Starr Pass resort, golf club gets renovation, recognition
The JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort & Spa has undergone $6 million in transformations for six specific areas on property. The “Six for Six” changes were expected to be completed by March 1.
Upgrades include a new parking garage with 400 spaces that adds the option of self-parking to the resort’s valet parking.
Other changes include the Hashani Spa, a separate outdoor entrance for Primo, an expanded entrance and additional indoor and outdoor lighting.
Also at Starr Pass, the resort has been awarded the management contract for the Starr Pass Golf Club, making the course part of the Marriott Golf portfolio.
Planned renovations include upgrades to all three nine-hole Signature Arnold Palmer-designed golf courses, increasing the challenge for golfers without damaging the surrounding environment. The 20,000-square-foot clubhouse will also be redesigned. And, the Catalina Steakhouse at Starr Pass Golf Club is now open Monday nights for dinner.
Corporate & Incentive Travel Magazine recently awarded the The Starr Pass Golf Club at the JW Marriott Resort & Spa with the 2006 Greens of Distinction Award in recognition of outstanding golf facilities and service for corporate meetings and incentive travel programs.
SBA, Az credit union
The U.S. Small Business Administration and the Arizona Credit Union System have joined to help start, maintain and expand small business in Arizona. SBA and ACUS will work together to develop ways to conduct joint training and outreach activities to strengthen and expand small-business development.
Vantage West Credit Union receives award for excellence
Vantage West Credit Union was awarded the 2006 “Peter Barron Stark & Associates Award for Workplace Excellence.” The award is presented to organizations for exceeding an overall favorable response rate of at least 80 percent on their employee satisfaction survey.
Vantage West is Arizona’s fourth-largest credit union, with nearly 100,000 members and over $920 million in assets. There are nine branches in the Tucson metro area, one in Phoenix and one in San Manuel.
Bakerzin opens first U.S.
location near UA
Bakerzin, which serves authentic French pastries and desserts, has opened at 940 E. University Blvd. It is the first U.S. location for the restaurant, which was started in Singapore by CEO Daniel Tay, a pastry chef. In addition to desserts, the restaurant also offers soup and salad, light fare, pasta dishes, pizza main courses, and beverages.
Doucette buys 170-acre Academy Village
Doucette Communities, a local privately owned homebuilder, purchased the 170-acre Academy Village from Health Care REIT of Toledo, Ohio.
The community of 264 residences, meeting spaces, classrooms for activities of The Arizona Senior Academy, dining facilities and a fully equipped exercise area with professional fitness instruction is expected to be complete in about three years.
Academy Village was the idea of former University of Arizona President Henry Koffler. The goal of the community is to promote lifelong learning and use the collective experience of its residents to the benefit of southern Arizona.
Commerce Bank opens branch in Green Valley
Commerce Bank of Arizona opened its third branch in southern Arizona at 222 W. Esperanza in Green Valley.
The locally owned bank opened in 2002. It has since grown to more than $110 million in assets.
Retail center at Valencia, Cardinal roads completed
Barker Morrissey Contracting has completed Valencia Corners, a 7,500-square-foot retail center at Valencia and Cardinal roads.
The center features six retail shops, including a Subway Sandwich and a Pro Cuts hair salon. It brings more than 100 new jobs for the area.
Contractors recognize Tucson firms for community service
Three Tucson firms received Building Blocks of the Community awards
from the Arizona Registrar of Contractors Industry Advisory Council.
Chestnut Construction Corp. received recognition for its fundraising and Volunteer Day efforts. President and CEO Tom Chestnut and his employees participated in the Arizona Builders’ Alliance Volunteer Day, renovating a facility for Las Familias, a non-profit organization that provides counseling services to children who have been sexually abused.
Sundt Construction Inc. received the award for its Prince Elementary School Volunteer Project. A crew from Sundt Construction worked two days excavating an area at the low-income school to place donated playground equipment and built a concrete slab for the tetherball courts.
Naughton’s Plumbing Sales Co. received a corporate merit award for its Sunnyside School Supply Drive, which resulted in 190 backpacks and various school supplies for children at Craycroft Elementary School.
Tucson grade school earns Waldorf designation
The Enchanted Desert School & Playgarden has changed its name to Tucson Waldorf School, progressing as a developing member of the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America.
The Tucson Waldorf School is a nonprofit, independent school from pre-kindergarten through eighth grade. It is the first developing school in North America to be granted the Waldorf designation after completing a stringent self-study process newly required by AWSNA.
Waldorf Education curriculum addresses each dimension of the child’s being and seeks to promote a balanced and healthy unfolding of all the child’s capacities.
Westin La Paloma rated tops in company’s chain
For the fifth consecutive year, meeting planners named the Westin La Paloma Resort & Spa the No. 1 Westin in North America through surveys conducted by the Maritz Corp. This is the fifth straight year the resort has earned this rating.
The survey asked meeting planners to rate hotel performance in areas such as hotel services, knowledge of staff and overall experience.
New firm in town likes TREO’s BusinessLinc program
CDEX Inc., which is moving its headquarters to Tucson from Rockville, Md., said it plans to use TREO’s BusinessLINC program to identify local vendors and business partners for the company, which develops chemical detection and validation devices.
TREO’s BusinessLINC program focuses primarily on increasing awareness of the products and services available throughout southern Arizona and seeks to identify new sales opportunities for local small businesses.
TREO has generated $4.7 million in sales for local companies through BusinessLINC since it began in July 2005.
Skyline Country Club set
for $2.25 million renovation
Skyline Country Club will undergo a $2.25 million renovation of the clubhouse and golf course driving range.
Construction is set to start in the summer and will include a new fitness center, additional meeting rooms, expansion of the Skyline Room and complete upgrade of the golf driving range.
Skyline Country Club is at 5200 E. Saint Andrews Drive.
7 local firms honored by Southern AZ Home Builders
The Southern Arizona Home Builders Association recognized seven companies for industry excellence in 2006. Firms that won 2006 SAHBA awards were:
Builder of Year (over 450 units): Pulte Homes; Builder of Year (100-449 units): Standard Pacific Homes; Builder of Year (under 100 units): Doucette Homes; Custom Builder of Year: Washburn Custom Homes; Remodeler of Year: Canatsey Building & Development; Associate of Year: Southwest Gas Corp.; Trade Partner of Year: Johnson-Manley Lumber Company.
Theater, Best Buy, 8 others join O.V. Marketplace
Oro Valley Marketplace, Oracle and Tangerine roads, is not slated to open until September 2008 but it already has signed a list of tenants.
In addition to Oro Valley’s first movie theater, the 12-screen Cinemark Theatre, confirmed tenants include Cost Plus World Market, The Keg Steakhouse & Bar, Best Buy, Olive Garden, a Wal-Mart Supercenter, Linens and Things, Petco, Chase Bank and Danny’s Family Car Wash.
Vestar Development Co. is developing the 800,000-square-foot center.
First Magnus Financial
opens office in Vail
Tucson-based First Magnus Financial Corp. opened a new retail office in Vail. The office at 8160 S. Houghton Road, will provide residential lending service.
First Magnus Financial Corp. is the Tucson-based parent company of First Magnus. Started 10 years ago, it is one of the largest privately held mortgage banking operations in the United States. The company has more than 350 offices and more than 5,000 employees, with over 800 in the Tucson area.
New UA optical sciences
building wins architecture award
The University of Arizona’s new Meinel Optical Sciences Building received the American Institute of Architects Institute Honor Award, the profession’s highest recognition of works that exemplify excellence in architecture, interior architecture and urban design. It was selected out of more than 700 entries.
The building was designed by Richärd + Bauer Architects of Phoenix and built by Lloyd Construction Co. Inc.
The Meinel Building is a 47,000-square-foot facility that contains teaching and research labs, classrooms, interaction areas and offices.
APAC call center adds Expedia program to list
APAC Customer Services Inc.’s customer care center is expanding its Tucson center to house a new program to support Expedia Corporate Travel.
This new multiple-year program will entail answering inbound calls from corporate clients, assisting with reservations and troubleshooting.
Buffalo Exchange one of Az’s ’5 Hot Growth Companies’
Buffalo Exchange was named one of “Our 5 Hot Growth Companies” in Arizona for 2007 by bizAZ magazine.
Final selections were based on the companies’ financial strength, including revenue and employee growth, and advancements made in their respective fields.
As of last month, the resale clothing store chain had 29 stores and three franchises in 12 states, with more than $43 million a year in sales.
State program assists
technology firms with grants
In an effort to assist Arizona companies obtain federal research grants, the Arizona Department of Commerce is making available the AZFAST Grant Program.
AZFAST Grants assist Arizona technology companies with their technology commercialization efforts, in particular obtaining federal Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer grants.
AZFAST Grants are competitively awarded to Arizona technology companies to cover expenses (up to $5,000) related to customized, one-on-one technology commercialization services, such as grant writing services, grant coaching sessions and other relevant assistance in submitting a competitive SBIR/STTR proposal.
Obtain an application by e- mailing email@example.com and requesting RFGA G006-07. The applications are due by 3 p.m. March 12.
Pub chain with Irish theme coming to Tucson, rest of Az
Mike Dizinno of Tucson has signed a deal to develop Prime Pubs restaurants throughout Arizona.
The first pub is scheduled to open in Tucson at the end of 2007.
Prime Pubs of America Inc. is a division of Toronto-based Prime Restaurants.
The Irish pubs serve traditional Irish favorites and contemporary offerings paired with a global selection of beer.