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Business/Economy

  • LA companies on the move

    Cruising around downtown, locals may notice some businesses are missing from their once familiar locations.

    That’s because several longtime operations have recently moved, or are preparing to move, into spaces that are better suited to their current objectives.

    Much of the activity is centered on Central Park Square, where changing storefronts and newly renovated spaces are a common site around the complex.

    Each business has its own reasons for relocating, but there is one common factor among them all — to provide a better experience for customers.

    RE/MAX of Los Alamos and Stewart Title Company
    RE/MAX of Los Alamos outgrew its previous space long ago. Owner Kendra Henning says she’s been looking for a more suitable space since she bought the company nearly six years ago. There were too many agents crammed in space that wasn’t even large enough to hold their bi-weekly staff meetings.

    Henning found the perfect place at 116 Central Park Square, in the space formerly occupied by Los Alamos Visiting Nurses, where she and Paula Glover, President of Stewart Title Company, decided to combine resources to renovate and occupy the space. Glover had the opposite problem; she had downsized in the past few years and was looking for something a bit smaller.

  • Los Alamos Monitor marks milestone

    Today, the Los Alamos Monitor turns 50.

    The first edition of the newspaper was produced with typewriters, a headline machine, four employees and all the work was done in rented offices above a jewelry store.

    And what was in that first edition?

    The lead story was about 85 Los Alamos residents who placed $250 each in a Pajarito Site Trust Fund.

    Another top story detailed the resignation of Los Alamos police chief Jesse L. Rose, who was resigning his $10,000 a year job to take a post in Ecuador. The Los Alamos Monitor reported that a search for Rose’s replacement was underway.

    At the top of the page, there was a photo of two Los Alamos youths, who were on their way to school, but got sidetracked and started writing their names in the snow.

    On that first front page of the Los Alamos Monitor, there were 16 headlines.

  • LA Food Co-op turns two

    The Los Alamos Cooperative Market celebrated its second birthday Saturday. The market was a flurry of activity all day with music, food, kids activities, birthday cake, chair massage and raffles. 

  • Hotel auction delayed

    The Los Alamos National Bank has postponed a foreclosure auction of the Hilltop House Hotel until March 15, according to owner Ron Selvage.

    The hotel was scheduled to be auctioned off by the special master appointed by the First Judicial Court at 11:45 a.m. Wednesday on the steps of the Los Alamos County Justice Center.

    But the bank decided to give Selvage an extension.

    Selvage said the deal he had made with a potential buyer a couple of weeks ago fell through. But, according to Selvage, there are two other interested parties.

    Los Alamos National Bank president Steve Wells confirmed the date was pushed back.

    “I know we delayed it,” Wells said. “Facilitating a business transaction can take a long time. March 15 sounds about right.”

    The Los Alamos National Bank put the wheels in motion to foreclose on the company that owns and manages the Hilltop House Hotel back in October.

    According to the legal notice that appeared in the Los Alamos Monitor, the total amount awarded by the judgment to LANB with interest to the date of the sale is $4,531,155,69 plus additional costs and attorney fees. The amount of interest to date is $521,785.36.

  • Beer co-op concept comes to a head

    Heads up all you beer enthusiasts, if you’ve developed the habit of going off “the Hill” for a good brew, you should know that there’s a plan in the works to fix all that.

    Steve Watts, vice president of the Los Alamos Food Co-op board of directors, said he’s currently trying to start a brewery and taproom right here in Los Alamos. Set up along the lines of the food co-op, he’s currently looking for investors as well as people who are looking to become members of the new venture.

    “The co-op model gives people the idea that they can really own it as well as have a say in the business,” said Watts, adding that the co-op model has helped them raise funds for the project, since people can readily buy a share in the business.

    Watts said they are offering $100 investment shares that would eventually pay a dividend, as well as various membership plans, such as a Class A full equity share for $250, which gives buyers a direct share in the business. Other membership plans include an annual membership to the co-op for $50 or an annual Class B investment share for $100.

    For more information and details on each of the plans, go to losalamosbeer.coop.

    Watts said if the project gets enough funding, then they will go ahead and look for a location, buy equipment and hire employees.

  • Real estate firms merge

    Zia Realty Group Broker/Owner James Chrobocinski, center, poses with his new associates, brokers Pearl White and David Horpedahl. Zia Realty Group acquired the real estate sales branch of Real Estate Associates PVW, LLC in January. White retained  ownership of Real Estate Associates PVW, LLC as a Property Management brokerage. Horpedahl's agency, Los Alamos Properties, will be acquired by Chrobocinski this Friday, at which point Zia Realty Group will grow to 19 Realtors. “When a business closes, everyone thinks the worse,” Horpedahl said. “We’re not closing, we’re merging to give better services, which is hopefully a win-win-win for the community as well as for us.”

  • SPIN METER: In budget fight, sky is falling again

    WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama and his officials are doing their best to drum up public concern over the shock wave of spending cuts that could strike the government in just days. So it's a good time to be alert for sky-is-falling hype.

    Over the last week or so, administration officials have come forward with a grim compendium of jobs to be lost, services to be denied or delayed, military defenses to be let down and important operations to be disrupted. Obama's new chief of staff, Denis McDonough, spoke of a "devastating list of horribles."

    For most Americans, though, it's far from certain they will have a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day if the budget-shredder known as the sequester comes to pass. Maybe they will, if the impasse drags on for months.

    For now, there's a whiff of the familiar in all the foreboding, harking back to the mid-1990s partial government shutdown, when officials said old people would go hungry, illegal immigrants would have the run of the of the land and veterans would go without drugs. It didn't happen.

  • Enloe retires, leaves lasting legacy

    The year was 1971.

    And Bill Enloe thought for sure he was going to get drafted.

    With the Vietnam War in full swing, he had just graduated from Eastern New Mexico University and immediately after getting his degree, he was handed a 1-A draft designation.

    He walked into the Los Alamos National Bank to close his accounts, resigned to his fate.

    “I actually knew the vice president of the bank and I was closing out my accounts,” said Enloe, who was the captain of the 1966 Los Alamos High School football team that won the state championship.

    “I mentioned what was going on and she said, ‘Why don’t you work here until you are actually drafted?’ I don’t know if it was fate or bad luck. They put a moratorium on the draft a few months later.”

    And the rest, they say is history.

    In August 1971, the bank was eight-years-old with one branch office, $15 million in assets and 12 employees. Today, LANB has six branch offices, $1.6 billion in assets and 350 employees, and it has also become the largest community bank in New Mexico.

    On Feb. 1, Enloe, 64, the chief executive officer of LANB, announced his retirement after 42 years at the bank.
    Enloe worked his way up the LANB ladder and became president in 1979.

  • LANB CEO retires

    William Enloe, who has served as chief executive officer of Trinity Capital Corp. and Los Alamos National Bank since 1979, announced his retirement effective last Friday in a letter to the bank’s board of directors.

    In his letter, Enloe, who has been with the bank since 1971, said that he has watched the bank grow from a small community bank with just more than $11 million in assets to a bank with more than $1 billion in assets.

    “I believe I leave as my legacy an institution that cares about its employees, its customers and the communities it serves and I believe that the board of directors, Steve Wells and the rest of the management team will continue to operate the bank in the same situation,” he wrote.

    Enloe said his plans for the future are uncertain at the time but he intends to take some time off to rest and relax.

    “I expect that I will find new challenges,” he wrote. “I have enjoyed the many years that we have worked together to make the Los Alamos National Bank what it is today.”

    Wells said he has worked with Enloe for 28 years.

  • Worried Drivers Watch As Gas Prices Surge

    The Energy Department rays U.S. drivers spent 4 percent of their pre-tax income on gasoline last year, the second highest percentage in thirty years.