by Jordan Green

Monitoring the economic pulse of the Triad

Triad’s first ethanol and biodiesel station opens

The Triad region’s first service station to offer ethanol and biodiesel opened in Lexington at Exit 86 off of Interstate 85 and US Highway 52 on Monday. Sparky’s Marketplace, operated by Hill Oil Co., which offers three blends of ethanol, combines a gas station, convenience store and Subway franchise. The ethanol and biodiesel project is supported by the NC Solar Center at NC State University and financed, in part, through federal stimulus funding streamed through the NC Department of Commerce Energy Division.

‘Bodies Revealed’ helps science center set attendance record

The Natural Science Center broke attendance records in the fiscal year that recently ended, drawing 300,563 visitors. The nonprofit credited the “Bodies Revealed” exhibit for the favorable numbers. The previous year saw 290,000 visitors at the center. In 2010-2011, 60,000 visitors traveled from all over the state to see the exhibit. During that period, the center saw visitation from outside of Guilford County increase from 30 percent to 56 percent.

“Tourism is often referred to as the truest form of economic development,” Executive Director Glenn Dobrogosz said in a prepared statement. “Motivating people to spend their hard-earned disposable income in your city — whether on gas, food, a hotel room or an admission ticket — benefits the much broader business community.”

The center expects similar results from its upcoming “Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition.”