Struggling cinemas still finds way to give back

Struggling cinemas still finds way to give back

“In my mind, it’s not a question of if we will still be here. I have to find a way to keep the theater going,” said Kelly Walden, general manager of Ridgecrest Cinemas. Scores of businesses in the Indian Wells Valley finished their second full . . . Read Full Story >>

Isolation strains small businesses

Isolation strains small businesses

Rebecca Neipp

As critical industries struggle to continue services during Gov. Newsom’s executive order for Californians to stay at home, those deemed “non-essential” battle for their very survival. Last week’s “shelter in place” directive (covid19.ca.gov) ordered Californians to stay in their homes, making allowances to leave only . . . Read Full Story >>

How will social distancing impact commerce?

How will social distancing impact commerce?

Rebecca Neipp

With unprecedented closures and directives to self-isolate to help slow a coronavirus outbreak, the community is bracing for the impact social distancing will have on stores, restaurants and other public spaces. Over the weekend, Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered bars, wineries and pubs to cease operations. . . . Read Full Story >>

How will social distancing impact commerce?

How will social distancing impact commerce?

Rebecca Neipp

With unprecedented school closures and directives to self-quarantine and maintain social distancing to help slow the spread of coronavirus, the community is bracing for the impact of what the reduction of traffic will have on stores, restaurants and other public spaces. Over the weekend, Gov. . . . Read Full Story >>

Elected officials weigh in at Outlook Conference

Rebecca Neipp

Among the leaders from defense, industry and community, attendees at the IWV Economic Outlook Conference heard elected officials give their take on the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy, State Senate Republican Leader Shannon Grove and Assemblyman Vince Fong each . . . Read Full Story >>

Is the economic boom over?

Is the economic boom over?

Rebecca Neipp

What a difference two weeks make. On Feb. 27, economist Mark Schniepp told a packed audience at the IWV Economic Outlook Conference that the economy was still booming — on the national scale as well as locally. But the biggest threat to that steady growth . . . Read Full Story >>

City braces for rebuild

City braces for rebuild

Rebecca Neipp

As Navy officials roll out plans to spend some $3 billion on an effort to provide earthquake recovery and modernization of China Lake, the city of Ridgecrest is partnering to provide the necessary support that will be required in our remote community. City Manager Ron . . . Read Full Story >>

China Lake thriving in recovery

China Lake thriving in recovery

Rebecca Neipp

Part 1 in a series: in keeping with our 2020 Vision theme, the News Review will present in-depth reports from IWV Economic Outlook Conference speakers in the coming weeks —————————— Between the launch of the recovery process and the report from the annual IWV Economic . . . Read Full Story >>

Death Valley traffic boosts IWV economy

Death Valley traffic boosts IWV economy

Rebecca Neipp

Another record-breaking year for visitors in Death Valley National Park translated to an uptick in traffic for local hospitality, as well. More than 1.7 million people visited the park last year — marking a consistent increase in traffic since 2016 and more than doubling the . . . Read Full Story >>

‘Where are we going?’

‘Where are we going?’

Rebecca Neipp

“I am particularly excited about this year’s Economic Outlook Conference,” said Scott O’Neil, who will be presenting a briefing this year on behalf of IWV Economic Development Corp. He also serves on the EOC steering committee. “The agenda is very future-focused. What I’m hoping for . . . Read Full Story >>

Conference offers updates, network opportunities

Conference offers updates, network opportunities

Rebecca Neipp

For more than two decades community leaders have gathered for the annual IWV Outlook Conference to hear updates on current economic trends and opportunities and mingle with some of the most engaged community leaders. The Ridgecrest Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with its sponsors, will . . . Read Full Story >>

New geothermal opportunities explored

Rebecca Neipp

An article published last week in the Los Angeles Times highlighted an initiative of the Bureau of Land Management to release 22,000 acres for potential development of geothermal projects — bringing to light a local asset and renewing discussion on industrial development in the region . . . Read Full Story >>

Outlook Conf. tickets now on sale

Rebecca Neipp

Tickets, sponsorships and expo spaces are now on sale for the 33rd annual IWV Economic Outlook Conference, scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 27, from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Kerr McGee Center. Each year the Ridgecrest Chamber of Commerce stages the event to give . . . Read Full Story >>

Forging our path

Forging our path

Rebecca Neipp

• WHERE ARE WE GOING? “Thinking about the future is difficult,” said Scott O’Neil, executive director of the IWV Economic Development Corp. To many, the prospect of peering into the unknowable path ahead prevents us from taking the first step. In pondering how to shape . . . Read Full Story >>

Chamber of Commerce Exec:  Shop locally this holiday season

Chamber of Commerce Exec: Shop locally this holiday season

Rebecca Neipp

Once Thanksgiving celebrations draw to a close this Friday, the holiday shopping season will begin in earnest. Over the years, spokespeople for the Ridgecrest Chamber of Commerce have enumerated the many reasons for keeping your shopping dollars local — spending money here supports residents and . . . Read Full Story >>

Balsam Street renovations under way

Balsam Street renovations under way

Demolition crews kick off renovations the southern end of Balsam Street last week. According to developer Ryan Smith with the Sierra Project, the demo crew has finished and cleared out and renovations are on track to be completed by mid-to-late December. — Photo by Laura . . . Read Full Story >>

Kern Foundation solicits grant applications

Rebecca Neipp

Local nonprofit agencies looking to improve their fundraising capabilities are invited to submit applications for a Jumpstart Fundraising Technical Assistance Grant Opportunity, offered through the Kern Community Foundation with support from the county board of supervisors. “Jumpstart is truly a public-private partnership in growing philanthropy . . . Read Full Story >>

Balsam St renovation breaks  ground

Balsam St renovation breaks ground

THE SIERRA PROJECT – Local real estate investment and development company The Sierra Project is proud to announce its latest and largest project yet: a total facade transformation in the heart of downtown Ridgecrest. Numbers 126, 128, 130 and 132 Balsam Street (better known as . . . Read Full Story >>

Young leaders breathe new life into chamber of commerce

Young leaders breathe new life into chamber of commerce

Rebecca Neipp

As the leadership team of the Ridgecrest Chamber of Commerce continues to refine its branding, programs and membership benefits, one driving goal is to reverse the national trend of declining membership. Decades ago, local chambers of commerce were pillars of economic develop- ment and networking . . . Read Full Story >>

County approves EDC request

County approves EDC request

Rebecca Neipp

With opportunities of potentially $4 billion in earthquake recovery funding, along with growing contributions to defense, aerospace and energy, IWV Economic Development Corp. Executive Director Scott O’Neil asked the Kern County Board of Supervisors for three action items expressing support for the mission at China . . . Read Full Story >>