Marvin Kansteiner, owner Brothers Plumbing Heating and Electric in Thornton, has a fleet of 30 trucks that get about 10 miles per gallon. Kansteiner says he might have to raise a service fee this summer to offset higher fuel costs. (RJ Sangosti, The Denver Post)
- Jan 8:
- U.S. Ambassador to Japan visits Denver while Boeing fights 787 problem
- Jan 4:
- Brighton's historic downtown district seeing a revival
- Brighton experimenta una recuperación económica
- Jan 2:
- Colorado industries with momentum going into 2013
- Jan 1:
- Raise takes effect for Colorado minimum-wage workers
- Dec 21:
- Vuelo facilitaría comercio entre México y Colorado
- Colorado businesses looking to expand partnerships in Mexico
- Dec 20:
- Colorado was the 7th fastest growing state from July 2011 to July 2012
- Dec 11:
- Colorado offers $13 million to three companies for 1,500 jobs
- Strong job market in Denver metro area expected in 1st quarter of 2013
- Dec 6:
- Colorado and 9th anchor likely to be branded a King Soopers store
- Kaiser opening new IT campus in Greenwood Village, hiring 500
- Nov 20:
- Cambiaría las reglas para los pequeños negocios emergentes en Colorado
- Nov 16:
- End of Hostess means closure for Denver bakery
- Sep 24:
- Report: Denver has nation's highest ATM, overdraft fees
- Alpacas aid small farms in western Colorado
- Sep 18:
- Denver Patent Office targets opening date in fall of 2013, to hire 125
- Sep 14:
- Colorado approves $7.3 million incentive to lure 1,000 Woodward jobs
- Sep 12:
- Trader Joe's confirms a Denver location for 2013
- Sep 11:
- Wolf Camera parent Ritz to liquidate, fate of stores unclear
- Aug 27:
- H&M will open Cherry Creek store on Sept. 13
- Jul 15:
- Denver's Metro State opening 150-room hotel as student training lab
- Jul 13:
- Colorado cantaloupes return; growers push safety
- Tom's Urban 24 Diner will open this fall in Denver's Larimer Square
- Jun 16:
- Mercados latinos medianos enfrentan la competencia de grandes cadenas
- Jun 14:
- Denver's mid-size Latino grocers feel squeeze from bigger chains
- Jun 6:
- Colorado overpays jobless benefits by $128 million, pursues recipients
- Jun 4:
- Dish Network to hire 100 customer service reps in Littleton
- May 29:
- Xerox opens new call center in Greeley, generates 700 new jobs
- May 25:
- Colorado restaurants to add 10,800 jobs this summer, report says
- Apr 30:
- Auto and truck sales surge in Colorado in 2012
- Denver-based Einstein Bros. introduces new menu
- Durango-based Rocky Mountain Chocolate to enter Japan, Asia
- Apr 24:
- Blockbuster relocating headquarters to Dish's campus in Colorado
- Apr 17:
- Cinco nuevos Walmart y 400 nuevos trabajos llegan al área de Denver
- Denver metro area to see five new Walmarts and 400 new jobs
- Apr 10:
- Reporte: Area metropolitana de Denver lidera el país en nuevos trabajos de construcción
- Waiters toting tablets, wine lists via Wi-Fi
- Mar 27:
- Colorado a haven for makers of winter sports gear
- Mar 22:
- Southwest, Frontier vying to be part of new routes to Reagan airport in D.C.
- Mar 18:
- Colorado North Fork Valley residents, businesses fighting prospect of fuel leases
- Mar 14:
- Potential business tax cut heads toward governor
- Mar 13:
- Colorado unemployment decreases to 7.8 percent
- Employment forecast in Denver metro area 5th best in the nation
- Mar 8:
- Tres compañías crearán cientos de nuevos trabajos en Commerce City
- Mar 1:
- 7 more Dunkin' Donuts planned in southeast Denver area
- Feb 16:
- Spirit Airlines to start DIA service
- Feb 10:
- A JumpStart to clear business hurdles in Denver
- Ed Moss appointed president and CEO of The Denver Post
- Feb 9:
- Elitch's to host job fair for 1,500 summer hires
- Feb 8:
- Dunkin' Donuts to open 11 Denver stores
- Feb 5:
- Innovation in style and technology put men's undergarment on industry radar
- Jan 30:
- HealthSouth plans new hospital in Denver area
- Jan 24:
- Pinnacol Assurance, beset with criticism, suspends ads for privatization
- Jan 22:
- Colorado's future in renewable energy dims after years of growth
- Jan 18:
- Trader Joe's coming to Colorado, state records show
- Jan 15:
- Net in-migration to Colorado from other states growing
- Jan 12:
- Home Depot hiring 1,600 seasonal workers in Colorado
- Jan 11:
- Twinkies maker Hostess seeks bankruptcy protection
- Jan 4:
- Cable, satellite companies raising rates again for Colorado consumers
- Jan 1:
- Colorado's minimum wage gets a raise to $7.64 an hour
- Dec 29:
- Two Kmarts and one Sears store in Colorado to be closed under Sears cutback
- Dec 28:
- Businesses, consumer advocates and seniors opposing Xcel bid for rate increase
- Dec 27:
- Steamboat businesses report strong Christmas sales
- Dec 21:
- Struggling Quiznos sandwich chain working with creditors on debt restructuring
- Dec 16:
- Tim Tebow's nice-guy style could herald change in business management
- Dec 15:
- Xcel wants $142 million rate hike in Colorado, but where would the money go?
- Dec 13:
- Tapped-out Santas wrapping up shopping earlier this year as money tight, U.S. survey finds
- Dec 5:
- US orders review of student work visa program
- May 5:
- Money for lunch
- Dinero para el almuerzo
With the cost of gasoline and diesel skyrocketing, numerous Denver-area businesses have added trip or fuel surcharges to their fees, and others say they're likely to do so this summer if prices keep rising.
Other companies say they'll forgo the surcharges and instead roll the higher fuel costs into overall prices for everything from food to plumbing fixtures.
"With gas $4 a gallon, you don't have a choice," said Mike Lewis, owner of The Office Connection, an Aurora-based computer-repair and products firm.
Lewis imposes a $35 trip charge he says is a result of gas prices. He added the fee last year. Like many business operators, Lewis originally implemented the charge when gas prices spiked in the summer of 2008 but waived it after gas prices came down later that year.
"Every guy and gal I know in this business, we are having to make it up somehow," Lewis said.
Landscaping businesses also are among those adding fees. Swingle recently sent a postcard to clients notifying them of $3 and $6 fuel surcharges depending on the type of trip. The fees took effect April 1. The company did not return calls for comment.
Gregg Laskoski, a senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy.com, said the fact that crude oil came down to $101 in intraday trading Monday might be a temporary blip.
"It is premature to think the prices will go down," he said. "We think it is too soon to tell."
Laskoski attributed Monday's lower price, in part, to the fact that fewer people are returning to work in the United States, meaning there won't be an "uptick in consumption (of gasoline)" among the newly re-employed.
Generally, business people say they expect fuel prices to keep climbing.
chief economist for the American Trucking Associations, said prices of goods at the grocery store will probably go up this summer. He attributes the likely increase to the high cost of diesel fuel that truckers must pay to deliver produce to grocery stores, he said.
"How much they'll go up, nobody knows," Costello said. "But the vast majority of products in grocery stores are delivered by truck."
Nationally the average cost of a gallon of diesel is $4.15. Costello said that at $4 a gallon, fuel costs surpass labor costs.
Large suppliers of commodities like beer and meat use the Denver trucking firm Western Distributing Transportation Corp.
to get their products to customers. They are charged a base rate and a fuel surcharge based on a weekly U.S. Department of Energy price survey for diesel fuel.
Western vice president Dino Guadagni said fuel prices have increased so much that the situation " is out of control."
Guadagni said he thinks the shippers are going to have to pass the costs on to their customers.
"I feel bad for the customers," Guadagni said. "We pay for it at the pump, and we pay for it when we eat."
He said he was paying 55 cents more per gallon for diesel this March than a year ago.
Marvin Kansteiner, owner of Brothers Plumbing Heating and Electric in Thornton, is among those who have held the line on prices, despite having a fleet of 30 trucks.
"They are heavy, big, not very economical and get 10 miles per gallon," said Kansteiner, who founded the company in 1980.
Kansteiner has a $40 upfront service fee to get to a job and evaluate it. The fee has been in place for about five years.
In 2010, he spent $130,000 on fuel. In 2011, he spent $175,000 on fuel.
Kansteiner said rising fuel prices are a concern and he might have to raise the service fee in the coming months.
Derek Figueroa, chief operating officer of Denver's Seattle Fish Co., also has sought to avoid adding a fuel surcharge.
The company delivers to 600 customers in Colorado, half retailers and half restaurants. Seattle Fish Co. trucks drive 225,000 miles a quarter.
"It is certainly one of our challenges," Figueroa said of the fuel costs.
But he is philosophically against fuel surcharges. "It sends the wrong message," he said. "Customers prefer to see a finished price."
To help offset the higher fuel costs, Figueroa said the company got smaller trucks whose mileage is 3 miles per gallon better than the larger trucks.
"That increased our fuel efficiency," he said. "Every day we need to compete."
Howard Pankratz: 303-954-1939, email@example.com or twitter.com/HowardPankratz