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Business/Economy

  • First Anniversary

    Smith’s Marketplace had plenty to do, and to eat, to celebrate its first anniversary Thursday. There were bouncy houses for the kids and food and drinks for store patrons. The store opened with much fanfare in 2014.

  • Cuisine is the real thing

    When Joe and Ratchanida (Nam) Lovato opened Thailand Thai Cuisine a week ago Thursday, they were caught off-guard by the response.
    “The first two or three days they just kept coming. It was rough. We didn’t expect that,” Nam said. “But it’s good, because people are excited, because they love Thai food, and we always hear, ‘Oh, your food is so good.’ It’s all about positive comments. We’re really happy with it.”
    That rush of business has made for some slow service, since Nam was the sole chef until just this week. She is currently training another cook in how to make the complex Thai dishes.
    Thai cuisine is very labor intensive.
    Nam and Joe have spent several nights working until 2 a.m., preparing fresh vegetables and other ingredients for the next day. But every dish is made to order.
    The delicate blend of spices that goes into each dish does not come from a premade sauce or mix, but is prepared one dish at a time by Nam herself.
    According to Joe, who manages the front of the house and the accounting, they have averaged 100 tickets a day, with two to three people per ticket. That means that petite, 24-year-old Nam has been cooking approximately 225 meals a day.

  • Hilltop House under new ownership

    If all goes as planned, Los Alamos will have another lodging option before the end of the year.
    The new owners of Hilltop House have plans to renovate the property and reopen it.
    The hotel was purchased by Atomic City Investments, a subsidiary of Texas Capital Partners. The partnership also owns Sipapu Ski Resort, Purgatory Ski Resort in Durango, Colo., and is working on purchasing Arizona Snowbowl in Flagstaff, Arizona.
    “We believe this investment in that city will bring a strong synergy, particularly with our linking of Durango, Snowbowl and Sipapu,” said Kuzi Mutsiwegota, one of TCP’s partners.
    “We just feel that we’re going to have a seasonal pass product that will allow people to come visit Los Alamos more, and having some lodging was pretty important to us.”
    Mutsiwegota acknowledge that the hotel is in need of significant work.
    “We need to work through some of the code requirements and assess some of those realities as far as getting it open.” Mutsiwegota said. “But we anticipate that it will be operating at some point before ski season.”
     

  • Unemployment is at 3.8 percent in county

    Unemployment ticked up slightly in Los Alamos County in the month of May, that according to New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions.
    Los Alamos had an additional 26 persons reporting as unemployed in May as opposed to April. In all, a total of 308 people were unemployed.
    Despite the uptick, the county still had the lowest unemployment rate among the state’s counties. Los Alamos reported a 3.8 percent unemployment rate for 8,167 job seekers, a number that was down from April’s adjusted number of 8,209.
    Los Alamos’ rate of unemployment is similar to that of a year ago, when a 3.9 percent unemployment was reported.
    The current rate is still well below the seasonally-adjusted rate for the state of 6.2 percent. That number held steady between April and May.
    Across the state, most numbers stayed steady. Albuquerque’s numbers remain strong, as do many of the metro areas in New Mexico.
    Workforce Solutions reported about 2,400 nonfarm jobs had been added last month, most of those in the service industry. Construction across New Mexico also added roughly 1,100 jobs.

  • Open Wide

    Los Alamos’ Subway store had its official grand opening Thursday with owner Larry Singh cutting the ribbon in a ceremony. The new store has been much anticipated after the old location closed in 2013.

  • Chamberfest returns on Saturday

    A showdown at high noon will be one of the highlights of this year’s Los Alamos Chamberfest.
    Chamberfest, an annual celebration of Los Alamos’ Chamber of Commerce, is scheduled from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday in the downtown area.
    Central Avenue will be closed off for Saturday’s event, which will feature, among other activities, music by Eddy and the Nomads, a car show, bouncy houses and booths featuring chamber members.
    There will also be the popular kids’ sand pile, which is sponsored by Los Alamos National Bank. The sandpile is set up in the middle of Central Avenue for kids to dig through.
    But one of the main events is the showdown, that will feature the less-traditional weapons of water balloons. County VIPs will take on local business people and kids can take on Baxter the Bear, the mascot of Del Norte Credit Union.
    The Los Alamos Chamber of Commerce is a not-for-profit program of the Los Alamos Commerce and Development Corporation. The LACDC operates the chamber, Los Alamos MainStreet, and the Los Alamos Meeting and Visitors Bureau.
    Suggested parking for Saturday’s event will be at Central Park Square at 15th Street and Nectar, the Metzger’s parking lot and Deacon Street behind CB Fox, as well as Mesa Public Library.

  • New Subway location now open

    The new Subway store on Central Avenue is now open for business. The store opened at 7 a.m. Today the store had a soft opening but there will be a grand opening Thursday, which will include door prizes, sandwich specials and a live remote broadcast by local radio station KRSN.

  • LATA has new CEO

    Los Alamos Technical Associates announced Monday that William ‘Bill’ Vantine has been appointed president and chief executive officer of the company.
    In his career, Vantine has led strategic risk initiatives for several high profile program in the defense and space industries, according to LATA.
    LATA, which has an office on Central Avenue in Los Alamos, is headquartered in Albuquerque. It offers, defense, nuclear and commercial services and has seven offices around the country. LATA was founded in New Mexico in 1976.
    “We are pleased to have Bill join our remarkable management team,” said company founder and Chairman of LATA’s Board of Directors, Phil Reinig. “We are confident that the vision, energy and leadership he has demonstrated throughout his career are a perfect fit for this dynamic company. As our president and CEO, he brings us fresh perspectives for growth, diversification, and project excellence as we enter the next phase of LATA’s emergence as an industry leader and provider of choice for engineering, safety, environmental, logistics, project management and security services.”

  • Subway to reopen Wednesday

    Except for a wall, one could see the old Subway store in Los Alamos from the new Subway store, but for the store owner and patrons, it seems like a long way away.
    It’s been more than two years since the original Subway in Los Alamos closed down from its previous location next door to the Bradbury Science Museum.
    Its new location, right on Central Avenue very near the corner of 15th Street, is much bigger and completely renovated.
    Whether the changes were worth the effort for owner Larry Singh and Subway customers will be found out soon enough. The store is scheduled to open its doors officially at 7 a.m. Wednesday.
    On Monday morning, Singh was putting some of the final touches for his store, which has about a dozen tables and a shorter but more efficient service counter.
    Singh said one of the biggest issues with the first store was its struggle to handle the lunch rush. The store, with only a handful of tables — much of which could only seat two people — couldn’t accommodate diners nor was it laid out so that carry-out patrons could make it through the line easily before having to squeeze through the crowded back area before getting back to the exit.

  • LA's unemployment figures are still the lowest in N.M.

    Los Alamos County still has the lowest rate of unemployment of any county in the state, that according to the April 2015 numbers from the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions.
    Los Alamos has an unemployment rate of just 3.4 percent, which is considerably below that of the statewide seasonally-adjusted average of 6.2 percent and is far and away the best number of any similarly-sized counties.
    According to Workforce Solutions, of the 8,213 residents that make up the county’s labor force, only 282 of those were without employment in April.
    The only county that was close to Los Alamos’ unemployment rate in April was Curry County, which had 4.1 percent unemployment, although Curry County — which is on the extreme east side of the state and includes the city of Clovis — has a workforce which is nearly three times that of Los Alamos.
    April’s unemployment rate in the county was down slightly from March, which Los Alamos had a rate of 3.7 percent. However, Workforce Solutions noted that, in its revised March numbers, the Los Alamos labor force dropped by 53 persons.
    The figure for Los Alamos for April 2015 was also down slightly from April 2014. Los Alamos’ rate a year earlier was 3.6 percent.