Fun Is Our Business: 10 Companies Tell What It Took to Survive in a Year That’s Been Anything but Fun!

by RaeAnne Marsh

Over the past year — more than a year! — we’ve learned how much we owe to the “essential workers” who ensure we have the goods and services to keep ourselves alive. With light beginning to shine at the end of a long and lonely tunnel, we can begin to feed our souls with another component that has had to take second seat: fun. Going to the movies, to the ballgame, to a fine … [More]

Keeping Moviegoing Magic

by RaeAnne Marsh

Harkins Theatres Harkins Theatres president and CEO Mike Bowers divides the recent challenges into two distinct phases, noting that each presented its own challenges. First was the mandated closure period, and then there was the period of reopening during a continuing pandemic. “When the closure occurred, my attention was focused on our team,” he says. Initially, Harkins … [More]

Take Us Out to the Ball Game

by RaeAnne Marsh

Arizona Diamondbacks  “We have really had to reinvent ourselves, both with and without fans,” says Derrick Hall, president and CEO of the Arizona Diamondbacks. For the 2020 season, as we all remember, fans were not allowed in stadiums, so the challenge was to manufacture the look and feel of a real game for both players on the field and viewers at home. Piping in crowd … [More]

Let the Children Play

by RaeAnne Marsh

Children's Museum of Phoenix “On March 13, 2020, we made the hard decision to close our doors to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 at the start of the pandemic,” says Kate Wells, president and CEO of one of the most loved and visited arts and cultural institutions in Arizona. That same day, she and her team began the thought process of how they could continue to fulfill … [More]

Will Eating Out Be In Again?

by RaeAnne Marsh

Common Ground Culinary “Throughout the last year, many hospitality groups have been forced to adapt to a constantly changing environment,” notes Christopher Collins, chef-owner at Common Ground Culinary, sharing that at his restaurants, “we quickly realized our operations were going to have to be flexible and creative to ensure we were following the laws, keeping our staff … [More]

Shaking Up the Escape Game Scene

by RaeAnne Marsh

The Nemesis Club and Soda Jerk “Our concept consists of two complementary experiences: The Nemesis Club, offering epic escape game adventures, and Soda Jerk Co. Milkshake Bar,” says Dustin Smith, who co-owns the business with his wife, Kylee. They originally conceived of The Nemesis Club as the primary attraction, with guests “sneaking through” Soda Jerk Co. on their way … [More]

High Adventure

by RaeAnne Marsh

Hot Air Expeditions Prior to the pandemic, in early 2019, business was booming for sisters Amanda and Stephanie Long, co-owners of Hot Air Expeditions. “It was busier than we had seen in years,” Amanda recalls. Then, COVID-19 hit and they experienced the opposite: Reopening after being forced to shut down for two months, business was slower than they had ever seen. So, … [More]

Missing the Links?

by RaeAnne Marsh

Quintero Golf Club “Normally, our clientele consists of a lot of people from out of state or even international travelers. We're a destination or ‘bucket list’ golf course, so a lot of people who travel to Arizona, do so to play here,” says Quintero general manager Mike Poe. When the country shut down in March, the only people who could golf here were Arizonans, so … [More]

For the Joy of Dance

by RaeAnne Marsh

Ballet Arizona As a business, Ballet Arizona is comprised of three aspects: performances, school and community engagement. So, there were different responses to the COVID-19 restrictions. Performances moved to a hybrid that combined limited-seating, socially distanced in-person performances with virtual presentations. The ballet company’s school, similarly, adopted a … [More]

Letting the Good Times Roll

by RaeAnne Marsh

Octane Entertainment (Octane Raceway and Mavrix) Octane Entertainment, which operates Octane Raceway, opened its second entertainment venue, Mavrix, on March 7, 2020, only to find itself mandated to close Mavrix a mere 10 days later. “Our management team immediately went to work to predict (as best as was possible) and prepare for what we would need to re-open when the … [More]

Making Waves in Mesa

by RaeAnne Marsh

Cannon Beach “The key to getting where we are today was having outright stubbornness in not pivoting from the goal of Cannon Beach,” says its developer, Cole S. Cannon, Esq. When COVID hit, not only were there many unknowns but he was getting strong advice to give up on retail/restaurant or even anything that involved crowds. “We stood firm, and resolved to create an … [More]

Derrick Hall, Arizona Diamondbacks

from Derrick Hall

“Fun” may not be a recognized economic sector, but there are real businesses that qualify for that heading — and they have been dealing with very real business concerns. In fact, it is recognized that businesses which rely on people being “out and about” have been among the ones hardest hit by the pandemic. Imagine the challenge for those of us in the business of gathering … [More]

Feedback: June 2021

by Shawn Ellis, Elizabeth Hart, Meagan Jackman

Question: Stress and mental health are hot topics in the best of times. Since the pandemic started raising people’s stress levels, the issue has gotten increased attention. How does your company help employees deal with mental health issues? Shawn Ellis VP, Human Resources Lovitt & Touché, A Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC Company Sector: Insurance and … [More]

Keeping Up the Momentum amid a Pandemic

by Leah Johnston

The NB Pure team has been busy over the last year. The brand got a packaging makeover, launched a new supplement, Zinc Up, and brought forth a new product, Daily Multi-Fiber. All of this achieved during a global pandemic while business slowed around the world. How did the company accomplish all this? By staying nimble, communicating and using the moment to its … [More]

New Hard Seltzer Is Branded ‘Personality in a Can’

by Mike Hunter

Local beverage industry veterans Sheldon Wiley and Eric Burdick recently launched a new “hard seltzer sensation” exclusively in Phoenix. Engagingly named Becky and sporting a tagline of “personality juice,” it is currently available in four flavors: pink lemonade, passion fruit, mango and tropical cherry. It is sold at select retailers Total Wine, BevMo and AJ’s Fine Foods and … [More]

Why Phoenix Is the Perfect Market for Expansion 

by James Kerr

When evaluating new markets throughout the U.S. for our company’s expansion, we look at a number of factors that include population demographics, physical environment and socio-economic data. For Boss Security Screens, these are important elements as they help determine if there is a need and a willingness of the population to buy our security screens and doors.  The purpose … [More]

Guides & Resources – June 2021

Find out more in each issue of In Business Magazine as we provide resources and guides that can help businesses get and stay connected to the information they need to build business. COVID-19 Business Stimulus: With now two phases of the Paycheck Protection Program loans and other Small Business Administration loans and stimulus packages, we include these links for … [More]

Looking Good 2021 – June Standouts

  Achievements Jennifer Adler Wins Stevie Award for Entrepreneur of the Year Coppersmith Brockelman in 2021 ‘Chambers USA’ Best in Nation Rankings Ballard Spahr in 2021 ‘Chambers USA’ Best in Nation Rankings … [More]

In Business Dailies

Sign up for a complimentary year of In Business Dailies with a bonus Digital Subscription of In Business Magazine delivered to your inbox each month!

  • Get the day’s Top Stories
  • Relevant In-depth Articles
  • Daily Offers
  • Coming Events