Category: Commercial

Kernville, Bakersfield breweries combine for five medals at nation’s top beer festival

A pair of Kern breweries took home an extraordinary five medals at the Great American Beer Festival last weekend in Denver — a testament, the local winners say, to the county’s sophisticated approach to beer-making.

Kernville’s Kern River Brewing Co. took home two golds and two silvers, as well as the Brewery Group of the Year honor, while Temblor Brewing Co. in Bakersfield won bronze.

“I’m still trying to absorb all this,” said Eric Giddens, who owns KRBC with his wife, Rebecca. The couple had only just arrived home Monday after driving home from Denver.

At an event billed as the most prestigious beer competition in the world, the Brewers Association awarded 318 medals to 283 breweries across the United States. Some whole states didn’t win as many medals as Kern breweries did.

KRBC’s Belgian-style blonde, Nènette, won gold, as did the brewery’s session India pale ale, Gravity Check. Its brown porter, called Brown Claw, and its double hoppy red ale, Side Hike, won silver.

Temblor’s Belgian-style wit, Under a Blood Orange Sky, won a bronze medal.

Temblor’s head brewer, Mike Lahti, said the honor felt good.

“I’ve been doing this 16 years and this is the first (Great American Beer Festival award) for a beer I’ve designed,” he said. “One of those things that every brewer wants to do is get a medal at GABF.”

Lahti added that Kern’s strong showing speaks to the county’s emerging national reputation.

“I think it shows that, obviously, competition amongst ourselves has all helped us challenge ourselves to make better beer, to keep up with the competition,” he said.

Giddens said he and others representing KRBC celebrated the announcement of Temblor’s win as they were picking up their own medals.

“I think (Kern’s combined total of five medals) shows that the beer landscape in Kern County is changing,” he said. “I think people in Kern County are going to start taking notice and enjoying that beer.”

Though dwarfed by the brewing mecca of San Diego County, which won 18 of the 68 medals awarded to the Golden State in this year’s GABF, Kern’s brewing community has come a long way in the last several years. There are now five independent breweries in Bakersfield alone, with another on the way.

In all, the competition judged 9,497 beers from 2,295 breweries.

No brewery company won more medals at this year’s GABF than KRBC, which launched in 2005 and expanded in 2016 to a second location next door.

“What blows me away is that this was the largest beer competition in the world to date,” Giddens said. “For a small brewery in a mountain town in Kern County to come away as the most decorated brewery in the bunch just split my mind.”

https://www.bakersfield.com/news/kernville-bakersfield-breweries-combine-for-five-medals-at-nation-s/article_7034b2a6-e923-11e9-a43a-c3fa4dc75ca8.html

uBreakiFix Expands California Footprint With Central Valley Store

 

By: uBreakiFix

Industry-Leading Tech Repair Brand Brings High Quality Electronics Support to Fresno

FRESNO, Calif., Sept. 19, 2019

uBreakiFix services anything with a power button, including smartphones, game consoles, tablets, computers, drones, hoverboards, and everything in between. To date, uBreakiFix has completed more than 5 million repairs. While common fixes include cracked screens, software issues, and camera issues, the brand offers support for most technical problems on any electronic device, regardless of make or model.

Through strategic partnerships with leading technology companies, including Samsung and Google, uBreakiFix provides Samsung Galaxy customers and Google Pixel and Pixelbook customers with manufacturer-backed, same-day repair services using genuine parts. Through the partnership with Samsung, Galaxy owners can get in and out-of-warranty repairs at more than 350 locations nationwide, with most repairs completed in two hours or less.

uBreakiFix Fresno is the first location for owners Ryan McDaniel and Kali Mey. They have plans to another store in Clovis in the near future.

“I truly believe that uBreakiFix is the best tech repair company in the world, and we were thrilled to open the first location of this franchise in the central valley,” said McDaniel. “My business partner, Kali, and I were born and raised in this community. We feel so fortunate to give back by offering high-quality, affordable device repair to the people of Fresno.”

uBreakiFix was founded in 2009 by millennial duo Justin Wetherill and David Reiff, who later partnered with Eddie Trujillo to transition their Internet-based brand to a brick and mortar model. By offering convenience, accessibility, and unparalleled customer service, uBreakiFix filled a gap in the repair marketplace and has since emerged as an industry leader in growth, service offerings, and authorized partnerships. In 2018, Wetherill was inducted into the Forbes Technology Council, and uBreakiFix earned a top spot on Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500® list, ranking #18 overall, #1 in the Electronics Repair category, and #1 on the Top New Franchises list.

uBreakiFix has nearly 500 locations open across the U.S. and Canada. The brand opened nearly 130 new stores in 2018 and plans to increase growth in 2019. For more information on uBreakiFix franchising, visit http://ubreakifix.com/franchising.

“At uBreakiFix, our goal is to take the hassle of a broken device and create the most positive, convenient experience possible for our customers,” Wetherill said. “We are a customer service company first, and a tech repair company second. As we expand into Fresno, we look forward to becoming the trusted resource to keep consumers and businesses connected to the things and people who matter most.”

uBreakiFix Fresno is located at 7029 North Ingram Ave., Suite 101 Fresno, CA 93650 and can be reached at: 559-930-8243. For more information and to view a service menu, visit https://ubreakifix.com/locations/fresno.

About uBreakiFix

Founded in 2009, uBreakiFix specializes in the repair of small electronics, ranging from smartphones, game consoles, tablets, computers, and everything in between. Cracked screens, software issues, camera issues, and most other problems can be repaired by visiting uBreakiFix stores across the U.S. and Canada. Since 2016, uBreakiFix has served as the exclusive walk-in repair partner for Google Pixel customers. In 2017, uBreakiFix expanded the partnership to include exclusive after sales support for Google Pixelbook customers. In 2018, uBreakiFix became a Samsung Care authorized service provider offering same-day, in-person support for Samsung Galaxy customers across the U.S. In 2018, uBreakiFix also ranked #18 on Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500®, #1 in the Electronics Repair category, and #1 on the Top New Franchises list. For more information, visit https://www.ubreakifix.com.

Fresno-Clovis area sees hotel building boom

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) — The Fresno-Clovis area is in the midst of a hotel building boom that will result in 2,000 more available rooms when current projects are complete.

Four new hotel properties have recently opened up. Eight more were either in the process of being built or planned.

Fresno-Clovis Convention and Visitors Bureau CEO Layla Forstedt cited the area’s high occupancy rate as one reason why more hotels were going up.

“In the 30 years of the hospitality industry for me, I’ve never seen an occupancy of 70% and that’s every single motel average of every hotel-motel,” Forstedt said.

In Clovis, the occupancy rate was even higher.

Clovis Economic Development Director Andy Haussler explained, “We’ve seen occupancy rates into the 90%, which basically means we are full and what we don’t want to have is our town not being able to accommodate someone.”

Action News caught up with Haussler across from Costco, where Hilton was building a new Home 2 Suites.

Down the way on Clovis Avenue, La Quinta has squeezed into a tight space by building up and opening a new hotel.

Crews were also preparing to build a new Courtyard Marriott on Shaw near the Sierra Vista Mall. Two other hotels are planned.

“With what we recently completed and the new rooms coming on-line it’s about 532 additional rooms. That about doubles our hotel room count in Clovis,” Haussler said.

Hyatt Place recently opened a brand new hotel not far from River Park. It is also located across from Kaiser Permanente.

The Valley has seen more people coming to various facilities for medical treatment. But local hotels have found sporting events fill rooms. The state track and field championships at Buchanan High resulted in 6,000 room nights alone.

“We’re the only city that has three CIF events. That’s track, swimming and diving and cross country,” Forstedt said.

More visitors to our local national parks have been staying over in Fresno County.

Fresno has also seen a lot more business travelers so the new hotels offer the area rooms to grow.

New construction company reopens in Lemoore

  • Hinds Reopening
The Lemoore Chamber of Commerce, members from the Lemoore City Council and residents from the public attended Thursday’s ribbon cutting.

LEMOORE — Hinds Construction Services, Inc. celebrated its grand reopening during a ribbon cutting Thursday at its new location in Lemoore.

The construction company was contracted out of Visalia until the owners, Tanya and Robert Hinds, decided to move the business back to Kings County in July.

“When we first started in 2017, we worked out of our house,” Tanya Hinds said. “But then we didn’t renew our contract with Lowe’s (in Visalia) and decided to open up an office in Lemoore, where we have always lived.”

The company’s calendar has already started to fill up with kitchen and bathroom remodels, which is a popular project in the residential areas in Hanford and Lemoore, Tanya Hinds said.

Hinds Construction Services, Inc. is also working with Naval Air Station Lemoore and is maintaining the base housing.

“We are happy to be here and look forward to growing,” Tanya Hinds said. “We pride ourselves in our quality of work and are excited for the future.”

The Lemoore Chamber of Commerce hosted the ribbon cutting with Hinds Construction Services and a taco lunch was provided. Members of the Lemoore City Council were also present for the ceremony.

Hinds Construction Services, Inc. resides on 1500 Enterprise Dr., Suite 303, in Lemoore. They are open 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and can be reached at (559) 924-2795.

Merced points to thriving industrial base

 

Central Valley Business Times

August 23, 2019

  • Cites five firms expanding in Merced
  • “An expansion that is bringing jobs and revenue to the community”

The city of Merced is touting its industrial base, saying it is thriving.

“Our retail and commercial sector is doing well, along with our housing market, and so is our industrial side,” says City Manager Steve Carrigan. “The industrial side of Merced is undergoing an expansion that is bringing jobs and revenue to the community. We are getting construction jobs, and then permanent jobs for Merced.”

Merced officials point to the expansion of existing businesses and the addition of new industrial buildings, with the growth spread across a variety of markets.

“That’s a good indicator of the city’s economic vitality,” says Assistant City Manager Stephanie Dietz.

The companies are located throughout the city’s industrial zones. “We are seeing these expansions in several of our industrial parks across the southern section of the city,” says Ms. Dietz. “It’s not just concentrated in one area.”

In the case of Titan Metal Products, the expansion is doubling the size of its facilities. Titan Doors, 1891 Wardrobe Ave., makes stock and custom doors, door frames and assemblies. Some of the firm’s doors are fire and ballistic rated. Titan’s products were recently used in the Museum of Modern Art in San Francisco.

The existing Titan plant spreads over 18,725 square feet, and the company is adding another 19,000 square feet of space to the door and assembly area. Centurion Boats, 2047 Grogan Ave., has been a maker of high performance towboats since 1976, specializing in wake-surfing towboats. A division of Correct Craft, Centurion is headquartered in Merced and offers sevenmodels, along with the ability to custom build a boat.

The company is undergoing a 24,234 square foot shop and office expansion, putting in a 3,600 square foot development and engineering facility, along with a test tank. All of the growth of the facility increases theresearch and development capacity to the facility.

O’Keeffe Safti-First, 220 S. R St., has specialized in architectural glass and metal products for 75 years. Some of O’Keeffe’s custom skylights, ladders and aluminum building products are in the Stanford Medical Center, the Intel Campus and the Ala Moana Center in Honolulu.

Safti-First is known for its fire-rated glass and framing systems, some of which are at the UC Davis campus, the U.S. Military Academy, West Point and Folsom Prison. The firm is adding a 30,651 square foot manufacturing facility plus a 7,764 square foot cold room to accommodate growing market demands.

Pacific Gas and Electric has expansion work going on at its service center and corporation yard located on the corner of Childs Avenue and Kibby Road. The utility is locating its regional management office at that site in a 15,400 square foot building, and installing a 9,100 square foot operations building. PG&E is also putting in a 23,500 square foot combination garage/warehouse at the site.

In addition to the existing plant expansions, developers are seeing a demand for more buildings that are ready for industrial tenants to move in, the city says. Lawler Excavation is constructing two new industrial buildings on Cessna Way in the city’s industrial park. The buildings, one 8,400 square feet and the other 7,500  square feet, could be used as warehouses or for other light industrial uses.

https://files.constantcontact.com/2cb20f61601/801ee0ec-f1f1-4db3-a4ba-a329c2b00017.pdf

T-MOBILE MERGER OK DIALS UP GOOD NEWS FOR KINGSBURG

Regulatory approval of the T-Mobile-Sprint merger clears the way for a 1,000-job call center for Kingsburg. Image via Kingsburg’s economic overview document, photo by Mike Miller with Guarantee Real Estate

Published On July 26, 2019 – 12:41 PM
Written By By TALI ARBEL And MARCY GORDON Associated Press

U.S. regulators have approved T-Mobile’s $26.5 billion takeover of rival Sprint, despite fears of higher prices and job cuts, in a deal that would leave just three major cellphone companies in the country.

The news also marks a pivotal step for a planned T-Mobile “Customer Experience Center” in Kingsburg that would create more than 1,000 new jobs and contribute $105 million to the local economy.

T-Mobile made it clear that the proposed call center’s future hinged on regulatory approval of the merger. The telecom giant also announced similar call centers would be built in Overland Park, Kansas, and Henrietta, New York, if the merger were approved. Adding the expansion of existing call centers, T-Mobile promised the creation of more than 5,000 new jobs by 2021.

The “New T-Mobile” promises to become one of the largest employers in Fresno County, with employees earning wages more than 50% of average for the region.

It’s also a feather in the economic development cap of Kingsburg, which has seen more than 25 news businesses open in the last two years.

“The Kingsburg area in Fresno County is already home to a tremendous amount of innovation, diverse talent and great energy, which makes it a perfect fit for the New T-Mobile!” said T-Mobile and New T-Mobile President Mike Sievert, in a statement from April. “Our new CECs will allow the New T-Mobile to expand the personalized service we give our amazing customers every single day as we continue to grow. We can’t wait to be a partner in the revitalized Central Valley.”

According to a Kingsburg economic overview document posted on the city website last week, the city has a number of active business incentive programs. These include development impact fee discounts as well as rebates for property and sales taxes. No specific site has been identified for the call center, so it’s not known what, if any, incentives T-Mobile might receive for the development project.

Friday’s approval from the Justice Department and five state attorneys general comes after Sprint and T-Mobile agreed to conditions that would set up satellite-TV provider Dish as a smaller rival to Verizon, AT&T and the combined T-Mobile-Sprint company. The Justice Department’s antitrust chief, Makan Delrahim, said the conditions set up Dish “as a disruptive force in wireless.”

But attorneys general from other states and public-interest advocates say that Dish is hardly a replacement for Sprint as a stand-alone company and that the conditions fail to address the competitive harm the deal causes.

“By signing off on this merger, the Justice Department has done nothing to remedy the short- and long-term harms the loss of an independent Sprint will create for U.S. wireless users,” Free Press Research Director S. Derek Turner said.

A federal judge still must sign off on the approval, as it includes conditions for the new company. The Federal Communications Commission is also expected to give the takeover its blessing.

Dish is paying $5 billion for Sprint’s prepaid cellphone brands including Boost and Virgin Mobile — some 9 million customers — and some spectrum, or airwaves for wireless service, from the two companies. Dish will also be able to rent T-Mobile’s network for seven years while it builds its own.

Dish on Friday promised the FCC that it would build a nationwide network using next-generation “5G” technology by June 2023. But Dish is promising speeds that are only slightly higher than what’s typical today, even though 5G promises the potential for blazing speeds.

The Trump administration has not been consistent in its approach to media and telecom mergers. While the government went to court to block AT&T’s acquisition of Time Warner and then lost, the Justice Department allowed Disney to buy much of 21st Century Fox, a direct competitor, with only minor asset sales to get the deal done. Mergers between direct competitors have historically had a higher bar to clear at the Justice Department.

Sprint and T-Mobile combined would now approach the size of Verizon and AT&T. The companies have argued that bulking up will mean a better next-generation “5G” wireless network than they could make on their own. Sprint and T-Mobile have argued for over a year that having one big company to challenge AT&T and Verizon, rather than two smaller companies, will be better for U.S. consumers.

The two companies tried to combine during the Obama administration but regulators rebuffed them. They resumed talks on combining once President Donald Trump took office, hoping for more industry-friendly regulators. The companies appealed to Trump’s desire for the U.S. to “win” a global 5G race with China as this faster, more reliable wireless is rolled out and applications are built for it. They have been arguing their case for more than a year.

Meanwhile, the FCC agreed in May to back the deal after T-Mobile promised to build out rural broadband and 5G, sell its Boost prepaid brand and keep prices on hold for three years.

But public-interest advocates complained that the FCC conditions did not address the problems of the merger — higher prices, less wireless competition — and would be difficult for regulators to enforce.

Attorneys general from 13 states and the District of Columbia have filed a lawsuit to block the deal . They say the promised benefits, such as better networks in rural areas and faster service overall, cannot be verified. They also worry that eliminating a major wireless company will immediately harm consumers by reducing g competition and driving up prices for cellphone service.

They are not likely to be satisfied by Friday’s settlement. None of the states involved in the suit were part of it. “We have serious concerns that cobbling together this new fourth mobile player, with the government picking winners and losers, will not address the merger’s harm to consumers, workers, and innovation,” New York Attorney General Letitia James said in a statement.

Dish is largely a company with a declining satellite-TV business. It has no wireless business, but over the past decade it has spent more than $21 billion accumulating a large stock of spectrum for wireless service. The wireless industry has long been skeptical of Dish’s ambitions to actually build a wireless service, instead speculating that the company wanted to make money by selling its holdings to other companies.

Recon Analytics founder Roger Entner, a longtime telecom analyst, said in an interview before the Justice Department’s announcement — many terms had been leaked to the press beforehand — that the settlement was good for the incumbent wireless companies, as a weak competitor in Sprint is being replaced by an even weaker one in Dish.

Sprint, the current No. 4 wireless provider, has thousands of stores and other distribution points as well as a cellular network. Dish has none of that, although the settlement gives it the option of taking over some stores and cell sites that T-Mobile ditches over the next five years. Creating and maintaining a retail operation and network cost tens of billions of dollars, Entner said. He doubts that Dish could do that alone, as its core business is in deep decline, or that Dish could find a wealthier company to help it do so.

But New Street Research analysts say Dish could build a lower-cost network and provide cheaper plans for customers. Still, that could take years.

George Slover, senior policy counsel for Consumer Reports, also said in an interview earlier that the current structure of four competing providers works. He said it’s not the same to diminish that while enabling a competitor that doesn’t currently have the infrastructure. “Dish might become a competing network at some point but it’s not there now.”

Japanese tech conglomerate SoftBank owns Sprint, while Germany’s Deutsche Telekom owns T-Mobile. SoftBank will continue to own 27 percent of the new, bigger T-Mobile and will keep some influence, but it will not control the company.

https://thebusinessjournal.com/t-mobile-merger-ok-dials-up-good-news-for-kingsburg/?utm_source=Daily+Update&utm_campaign=97dc7bf6e4-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2019_07_26_07_42&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_fb834d017b-97dc7bf6e4-78934409&mc_cid=97dc7bf6e4&mc_eid=a126ded657

$30 million boutique hotel planned for Three Rivers

It was standing room only at the Three Rivers Memorial Building on Wednesday evening, as more than 100 locals turned out to discuss the future of the small foothill community during a town hall meeting.

Much of the debate centered on a proposed 200-room, $30 million “luxury lodge” off Highway 198 and Old Three Rivers Road.

District 1 Supervisor Kuyler Crocker said the town hall meeting was intended to educate residents and hear their concerns.

“We are much closer to the starting line than the finish line here,” Crocker said of the proposed hotel. “Now is the opportunity to learn and give feedback.”

Dubbed Sequoia Resort and Spa in preliminary site plans, the boutique hotel would feature striking, earthen architecture and offer guests an experience directly inspired by the backdrop of Sequoia National Park.

Because the land is already zoned for hotel construction and abides by the Three River Community Plan, principal partner Guatam Patel could legally begin construction without public hearing.

However, Patel told the packed room he is committed to incorporating community feedback into the project’s design, having already sunk 2.5 years and more than $500,000 into finding an appropriate site.

“We are committed to having a local flair to this. That’s where modern hotel design is going,” he said. “Guests don’t want to sit trapped in their room for three nights. They want to go out and experience the local spots.”

The flair will cost you: Rooms at the resort are expected to run at least $300 a night, Patel said.

That was great news to at least one Three Rivers hotelier, who offers a comparatively humbler — and affordable — stay at the Sequoia Motel a mile up the road from the proposed resort.

“It’s not going to compete with us,” said Chris Schlossin, who opened the 12-room motel 23 years ago. “Three Rivers doesn’t have anything of that caliber. It would be a little glowing star on the map.”

Competition

For Schlossin, Airbnb is a much bigger threat to business.

Large groups of tourists rent out vacation homes on the app for rates at which local lodgings can’t compete. The county presented a draft short-term rental ordinance that Schlossin hopes will remedy the situation with occupancy limits on Airbnb homes.

Neither Airbnb or Sequoia Motel is likely to compete with the luxury project Patel envisions, however.

“It’s a high-end place. That’s something the county doesn’t have,” Schlossin said. “It’s encouraging that they’re reaching out to the community. You gotta give the man (Patel) credit for being a good neighbor.”

Patel committed to incorporating local businesses into the hotel’s operation, so long as they “meet a high operational standard,” including a restaurant and retail space. He hopes that the resort could be a draw during the off-season, benefiting local businesses.

“You only have three-to-four months to make your money here. If they could improve business during the shoulder months, that would be wonderful,” Schlossin said.

The bulk of the 102,000-square-foot project will be built offsite, so builders can erect the building in Three Rivers in a matter of days, minimizing disruption to the environment and neighbors, Patel said.

Housing for the hotel’s estimated 30 employees will be included with the project, so as not to further crunch Three River’s long-term rental and housing market.

He also addressed community concerns surrounding water and the area’s fickle water table.

“This is the water nobody else in the community wants, but that we will use and pay dearly to use,” Patel said, pointing to a state-of-the-art company the developer hopes to partner with to treat water and manage effluent.

Besides water, many residents were concerned about the possibility of a rumored incentive to build the $30 million hotel project in Tulare County.

Last year, the Sierra Star reported that Madera County supervisors cut Patel a deal to move ahead with a similar hotel project in Oakhurst, near Yosemite National Park.

The incentive took the form of a 50% rebate on the hotel’s transient occupancy tax over 25 years. TOT is a tax levied on travelers who stay at a hotel for fewer than 30 days.

The rate varies by county. In Tulare County, the TOT is 10%.

Crocker said the county hadn’t settled on a number yet and discussions with developer Patel Group were still ongoing.

“I understand why (the county) would (offer Patel) a deal for an upscale development, but it’s still frustrating that other hotels have to pay the full tax. We didn’t get any breaks,” Schlossin said.

The supervisor pointed out that such arrangements were common and would benefit both the county and the developer, providing financial incentives to build while capturing tax revenue that wouldn’t otherwise exist.

“The TOT rebate is favorable to attract business and generate long-term economic activity and taxable commerce,” Crocker said.

Some at the town hall questioned whether that tax should be used to benefit only the Three Rivers community, rather than the county’s general fund.

The argument was a no-go for Crocker.

“While Three Rivers does generate more TOT tax, other county communities generate much more sales tax or property tax and we don’t give them special treatment,” Crocker said. “I’m not going to write a blank check to Three Rivers or any other county community.”

The supervisor pointed to a $400,000 restroom project and expansion of the Three Rivers Historical Museum slated to be completed by the of the year.

The project was paid for out of the county’s general fund, Crocker said.

https://www.visaliatimesdelta.com/story/news/local/visalia/2019/07/26/30-million-boutique-hotel-planned-three-rivers-despite-concerns/1827892001/

The water park is coming, so are the jobs. Work under way at Manteca’s Great Wolf Lodge

 

Great Wolf Lodge is bringing a water park back to Manteca, CA. An update on the indoor water park resort and hotel project that is expected to bring 500 to 600 jobs to the Central Valley city.

Yes, the water slides are still coming. So is the hotel. Plus a family entertainment center. And restaurants. But before any of that arrives, expect between 500 and 600 jobs to come to Manteca.

A small-scale village in the form of the Great Wolf Lodge is rising in the Central Valley city just off Highway 120. A representative from a highly anticipated water park resort gave a public presentation at Manteca City Hall on Thursday evening to a packed crowd.

The 500-room, six-story structure is on track to open in June or July of 2020. Construction has been under way since groundbreaking last November. The structure looms large, visible from the freeway next to the Costco and Big League Dreams center.

Steven Jacobsen, vice president of domestic development at Great Wolf, updated the audience on the project’s progress and sought to reassure citizens that the resort would be a good and welcoming neighbor once it opens.

“We’re all about families. And we’re all about providing an opportunity for families to spend time together — quality time,” Jacobsen said. “We’re about creating an incredible experience so the average family can go with family and loved ones and have a great time.”

The new development will feature a connected hotel, indoor water park and family entertainment center. Jacobsen boasted of more than 50 activities “under one roof” at the resort. They include numerous water slides, wave pools, a lazy river, shopping, multiple dining options, bowling, arcades and even an interactive adventure game.

Great Wolf operates 17 resorts in North America, making it the largest indoor water park company on the continent. Besides its upcoming Manteca location, it has another set to open this fall near Phoenix, and one each planned for England and Mexico. The Midwest-founded and based company expects to see 8 million guests through its property next year.

But it was the Manteca project that was front and center Thursday night. The public presentation addressed some of the most pressing concerns about the project from area residents, including access to its lauded indoor water park. Shortly after the development was officially announced last August, some in the area complained the water park would only be open to hotel guests and leave locals high and dry.

AA Great Wolf 02.JPG
Family entertainment center under construction at the Great Wolf Lodge Resort in Manteca, Calif., Thursday, July 11, 2019. Andy Alfaro AALFARO@MODBEE.COM

Jacobsen reiterated the company’s reasons for its hotel guest-only policy for its water park — safety and overall park enjoyment — but also introduced a new day-pass pilot program the resort has rolled out recently. At other properties, the company is testing passes to allow non-hotel guests to use the water park based on occupancy levels.

“We don’t want you to stand in a Disney line at Great Wolf,” Jacobsen said.

The company is still evaluating the day-pass program, and prices are flexible based on dates and occupancy. Jacobsen wouldn’t give a price range for the passes, but a look at the July day-pass rate at the three closest Great Wolf resorts in Southern California, Washington and Colorado put the fee mid-week at $65-$80 per person and weekend rate at $90-$110 per person.

When compared to booking a hotel room, which has two days of water park access for all of the registered guests included in the rate plus free parking, Jacobsen told the crowd that for a family of four-plus, it typically pencils out better to rent a room instead of doing the day passes.

AA Great Wolf 06.JPG
Workers move a section of the water slide during construction at the Great Wolf Lodge Resort in Manteca, Calif., Thursday, July 11, 2019. Andy Alfaro AALFARO@MODBEE.COM

Jacobsen also couldn’t give a price range for the Manteca rooms, as they change depending on the day of the week, season and overall occupancy. But in Anaheim this month, rooms start at around $329.99 for a standard and $629 for a premium suite. The largest rooms in the resort will be able to sleep up to 12, and multiple different kinds of rooms and packages are available. Jacobsen also stressed that the Manteca site will not have minimum night stay requirements for hotel guests to use the park.

Still, for folks who don’t want to book a room, the lodge still has public areas that are accessible to non-hotel guests. Those include the restaurants and all of the family fun center, which will have an arcade, bowling alley, games and more.

And for those not looking to stay or play, the lodge could become their work as Jacobsen revealed the complex would hire between 500 to 600 full-time and part-time jobs. Positions will range from lifeguards to waitstaff, engineers to hotel clerks. Jacobsen said they are teaming with the City of Manteca to help publicize the positions.

Great Wolf rendering.JPG
A rendering of the Great Wolf Lodge in Manteca which will include a 6-story, 500-room hotel, family entertainment center and 95,000 square-foot indoor waterpark. Gensler GREAT WOLF RESORT

There will be a job fair in the city about 30 to 45 days before its opening next summer. So job seekers should be on the lookout for information around April and May of next year. Jacobsen said the job fair would ensure that Manteca residents “got first crack” at employment.

The managerial positions should be hired 30 to 45 days before the site’s opening, and then the bulk of the remaining staff should come on board about two and a half weeks out. No other job descriptions, salary information or employment requirements have been released yet.

Jacobsen and city staff also addressed some logistical concerns from area residents, including traffic on Daniels Street. City Manager Tim Ogden assured attendees that the road, which currently stops at the Great Wolf construction site, would be extended to McKinley Avenue on the west side of the project. That work should be completed by next February, months before the opening.

https://www.modbee.com/news/business/biz-columns-blogs/biz-beat/article232523217.html

New, skilled jobs expected to come to Merced County with new Livingston facility

 
City of Livingston and Emerald Textile Services officials cut the ribbon during a groundbreaking ceremony of the business’s new automated medical laundry facility, Friday, July 12, 2019, at 420 Industrial Drive in Livingston, Merced County, California.

City of Livingston and Emerald Textile Services officials cut the ribbon during a groundbreaking ceremony of the business’s new automated medical laundry facility, Friday, July 12, 2019, at 420 Industrial Drive in Livingston, Merced County, California. VSHANKER@MERCEDSUNSTAR.COM

The Livingston community on Friday celebrated the groundbreaking of a new business expected to bring hundreds of jobs to the area.

San Diego-based Emerald Textile Services is in the process of converting a former water treatment center for dialysis at 420 Industrial Drive into a far-reaching hospital laundry service.

Dozens of community members gathered for a event celebrating the new business.

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Rich Bott, CEO of Emerald Textile Services, speaks during a groundbreaking ceremony of an automated medical laundry facility, Friday, July 12, 2019, at 420 Industrial Drive in Livingston, Merced County, California. Vikaas ShankerVSHANKER@MERCEDSUNSTAR.COM

While the exact number of jobs created has yet to be determined, the city estimates the business will bring about 250 new skilled labor jobs, increasing Livingston’s 3,500-person workforce by more than 7 percent.

“This has a huge impact,” Livingston City Manager Jose Antonio Ramirez said, noting the city will benefit by increases in sales tax revenue, property values and “overall quality of life.”

Livingston’s unemployment rate of 7.3 percent is equivalent to Merced County’s May 2019 rate — more than double the state unadjusted rate of 3.5 percent and national 3.4 percent rate, according to the latest state data.

The automated laundry facility will serve acute care hospitals and clinics from Monterrey to San Francisco and from Roseville to Fresno, producing 60 million pounds of hygienically clean textiles each year, according to a city news release.

The company expects the plant to use 70 percent less water and natural gas compared to similar laundries, making it an eco-friendly facility, officials said.

“We have a very modest little industrial park here, but it’s perfectly situated next to the freeway,” Ramirez said, adding he hopes the addition of the laundry facility will help spark more growth in the area.

The investment into the Livingston facility includes $25 million in new equipment, Ramirez said.

“Emerald Textile Services aligns with our community values, what we believe in,” Ramirez said.

The new facility will serve many hospitals and medical clinics, with Kaiser Permanente being a major business partner, officials said.

“We believe we’re going to be good stewards,” said Greg Anderson, Emerald Textile Services’ board chairman.

https://www.mercedsunstar.com/news/local/article232594307.html