrat; Vaad, a Republican.

 
- Denver Post, 12.08.16
 
MORE HOLIDAY FLIERS THIS YEAR
 
 
 

About 45.2 million passengers are expected to fly globally on U.S. airlines during the 21-day holiday period from Dec. 16 through Jan. 5, that's up 3.5 percent from the same period in 2015, according the trade group Airlines for America. That translates to about 73,000 passengers flying daily. The busiest travel days are expected to be Dec. 22 and Dec. 23, when daily volumes could reach 2.4 million fliers. On average, U.S. airlines carry about 2.2 million passengers per day throughout the year.

 
- Wall Street Journal, 12.08.16
 
LOOKING FOR SOME JOE? 12,000 MORE STARBUCKS COMING
 
 
 

Some might say that it already seems there is one on every street corner in the country, but Starbucks announced it plans to open some 12,000 new locations by 2021. The new stores would bring to 37,000 the number of stores worldwide. Starbucks officials say the new stores will boost revenue by 10 percent annually. Starbucks plans to feature new premium offerings, including at least 1,000 Starbucks Reserve stores, which feature varied brewing methods and foods created by new Italian food partner Princi.

 
- USA TODAY, 12.08.16
 
SUNLIGHT TO OPEN WITH A SPLASH
 
 
 

Vail Resorts CEO Rob Katz was quoted in a Forbes magazine feature last week saying that Vail Mountain was likely to have a $175 price for a walk-up lift ticket over the holidays this year. That can't match Sunlight Mountain Resort. Sunlight, which opens tomorrow, is offering a $700 ticket, the Sunny 700. The Sunny 700 includes a lift ticket and a day pass to Iron Mountain Hot Springs and a pair of Meier skis. The Meier skis are made from beetle-kill trees and feature a graphic designed by a Glenwood Springs artist in celebration of Sunlight's 50th anniversary. There is a $600 option with includes a Meier snowboard instead of skis.

 
- Denver Post, 12.08.16
 
SKI AREAS NEED MORE SNOW
 
 
 

At the beginning of December, the snowpack in Colorado stood at just 63 percent of median, according to the U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service. As of Wednesday, the snow water equivalent was at 66 percent of median in the Upper Colorado River Basin, and 70 percent of median in the Gunnison River Basin. However, forecasters with the National Weather Service in Grand Junction note that the snowpack has improved steadily over the past 10 days and there is snow in the forecast through the weekend.

 
- GJ Daily Sentinel, 12.08.16
 
HEAD OF CSU RESEARCH FARM RETIRING
 
 
 

For 33 years, Calvin Pearson has been the research agronomist and professor at the Colorado State University Western Colorado Research Center in Fruita. Pearson will retire this week. Basically, the research center is an 80-acre farm where Pearson and his CSU colleagues took calculated risks with growing crops to make determinations on what were the best varieties for the best production. Their tests and research provided information to farmers who could not afford to take the risks to test crops.

 
- GJ Daily Sentinel, 12.08.16
 
MONTROSE GETS NEW CITY PARK
 
 
 

On Tuesday, the city of Montrose formally annexed the Chipeta Lake Addition and the Chipeta Road Addition to complete the land swap deal with Colorado Parks and Wildlife. As part of the deal, CPW transferred the operation of Chipeta Lake to the city and the city granted a perpetual easement to CPW for Montrose Reservoir at Cerro Summit. The city of Montrose will manage Chipeta Lake as a municipal park in the city's park system.

 
- Montrose Daily Press, 12.08.16
 
TELLURIDE LOOKING FOR RENTAL HOUSING DIRECTOR
 
 
 

The town of Telluride is currently searching for a person to fill the newly created rental housing director position. The rental housing director will oversee Shandoka Apartments' 130 units and any future housing projects, such as Virginia Placer. The position will report directly to the office of the town manager. The town is accepting applications until Dec. 31. Applicants should have property management experience and must be bilingual in Spanish. The minimum salary will be $77,300, with full benefits and housing assistance.

 
- Telluride Daily Planet, 12.08.16
 
NUMBERS AT MESA VERDE SOAR
 
 
 

Mesa Verde National Park has recorded 530,000 visitors through November, and is projecting that there will be 600,000 visitors this year. Those numbers are the highest recorded in 17 years. Park attendance was boosted by the National Park Service's centennial anniversary, low gas prices, bicycle tours and the Every Kid in a Park Program, which offers free park passes to fourth-graders and their families through the 2016-17 school year. The bulk of the visitors came in the summer, with 448,121 people visiting from May through September.

 
- Durango Herald, 12.08.16
 
YAMPA VALLEY GIVES, AND GIVES, AND GIVES
 
 
 

Yampa Valley Gives was launched in 2014 as a project of the 2014 Leadership Steamboat class. The total pledged to local nonprofits in 2014 as part of Colorado Gives Day was $371,000. That rose to $463,879 with the help of some large donors last year. This year, Yampa Valley Gives reports that the more than 50 nonprofit organizations assembled under its umbrella collected a whopping $731,991 in the 24 hours of Colorado Gives Day. Yampa Valley Gives organizers were hoping for $600,000 and one organizer said, "It’s absolutely shocking."

 
- Steamboat Today, 12.08.16
 
MONEY MADE ELSEWHERE
 
 
 

Top S&P 500 companies by sales outside the U.S. Percentage of foreign sales:

  • Qualcomm: 98 percent
  • Skyworks Solutions: 98 percent
  • Molson Coors Brewing: 97 percent
  • Lam Research: 92 percent
  • Broadcom: 89 percent
  • Qorvo: 88 percent
  • Texas Instruments: 88 percent
 
- Wall Street Journal, 12.07.16
 
EUROPEAN COMPANIES SELLING IN THE U.S.
 
 
 

Top European firms by sales in the U.S. Percentage of U.S. sales:

  • Shire (Ireland, pharmaceuticals): 73 percent
  • Fresenius Medical (Germany, medical equipment): 71 percent
  • Wolseley (U.K., building material): 68 percent
  • Grifols (Spain, pharmaceuticals): 64 percent
  • Ahold Delhaize (Netherlands, retail): 62 percent
 
- Wall Street Journal, 12.07.16
 
FORE! THE REAL HAZARDS ON AUSTRALIAN GOLF COURSES
 
 
 

If you play golf in Australia, you soon become accustomed to having kangaroos wandering around as you prepare to hit your next shot. Kangaroos hang out on many Australian golf courses, munching grass and lounging under trees. Most golfers just play around them. The same holds true for the Anglesea Golf Club near Melbourne, kangaroos have lived there for years. The problem for golfers at Anglesea isn't the marsupials hanging out, it is tourists who don't realize it is a golf course or don't understand that golfers hundreds of yards away can still be a danger to them. The Anglesea Golf Club sits near a scenic thoroughfare, called the Great Ocean Road, at the center of the Australia's recent tourist boom. That boom is fueled by Chinese visitors, many of whom are not familiar with golf. The result is some Chinese tourists think Anglesea is a park where they are free to roam, and the foreign visitors don't understand why they aren't allowed on the course. Some years ago, course officials put up fencing…not to keep the kangaroos in, but to keep tourists out. Last year, course officials took a different and more lucrative tact. They started tours on a six-seat golf cart, "ROO TOURS." The club charges 10 Australian dollars (USD$7.46) for an adult and A$25 for a family. This week, the club celebrated its 10,000th ROO tourist. Tour guides are club members who volunteer and they know where the kangaroos like to hang out and can prevent tourists from disrupting golfers or getting hit by golf balls. During the Lunar New Year holidays this past February, some days had more than 100 people taking tours.

 
- Wall Street Journal, 12.07.16
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
MARKET UPDATE - 12/07/2016 Close
 
(Courtesy of Alpine Bank Wealth Management*)
 
 
Close
Change
Dow Jones Industrials
 
19549.62
 
+297.84
 
S&P 500
 
2241.35
 
+29.12
 
NASDAQ
 
5393.76
 
+60.76
 
10-year Treasury yield
 
2.34
 
-0.05
 
Gold (CME)
 
1175.00
 
+7.40
 
Silver (CME)
 
17.20
 
+0.46
 
Oil (NY Merc)
 
49.77
 
-1.16
 
Natural Gas ($/MMBtu)
 
3.60
 
-0.04
 
Cattle (CME)
 
109.37
 
-0.47
 
Prime Rate
 
3.50
 
NC
 
Euro (per U.S. dollar)
 
0.92
 
-0.01
 
Canadian dollar (per U.S. dollar)
 
1.32
 
NC
 
Mexican peso (per U.S. dollar)
 
20.34
 
-0.05
 
30-year fixed mortgage rate (Freddie Mac 12/01/2016)
 
4.08
 
+0.05
 
*Not FDIC insured. May lose value. Not guaranteed by the bank.
 
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