Briefcase – December 2019
Two electric co-ops are petitioning state regulators to force Westminster-based power wholesaler Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association Inc. to give them quotes for exit fees. In filings with the Colorado Public Utilities Commission earlier this month, Durango-based La Plata Electric Association Inc. and Brighton’s United Power Inc. both claim Tri-State refused to give it an exit fee quote when it requested one in early July and in August 2018, respectively.
Two opponents of the Hughes Stadium redevelopment proposal are saying Fort Collins Mayor Wade Troxell and council member Kristin Stephens violated ethics rules by voting for the project. The ethics complaint argues Troxell and Stevens should have recused themselves from the initial vote to rezone the property this month because the two are Colorado State University employees and may have an interest in the outcome of the development. CSU owns the property, which is eyed by Miami homebuilder Lennar Corp. Opponents argue that the property should remain open space, or be developed at a lower density to prevent traffic overload.
The nonprofit Wolverine Farm Publishing and Publick House is facing foreclosure in late January after it couldn’t raise the money to stay current on its mortgage. The literary house and bar at 316 Willow St. in Fort Collins received its first notice for demand in late September and has been scheduled for a sheriff’s auction on Jan. 29, according to Larimer County property records. As of Sept. 25, Wolverine owes $769,630 on loan with a principal of $725,000 and at 3 percent interest. Its deadline to say it plans to cure the foreclosure is Jan. 14, and its final chance to get current on payments in Jan. 28.
The University of Colorado Boulder and the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus are embarking on a plan to collaborate on research to improve human health, innovation and economic development. The two campuses will attempt to drive innovation and research breakthroughs, win more competitive awards, and elevate reputation through combined research efforts; identify areas of collaboration between existing research strengths in biosciences, biochemistry, engineering, arts and sciences, pharmacology and immunology, public health, mental health and other areas; remove existing administrative barrier and unlock potential through leadership communication and connectivity; and charter individuals and groups on both campuses to own and accelerate the process of enhanced partnership.
Uplight Inc., an energy technology firm formed by the merger of Tendril Inc. and Simple Energy Inc., is now a certified B Corporation. B Corporations are for-profit entities that have committed to upholding standards of social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency.
2 Dog Diner, a popular restaurant in Longmont’s Prospect neighborhood, closed Nov. 3 after more than a dozen years in business. Diner owners Paul and Pam Roberts plan to retire and move to California.
Energes Services Inc., a Greeley construction and oil-rig servicing company, laid off its entire staff and is closing amid a lawsuit over unpaid insurance bonds. The layoffs, which total 121, were reported to the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment. In a letter sent to state officials, Energes described itself as a “faltering company” and couldn’t find an emergency cash infusion since mid-July. Energes was sued two weeks ago by an Ohio insurance company that claimed it is dealing with more than $500,000 in claims from Energes’ failure to fulfill its building contracts. The company was fired from a landscaping project in Centerra Metropolitan District #1 in September after it said it couldn’t fulfill its duties.
Blue Federal Credit Union secured the naming rights to areas of the Budweiser Events Center. The Wyoming-based credit union will become the name sponsor for the venue’s guest services booth and its restaurant. Blue will also gain the right to rebrand other assets around the stadium. The credit union did not say how much the deal is worth, or how long it will last.
Advanced Energy Industries Inc. (Nasdaq: AEIS) posted revenues of $175.1 million in the period, an increase of $2 million from the same quarter last year. Its non-adjusted earnings were 47 cents per share, or 19 cents per share when adjusted to generally accepted accounting principles. The company made $7.63 million in profits for the period, a sharp decline from the $34.77 million it posted in the same period last year. However, that may be explained in part by the closure of Advanced Energy’s $400 million acquisition of Artesyn Embedded Technologies Inc. in mid-September.
AeroGrow International Inc. (OTCQB: AERO), the Boulder-based producer of the AeroGarden kitchen garden appliance, posted net revenue of $4.4 million in the second quarter of fiscal year 2019, a 48 percent dropoff from the same period last year. Losses in the quarter topped $1.1 million. AeroGrow posted $672,000 in the second quarter of 2018.
Brickell Biotech Inc. (Nasdaq: BBI) posted $4.78 million in losses in its first quarter after going public via a reverse merger and initial public offering. The Boulder dermatology company posted $1.18 million in collaboration revenue in its third quarter 2019 earnings but took a $1.65 per share loss in the period. That was likely due to spending $3.9 million in administrative expenses to close the merger, compared to $1.2 million during the same period last year. Brickell originally went public in early September after closing its reverse initial public offering and takeover of San Diego-based Vical Inc. The company has $7.22 million in cash and liquid assets on hand, but also has up to $18.47 million in securities for sale as a fundraising option.
Charlotte’s Web Holdings Inc. (OTC: CWBHF), a CBD product manufacturer, grew its revenue in the third quarter of fiscal year 2019 but posted a loss for the period. The firm’s quarterly revenues were $25.1 million, up nearly 42 percent from the same period in 2018. However, increasing expenses dragged the firm’s quarterly revenues were $25.1 million, up nearly 42 percent from the same period in 2018. However, Charlotte’s Web’s increasing expenses dragged the firm’s overall results into the red. Charlotte’s Web recorded a net loss of $1.3 million in the third quarter after posting a $1.8 million profit during that quarter in 2018. For the first three quarters of the fiscal year, the firm has recorded net income of $3.2 million.
Clovis Oncology Inc. (Nasdaq: CLVS) beat analyst expectations in its third-quarter earnings after a brutal early Q2 pummeled its stock price. The Boulder cancer treatment company posted revenues of $37.6 million for the quarter and a loss of $1.72 per share, according to filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Those figures beat Wall Street consensus estimates by $1.76 million and 17 cents of additional loss per share. The company’s stock was battered in August from its last earnings report, where it posted a $120.9 million net loss and missed earnings per share estimates by 56 cents.
Crocs Inc. (Nasdaq: CROX), the Niwot-based casual footwear firm, posted record revenue totals in third-quarter of fiscal year 2019 and reported quarterly sales of $312.8 million, up 19.8 percent from the same period last year.
Medical device maker Encision Inc. (PK: ECIA) reduced its revenue loss rate in its latest quarter, but its overall revenues in its current fiscal year are down 34 percent. The Boulder surgical instrument maker posted net revenues of $1.92 million for the quarter and a $30,000 profit, compared with $2.2 million in sales and $12,000 in profit in the same quarter last year.
Gaia Inc. (Nasdaq: GAIA), a Louisville-based yoga-focused streaming video service, posted higher than anticipated revenues for the third quarter of fiscal year 2019. Revenues jumped 25 percent to $13.7 million in the most recent quarter from $10.9 million in the same period in 2018. Gaia attributes much of that improvement to a 16 percent increase in subscribers since September 2018. The company had 595,000 at the end of the third quarter of 2019. Gaia has yet to turn the corner to profitability, but it is getting close.
Heska Corp. (Nasdaq: HSKA) saw its vaccines and pet pharmaceutical business increase sales by a third over the course of a year, while its core segment sales declined. The Loveland veterinary company reported $31.24 million in revenue and posted a net loss of $300,000 for the quarter. Heska’s “Core Companion Animal” business made the vast majority of revenue, bringing in $26.3 million during the quarter. However, that segment’s sales declined by 3.1 percent year-over-year, mostly due to a halving in sales from its pharmaceutical, vaccination and diagnostics segment. The company’s “Other Vaccines and Pharmaceuticals” business pulled in $4.9 million for the quarter, a 30.1 percent increase from the same period last year. Heska most recently finished a $86.25 million off-market funding round, with about $11.25 million going toward refinancing existing debt and $75 million going toward company operations.
Maxar Technologies Inc. (NYSE: MAXR) has launched a $1.25 billion fundraiser ahead of releasing its third-quarter earnings, where the company beat Wall Street sales estimates by $10 million. The Westminster-based aerospace and satellite-imaging company posted $479 million in revenues for the quarter and a net loss per share of 44 cents per share. While the $479 million figure is about a 6 percent decline from the same period last year, Maxar’s losses fell from $289 million last year to $26 million in the last quarter.
Noodles & Co. (Nasdaq: NDLS), a Broomfield-based fast casual restaurant chain, boosted year-over-year revenue and reduced costs in the third quarter of fiscal year 2019, posting a net income that was more than double the same period last year. The firm reported $118.3 million in revenue in the quarter that ended Oct. 1, up from $116.7 million in Q3 of last year. Noodles attributes the bump primarily to increases in comparable restaurant sales. During the first three quarters of this fiscal year Noodles reported a net income of $2.8 million, or $0.06 per diluted share, compared with a net loss of $8.5 million, or $0.20 per diluted share for the first three quarters of 2018.
Chicken producer Pilgrim’s Pride Inc. (Nasdaq: PPC) saw modest gains in sales in the past quarter, telling stock analysts that it was confident in the future of chicken demand. In its Q3 filings, the Greeley company said it posted $2.78 billion in sales for the quarter and 44 cents of earnings per share, beating Wall Street consensus estimates by $40 million and 5 cents per share respectively. It posted a $112 million profit, compared with $52 million in the same quarter during 2018. Sales increased 3 percent year-over-year for the company, which attributed the increase to a difficult Q3 2018 in the commodities market and subsequent recovery.
Surna Inc. (OTCQB: SRNA) posted a company record $5.52 million in revenue in the third quarter this year as it continues to eye another initial public offering onto the Nasdaq. The Boulder company, which specializes in environmental engineering for marijuana and hemp grow operations, saw a 31 percent increase over its Q2 earnings earlier this year. It earned 1 cent per share for the period. The company posted $222,000 in profits for the quarter.
Power-systems maker Woodward Inc. (Nasdaq: WWD) missed Wall Street estimates for its fourth quarter 2019 earnings, saying Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) and the bankruptcy of a major customer pushed its revenues down. The Fort Collins-based company posted $737 million in revenue and diluted earnings of $1.03 per share for the period. However, Woodward posted $66.7 million in profits for the quarter and a 2.7 percent year-over-increase in revenue.
Zayo Group Holdings Inc. (NYSE: ZAYO) saw its revenue fall by $45.1 million from the last quarter but reaffirmed its pending merger timeline. In its first quarter 2020 earnings, the Boulder internet infrastructure company posted $638.6 million in revenue across its business segments and 8 cents per share in the period. The company said it had $17.9 million in net income for the period, a 71 percent decrease compared with last quarter’s $63 million. The company is working toward selling itself to two private investment firms for $14.3 billion and take it off the public markets. The company still expects to close the deal within the first half of 2020 as it works towards securing regulatory approvals.
Boulder Convention and Visitors Bureau chief executive Mary Ann Mahoney recently won the Governor’s Award for Outstanding Individual Contribution to Colorado Tourism. The award is presented to “an individual to recognize his or her tireless contributions to advancing the Colorado tourism industry.” Mahoney and the other honorees were recognized at the 2019 Governor’s Colorado Tourism Conference held in Denver.
Boulder-based Biodesix Inc. and Array BioPharma Inc. (Nasdaq: ARRY) were recognized by the Colorado Bioscience Association for their contributions to the state’s life science industry in 2019. Biodesix, a commercial-stage pharmaceutical that focuses on cancer treatments, won the association’s Company of the Year award. Boulder’s Brickell Biotech Inc. (Nasdaq: BBI) was a finalist in this category. Array, a company developing rapid-screen tests for lung cancer, received the association’s Deal of the Year award. The firm announced in June it would be acquired by pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) in a deal estimated to be worth about $11 billion.
CO-LABS, a state consortium of federally funded laboratories, announced recipients of the 2019 Governor’s Awards for High-Impact Research, one of which is a project led by researchers at the University of Colorado’s Joint Institute for Laboratory Astrophysics. That award, presented during a ceremony Nov. 12 in Denver, honored a group of scientists working with the National Institute of Standards and Technology for the development of “a technology based on Nobel Prize-winning research on lasers from JILA at the University of Colorado-Boulder that has been ruggedized and commercialized in Colorado for use in the field and can detect methane a quarter of a human breath from over a mile away,” according to a CO-LABS news release.
Smith Energy Corp., a Greeley-based energy company, filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, listing assets of $334,611 and liabilities of $773,000. The company stated that it had up to 49 creditors. Smith Energy stated in the filing that it is in possession of real property that requires “immediate attention,” identifying the Running Creek 11 property in Elbert County. An “oil leak occurred on property and was identified by the Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Commission,” the company stated, adding that the area will be cleaned pursuant to state regulations under the orphan-well program. Smith stated that the Running Creek 11 property is not insured, but attorney Mark Larson of the Larson Law Firm LLC in Louisville, which represents Smith Energy, said the company had filed bonds on the property as required by state law. Larson said that Smith was affected by Anadarko Petroleum Corp.’s shutdown of a feeder pipeline related to the 2017 explosion in Frederick, preventing Smith Energy from delivering its products. He said the closure of Smith Energy, which is based at 12076 Shiloh Road in Greeley, will affect two employees. Smith Energy constitutes the second Greeley-based energy company to announce closure in the past two weeks. Energes Services Inc., a Greeley oil-rig servicing company, announced Oct. 30 that it would shut down, eliminating 121 jobs.
Peak Serum Inc. and Thomas Kutrubes, the Wellington-based biologics firm’s founder, declared bankruptcy. The Chapter 11 filing, which was made Nov. 13 in U.S. Bankruptcy Court of Colorado, comes less than two months after Kutrubes was hit with a $2 million fine for trademark infringement, unfair competition and misappropriation of trade secrets related to his formation of Peak Serum in 2014.
Dean Foods Co. (NYSE: DF), the nation’s top milk producer, has filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy protection. The firm, which owns and operates more than 50 brands including TruMoo and Dairy Pure, is exploring the possibility of a sale to farmer-owned marketing cooperative Dairy Farmers of America. Dean has several historic connections to the Boulder Valley region. In 2002, the firm acquired Boulder-based White Wave Inc,, maker of milk products such as Silk and Horizon Organic. French dairy company Danone SA, which has operations in Broomfield, bought White Wave in 2017. Dean also has made recent investments in local firms, including a 2017 investment in Boulder-based Good Karma Foods.
Two Colorado investors are suing to stop a $1.7 billion tie-up between Denver-based oil companies PDC Energy Inc. (Nasdaq: PDCE) and SRC Energy Inc. (NYSE: SRCI), a deal that if closed would create Weld County’s second-largest oil and gas operator. In two separate suits filed in the U.S. District of Colorado, Michael Ben-Yosef and Michael Waynick both allege that the two oil companies didn’t file enough information to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Specifically, the two allege that financial analyses from Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) and Citigroup Inc. (NYSE: C) are incomplete because they don’t include the original financial data from the two oil companies for investors to view for themselves.
Brickell Biotech Inc. (Nasdaq: BBI) lost a major funding stream after a Florida company sued it for alleged bad-faith practices. In filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the Boulder-based dermatology company said one of its backers, North Carolina investment fund NovaQuest Capital Management LLC, suspended its payments after Miami-based Bodor Labs Inc. filed suit against Brickell. NovaQuest will resume payments if the lawsuit is dropped within a year. Brickell also said the loss of funding could impact its Phase III clinical trials for Sofpironium Bromide, an anti-underarm sweating gel.
MERGERS AND ACQUISITIONS
Banner Health closed the property transfer of North Colorado Medical Center from Weld County as part of its larger $328.4 million acquisition of the hospital. The Arizona health care group paid $280,501,500 for the hospital and its clinics around Greeley on Oct. 9, according to Weld County property records. The deal was first announced between Banner, the county and NCMC Inc., the hospital’s holding company, in August. Banner closed that property transfer a week after Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser greenlit the deal. The state attorney general’s office is required to review major deals between local governments and companies for possible loss in benefits to an area, and to make sure assets don’t leave the state.
Fort Collins construction company Dohn Construction Inc. merged with Denver Design Build LLC in a bid to build more projects across the northern Front Range. The combined company will keep the Dohn Construction name. Jeff Gates, one of the co-owners of Denver Design Build, is the nephew of Dohn Construction president Doug Dohn and chief financial officer Connie Dohn. Gates will be field operations director for the Denver metro area, while former Denver Design Build co-owner Jeff Ayers will become the company’s director for new business.
Hewlett Packard Inc. (NYSE:HPQ) shot down a bid by rival computing company Xerox Inc. (NYSE: XRX) after weeks of speculation between a possible tie-up involving one of Fort Collins’ largest private employers. HP’s board said it unanimously rejected a $22 per share offer from Xerox, calling it both unsolicited and an undervaluation of the computer maker. HP also raised concerns about the large debt load the combined company would carry. However, in a letter sent to Xerox’s board, HP said it remains open to exploring a combination between the two companies in the future.
PCD Engineering Inc., a Longmont-based building design and engineering firm that focuses on energy efficiency and performance, merged with Denver’s Lightly Treading Inc. The combined company will offer an increased scope of in-house advisory services for building envelopes, which serve as a barrier between a structure’s exterior and interior features.
The Cigarette Store Corp., known as Smoker Friendly, acquired Smoker’s Outlet, a 33-store chain based in Missouri. Smoker Friendly has 102 stores in several western states and Florida.
Aleph Objects Inc. of Loveland, at one time one of the fastest growing companies in Northern Colorado, agreed to an asset sale, which includes the well-known LulzBot 3D printing brand. Buyer is Fargo Additive Manufacturing Equipment 3D (FAME 3D), a Fargo, North Dakota, company. Aleph announced in October that it was laying off 80 percent of its workforce in an effort to stay afloat until a sale could occur.
Columbia Care Inc. (OTCQX: CCHWF), a New York-based firm publicly traded in Canada, acquired The Green Solution LLC in a deal valued at $140 million. TGS, Colorado’s largest pot retail chain, operates 21 dispensaries, including locations in Longmont and Fort Collins.
The owner of a swath of car dealerships in Greeley, Loveland and Longmont added two Fort Collins car dealerships to its holdings. Ed Tynan said he sold the family-owned Tynan Nissan and Tynan Kia dealerships, at 5811 S. College Ave. and 2849 S. College Ave. respectively, to the Weibel family so his family could retire. The dealerships will replace the Tynan moniker with “Fort Collins” in their names. The sale gives the Weibels ownership of six separate dealerships in Northern Colorado and Longmont. The family already owns Loveland Ford, Valley Subaru of Longmont, Valley Nissan and Mitsubishi of Longmont, Greeley Nissan and Volkswagen and Prestige Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep/Ram in Longmont. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The Weibels don’t plan to reduce headcount at either of its new locations.
Molecular Products Inc. acquired Pennsylvania chemicals company O.C. Lugo Inc. in a bid to sell more oxygen supplies to U.S. defense agencies. The deal was closed Oct. 30. Molecular Products declined to disclose the financials of the acquisition. O.C. Lugo’s main product is chloride candles, which produce oxygen when burned in situations where air is scarce, such as in underground mines or submarines. It has signed 219 contracts over its lifespan with the U.S. Defense Logistics Agency and the U.S. Navy, according to federal contracting data.
Lathrop Gage LLP, a Kansas City-based law firm with offices in Boulder and Denver, is merging with Minnesota-based firm Gray Plant Mooty PA to form Lathrop GPM LLP. The merger, effective in January, will create a combined 400-attorney, 14-office firm. The deal will not impact operations at existing Lathrop Gage offices, including on Junction Place in Boulder.
Biodesix Inc., a Boulder-based lung-cancer diagnostics company, completed its acquisition of U.K.-based Oncimmune’s laboratory and incidental pulmonary nodule malignancy test in the United States. Oncimmune’s U.S. commercial and lab operations, including a clinical laboratory in DeSoto, Kansas, are now operated by Biodesix.
Toronto-based software producer Cority Software Inc. purchased Axion Health Inc. in Broomfield as part of its employee-health division. The price was not disclosed. Axion produces software for hospitals to monitor workplace injuries and manage health-code compliance.
Pilgrim’s Pride Corp. (Nasdaq: PPC) closed its buyout of British pork producer Tulip Ltd., giving it the second-largest prepared foods maker in that country. The Greeley-based chicken producer said it paid former owners Danish Crown AmbA the British Pound equivalent of $354 million USD in an all-cash deal.
VMWare Inc. (NYSE: VMW) closed its $2.1 billion acquisition of Carbon Black Inc., meaning about 120 employees working out of a 1433 Pearl St. office in Boulder have a new employer. In filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, VMWare said Carbon Black, which builds cloud security software, would form a new security business for the Palo Alto-based virtual computing company. The merger finished months ahead of schedule; VMWare previously said it expected the deal to close in January.
Radiology Imaging Associates PC of Englewood will join with 20 physicians from Rocky Mountain Radiologists PC to create a practice with more than 120 radiologists on Jan. 1. Rocky Mountain Radiologists has multiple locations in Colorado including Touchstone Imaging outpatient imaging centers in Lafayette and Superior. Radiology Imaging Associates operates radiologic services for Banner Health in Northern Colorado including Banner’s hospitals in Loveland and Greeley, as well as numerous clinics.
Madwire LLC, a Fort Collins-based technology company that provides business-management and marketing software, acquired SpaceCraft LLC, a cloud-based web-design company based in Austin, Texas. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The purchase marks Madwire’s second acquisition in 15 months, coming after the acquisition of Loveland-based payments company SilverEdge LLC in 2018.
The $397 million takeover of nutrition bar maker One Brands LLC by The Hershey Co. (NYSE:HSY) provides an opportunity for the Boulder-based firm to develop new products and reach consumers in additional retail outlets. One Brands, which manufactures One Bar protein snacks, began merger conversations with several large food conglomerates about a year ago. The deal was announced in late August and closed in October.
RockyMounts, a bike rack and mount maker formerly based in Boulder, settled into a new, temporary headquarters in Grand Junction. The firm, founded by Bobby Noyes, plans to build a permanent home at Grand Junction’s Riverfront at Las Colonias business park, but difficulties working with the city to secure a long-term lease at the site have delayed groundbreaking.
RockyMounts announced in June 2018 that it would leave Boulder for the outdoor industry-focused business park in Grand Junction, citing rising costs along the Front Range as one of the reasons for relocation.
The High Plains Library District board, based in Greeley, voted to assume the contract on the purchase of the Greeley Tribune building at 501 Eighth St. The building, bought for $4 million, will become the permanent location for the downtown Greeley library. The Tribune and its related publications will move to an undetermined location in Greeley. The library has been without a permanent home since its prior location was razed to make room for the DoubleTree by Hilton Greeley at Lincoln Park hotel and conference center. It is currently in temporary space at 1012 11th St. in Greeley.
Local beverage manufacturer Rowdy Mermaid Kombucha Inc. outgrew its existing Boulder headquarters, production and shipping facility and moved into a new 29,000-square-foot space in the city. The company’s new facility, which will allow the company to boost production 20-fold, is at 5311 Western Ave., adjacent to Vapor Distillery.
DaVita Inc. rebranded its DaVita Health Solutions unit as Vively Health, providing in-home primary care for high-risk, chronically ill patients.
Independent Bank, a subsidiary of Independent Bank Group Inc. (Nasdaq: IBTX), began rolling out its new name, Independent Financial. The McKinney, Texas-based bank, which acquired Denver-based Guaranty Bancorp. (Nasdaq: GBNK) Jan. 1 for $1 billion, began notifying customers of the change, which was first announced in May. Independent Financial operates branches in Berthoud, Brighton, Boulder, Eaton, Fort Collins, Greeley, Longmont, Loveland and Westminster.
Ziggi’s Coffee, tradename for Longmont-based BEC Longmont Inc., opened its 20th location Nov. 14, this one at 14325 Lincoln St. in Thornton. That location is the second for franchise owners Zdenek Dendis and Natalie Lord, who opened their first Ziggi’s in Westminster less than a year ago. The new location features an indoor café and a drive-through.
Wing Shack, a chain of chicken restaurants launched in Garden City, opened its seventh location, this one in Longmont, on Nov. 12. The chain also has locations in Fort Collins, Loveland, Windsor and Cheyenne.
A new Snarf’s Sandwiches restaurant location is open in Boulder, the city where the local chain got its start. Snarf’s LLC, which operates three existing Boulder sandwich shops and more than a dozen others along the Front Range, Missouri and Texas, took over the Jersey Mike’s Subs storefront at 2660 Pearl St.
The highly anticipated and long-delayed Tesla Inc. (Nasdaq: TSLA) showroom in downtown Superior appears to be still on track to open. Early this year, the Silicon Valley-based electric-car maker announced that it would attempt to cut costs by shifting its sales strategy away from brick-and-mortar dealerships. However, Tesla has since filed documents with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission suggesting that it had decided against such a drastic move away from physical dealership spaces. Approved by Superior town leaders in early 2018, the 22,000-square-foot sales and service center at the corner of McCaslin Boulevard and Marshall Road was initially expected to open in spring 2019.
Nékter Juice Bar, 3260 S. College Ave. in Fort Collins, held a grand opening Nov. 9. Co-owners of the new business are Jason and Sabrina Steele. The bar is the first Nékter Juice Bar in Northern Colorado. The bar features fresh juices, cold-pressed juice cleanses and acai bowls. The 1,400-square-foot space has indoor seating.
Fort Collins-based Numerica Corp., which recently opened a branch office in Colorado Springs, has now opened another branch office, this time at 1801 Wewatta St. in Denver. Numerica is a research and software development company that tackles difficult issues in the defense and space industries.
Swiss private equity firm Partners Group is operating its North American headquarters out of a new office campus in Broomfield’s Interlocken development.
Eldora Ski Resort opened Nov. 1 after a storm dumped up to 16 inches of snow on the area. The resort, about 21 miles west of Boulder, saw its earliest opening in more than two decades.
Bethesda, Maryland-based aerospace and defense contractor Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT), which has long had a presence in Boulder, expanded its Boulder County footprint with the recent lease of office space within the Xilinx Inc. campus in Longmont. Lockheed took on roughly 37,000 square feet at the southwest Longmont office. Lockheed Martin leased the entire 171,000-square-foot Spine Road building, where the company employs roughly 450 people who support its Space Systems business.
A new brewery is coming to Westminster’s northwest corner. James Coulter, formerly of Colorado Plus Brewpub in Wheat Ridge, will run Zymos Brewing as its head brewer after he and other co-owners signed a 10-year lease for just more than 4,200 square feet at 7691 W. 88th Ave. The brewery is scheduled to open in late March or early April.
A former New Belgium Brewing Co. and WeldWerks brewer is taking the last 6,000 square feet left in the Windsor Mill to start a new taphouse. The new brewery, dubbed “Peculierales,” is due to open next spring. The Windsor Mill Tavern and Italian restaurant Cacciatore’s opened in October in the building, which recently was rebuilt after an arsonist nearly destroyed the entire historic site.
Sushi-Rama, a conveyor belt sushi restaurant concept by Denver chef Jeff Osaka, will fill the last vacant retail space at the Arista mixed-used development in Broomfield. The Broomfield restaurant at 8181 Arista Place is Osaka’s fifth Sushi-rama location. It is expected to open in early 2020.
Maxar Technologies Inc. (NYSE: MAXR) is preparing to open a satellite office in St. Louis, just miles away from a major hub for American intelligence gathering. The company, which produces satellite imaging and supports space missions, said it would rent office space to house 48 employees in downtown St. Louis. The office is less than three miles from the current and future campuses for the U.S. National Geospatial Intelligence Agency.
Mile High Labs Inc. cut the ribbon on its 400,000-square-foot CBD plant in Broomfield in October as it plans a years-long ramp-up to make pharmaceutical-grade cannabinoids the industry standard. The company believes the plant positions it and the Front Range as the epicenter of the CBD industry around the world, Mile High CEO Stephen Mueller said to a gathering of employees and local officials in the building cafeteria. Mile High announced that it would buy the plant, a pharmaceutical plant formerly owned by Sandoz Inc., for about $18.8 million in June.
A Dacono-based custom vehicle manufacturer began production on its first EarthRoamer LTi, a carbon-fiber off-road recreational vehicle that will set back its buyers by up to $700,000. The new vehicle, built on a Ford frame, is cheaper than the other models it produces. EarthRoamer is the trade name for Xpedition Vehicle Service LLC, owned by Bill Swails.
Misty Robotics Inc., a Boulder-based spinoff of Sphero Inc., made its Misty II robot available for purchase by the general public. The professional-grade programmable robot, which has business, educational, research and personal applications, had previously been available only to supporters of Misty’s past crowdfunding efforts. Applications for the robot range from home inspections to environmental monitoring to autism-care therapy. Misty II retails for $3,199, and products are generally shipped within a week of being ordered.
Boomers, a magazine for BizWest’s older readers — or those interested in issues affecting the Baby Boom generation — has been published and is available on the BizWest website. This year’s edition of the publication, which includes lists of businesses that have services for older generations, also includes multiple articles.
Insights, BizWest’s compendium of success stories involving executives of companies from Northern Colorado and the Boulder Valley, has been published and is available online at BizWest.com. Each month, BizWest publishes at least one executive profile and one One-on-One question and answer feature. These are gathered together into Insights, a magazine that details how numerous executives and companies achieved success. Suggestions for future stories can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Biodesix Inc., a company developing rapid-screen tests for lung cancer, secured a patent for its blood sample collection device. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued the patent on Sept. 24, which describes how the device separates a blood sample into liquid and solids before it’s sent off to a lab for testing. The device doesn’t have to be kept cold or be shipped in a traditional larger single-use container to keep the sample stable enough for testing, the company said.
Meyer Natural Foods LLC, a Loveland-based supplier of organic beef, has introduced a line of plant-based burgers. The new burgers, which are sold under the Laura’s brand name, are gluten-free and made with 100 percent plant-sourced protein.
Construction of fiber-optic lines to facilitate high-speed internet services to customers throughout Loveland has begun. Brieana Reed-Harmel, municipal fiber manager for the city of Loveland’s new utility, called Pulse, said contractors engaged by the city were to begin to bore underground in order to lay fiber-optic lines as installation of four additional service huts continues in strategic places around the city. The first of those huts, or substations, was installed at the city service center, 200 N. Wilson Ave. A total of five huts will be installed by the end of the year.
Multiple Northern Colorado health organizations partnered with the Loveland Housing Authority to provide a mobile health-care service for use by low-income housing areas served by the authority. Called Loveland Health Care-A-Van, the program provides a mobile clinic that brings medical professionals to neighborhoods. The professionals will provide on-site medical services and wellness screenings to the community with emphasis on residents of the Loveland Housing Authority but the services are open to the community. The mobile clinic is facilitated through Aspire3D, a new nonprofit focused on creating initiatives in three of Loveland Housing Authority’s low-income communities.
The Colorado Secretary of State’s Business Intelligence Center and the University of Colorado Leeds School of Business’ business research division launched an online workshop to help users better access and interpret publicly available business information. The workshop is available for free online at www.sos.state.co.us/pubs/info_center/training.html#bic.
The Wyatt Fort Collins, an apartment community on Straus Cabin Road, is the first in Colorado to be fully connected to Xfinity Communities, a smart home automation application. Xfinity Communities allows renters and property managers to monitor thermostats, water leaks and door locks. Xfinity Communities is a service of Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA), which recently announced it would close its call center in Fort Collins, leaving up to 237 workers uncertain about the future of their jobs.
Boulder Community Health switched to a new electronic patient recordkeeping system Oct. 1. The health care nonprofit said it switched its patient recordkeeping system to Epic Electronic Health Record. The new system includes an online portal that allows patients to view test results, send messages to doctors, schedule appointments and pay bills from a computer or smartphone. BCH previously had two different recordkeeping systems at once.
Estes Park’s electrical service has turned on Trailblazer Broadband, the city-owned fiber internet utility. The service is only available at the moment for a small neighborhood on Estes Park’s north side, but the utility plans to start construction in phases to eventually connect most of the city by fall 2022. The city is piloting service for a handful of customers. Once the city is connected, construction will start to connect every Estes Park Power & Communications customer, which includes residents of Glen Haven to the north and Allenspark to the south.
An e-scooter pilot program is expected to launch in mid-October with 250 scooters placed on campus at Colorado State University and 250 scooters spread throughout Fort Collins. The city and university have will not identify which scooter company they are working with until a contract is finalized. The city will use the 12-month pilot to collect data and craft a longer-term scoot sharing policy. With several exceptions, e-scooters will be treated like bicycles under newly updated city ordinances. Scooters will be allowed on streets and sidewalks, but not in parks or on trails.