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  #41  
Old Posted Oct 28, 2006, 2:48 PM
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Thumbs up 270 new jobs for Ogden

Fresenius Medical Care plans to expand its Utah dialysis facility

By Joseph M. Dougherty
Deseret Morning News

OGDEN — By this time next year, Fresenius Medical Care, the world's largest maker of dialysis equipment, will have added 270 jobs and 300,000 square feet of assembly and storage space to its Ogden plant.
The Ogden plant, which is the company's largest, will increase production from 27 million dialyzers — a type of blood filter — to 33 million.
Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. and company executives lauded the expansion, made possible by a $675,000 incentive from Ogden's Community and Economic Development.
Fresenius will invest about $83 million to expand production at its plant, and the $675,000 is a small portion of the property taxes the company will pay once the expansion is complete, said Richard McConkie, Ogden's deputy director of Community and Economic Development.
Additional incentives from the state could kick in if more expansion happens, said Michael Sullivan, spokesman for the Governor's Office of Economic Development.
"We are happy to be here in Utah," said Rice Powell, chief executive officer for Fresenius North America.
The company currently has 1,150 full-time employees and about 100 temporary employees in Ogden. Worldwide, 80,000 people in 40 countries work for Fresenius, which is based in Frankfurt, Germany.
Ogden Mayor Matthew Godfrey said it's near ecstasy for him when a company is willing to not only stay in town but also expand.
"It's good for the economy and it's good for Ogden," he said.
"They could go anywhere," Huntsman said during a groundbreaking ceremony Wednesday. "These aren't just jobs, they are high-paying jobs, which is what the state wants."
Troy McGhee, general manager of the Ogden plant, said the annual salary will be above the Weber County average of $21,500 per year.
"This is about more than expanding square footage," Huntsman said. "This is about building lives."
McConkie called the expansion a win-win situation for Ogden because the company keeps a low profile, is clean and pays higher wages.
Fresenius began life in Germany in 1452 as a pharmacy, Powell said. Over centuries and through mergers, the company has survived. In its latest incarnation, as a producer of dialysis equipment, the company purchased dialysis clinics. The company came to Ogden in September 1996 when it bought a factory from an intravenous fluid company.
"It's nice to see it grow," Powell said, adding that his company makes it possible for people with kidney failure to live longer.


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  #42  
Old Posted Oct 30, 2006, 12:19 PM
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Layton being 'picky' with downtown renovation plans

By Brandy A. Lee
Deseret Morning News

LAYTON — As Layton's downtown began to shift north with new development, the buildings along its old main streets started to resemble those of a forgotten rural small town.
Deseret Morning News graphic High volumes of traffic from west Layton on south Main Street and Gentile Street, however, have prompted the city to look at rerouting traffic and building an interchange onto I-15. City officials realized the interchange would provide access to the old downtown area, so they assigned a city redevelopment agency to take advantage of the potential for increased retail growth.
In June 2002, Layton created a 15-20 year redevelopment agency plan for revamping buildings, improving walkways and lighting, and creating a place where people can go and relax. The planning area extends from the southernmost end of Main Street to Fort Lane. In the four years since the planning process began, however, few retailers have signed on, in part because of delays over road plans.
"We would like to see a mixed use of office, retail and housing," said Seth Butterfield, Layton economic development administrator. The aim is that when the housing is built, "people can just walk to the stores," he added.
So far, Gold's Gym has moved into space once occupied by an old Albertsons store on the northwest corner of Fort Lane and Gentile Street, and Destination Homes is building a corporate office on south Main Street. But Layton has also turned down some potential retailers whose proposals didn't fit with the city's plan.
"There are a few that came through who had their own personal vision that didn't fit with our vision," said Scott Carter, the city's community and economic development director. "We want to be a little bit picky, so that we get what we want."
Butterfield said the redevelopment agency plan calls for everything within the area to have a uniform look. While current business owners in the area won't be required to renovate their buildings, the city is considering creating incentives for them to do so, he said.
Carter said all design changes in the area will have to be approved through a design committee. The city already plans to put in place many outside design features such as plazas, harmonized lighting and clock towers. City officials also are working with the Utah Transit Authority so that a planned stop for the Front Runner commuter rail line coordinates with the city's redevelopment area design.
"We want it all to blend and look nice," Matson said.
Remaining development may depend on the proposed I-15 interchange that would be built in south Layton. Both the city and the Utah Department of Transportation hope it will help ease traffic on roads like Gentile Street, which is heavily affected by growth in the western part of the city.
An interchange in this area would reroute traffic west to Fort Lane and east to Flint Street. While construction could have started as early as this year, it has been delayed until March 2008, Butterfield said.
A proposed Western Access Road would eventually go from the I-15 interchange to a possible Legacy Highway extension to the west. But some residents were not satisfied with an environmental assessment for the road, done by the city in 2004.
The residents hired a lawyer, Jeffrey Appel, to voice their concerns in a November 2004 letter to the Federal Highway Administration in Salt Lake City. They threatened to sue, and their concerns, as well as the threat of legal action, prompted the federal agency to decide in late 2005 that a full environmental impact study was needed.
The highway administration allowed Layton to do the environmental study, which is costing $2 million, said Gary Crane, Layton city attorney.
"If we'd had to litigate the issue, the cost would have been higher," Crane said.
The study, scheduled to be complete in 2008, is examining the social and economic impacts of the road, as well as the physical geography. The earlier environmental assessment done in 2004 was less detailed
"If the city and UDOT would have provided us with alternatives, then we would not have been concerned," said David Lindmeir, one of the residents who had called for the more comprehensive study. The proposed Western Access Road would come within about 200 yards of his home.
The road would be two lanes with a median, with another two lanes for parking on each side of the road. One of the residents' biggest concerns was traffic on the road as children walk to a nearby elementary school.
While the city awaits the results of the study, Alex Jensen, Layton's city manager, said the city was optimistic about the road changes and redevelopment plans. "There's a lot of exciting things down there," he said.


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  #43  
Old Posted Oct 30, 2006, 11:23 PM
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New winter sports event set for Ogden area


By Mike Gorrell

The Salt Lake Tribune
Article Last Updated:10/30/2006 03:33:40 PM MST


For three months early in 2008, nearly 300 competitors are expected to assemble in the mountains above Ogden for a newly created sports event - the XTERRA Winter World Championship.
The competition is patterned after the summer XTERRA USA Championship Series, which features more than 50 events such as open-water swimming, mountain biking and trail running. Several of these events were staged in Utah the past two summers, said Jeff Robbins, president and chief executive of the Utah Sports Commission, which helped bring the winter version to Utah.
Professional and amateur athletes will be eligible to compete in the Winter World Championship, in both single-stage races (Nordic skiing, snow biking and snow running) and triathlon-style, multidisciplinary races. Organizers also are considering including ice climbing, bobsledding, snowboarding, skating and downhill skiing as demonstration events, Robbins said.
TEAM Unlimited, which is organizing the competition, will produce two television feature shows about the competition and Utah's winter sports activities, and expects the programs to be aired by the major networks.
"The XTERRA Winter Championship is another example of how we are using sports to help build the state's image and economy," Robbins said.
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  #44  
Old Posted Nov 1, 2006, 3:28 PM
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8-Story Mixed-Use "Tower" Proposed for Clearfield

This looks to be a carbon copy of the Midtown development in Orem. It would easily be the tallest building in Davis County, and is convenient to Hill Air Force Base and the Weber State - Davis campus. I just wish it were about a mile west -- closer to FrontRunner.

Clearfield plans center



Wednesday, November 1, 2006

By Antone Clark
Standard-Examiner correspondent


CLEARFIELD -- An Orem development group wants to build an eight-story, "lifestyle" center with a projected price tag of more than $100 million.

The Planning Commission meets at 7 p.m. today in the Municipal Building, 55 S. State St., to discuss Midtown Village's plan.

Changing the city's general plan is a key legal step to the mixed-use project. The planned location for the development is only zoned for commercial uses, not mixed-use.

The change of zoning would impact 11 acres, owned by Wayne Bellaeu and located at the intersection of State Route 193 and University Park Boulevard on the city's eastern border.

Once the Planning Commission reviews the general plan, the City Council can consider a potential amendment to it.

City Manager Chris Hillman said this project is the first of its kind in Davis County.

The complex has a 2007 construction timetable, and it would include residential, office, recreation, entertainment and retail components.

It would be patterned after a similar development under way in Orem, Hillman said. The facility would feature more than 1 million square feet and include the largest, state-of-the-art theater in Davis County, as well as hotel space via a timeshare component with concierge services.

The project would be roughly half the size of the Gateway in Salt Lake City.

Mayor Don Wood said it would significantly impact the region.

"This development will be a major destination for both Davis and Weber counties where people can live, work, shop, dine and be entertained all in one complex," Wood said.

Wood and other city leaders began courting Midtown this summer. Since August, Hillman said, city officials have spent a lot of time doing site visits and negotiating the partnership. All City Council members, except Councilman Doyle Sprague, have also been to Utah County to see the Midtown project in Orem.

Still, there are some financial wrinkles and issues facing the city that need to be worked out. Hillman said city officials have discussed creating a special improvement district for the area, which would allow Clearfield to bond for at least $7 million to make site improvements.

"This means development dollars will be used to pay for development," Hillman said. "The burden will not be placed on Clearfield residents."

There is also the issue of 15 acres of park space, owned by the city and adjacent to the proposed development site. Though nothing has been decided, there is talk of swapping that land or developing it in some way.

With the project, Wood said, the city will get improved park space as well as more property taxes and sales tax to help pay for improved city services.

Wood said final details on the public/private partnership are expected before the year's end.

Midtown Village already has a Davis County presence. The developer is currently leasing space in the Layton Hills Mall to promote the project and take reservations, beginning Nov. 10.

"Midtown Village is excited about bringing this project to Clearfield and Davis County," said Rob Storey, Midtown's marketing manager.

The project is located just east of where the city's largest retail project is expected to open in weeks. Tai-Pan Trading International is expected to hold a ribbon cutting for its new 100,000-square-foot retail facility in early November.

Last edited by Utaaah!; Nov 1, 2006 at 3:33 PM.
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  #45  
Old Posted Nov 1, 2006, 6:56 PM
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Utaaah,

Thanks for the great update. I had no idea!!
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  #46  
Old Posted Nov 2, 2006, 2:11 AM
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way to go clearfield. That's great news for that area. Seem like we are hearing more now about other cities getting a mid-rise mix-use buildings. This once again shows that utah is building up!

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  #47  
Old Posted Nov 3, 2006, 3:37 PM
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So the developer considered a downtown, transit-friendly site for this project, but deemed it too "risky". Such little faith.

A future 'mini-Gateway'

Friday, November 3, 2006

By Antone Clark
Standard-Examiner correspondent


Developer considered Clearfield rail site, says risk too great

CLEARFIELD -- The principal owner of a development group that will build a "mini-Gateway" on the eastern border of Clearfield says he considered property near the city's soon-to-be-built commuter rail site, but decided the risk was simply too great.

Larry Myler of Midtown Village of Orem said he did look at building a $100-million "lifestyle" center that combines residential, commercial, retail and entertainment options on property adjacent to the uncompleted rail stop at 1250 S. State St.

However, at a public hearing during a recent Planning Commission meeting, Myler said he simply couldn't take the risk and had to consider other options.

Now Myler has proposed building Midtown Village of Legend Hills on 11 acres at State Route 193, also known as 700 South, and University Park Boulevard. The project would be an eight-story "mini-Gateway" on property owned by Wayne Belleau.

"This seems to be a better spot," Myler said.

The Utah Transit Authority owns about 73 acres on the southern end of town.

Only 10 of those acres will be needed for the rail stop, so potential development of the rest of the acreage has been an ongoing topic for several years.

Myler said the risk was simply too great to move that direction.

"I can't take a $100 million chance."

He said no one has a handle on how popular the rail line will be, so transit-oriented development around the rail stop is still an unknown.

The Legend Hills project must clear a number of legal issues before it can be started, but developers hope to break ground in spring and expect the project to take two to 21/2 years to complete.

The project is being modeled after a similar structure under construction in Orem.
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  #48  
Old Posted Nov 3, 2006, 4:11 PM
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More on Clearfield's Midtown

Mammoth project planned for Clearfield
Tom Busselberg 02.NOV.06
Center will be bigger than Layton Hills Mall

CLEARFIELD — Planning commission officials were due to announce a mammoth development Wednesday night as the Clipper went to press. Midtown Village, an Orem-based development group, was due to announce the building of a $100 million, high-end, mixed-used “lifestyle center” for Clearfield. It would be built on an 11-acre parcel at the intersection of State Road 193 and University Park Blvd., in the Legend Hills area.

Clearfield officials said they hope the entertainment component will include what would be Davis County’s largest theater with more than 500 seats.

Hotel space would also be included via a timeshare component complete with concierge services.

It would be one of the largest and tallest developments in the entire county, featuring eight stories and more than 1 million square feet. By comparison, the Layton Hills Mall includes about 700,000 square feet. It would be roughly half the size of Salt Lake City’s Gateway.

Clearfield’s general plan will have to be amended to allow a mixed-use development in an area currently zoned commercial. City officials have been meeting with the Orem developers since August. The city council visited their project in Orem and have since held many discussions.

“This development will be a major destination for both Davis and Weber counties where people can live, work, shop, dine and be entertained, all in one complex,” says Mayor Don Wood.

“Tools we are using at using are creating a special improvement district to bond for the site’s public improvements, as well as using increment money from an already established economic development agency/area,” says City Manager Chris Hillman.

In addition, 15 acres of park space owned by the city next to the new development could be developed, as well.

“This will be a win-win situation for residents and developers,” said Wood.

“We’ll get improved park space as well as more property and sales tax revenue to help pay for improved city services.”

Midtown Village developers have leased space in the Layton Hills Mall to promote the development and take reservations beginning Nov. 10.

This will be by far the largest commercial development ever in this city of nearly 30,000 residents.

tbusselberg@davisclipper.com
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  #49  
Old Posted Nov 3, 2006, 4:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Utaaah!
Mammoth project planned for Clearfield
Tom Busselberg 02.NOV.06
Center will be bigger than Layton Hills Mall
Just what this area needs: More traffic.

The Clearfield Frontrunner station would have been a much better location for a project of this scope.

What I didn't realize until just recently is that the area in question is even part of Clearfield proper. The portion of Clearfield located east of I-15 seems much more like a part of Layton. The only way to access the rest of Clearfield from this site is by crossing I-15 via Hwy. 193. The rest of the area is cut off from Clearfield by the freeway.

Basically my fear is that this new project will only further over-burden Layton's already inadequate transit infrastructure while Clearfield enjoys all of the tax revenue that it generates.


Last edited by arkhitektor; Nov 3, 2006 at 4:38 PM.
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  #50  
Old Posted Nov 3, 2006, 4:31 PM
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^ I agree. What was the developer afraid of? No one would want to live/work/shop on the "west side"? Was it the tracks themselves, which carry 30 UP trains/day in addition to FrontRunner? Was is downtown Clearfield's trashy image? I think the city has done a lot to clean itself up in recent years. This could have provided a needed boost to the city core.
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Old Posted Nov 3, 2006, 5:31 PM
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Short term vision. I would bet that in five to ten years this developer will somewhat regret their decision. Downtown Ogden is really going places, and it already has such a rich architectural heritage.



Aerial of the city of Ogden/northern Wasatch Metro

Last edited by delts145; Nov 15, 2006 at 12:52 PM.
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Old Posted Nov 5, 2006, 1:03 PM
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Thumbs up An update on Amer Sports Corporation.

Chamber Member Announcements


AMER WINTER & OUTDOOR U.S.
BREAKS GROUND IN THE GREATEST SNOW ON EARTH

World’s Largest Sports Equipment Company to Launch New Headquarters in Ogden, Utah

The greatest snow company on earth is getting set to make tracks on the greatest snow on earth. Amer Sports Corporation—the world’s largest sports equipment company—has selected Ogden, Utah for the home of its recently created Winter & Outdoor U.S. unit.

The unit, which includes Amer brands Salomon, Atomic and Suunto is headed up by President/G.M. Mike Dowse, a 16 year Amer Sports veteran. The unit was launched in August to provide a shared platform for the brands, enabling them to increase customer service capacity with retailers and consumers and to help the brands build market position and sales.

“After considering several Western cities, Ogden topped our list in all the critical categories. Its strategic location will enable us to establish our platform, help strengthen the brands, and provide top notch customer service,” explains Mike Dowse, President and General Manager of Amer Winter & Outdoor U.S. “Being based in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, we will be close to the consumers of our brand and our products keeping us completely in tune with consumers and developing trends. As a leader in winter sports, we will be at home on the mountain.”

Ogden is located on the west side of the Wasatch Mountains, 40 miles north of Salt Lake City International Airport. The city boasts a vibrant historical district and quick access to two of America’s top-rated ski resorts.

“We’re excited to welcome Amer Sports to Ogden’s outdoor business community,” says Ogden Mayor Matthew Godfrey. “Amer is the world’s leading sports equipment company. The power of its brands will define Ogden’s presence as the hub for the high adventure recreation business and the organizations that support it.”

Utah Governor Jon Huntsman, Jr. commented, "We are thrilled to have Amer Sports' American Headquarters for Winter and Outdoor products, including the Atomic, Salomon and Suunto brands, relocating to the state of Utah. This further illustrates Utah's increasing prominence in the wintersports and outdoor recreation industry."

Amer Sports expects to initiate its relocation efforts in the Spring of 2007.

Founded in 1950, Amer Sports Corporation is the world’s leading sports equipment company with internationally recognized brands including Wilson, Atomic, Suunto, Precor, Salomon and Mavic. Employing more than 6,600 people worldwide, Amer Sports companies develop and manufacture technically advanced products that improve the performance of active sports participants. The Group’s business is balanced by a broad portfolio of sports with a presence in all major markets.


www.amersports.com
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  #53  
Old Posted Nov 5, 2006, 1:11 PM
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Thumbs up

OWATC and Williams International
Announce Lean Manufacturing Training Center

Center home to over $25 million in equipment, is unique in nation


Summary:
The Ogden-Weber Applied Technology College (OWATC) is teaming with Williams International to create a new Lean Manufacturing Training Center for Excellence. Williams International is making equipment valued at over $25 million available to train students in lean manufacturing and advanced machining principles. The OWATC is providing faculty, curriculum, and will coordinate instruction with manufacturing employers throughout Weber County. The equipment has already been delivered to its new home at the Business Depot Ogden (BDO).

The new facility will be operated by OWATC and Williams and will include classrooms and a realistic production operation. It should be operational by early spring of 2007 and will be open to all employers in Northern Utah. This new center will bolster Northern Utah's already strong aerospace cluster and is in keeping with the Governor's economic development plan for Northern Utah. This center will be the only training facility of its type in the nation, and will raise the entire region's profile as an aerospace hub.

A Fast Track to Fruition
Lloyd McCaffrey, Director of Manufacturing Technology for Williams International, presented this proposal to OWATC’s board after experiencing frustration over the funding provided to OWATC by the Legislature. He said, “You can't buy any machine tools of any serious size with the amount of money given by the legislature each year. I realized that the only way to get more equipment for students would be to team up.” So when an opportunity came for Williams International to purchase 25 state-of-the-art milling machines, McCaffrey presented the idea to OWATC’s Board late last spring. When both organizations gave the green light, Williams quickly siezed that opportunty. From that point, the project has moved forward at a remakable speed.

As of last week, all 25 machines have been delivered from Michigan, and construction crews are actively retrofitting the building including pouring concrete for a new subfloor. If schedules hold, the facility will be operational by next spring.

New Center Unique in the Country:
The new center will be the only facility of its kind in the U.S. It will be open to OWATC machining students and local employers for training. Students in OWATC’s machining program will first complete prerequisites and then will be eligible to go through the Lean Manufacturing Center for Excellence as a capstone to the already rigorous machining curriculum.

“This center is a huge boon to Weber County,” said OWATC President, Brent Wallis. He continued, “Students will benefit by learning the latest manufacturing principles in a realistic environment, on state-of-the-art equipment. Employers benefit by having workers who are ready to hit the ground running. The community benefits in its ability to attract new aerospace companies.”

Aerospace an Important Cluster for the Region:
Governor Huntsman has designated Northern Utah as the Aerospace hub for Utah as part of his overall economic plan that focuses on key industry clusters. Northern Utah is the natural choice for this cluster with the presence of Hill Air Force Base and companies like Williams International, ATK Thiokol, Barnes Aerospace, and recent relocations such as Adam Aircraft. Ron Kusina, Executive Director for the Weber Economic Development Corporation expressed enthusiasm for the deal. Kusina said, “This deal adds an incredibly important piece to the high-tech manufacturing mix, particularly as it relates to aerospace in Weber County. In short, this is a fine opportunity for Northern Utah.”

Building on Past Partnership Success:
The ability to hire enough skilled machinists in Weber County has turned from a crisis to a success story in recent years. Recently, local employers including Williams International, Parker, JD Machine and Petersen Inc. faced severe shortages of skilled labor in spite of the industry’s high wages and good working conditions. The answer was a partnership between local machining companies, OWATC, the Chamber of Commerce and Weber Economic Development Corporation to re-brand the profession and attract more workers.

The effort paid off by increasing numbers of students enrolled in machining at OWATC. While demand for students remains high, many more students have graduated into these great jobs. Since then, the industry has continued to improve by adopting lean principles. These practices require an even higher level of training that isn’t widely available. The new Lean Manufacturing Center for Excellence will fill this need.

About the facility and equipment:
The facility is located at the Business Depot Ogden and offers 53,000 square feet of manufacturing space. The total value of the equipment is over $25 million and includes 25 4-axis CNC milling machines that plus robots, parts loaders, conveyors and other auxiliary pieces. They must be aligned to within tolerances smaller than the width of a human hair. Renovations include redoing the concrete foundation to hold the weight of the 50,000 pound machines, installing transformers, wiring, and air compressors.

About Lean Manufacturing:
Lean Manufacturing is one of the latest improvements globally in manufacturing techniques. The term was made popular by a book entitled, The Machine that Changed the World written by James Womack, et al, published in 1990. It defines lean as, “A systematic approach to identifying and eliminating waste through continuous improvement, flowing the product at the pull of the customer in pursuit of perfection.” When implemented, it reduces the cost of operations, eliminates waste, reduces inventory, and simplifies work areas. Lean manufacturing principles are highly visual. Companies like Williams use ingenious techniques like dispensing tools and parts from vending machines provided by suppliers. The vendors own parts until Williams employees “buy” them from vending machines.

About Williams International
Williams International is the world leader in small turbine engines and customer support, with headquarters in Walled Lake, Michigan, and a design-to-production facility in Ogden, Utah. For more information about the company, its products, and support, please visit www.williams-int.com

About OWATC
The Ogden-Weber Applied Technology College is a 35-year old college institution that provides hands-on training in over 50 programs that fall within 5 cluster areas: Business & I.T., Construction, Health, Manufacturing and Services. OWATC teaches short-term programs so students can get in, get out, and get hired quickly. There are three campuses in Ogden, Roy, and at the Business Depot Ogden (BDO). Most programs operate on an open-entry system, which means a student can start any Monday.

Facility Open to Public at Chamber Business Expo:
The Ogden-Weber Chamber of Commerce will be hosting its annual business expo where the new center will be located. The address is Building 550, suite 2 at 550 South, Depot Drive in Ogden. BDO is operated by The Boyer Company, Master Lessor and Developer at BDO. Boyer completed the Gateway project in downtown Salt Lake City and is currently working on the Ogden City Mall site.

Contact information:
Ogden-Weber Applied Technology College
Rhonda Boren, Director of Marketing
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  #54  
Old Posted Nov 5, 2006, 1:24 PM
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For those interested in the huge, "Malan Basin development," here is a good site with pics and points of interest.

www.echamber.cc/gondola/malansbasindev.html
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Old Posted Nov 7, 2006, 3:11 PM
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Thumbs up Ogden,continuing to build upon its outdoor-sports image.

Fall, 2006


Hit the Heights, but Take the Stairs

The New York Times


By STEPHEN REGENOLD

EAST of the Great Salt Lake,across desert brush and urban sprawl, the mountains of Ogden, Utah, stretch jagged and steep into the sky. There, on the front of the Wasatch Range, pyramid peaks cut a sharp silhouette on the backdrop of blue.



also Tom Smart for The New York Times

Chris Peterson, owns the Waterfall Canyon Climbing Park in Ogden, Utah, which has the newest via ferrata routes in North America.
“Long ways down,” said Kym Buttschardt, an Ogden native standing on the edge of a cliff, peering off toward her home thousands of feet down in the valley below. Ms. Buttschardt, a 39-year-old mother of three young boys who operates a restaurant business with her husband, gripped a rebar ladder rung drilled into the rock face. Her climbing harness was tethered to a cable.

“I’ve got to get my boys up here some day,” Ms. Buttschardt said. The climb above, a 350-foot route at the edge of Ogden, was equipped with ladders, bolts and fixed cables. The style of climbing — a European discipline called via ferrata — allowed Ms. Buttschardt and a group of eight other climbers, including three consummate beginners, to move over the stone with little hesitation.

Via ferrata — Italian for iron way — is immensely popular in Europe, where hundreds of cable-protected routes lace the Alps. Ladders, bridges, stair steps, bolts and strands of cable affixed to vertical rock, all permanent and built to weather decades of exposure, are common on prominent peaks. Ropes, rock shoes, belay devices and removable protection — requisite gear for the sport of rock climbing — are superfluous on a via ferrata climb. Indeed, the via ferrata technique, which was developed during World War I to move troops quickly through the Dolomites in Northern Italy, allows climbers with little instruction or climbing skill to safely ascend sheer cliff faces.

“Via ferrata is probably the quickest way for a new climber to get up high and exposed in the mountains,” said Ron Olevsky, a 52-year-old climbing guide from Toquerville, Utah, who helped lead Ms. Buttschardt’s trip. But Mr. Olevsky, who has pioneered climbing routes in the West since the 1970’s, said via ferrata shares few traits with the sport of rock climbing. “If you want to learn climbing technique,” he said, “it’s not the best way to start out.”

In North America, via ferrata has never been a part of the climbing culture. Fewer than 10 via ferrata climbing areas exist in the United States, and many climbers in this country are unfamiliar with the sport. Government-imposed bans that outlaw permanent climbing anchors, notably the Wilderness Act of 1964, make installing via ferrata climbs a red-tape nightmare in many places.

Some climbers have environmental or ethical qualms. “Via ferratas make remote, craggy regions that were formerly accessible to very few people accessible to just about anyone,” said Duane Raleigh, the editor and publisher of Rock and Ice, a climbing magazine based in Carbondale, Colo. “If the goal is to make the mountains easy for everyone, then via ferratas are good. But, in my opinion, they represent the sterilization of the wild lands.”

Phil Powers, the executive director of the American Alpine Club in Golden, Colo., said North Americans could benefit from more exposure to via ferrata. “I am fond of the idea that nonclimbers could experience the thrill of the vertical world so easily on a via ferrata and then maybe pursue our wonderful sport as a result,” he said.

The via ferrata climbs above Ogden — three abrupt lines built last fall under the management of Jeff Lowe, a world-renowned climber — are part of Waterfall Canyon Climbing Park, a private preserve owned by Chris Peterson, a businessman in the area. They are the nation’s newest via ferrata routes.

On a sunny Monday morning in mid-August, Mr. Peterson met Ms. Buttschardt, Mr. Olevsky and six other climbers at the parking lot below the canyon. Mr. Peterson gripped a single trekking pole while giving introductions. He said the trail ahead would entail an hour of uphill hiking to reach the bottom of the first climb.

Juniper berries, chalky blue and small as peas, dotted the trail as Mr. Peterson led the group into the shade of the canyon. Russian olive trees arched over the path. Water trickled unseen in a gully below.

“Keep your eyes peeled for thimbleberries,” Mr. Peterson said. “They can be quite good this time of year.”

At the base of the first climb, the canyon’s namesake waterfall misting just upstream, Mr. Olevsky double-checked harnesses and lanyard setups. A rebar ladder rung stuck off the wall at shoulder height. A silver cable, galvanized steel and a quarter-inch in diameter, traced a path on the cliff above

Mike Santi, a first-time climber from Minneapolis, reached to touch the initial rung on the route. Two carabiner-equipped lanyards, both with shock-absorbing properties to protect from the brute force of a fall, dangled from his harness. Mr. Santi clipped them into the cable before stepping off the ground.

While climbers at Waterfall Canyon are warned about the risks of the via ferrata, its fixed features allow beginners like Kym Buttschardt to tackle sheer rock walls and traverse knife-edge ridges.
“Wish me luck,” he said to the group, his shirt already damp with perspiration from the hike.

The rock above, a houndstooth pattern of lichen and seams and pockmarked decay, formed a giant open book against a blueberry sky. A zigzag of sunlight and shadow painted the face.

In 10 minutes, all nine climbers were perched on the stone wall, fingertips curled around rebars, stepping and pulling fast and fluid. The route began easy and a bit less than vertical, a slab of north-facing quartzite. Carabiners slid on the cable quietly beside each climber as they made their way toward a ledge halfway up.

Mr. Santi, Ms. Buttschardt and her husband, Peter — the beginners in the group — had little trouble on the 350-foot climb. Steep vertical sections ended in rests on small ledges. A sharp ridgeline put the climbers on an exposed rib of rock. Talus slopes lay strewn hundreds of airy feet below. But the stout ladder rungs, spaced close on the wall, made the ascent straightforward and easy.

“Look at this view!” Ms. Buttschardt exclaimed, her hand in a salute on her forehead to ward off the sun. Steep foothills dropped off into Ogden. The pan-flat basin below — a crisscross of streets, a mush of leafy green and desert tan to all points west — yielded only to the Great Salt Lake, which flittered 25 miles beyond.

The climbers continued on in a line, stepping on iron, grabbing stone. Clouds, wispy and white, studded with stalactites of virga, drifted in over the ridge. Nine tiny dots made their way up, climbing a steep stairway to heaven in the mountains above Ogden.

VISITOR INFORMATION

VIA ferrata is a popular European pastime, with hundreds of cable-protected, rung-equipped routes ensconced in the Alps. In North America, the sport is little known, and fewer than 10 via ferrata climbing areas have been established in the United States and Canada.

Waterfall Canyon Climbing Park in Ogden, Utah, is the newest area in the United States, with three precipitous climbs found in a deep quartzite canyon just east of the town. The canyon, a private preserve that is scheduled to open officially this fall, has a training wall where newcomers to via ferrata can practice before heading uphill to the big climbs. Rates will start at $40 a day, which includes equipment rental and a lesson on the training wall (801-550-1761).

Last edited by delts145; Nov 7, 2006 at 3:12 PM. Reason: additions
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Old Posted Nov 14, 2006, 1:26 PM
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Post UBiDS aims to help firms get contacts

By Brice Wallace
Deseret Morning News

KAYSVILLE — Another milestone in a statewide effort to get more Utah companies involved in government contracting was reached Wednesday with the grand opening of a program that could result in thousands of jobs.
Dozens of people attended the kickoff ceremonies for Utah Bid Development Solutions, also known as UBiDS, a partnership among the Utah Defense Alliance, the Davis and Ogden/Weber chambers of commerce and Logistics Specialties Inc. to help Utah businesses land federal, state and local government contracts. Housed on the Davis Applied Technology College campus, UBiDS received a financial go-ahead thanks to a $250,000 legislative appropriation for a procurement technical assistance center. The Governor's Office of Economic Development received the funds and contracted with the Utah Defense Alliance, which then subcontracted with LSI.
"I think UBiDS is the greatest single economic development initiative in the state," said Sean Slatter, LSI's president. "We've identified the opportunity to secure 4,000 new jobs under this program. That's amazing. A lot of these jobs will be based in northern Utah to support Hill Air Force Base and the other military and industrial centers in the state."
Slatter said the Roy W. and Elizabeth E. Simmons Entrepreneurship Center is "dedicated to creating an environment where defense contractors — government contractors in general — can come and be mentored and grow their businesses."
Kori Ann Edwards, UBiDS director at LSI, said LSI has been matching company products and capabilities to federal contracts for 34 years. "Through the UBiDS contract, we will be able to take this expertise and to share it with Utah businesses who are interested in doing business with the federal government."
She cited Hill Air Force Base as an example of opportunities, noting that the base contracts out about $3 billion annually.
"The objective of the UBiDS program is to help work with Utah businesses to ensure that our Utah economy is able to capture as many of these dollars as possible. ... Through this effort, the state of Utah will realize significant growth in job creation and corporate business expansion," Edwards said.
Rick Mayfield, chief executive officer of the Utah Defense Alliance, noted that the organization had worked to keep Hill Air Force Base open during two rounds of base closings.
"Now we want to kind of move away from that aspect because, at this point in time and hopefully in the future, our bases aren't threatened. But there's a lot of changes in the defense industry, and our community organization has stepped up and said, 'We want to take advantage of those opportunities,"' he said.
The alliance's strategic plan has five goals and 27 objectives. "We are working hard to try and bring additional workload into the state of Utah, but we're also trying to protect what we have and enhance the military value of our bases," Mayfield said.
Sen. Sheldon Killpack, R-Syracuse, said there is "no question" that the program will yield results.
"Truly, the more we can bring the resources that are important to them (Hill Air Force Base) closer to them and make it more efficient and more effective for them, the big picture is that's good for Utah. ... It truly is critical that we try to connect the dots much better to keep the business at home," Killpack said.
Representatives in higher education, the chambers, state government, companies and others have an interest in seeing the program succeed, he said.
"It doesn't matter where these jobs come, as long as they're within the state. ... Any job we can create — I don't care if it's here; I don't care if it's out in the West Desert — we just need to bring them here, and I think this will give us the opportunity to do that," he said.
GOED's executive director, Jason Perry, noted that even Utah's smallest businesses can compete for government contracts. Utah's prime contractors and subcontracting companies receive $1.9 million in government and military contracts, "and we all know in this room ... this is just scratching the surface of the potential for our great state," he said.
The procurement technical assistance center, he said, will "show real results" in time for the next legislative session.
"This one-time money we received from the Legislature to do this very thing is a grand experiment, really," Perry said. "We are expected to do something great with these funds. I have no doubt, because of the people that are here in this room, we will do a lot of great work with these funds. The pieces of the puzzle are all together."


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Old Posted Nov 14, 2006, 1:31 PM
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HAFB likely to get new jet fighters



F-35A squadron would ensure future of the base

By Suzanne Struglinski and Joseph M. Dougherty
Deseret Morning News
WASHINGTON — A squadron of the Air Force's most cutting-edge fighters could arrive at Hill Air Force Base in 2009, securing the base's future and potentially boosting the state's economy, the Air Force said Wednesday.
The Air Force plans to begin an environmental analysis with the aim of using Hill to house operational squadrons for the F-35A Lightning II, a stealth fighter intended to be the replacement for F-16 and A-10 fighters, which will eventually be phased out.
>No A-10 squadrons are based at Hill, although the base does maintenance work on the planes for other bases. But Hill is home to three squadrons of F-16s, or about 70 of those planes.
The study could take up to two years, and the first plane could be delivered by 2009, the Air Force said. As many as 24 of the F-35A aircraft, also known as Joint Strike Fighters, could come to the Utah base.
Just last week, the defense spending bill passed by Congress included $5.5 million for a public-private partnership by Utah-based Alliant Techsystems Inc. and Hill's Ogden Air Logistics Center to improve production of composite-technology parts needed for the F-35A.
Rep. Rob Bishop's senior policy adviser on defense, Steve Petersen, said the environmental study is just a formality, meaning the planes are more than likely to come to Utah.
"We don't foresee any show-stoppers there," Petersen said.
He said the Air Force's announcement was as big for Utah as when Hill learned it would get F-16s in 1979. The new jets will bring personnel and resources to the base, and will almost certainly protect the base from future closure considerations, he said.
"It cements the role of Hill Air Force Base and the Ogden Air Logistics Center in the future as the premier fighter depot," Petersen said.
Bishop, R-Utah, represents the 1st District, which includes Hill Air Force Base. He said he always believed the base was a "natural location" for the new jets but "never wanted to take it for granted."
"As the Air Force aircraft inventory ages and budget pressures increase, obtaining the latest and most technologically capable weapons system at our base is crucial," Bishop said.
Rick Mayfield, executive director of the Utah Defense Alliance, agreed that the F-35As will help shore up the future of Hill Air Force Base. The alliance, which has been in existence since 1993 to fight periodic rounds of base realignments and closures, most recently lobbied to keep Hill off the Department of Defense's chopping block in 2005.
If Hill had closed in 2005, it would have devastated the economy in northern Utah. As the largest employer in Davis County, Hill employs about 23,000 people and pumps $2 billion into Utah's economy, Mayfield said.
Retired Army Col. Gary Harter, director of the defense and homeland-security division in the Utah Governor's Office of Economic Development, said the Defense Department now spends less than 1 percent of its budget — about $3.5 billion — on its installations, contractors and services in Utah. He hopes Utah businesses can compete for more contracts and bring more military jobs to the state to the point that the Defense Department is spending $7 billion by 2011.
The F-35A is "a nice shot in the arm for us, no doubt about it," Harter said.
Petersen said last year's approval of Bishop's bill to create the Cedar Mountain Wilderness Area that protects the Utah Test and Training Range — where Hill's pilots train — was a "key component" of the Air Force's decision to put the jets at Hill. Bishop's bill, supported by the entire congressional delegation, blocked a rail line that would have brought nuclear waste to a proposed storage site in Tooele County and preserved the training-range land from development.
Petersen said the time frame for the F-35As' arrival at Hill depends on the plane's production schedule and decisions on funding from Congress.
For 2007, the president requested enough money for five planes, but the final defense spending bill approved last week included enough for only two, according to the office of Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah. The final bill included $4.3 billion for continued research into the F-35A, and the conference committee noted that it wanted more testing on the jets before the government buys them on a large scale.
The planes cost about $50 million apiece, and they represent "brand new, state-of-the-art technology," Hatch said. "It's going to keep Hill strong for decades."
Bishop and Hatch lobbied the Air Force hard for the planes to come to Hill, spelling out that there would be no better place to put them.
"Ever since we heard this was coming up, we made the case it should be at Hill," Hatch said.
The Air Force intends to purchase more than 1,700 of the F-35As over a 16-year period, beginning in 2009. Kadena Air Base, in Japan, and Shaw Air Force Base and McEntire Air National Guard Station, in South Carolina, will also be studied as bases for the fighters, according to the Air Force.
"The capabilities we provide the joint warfighter are in high demand, yet we have the oldest aircraft inventory in our history," said Gen. T. Michael Moseley, Air Force chief of staff. "The Air Force will continue to invest in advanced capabilities needed to defeat the emerging technological advances of our adversaries."
Lt. Beth Woodward, spokeswoman for the 388th Fighter Wing at Hill Air Force Base, said teams plan to analyze the various bases for suitability and hear community concerns over the next few months.
More information on the F-35A can be found at www.jsf.mil/.





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Old Posted Nov 15, 2006, 12:59 AM
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Thumbs up Ogden's restored Egyptian Theatre!!





It would be worth it to go up to Ogden and catch a performance, just to be able to sit in this theatre.
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Old Posted Nov 15, 2006, 3:46 AM
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Poor guy, he must be a horrible performer, there is only one guy who went to see him in concert. twang twang twang
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Old Posted Nov 15, 2006, 6:57 AM
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With all this growth in Ogden, do you guys think the Real Estate prices will come back? RE in Ogden is CHEAP, and I don't know why... *shrug*
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