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Business briefs

Posted: Thursday, March 23, 2000

Land's End Resort wins Industry Awards

For the second year in a row, employees at Land's End Resort in Homer have won "Stars of the Industry" awards in the properties with less than 150 rooms category. The awards are sponsored by the Alaska Hotel and Motel Association.

Laurel Buncak, a restaurant server, won food and beverage employee of the year. Diana Imlay, assistant hotel manager, won hotel employee of the year.

Employees were non-management, who performed above and beyond the normal job responsibilities.

In addition, Land's End Resort won member of the year. This award honors a property that has demonstrated professionalism and has taken a leadership role in the hospitality industry.

In an unbiased procedure, Alaska hotel entries were judged by the Hotel Association in Oregon, while Alaska judged the Oregon hotel industry entries for their awards.

Petro Express station opens in Kenai

Petro Marine Services has opened a $1.3 million Petro Express Chevron gas station in Kenai at the intersection of Willow Street and the Kenai Spur Highway.

The new station includes a 2,000-square-foot convenience store, brushless car wash and four fuel islands. The store offers drinks, snacks, cigarettes and automotive supplies and has cappuccino, frozen beverages and popcorn machines.

The car wash features a touch-free washing and drying system and offers regular washes, undercarriage washes and wax. Petro Marine plans to install an RV dump and vacuums this spring.

Manager of the new station is Doug Robbins.

Seward-based Petro Marine Services also owns Petro Express Tesoro stations in Soldotna, Kodiak and Homer, as well as Petro Express stations in Sitka and Haines.

Petro Marine has 18 company-owned and dealer stations on the Kenai Peninsula.

Tesoro repays debt

Tesoro Petroleum Corp. recently repaid $102.9 million in debts using proceeds from the December sale of its domestic exploration and production business. Tesoro operates refineries in Nikiski, Washington and Hawaii with a combined capacity of 275,000 barrels of oil per day.

Capital costs sink GCI bottom line

GCI reported a net loss of $9.5 million or 21 cents per share in 1999, up from its 1998 loss of $6.8 million, or 14 cents per share.

GCI said the 1999 loss arose from interest and depreciation charges following investments in major capital projects over the last two years.

However, its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization were $58.4 million in 1999, up from earnings of $40.9 million in 1998.

Its 1999 revenues were $279.2 million, up 13.1 percent from the previous year.

"We are pleased with the 1999 results and continue to be encouraged by the trends developing toward year-end," said Ron Duncan, president and chief executive.

"We completed our major infrastructure build-outs in early 1999 by turning up GCI's undersea fiber-optic system, and stimulated utilization of that new capacity by offering an innovative product bundle of long distance service with free dial-up Internet access."

That brought thousands of new customers, he said, and the company expects continued growth.

Three run for Chugach Electric board

Three Chugach Electric Association members are running for two seats on the cooperative's board of directors this spring. Those are:

Incumbent Chris Birch, 49, an engineering and facilities manager at Anchorage International Airport. Birch has been a co-op member for more than eight years and was nominated by the Nominating Committee.

Paul S. Honeman, 39, an Anchorage police officer and supervisor. Honeman, a Chugach member for more than 11 years, was nominated by petition.

Jeff Lipscomb, 49, a project management consultant with JWL Engineering. Lipscomb, a Chugach member for more than 17 years, was nominated by the Nominating Committee.

Both seats have three-year terms. Chugach plans to mail ballots to members next week.

Those are due by noon April 24. Members also can vote at the co-op's meeting April 27 at the Hotel Captain Cook in Anchorage.

Registration for the meeting begins April 27 at 6 p.m. The meeting starts at 7 p.m.

State inspects food service establishments

The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation gave the Duck Inn Restaurant in Soldotna a score of 87, Harry's Family Restaurant in Soldotna a score of 81, McDonald's of Soldotna a score of 94 and the Sterling Area Senior Center a score of 90 during food service inspections in February.

DEC said scores of 90 to 100 are good, scores of 85 to 89 are acceptable, scores of 70 to 84 are marginal, and scores of less than 70 are unacceptable, resulting in closure of the establishment until violations are corrected.

Sparano heads Tesoro West Coast

Tesoro Petroleum Corp. has named Joseph E. Sparano president of its subsidiary Tesoro West Coast Co.

Sparano will be responsible for integrating all marketing, distribution and manufacturing activities for the West Coast business unit, and for marketing marine fuels for Tesoro's refining and marketing business segment.

He has more than 30 years of industrial experience. For the last five years, he has worked as a consultant and investment adviser for petroleum industry businesses. Previously, he was chairman and chief executive for Pacific Refining Co. of Long Beach, Calif.

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