Looking back on 20 Years of the Colorado Springs Business Journal

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Editor’s note: In recognition of CSBJ’s 20th anniversary, every week during 2009 we’ll publish stories that appeared in the paper during its inaugural year. The following stories appeared during March 1990. To share your memories of Colorado Springs business happenings from 1989-90, visit www.csbj.com and click the 20th Anniversary Blog link.
Prudential Patterson Group wins award

The Prudential Patterson Group received the 1989 award for “Top Listing Office in the Nation” from The Prudential Real Estate Affiliates Inc. at its second annual convention held at The Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas on Jan. 29-Feb. 2.

The announcement was made by Everett “Bud” Patterson, president of the locally owned Prudential affiliate.

The awards were given during a special ceremony held at the convention which attracted nearly 4,000 real estate agents from the over 900 member companies across the country.

Lincoln National announces grant to Springs hospice

A $5,000 grant to the Pikes Peak Hospice Inc. has been announced by Lincoln National Corp. through its Corporate Public Involvement program.

“In addition to our gift, we have issued a special challenge to other Colorado Springs businesses to join us in this program,” says Stephen K. Golstone, senior vice president of Lincoln National Life Insurance Co. and Lincoln National Administrative Services Corp. “We have agreed to match dollar for dollar donations from new corporate sponsors to this program up to a cap of $5,000. The deadline date for these contributions is March 31, 1990.”

Pikes Peak Hospice assures basic care and dignity to terminally ill persons in the Colorado Springs area who wish to die in their own homes or in the hospice care residence.

TIE/Communications to expand locally
TIE/Communications Inc., a world leader in the manufacturing of electronic telephones, has signed an agreement with U.S. West Communications to provide warrantee and maintenance services for phones originally purchased from U.S. West.

TIE’s contract will service small businesses having up to 16 phone lines. As a result of the new contract, TIE plans to expand its sales and technical support services in Colorado Springs.

According to Mike Ferry, president of TIE Colorado, not only will their service be people orientated, but the company is dedicated to getting Colorado Springs into a viable market.

Drug Emporium closes Colorado operations
Drug Emporium, a company that operates 192 stores in 30 states, has closed its four stores located in Arvada, Aurora, Edgewater and Colorado Springs.

The doors to the franchises were closed on Saturday, Feb. 17, due to financial problems, according to Drug Emporium’s president, Fred Rice.

The Walgreen Co. store at Mall of the Bluffs, 3650 Austin Bluffs Parkway, is now handling customer prescriptions and photo development orders for the Drug Emporium store formerly located at 4316 Austin Bluffs Parkway.

The Colorado Springs store opened in October 1986. The four stores in Colorado had employed 135 people.

OCA signs European and Middle East distribution agreement

Optical Card of America Inc. has signed agreements with Management International Corp. and Global Marketing Resources, international trading companies, which thrust OCA into the international computer marketplace.

The two-year contracts give the two companies exclusive distribution rights to OCA’s 3.5-inch, 20-megabyte, floppy disk drive system in Europe, the Middle East and selected Southeast Asian countries.

Robert T. Hill, president of MIC, stated that his company will primarily be targeting the U.K. and assisting GMR in other European countries.

“MIC will also be working with European companies that wish to enter the U.S. market. Many of them need American outlets, and OCA could act as their U.S. distribution arm,” said Hill.

Arun Pande, president of Global Marketing Resources, said “political climates are changing so fast, new markets are opening every day.”

Pande added that his company is marketing U.S. products and assisting small- to medium-sized American companies, like Optical Card of America Inc., to penetrate the international marketplace.

“There are companies who wish to position themselves overseas, but for reasons of time, money and/or expertise, are unable to do so,” says Pande.

Pande, who spent more than 18 years developing international computer related companies, says “the international sales potential for OCA’s 3.5-inch, 20-megabyte, floppy drive system is phenomenal.”

OCA’s products will be introduced in March at CeBIT90, the world’s largest computer industry trade show in Hanover, Germany.

The exposition is attended by over a million people from more than 140 countries and guarantees worldwide product exposure and the opportunity to promote new technology in the international marketplace, as well as the potential for OCA to make contacts with original equipment manufacturers (OEM’s), distributors and others that could ultimately culminate in orders for OCA’s product lines available now and in the future.

Local Hilton Inn plans renovation

The Colorado Springs Hilton Inn, now under the leadership of Stephen W. Brenner and Associates, is planning an extensive renovation.

The Hilton Inn at 505 Popes Bluff Trail was purchased by Mutual Benefit Life Insurance Co. of Newark, N.J., because of a foreclosure on the property on June 19, 1989. The hotel, formerly owned by U.S. Hotel Properties Limited Partnership of Los Angeles, was forced into bankruptcy and ordered to sell the Colorado Springs hotel as well as three other properties.

Mutual Benefit Life Insurance, who held the mortgages on the hotels, bought them for $25,000 cash and cancelled the $35 million mortgage debt. Mutual Benefit has contracted with Brenner & Associates to manage the $3 million renovation and improve marketing strategies to increase the hotel’s profits.

Bill Liles, marketing director for Steve Brenner and Associates, says the hotel has already begun a turnaround and they are “ahead of budget.”

When Liles started at the Hilton in September 1989, the hotel had contracts for $30,000 this year. Since September, contracts have increased to $522,000.

Renovations in the lobby have already been completed. “Garfields,” a family orientated restaurant is part of the renovation plan, along with new banquet and meeting room facilities.

A new feature of the hotel will include mini-conference suites offered free to corporate businesses who rent a block of five rooms or more.