The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida on December 3, 1997 · Page 44
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The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida · Page 44

West Palm Beach, Florida
Issue Date:
Wednesday, December 3, 1997
Page 44
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The Palm Beach Post WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 3, 1997 PAGE 9B HEINZ CEO LEAVING Anthony O'Reilly will shift attention to his luxury-goods and newspaper companies. - STORY, 14B Codes for 24-hour financial updates Page 14B B H Come on down, and bring that rental car with you Rental car firms don't want to get caught short during Florida's tourist season. By Kris Hudson Palm Beach Post Staff Writer With the tourist season surging into its first days, several national car rental companies are promoting their annual efforts to bring thousands of rental cars back to Florida. demand," said Dan Callahan, a spokesman for Minneapolis-based National Car Rental. "It just seems like this winter, there's a lot of interest in going to warm places. And the economy seems to be good, so travel is really booming. "We're seeing some sellouts earlier than we've ever seen them." Hertz's promotional rates fall below those of National and Budget, which offer daily rates on This year, rentals for one-way trips from most northern cities to Florida have fallen as low as Hertz's $10.99 daily rate and $59.99 weekly rate for mid-sized cars. National Car Rental and Budget Rent-A-Car have launched similar programs in an effort to move cars south before tourists wipe out regular inventories in Florida. "We're already seeing that locations are selling out for Christmas and the holidays because of mid-size cars of $19.99 and $14.95, respectively. Each promotion offers unlimited mileage, but reservations must be made before Dec. 12 for National and Dec. 15 for Hertz and Budget. Though rates for similar routes during non-peak months vary widely, some companies said daily rates generally fall between $30 and $50. Although this year's promotion is Budget's first, National and Hertz have made an annual prac tice of their "Drive In" programs to make money by renting cars they would otherwise transport by trucks or paid drivers. Still, the number of cars moved through the promotions is small. Budget, for example, hopes to rent 1,500 cars on one-way trips to Florida this season. The annual inventory shift causes a reverse effect when the season ends. Avis Rent-A-Car, among others, offers a $9 daily rate for mo torists willing to drive cars from Florida to northern cities in March and April. However, the length of the commutes essentially limits those who would sign up for the program. "I'm guessing that a lot of it is going to be retirees, because you've got to have a lot of time to do that," said Jon LeSage, executive editor of Torrance, Calif.-based Auto Rental News, a trade magazine. In brief Don' LIC 1 V PaineWebber's plan: $500 billion in assets, more brokers for them ANE Hieatth HA r-il Care -. Harris starting Fla. expansion Harris and officials of its parent, Bank of Montreal, also hope to change their charter to commercial. , By Marguerite M. Plunkett '". Palm Beach Post Staff Writer The relocation of Harris Trust's West Palm Beach office to Phillips Point Dec. 15 is the beginning of a Florida expansion for Harris Bank of ChK cago and its parent, Bank of Montreal. The companies said Tuesday they hoped, with regulatory approval, to convert their charter from trust to commercial bank with trust services in Florida. The private bank operation will fall under a HEIU il z c" ' f! 4W z das M r, w. -i venture between f I U 1 I I i it s ik usf ? 1 1 iiVV 1 I - A Bank of Centred Six-month performance ti'.m m m if n t m iivtxu t, . M In I ! 9 M I r llilll IiS M H B m Hk I' T inn ' l III V ,r5 .VV sHlul'a islWit High -l.,! $47,381 11? 46 the two, called Harris Bank Bank of Montreal. The company may open up to six offices in Florida over the next three years, said John Stewart, who will be president of the new bank and is currently president of Harris Trust Co. of Florida out of West Palm Beach. Harris Trust Co. has had trust and investment l:ThrA loo Low . $37.J5: 36 5,7S iH7 7,75 112 419 1017 122 1W7 ArS,, ' i SOURCE: Bloomberg News ' - STAFF GRAPHIC From Palm Beach Post staff, The Associated Press, Bloomberg News and Renter NEW YORK-Broker PaineWeb-ber Group Inc., aiming to increase its client assets to $500 billion by the year 2000, said Tuesday it would hire 1,200 additional brokers next year. "Our objective is 8,000 brokers and $500 billion in client assets by the year 2000," Mark Sutton, executive vice president of the company's private client group, told reporters. Paine Webber currently employs 6,200 brokers. On the one hand, PaineWebber is simply going by the numbers: More brokers generate more revenues. PaineWebber aiso aims to increase services, Sutton said. Wackenhut near prison deal 1: PALM BEACH GARDENS - Wackenhut Corrections' (NYSE: WHC: $27.87) United Kingdom joint-venture company has been selected by H.M. Prison Service as the preferred supplier for the design, construction and management of a 400-bed correctional facility for young male offenders in Puckle-church, England, the company said Tuesday. Wackenhut must still negotiate the terms of the deal. NuCo2 buys four companies i.- STUART NuCo2 announced Tuesday that it finalized the purchase of four Chicago-based bulk carbon dioxide distributors and a separate purchase of the bulk carbon dioxide assets and customer lists of Wichita Welding Supply. NuCo2 (Nasdaq: NUCO: $11.50) officials declined to reveal the prices. Cummings acquires site j; JENSEN BEACH Palm City developer Peter D. Cummings & Associates completed its $2.57 million purchase of a site for the proposed Vista Plaza shopping center. Cummings purchased the 11.5-acre plot at the southwest corner of U.S. 1 and Britt Road from a St. Louis family on Nov. 24, according to Boyd Bradfield, a Stuart-fcased Southcoast broker. Legg Mason refinances f: BOCA RATON Legg Mason Real Estate Services Inc. refinanced two mortgages on south Palm Beach County shopping centers last month for Lakeside Development Corp. of Boca Raton, staff at Legg Mason confirmed Tuesday. According to county property Records, Legg Mason issued a $14 million mortgage on the Boca Raton Lakeside Centre and issued a $10.3 million mortgage on Delray Crossings. PhyMatrix makes acquisitions ? WEST PALM BEACH -PhyMatrix Corp. (Nasdaq: PHMX: $14.40), said Tuesday that it acquired Urology Consultants of South Florida, a urology independent physician association, and al-60 acquired three gastroenterologists that will be merging with Atlanta Gas RICHARD GRAULICHStaff Photographer Trombonist Dick Oakley of the Paisem Street Bandwagon joins other groups in West Palm Beach on Tuesday to show displeasure with HMOs and corporate intrusion into the medical services business. Corporate health care blasted services in Florida for 15 years, including in West Palm Beach at 505 S. Flagler Drive. The charter change would allow Harris Bank to offer all its bank products and services here. "We'll have greater capabilities to serve Chi-cagoland and Canadian customers wintering or relocating to the sunshine state," Bill Thonn, an executive vice president at Harris Bank's private bank, said in a statement. The bank estimates 90,000 Chicago residents and 409,000 Canadians make their winter homes in Florida. "Whether crossing state lines or the U.S.Canadian border, customers of Harris Bank and Bank of Montreal will feel at home, and we look forward to serving many new Florida neighbors,! Stewart said. ' The mission will remain primarily serving the wealthy customer, but the bank also welcomes' others of more moderate means, Stewart said. The banks expect the Sarasota office to have full banking and a new location by spring. And in 1999 they expect to open more offices and are considering sites in Fort Lauderdale, North MiamiBal Harbour, Naples and Vero Beach. "Getting the banking activities going in our existing offices in West Palm Beach and Sarasota will be our primary thrust," said Stewart. Harris Bank has $22 billion in assets with 140 offices in Illinois as well as Arizona. Bank of Montreal (NYSE: BMO: $45.50). with assets of $147 billion, is one of the 10 largest Cuan? cial institutions in North America. universal health care, was held in conjunction with a larger protest by doctors and nurses at Boston Harbor. There, doctors and nurses wearing white coats and uniforms tossed annual reports from for-profit hospitals and HMO firms and other symbols of for-profit health care into the harbor. Also on Tuesday, more than 2,300 U.S. doctors and nurses issued an open letter accusing health-care companies of turning their profession into one where profits count far more than compassion and care. "Physicians and nurses are being prodded by threats and bribes to abdicate allegiance to patients, and to shun the sickest, who may be unprofitable," said the letter published in this week's Journal of the American Medical day on the phone to HMOs trying to get clearance for referrals and tests. The protesters gathered in the courtyard of the Palm Beach County Governmental Center. In what they termed a reenactment of the Boston Tea Party, they later tossed boxes of HMO bills and paperwork into the Intracoastal Waterway. "Like our forefathers did 200 years ago in protesting taxation without representation, we are here to protest medical care without representation," Dedo said. Moments later, the protesters yanked the boxes out of the water. They said they wanted to protest in "an environmentally responsible fashion." The rally, coordinated by Flo-ridians for Health Care Inc., a not-for-profit group pushing for By Phil Galewitz Palm Beach Post Staff Writer WEST PALM BEACH - Angered by the corporate intrusion into the U.S. health system, more than 125 doctors, nurses and patients rallied downtown Tuesday, calling for limits on HMOs and a moratorium on corporate takeovers of medical services. Dietitian Beth Diluglio stressed how quality of care suffered when the hospital she worked at merged with its cross-town rival to better compete with for-profit chains. Laurie Astern of Pompano Beach blamed the lack of home health nurses for her father's fall and head injury. Douglas Dedo, a West Palm Beach doctor, complained that several of his nurses now don't treat patients, but spend hours a Customers still unmoved by Union Pacific service troenterology Associates. Mall firm, Microsoft link up Market closed at: 8,018.83, up, 5.72 Minute by minute The venture is the most aggressive move yet to try to jump-start lackluster retail sales and reverse the drop in mall traffic. 8040 I i I 1 1 1 T 8030 A- V j, J YV 8020 -7 V W 8005 Al 8000 7995 'i i I i i I 10 11 12 1 2 3 4 a.m. p.m. shoppers will be able to gain access to product and store listings and receive customized messages and coupons for special discounts. The services will be provided through Aim Smart Corp.'s Smart Shopper Explorer program. Officials at Simon DeBartolo, Aim Smart and Microsoft declined to comment. For Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT: $142.25), the venture is another attempt to get its Internet Explorer into more homes as it tries tograb market share from Netscape Communications Corp. Users will dial local phone numbers that will patch them directly into the nearest mall. Simon DeBartolo (NYSE: SPG: $33.06) will launch the program in five malls during the first quarter, and add at least 100 more over the next 18 months. Bloomberg News INDIANAPOLIS Simon DeBartolo Group Inc., the largest U.S. shopping mall developer, is joining with Microsoft Corp. to offer free Internet access and home shopping services to 32 million households, said people familiar with the situation. The venture, which is expected to be announced today, is part of an initiative by Indianapolis-based Simon DeBartolo to find ways to boost mall sales and generate additional revenue fi-om the 1.5 billion visitors to its properties each year. It's also the most aggressive of a number of plans launched by big developers in recent months designed to jump-start lackluster retail sales and combat a 20 percent decline in the average time consumers spend in crops in the Midwest, clogging California ports, and disrupting production at Gulf Coast petrochemical plants, Northwest lumber yards and steel mills. "The serious congestion of recent months is gone," the Nebraska-based railroad said. "In most corridors, shippers' products are moving much more reliably, and overall operations are regaining strength and velocity." That rosy assessment isn't shared by some major shippers, who filed progress reports of their own with the board. Dow Chemical Co., whose plants in Louisiana and Texas "have suffered from railroad delays, remains dissatisfied. "Unfortunately, all this attention has not led to any measurable improvement in service on Dow traffic," said company official William Gebo, who estimated the disruption has cost Dow $5 million in the past five w,eeks. Vie Associated Press WASHINGTON Federal regulators are considering whether Union Pacific railroad has moved aggressively enough to solve the congestion and service problems disrupting shippers in recent months. Executives at the nation's largest railroad contend the worst headaches are largely over because of a service recovery plan implemented Oct. 1. Many customers disagree, saying their operations continue to be disturbed. The Surface Transportation Board, which regulates railroad activities, will decide whose perception is more accurate. The board, which in October issued a 30-day emergency order designed to nudge the railroad back to normal operations, meets today. The problems on the 36,000-mile network have rippled throughout the U.S. economy, stranding bumper grain Dow: week by week 8200 malls since the 1980s. Under the plan, Simon DeBartolo will provide Microsoft software that shoppers can download onto their home computers and use to get free Internet access, free e-mail services and special discounts and other offers at the company's 201 properties. Its holdings include the Palm Beach Mall, Boynton Beach Mall and Treasure Coast Square. Among other services, 8000 7800 7600 7400 7200 7000 9-3 9-17 10-1 10-15 10-29 11-12 11-26 Breaks indicate market holidays. Opening price does not have to match the closing price from the day before. Opening price can reflect trading and news that occurs after the market closes. However, market change is measured from closj to close. 4-

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