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Placer County's 
In Progress Online Newsletter

March 2010
In This Issue
Bella Soap Makes Healing Balms
Auburn 20-30 Club Attracts Active, Selfless Members
Fox Barrel Toasts to Midwest Merger
Placer County Vintners to Host Mother's Day Weekend Winery Tour
Roseville Auto Mall Mounts $6M Improved Visibility Project
Lincoln Named One of Decade's Fastest Growing Cities
Lake Tahoe Sees Rise in Resort Lodging Reservations
Thunder Valley Casino Prepared to Hire 600
New Collaboration Serves Job Seekers, Businesses
Roseville Arts Plan 'Art in the Garden' Tour
Placer Approves Plan to Finance 'Green' Home Improvements
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Issue: Vol. 11 #2  
Dear Subscriber: 
Placer County is giving you the same great information only in a new and improved format.  We hope you like it and welcome any feedback that you may have. 
Bella Soap Co. Logo  Bella Soap Makes Healing Balms
Extra virgin olive oil, palm oil, coconut oil, castor oil, shea butter, goat milk -- these soothing-sounding ingredients blend together in Bella Dry Skin Formula soap to provide unique healing properties says Louise Dutton, co-owner with her husband Jim of Bella Soap Company, started 11 years ago out of their Loomis home. Revived by popular demand after a hiatus of several years, the company is now test-marketing several other products besides its signature soap - balm for psoriasis, soap for mature skin, soap for acne, and vitamin D soap. Response to all the test products has been "terrific," Louise said. "I take my claims very seriously," she explained. "All products are test-marketed by the public and then subjected to review by professionals - medical doctors, dermatologists, allergists, etc. My labels are honest. My business philosophy is to help people honestly." The Dutton's plan to expand their product line to include lotions, shampoos, and cosmetics, all fragrance-free and with essential oils. Bella soap is available in 20 California locations and online at http://www.buybellasoap.com/.
Auburn 20-30 Club Logo 
 Auburn 20-30 Club Attracts Active, Selfless Members
Active, ambitious, and selfless - these are just a few of the words that can be used to describe the members that make up the Auburn 20-30 Club, the second oldest 20-30 Club in the nation. Serving the community of Auburn for more than 80 years, this club provides young adults in their 20s and 30s with an opportunity for personal growth and friendships, while improving the quality of life for children with special needs in Auburn. "Our purpose is to raise money for privileged and needy children in the community," said club president Lora Sutherland. "All the money our club makes goes back to the community." Auburn 20-30 also works with other organizations such as the Boys and Girls Club, Head Start, and Acres of Hope. "We are always looking for new members," Sutherland said. "People who are interested in making a difference in the community and people who want to be leaders." For details, visit the Auburn Journal at Click here. or Auburn 20-30 Club at Click here.
Fox Barrell Cider Bottles  Fox Barrel Toasts to Midwest Merger
Fox Barrel Cider, a six-year-old Colfax company, merged in January with Minneapolis-based Chrispin Cider, a company with a "phenomenal" track record, said Bruce Nissen, co-founder and president of Fox Barrel. "It's going to be a big deal for us," Nissen said. "It means we will continue to grow. We'll probably almost triple (our business) this year. Last year we did 140,000 cases. This year we'll probably get to do 360,000." Fox Barrel ciders are considered the country's most decorated gluten-free hard apple ciders, having won multiple medals in the U.S. and Great Britain since 2004. "We hand-blend each batch," notes the company's Web site, "ensuring the highest-quality product that bridges the gap between craft beer and fine wine." Fox Barrel is located at 12135 S. Auburn St., Colfax. Its tasting room is open daily from noon to 5 p.m. For details visit Fox Barrel at Click here or the Auburn Journal at Click here. 
Placer County Vintner's Association 
 
Placer County Vintners to Host Mother's Day Weekend Winery Tour

On May 8 & 9, Placer County Wine & Grape Association will present Mother's Day in the Hills, a collaborative open-house-style winery tour hosted by 12 Placer County boutique wineries. Visitors on the tour can meet winemakers, wine grape growers, and other wine enthusiasts and taste award-winning artisan wines in the blooming, springtime atmosphere of the Sierra Foothills. Each stop will offer something special, from music, food, and barrel tasting to future wine sales. Mother's Day in the Hills is one of four tours hosted each year by Placer County vintners. "Most Placer wineries are family-owned and operated, have small vineyards, and the winemakers themselves are part of the charm," notes the tour Web site, "making Placer County a newly sought-after destination for a more personalized and unique wine-tasting experience." For details and a map of the participating wineries, visit Click here.

Roseville Auto Mall 
 
Roseville Auto Mall Mounts $6M Improved Visibility Project

To be more visible, the Roseville Automall is constructing car display areas at six spots around the mall's perimeter wall. The auto mall association will also repair and spruce up the wall, which encompasses 75 acres of auto dealers. The display areas are intended to generate interest in new car models, encourage residents to buy locally, and make it easier for people outside the area to find the auto mall, said Damon Eberhart, business manager for the Roseville Automall Association. The city, which helped create the auto mall through a public-private partnership 20 years ago, is continuing its support by providing up to $3 million for the face-lift through its redevelopment agency. The dealers collectively are the city's single-largest sales tax generator. Work on the project is expected to be complete in August or September. For details, visit the Sacramento Business Journal Click here or Roseville Auto Mall Click here.

City of Lincoln Banner
 
Lincoln Named One of Decade's Fastest Growing Cities

The city of Lincoln was named in January among the country's nine top notable growth areas, based on growth from 2000 until 2009, according to an analysis of the U.S. Census data by an Arkansas firm. Gadberry Group placed the city fourth on the list, using a statistical model that evaluated the 17,000 places using U.S. Census data, including percent change in population and other factors. Lincoln also took the No. 2 spot for percentage of household growth in the same time period, growing from 6,287 households in 2000 to 21,997 in 2008, or about 250 percent growth. Lincoln had the highest average household net worth of the group of nine at $593,668. For details, visit the Sacramento Business Journal click here.

lake tahoe logotahoe city shopping 
 
Lake Tahoe Sees Rise in Resort Lodging Reservations

At Lake Tahoe, a number of area lodging companies are seeing reservation and occupancy increases over last season, officials said, and those jumps have accelerated in 2010. The Village at Squaw Valley has seen a 24 percent improvement over last year - 3,100 more nights booked so far, said general manager Christy Beck. Beck said the resort hopes to exceed even its 2008 numbers this season. Beck said Squaw Valley's success has come from surprise group bookings since January and also from destination skiers seeing the snow in the area and deciding to visit. Tammie Anstedt, marketing director at Tahoe Mountain Resorts lodging, said Tahoe Mountain has seen growth over last year, beginning in December. She said the economic conditions have made the Tahoe area attractive to guests who live nearby. For details, visit Sierra Sun  click here.

Thunder Valley Casino Logo 
 
Thunder Valley Casino Prepared to Hire 600

Thunder Valley Casino, close to wrapping up a major expansion, has begun taking applications for 600 new jobs. The hiring represents the biggest economic boost the capital region has seen since the recession began. It also marks a turnaround of sorts for the Lincoln casino, which in the winter of 2009 temporarily halted construction on the project, and then downsized it. It also imposed layoffs last spring. "Clearly, the economy has rebounded relative to last year," said Doug Elmets, spokesman for the casino and its owner, the United Auburn Indian Community. The Thunder Valley expansion, due to be completed in July, includes a 297-room hotel, a 40 percent increase in casino space, an entertainment venue, a spa, parking garage, and more. Thunder Valley officials said applications are being taken through the casino's Web site, click here. Interviews began this month and continue through April. For details, visit the Sacramento Bee click here.

Golden Sierra JTA 
 
New Collaboration Serves Job Seekers, Businesses

Local job seekers and employers can look to some new support services with the launch of Golden Sierra Business Connections. The collaborative effort between the California Employers Association and Golden Sierra Workforce Investment Board includes a human resources hotline, business assistance workshops, and a networking forum for unemployed professionals. Golden Sierra is funding the 18-month programs for Placer, El Dorado, and Alpine counties through a $210,000 federal stimulus grant, according to Kim Parker, executive vice president of the California Employers Association. The networking forum, called ProNet, which meets weekly at local Connections centers, is free to professionals who are seeking jobs. "It's a confidential environment," said program manager Daniela Devitt. "They're among peers with similar status and situation. We want to provide them with resources, skills, and opportunities." For details, visit the Auburn Journal at click here.  Or to reach the Connection Centers click here.

Art in Garden Tour 
 
Roseville Arts Plan 'Art in the Garden' Tour

Roseville Arts is preparing for its 10th Annual Art in the Garden Tour, set for May 1. The self-guided tour takes in five beautiful gardens and home interiors in the Granite Bay and Loomis region. Distinguishing it from other spring tours, Art in the Garden features local artists "live" at all five homes, demonstrating, displaying, and selling their works of art. "From painting and sculpture to photography, there will be something to interest everyone, all in colorful spring garden settings," said Roseville Arts' executive director Barbara Dolder. Live music will complement the art, along with food and wine-tasting hosted by area wineries and restaurants. The tour benefits Roseville Arts' Blue Line Gallery, which supports arts-related activities for the region's children and adults. The cost is $35 per person for Roseville Arts members; $45 for non-members; group rates are available. For details, tickets, and sponsorship information, click here.

Solar Power Logo 
 
Placer Approves Plan to Finance 'Green' Home Improvements

In January, Placer County supervisors approved a forward-looking program that allows property owners to pay for improvements with low interest rates as part of their property tax payments. The Placer money for Property Owner Water & Energy Efficiency Retrofitting program - or Placer mPOWER - offers property owners no-money-down financing for energy and water conservation improvements, such as solar panels or water systems. "This is a great opportunity for Placer County property owners to install energy-saving improvements...without having to pay out-of-pocket for the up-front costs," said Mike Anderson, vice president of marketing for Solar Power Inc. in Roseville. Solar Power will offer seminars about the program. For details, visit the Sacramento Business Journal click here or Solar Power Inc. click here.

What's in Your E-mail Newsletter?

In Progress Online (IPOL), an economic development e-mail newsletter, is published bi-monthly. IPOL covers the latest news on Placer County business and industry, agriculture, tourism, and the arts. It reports on new projects in our cities and towns and keeps readers up to date on the state of the region's economy. IPOL posts news of state and local training, incentives, and loan programs that benefit business. It provides links to more information on each item. News about your business is always welcome.  Please send items, questions, comments, or suggestions to the Office of Economic Development at econdev@placer.ca.gov or visit the OED Web site. For past In Progress Online newsletters, go to Placer County Biz News