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A passenger walks on the platform beside an Amtrak train at South Station in Boston, June 11, 2008. (BRIAN SNYDER/REUTERS)
A passenger walks on the platform beside an Amtrak train at South Station in Boston, June 11, 2008. (BRIAN SNYDER/REUTERS)

Small Business Briefing

California to Vegas party train on track Add to ...

The latest news and information for entrepreneurs from across the web universe, brought to you by theReport on Small Businessteam. Follow us on Twitter @GlobeSmallBiz.

All aboard

A Nevada entrepreneur plans to launch a party train to Las Vegas from Southern California, which accounts for a quarter of its tourists. The X Train would be equipped with TVs, recliners and two ultra lounges, according to this story in the New York Daily News, and its first run could be as early as next year’s New Year’s Eve: Dec. 31, 2013.

“The whole idea is when you get on a train, you feel like you're in Las Vegas,” Michael Barron, president and CEO of the $100 million venture, told the Daily News. His project would employ an Amtrak crew on a standard-speed passenger train, and the five-hour ride would begin in Fullerton.

For $99, passengers would get a one-way ticket with a meal and beverage, with more available for purchase. To be ready for the planned launch date, Mr. Barron’s company needs to renovate the train to meet passenger needs, and a station has to be built in Las Vegas.

Busy week

Report on Small Business hosted a pair of events in Toronto this week: Young Entrepreneurs Night on Wednesday, and a Small Business Summit on Thursday. The former brought together a mix of university students who aspire to be entrepreneurs, and dozens of under-35 business owners, for an evening of networking. The latter featured a day of keynotes, panel discussions, case studies and a media pitch session, designed to inform and inspire entrepreneurs. Check out the photo blog from Wednesday, and a more fullsome mix of text and photo blogging from Thursday.

Top mentors

B.C.-based Women’s Enterprise Centre has won Startup Canada’s Canadian Mentorship Challenge, which took place during Global Entrepreneurship Week, Nov. 12 to 18. WEC hosts a network of more than 150 mentors across the province and provides skills development, business loans and other resource services to more than 137,000 female business owners. “We were absolutely blown away by Women’s Enterprise Centre’s activities,” Victoria Lennox, CEO and co-founder of Start-up Canada, says in a press release. “We also really appreciated the way Women’s Enterprise Centre brought all their events together in one presentation to show us the impact those events had on their communities.” For the Challenge, WEC held in-person events in Kelowna, Vancouver and Victoria, as well as phone-in session with mentors from Prince George and Vancouver, two Twitter chats, a Facebook “ask the expert” event, and one-to-one mentoring. It says its efforts that week “engaged a total of 4,557 people in 20 communities.”

EVENTS AND KEY DATES

Pinterest primer

Authors of Pinterest for Business Jess Loren and Edward Swiderski (of Bachelorette and Bachelor Pad fame) join me for a discussion on how small businesses can benefit from Pinterest and other social media. The Toronto event includes appetizers and wine, as well as a copy of the book, a gift from Grand & Toy, and Purdy’s chocolates. Takes place Dec. 3, from 6:30 pm. Register by clicking the RSVP button on this page.

Who’s the best?

Event revealing the Best Companies to Work for in B.C. takes place Nov. 28 in Vancouver. Network with hundreds of business professionals and celebrate with the finalists and winners. John Herdman, head coach of the Canadian Olympic women's soccer team, will speak on leadership, overcoming adversity and team building.

EDITOR'S PICKS FROM REPORT ON SMALL BUSINESS

Fortunes change

Splice Software seemed well-suited to large enterprises, which helped it get initial pitch meetings. The bad news was that actually making big-ticket sales to Fortune 1000 companies was not as easy as getting into a pitch meeting.

FROM THE ROSB ARCHIVES

Tip time

Setting up an advisory board can be a way to get A-list entrepreneurs to help you think through the strategic decisions you’re making, John Warrillow wrote in this column from Oct., 2011. They have seen how the movie ends and can often provide advice and a Rolodex to tap. Mr. Warrillow provided some tips.

Got a tip on news, events or other timely information related to the small-business community? E-mail us at smallbusiness@globeandmail.com.Join The Globe’s Small Business LinkedIn group to network with other entrepreneurs and to discuss topical issues: http://linkd.in/jWWdzT

Our free weekly newsletter is now available. Every Friday a team of editors selects the top picks from our blog posts, features, multimedia and columnists, and delivers them to your inbox. If you have registered for The Globe’s website, you cansign up here. Click on the Small Business Briefing checkbox and hit ‘save changes.’ If you need to register for the site,click here.

Follow on Twitter: @seanstanleigh

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