Business briefs: Fuel tanks to be removed at 7-Eleven

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— Now that the 7-Eleven on U.S. Highway 40 is closing, the underground fuel tanks are being removed the week of Aug. 26.

According to Erik Gessert, of the Colorado Division of Oil and Public Safety, the removal is not being mandated by his office and is commonplace when closing a gas station.

He said his office monitors several thousands of facilities within Colorado and receives notices of tanks being removed on a weekly basis.

There is an active release event being assessed, Gessert said. He defined an active release event as when petroleum is identified outside the tank system and noted there are about 860 events currently being assessed across the state.

“I would characterize this one as a low-risk release,” he said.

Neither Mike Zopf, director of environmental health for Routt County, nor the property owner had knowledge of a reason for the station’s closure related to environmental issues.

When a gas station closes and another is not filling its place, Gessert said, the tanks can be removed or sealed in place.

Sarah Metcalf named director of ticket operations at Steamboat Ski Area

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Sarah Metcalf

Steamboat Ski Area has named Sarah Metcalf as its new director of ticket operations, according to a news release.

Metcalf replaces Keith Gardner, who recently moved, and will oversee lift tickets, season passes and the Snowsports School.

Before coming to Steamboat as a business analyst, Metcalf was assistant director of ticketing and guest services for Aspen/Snowmass, according to the release.

“Sarah has a wealth of knowledge and experience across product systems and management of ticketing and guest services departments,” Jim Schneider, vice president of skier services for Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp., said in the release. “She brings strong management and leadership skills, which will guide the direction for the resort across its comprehensive ticketing operations.”

“I welcome the opportunities that come with managing the ticketing operation for one of the top destination resorts in North America and one that is recognized around the globe,” Metcalf said in a news release. “I am thrilled to work with the very talented and dedicated resort team here at Steamboat."

Reactions to US building reports mixed

Reports for U.S. homebuilders were mixed Friday, as overall building starts grew while single-family home starts and permits fell.

The difference was made up by multifamily construction.

The Associated Press reports that homebuilding might be restrained by rising mortgage rates. Rates for 30-year fixed mortgages are about a percentage point higher than the all-time low seen in November, according to data from Freddie Mac.

Bloomberg News reports that rising mortgage rates are failing to constrain builder confidence.

According to Bloomberg News, the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo index of builder confidence climbed to 59 from a revised 56 in July. Anything above 50 means more builders view conditions as favorable rather than poor.

Tourism thrives during Twin Tunnels blasting

Low water — not the reconstruction of the Twin Tunnels in Idaho Springs' backyard — is responsible for the slowing stream of customers at Clear Creek Rafting Co.

In fact, business is better this year than last in spite of the round-the-clock work at the tunnels that included blasting to clear rock from the eastbound bore, said Clear Creek Rafting Co. manager Dale Drake.

Residents worried that tourism would be dampened by the $106 million project that adds one eastbound lane to Interstate 70 between East Idaho Springs and U.S. Highway 6 and expands the eastbound bore of the Twin Tunnels.

Colorado Department of Transportation contractors in late July wrapped up blasting that began in April. The entire Twin Tunnels project is expected to be complete by about this time next year.

Read more at The Denver Post.

Colorado agricultural exports increase $14.5 million

Colorado's agricultural exports for the first six months of 2013 totaled $725.6 million, an increase of $14.5 million over the same period last year, the Colorado Department of Agriculture reported Friday.

Increases in exports of $23.1 million to Canada and of $18.2 million to Hong Kong helped to offset a $27 million decrease in exports to Russia.

The $725.6 million level recorded for the first six months of the year represents a 20 percent increase over the past two years, the agency reported.

Read more at The Denver Post.

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