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Le Cordon Bleu to close, citing loan rules

Le Cordon Bleu cooking school, famed for teaching Julia Childs, is shutting down all of its U.S. operations. No more students will be admitted after this month, with all operations to close in September 2017.

“New federal regulations make it difficult to project the future for career schools that have higher operating costs, such as culinary schools that require expensive commercial kitchens and ongoing food costs,” said Todd Nelson, president and CEO of Career Education Corp., which owns the school.

Career Education decided to shut down operations at all 16 campuses amid changes to federal regulations that require institutions to prove their students, on average, make student loan payments of less than eight percent of their annual income. Schools such as Le Cordon Bleu have four years before regulators will cut them off.

Annual tuition can be as low as $16,000 but can run over $40,000, according the most recent catalog.

According to a release, Career Education will “teach out” their schools — allowing students to finish the programs they have already entered. The organization took the same action on its remaining institutions of its former Career Colleges segment in 2015.

Closing the campuses also came after a potential sale failed.

“Despite our best efforts to find a new caretaker for these well-renowned culinary colleges, we could not reach an agreement that we believe was in the best interests of both our students and our stockholders,” Nelson said.

“As discussions progressed, we continued to evaluate the decision taking into consideration factors including the economics between a sale and teach-out, impacts to students and stockholders and execution risk. By moving forward with a teach-out process we are better able to protect student interests and also retain all of the rights that we currently have to the Le Cordon Bleu brand.”

Sierra Environmental acquired

Silver State Analytical Laboratories, full-service analytical chemistry testing laboratory, recently acquired Sierra Environmental Monitoring (SEM), an environmental testing lab that has offices in Las Vegas, Reno and Elko.

David Frohnen, president of Silver State Analytical Laboratories, said he is “eager to have two great companies working together to provide quality environmental testing services to customers in Nevada, California, Arizona and Utah.”

SEM will continue to operate under its current brand. The brand loyalty and awareness for it is high in Reno and statewide in Nevada, according to a release.

“Let’s not mess with success,” Frohnen said.

Silver State is retaining 14 employees in its new venture. The new ownership is also being welcomed by the current staff.

SEM Reno laboratory manager John Faulstich said, “We are committed to provide the region with great responsiveness and quality data. This includes expanded service centers, in-house organic testing, sulfur speciation and a full line of field equipment and supplies through EnviroTech.”

Silver State has been in operation since 1997 and is a privately held company. It does environmental sampling, analysis and reporting for the chemical and biological quality of water, wastewater, soil and solid waste materials. The merger gives the operations a combined four locations for customer service. Together they operate three testing laboratories that are certified in Nevada and California.

The combined operations do work in the municipal, industrial, food, resort, mining and related industries.

California pizza shop opens

California-based John’s Incredible Pizza Co. opened its first Nevada location Dec. 29 at Boulevard Mall.

John’s 60,000-square-foot space will offer food and entertainment, with more than 100 games and full-sized amusement park rides and attractions.

Owner and founder John Parlet said he is enthusiastic about the entry into the market, adding, “I truly believe that John’s came make a positive impact on the Las Vegas community.”

John’s will offer several themed dining rooms including a Tahoe-style “Cabin Fever,” the “Toon Time Theatre” and the “Hall of Fame” sports room. There will also be an all-you can eat buffet.

The brand debuted in September 1997 in Victorville, Calif. Within eight years, it expanded to Oregon and had nine locations in California.

The Las Vegas location will be open Monday through Thursday from 11a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday hours are from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

There is an admission charge which includes the buffet. For adults, the cost is $10.99 ($9.99 for seniors). Kids ages 7 to 12 are admitted for $6.99, kids 3 to 6 for $4.99 and ages 2-under free.

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