The Biz Buzz

Get the most up-to-date news, insights and analysis of Tacoma, Pierce County and South Puget Sound business.

NOTICE: The Biz Buzz has moved.

With the launch of our new website, we've moved The Biz Buzz.
Visit the new section.

Archives: Dec. 2009

Dec.
29th

Conde Nast readers put Tacoma’s Murano atop Olympus

We’ve previously reported the astounding news that readers of Conde Nast Traveler Magazine have named Tacoma’s Hotel Murano as the sixth-best in the country and 72nd among the world’s Top 100 travel venues.

I’ve just received my January issue of Traveler, and there it is in black-and-white: Hotel Murano scores 93.5 points. That’s the highest rating among five hotels listed in Washington. From the Salish Lodge and Spa, up through Inn at the Market, Four Seasons and the Fairmont Olympic, it’s Hotel Murano atop the list.

And where does 93.5 fit inside the larger stack?  Well, it’s not quite the

Read more »

Dec.
29th

As recessions go, this one has been a champion

When we do a recession, we do it right.

The state Employment Security Department is out today with some data that show the waning recession saw more Washington residents unemployed, more receiving unemployment benefits and more seeking job-search assistance than ever before.

For 2009:

• By the end of this week, some 475,000 Washingtonians will have received unemployment benefits in 2009, compared to 290,000 in 2008.

• ESD will pay out nearly $4 billion in unemployment benefits in 2009, compared to $1.2 billion in 2008 and $725 million in 2007.

• Employees at ESD unemployment call centers have worked about

Read more »

Dec.
29th

First test Dreamliner makes second, third flights

Boeing’s first test 787 Dreamliner, which flew for the first time just two weeks ago, is beginning to settle into a regular routine of test flights.

The jetliner, according to aviation blog All Things 787, made its second flight Sunday for two hours over Eastern Washington before returning to Boeing Field.

The plane ranged farther afield on its third flight Monday which lasted some six hours.

The second test airplane, which made its first flight last Tuesday, is expected to join the flight test program once engineers fix a glitch in the nose landing gear that caused a supporting strut

Read more »

Dec.
29th

New Russian jetliner deliveries delayed

Russia’s United Aircraft Corporation says deliveries of its 75-to-95-passenger Superjet 100 have been delayed indefinitely.

The twin-engine, fly-by-wire jet is designed to compete with regional jetliners produced by Embraer in Brazil and Bombardier in Canada. UAC claims the new jet is 15 to 20 percent more economical than its Western rivals.

The company said the plane’s new engines are still undergoing documentation and testing. Technical issues with the new powerplants have delayed the plane’s certification.

UAC said it is talking with its airline customers about new delivery dates.

Dec.
29th

Chinese begin construction on new airliner factory

Another threat is taking shape to Boeing’s and Airbus’s duopoly on large commercial jetliner manufacturing.

The Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China this week began construction of a new factory near the Shanghai airport to build two aircraft to several short to medium-length routes worldwide.

The new plant is expected to be open by 2012. Once it is up to operation in 2016, the plant is expected to produce 20 of Comac’s C919s and 50 of its ARJ21s a year.

The Comac C919 is a 150-190-seat plane, the same size as Boeing’s and Airbus’s 737s and A320 that are the

Read more »

Dec.
29th

MultiCare files for new Covington hospital

Tacoma’s MultiCare Health System has filed plans with the state to build a 58-bed hospital in Covington in South King County and an emergency department adjacent to its existing Covington clinic at 17700 S.E. 272nd St.

MultiCare is the non-profit parent organization of a network of four hospital: Tacoma General Hospital, Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital and Allenmore Hospital, all in Tacoma, and Puyallup’s Good Samaritan Hospital.

MultiCare will have to secure a “certificate of need” from the state Department of Health to build the new facilities.

Other hospitals serving the area including Valley Medical Center in Renton, Auburn Regional Hospital

Read more »

Dec.
28th

Amazon: What a difference a year makes

Seattle Internet retailer Amazon.com’s shares rose 84 cents a share in post-Christmas trading Monday as Wall Street labeled it one of the winners in the holiday retail war.

The e-tailer’s shares closed at $139.31, close to a 52-week high and up more than 175 percent from its closing lows in late January of 2009.

While overall retail sales for the season are expected to be up some 3.4 percent, analysts are predicting Amazon will exceed that figure. The company hasn’t released holiday sales figures yet.

The company did say that for the first time it sold more electronic versions of

Read more »

Dec.
28th

Boeing 2009 aircraft orders worst in 15 years

While Boeing’s final aircraft order totals for 2009 won’t be released until sometime next month, the aircraft maker appears to be headed to the worst year in 15 years for airliner sales.

The company now says it has posted 141 net orders for new airliners in the last year. That includes 174 737s, 4 747s, 2 767s, 20 777s and -59 787s. Those totals are net results, new orders minus cancellations.

That figure is the lowest for Boeing since 1994, when the company won orders for just 125 airliners. Boeing fortunately has a large backlog of orders thanks to huge

Read more »