The Voice for Industry
July 2, 2008
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Best Served Cold
In 2004, it appeared that Bernie Karl's allotted 15 minutes of fame would be consumed by the unfortunate demise of his Ice Hotel at his Chena Hot Springs Resort outside Fairbanks. Built of blocks from snow and ice, the Ice Hotel looked great when he unveiled it as a new tourist attraction in January, but by June it was nothing but a damp spot. Due to a variety of malfunctions, the Ice Hotel melted in the summer heat.

Forbes magazine promptly proclaimed the Ice Hotel the "dumbest business idea of the year" and Jay Leno made jokes about Karl on the Tonight Show.

But, my, how the news cycle can turn. Today, Bernie Karl is the Green Guru of the Alaskan bush, a visionary pioneer who this year will save more than $650,000 in diesel costs because he now powers his resort with clean electricity produced dirt cheap by a revolutionary geothermal power system.

The power system has earned Bernie international acclaim from renewable energy advocates and highly positive coverage on the Today Show, in Popular Mechanics and other news outlets. And, as often happens, Bernie's revenge was best served cold.

The Ice Hotel was replaced in 2005 by a bigger, grander Ice Museum, which stood rock solid last week as temperatures around Fairbanks hit the 80s, marking the fourth summer in a row that the huge ice structure has stood up to the Alaskan summer. Hosting a tour of the Ice Meseum for resort guests last week, Bernie told them about the big meltdown and the story in Forbes. "Dumbest business idea of the year? Forbes magazine can kiss my ass".

Bernie and his geothermal system will be the subject of a story in the fall issue of Seattle Industry magazine, available in September. In the meantime, go here to find some of the info and photos picked up during a Seattle Industry research expedition to the resort last week.

SODO Action Agenda BIG EVENT
The SODO Action Agenda is a planning project being led by the City of Seattle Office of Economic Development. The goal of the Action Agenda is to support the businesses and employees that make up the SODO community by helping them to better define their priorities for transportation, freight mobility, pedestrian safety, and public safety.

Seattle's Office of Economic Development is holding an Open House on Wed, Jul 9, 11:30-1:30, Qwest Field-West Club Lounge. Light lunch provided. If you need a FREE parking pass check out our calendar at

The Japanese Marketplace
The Japan External Trade Organization is offering booth space, a round-trip air ticket, and other services for American companies "interested in establishing representation in Japan and dealing with the following technologies:
1. Passenger and commercial motor vehicles
2. Engines and combustion systems
3. Powertrain and drivetrain systems
4. Energy and fuel systems
5. Electric systems
6. Materials and processing technologies
7. Intelligent transport systems, and infrastructure
8. Others (fuel-efficiency, CO2 emission reduction, and exhaust gas purification technologies, products and services; new technologies of universities and research institutes, etc.)

Program details and application are available from Andrew Crowder, Industrial Machinery, WA CTED, (206)256-6140 OR

Are you on the EDGE
Seattle University is currently accepting project proposals for their MBA courses, specifically, the New Ventures and EDGE courses. New Ventures is a course targeted at earlier stage companies. EDGE stands for "Education for Global Executives." EDGE projects must have an international focus or component. In both EDGE and New Ventures courses, MBA students take on specific real world projects to help companies grow and be more competitive.

The projects are a collaborative process. Sponsoring companies gain professional, thorough and effective recommendations from MBA students. The teams incorporate tools and methods not always available to the sponsoring organization. The projects are an integrative experience, helping the student apply the principles, concepts, and skills learned in prior classes to actual business situations.

Contact Greg Scully, Corporate Relations Manager, Albers School of Business and Economics, 206.427.8575, OR click here for more info

Closure of Nickerson/Emerson on-ramps
SEATTLE-SDOT will be closing the northbound on-ramps from the Nickerson/Emerson interchange to the Ballard Bridge from July 7th to July 19th as part of the Elliott/15th Avenue West paving project. The ramps will be closed 24 hours-a-day, seven days a week.

A detour route will be posted. Detoured traffic will use the southbound ramps to 15th Avenue West, drive south on 15th to West Dravus Street, and at Dravus Street will turn around and head northbound on 15th Avenue West. Click here for detour map. (pdf 1.35MB)

Drivers should expect delays when traveling westbound on West Nickerson Street and eastbound on West Emerson Place, as well as on 15th Avenue West north of the West Dravus Street interchange.
Please visit SDOT website

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