Business Briefs – 3/7/2008

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BLM seeks council members

The Bureau of Land Management in Colorado is seeking nominations for five open positions on each of its three Resource Advisory Councils, which advise the BLM about public land issues.
The 15 RAC positions open in Colorado are in the following categories:
Category One — BLM grazing permitees and representatives of organizations associated with energy and mineral development, the timber industry, transportation or rights-of-way, off-highway vehicle use and commercial recreation.
Category Two — Representatives of nationally or regionally recognized environmental organizations, archaeological and historical organizations, dispersed recreation activities, and wild horse and burro organizations.
Category Three — Representatives of state, county or local elected office; representatives and employees of a state agency responsible for the management of natural resources; representatives of Indian Tribes within or adjacent to the area for which the RAC is organized; representatives and employees of academic institutions who are involved in natural sciences; and the public-at-large.
Nominations should be sent by April 14 to: BLM Northwest RAC, Attention: David Boyd, 50629 Hwy 6 & 24, Glenwood Springs, CO 81601; BLM Southwest RAC, Attention: Melodie Lloyd, 2815 H Road, Grand Junction, CO 81506; or BLM Front Range RAC, Attention: John Dow, 3170 E. Main St., Canon City, CO 81212
For more information, contact Jaime Gardner at jaime_gardner@blm.gov or (303) 239.3681.

Casino revenue falls

Revenue at Colorado casinos fell during January, the first month of the casino smoking ban.
Gaming establishments statewide reported nearly $56.7 million in adjusted gross proceeds, down 2.7 percent from $58.3 million during December and down 3.6 percent from $58.8 million during January 2007.
AGP is most simply defined as the amount wagered by bettors less payouts from casinos.
Black Hawk’s 20 casinos totaled $40.9 million in AGP, down from $41.9 million during December and down 3.4 percent from $42.3 million a year earlier. Cripple Creek’s 15 casinos produced $9.8 million in AGP, down 7.8 percent from $10.7 million the previous month and the previous January. Central City’s six casinos generated $5.9 million in AGP, up from $5.6 million during December and 2.8 percent from $5.7 million during January 2007.
Casinos statewide paid $9.2 million in gaming tax proceeds during January, down from $9.4 million during December.

State Games registration

Online registration for amateur athletes is now open at www.stategamesofthewest.org for the inaugural State Games of the West, July 24-27, in Colorado Springs.
About 8,000 competitors of all ages and skill levels from 13 Western states are expected to participate in the event, which offers 31 sports.
The State Games of the West, which is being hosted by the Colorado Springs Sports Corp., is open to all State Games athletes from Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.
All participants are eligible by competing in their local State Games during 2008 regardless of their placement.
Wyoming athletes will be welcome even though the Cowboy State Games ceased operations after last summer.
Athletes will compete at 24 venues including the U.S. Olympic Training Center, Colorado College, the U.S. Air Force Academy and Fort Carson.
The Opening Ceremony is scheduled for July 24 at the Colorado Springs World Arena.
The state’s annual Rocky Mountain State Games for Colorado athletes will be folded into the State Games of the West, as they were during 2005 and 2007 when the city hosted the national State Games of America.
A record 10,803 athletes from 47 states participated in the 2007 State Games of America in Colorado Springs, with an economic impact of some $11 million, and the event returns to the city in 2009. It now ranks as the largest multi-sport event in Colorado history.

Art Institute accredited

The Art Institute of Colorado has been accredited for a five-year period by The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
For more than 55 years, the institute has offered career-focused bachelor’s and associate degrees in design, creative and applied arts, creative and business management, and culinary arts.

Online tools

More than 125,000 entrepreneurs interested in starting or expanding a business have used the U.S. Small Business Administration’s newest online assessment resources, the “Small Business Readiness” and the 8(a) Business Development assessment tools.
Small Business Readiness helps budding entrepreneurs evaluate their readiness for starting a small business by determining their level of preparedness for venturing into a new business through a series of automated questions. It helps them evaluate their skills, characteristics and experience as they relate to starting a business.
The Small Business Readiness assessment tool is available at www.sba.gov/assessmenttool/index.html.
The 8(a) Business Development assessment tool was launched in October to help small business owners decide whether they are suitable and eligible for the SBA’s 8(a) Business Development Program.
It is available at training.sba.gov:8000/assessment.