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Business Roundup | Keyhole Security unlocks a new location

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Workers lay new flooring while remodeling the new location of Keyhole Security & Alarm Center. The business is planning to move to its new location at 238 S. Wenatchee Ave. in mid-June.

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Keyhole Security unlocks a new location

WENATCHEE — Security expert Ron Lodge has found the keys to success.

Hard work, great employees, excellent service,” said Lodge, co-owner with wife Jeanne of Keyhole Security & Alarm Center, which after 33 years in its current location is moving next month to new digs nearly three times the size.

These aren’t necessarily secrets, but they’ve worked for us,” he said. “The business has grown tremendously, and now we’re bursting at the seams. We definitely need more space.”

On June 9, Lodge will close up his 3,900-square-foot location and move everything — locks, stocks and alarms — to an 11,000-square-foot space a few blocks down the street. The new location, the site of one of Wenatchee’s early Safeway stores, is now in the final stages of a snazzy remodel that echoes some of the structure’s Art Deco motif.

For the last six months, Lodge has stepped away from the security business to act as general contractor — yes, that includes hammering nails, stringing electrical wire, painting walls — to transform the building into a lock-and-alarm showplace.

The building will be the new home to Keyhole’s 22 employees, an expanded retail space, enlarged key and locksmith operation, sales offices for alarm and camera systems and extensive planning and storage spaces for parts, equipment and other inventory.

The origins of Keyhole came about in 1948, when Lodge’s father offered his locksmith services to Wenatchee homes and businesses. Years later, when Lodge was just a teenager, he learned from his dad about padlocks, deadbolts, pins and cams and, of course, keys.

In 1976, Ron and Jeanne moved the locksmithing shop to a space adjacent Wenatchee Cycle & Toy. They moved the shop in 1983 to its current location, a former hotel that temporarily served as the Chelan County courthouse.

Thirty-three years and seven remodels later, the current Keyhole building had reached its limit to house Lodge’s growing enterprise. He began searching for a new location — “We looked everywhere,” he said — but settled on the 1941 Art Deco building just five blocks south.

The technology in security has changed so much over the years,” Lodge said. “I can probably still cut a key with no problem, but install a high-tech lock or alarm system? I’m not sure how far I’d get.”

Lodge chuckled. “That’s one good reason why I’m general contractor on this project. I’m still good at banging nails.”


Assessor meetings continue through June

CHELAN COUNTY — Community meetings hosted by the Chelan County Assessor and staff continue through June in several communities.

The meetings will explain how properties are assessed and what to expect when receiving a 2016 Notice of Value.

Even if you have attended one of our community meetings in the past, we encourage you to take an hour out of your evening to join us for a brief and informative presentation followed by a question-and-answer session,” said Chelan County Assessor Deanna Walter.

Each presentation will include oversized maps along with sales data for specific areas in the county.

The one-hour meetings — from 7 to 8 p.m. at each location — include:

  • Leavenworth, June 8, at Chelan County Fire District 3, 228 Chumstick Highway.
  • Lake Wenatchee, June 9, at Chelan County Fire District 9, 21696 Lake Wenatchee Highway.
  • Chelan, June 22, at Chelan City Hall, 135 E. Johnson Ave.
  • Manson, June 23, at Manson Grange Hall, 157 Wapato Way.

For more info, phone 667-6365 or visit co.chelan.wa.us/assessor.


CWU business school gets thumbs-up from global group

ELLENSBURG — The Central Washington University College of Business has again earned accreditation from an international group that validates innovation, leadership, student commitment and ties with regional industries.

Accreditation by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AASCB) provides a quality-assurance designation for business programs in only 5 percent of business schools around the globe, said a CWU press release.

In a three-day visit, an AASCB review team noted several recent CWU business school innovations, including a CEO Speakers Series from regional companies, students working with business leaders to create marketing plans and summer business “boot camps” in various business practices.

These efforts have helped the CWU College of Business record a 30-percent increase in enrollment this year, noted Dean Kathryn Martell.


Whinny if you love Clydesdales

WENATCHEE — Horses clip-clopped into town last month. Make that BIG horses.

The world-renowned Budweiser Clydesdales — 6 feet tall at the shoulder and eating 50 pounds of hay daily — made a special appearance May 25 and 26 at Town Toyota Center, 1300 Walla Walla Ave.

We were lucky to grab a visit from the Clydesdales,” said Tommie Thompson, general manager for Columbia Distributing Company in Wenatchee. “Usually you have to schedule an appearance two years advance. But they’re set to be in Spokane and have a couple of days open to be in Wenatchee.”

Known as the “Gentle Giants,” the Clydesdales were spotlighteed at a free public showings where food and drinks and photo opportunities were available.

The May 25 event was an appreciation day for regional retailers of Anheuser Busch products.

The Clydesdales, a tradition for brewer Anheuser Busch since 1933, were harnessed in an eight-horse hitch and connected to the company’s famous red beer wagon. Their visit to Town Toyota Center was one of hundreds of stops made every year by the company’s stable of Clydesdale hitches.

Originally brought to America by Canadians of Scottish descent in the mid-1800s, the giant draft horses are now used primarily for breeding and showing.

Horses chosen for a Budweiser Clydesdale hitch must be at least 3 years old, stand 18 hands (6 feet) at the shoulder, weight an average of 2,000 pounds, be bay in color, have four white legs and a blaze of white on the face with a black mane and tail. The company prizes a gentle temperament because the horses meet millions of people each year.

Every day, said a company press release, a single Clydesdale hitch horse will consume 20 to 25 quarts of feed, 40 to 50 pounds of hay and 30 gallons of water.

Each group of Clydesdales also travels with a Dalmatian mascot. In the early days of brewing, said the press release, Dalmatians were bred and trained to protect the horses and guard the wagon when the driver entered buildings to make deliveries.

The big draft horses can also be viewed at various sites around the country, including breweries and ranches in Missouri, Colorado and New Hampshire.