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Elbow River Casino sold

CALGARY – The Elbow River Casino in Calgary, owned for many years by entrepreneur Sam Switzer, has been sold. The new local owners, who are not being named, bought the casino at 218 18th Ave. S.E.

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Calgary MLS prices continue to rise

MLS sales and average sale prices so far this month have shown some pretty impressive gains from a year ago. According to the Calgary Real Estate Board, from June 1 to 28, total MLS sales in the city of 2,019 are up 13.11 per cent from the same period a year ago while the average sale price has jumped by 4.55 per cent to $443,096.

Calgary region housing starts on the upswing

CALGARY – Short-term and long-term expectations for housing starts in the Calgary census metropolitan area are positive, according to the Conference Board of Canada. In a report released Monday, the board said the seasonally-adjusted annual rate of starts in the Calgary region was 10,724 units in April, up substantially from 7,720 a year ago.

Elevated levels forecast for Calgary’s housing market

CALGARY – Strong economic conditions will continue to push the Calgary region’s housing market in an upward direction this year, according to a new report released Thursday by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. In the CMHC’s Spring 2012 Calgary Housing Market Outlook, total housing starts in the Calgary census metropolitan area are forecast to reach 11,600 units in 2012, up from 9,292 units in 2011.

Confidence among Alberta’s entrepreneurs continues to slip

CALGARY – The level of confidence among Alberta small business owners in May fell for the second straight month, knocking the province from its top ranking in the country. According to the latest Business Barometer Index released Wednesday by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, Alberta led the country for five consecutive months until May as the index dropped to 72.0 points, down 1.3 points over April.

Calgary MLS sales bloom in May

CALGARY – MLS sales in Calgary ballooned in May as residential transactions in the city were up by nearly 32 per cent compared with a year ago. According to the Calgary Real Estate Board, total MLS sales during the month in the city reached 2,385, an increase of 31.77 per cent from May 2011, and the average sale price rose by 2.83 per cent to $445,334.

Alberta boasts highest average weekly earnings

CALGARY – Average weekly earnings of non-farm payroll employees in March rose by 3.3 per cent year-over-year in Alberta, pushing the level to the highest in the country, says Statistics Canada. The federal agency reported Thursday that average weekly earnings in the province have increased to $1,056.87.

Alberta food service and drinking sales ahead of national pace

CALGARY – Although sales for the food services and drinking places industry dropped in March in Alberta, they were still ahead of the national pace on a year-over-year basis, says Statistics Canada. The federal agency reported Thursday that sales in the province dipped by 0.1 per cent from February to $629.3 million.

First Calgary Financial reports best half year ever

CALGARY – Calgary-based First Calgary Financial has recorded its 74th consecutive profitable quarter. For the first six months ending April 30, First Calgary Financial reported unaudited adjusted net income from operations before taxes of $8.9 million – its best half year in corporate history.

75 per cent of Albertans in debt

CALGARY – A new poll on debt says 75 per cent of Albertans hold some form of debt but 52 per cent made at least one lump sum payment to bring down their balances in the last 12 months.

Renovation plans being scaled back

CALGARY – Canadians are planning to scale back plans for home renovations this year amid rising concern about household debt, says the annual BMO Home Renovation Report released Monday. The report said 51 per cent of Canadian homeowners plan to renovate their homes in the next year, compared with 62 per cent in 2011.

GoForth Institute to deliver first online, mobile small business course to students

CALGARY – Calgary-based GoForth Institute will develop Canada’s first online small business and entrepreneurship course for high school students. The new five-credit online course, to be launched in September, will allow Alberta students in Grades 10, 11 and 12 the opportunity to learn about small business and to hone entrepreneurial skills and management practices.

Endowment funds growing for University of Calgary athletes

CALGARY – The University of Calgary is increasingly tapping into the city’s business and corporate communities to raise money in support of its athletics programs. And one of the more popular ways of doing that has come through endowment funds.

Where are Alberta’s highest unemployment rates? | Calgary Herald

You would think with the Alberta economy back running in top gear that the province’s biggest cities would have the lowest unemployment rates. But that’s not the case, according to Todd Hirsch, senior economist at ATB Financial. “Surprisingly, the highest rate of unemployment in Alberta is in Edmonton where about 5.4 per cent of the labour force is currently looking for work.

Ancient marriage secrets revealed

The Rohr Jewish Learning Institute is presenting what it calls a “provocative” new series of classes on the secrets of successful marriage. Everyone is invited to attend the six-session course at Chabad of Alberta, presented by the JLI and taught by Rabbi Mordechai Groner. The course starts this coming week.

Bestselling author tackles controversial subjects

Michael Coren has no qualms about writing books he knows will create some controversy. Or least a lot of debate. His latest effort no doubt will continue the tradition.

Big White Bags in Lowe’s Western Canadian stores

CALGARY – Calgary-based Ornamental Stone Inc. is supplying home improvement giant Lowe’s Canada with its Big White Bag bulk landscape product for stores across Western Canada. Rob Mudd, managing director of the Calgary company, said Lowe’s tested the product line last year in its Calgary stores and decided to expand the program to all Western Canadian stores this year.

Alberta food service sales dip in February

CALGARY – Sales for the food services and drinking places industry in Alberta dipped in February from the previous month, according to Statistics Canada. The federal agency reported Monday that sales in the province of $627 million were down 0.2 per cent from January. Nationally, sales increased by 0.1 per cent to $4.3 billion.

CREIT buying into Calgary Place | Calgary Herald

Canadian Real Estate Investment Trust has entered into an agreement to acquire a 50 per cent managing interest in Calgary Place, an office complex in the downtown. The purchase price for the property is $156.0 million (CREIT’s share). The closing is scheduled for May.


Canada’s first Whopper Bar finds home in Calgary | Calgary Herald

Here’s another reason why the Calgary International Airport may be the best in Canada when it comes to amenities. Burger King Restaurants of Canada has announced the first Canadian Whopper Bar restaurant is now open at the airport. It highlights the new 20/20 global restaurant design with a customizable menu.

Repeat home sales index shows Calgary price decrease of 1.6% in November

A house price index, which monitors repeat sales, says Calgary prices dipped by 1.6 per cent in November from the previous month. The Teranet-National Bank House Price Index, released on Wednesday, also showed that Calgary’s monthly price decline was the biggest drop in the country of the 11 metropolitan markets surveyed.

Alberta retail sales growth outpaces Canadian average

CALGARY — Alberta retail sales grew by a substantially faster pace than the Canadian average in November, according to Statistics Canada. The federal agency reported Tuesday that sales in the province reached $5.6 billion during the month, an 8.3 per cent hike from November 2010.

Calgary Herald

What are most popular Calgary MLS price points? | Calgary Herald

Everyone talks about average MLS sale prices when it comes to the residential real estate industry. But some interesting year-end data by the Calgary Real Estate Board recently indicates the most popular price points for the purchase of property in the city in the past year.


Mortgage arrears in Alberta fall | Calgary Herald

The number of people in Alberta falling behind on their mortgages has dropped. According to the Canadian Bankers Association, in November, 0.72 per cent of mortgages in the province were in arrears of three or more months. That’s the lowest level it’s been since April 2010 at 0.71 per cent.


Albertans planning to invest in their retirement | Calgary Herald

More Albertans than anywhere else in the country are planning to invest in their retirement this year. A CIBC poll, conducted by Harris/Decima, indicates 65 per cent of people in Alberta will contribute to an RRSP, a TFSA, or both in 2012.

Alberta small business confidence strongest in Canada

CALGARY — Alberta small business confidence remains the strongest in Canada. The latest Business Barometer survey by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, released Wednesday, shows confidence levels among small business owners in the province remained relatively flat in January at 73.3, just 0.3 lower than December’s index score.

Discount realtor offering break for emergency services workers

CALGARY – A discount realtor with offices in Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver is offering to list and sell homes free of charge for emergency personnel in the three cities. Roy Almog, of 2% Realty Inc., said his offices will offer full MLS and realtor services, free of charge, to any employee of the police, fire and emergency medical services departments, as well as military wanting to sell their properties.

Alberta way behind on red tape reform: CFIB

CALGARY — Alberta is way behind on red tape reform, according to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business. As part of its 3rd annual Red Tape Awareness Week, the CFIB released its annual Red Tape Report Card Tuesday, which evaluates federal and provincial governments’ progress to date on regulatory reform.


Calgary industrial real estate market strong | Calgary Herald

After eight consecutive quarters of decline, Calgary’s industrial real estate market saw a slight increase in vacancy in the fourth quarter of 2011, says a report by Colliers International in Calgary. The report says the vacancy rate rose by 0.36 per cent to 4.80 per cent overall.


Calgary restaurant owner cooks up recipe for business success | Calgary Herald

When Marco Abdi came to Calgary in 1981, he had only a few dollars in his pocket and worked as a caretaker in a medical building in the Bridgeland neighbourhood. He lived across the street in a little house his employer owned. Abdi’s dream was to own a restaurant.