Economy

Economy, Business, Finance & Labor

lanecounty.org

Tourism in Lane County continues to improve according to a recent report. Visitor spending pumped more than $757 million into the local economy in 2013.

The report released from Travel Lane County says most of the spending occurred in local restaurants followed by accommodations and entertainment. Travel Lane County spokeswoman Lisa Lawton says room tax revenues are a good reflection of the health of the tourism industry.

deckfamilyfarm.com

Beef prices are at an all time high in the U.S. Industry officials are pointing to extreme weather, particularly drought as the main cause. Oregon's beef industry is seeing some, but not all of those trends.

USDA choice-grade beef jumped to a record high $5.28 a pound in February. That's up from $4.91 the same time a year ago. Will Weise is the CEO of the Oregon Beef Council he says Oregon isn't following the trend like other states.

Desmond O'Boyle

About 75 health care workers and union members protested in front of McKenzie Willamette Hospital in Springfield Thursday. The employees have been trying to negotiate a new labor contract since January when the last one expired.

Workers chanted, played drums, and marched around the hospital. Ken Charpie  is a Medical Laboratory Scientist at McKenzie-Willamette. He says the raise employees are slated to receive won’t offset higher health care costs.

Home foreclosure filings in Oregon spiked last month. Four hundred and seventy four court foreclosures were filed in March compared to 295 in February. According to John Helmick, CEO of Gorilla Capitol, the increase was anticipated.

Helmick: "These are homes that have gone through the required mandatory mediation process, and so now they are able to file the foreclosures because under the new statute you have to go thought this mediation process before you can file the foreclosure."

A Redmond-based concrete company has been barred from any public works contracts for the next three years. The company failed to pay a group of employees a prevailing wage. 

Tom Banse

There will be end-of-season parties at at least nine Northwest ski resorts this weekend (4/12-13). But some other Cascade ski areas will welcome skiers and snowboarders well past Easter. That's thanks to late-season snow that fell at many area resorts. Timing means everything for the bottom line of these resort companies. Correspondent Tom Banse explains how a strong finish doesn't necessarily make up for a late start like we saw this season.

A big turn-out is expected for the Oregon Medical Marijuana Business Conference in Eugene. Anthony Johnson is organizing the event this Sunday and Monday. He says the conference is a place for entrepreneurs to learn about business opportunities. He says those extend beyond growing and selling marijuana. Johnson hopes to help professionalize the business.

Angela Kellner

One of downtown Eugene’s unique retailers is going out of business after 23 years of selling mostly fair trade products. KLCC’s Angela Kellner stopped by Greater Goods to find out how the business got started…and why it’s shutting down.

Across from the trendy 5th Street Public Market is a thrift store and Greater Goods.

Step inside and you’re transported to myriad cultures and crafts. Owner Joanie Kleban explains how it all began.

Amanda Butt

Vendors at the Lane County Farmer’s Market say their crops are recovering after the snow and below zero temperatures that hit their fields this winter.

Booths are filled with kale, carrots, and potatoes at the Lane County Farmer’s Market. It’s hard to see that farmers suffered any losses after the winter’s harsh and unusual weather. But the farmers behind the tables and baskets of produce say the cold conditions came with a price.

Richardson: “We had some issues. The cold was harsh on us.”

Says Jack Richardson, the manager of Organic Redneck farm.

Eugene Cascades and Coast Blog

Eugene has made Livability-dot-com's top ten list of Best Downtowns for 2014.

The website points to the transformation of Eugene's center over the past several years from a place with empty pits and vacant buildings to one with housing, theaters, and lots of restaurants and offices. Eugene Mayor Kitty Piercy credits the efforts of city staff, residents and a 200 million dollar investment. Piercy says being on a list with cities such as Alexandria, Virginia and Fort Worth, Texas is a nice recognition.

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