Business & Labor

Snowbird

The state liquor commission may not let Snowbird Ski Resort serve beer at its annual Oktoberfest this year. The Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control board laid out tighter guidelines this week for granting single-event permits to businesses. Snowbird’s General Manager argues that move could affect business as well as the community.

Bob Nelson

The Zions Bank Consumer Price Index increased 0.1 percent in April compared with March on a seasonally adjusted basis. Aaron Anderson is a Director at the Cicero Group, which conducts the survey for Zions. He says transportation cost increases including the price of new cars were the driving force behind the up-tick.

Bob Nelson

Former President of Mexico Felipe Calderon delivered the keynote address Wednesday at the Zions Bank 13th Annual Trade and Business Conference. Calderon served as President from 2006-2012 during what he calls the worst economic crisis in human memory. He recalled the saying; when the United States gets a cold, Mexico gets pneumonia.

Park City Mountain Resort

Utah Third District Court judge Ryan Harris has issued summary judgments in favor of the Talisker Corporation and Vail Resorts in their case with Park City Mountain Resort over a failure to renew their lease in 2011.

The Utah Transit Authority is moving forward with installation of surveillance cameras on buses despite the transit union’s claim that the move is a violation of the collective bargaining agreement.

UTA officials say they are spending more than 2 million dollars to install surveillance cameras in a fleet of 600 buses in order to improve passenger safety and transit efficiency. Attorney Joseph Hatch represents the transit union. He says drivers should have a say in how these cameras are used.

File: Screen Shot Sundance Film Festival Web Page

The overall economic impact of the 2014 Sundance Film Festival amounts to $86.4 million for the state of Utah. The University of Utah’s Bureau of Economic and Business Research conducted the independent study. The report released today also found the annual January event provided $34.1 million in earnings for Utah workers and supported 1,434 full and part-time jobs during the festival.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

Tooele County citizens met Wednesday night to talk about the possibility of letting Stericycle build a new medical waste incinerator in the area. After a series of informational meetings organized by Stericycle, this town hall was organized by residents.

The meeting at Stansbury High School was organized by Katrina Hill of Stansbury Park, who says she’s never done anything like this before.

Courtesy of Joe Lieberman

Joe Lieberman left the U.S. Senate last year after representing the state of Connecticut on Capitol Hill for more than two decades.  During that time he served as chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee and on the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee.  Lieberman will be in Salt Lake City next week speaking at Zions Bank's 13th annual Trade and Business Conference.  KUER's Terry Gildea talked with the former Senator and Vice Presidential candidate about Utah’s economy and the state’s role as an international trade partner.

It’s been 145 years since the ceremonial “driving of the Golden Spike” connected the Union and Central Pacific railroads at Promontory Summit in Utah. In this year’s commemoration, the role of Chinese laborers in building the transcontinental railroad will be recognized and celebrated.

Gloriaricardi via Wikimedia Commons

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is prepared to start regulating electronic cigarettes. But advocates say the proposal would be detrimental to consumers and businesses.

The FDA’s plan is to classify electronic cigarettes, a personal vaporizer that delivers nicotine as a tobacco product. This means merchants will be banned from touting the devices as a safer alternative to traditional combustible cigarettes.

Tord Sollie, Flickr

As Governor Herbert declares May Utah Golf Month a new report also shows the industry has a larger than expected impact on the state’s economy.

A group concerned about the future of the Salt Lake Tribune submitted an ad to both of the city’s daily newspapers to run on Saturday morning. But readers won’t see it in the Deseret News. 

File: League of American Bicyclists Screen Shot

Utah’s bicycle-friendly ranking is in the top ten in the nation for the first time ever. The League of American Bicyclists traditionally marks the beginning of National Bike Month by releasing its rankings. Utah moved to #8 compared to 2013’s #14 ranking. Each state gets a ranking based on a level of achievement in the 5 “E’s”; engineering, education, encouragement, enforcement and evaluation.

File: Bill Ingalls/NASA, via Associated Press

Alliant Techsystems announced it is merging the majority of its holdings with Orbital Sciences. The company is best known in Utah as ATK with operations in Magna, Clearfield and Promontory. A company press release says the 1-point-seven billion dollar deal involves spinning off the parent company’s Sporting Group.

The struggling fiber optic network UTOPIA may be partnering with a private company to offer high speed internet access to every home in the 11 participating Utah cities where it operates.  Australian investment firm Macquerie Capital has released a proposal to fund UTOPIA’s overhaul. It would require city-wide utility fees from every household in the network.

Bob Nelson

The monthly Consumer Attitude Index from Zions Bank increased by 3.7 percent from March to April. The Wasatch Front Consumer Price Index also rose by 0.7 percent. The Cicero Group conducts the research for Zions. Cicero’s CEO Randy Shumway says while the improving attitude index is causing some concerns about inflation, the state is not close to any real problem with that. He says crossing this attitude index milestone puts the state economy on track to be running on all cylinders by the end of the year.

File: Utah Valley University

The number of Utah women in CEO or corporate board positions is the 3rd lowest in the nation. The findings released Wednesday are from a Utah Valley University study titled “The Status of Women Leaders in Utah Business.” The report shows of the 228 companies surveyed, only 4.8 percent (11) have female chief executive officers compared to 95.2 percent (217) male CEO’s. That’s nearly 10 percent lower than national figures for women in business.

uber.com

A taxicab alternative e-travelers hail with a smartphone app will be available in Salt Lake City starting at seven o’clock tonight. Two companies called Uber and Lyft have announced plans to expand here, but city officials say the companies must first comply with safety and fair business rules.

Photo Dean via Flickr

Utah’s unemployment rate for March ticked slightly up from February to 4.1% but that isn't necessarily a bad sign. The rate increased two tenths of a percent from February’s unemployment rate of 3.9%. But Utah Department of Workforce Services Economist Mark Knold says it’s actually a sign that Utah’s economy is improving.

Utah has some of the highest payday lending rates in the nation. That’s according to a new report released this week from the Pew Charitable Trusts. The research indicates that a state’s limit on interest rates is the key factor driving loan pricing. Utah is one of seven states where there is no legal limit.

A new building for the next generation of entrepreneurs is coming to the University of Utah. The Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute announced today a 12 million dollar gift from Pierre Lassonde. Mr. Lassonde, a French Canadian mining entrepreneur with an MBA from the U, says his donation will be used to create a new facility where students will live, create, and launch new enterprises.

File: Utah Department of Agricultre and Food

The “Utah’s Own” line of locally generated products are going to be a prominent feature at the 8th Annual Governor’s Economic Summit Conference opening Thursday in downtown Salt Lake City. The unique public/private effort to promote the Utah brand is run through the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food.  Jed Christenson is the director of marketing and economic development at Utah’s Own. He says their recent poll of 150 members shows an average increase of almost four jobs per company through the recession.

A restaurant near the University of Utah has closed, and a liquor license may be opening up. The Market Street Broiler shut its doors Monday, though it had only recently opened an oyster bar upstairs with a newly granted club license.

The Utah State Fair is underperforming according to a new report by the Office of the Utah State AuditorThe limited performance audit compared the Utah State Fair with several other state fairs around the country.  It specifically focused on similar fairs held in Arizona, Idaho, and New Mexico. David Pulsipher is the performance audit director.

File: Rocky Mountain Power

Plans were announced Wednesday for the first utility-scale solar project by Rocky Mountain Power. The 9,000-panel solar farm in Utah will produce enough power to supply 500 homes. Paul Murphy is the company’s spokesperson. He says Rocky Mountain Power is responding to the trend of increased customer desire for renewable energy and tax incentives being offered to keep the initial company investment down.

Park City Mountain Resort

The dispute over Park City Mountain Resort’s lease of land from Talisker Land Holdings, LLC has left the boardroom and spilled into the public domain.

Vail Resorts is now representing Talisker in the dispute after signing a long-term deal to operate the Talisker owned Canyons resort. Talisker has also offered to lease the land where Park City Mountain Resort now sits to Vail if and when 3rd district court judge Ryan Harris decides that PCMR failed to renew their lease with Talisker before it expired in 2011.

Salt Lake City is officially the home of the first Impact Hub in Utah. The HUB concept – which brings together social innovators and entrepreneurs - started in London and is now a global network spanning five continents. The space in Salt Lake isn’t ready yet, but organizers have a temporary space in the meantime. They call it a Pop-up HUB.

An Impact HUB is a place for innovators to do their work, but the marketing and operations director for HUB Salt Lake Ryan Chatterton will tell you, it’s more than that.

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Utah’s employment numbers for February keep the state among the top five in the country with the lowest unemployment rate. The non-farm payroll employment grew by an estimated two and a half percent adding 32,200 jobs compared to the same month last year. Construction jobs had the highest single increase at 6.2 percent with 4100 new jobs. Carrie Mayne is the Chief Economist with the Department of Workforce Services. She says weather helped add builders to the workforce but construction is still a long way from reaching pre-recession levels.

Andrea Smardon

Utah’s ski industry leaders want to connect seven ski resorts in the Wasatch mountains. Ski Utah held a press conference Wednesday along with the general managers from the resorts to outline the interconnect concept.

Ski Utah President Nathan Rafferty says it’s not a specific plan yet, but a concept. They call it One Wasatch, and the goal is to create the most efficient and enjoyable interconnected mountain resort ski experience in North America.

Bob Nelson

The thousands of commuters through Sugarhouse everyday may only be aware of the project called  'The Draw at Sugarhouse " due to traffic slowdowns on 1300 East. But on June 6th the traffic will once again flow freely when the tunnel between Sugarhouse Park and Hidden Hollow west of 13th is scheduled to officially open. New York artist and engineer Patricia Johanson dropped in to check on the progress Thursday. She won the design competition for the project 11 years ago.

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