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.

Category: General

July
17th

Free cake, no protests as Walmart opens its first Tacoma store

With speeches, cheers and a prayer, Tacoma’s first Walmart store opened Wednesday morning.

Dozens of patrons waited for the doors to open at 8 a.m. as Walmart officials and dignitaries gathered in a semicircle before a makeshift stage to bear witness to $68,000 in charitable contributions and a brief history of the company which, on Wednesday, saw the opening of 24 stores nationwide and two in state – in Tacoma and Vancouver.

“Building this store has been a journey,” said Tom McReynolds, a Walmart manager who oversees nine stores in the Puget

Read more »

July
16th

Aerospace Summit set for Wednesday at Clover Park Technical College

What are state and local governments and private businesses doing to ensure that Washington remains a hub of the aerospace industry?

Get a briefing Wednesday on that aerospace retention effort at Pierce County’s annual Aerospace and Advanced Manufacturing Summit at the McGavick Center at Clover Park Technical College.

Alex Pietsch, director of the governor’s office of aerospace, is one of several speakers on the agenda. Pietsch will discuss Washington’s aerospace strategy and the Evergreen State’s recruitment efforts at the recent Paris Air Show.

Other speakers include: Dr. Amit Bandyopadhyay, professor at Washington State University’s School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering.  He will

Read more »

July
16th

Sea-Tac gets second daily Dreamliner flight

Sea-Tac Airport,  the second U.S. airport to host the Boeing 787 Dreamliner on a regularly scheduled flight, will see more Dreamliner service beginning this fall.

According to schedules published this week, United Airlines will begin using a Dreamliner for its Sea-Tac-Tokyo flight beginning Nov. 5.

The Chicago-based airline now uses a larger Boeing 777-200ER for the flight to Tokyo’s Narita Airport.  All Nippon Airways began flying a Dreamliner from Sea-Tac to the the Japanese capital last fall.

Those ANA flights were interrupted in early winter when all Boeing Dreamliners were grounded to solve battery fire problems.

ANA has resumed it

Read more »

July
16th

Alaska Airlines adding Colorado ski town to wintertime route structure

Alaska Airlines, which historically has provided air service to such ski towns as Sun Valley, Idaho, and Mammoth Lakes, Calif.,  and Kalispell, Mont.,  will add a Colorado ski destination to its route map for the first time this winter.

The SeaTac-based airline will begin new service between Sea-Tac Airport and Steamboat Springs/Hayden, Colo., this winter. The twice-weekly flights will operate from Dec. 18 through March 29, 2014. The flights will make the roundtrip to Steamboat Springs on Wednesdays and Saturdays during that period.

“This will be Alaska Airlines’ first Colorado ski destination, giving our customers in the Pacific Northwest the

Read more »

July
15th

Finnish ice breaker departs Tacoma area for Alaska

A Finnish multi-purpose ice-breaker that spent much of last weekend in Tacoma and at the entrance to Quartermaster Harbor off Vashon Island departed early Monday for Dutch Harbor in Alaska.

After a brief, early morning stop in Seattle, the MSV Nordica headed out the Strait of Juan de Fuca for the 49th State.

The bulbous-bowed, 381-foot-long vessel is contracted to Shell Offshore by Arctia Offshore Ltd. for use in exploration activities in the seas off the north coast of Alaska.  The Nordica and its sister ship Fennica are part of a flotilla of ice-breakers, anchor-handling ships, supply vessels and tankers

Read more »

July
11th

Tacoma’s first new major hotel in eight years opens near UWT

When Caroline Curtis and Vickie Molzer unlocked the front doors of the Holiday Inn Express Downtown Tacoma  Thursday afternoon, that simple, unceremonious event marked the informal end of seven years of planning, negotiation and construction that brought Tacoma its newest major hotel.

First conceived in 2006, the hotel developed by Seattle-based Hotel Concepts, slogged its way through numerous city design reviews, architectural modifications and the sluggish economy to finally become reality at 1 p.m. Thursday.

Curtis, operations manager for hotel operator BMI Hospitality and Molzer, the hotel’s first general manager, did the honors, and the hotel received its first guests.

Read more »

July
11th

Tacoma and teeth go hand in hand (or mouth); destiny and dentistry meet here

Agritourist golfing tooth practitioners, take note.

I’m not sure what an outfit called “valuepenguin” is or does, but it has named Tacoma as the best city in the country to be a dentist.

Valuepenguin said in a release this week: “With a median salary of $186,370, Tacoma ranks as the best place to be a dentist on our list. Dentists in Tacoma command the highest reported median salary across the U.S. There are 370 dentists serving the city, which is twice the national average of dentists employed in the typical U.S. city. With its natural and cultural attractions, Tacoma

Read more »

July
11th

Alaska Air Group board answers Wall Street’s incessant request with a dividend

SeaTac-based Alaska Air Group Thursday announced it will begin issuing a quarterly cash dividend next month.

The airline holding company will pay shareholder of record on Aug. 6 a 20-cent-per-share dividend on Aug. 22.

The holding company owns Alaska Airlines and its sister carrier, Horizon Air.  The dividend will be in addition the multi-year stock repurchase program the airline company has initiated.

Wall Street analysts, noting the airlines’ growing pile of cash in recent quarters have repeatedly quizzed the airline when it will begin distributing that money to shareholders in the form of a dividend.  Until Thursday, Alaska’s answer has

Read more »