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SBCTA committee recommends formal opposition to proposed West County Rail Construction Authority

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SBCTA committee recommends formal opposition to proposed West County Rail Construction Authority

February 12, 2020 — The SBCTA Policy Committee is recommending that the voter-entrusted agency responsible for transportation planning in San Bernardino County oppose the creation of an entirely new construction authority specifically geared toward one project.

SBCTA (the San Bernardino County Transportation Authority) is mandated by law to handle and oversee cooperative regional planning and further an efficient multimodal transportation system countywide. On Wednesday, the agency’s General Policy Committee voted to recommend that SBCTA’s Board of Directors oppose a bill by Assemblymember Chris Holden to establish the West San Bernardino County Rail Construction Authority, whose sole purpose would be to build a six-mile extension of the Gold Line light rail system from the Los Angeles County line to Ontario International Airport.

The committee also recommended that the Board formally invite Holden to discuss his proposal at the March meeting of the full SBCTA Board.

“We appreciate the Assemblymember’s desire to bring the Gold Line to San Bernardino County, and would welcome connectivity from LA County as part of a comprehensive package of enhanced transit opportunities not just to and from Ontario Airport but our county as a whole. On the surface, however, this legislation raises many more concerns than it addresses – most notably, how would such a project be paid for, who would benefit from it and what other projects throughout the county would have to be eliminated to make way for it?” said Darcy McNaboe, SBCTA’s President.

San Bernardino County is the largest geographic county in the United States, and represents one of the most vibrant growth corridors in the United States. The Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) projects that San Bernardino County will see its population surge by 32% in the next 25 years, versus 19% for SoCal as a whole.

The county’s growth is being fueled by a variety of factors, including growing job prospects and relative affordability. According to a new report from Zillow, San Bernardino and Riverside Counties rank fourth in the U.S. in terms of property searches from prospective homebuyers living outside the region.

Ontario Airport, meanwhile, was recently ranked the fastest-growing airport in the U.S. for the second straight year. Statistics show that nearly 70% of domestic passengers using Ontario Airport live in the Inland Empire and would not be served by a light rail system geared toward L.A. County users. Over the past two years, SBCTA has worked closely with ONT officials to form the Ontario Airport Roundtable, a network of stakeholders throughout the county focused on issues such as airport access.

“San Bernardino and the Inland Empire are fast becoming the population and employment hubs for Southern California. That’s great news, but requires an even more thoughtful and balanced approach to transportation planning. Creating a whole new agency with a single-minded focus doesn’t lend itself to the kind of shared visioning and broad collaboration we need to address our challenges,” said Paul Granillo, CEO of the Inland Empire Economic Partnership and an Ontario Airport Roundtable member. “The fact is, there is a limited amount of money available for transportation, and we need to work together – not in competition with one another – to address the growing needs we’ve got throughout our county.”

Assemblymember Holden’s plan does not directly address how an extension of the Gold Line to Ontario Airport would be funded. Typically, the cost for such a project is borne by local taxpayers – in this case, the taxpayers of San Bernardino County once the project crosses the LA County Line.

In recent months, SBCTA has been developing a plan that would enhance Metrolink’s existing San Bernardino Line with improved connectivity to ONT. The plan would leverage the Redlands Rail Project, currently under construction, and the zero-emission passenger trains that will be part of that project. The hydrogen-powered trains will be the first of their kind in North America.

“This is not an either-or – at least it shouldn’t be. We’re interested in discussing with Assemblymember Holden about how his plan benefits the majority of airport users who currently travel from San Bernardino and Riverside Counties,” McNaboe said.

 

The Inland Empire Business Journal (IEBJ) is the official business news publication of Southern California’s Inland Empire region - covering San Bernardino & Riverside Counties.

Business

IECE Presents its Inaugural State of Entrepreneur Report on Dec. 9

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The first-ever State of Entrepreneurship Address for the Inland Empire is being held by the Cal State San Bernardino Inland Empire Center for Entrepreneurship on Thursday, Dec. 9, from 5-8 p.m. at 4th Sector Innovations in Ontario. 

IECE’s goal in producing the State of Entrepreneurship research study is to bring the voice of local entrepreneurs to those who need to hear it most – local and state policymakers, community organizations, lenders, and other resource providers. 

The Voice of the Entrepreneur survey, on which the address is based, sends powerful feedback on the challenges that entrepreneurs and business owners of the Inland Southern California region face. 

Survey results were drawn out earlier this year by reaching out to IECE’s extensive network, consisting of more than 10,000 entrepreneurs and business owners representing a diverse group of industries. The IECE will continue to distribute the Voice of the Entrepreneur survey in the spring of each calendar year to find out what Inland Empire entrepreneurs and business owners are going through. 

The report is a potent tool for policymakers, economic impact drivers, and business owners and entrepreneurs to analyze growth potential within the region. Using measurable data, the goal is to identify the challenges and opportunities facing local business owners and obstacles that may be impeding business growth. 

The result is a concise report that gives insight into how we can effectively learn and evolve together with a regional focus. 

The evening will start and end with networking and food; in between, the SOER report will be presented, which includes examining the indicators of entrepreneurial activity and how the IE measures up as a region; learning of the Voice of the Entrepreneur direct survey results and the common themes, as well as an IE Ecosystem assessment; and regional perspectives from influencers that include: 

  • Rod Vandenbos, founder and CEO, buzzbox beverages, Indio; 
  • Mike Napoli, Tech Coast Angels, Palm Springs; 
  • Edward Ornelas, Jr. President, Inland Empire Regional Chamber of Commerce
  • Ana Karina Suchánek, president, Cask Restaurant Group, Inc., Rancho Cucamonga; and 
  • Pepi Jackson, president and CEO, Riverside Black Chamber of Commerce 

Click the following link – Secure Your Spot for the 2021 State of Entrepreneurship Address – to attend, network and learn more about entrepreneurship in the region. Whether you are a seasoned or soon-to-be entrepreneur, there is a perspective for everyone who wants to know more about how to strengthen the Inland Empire economy.

The presentation will unveil breakthrough metrics and perspectives on the State of Entrepreneurship throughout the Inland Empire, including: 

  • Why a report like this is essential for the collective growth of our region; 
  • What the report consists of: indicators for entrepreneurship and what real entrepreneurs in our communities are telling us through our Voice of the Entrepreneur survey results; and
  • Regional perspectives from influencers and officials that are active in our ecosystem. 

The event will also include food and cocktails while networking within an inspirational setting at 4th Sector Innovations Ontario. 

To learn more, visit the IECE State of Entrepreneurship Report website

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Southwest Airlines will fly from Ontario International Airport, CA, to Austin in 2022

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The announcement from Southwest Airlines that it will fly daily nonstop from Ontario International Airport (ONT) to Austin (AUS) starting in March 2022 is welcome news for the Southern California gateway and the Inland Empire.

The announcement from Southwest Airlines that the low-cost carrier will fly daily nonstop from Ontario International Airport (ONT) to Austin (AUS) starting in March 2022 is welcome news for the Southern California gateway and the Inland Empire.

Southwest will offer flights between ONT and Austin-Bergstrom International Airport daily on the following schedule effective March 10, 2022.

Flt #OriginDestinationDepartureArrivalFrequencyAircraft
1204ONTAUS10:55 a.m.3:35 p.m.Mon – Fri &
Sun
737-700
474ONTAUS9:50 a.m.2:30 p.m.Sat737-700
1739AUSONT4:35 p.m.5:55 p.m.Mon – Fri &
Sun
737-700
257AUSONT2:55 p.m.4:10 p.m.Sat737-700

The new flights are available for booking immediately at southwest.com.

“The addition of the Texas state capital to our route map is welcomed news and further indication of confidence by ONT’s largest air carrier,” said Alan D. Wapner, President of the OIAA Board of Commissioners. “It is also another sign that ONT’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic is well underway and gaining momentum.”

The announcement of the new Southwest flights comes as ONT continues to experience an impressive pandemic recovery. In August, ONT reported passenger traffic was within 7% of pre-COVID levels.

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By Press Release

Family Fun Month of Rides, Slides & Glides

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Alpine Slide Big Bear Observes Family Fun Month with a Variety of Delights 

August is Family Fun Month, and Alpine Slide Big Bear (Alpine Slide) is the premier spot in Big Bear that gives families an opportunity to soak up the joys of summertime fun together. Alpine Slide provides guests of all ages, from toddlers to grandparents, a variety of family-fun offerings, which includes a double waterslide, a mountain coaster thrill ride, a zipline-style flight, the Alpine Slide bobsled experience, go-karts and miniature golf. 

“The great thing about having a variety of attractions is it gives families a chance to pick and choose what best appeals to them,” said Alpine Slide Big Bear General Manager Julie Eubanks.

Family Fun Month occurs every August, and undoubtedly August happens to be one of the hottest months that many Southern California communities have to face each year. However, Big Bear is a great place to escape the daunting heat. Not only is Big Bear 20 to 30 degrees cooler than most of Southern California’s hot zones, but Alpine Slide’s double waterslide gives families who seek refuge from the heat an extra bonus to cool off. Kids can splash all day on two flumes of cascading water, turning and banking on the way to a 3 ½ – ft. deep, heated splash pool. Parents can spread a blanket out on the grass, or relax on the shaded, wrap-around deck at the base of the double waterslide. 

“Alpine Slide is also home to three attractions that are the first and only in California, which includes the Mineshaft Coaster, the Soaring Eagle, and the Alpine Slide,” added Eubanks. “Each of these rides offers something unique and suitable for all ages.” 

Mineshaft Coaster, which is the first and only mountain coaster in California, is an amusement-style, thrill ride that stretches over one mile long on a stainless-steel-tube track. It has all the bells and whistles of a roller coaster such as steep descents, hairpin turns, tunnels, bridges and 360-degree corkscrews. Here’s the kicker…the rider actually controls the speed of the coaster cart, which can reach max speeds of 30 mph.

The Soaring Eagle is a one-of-a-kind ride not seen anywhere else in California either. The Soaring Eagle has dual seats so a parent and child can ride side-by-side. It starts by lifting riders backwards on a zipline cable to a 70-foot tall launch tower. Once it reaches the top, it then catapults forward at 26 mph, on a 100-foot long vertical drop, that travels 500 feet back to the base. The Soaring Eagle not only offers folks an opportunity to experience the sensation of flying, but they are treated to a bird’s eye view of Big Bear Lake and surrounding mountain vistas, too. 

Another distinctive attraction on site is the Alpine Slide, which is the only authentic bobsled /luge experience in California. Riders navigate their own individually controlled sleds down a quarter-mile long concrete track with high-banked turns and long straight-aways. Each sled is equipped with Teflon runners, ball bearing wheels, control handle and brakes. Youngsters who meet the height requirements can ride with their parents on this fun-filled feature ride.  

Rounding off the family-fun activities at Alpine Slide is a go-kart track, putt-putt golf and video arcade. When it’s time for a break, head inside for an ice-cream cone. An ice-cream bar located at the snack bar offers 12 different tasty flavors to choose from, such as Banana Split, Cotton Candy or Birthday Cake!     

Alpine Slide, located at 800 Wildrose Lane (just off Big Bear Blvd.), is open daily. The Summer hours of operation are Sunday through Thursday from 10 a.m.- 6 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. For general information, height requirements, pricing and specific hours for each attraction, please visit AlpineSlideBigBear.com or call 909-866-4626. 

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