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|Articles - June 2012|
|Tuesday, May 29, 2012|
BY JON BELL
Maritime Services Corp. in Hood River had been enjoying a record workload heading into winter 2011. In October, the company, which designs and builds interiors for cruise ships, ferries, private yachts and other vessels, announced nearly $11 million in projects, including a $6 million contract with Princess Cruises and $2 million with the U.S. Army.
But something happened on Jan. 13, 2012, that has slowed the MSC ship. On that night, the Italian cruise ship Costa Concordia hit a reef in the Tyrrhenian Sea and partially sank, killing at least 32 people.
In the wake of the disaster, cruise ship bookings have fallen in some markets up to 25%, according to MSC chief executive officer George Selfridge.
“We've had some work canceled and that’s impacted us,” says Selfridge, who founded the company in 1986 as a manufacturer of small fiberglass sailboats and powerboats. “It’s quiet right now.”
Even so, Maritime operates in a niche space — Selfridge says there are just two or three competitors in the nation — and the company takes on a wide variety of maritime projects, between 150 and 200 annually, to keep itself diversified. When it’s not converting an onboard casino into a steakhouse, it’s outfitting a Staten Island ferry; when it’s not building the interior for the fourth-largest privately owned yacht in the U.S. it’s working on offshore oil rigs. MSC also has done land-based work for retailers J. Crew and Macy’s in New York.
MSC employs about 130 people full-time, but contract projects can temporarily drive numbers north of 350. Although the work requires plenty of travel, Selfridge says MSC tries to complete as much of it at its Hood River operation as possible. As a result, MSC designs and prefabricates entire ship interiors in its 40,000-square-foot production facility, then breaks them down, puts them in containers and ships them off. Once the interiors arrive, they are carefully loaded onto their destination vessel, reassembled and installed.
An avid boater who enjoys living in Hood River, Selfridge says he sees MSC following a pretty steady course into the future. The company may divest some smaller business units, but otherwise Selfridge says MSC will continue on its current tack and respond as needed.
“On the cruise ship side, they’re always getting bigger and they have to be done quicker,” Selfridge says. “So we’re always looking for every possible way to improve.”
Tuesday, June 23, 2015
Oregon’s new marijuana law is expected to lead to a bevy of new business opportunities for the state. And not just for growers. Law firms, HR consultants, energy efficiency companies and many others are expected to benefit from the decriminalization of pot, according to panelists at an Oregon Business breakfast meeting on Tuesday.
Wednesday, July 15, 2015
Oregon's roads are crumbling, and revenues from state and local gas taxes are not sufficient to pay for improvements. We asked readers if the private sector should help fund transportation maintenance and repairs. Research partner CFM Strategic Communications conducted the poll of 366 readers in February.
"I feel private enterprises are capable of operating at a higher efficiency than state government."
"This has been used in Oregon since the mid-1800s. It is not a new financing method. This form of financing may help Oregon close its infrastructure deficit by leveraging funds."
Thursday, June 11, 2015
In 2014, total revenue for camping and day use in Oregon State Parks was a little more than $17 million. That figure may even higher this year "because we've had exceptionally nice weather," Hughes says.
Friday, July 10, 2015
BY DAN COOK
The Affordable Care Act has triggered a rush on health care plan redesign, a process fraught with hidden costs and consequences.
Monday, July 13, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER
Dean of the Atkinson Graduate School of Management, Willamette University
Friday, July 10, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER
Most of the food Americans consume is trucked in from hundreds of miles away. Eric Wilson, co-founder and CEO of Gro-volution, wants to change that. So this past spring, the Air Force veteran and former greenhouse manager started work on an alternative farming system he claims is more efficient than conventional agriculture, and also shortens the distance between the consumer and the farm.
Monday, June 22, 2015
The Clean Fuels/gas tax trade off will go down in history as another disjointed, on-again off-again approach to city and state lawmaking.
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