June 14, 2007 in Business

Business in brief: Ski resort makes big name change

The Spokesman-Review
 

Big Mountain Resort has a new name: Whitefish Mountain Resort.

The switch should differentiate the northwestern Montana ski hill from similarly named properties, including Big Sky Ski Resort near Bozeman and British Columbia’s Big White Resort, officials said.

“At least eight other ski resorts had ‘big’ in their name,” said Brian Schott, spokesman for Winter Sports Inc., which owns the 60-year-old ski resort. Recapturing the Whitefish name will link the resort to the nearby town, he said.

“Hellroaring,” “Haskell Mountain,” and “Whitefish Lake Ski Club” are earlier names for the resort. “Big Mountain” eventually stuck, because one of the mountain’s earliest skiers Lloyd “Mully” Muldown, pointed up the 6,817-foot peak and called it “that big mountain,” according to a history of the resort.

Winter Sports spent a year on the rebranding effort. Company officials unveiled the new name Wednesday during the grand opening of a new day lodge, which is part of $20 million in new mountain amenities, including two high-speed chairlifts.

Washington

U.S. declines to punish China

The Bush administration on Wednesday declined to cite China for manipulating its currency to gain unfair trade advantages and declined lawmakers’ request to pursue a trade case on the issue.

The administration’s actions provoked an outcry from members of Congress. They said soaring U.S. trade deficits with China had cost thousands of U.S. manufacturing jobs and merited a tougher response against the Chinese for their trade practices.

Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said in his department’s twice-a-year report that Chinese did not meet the requirements to be branded a currency manipulator. Paulson is leading the administration’s effort to deal with the trade gap with China.

As in previous reports, the administration said the Chinese government was moving too slowly to put in place economic changes to deal with the widening trade gap with the United States.

China is allowing its currency, the yuan, to rise at a pace that is “much too slow and should be quickened,” according to the report.

SEATTLE

Starbucks settles worker’s lawsuit

Starbucks Corp. has agreed to pay $85,000 to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit filed in 2006 by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission after the company fired a Seattle barista with bipolar disorder.

The EEOC said Wednesday that Starbucks gave Christine Drake extra training and support while she worked as a barista in its Queen Anne-neighborhood coffee shop for more than two years, starting in 2001. But in her third year, new management at the coffee shop discontinued the extra support and fired her, which the EEOC said violated the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Shares of Starbucks dropped 17 cents to $27.57 in midday trading.


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