Vail Valley business briefs, Dec. 12 |

Vail Valley business briefs, Dec. 12

Daily Staff Reportsnewsroom@vaildaily.comVail, CO, Colorado

EDWARDS The folks at Overland & Express Travel in Riverwalk have a great idea for the hard-to-buy-for folks on your gift list this season: the gift of travel. According to a recent national survey, gift certificates and travel are consistently near the top of everyones holiday wish list. Why not just combine the two?Travel gift certificates make the perfect gift because your loved ones can use them toward the vacation of their dreams, and those memories are sure to last a lifetime, said Jan Strauch, owner of Overland & Express. Best of all, gift certificates can fit into anyones budget, Strauch said. They can be applied to airline tickets, resort stays, tour packages, or whatever whenever people want.Overland & Express will celebrate its 37th anniversary in February as the first and largest professional travel agency in the Vail Valley. To learn more, call 970-926-9206.

VAIL Jon Miller, owner of Vail Delivery, has been doing business in the valley for more than seven years. Like most business owners he is tightening up his loose ends, and, like many business owners, trying to be more environmentally aware, too.Vail Delivery this season will stop using regular plastic grocery bags and start using only eco-friendly reusable bags. Miller estimated that this will save using more than 100,000 plastic bags per year. Vail Delivery is the only delivery service located in Vail and the first delivery service in the valley to provide clients with reusable bags.Vail Delivery is a full-service delivery business providing groceries, wine, beer, liquor, gifts and any other special request delivered, un-packed and ready for guests upon arrival.For more information, go to or call 970-845-8216.

LAKEWOOD FirstBank Holding Company announced this week it has decided to not apply for federal funding as part of the U.S. Treasurys Capital Purchase Program. FirstBank officials say the company is well capitalized as measured by regulatory guidelines and, as a result, does not need federal money.This decision reflects FirstBanks strong balance sheet and its continued ability to lend capital to credit-worthy borrowers, FirstBank CEO Dave Baker said. After careful consideration, we determined that FirstBank does not need to participate in the program being offered by the U.S. Treasury, he said.FirstBanks total assets were $9.28 billion as of Sept. 30, up 9 percent compared to the similar time a year ago, and total deposits increased to $7.92 billion, up 5 percent from a year ago. Loans grew by 20 percent to $3.8 billion, while year-to-date earnings were $723.99 per share, up 30 percent from the comparable period a year ago. The companys net income surged to $95.1 million for the nine months ending September 30, up 29 percent over the comparable period in 2007.FirstBanks focus on making quality loans, along with continued growth in deposits, has contributed to our stability and positioned the company for continued success and growth, said John A. Ikard, president and CEO of FirstBank Holding Company. FirstBank is the largest locally owned banking organization in Colorado, with more than 600,000 customers. The majority of its stock is owned by management and employees. For more information, go to

DENVER State Senator-elect Al White of Hayden, who represents Eagle County, has been selected by Colorado Senate Republican Leader Josh Penry of Grand Junction for a spot on the Colorado Tourism Office Board. White, who served on the board as a member of the Colorado House of Representatives, will take the place of outgoing senator Jack Taylor, of Steamboat Springs. White was elected in November to replace Taylor. Senator Whites experience working in the tourism industry, not to mention his previous service on the board, makes him an ideal choice for this spot, Penry said. White has previously owned and operated ski and bike shops as well as a mountain lodge in Winter Park.

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