Today is the first day of the last month of this century’s 13th (lucky? unlucky?) year, so we’re figuring you’re counting on some uplifting holiday numbers to get out from behind the eight-ball and step onto cloud nine. Here’s our 2 cents worth:
54 The number of drunk drivers issued citations last year during the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over DUI campaign in Chelan, Douglas and Okanogan counties. You revelers need to watch out this year, too, because state, county and local cop shops began their watch for buzzed drivers last Wednesday and will continue through Jan. 1. And rest assured, they’re serious about this. Officials estimate that around 49 people will die in crashes on state roadways during the holidays, and the cops want that down to zero.
600 The anticipated number of free Thanksgiving Day meals served by Lighthouse Christian Ministries at their mission in south Wenatchee. The number served has varied over the years — from 400 to 800 — depending on the economy, weather and food donations. Last Thursday, at least a dozen huge turkeys were roasted for the meal and served up with 10 giant hams, gallons of mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing and green bean casseroles. And pies. Lots of pies.
700 The number of vehicles predicted to head west from Leavenworth each hour on Highway 2 during today’s (Sunday) peak holiday travel time, roughly between 1 and 4 p.m. Yep, all the turkey-filled, ski-satisfied Puget Sounders head home pretty much at the same time. Traffic is worse on Interstate 90, of course, as peak loads (westbound) are estimated to hit about 2,800 vehicles per hour between Cle Elum and Snoqualmie Pass from 1 to 4 p.m. That’s the cheery holiday news from the state Department of Transportation.
1,500 The total number of skiers who turned out Nov. 23-24 for Mission Ridge Ski & Board Resort’s opening weekend. Saturday drew about 900, and Sunday about 600. Ridge execs say this isn’t a record opening, but it’s definitely in the top five. The big draw last weekend was the blend of natural snow (on the mountain’s upper half) with man-made powder (on the mountain’s lower half) to make for great skiing conditions, said Ridge execs. The facility is open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. today (Sunday).
2,500 The approximate number of energy-saving LED bulbs lighting up Wenatchee’s Pybus Public Market for its first holiday season. According to market execs, those bulbs are stretched along 85 commercial strands of lighting for a total of 4,000 linear feet of incandescence. It cost about $25,000 to purchase and install the lights on both the riverfront shopping hub’s main building and inside the Pybus Events Center, a former workshop and tool room converted to a space for hosted events. The lights and decorations were funded by the Pybus Market Charitable Foundation.
500,000 The approximate number of LED bulbs blazing in downtown Leavenworth during the Bavarian village’s annual Christmas Lighting Festival, which runs the next three weekends. Actually, no one’s really quite sure of the total because the festival — and its lighting — has grown tremendously in the last five years. Other notable stats: A total of about 100,000 people attend the 47-year-old festival; about 3,000 feet of extension cords help feed the lights; installers work about 400 hours to hang lights and accompanying decorations. So far, the number of oohs and ahhs expressed when the switch is flipped haven’t been tallied.
28,000,000 The number of small businesses across the nation, as estimated by the U.S. Small Business Administration, which helped promote yesterday’s Small Business Saturday. That’s the day after Black Friday, of course, but we’re certain you’ll agree it’s good to support our small local businesses every day of the year. These are everything from mom-and-pop operations with no additional employees to larger businesses that gross up to $2.5 million a year and boast 20 employees. The SBA says these enterprises are “the backbone of our economy and the cornerstones of a diverse and thriving marketplace.”
This weekly column is compiled from “Everyday Business,” a blog by World reporter Mike Irwin. You can reach him at 665-1179 or email@example.com.