Everybody’s business

Play through
Tuscan Ridge Golf Club should move past its startup debt to complete construction, add staff and continue on its path toward “surpassing all other courses in the Chico area.”

That’s according to a team in Michael Nevens’ Marketing 170 class at Chico State University, where students are directed to hook up with a local business and develop a marketing plan that it would use in “real life.”

Assigned to the golf course were: Bryce Doyle, Brian Haugen, Steven King, Scott Lane and Sidney Poritz.

“It’s going to get us started on our business future,” Poritz said of the project.

Tuscan Ridge, a nine-hole course on its way to becoming 18, is working on a clubhouse, golf cart barn and drinking water and wastewater treatment systems. Eventually, it may even add a restaurant and reception center and host pro golf events.

The students’ plan points out the course’s “championship” features and compares it to other courses in the area. “Once the course gets its name out to consumers and builds its reputation as one of the most prestigious places to play, profits and success will flourish,” the team predicts.

Wanna buy a knife?
Someone’s been scattering business cards around downtown Chico offering “summer work” for students in Chico and elsewhere. The Web site given is www.workforstudents.com, which makes no mention of the type of work to be done other than “marketing.”

But track down the company, Vector Marketing Corporation, and its home page and, several layers in, you find out what you’ll be peddling: knives. Now, it doesn’t look like a bad company, offering scholarships and college credits and such. But why bury the knives? Surely they’re as fun to sell as vacuums and encyclopedias.

Tower tumble
With the announcement that the Solomon family plans to sell its remaining Tower Records stores, Chico Tower-lovers are worried that the store on Main Street will become a thing of the past.

The Chico store, which lost its adjacent bookstore a couple of years ago, has managed to maintain a hometown feel even as the empire grew to nearly 300 outlets. In fact, the Solomon family has been decidedly non-chain, as Tower grew from a record section in the back of the family drug store in 1960 Sacramento. The rise of online music and discount stores is blamed for the failure to get out of massive debt in recent years.

It’s unlikely any decisions on the Chico Tower will be made before the sale.

Almond appraisal
Almond production has been going up and up in recent years, and ironically that’s not so great (remember that supply-and-demand lesson from high school?). On May 9, the California Agricultural Statistics Service released the subjective forecast for the 2003 crop, and it’s down 15 percent to 920 million pounds.

For Chico-area growers, that could mean a more profitable year. The objective forecast, which uses actual nut counts to be more accurate, will be out June 26.