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In Case You Missed It: News of Interest from Around North Carolina (Week of March 3, 2017)

Former mill town to build $37 million sports and entertainment venue – Charlotte Observer

“Kannapolis plans to build a $37 million sports and entertainment venue that would be anchored by the Intimidators minor league baseball team and serve as a centerpiece of a revitalized downtown. Kannapolis City Council on Monday night unanimously approved the design of the Kannapolis Sports and Entertainment Venue. The facility is expected to open for the start of the 2020 baseball season with up to 5,800 seats, eight suites and 8,500 square feet of meeting and banquet space. The venue will be on the site of the former K-Town Furniture. The next step is completing architectural drawings, city officials said…  The design features industrial architectural elements to complement current buildings and the new street design on West Avenue.  “Existing West Avenue buildings will be an integral part of the venue, with uses such as restaurants and shops,” the city said in a news release on Tuesday. “The plan calls for the sports and entertainment venue to be a key architectural feature of downtown, especially as one travels into the downtown core from N.C. 3 to Laureate Way.””

Is a beer saturation point possible in Asheville? – Citizen-Times

“It's a question that pops up every time a new brewery opens in the mountains: Just how many of these can we sustain?  The answer, apparently, is "a lot more than you'd think." Asheville alone has 26 craft breweries, while the region boasts a whopping 60. Over the past decade or so, when the local craft brewing scene exploded, just one of those breweries has gone under, Craggy Brewing.  So talk of a saturation point may be a bit premature, even though Asheville, with a population of about 89,000, ranked No. 1 in the country for breweries per capita, outpacing Portland, Maine. Just last year the city ranked third, according to Forbes magazine…  "Ten years ago our microbreweries were not a factor in motivating a visit to Asheville, but new research shows more than a quarter of visitors to Asheville stop by one of our breweries, and 14 percent say our beer scene was one of the primary reasons for their visit," said Marla Tambellini, vice president of marketing and public relations at the Asheville Convention & Visitors Bureau.”

Georgia, Virginia ports exclude Carolinas in 'East Coast Gateway Terminal Agreement – Triangle Business Journal

“The port authorities of Georgia and Virginia are joining forces on the “East Coast Gateway Terminal Agreement.” GPA and VPA filed their agreement Friday with the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC). The partnership aims make the ports more efficient, according to an announcement. They’ll employ joint marketing materials and support the promotion of all-water routes from the East Coast to the international marketplace via the Panama Canal. Missing from the plans: the Carolinas. ManWo Ng, assistant professor of maritime and supply chain management at Old Dominion University, says these types of agreements "can give ports an advantage in attracting cargo from shippers and ocean carriers. ... With ports being economic engines, the regional maritime and logistics industry in Georgia and Virginia can be expected to see increased activity.” Ng speculates that both size and location may have played into Virginia and Georgia’s decision to leave the Carolinas out of the agreement.”

The Downsides of 'Efficiency'—The Atlantic

“In September 2015, though, MillerCoors announced it would close the brewery over the course of the next year and lay off the 500 or so people who worked there. The reason, a news release said, was that the company wanted to “streamline operations for greater efficiency.” A few days later, Anheuser-Busch InBev announced it had approached SABMiller, which owned the MillerCoors brewery, with a takeover offer that would combine the world’s two biggest brewers. The deal closed in October. Mark Hunter, the president and CEO of Molson Coors, which owns MillerCoors, said this would make the company a more “efficient” brewer. When it reported its quarterly earnings on Thursday morning, Anheuser-Busch InBev said that savings from the merger would likely reach $2.8 billion Then, in December 2016, the community and Rockingham County around it received another blow. Ball Corporation, which had made the cans and packaging for MillerCoors and other beverage companies, said it would close its packaging plant in nearby Reidsville in mid-2017. The Ball cannery was closing, the company said, because Ball had added seven plants when it had acquired the company Rexam in 2016—a deal Ball said at the time would create “process and efficiency savings.” After the acquisition, Ball no longer needed the Reidsville plant. Efficiency had struck once again. America is experiencing a mergers-and-acquisition boom. 2015 set the record for the most mergers in a year, and October 2016 set the record for the most mergers in a month. Two-thirds of all corporate sectors in the U.S. became more concentrated between 1997 and 2012, according to The Economist. The country has seen $10 trillion worth of merger activity since 2008. There are positives to this change: Mergers can make companies more productive and more able to handle competition; they can create lower prices for consumers. But mergers also create redundancies—businesses don’t need two divisions of accountants, or two canneries that are in the same geographic area, for example. To eliminate those redundancies, businesses often cut jobs after mergers. And those job losses often fall the hardest on small communities like this one, where people have fewer other employment options.”
  • 6 March 2017
  • Author: Brett Dyson
  • Number of views: 518
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