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Here’s how a Las Vegas convention leads to Dayton shopping options

Published: Thursday, May 17, 2018 @ 9:57 AM

FILE
Kara Driscoll
FILE(Kara Driscoll)

Retail real estate agent Andrew Feinblatt has been prepping for weeks to travel to Las Vegas Sunday, where he hopes to shake some hands and close some deals to bring back new retail and restaurant options to the Dayton area.

Feinblatt, of OnSite Retail Group, is among 37,000 people expected to attend RECon: The Global Retail Real Estate Convention — the retail industry’s largest annual gathering — which kicks off Sunday in Las Vegas.

Attendees credit the convention as a key tool for getting face time with retail chain executives and using those relationships to persuade the brands on where to open their next location.

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“This venue is a prime opportunity to get stuff done,” Feinblatt said. “This is really that one time during the year when you can get the two parties to sit at the same table.”

Top representatives with retailers, restaurants, hotels, developers, shopping mall owners, real estate agents, and cities all come to the Las Vegas Convention Center to make deals while everyone is in one place.

The convention in years past has translated into local shopping and eating options.

Kelly Gray, a retail real estate agent with Equity LLC said the deal for the new Starbucks on Ohio 725 was finalized during a previous convention year and the Pizza Hut in Englewood was a direct result of a convention meeting.

“A lot of deals are wrapped up there,” Gray said.

Feinblatt said when he worked a deal to put an Aqua Tots franchise in a Beavercreek shopping center, the franchise owner was local but the broker was based in Texas, so the convention was a way to sit down face to face and talk out the deal.

The large convention is also a means for smaller communities like the Dayton metro, which have to work harder to get the attention of national brands.

FILE

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“They are probably in Chicago three or four times a year because it’s a very important market to them, but they may only come to Dayton every 10 years,” Feinblatt said. “So if I can get a meeting for 30 minutes and talk through what’s going on in Beavercreek, it helps them become familiar with the market.”

The convention, held each year by the International Council of Shopping Centers, comes at a time when the rules of retail are changing, shifting what the options will be for locals looking to make a deal this year.

Grocery stores are shifting with new technology, department stores are struggling, and “experiential” retail is the new trend. Even Amazon — possibly the chief disrupter of retail — is scheduled to have representatives at the convention this year.

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Gray said she expects one of the themes of the convention to be how technology can be used at malls and stores, like through interactive kiosks and other tech tools that can be used to drive customers.

New restaurants should continue to be hot topics this year at the convention, Danielle Kuehnle, of Oberer Realty Services, which represents Cornerstone of Centerville and the Flats at South Park.

“I think we’ll continue to see an uptick in new and expanding restaurants,” she said, including both fast casual and sit down restaurants chains.

Fitness chains like CycleBar, Orangetheory Fitness and Club Pilates should also be growing this year, said Kuehnle.

As the economy continues to grow and people have more disposable income, Kuehnle said people have been increasing spending on health and wellness, which has been helping fuel the boutique fitness sector’s growth.

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Gray said she anticipates seeing less fashion retailers, which is a struggling sector, and more restaurants, sporting good stores, and discount stores, which have been growing.

Trotwood sent a representative to the event last year for the first time in years, said Fred Burkhardt, executive director of the Trotwood Community Improvement Corp, which is the city’s private development arm. With economic development, he said it is critical to invest in putting the city’s name out there and making new connections.

Burkhardt, who is not attending this year, said the contacts he made at he convention did not materialize yet into a project in Trotwood, but he is still keeping in touch so he has those relationships when the city is ready to reach out on a project or master plan.

“We learned a great deal about the retail marketplace and where Trotwood might fit in that marketplace,” he said.

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Kroger buys Home Chef in deal worth $700M; meal kits will be sold in stores, online

Published: Wednesday, May 23, 2018 @ 5:01 PM

Greg Gilbert/The Seattle Times
Greg Gilbert/The Seattle Times

Kroger Co. is buying Home Chef, the country’s largest private meal kit company, in deal that could reach $700 million, according to the Cincinnati-based grocery chain.

The initial transaction price is $200 million and future payments of up to $500 million over five years are contingent on achieving certain sales goals, the company said.

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The pending merger comes on the heels of Home Chef’s 150 percent growth in 2017, $250 million in revenue, and two profitable quarters, according to Kroger.

“Customers want convenience, simplicity and a personalized food experience. Bringing Home Chef’s innovative and exciting products and services to Kroger’s customers will help make meal planning even easier and mealtime more delicious,” said Yael Cosset, Kroger’s chief digital officer. “This merger will introduce Kroger’s 60 million shoppers to Home Chef, enhance our ship-to-home and subscription capabilities, and contribute to Restock Kroger.”

Home Chef employs approximately 1,000 employees, is headquartered in downtown Chicago, and operates three distribution centers in Chicago, Atlanta and San Bernardino. Home Chef’s distribution centers reach 98 percent of all continental U.S. households within a two-day delivery window, according to the company.

“We’ve long believed that the future of our industry is omni-channel and bigger than just meal kits sold online. We want to be where our customers are and want to help make cooking at home easier, more accessible and even more enjoyable,” said Pat Vihtelic, Home Chef’s founder and CEO. “

After the deal closes, Home Chef will operate as a subsidiary of Kroger Co., maintain its e-commerce business on homechef.com, and assume responsibility for Kroger’s meal solutions portfolio. The company will continue to operate its offices and facilities.

Following closing, Kroger will make Home Chef meal kits available to Kroger shoppers, both in stores and online.

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5 amazing flight deals we found at local airports for summer travel

Published: Monday, May 21, 2018 @ 8:16 AM

Ready for a vacation? Follow Clark Howard's method to find the best fares!

It’s time to book your next vacation.

Discount airlines flooded regional airports with cheap, new flights to destinations across the world. WOWair, Frontier Airlines and Allegiant Air added new flights in Columbus, Cincinnati and Dayton — lowering airfare for eager travelers in the region. There are plenty of cheap flight options to take advantage of this summer.

» WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: How to book cheap flights

Here are five of the best flight deals this news organization found at local airports:

1. Head to the beach from Dayton 

The ocean is calling. Book a ticket from the Dayton International Airport to Punta Gorda Airport in Florida for a week-long beach vacation. From Monday, June 18 to Monday, June 25, travelers can pay as letter as $185 round-trip for a ticket on Allegiant Air. Allegiant flights to Punta Gorda are available on Mondays and Fridays.

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2. Jet off to Iceland for less than $300

It’s cheaper than ever to hitch a flight overseas from a local airport. Icelandic discount airline WOW air introduced service at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport earlier this month. Leave the Cincinnati airport on July 4 at 12:50 a.m. Your WOW basic ticket to Reykjavik, Iceland will cost you $109.99. You’ll leave Iceland on Wednesday, July 25. Your ticket home will cost you $159.99. You spend a total of $270 on your roundtrip travel.

 

3. Spend some time in the Lone Star State 

Frontier is offering one-way fare to Austin, Texas from Columbus for as low as $59 if you purchase the tickets by May 31. The deal is valid on tickets for Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Frontier offers best deals on their website every week.

4. Bon voyage! Paris is waiting for you 

You can actually afford international travel if you look for the right deals. Head off to Paris from Cincinnati with WOW air. You can leave July 30 and return Aug. 13. Your roundtrip fare could be as cheap as $610. WOW air fare varies by date so make sure to shop around to get the best deal.

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5. Go to Myrtle Beach for less than $100 

Fly from the Dayton International Airport to Myrtle Beach for as low as $100 roundtrip in July. Allegiant serves several cities from Dayton including: Daytona Beach, Orlando and Tampa, among others.

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The historic Golden Lamb is getting some updates and renovations. Here’s what’s happening.

Published: Wednesday, May 23, 2018 @ 2:43 PM


            The Golden Lamb in Lebanon. Photographed Sept. 2016 LISA POWELL / STAFF
The Golden Lamb in Lebanon. Photographed Sept. 2016 LISA POWELL / STAFF

The Golden Lamb in Lebanon is beginning renovations on one of its four first-floor dining rooms and kitchen, one of several projects happening at the historic facility.

In addition, the Golden Lamb completed work on the General Grant Suite, updated the Henry Clay private dining room, refurbished third- and fourth-floor hotel corridors and commissioned two works by artists Ursula Roma and Suzanne Fisher that are now on display.

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Renovations for the Charles Dickens dining room are to be completed by early July.

The Golden Lamb also anticipates renovations to two other public dining rooms and the Black Horse Tavern.

For more information, visit www.goldenlamb.com or call 513-932-5065.

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937 filling up: New phone area code coming to our area

Published: Wednesday, May 23, 2018 @ 2:26 PM

This is what telephones used to look like: Studio shot of an old rotary phone. FILE
This is what telephones used to look like: Studio shot of an old rotary phone. FILE

Get ready for a new telephone area code in Southwestern Ohio.

The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio today approved a plan to overlay a new area code over the existing 937 area code area.

Instead of dividing the existing 937 code geographic area, the “overlay” approach will allow the new code to go to new subscribers or new phone lines. 

The 937 area code is expected to run out of available phone numbers in the third quarter of 2020, the PUCO said. All current 937 area code subscribers will continue to maintain their current numbers and 937 area code.

 

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The new number will affect new phone subscribers, and those trying to contact them.

“While we are still years away from the projected exhaust date, it’s important for the telecom industry to begin planning now so that the roll out of a new area code can go as smoothly and seamlessly as possible, just like previous area code additions,” PUCO Chairman Asim Z. Haque said in a statement.

The PUCO directed the telecommunications industry to file an implementation and communications plan. The plans should indicate when the overlay will happen and how companies will notify customers of the change.

On implementation of the new code, all new phone subscribers will be assigned the new yet-to-be-determined area code.

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Plus, all local calls will require dialing the full 10-digit phone number in order to complete local calls.

The North American Numbering Plan Administrator will assign the new, yet-to-be-determined area code to co-exist with the existing geographical boundaries of the 937 area code.

A copy of today’s PUCO finding and order is available at www.PUCO.ohio.gov, click on the link to Docketing Information System and enter the case number 17-2329-TP-COI.

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