Sunday, March 25, 2012

Barrett-Jackson to build permanent $40 million facility in Scottsdale

The massive tent at Barrett-Jackson's Scottsdale auction is an impressive sight. Occupying 120,000 square feet and stretching a quarter mile, it sufficiently houses the hundreds of collector cars and thousands of visitors that pass through it every January. Even so, the tent needs to be rebuilt annually, and the auction company has been pushing for a permanent facility for more than a decade. Now it looks like their wish will be granted, as the Scottsdale, AZ city council has approved construction of a new building on the WestWorld grounds where the current event is held.

The new facility is estimated to cost around $40 million, but Barrett-Jackson says that it'll save money in the long run on temporary infrastructure costs. The building will also be designed to better accommodate the constant flow of cars driving up to the auction block as, well as have dedicated areas for SPEED's TV crews and food and vendor services. Barrett-Jackson says that it also plans to build a new headquarters and car museum on land adjacent to WestWorld.

CLICK HERE to see Official details on the plans for the new building and the press release from Barrett-Jackson.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Companies Join Forces to Install Solar Canopies and Rooftop Solar Arrays at Four Phoenix Area YMCA Branches

Join us for a special "Power Cord Cutting Ceremony"!
Please join us in supporting Chamber members and discover how Centrosolar is energizing the Valley of the Sun YMCA.
The Valley of the Sun YMCA, Scout Solar, LLC, Centrosolar America, APS and the City of Scottsdale cordially invite you to attend a ribbon cutting ceremony celebrating the deployment of 66.55 kilowatts of solar power as part of a 1.1 MW, multi-facility Solar Program across 15 Arizona Y-Locations.
This power cord cutting ceremony will officially celebrate the YMCA’s commitment to its 15 local solar installations. Come join our Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane along with local business leaders to celebrate Arizona’s oldest non-profit organization’s new age energy transformation.

Friday, March 23, 2012
11:00 to 11:45
Scottsdale/Paradise Valley YMCA
6869 E. Shea Blvd.
Scottsdale AZ 85254

Centrosolar America, a national solar energy manufacturing and services company, headquartered in Scottsdale, AZ and Scout Solar, LLC, a Tempe, Arizona-based solar installer, announce plans to activate solar PV projects at four ‘Valley of the Sun YMCA’ branches. The solar arrays will be installed at YMCA branches in the Tempe, Chris-Town, Ahwatukee, and Scottsdale/Paradise Valley communities.

With more than 1,500 Centrosolar America solar panels mounted on rooftops and shade canopies, the combined solar power systems at the four locations will generate more than 612,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity annually – an amount equal to the energy required to power 48 Arizona homes for one year.

“The YMCA’s commitment to sustainability includes finding more ways to promote the use of alternative energy. Utilizing the available space on our shaded canopies and rooftops for the installation of solar panels was an easy decision for us”, said George Scobas, President and CEO of the Valley of the Sun YMCA.

The Tempe branch will offset 21% of its energy costs with a 96.6 kWh shade canopy solar system.  The Chris-Town location will offset 24% of its costs with a 98.7 kWh rooftop system. The Ahwatukee branch will offset 19% of its energy costs with a 98.7 kWh shade canopy. And, the Scottsdale/Paradise Valley branch will offset 12.5% of its energy costs with a rooftop solar system. All four project installations are planned for completion by March 2012.

The systems are being installed and financed by Scout Solar, who will also own and operate the systems and hold the rebates that are generated through the Arizona state solar rebate program.

“There were no out-of-pocket costs for the Valley of the Sun YMCA for this installation, “said Scout Solar Project Administrator, Michael Norris. They will make a set monthly lease payment on the system, an amount far less than what their savings on electricity will be. And they are protected from future spikes in energy prices with this arrangement.”

Bringing together best-in-class project partners, Scout Solar teamed with Centrosolar to provide the solar equipment, Solar Energy Group for system design, Wang Electric on the electrical installation and Skyline Steel to construct the shade canopies and racking.
All the solar projects will be equipped with Centrosolar America E-Series modules.
“Our E-Series panels utilize polycrystalline high-efficiency silicon cells in an optimal configuration to generate higher power output per module. This PV module configuration also meets the highest industry standards for resisting intense heat as is typical in the Arizona climate,” said Centrosolar Director of Sales, Chris Wood. Centrosolar America, a wholly owned subsidiary of Centrosolar Group AG in Munich, Germany, is one of the leading solar distributors nationally as well as in the Arizona market.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Nominations Still Being Accepted For SPJ Freedom of Information Awards

Arizona media professionals who produced informative news items for the public by making use of public records requests are invited to submit their stories for consideration in the 2012 Freedom of Information Awards contest, presented by the Valley of the Sun Chapter, Society of Professional Journalists. The deadline to enter has been extended to March 19, 2012.
Categories include:

First Amendment Awards – honoring published or broadcast work in 2011 that involved significant reliance on public records and open meetings

Sunshine Awards – honoring Arizonans (both journalists and non-journalists) whose actions helped foster greater openness in government in 2011 through improved access to public records or open meetings

Order of the Silver Key Society – paying tribute to journalists from any medium with at least 25 years of experience in the state of Arizona (consecutive or cumulative) whose careers exemplify high standards and consistent, top-quality journalism

The Lloyd Clark “How it Made Print” Award – honoring print journalists (all circulations) responsible for a published story, photograph or graphic design whose own story of how it became reality is exceptional. Unusually difficult circumstances, or unusual tenacity in pursing the story, will be the hallmark of the subject of the winning entry. Entries need not have been published in 2011.

There is no cost to enter the contest. Nominations can be from employers/supervisors as well as self-nominations. For more information or to download the contest brochure and the nomination forms, visit

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Scottsdale's Fender Musical Instruments Corporation files $200M IPO

Fender Musical Instruments Corporation, makers of Fender guitars, is taking its business public with a $200 million initial public offering. Fender Musical Instruments Corp. has filed the IPO and will be listed as FNDR on the Nasdaq stock market.

Fender executives and employees were recently joined by Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane and Members of the Chamber for a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the grand opening of the company’s new corporate headquarters in Scottsdale. The new facility is located at 17600 N. Perimeter Drive, and replaces its previous corporate location on 8860 East Chaparral Road. Fender has been with the Scottsdale Chamber for more than 20 years.

Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC) is the world’s leading guitar manufacturer, and its name has become synonymous with all things rock ‘n’ roll. Iconic Fender® instruments such as the Telecaster®, Stratocaster®, Precision Bass® and Jazz Bass® guitars are known worldwide as the instruments that started the rock revolution, and they continue to be highly prized by today’s musicians and collectors. FMIC brands include Fender®, Squier®, Guild®, Tacoma®, Gretsch®, Jackson®, Charvel®, EVH®, SWR® and Groove Tubes®, among others. For more information, visit

Friday, March 2, 2012

Scottsdale's Taliesin West to go Solar!

The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation will be installing a 250-kilowatt solar system at Taliesin West through partnerships with First Solar Inc. and Big Green Zero, a sustainable energy development company.

The work will be done while keeping the character of Wright’s Arizona home, which is on the National Historic Register. The goal is to turn the building into a net-zero facility, meaning it produces as much energy as it consumes.

Read the full article HERE.