Hampton Suites planned for site near Yuma Palms
A 90-room Hampton Suites (a member of the Hilton hotel family) is to be constructed on the northeast corner of 16th Street and Castle Dome Road near Yuma Palms Regional Center.
Partners in the Yuma I LLC project are the Whitman family acting as Whitman Development LLC and represented by Wade Noble, Realtor Ron Watson and Ferguson Properties Inc., said John Ferguson, a hotel builder.
It's taken several years and three different flags but the timing is finally right, Noble said. The partnership has been working with WDP Partners, developer of Yuma Palms, where the hotel guests will be able to shop, eat dinner and go to the theater.
Ferguson said the hotel will overlook Yuma Palms with a clear view of the mountain range to the east. In addition to the great location and view, the hotel will offer upscale rooms with high-speed Internet access in every room and an extended continental breakfast. It won't be a conference or convention hotel but it will have meeting rooms, he said.
Geotechnical work is being done on the site now and finishing touches put on the franchise agreement, he said, adding that he's already had a preconstruction meeting with the city. He hopes to be ready to start in the next 60 days. Construction would take about nine months.
"I'm ready to build," Ferguson said, "I was ready yesterday."
Yes, folks, the estimated 99,650 winter population reported by Dunbar Norton in last Sunday's column is just for people here for the winter, either as visitors or seasonal residents.
That's on top of Yuma's growing year-round population. (According to Department of Economic Services estimates, the city of Yuma had a population of 83,000 in July 2003 and the county was 175,000.)
"No wonder it's crowded!" was the response of a woman who called for confirmation there really are that many people here for the winter from colder climates.
"We're not trying to be the new guy in town," said Mark Hixon. "We're the old guy trying something new."
The old is a home-building business, Hixon Homes, that his grandfather Lester established in Yuma in the 1950s. The new is the pest control business Mark just started with a helping hand from his father, Randy.
Hixon Home Services offers pest control services for residences and businesses with the same commitment to the community established by Mark's grandfather. To reach the business, call 345-0082 or Mark on his cell phone at 919-1025.
Does your child have trouble reading and is struggling in school? Stars (Students/Teachers Achieving Reading Success) Learning Center may have just the solution.
The center offers several tutoring programs under the guidance of certified teachers. One of those programs, PACE (Processing and Cognitive Enhancement) has shown success in enhancing student's learning skills and - perhaps more importantly - boosting their self-esteem, said Christye Flanagan, who opened the center as a nonprofit agency a year ago in a shop building with 10 students.
A few months ago, the center relocated to 1812 S. 8th Ave. (next door to the Hospice thrift shop) and has expanded its program, offering after-school tutoring and learning assistance to students in kindergarten through high school.
The one-on-one 12-week PACE program helps students enhance their memory and cognitive skills. Students with dyslexia and attention deficit disorder have done well with the program, Flanagan said. However, she added it is not meant for dealing with behavioral problems.
The center also has programs for enhancing reading ability and study skills. Registration is now being accepted for a summer program to help those who need more work on their reading skills. Call 373-9797 for appointments, consultations and student screenings.
Wells Fargo is considering building a branch bank near the new Wal-Mart Supercenter now being developed at 24th Street and Avenue B.
Nothing is official yet on a new branch there, "but my fingers are crossed," said Mike Higgins, market president for Yuma and Imperial counties. Wells Fargo currently has four locations in the Yuma area.
You don't have to go to Algodones to enjoy "melt in your mouth" fish and shrimp tacos. They're being sold right on a street corner in the Foothills in a specially-made cart. It's set up on the west side of 40th Street just north of Foothills Boulevard.
The business, Mirella's Taco Stand, opened shortly after Christmas and has been discovered not only by the winter population but also year-round residents, reports her biggest fan, her husband, Barry Kolbe.
He said his mother-in-law is reportedly the best cook in Algodones and Mirella's tacos are made from an old family recipe. The cart is open for business from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Whether it stays open for the summer depends on local support.
"I don't play pool and don't sit by the pool," Jack Birkby said as explanation for why he just can't seem to stay retired.
He and his wife have been coming to the Yuma area from Seaside, Ore., for the last nine winters. This year they decided to plant at Country Roads RV Village and Birkby looked for something to occupy himself.
Having spent some 40 years in the automobile detailing business, he decided to share that expertise by selling a line of car-care products called Meguiars. He had been a representative for the company for several years before retiring from that line of work to run a True Value Hardware store for awhile.
Retired again 10 years ago, he had the urge to go back to work again. For a free demonstration, look up his business, J.B. Sales Co., at the Arizona Marketplace Swap Meet, 32nd Street and Avenue 4E, at space 63 in Row 2 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday through Sunday. Birkby said the polish, absorber and microfiber towels will make fast work even of large motorhomes, fifth-wheels and travel trailers.
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