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Archives: May 2012


Tacoma-Pierce County hotel occupancy rate down double-digits in March; statewide occupancy increases

Although the rate statewide rose 4.9 percent, hotel occupancy rate in the Tacoma area declined in March, down 13 percent from March, 2011. Pierce County also recorded the lowest occupancy rate in the state in March with 54.8 percent of rooms taken. Statewide, 71 percent of rooms were occupied, said Bellevue hospitality consultant Wolfgang Rood in his monthly report.

In downtown Seattle, 78 percent of room were occupied in March, up 11.1 percent from the same month a year ago. The SeaTac Airport area reported the state’s highest rate, with 74.4 percent of rooms taken.

The Tri-Cities, Southwest Washington, and

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First Quarter 2012: Bank profits improve, troubled institutions decline, bad loans reduced

It’s been a good quarter for banks.

In its latest report, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. said Thursday that commercial and savings institutions nationwide have reported an aggregate profit of $35.3 billion for the first quarter. That’s a $6.6 billion improvement over the net income reported for the first quarter last year.

• More than two-thirds of all institutions – 67.5 percent – reported higher net income over a year ago.
• The share of institutions reporting net losses for the quarter fell to 10.3 percent from 15.7 perccent a year ago.
• The average return

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Boeing’s Dreamliner starts last leg of world tour in Sydney

Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner landed in Sydney, Australia today beginning a four-day visit that marks the start of the last leg of its seven-month world tour.

The Dreamliner making the tour is a former test aircraft dressed up with a full airline interior to show off to customers and the press around the world.

Dreamliner landing in Sydney

When the tour ends, the Dreamliner, Boeing’s composite-bodied, long-range twin-jet, will have visited six continents and 39 cities around the world.

That tour began in Beijing last December and will end in Casablanca, Morocco in June.

The tour has taken

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Port of Tacoma again offering free bus tours

The Port of Tacoma is resuming its free bus tour program beginning next month.

Those tours offer a behind-the-scenes look at port operations during the 90-minute excursions.

Here are the details:

When: Friday, June 22
Time: 10 a.m. to about 11:30 a.m.
Where: Begins and ends at the Fabulich Center, 3600 Port of Tacoma Rd.
Who: Space is limited for this free tour, and reservations are required. Children age 6 and older are welcome. Photo identification is required for passengers 17 years of age and older.

Reserve your seat by calling 253-383-9463 or emailing


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Sea-Tac Memorial Day holiday crowds will peak Thursday and Friday

Sea-Tac Airport is bracing for an influx of holiday travelers today and Friday as the summertime travel season bolts out of the gate.

The airport says it’s expecting about 95,000 travelers today and Friday, about 6,000 more than the average day during the year.

Those crowds, however, are just a rehearsal for the summertime crush of travelers who will use the airport’s gates and counters.

During the three summer months of June, July and August, the airport will handle about 100,000 passengers daily. The busiest days of the year are expected to be Aug. 12 and 13, not the pre-Thanksgiving

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Delta Air Lines closing SeaTac sales and call center

Delta Air Lines acknowledged today that it plans to close its sales and call center in SeaTac by Sept. 1.

The airline said 189 positions at that center will be eliminated.

The center’s closure is part of Delta’s effort to consolidate facilities to better fit the airline’s profile. Another Delta call center is closing in Sioux City, Iowa.

The airline currently has nine U.S. call centers, more than any other American carrier, said Delta spokesman Morgan Durrant. The closings will allow the airline, the world’s second largest, to eliminate extra call center capacity.

The 189 workers were notified

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Ruston Way opening soon?

They held the grand reopening ceremony more than a month ago, but Ruston Way through the Point Ruston development remains locked behind chain link fences.

So when will it reopen to traffic?

“We expect it will be open well before July 4,” said Loren Cohen, legal affairs manager for the billion-dollar mixed use project.

Contractors are waiting for another sustained period of dry sunny weather to finish two critical parts of the project that can’t be done in the rain. Those projects are pouring the decorative concrete pedestrian crosswalks and striping and painting the pavement for traffic safety.

A third

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Tacoma gas prices heading downward?

Gas prices appear to heading downward in the Tacoma area after a long run-up that began just after Christmas.

I hesitate to write such news because the volatile gasoline market in Western Washington has made me a liar before.

Consider the prediction of a gasoline analyst at

“I expect stations to increase prices as much as 10-35 cents per gallon by the conclusion of the weekend with some stations starting to raise prices immediately,” said Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst.

DeHaan said the holiday weekend demand on the still-short Northwest gasoline supplies could pump up prices temporarily to

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