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The Blog - What's Going on in Business

Mission Ridge is kicking off the season with a preview weekend, November 22 and 23 from 9:00am-4:00pm each day. Although Mother Nature is yet to make her major contribution, our snowmaking capabilities have enabled us to open Chair 1. We are so excited to get on the snow and make some turns. Mission Ridge is proud to be the first resort in Washington to open this season and will be opening this early for the fourth year in a row!

We will be running a limited menu this weekend in the Chair 5 Pub and Ka-Wham Café with $2 Badger Mountain Brewery beers and $1 off all other draft beers. Ski school/lessons, rental/retail and childcare will not be available this weekend but will be coming soon!

Park Event: “Stairway to Shreddin'”, our season opener session, will be highlighted by a hike park in the Midway area. Features will include tubes, boxes, rails and a new street-style rail. The event will award prizes for best tricks at random times throughout the day. Joey McGuire will be on hand serving up “Revo dogs.” Come joins us for your first park session of the season. Registration at event site.  Sponsored by Coal, Union, DWD and Revolution Snow and Skate.

Tickets are can be purchased at the Mission Ridge ticket window this weekend, $20 for adults, $10 for children and seniors.

A huge thank you goes out to our snowmaking crew for working around the clock in the bitter cold to make this all possible. They have been on point at utilizing what the conditions are giving us and making an awesome base to be able to open and ski on. If you see them, give them a hug, a high-five or buy them a beer to say thanks. They are the super heroes of snow and we would not be anywhere close to opening this weekend if not for them.


In many locales, from a sports tourism standpoint October is considered part of a ‘shoulder’ season. Deemed far from a peak month, with just a smattering of events and plenty of room for growth. Baseball and softball are essentially over, indoor sports such as hockey are just beginning and skiing has yet to crank up. This October, especially the first couple of weeks, exactly the opposite is true in the Wenatchee Valley. Hotel space, sports fields, and even ice time will be at a premium.
October 5-7 will feature the long-awaited US Figure Skating Northwest Pacific Regionals at Town Toyota Center. Over 260 skaters representing seven western states, many with Olympics aspirations, will give our area a chance to witness a competitive level of skating seldom seen here. There’s a lot on the line, including a trip to the sectionals with a possibility to actually make the US Olympic team. Pretty heady stuff.
The following weekend, the Apple Cup Soccer Tournament will take place at several venues throughout the region. This is an event that averages over 100 teams annually, making it one of the largest youth soccer tournaments in the northwest. Nearly 20 fields in five locations will play host to boys and girls teams with divisions ranging from 6-18 years of age.
Between these two events alone, the valley can expect sports tourism spending in the neighborhood of $450,000. Not bad for two weeks in a so-called ‘shoulder’ season. Hats off to the Wenatchee Figure Skating Club and Wenatchee Fire Soccer for not only providing the economic boost, but hosting events that provide local participation (soccer) and a unique entertainment opportunity (figure skating).

The Port of Douglas County will be holding their next quarterly “Economic Leadership Roundtable” on Thursday October 16th from 11:45 to 1:30 at the Wild Card, 560 Valley Mall Pkwy, in East Wenatchee. These quarterly meetings were started by the Port to bring people together over lunch, which the Port provides, to look at what is happening economically in our region.  At each meeting the Port provides current updates on several of the 32 economic indicators they are tracking as well as bringing in guest presentations from various organizations like the SBDC, SCORE, Employment Security, Wenatchee Valley College and various industries in the region. At the end of the meeting, there is time for organizations and individuals to give quick updates on projects they are working on.  The end goal is to give people in attendance useful information and to provide a networking opportunity particularly between our business owners and the public sector. At this meeting along with the economic indicator updates, we will hear from Bruce Grim, Executive Director of the Washington State Horticultural Association on the state of the tree fruit industry and Don Meseck, our regional labor economist, will give a labor and wage update.  You are invited to attend the lunch, it’s on us, and we promise to start and end on time with no committee assignments. All we ask is for an RSVP so we can make sure we have enough food. If you would like more information or to RSVP please email us at esther@portoddouglas.org or call us at 884-4700.

Last week a local Dental Office received a phone call from a man who identified himself by name and said he was with the City of Wenatchee. He explained that he was working with the Chamber of Commerce and was producing Refrigerator Magnets with City of Wenatchee information and contact phone numbers to be used by the Chamber in New Arrival Baskets.  He proposed to the Office Manager that they pay for advertising their Dental Practice on the Magnet.  After providing a couple of options and explaining he only had two spots left on the Magnet, the Office decided to purchase the advertising.  Upon making the decision, the male caller indicated that he would email a proof of the artwork for approval and transferred the Office Manager to another individual. This person requested the Business information and a Credit Card Number. The Office Manager declined to provide the Credit Card Number and the representative agreed to fax an invoice to the Business Manager requesting immediate payment.

While you have most certainly seen news footage or social media discussion surrounding the wildfires along the Cascade Loop, what you may not know is that there is a relatively small stretch of roadway where travelers will see burn areas. The level of loss in these communities is devastating, and our hope is to play a part in supporting their long-term recovery efforts by bringing guests to shop, dine and spend the night.

To help get the word out we’ve been working with DVA Advertising to supply updated information to the media to help eliminate confusion and disinformation. Articles resulting from those releases were carried by the Seattle P-I, Las Vegas Review-Journal, Longview Daily News, Vancouver Columbian, KOMOnews.com, KING5.com, USA Today, sfgate.com, The Chicago Tribune, Everett Herald, WHAS11.com, Eugene Register-Guard, and Northwest Cable News.

We are presently working on an additional PR initiative in partnership with the Chambers of Commerce in the fire-affected communities to continue to remind folks that the Cascade Loop Scenic Highway is OPEN!


Activity at Pangborn Memorial Airport in the first half of 2014 is significantly ahead of 2013 levels in
nearly all categories. Enplanements, the number of passengers flying through Pangborn on Alaska Air,
are up 6.6% in the first six months of 2014 versus the first six months of 2013, which was the best year
ever for Pangborn enplanements.
This has pushed the load factor, the percentage of seats transporting passengers, near the 70% mark.
Port of Chelan County Commissioner President JC Baldwin reacted to the good news saying, “The best
way to get more flights, more airlines and more direct destinations is to use the service you currently
have, and our community is clearly doing just that.” Strong load factors insure profitability of routes.
In addition, car rental activity at the airport was up nearly 30%, reflecting increased business and leisure
travel to north central Washington.
For more information or a copy of the latest activity report, please contact Craig Larsen, Port of Chelan
County Director of Business Development, at 509-663-5159.
For further information, please contact:
Trent Moyers, Pangborn Memorial Airport Director, (509) 884-2494

The Community Foundation of NCW has established a Fire Relief Fund to assist those who have been affected by the devastating fires raging throughout North Central Washington, according to an announcement made today by Beth Stipe, Executive Director of the Foundation.

“We are working with our nonprofit partners throughout the region to ensure that there are adequate resources to assist both the short and long term recovery needs of those in our region who have been affected by the fires.  In times like these, the people of North Central Washington – a resilient group of folks – are there to help their neighbors. This fund will be used to help both short term immediate needs of fire victims, but also to help long term needs of recovery” said Stipe.

In situations like the Charlton Complex Fire, the most effective method of assisting those impacted by the fire is through monetary donations to organizations that specialize in supporting local disasters.  CFNCW also encourages donors to support the local chapter of the American Red Cross who is working on immediate needs.

“We remain concerned about our neighbors and friends who have suffered losses related to the fires that continue to burn throughout North Central Washington.  Our network of nonprofit relationships will ensure that any contributions we receive for the NCW FIRE RELIEF FUND are effectively distributed to those nonprofits and groups that can serve the greatest needs of the fire victims in our communities.  While we don’t want to detract from the immediate local efforts, we believe we should simultaneously plan and prepare for the long term implications and needs this fire will produce for our region in the coming, weeks, months and years.”

To support the NCW FIRE RELIEF FUND, donations can be made directly online at www.cfncw.org.  Support the Apple Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross at www.redcross.org

The Community Foundation of North Central Washington’s mission is to grow, protect, and connect charitable gifts in support of strong communities throughout Chelan, Douglas, and Okanogan counties. Established in 1986, the Community Foundation currently manages $50 million in assets in over 300 individualized funds and to date has awarded over $30 million in local grants and scholarships and is a National Standards certified community foundation.


For more information call 509-663-7716 or visit www.cfncw.org.

Wenatchee Valley Humane Society’s Club Pet is excited to announce “Dog Parking” at the Pybus Public Market.   Whether you are walking the loop with your dog and stop for lunch at one of many of the fabulous restaurants at Pybus or shopping the farmers market and other stores, you now have a place to “park your dog”.  A place where they will feel safe, happy and secure.  Wenatchee Valley Humane Society’s Club Pet will have 4 kennels available. There will be a $5 per dog per hour fee with a two hour maximum.   All proceeds benefit the Wenatchee Valley Humane Society.  Normal business hours will be Saturdays, and Sundays and major Holidays from 10 am-4 pm until October.  Dog Parking will be located on the Northeast corner across from the “South” restaurant outdoor seating area near the loop trail.   For more information please contact Club Pet at 888-7387

Please contact Jill Leonard at jleonard@wenatcheehumane.org or (509) 662-9577  ext 415 for additional information

Soccer, baseball, obstacle racing, trail runs, a bicycle ride, and even a lineman rodeo. Sounds like the lineup for several weeks of sports events, but it’s not. They’re all taking place this weekend in Wenatchee, Leavenworth and Chelan, providing spectators and participants a wide menu of choices. Baseball, as you would expect this time of year, is beginning to ramp up. Besides the AppleSox kicking off a 6-game home stand, there are also three youth tournaments in the valley. Recreation Park is the site of the Apple Valley Blues Junior American Legion Tournament, while just up the road at Morris Little League Park, Wenatchee Youth Baseball is hosting a seventeen team 9 & 10 year old tourney. Meanwhile, Eastmont Youth Baseball welcomes fifteen 11 & 12 year old teams at Eastmont Community four-plex. So, if you like baseball, take your pick!
Leavenworth Ski Hill has a couple of events on tap. Saturday is the Bavarian Battle Adventure Race, while Sunday, competitors get a choice of a 10k or 8 mile trail run. There’s also the 9th Annual Deputy Saul Gallegos Memorial Run at Manson Saturday, or if cycling is your thing, then the Lake Chelan Century Challenge Saturday offers a wide range of challenges.

If you haven’t taken in the ‘new team in town’ – The Wenatchee United FC soccer team – Saturday is a good opportunity. They host West Sound FC at Wenatchee Valley College, beginning at 6:00. This is high caliber men’s soccer, with an eight team league in the newly formed Evergreen Premier League.

Last, but certainly not least, is the 10th Annual Andrew York Lineman Rodeo at Walla Walla Point Park. Checking this out is highly recommended for any age. There’s a pre-function Friday evening at 6:00, with music and kid’s activities. Then Saturday morning at 8:30, the competition begins with 21 three-man teams and over 40 apprentices showcasing their lineman skills. Lots of action high up on the poles. Besides being an incredibly exciting and interesting event, there is also a bunch of activities for kids that are unique and fun.

Quite a weekend to say the least! And besides the fun and games, the Wenatchee/East Wenatchee events alone will generate over $175,000 in sports tourism spending, accounting for an estimated 550+ hotel room nights.
Matt Kearny is coordinator of sports tourism for the Wenatchee Valley Chamber of Commerce and can be reached at 509-662-2116 or matt@wenatchee.org

SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans Available to Washington Small Businesses

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Small, nonfarm businesses in 14 Washington counties are now eligible to apply for low‑interest federal disaster loans from the U. S. Small Business Administration (SBA).  “These loans offset economic losses because of reduced revenues caused by the drought that began on April 15, 2014, in the following primary counties,” announced Tanya N. Garfield, Director of SBA’s Disaster Field Operations Center-West.

Primary counties:  Adams, Douglas, Grant and Okanogan;

Neighboring counties: Benton, Chelan, Ferry, Franklin, Kittitas, Lincoln, Skagit, Whatcom, Whitman and Yakima.

“SBA eligibility covers both the economic impacts on businesses dependent on farmers and ranchers that have suffered agricultural production losses caused by the disaster and businesses directly impacted by the disaster,” Garfield said.

Small, nonfarm businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private, nonprofit organizations of any size may qualify for Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) of up to $2 million to help meet financial obligations and operating expenses which could have been met had the disaster not occurred.

“Eligibility for these loans is based on the financial impact of the disaster only and not on any actual property damage.  These loans have an interest rate of 4% for businesses and 2.625 for private, nonprofit organizations, a maximum term of 30 years, and are available to small businesses and most private, nonprofits without the financial ability to offset the adverse impact without hardship,” Garfield said.

By law, SBA makes EIDLs available when the U. S. Secretary of Agriculture designates an agricultural disaster.  Secretary Tom Vilsack declared this disaster on June 11, 2014.

Businesses primarily engaged in farming or ranching are not eligible for SBA disaster assistance.  Agricultural enterprises should contact the Farm Services Agency (FSA) about the U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) assistance made available by the Secretary’s declaration.  However, in drought disasters nurseries are eligible for SBA disaster assistance.

Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA’s secure Web site at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.

Disaster loan information and application forms are also available from SBA’s Customer Service Center by calling (800) 659-2955 or e-mailing disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.  Individuals who are deaf or hard‑of‑hearing may call (800) 877-8339.  For more information about SBA’s disaster assistance programs, visit http://www.sba.gov/disaster.

The deadline to apply for these loans is February 11, 2015.

SBA Field Operations Center – West, P.O. Box 419004, Sacramento, CA 95841