Biz Beat 12-17-2015

Cowbucker is a new hat business celebrating its grand opening from noon to 6 pm Thursday, Dec. 17, at 222 E. 11th Ave., the former site of Creative Minds Alternative School. This will be the first permanent retail outlet for the business that started with an office in March, followed by a warehouse. Cowbucker offers two styles of hats at this time, including a cowboy/trucker hat, and hats for schools, breweries and states. Three UO MBA students started the business.

Fertilab Thinkubator will be moving Feb. 1 to a new and much larger location at 44 7th Ave. The small business incubator is currently at 390 Lincoln Street. The new space will include classrooms, an event space and a full kitchen. Fertilab has 63 member entrepreneurs and expects to grow even bigger in 2016, according to Executive Director Shula Jaron. For more information or to help prepare the new space, call 600-2016, ext. 700, or email

Hoodoo Ski Area and Willamette Pass are opening for the season beginning Friday, Dec. 18, just in time for winter break. Mount Bachelor near Bend is higher elevation (9,068 feet at the summit) and opened earlier but is dealing with heavy weather and difficult access this week. Hoodoo is 5,702 feet at the top and Willamette Pass is 6,683 feet. Check the ski areas’ websites for updates. Meanwhile, area ski and rental suppliers, such as Berg’s Ski & Snowboard Shop, are busy and happy to see a more normal snow season.

Cher Aker is retiring as administrator of City Club of Eugene at the end of the year. “I’ve enjoyed (almost) every moment here, from the program committee and board meetings, hundreds of Friday Forums, and seven different presidents,” she says on the City Club website. “It has been a wonderful experience.” Aker has served as administrator since October 2008. No word on who will replace her.

The South Eugene Robotics Team has a new home on the backside of South Eugene High School at Door 20, the foundry room. The team had an open house Dec. 8 demonstrating its robots and previewing its season of robotics. To find out more about this year’s game and national competition, email or visit

Fine Silks & Tribal Art is a temporary sale and exhibit that now occupies the vacant commercial building at 6th and Chambers, formerly a spa and wood stove store. The business will be open until Christmas and 15 percent of profits go to Mines Advisory Group, a global nonprofit that works to clear landmines and other dangerous weaponry from 35 countries. 

Oregon legislation requiring landlords to install carbon monoxide alarms in rentals went into effect five years ago, but we hear the CO units only last about five to seven years. New units are better, according to manufacturers, and will last seven to 10 years.