Saturday, September 30, 2006

Local economy: not too shabby, eh?

Ralph Kingsbury's monthly look at the economy is in today's Herald...take a look at it. I always enjoy Mr. Kingsbury's insight.

Some interesting sections:

There is about a 30 percent increase in the permit value of single-family dwellings, and a 25 percent increase in townhouses. Both bode well for Grand Forks to continue to see an increase in population, the single most important factor in long-run growth.

I believe it is fair to conclude that Grand Forks has seen a significant increase in Canadian traffic and that the Alerus and Englestad play a major part in the Grand Forks economy.

I read about several new commercial buildings, including a major big box furniture store, and at least one new restaurant. Stories are interesting and exciting, but it is shovels in the ground that count.

14 comments:

Blake said...

speeking of new commercial buildings.... i would like to inform everyone out there in gf blog land that tomorrow (sunday oct 1) is Kohls "soft" opening starting at 12. sorry about the late notice but i only found out tonight my self ...

GrandForksGuy said...

Thanks for letting us know, Blake.

From what I've heard, Kohl's has had a very hard time filling all of their positions. I believe they have even been going to other stores around GF trying to lure employees to their new store...I'm sure the managers of those other stores loved that.

There seem to be many new retail positions that have or will soon become available for those seeking employment in GF. Kohl's, Wal-Mart, etc....many places are hiring and there are many more on the horizon.

ec99 said...

"There seem to be many new retail positions"

Same old same old for Grand Forks. Find two or three of them and you may earn enough to live here.

Anonymous said...

Hope Ralph Kingsbury doesn't take this wrong, but:

I wish a Herald editor would take a heavy pen to his writing. I know if his thoughts and ideas were laid out more coherently it would be an easier but yet more stimulating read.

GrandForksGuy said...

I really enjoy Kingsbury's articles and his writing style. I might suggest, though, that people are probably the most interested in economic analysis on the local scale. National economic analysis is great, but we see so little local economic analysis except for these articles. I feel that this is by far the most interesting material.

Anonymous said...

Anybody hear anything about Capone's? There never seemed to be much business there- did the insurance policy catch fire?

GrandForksGuy said...

I believe Marilyn Hagerty's recent review of the restaurant quoted the owner/manager as describing business as being "super slow" and anybody who has driven by the place could clearly see that. Hmmm...

Good Ol' Boy said...

We ate there early this spring shortly after it opened. I liked the decor, and the girls were dressed attractively enough waiting on us, but that dipstick wandering around with the plastic tommygun and his goofy gangster accent creeped the wives out.
It had an authentic musty smell in there, just like an attic in a 100 year old house, which I actually found kinda cool. But it WAS expensive for what was served.

Why can't that building make a go of it? I thought business wasn't too bad there when it was Fire Island, and there was a car club that met there once a week, I believe. Too much odor from Stinkplot?

ben said...

That business was doomed from the start. $40-50 meals on an industrial corridor through a city with direct smoke and steam from a potato processing plant?!?! Who in their right mind would think that it would have flown? Cute idea, WAY wrong location.

GrandForksGuy said...

Like Ben says, I think any reasonable person should have been able to see that this business in this location was "doomed from the start." Didn't the new owner remember how busy the building was during the Green Mill's short stint in that location? Didn't they ever think of making the new restaurant into something similar to a Green Mill? Deciding to turn it into the most expensive restaurant in town seems to be one of the worst business ideas I've ever heard of. A much more moderately priced restaurant would have almost certainly done much better than the current Capone's model.

BTW, am I the only one thinking this is probably the last we've ever seen of Capone's in this town? I seriously doubt it will reopen at the end of the month like the owner claims. And to think I read in a review when the place first opened that the owner was planning to turn the restaurant into a franchise concept...talk about feeling a little too comfortable about your bad business ideas!

GrandForksGuy said...

Gee, this thread seems to have gotten way off topic. Perhaps I should make "Open threads" from time to time like Dakota Huseby does on her blog? Opinions?

Anonymous said...

When new restauranteurs talk about "franchise" waaayyy prematurely, it the kiss of death...a sign of an operator with questionable abilities.

Anonymous said...

That location could stand a Denny's or something similar that attract business from the nearby hotels. Not much of a "destaination," though.

Good Ol' Boy said...

It took them forever to open when the building was whole- I can't imagine a one month turnaround this time. My understanding was that the building was leased-?
Another hitch may be the provisions in the insurance policies- especially in the case of a renter and landlord situation. Many times a policyholder doesn't insure to full value, thinking they'll save money on the premium. Then in a case of partial loss like this, they're screwed because there isn't enough damage percentage-wise to cover actual repairs.