Business buzz: Economic indicators shows uptick in coal production | CraigDailyPress.com

Business buzz: Economic indicators shows uptick in coal production

Yampa Valley Data Partners released its Fast Facts report last week, outlining recent economic activity in Northwest Colorado. The following are economic indicators for Moffat and Routt counties:

Energy

Year-to-date coal production through June was up roughly 10 percent in Moffat County and nearly 17 percent in Routt County compared to the previous year, according to Fast Facts. The increase is compared to a statewide decline of 1.6 percent in coal production. Year-to-date oil production was down in both counties.

Real estate

In July, median listing prices were down 5.5 percent in Routt County and 5.3 percent in Moffat County from the previous July. The number of homes for sale in August dropped by 12.9 percent in Moffat and by 6.5 percent in Routt compared to August 2013.

Employment

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Moffat County’s unemployment rate of 5.4 percent in July remained unchanged from the previous month and compared favorably to its July 2013 rate of 6.1 percent.

Routt County’s July unemployment rate of 3.9 percent is the lowest rate the county has seen since September 2008.

Industry

In the first quarter of 2014, more Moffat residents worked in the retail trade than in any other industry, while mining provided the highest wages. Accommodations and food service accounted for the greatest number of jobs in Routt, with finance and insurance providing the highest wages.

Climate

Stagecoach and Yamcolo Reservoir levels were running better than 20 percent above average. Yampa River streamflow in Steamboat was more than three times the average, while accumulated precipitation on Buffalo Pass/Rabbit Ears was more than 25 percent above average.

New optometrist begins at Eyecare Specialties

Eyecare Specialties of Northwest Colorado recently welcomed a new optometrist to its staff, Natalie Hansen, O.D., M.Ed. A Colorado native, Hansen returns to her home state after completing her Doctor of Optometry degree at Pacific University College of Optometry in Forest Grove, Oregon, where she also completed a Master of Education degree with an emphasis in visual function in learning.

Hansen has a passion for pediatrics and vision therapy and seeks to apply her specialized training in education through involvement with local schools and teachers. She recently had the opportunity to travel to Peru to provide eye care to patients in need and hopes to continue to travel to other countries on eye care mission trips throughout her optometric career.

Colorado State Fair sees financial boom at this year's event

PUEBLO — The 142nd annual Colorado State Fair increased its revenue and attendance this year.

"This year, we saw increased attendance and increases in three of our primary revenue-generating sectors including the highest food and beverage sales we've had in five years," General Manager Chris Wiseman said in a statement.

Food and beverage gross revenue jumped 6 percent at the 2014 state fair compared to 2013, logging roughly $2.3 million. Gate revenue rose 7 percent this year to $925,256 compared to last year, and carnival revenue increased 17 percent to $902,415.

Additional snapshots from the Colorado State Fair, as outlined in a news release:

• Attendance increased 5 percent to 498,720.

• The fairgrounds provides nearly $34 million in economic activity to Colorado throughout the year; $29 million of that activity is driven by the annual State Fair event.

• The 2014 Colorado's Touchstone Energy Cooperatives Junior Livestock Sale celebrated a record-breaking year. According to preliminary totals, the 2014 sale accumulated approximately $480,950 from the state's most dedicated bidders. Last year's sale totaled $452,424. Preliminary results are available at http://www.coloradostatefair.com/p/events/244.

• The fair provides $340,000 of its annual budget and facilities for the FFA and 4-H youths.

• The jobs provided by the Colorado State Fair equate to 371 year-round positions.

BBB Warning: Schools getting fake invoices

The Better Business Bureau is warning schools and school districts across the country about possible fake invoices for educational supplies, according to a BBB news release.

In the past few weeks, there has been a rush of complaints filed with BBB against "Scholastic School Supply," which claim either a Nevada or New Jersey address that turn out to be mail drops.

To date, BBB has received complaints from schools in 27 states, including Colorado.

The bogus invoices have been for $647.50 for the bulk purchase of "English-Language Arts Practice Books" or $388.50 for math workbooks (though the amounts and products could change at any time). School officials have said they cannot reach the company to inquire about the products or amounts allegedly owed, and all have denied ever doing business with the company previously.

BBB urges schools not to pay the invoices but to send them to the local postal inspector and the Federal Trade Commission, as well as their state's attorney general or consumer protection agency.

So far, none of the complainants have sent money; however, BBB has no way of knowing if any schools unknowingly have paid the invoice, since they would not have filed a complaint.

Due to BBB's process for handling complaints, which gives a business as long as a month to respond, the complaints received to date still are considered pending.

The UPS Store in Las Vegas is a BBB Accredited Business and is cooperating with the postal inspector and other agencies investigating the scheme.

Scholastic Inc. has issued a statement regarding the fraudulent use of its name and trademarks.