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19 posts categorized "Costumes and robots"

August 13, 2015

Local elves bringing Rochester's "real" Santa Claus back to town

Even during the dog days of August, a Christmas miracle could be on the horizon for Rochester.

For the past 13 years, families have been visiting the "real" Santa Claus at Rochester's Apache Mall. This incarnation of St. Nicholas has developed a close relationship with the Med City during his popular annual visits.

549992e082afc.image"He's the real deal" is how Rochester's Kristine Caballero describes the jolly bearded fellow. "The magic truly is in him."

The depth of his connection to Rochester became apparent last year. His corporate employer, Worldwide Photography, was pushing to have him work 12 hours a day. When he said he could only manage 10 hours a day, the company moved to cut his hours and bring in a part-time Santa.

Parents immediately banned together to "save" Santa by creating a Facebook page to pressure Worldwide and the Apache Mall. The page quickly collected more than 7,000 "likes" and Santa finished the season bolstered by the support of his many fans.

However, when his contract to return to Rochester recently wasn't renewed by Worldwide, it looked like this Christmas carol might end on a sour note. The Texas-based company did not share the reason behind not bringing him back, though some have speculated that it could be a backlash reaction to the Save Santa campaign.

"It was a hard, emotional hit," said Santa, also known as Jerry Julian, of not being hired to return to Rochester. "Does this mean I just disappear for the families expecting to see me? In my heart, I didn't think it was right to abandon children and families."

Kim Bradley, Apache Mall manager, had no direct comment about this situation other than to say that the mall have a Santa Claus available starting on Nov. 19.

"We're looking forward to a great holiday season," she said.

When the rejected long-time Santa shared the situation with some of his friends in Rochester, Caballero, Melissa Eggler and others leaped into action to find an alternative way to bring him back for the holidays.

"His desire to come back is so great. I told him that 'You don't need corporate to bring you in here. This community loves you,'" said Caballero.

On Monday, the owners of the Miracle Mile Shopping Center agreed to provide a storefront for Santa by the ABC Toy Zone shop. He will appear there from the third week of November through Christmas Eve. While he might end up working with a photographer, the current plan is to allow families to take their own photos and accept donations.

"I'm really humbled by this," said Santa. "It's a gamble and there are still a lot of loose ends, but I know this is the job that the good Lord wants me to do."

Now Santa's helpers are working to raise money to cover Santa's basic travel and living expenses. They launched a GoFundMe campaign this week that has already brought in $260 in pledges. The money they raise is targeted just for basic expenses. Santa says anything raised by the GoFundMe campaign beyond his expenses will be donated to Rochester's Ronald McDonald House.

Caballero added that even her young son feels it's important to bring this Santa back to Rochester.

"He had heard us talking and asked about it. He said, 'But Mom, just think about all of children whose lives will be affected, if he doesn't come,'" she said.

June 10, 2015

Conley-Maass building sold for $450,000

The anticipated sale of a 115-year-old downtown Rochester landmark wrapped up on June 1.

Hunter and Traci Downs bought the Conley-Maass building at 14 Fourth St. SW for $450,000 with the intention of restoring it and using it as a business center. The couple, under the corporate name of CMD Holdings LLC, purchased it from AC Acquisitions LLC of Rochester
09062015conleymaasbuilding
AC Acquisitions, an offshoot of the Chafoulias family's Titan Development & Investments company, bought the building for $400,000 in 2013.

The building's last two tenants, Words Players Theatre and the Just For Kix dance studio, are moving out and construction is expected to begin soon.

March 06, 2015

10 years of blogging Rochester

On March 4, 2005, I wrote my first blog post. Kiger's Notebook blogo 2x

It was my sixth year at the Post-Bulletin. I created the "Heard on the Street" column about three years before the blog began. 

More  than 6,200 posts, stacks of columns, mountains of tweets and many gray hairs later, I'm still here writing about business and things vaguely related to businesPhoto on 2015-03-03 at 18.11s in southeastern Minnesota.

It'syou, the readers, who make this career such a fulfilling and entertaining one. Thank you everyone for your feedback, criticism and support over these past 10 years. 

10 years of blogging Rochester

On March 4, 2005, I wrote my first blog post.Kiger's Notebook blogo 2x

It was my siPhoto on 2015-03-03 at 18.11xth year at the Post-Bulletin. I created the "Heard on the Street" column about three years before the blog began. 

More than 6,200 posts, stacks of columns, mountains of tweets and many gray hairs later, I'm still here writing about business and things vaguely related to business in southeastern Minnesota.

It's you, the readers, who make this career such a fulfilling and entertaining one. Thank you everyone for your feedback, criticism and support over these past 10 years.  

February 06, 2015

Only one area Radio Shack store to close due to bankruptcy

Bankrupt Radio Shack Corp. is closing hundreds of stores across the U.S., though Red Wing in the only southeastern Minnesota one slated to close up shop.

Radio Shack is also closing another 25 stores. Most are in the Twin Cities. Area stores in Rochester's Apache Mall, as well as in Winona and Austin, will remain open.

RadioShack_Logo_2013However, wireless provider Sprint will most likely become primary brand name on each as part of a deal to establish a “store within a store” in up to 1,750 of the acquired RadioShacks.

The 94-year-old Fort Worth-based retail icon filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Thursday.

The consumer electronics chain, which began in Boston in 1921 as a mail-order operation supplying ship radio equipment, made the filing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware, listing assets of $1.2 billion and total debt of $1.3 billion.

    The company also announced an agreement with Standard General, a New York hedge fund which provided a rescue loan to the company last fall, to purchase between 1,500 and 2,400 of the 4,000 company-owned RadioShack stores.

    The remaining RadioShack stores will be closed and their inventory sold off, if approved by the bankruptcy court.

    “These steps are the culmination of a thorough process intended to drive maximum value for our stakeholders,” said RadioShack’s chief executive Joseph Magnacca in a statement. RadioShack has also secured about $285 million in debtor-in-possession financing.

    The Chapter 11 filing ends a long period of decline for what was once known as America’s Technology Store, which ushered in the electronics revolution with calculators, laptop computers and cell phones but was unable to adjust to the latest wave of change.

    RadioShack, named for the part of the ship that houses radio equipment, began in Boston by two brothers in 1921 as a small retail and mail-order business. In 1963, it was acquired by Fort Worth’s Tandy Corp., a leather goods company, and moved here. The name became synonymous with its first mass-marketed personal computer, the TRS-80. Tandy Corp. changed its name to RadioShack in 2000.

November 21, 2013

Cowboy Jack's may win Western logo shoot-out

Western-themed restaurants and bars have been hot lately in Rochester.Texas-roadhouse1

We now have Texas Roadhouse, Wild Bill's Sports Saloon, Whiskey Creek Wood Fire Grill, Whiskey Bone's Roadhouse and the latest high plains drifter to ride into town is Cowboy Jack's Eatery. 

Cowboy Jack's is part of a Twin Cities chain and is slated to open soon within the former America's Best Value Hotel on South Broadway.

LEach has its own take on a rough and ready Western atmosphere.

 

However, going just by logos alone, it looks like the the latest addition to the Med City corral could be the toughest hombre ever seen in these parts.

 

• Texas Roadhouse has kind of 60's diner look with a cowboy hat wearing state. Eyecatching.

•  Wild Bill's invokes the whole tin star thing with sort of sheriff/ U.S. marshall/ ranger feel. That's a strong logo. 16418249_BG1

• Whiskey Creek goes with a flaming campfire design invoking cowboys around a fire after a day of driving cattle across the prairie.

 

 

• Whiskey Bones has an Elvis in a 50's diner thing going on, sort like the restaurant that John Travolta took Uma Thurman in "Pulp Fiction."

Whikbones

And then there's Cowboy Jack's.

• There's a skull of a Texas longhorn steer with

glowing red vengeful, demonic eye sockets and fangs. Very macho and a little spooky.

And then there's the crossed meat cleavers behind the skull that are actually DRIPPING BLOOD.

Cowboyjacks

Uh... yeah... OK. That's an insanely intense logo.

That's the roughest, toughest logo of the crew. That logo paints Cowboy Jack's as the guy in the black hat who shoots first and then stands with one scuffed boot on the chest of his victim while he casually lights a cigarette.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

September 25, 2013

Spooky store gears up for the scary season

Travis Mueller wanted to know about this store, so I jumped up and checked it out for him. If it matters to Travis, it matters to me. Heh. Anyway, here's what I found out:

09252013spirithalloweenSpirit Halloween is opening its doors this evening in the former Best Buy South store in the Shoppes on Maine area.

The store was just putting the final touches on its front decoration at about 4:30 p.m. today. I was told that they'd be open by 5 p.m.

This seasonal retailer will sell masks, costumes, fake blood and everything other ghoulish thing needed to celebrate All Hallow's Eve through Oct. 31 (AKA Halloween).

Meanwhile, on the other side of the Med City, Halloween Express, is has moved into the former Amish Furniture store on Bandel Road.

November 05, 2012

Of hot dogs and hotels

It weighs five tons, is 11 feet tall, is 27 feet long and has four wheels.

What is it? The most famous food-shaped vehicles in history, of course, the Wienermobile. The iconic vehicle that is as recognizable as the Batmobile, Bigfoot or the Mystery Machine is rolling along the Med City's streets yet again.

05012012weinermobileVery early this morning (the Daylight Savings switch had me out a lot later or earlier than usual. Heh.), I spotted massive fiberglass hot dog proudly parked across Second Street Southwest from Saint Marys Hospital.

Even more interesting than the brightly-colored vehicle was the hotel sign at 1211 Second St. S.W.

In a column last week, I teased that a Med City hotel was looking at making a change. That seems to have happened, since the sign over the Oscar Mayer car says Aspen Suites instead of Staybridge Suites.
05012012weinermobile
The 83-suite hotel, along with the Fiksdal Hotel, is owned by Blue Stem Capital of Sioux Fall, S.D., and Glen Fiksdal of Rochester.

I guess I should stop hotdogging and give them a call to find out the details.

 

October 17, 2012

Skyway clinic opens its doors

Thanks to my esteemed colleague Jeff Hansel for the Raptor photo. Here's the caption he wrote to go with it:

"I can speak for myself and I can speak for other students. We are very excited to have you guys here," UMR bachelor of science in health sciences sophomore Joe Inhofer, standing next to school mascot The Raptor, tells Olmsted Medical Center Skyway Clinic nurse practitioner/physician assistant Barb Malat.

---------

Here the piece I scrambled together for today's dead tree edition on this:

Rochester's newest downtown clinic opened its doors for business Tuesday.

Olmsted Medical Center Skyway ClinicOlmsted Medical Center launched its new Skyway Clinic to serve University of Minnesota Rochester students as well as the general public.

Rochester business leaders, university officials and even UMR's Raptor mascot gathered for the symbolic ribbon cutting in the skyway level of the 318 Commons building on First Avenue.

For easy access, the walk-in clinic is located inside the building where the majority of the University of Minnesota Rochester students live and where many UMR staff offices are located. It is directly above above The Loop Bar + Restaurant.

"This is a great partnership between OMC and the University of Minnesota Rochester," said Jay Hesley, UMR's Assistant Vice Chancellor for Institutional Advancement.

This new convenience clinic evolved from what began in 2010 as two-days-a-week medical services for students at the downtown campus.

"I believe it will complement our other clinics," said Dr. Randy Hemann, who is a director of Olmsted Medical Center's two popular FastCare retail clinics based in Rochester's Shopko stores as well as the new skyway location.

The skyway clinic will offering a wide-range of non-emergency, non-urgent care — such as strep tests — to students, as well as the general public. A Skyway Clinic visit costs $49 and is billable to health insurance. Extra charges may apply for vaccinations and lab services.

Skyway clinic opens its doors

Thanks to my esteemed colleague Jeff Hansel for the Raptor photo. Here's the caption he wrote to go with it:

"I can speak for myself and I can speak for other students. We are very excited to have you guys here," UMR bachelor of science in health sciences sophomore Joe Inhofer, standing next to school mascot The Raptor, tells Olmsted Medical Center Skyway Clinic nurse practitioner/physician assistant Barb Malat.

---------

Here the piece I scrambled together for today's dead tree edition on this:

Rochester's newest downtown clinic opened its doors for business Tuesday.

Olmsted Medical Center Skyway ClinicOlmsted Medical Center launched its new Skyway Clinic to serve University of Minnesota Rochester students as well as the general public.

Rochester business leaders, university officials and even UMR's Raptor mascot gathered for the symbolic ribbon cutting in the skyway level of the 318 Commons building on First Avenue.

For easy access, the walk-in clinic is located inside the building where the majority of the University of Minnesota Rochester students live and where many UMR staff offices are located. It is directly above above The Loop Bar + Restaurant.

"This is a great partnership between OMC and the University of Minnesota Rochester," said Jay Hesley, UMR's Assistant Vice Chancellor for Institutional Advancement.

This new convenience clinic evolved from what began in 2010 as two-days-a-week medical services for students at the downtown campus.

"I believe it will complement our other clinics," said Dr. Randy Hemann, who is a director of Olmsted Medical Center's two popular FastCare retail clinics based in Rochester's Shopko stores as well as the new skyway location.

The skyway clinic will offering a wide-range of non-emergency, non-urgent care — such as strep tests — to students, as well as the general public. A Skyway Clinic visit costs $49 and is billable to health insurance. Extra charges may apply for vaccinations and lab services.