Monthly Archives: April 2010

You don’t say

“Are they telling us that the river is poison?”

— Wichita resident Rex Rivers on how he’s noticed a Wichita River Festival billboard with a skull and crossbones on it (there’s a pirate theme for this year’s festival)

Clutter Cutter will remain in business despite owner’s personal bankruptcy

WICHITA — Clutter Cutter owner Pam McCutcheon has filed for personal bankruptcy with her husband, Todd, but it’s not going to affect her business helping others get organized.

Her husband also owns his own business, Wichita Appliance Service, which also remains open.

“It was fabulous when the economy was fabulous,” Pam McCutcheon says of owning their own businesses.

She says a small business is hard to have in a down economy, especially one like hers.

“One person’s luxury is another person’s income,” McCutcheon says. “If you’re choosing between paying the electric bill and paying to get organized, you’re going to pay the electric bill.”

She says she’s made those kinds of choices too, such as giving up getting her nails done.

“It’s just a trickle effect,” she says of the impact on the economy.

At one point, McCutcheon had 12 employees. She says she whittled away at that number as the economy soured. Now, it’s just her.

Her focus is on personal organization only. McCutcheon doesn’t work with businesses and doesn’t think she’ll expand to that area.

“Not really. I feel like we have a calling pretty much in residential.”

She’s hopeful that will turn around.

“I do feel like things are starting to pick up now.”

You don’t say

“The first cooperative education program was started in 1906 at the University of Cincinnati. I wasn’t involved yet.”

Connie Dietz, director of Wichita State University’s Cooperative Education and Work-Based Learning program, which celebrated its 30th birthday Friday

Collective Merchants Association sues salon owner and developer Sami Halaseh

WICHITA — Salon owner and developer Sami Halaseh is in a dispute with Collective developer and Johnston’s owner J.V. Johnston.

The Collective Merchants Association has filed a lawsuit against Halaseh’s Jordan’s Place LLC.

Halaseh bought ground at the Collective, which is at East 21st Street and K-96, where he then brought Soho Salon and Mini Dental Implant Centers of America. He’s also negotiating to bring a 4,000-square-foot medical spa there.

The lawsuit is over maintenance fees for things like mowing, snow removal and the operation of fountains on the property. The merchants association is suing for $11,400 in nonpayment of those services, plus interest and attorney’s fees.

“I’m doing my own maintenance,” Halaseh says. “I’m just basically separating myself from the Collective area. That’s the dispute.”

Halaseh says he never signed anything agreeing to maintenance.

“Yeah, he signed it,” Johnston says.

“When you buy the land, you sign it just like a homeowner’s situation,” Johnston says.

“He just doesn’t want to pay. He said, ‘I’m going to take care of it myself,’ and I said, ‘No, you can’t.’ ”

Halaseh doesn’t think Johnston and the association have a case.

“I said, ‘If you want to do it that way, fine, we’ll take it to court,’ ” he says.

Johnston says the association continues to take care of all of the Collective property, including Halaseh’s.

“He’s a nice guy,” Johnston says, “but I wish he’d pay.”

Cheap Trick to headline Wichita River Festival

As Have You Heard? first reported was a possibility this morning, Wichita Festivals Inc. has finalized a deal for Cheap Trick to replace Bret Michaels as headliner of the Wichita River Festival.

For more details, check Denise Neil’s update on shortly and in The Eagle tomorrow.

You don’t say

“It was an affirmation of what a great big family we are.”

Ravi Pendse, WSU associate provost and chief information officer, on how polite and appreciative everyone (including those who complained) was when the school’s computer systems crashed Tuesday night and took till Wednesday to completely fix

Wichita Festivals Inc. still negotiating for River Festival replacement

It seems Wichita Festivals Inc.’s negotiations with Cheap Trick are still ongoing. Check back tomorrow to see if that’s the act that will replace Wichita River Festival headliner Bret Michaels or if it’s time for Plan C.

Rose Hill Bank makes Maize Holiday Inn Express possible

WICHITA — Normally when a real estate deal happens, developers want recognition, or the people bringing a new business want attention.

In the case of the Holiday Inn Express, hotel partner Raju Sheth would like Rose Hill Bank to get some props.

Sheth says Rose Hill, which bills itself as “the hungry little bank,” gave Maize Hotel LLC a mortgage when no one else would.

“Even with good financial statements from everybody, banks are not even interested in looking at a hotel.”

Sheth says he and his partners have more than 30 percent equity in the project.

“And still nobody was interested,” he says.

“That’s why the economy’s not going anywhere. Nobody wants to lend money.”

Holiday Inn Express Hotel coming to Maize

UPDATED — Maize has landed its second hotel deal.

On Wednesday, developer Marv Schellenberg and the city of Maize announced plans for a new Holiday Inn Express Hotel, which will be at Schellenberg’s Hampton Lakes development at the northwest corner of 37th and Maize.

Maize Hotel LLC is building the $2.5 million hotel, which will have three stories and 73 rooms and is scheduled to open in April 2011.

“This will just continue to solidify that even though we have a weak economy, Maize’s economy is still growing and strong,” says Rebecca Bouska, Maize’s deputy city administrator.

“We are getting ready to grow pretty quickly, I think, over the next 10 years.”

The hotel is adjacent to the proposed Northwest Bypass.

The Maize Hotel partners, including Mitesh Patel and Raju Sheth, also built the Hampton Inn in Derby. Sheth is still involved there.

The Holiday Inn Express would be the first hotel to be built in Maize’s 124-year history.

“There’s really just nothing on the northwest side as far as hotels go,” Schellenberg says.

Read More »

Geno & John’s Pizza owner owes taxes for previous pizza place

WICHITA — The Kansas Department of Revenue has filed a tax warrant against restaurateur John Giroux for almost $27,000, much of which he says is penalties and interest.

Giroux owns two Geno & John’s Pizza locations, but that’s not what he owes money for.

It’s for a Knolla’s Pizza Giroux used to own near Harry and Webb, which is where one of his Geno & John’s is now.

Late last year, Giroux and Pat Knolla cut ties.

The Department of Revenue is working with Giroux on a repayment plan.

“Business in the last year has been pretty difficult,” Giroux says. “I do everything I can to try and hold on.”

The economy has forced him to slash pizza prices, but Giroux says his costs are still the same.

A couple of months ago, he also opened a second Geno & John’s at 7603 W. 21st St.

“Here I go,” Giroux says, “another store, not really making it.”

He’s not giving up, though.

“I’m a hard worker,” Giroux says. “I keep battling it. I battle for the product. I think I’ve got a great product.”