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Business briefs

Xcel Energy on Friday said customers’ natural gas bills in March are expected to decline 19 to 21 percent from this month and also March 2008 because of falling gas prices and lower consumption.

Xcel asked the Colorado Public Utilities Commission for permission to decrease gas prices for residential and small-business customers by 8 percent next month from this month’s price.

Residential bills would decrease to $69.67 from $86.19 this month. Typical March 2008 bills were $88.28. Typical small-business customer bills would decrease to $334.54 from this month’s $416.27. Typical March 2008 bills were $419.44.

“Rocky Mountain News

Nearly 500 TV stations have said they intend to shut down analog TV broadcasts Tuesday, rather than waiting until June 12, the new deadline set by Congress.

Station’s markets can be very large in some regions, and many of them span several states.

Stations in Denver switching include KBDI-TV (PBS), KREG-TV (CBS), KRMZ (PBS); and on the Western Slope, KFQX (Fox), KKCO (NBC), KREX-TV (CBS) and KREY- TV (CBS).

“Rocky Mountain News

Employers will have the opportunity to learn and discuss Colorado’s employment anti-discrimination laws and learn more about the status of changes to the new 2009 ADA at a seminar set for Feb. 23. The session is from 9-11 a.m. in the Buffalo Mountain Room in the County Commons building in Frisco.

The session on Colorado anti-discrimination law will be presented by Francie McDonald from the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies, Civil Rights Division.

The status of the 2009 amendment to the Americans with Disabilities Act will be presented by Colorado Workforce Center staff.

To RSVP for this event, the Colorado Workforce Center at (970) 668-5360.

Basic Property Management is pleased to announce that Gary Nicholds has joined the company and is now a partner in the business with Dan Ulmer. Gary brings to Basic Property Management over 30 years experience as a hospital administrator and CEO.

Prior to coming to Summit County, Gary lived in Los Alamos, N.M. and Franklin, Tenn. During his healthcare tenure he was responsible for the construction of two new hospitals and numerous addition and renovation projects. In addition to his development and operations experience, Gary has been very involved with boards of trustees, medical staffs, medical executive committees, and the community.

Gary obtained his undergraduate education at East Carolina University where he received a degree in biology. He has a masters degree in healthcare administration from George Washington University and a doctor of philosophy degree in Administration and Leadership from Oxford Graduate School.

Gary and his wife, Susan, reside in Dillon. Their daughter, Kerry, lives in Franklin and their twin sons, Michael and Eric, live in Jackson, Wyo. and Dillon, Colo., respectively.

BRECKENRIDGE ” The Great Divide Lodge, owned and managed by Vail Resorts Hospitality, has earned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s prestigious Energy Star rating, the national symbol for superior energy efficiency and environmental protection. Commercial buildings and industrial plants that rate in the top 25 percent of facilities in the nation for energy efficiency may qualify for Energy STar.

“The Great Divide Lodge’s Energy Star designation marks another significant step forward in our efforts to achieve an overall companywide 10-percent energy reduction goal by 2010,” said Rob Katz, chief executive officer for Vail Resorts. “We remain committed to incorporating sustainable practices into our daily operations and development projects wherever we can.”

Commercial buildings that earn the Energy Start use an average of 40 percent less energy than typical buildings and also release 35 percent less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. The Great Divide Lodge improved energy performance by managing energy strategically across the entire property and by making cost-effective improvements to the building. The Great Divide Lodge uses 49.6 percent less energy than the national average for similar hotels. This is the equivalent of reducing greenhouse gas emissions equal to the electricity use from 90 households for a year.

“Vail Resorts Hospitality has a long-standing commitment to responsible stewardship of our natural mountain settings and the facilities we operate in these locations,” said Stan Brown, president for RockResorts and Vail Resorts Hospitality. “We are pleased to accept EPA’s Energy Star the Great Divide Lodge’s energy efficiency efforts. Through this achievement, we have demonstrated our commitment to the environment while also working diligently to lower our energy usage.”

To earn the Energy Star, the Great Divide Lodge took the following actions: maximized the efficiencies of the initial structure constructed in 1984; utilized the energy of its property green team to increase employee awareness on conservation; completed a facility wide energy and lighting audit which translated into retrofitted lighting, installed timers and sensors and plans for capital investments to achieve even greater savings.

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