Business Digest March 15, 2013


America’s Best Contacts & Eyeglasses Inc. opened a shop in the Harvest Junction Shopping Center in southeast Longmont. The Lawrenceville, Georgia-based company offers eye exams, contact lenses and a selection of more than 1,500 frames, according to a company press release. Eye exams are conducted by Doctor’s Exchange of Colorado PC. Hours of the store at 205 Ken Pratt Blvd. are Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Phone is 303-532-3056. America’s Best has 350 stores nationwide. The store at Harvest Junction is the company’s 10th in Colorado.


TRU Community Care on March 1 became the new name of Lafayette-based HospiceCare of Boulder and Broomfield Counties. Its previous names were Hospice of Boulder County and Boulder County Hospice. TRU is an acronym for Trusted, Responsive and Unparalleled.


Broomfield-based Arca Biopharma Inc. (Nasdaq: ABIO) completed a reverse stock split to raise its per-share trading price and regain compliance with Nasdaq stock market rules, the company said March 5. The 6-1 reverse split became effective at the close of trading at 3:01 p.m. March 4. The transaction reduced the number of outstanding shares from about 19.1 million to about 3.2 million. Arca’s common stock must have a minimum closing bid price of $1 per share for a minimum of 10 consecutive trading days prior to April 9, to meet Nasdaq compliance rules. In October, three executives of Arca Biopharma and an investor bought company stock to raise about $325,000 in a private placement in a similar push to keep the minimum closing bid price above $1.

The demand for workers to fill high-paying, high-skilled tech jobs is growing as quickly in the Boulder-Denver-Colorado Springs region as it is in tech hubs such as Silicon Valley and Seattle, according to a report by South Mountain Economics LLC, a firm based in New York and Washington, D.C. The report measured demand by looking at the number of job listings posted by tech companies in the fourth quarter of 2012 and compared it with the same quarter in the prior year. The report found the number of help-wanted ads for computer software engineers grew 38 percent in the Boulder-Denver-Colorado Springs region.

Boulder-based SparkFun Electronics LLC wants to book electronics workshops at schools, libraries and other venues in all 50 states. Students and teachers can learn how to solder, build circuits and program electronic devices at the workshops. SparkFun charges $1,500 for each workshop on its first 50 stops on the tour and $2,500 for each workshop stop after that. Each workshop includes learning kits and support materials for up to 40 students and three instructors.. To sign up for a mobile workshop, or to learn more about the program, visit

The first three administrative patent judges assigned to the new United States Patent and Trademark office in Colorado began their first day on the job March 4. The judges will work out of the temporary space in Lakewood until renovations at the Byron G. Rogers Federal Building at 1961 Stout St. in Denver are completed. The temporary U.S. patent office in Lakewood is in the Denver Federal Center, West 6th Avenue and Kipling Street. The temporary office does not have a general phone number yet. For immediate inquiries, people with questions for the patent office may call the national office at 1-800-786-9199.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a class-action lawsuit can go forward against Amgen Inc. The suit alleges that the biotech company downplayed safety concerns about two anemia drugs. Thousand Oaks, California,-based Amgen (Nasdaq: AMGN) makes one of the anemia drugs — Epogen — at its plant in Longmont. The lawsuit brought by a Connecticut pension fund alleges that Amgen repeatedly reassured investors about the safety of Epogen and the anemia drug Aranesp, even as clinical data showed that the drug might be harmful to cancer patients. Aranesp is made in Puerto Rico.

The city of Boulder’s sales- and use-tax collections increased 12.9 percent in January, pushing total 2012 tax revenue 3.9 percent higher than 2011 tax revenue. Boulder collected $11,445,723 in January, compared with $10,131,897 in January 2011. The collection in January represents sales made in December. For the year, Boulder collected $96,106,966 in sales- and use-tax. In 2011, the city collected $92,438,731. Retail sales-tax collections were up 14.5 percent in January, compared with the same month last year. For the year, business/consumer use-tax collection was up 2.3 percent over the year before, according to the report.

The city of Longmont’s sales- and use-tax collections increased 7.9 percent in January, compared with the same period a year ago. Longmont collected $5,471,457 in January, compared with $5,318,866 in January 2011. The collection in January represents sales made in December. The sales-tax component of collections increased by 2.6 percent from the same month the year before, and the use-tax component increased by 27.5 percent. Total sales- and use-tax collections for 2012 increased 4.5 percent compared with 2011. Automotive and food categories gained for the year, compared to 2011. Automotive sales-tax revenue was up 7.8 percent; food sales tax was up 7.9 percent. General sales tax was down 1.9 percent, and utilities sales-tax revenue decreased 0.8 percent for the year, compared to 2011. Use-tax revenue was up 79.1 percent for lumber, 29.7 percent for manufacturing and 12.4 percent for vehicles, compared to 2011. City lodging tax revenue increased 10.2 percent for the year, with $283,947 collected in 2012 compared with $257,566 collected in 2011.

Korea National University of Education in South Korea has achieved Bose-Einstein Condensate using Boulder based ColdQuanta Inc.’s RuBECi atom chip cell. Within four months of acquiring the cell from ColdQuanta, student Hoon Yu achieved his thesis goal and produced BEC. Hoon will continue his research in cold and ultracold matter in a post-doctoral position at JILA, a joint institute between the University of Colorado-Boulder and the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

NASCAR Productions has selected a Spectra T-Finity tape library made by Boulder-based Spectra Logic Corp. to archive 180,000 hours of high-resolution video footage. The tape library will manage and store NASCAR’s historical broadcast data, including events, television programs, movies, commercials and other data sets. NASCAR’s video footage previously was archived on a Spectra T950 tape library, enabling a transition to a higher-capacity T-Finity library using Spectra’s TranScale feature, which protects prior investments and allows users to seamlessly transform and scale an existing tape library.

The Colorado Institute for Drug, Device and Diagnostic Development, or CID4, a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization, selected Aurora-based AktiVax Inc. to receive funding and management assistance. CID4 syndicated the investment with Boulder-based venture capital firm High Country Venture. AktiVax is a development-stage medical device company, advancing development of its proprietary prefillable drug delivery devices for pharmaceutical markets. AktiVax is a tenant of the Bioscience Park Center at Fitzsimons which is also home to CID4.


Broomfield-based Vail Resorts Inc. reported net profit of $60.5 million in the most recent quarter, a rise of 30.5 percent over the same period the year before. The ski operator (NYSE: MTN) said the quarterly net profit translated into $1.65 per share for investors for the most recent quarter ended Jan. 31, compared with a $46.4 million net profit, or $1.27 per share for the same period a year earlier. Total net revenue for the quarter was $422.5 million, a 13.2 percent increase from the $373.3 million reported for the same quarter a year earlier.

Boulder-based Clovis Oncology Inc. (Nasdaq: CLVS) reported a net loss of $21 million for the fourth quarter, following a “disappointing outcome” for a key pancreatic cancer drug study in November. Clovis reported a net loss of $74 million in 2012. That compared to a net loss of $14.9 million for the fourth quarter of 2011 and a loss of $55.6 million for all of 2011.

Niwot-based Boulder Brands Inc. (Nasdaq: BDBD) reported profit of $49.5 million in fourth quarter 2012, an increase of 36.1 percent from the same period a year earlier. Boulder Brands sells gluten-free and natural food s through the brands of Udi’s, Glutino and Earth Balance. Profit was $36.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2011. Revenue for the fourth quarter was $113 million, a 34.7 percent increase from revenue of $83.9 million for the same quarter in 2011.

Longmont-based DigitalGlobe Inc. (NYSE: DGI) reported a net profit of $17.1 million in fourth quarter 2012, driven in large part by a government contract with the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency. For all of 2012, DigitalGlobe reported a net profit of $39 million. The 2012 company profits compared positively with a net loss of $27 million in fourth quarter 2011 and a net loss of 28.1 million for that year. Fourth-quarter 2012 revenue was $125.4 million, and full-year 2012 revenue was $421.4 million.


Boulder-based Campus Publishers added the University of Montana to its family of approximately 40 Official University Visitor Guides. The guide will reach 40,000 members of the UMT community. The company publishes the University of Colorado and University of Northern Colorado guides.

Koglin Group LLC’s Point of Sales department in Louisville will team with NCR Corp. to install electrical and data services in 36 Wendy’s restaurants in Tampa, Florida.

Boulder-based MiRagen Therapeutics Inc. signed a license agreement with University of Glasgow and the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom to develop a drug treatment for pulmonary arterial hypertension. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Pulmonary arterial hypertension is abnormally high-blood pressure in the arteries of the lungs, which is life-threatening.

TDA Boulder was selected as the creative agency for The Chill Foundation, a charitable nonprofit established by privately held Burton Snowboards. An undisclosed budget will support online and print advertising. Chill, based in Burlington, Vermont, brings at-risk and underserved children from cities across North America, Japan and Austria to the slopes to build life skills and self-esteem through snowboarding.


Spirit Airlines Inc., which made its Colorado debut in May, will add daily nonstop service between Denver and Houston beginning June 13. The same plane will continue to, and originate from, Orlando, Florida. A daily flight will leave DIA at 9 a.m. and arrive at Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) at 12:19 p.m. Central time. The return flight will leave Houston at 5:45 p.m. Central time and arrive in Denver at 7:08 p.m.

Deadline to submit items for Business Digest is three weeks prior to publication of each biweekly issue. Mail to Editor, Boulder County Business Report, 3180 Sterling Circle, Suite 201, Boulder, CO 80301-2338; fax to 303-440-8954; or email to with Business Digest in the subject line. Photos submitted will not be returned.

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