From the notebook of business editor Tim Rausch

By: Tim Rausch on April 3, 2015 - 12:56pm - Add new comment

The head of the Augusta Marriott released the annual report on the Augusta Convention Center for 2014.

 

Darryl Leech is vice president and general manager of the hotel that also manages the convention center, which is attached. The convention center had 44 events in 2014.

 

“We had over 40,000 visitors to the convention center with visitor-related spending $11,750,800 of economic impact,” he said.

 

In the two years the new center has been open, Leech said there’s been $21 million in economic impact from the events there.

 

By: Tim Rausch on March 1, 2015 - 3:46pm - Add new comment

Remember the panic of Windows XP being discontinued last year?

 

Well, Microsoft is dropping another operating system soon. This one isn’t visible on your desktop at home.

 

In July, technical support is going away for Windows Server 2003. Its use is not as far-reaching as XP, but there are 23.8 million physical and virtual “instances” of the program running.

 

Why am I telling you this five months ahead of time?

 

By: Tim Rausch on February 20, 2015 - 4:09pm - Add new comment

Put Airbnb on your smartphone and search Augusta.

 

You’ll see a lot of Masters Tournament rental homes – or rooms – dominating the area.

 

And $350 to $400 a day seemed to be the popular rate for downtown condos or homes. I saw a big house going for $3,200.

 

It will be interesting to see the price dynamics change as we get closer to the tournament and hotel rooms become scarce.

 

We know hotel prices are higher for Masters Week. So will this hold true for short-term bed and breakfasts?

 

By: Tim Rausch on January 30, 2015 - 4:36pm - Add new comment

So how many jobs did Augusta make last year? It depends on where you look and how you use the data.

 

If you look at the numbers from the unemployment rate, there were 245,484 people working in December. That’s 4,199 more people with a job than in December 2013.

 

But if you average out the workforce for the year to get rid of the bumps, 244,125 people had a job. That’s 2,685 more than 2013.

 

By: Tim Rausch on January 23, 2015 - 4:31pm - Add new comment

Both of Augusta’s golf car makers were in the news last week. Club Car introduced a new version of the Precedent – a “stretch” personal-use version. E-Z-Go’s owner, Textron, continues to acquire synergistic companies to add to its portfolio of vehicle offerings.

 

TEXTRON SPECIALIZED VEHICLES: The group, through Textron Ground Support Equipment UK Limited, bought the Douglas Equipment business from Curtiss-Wright Flow Control, based in Cheltenham, England. It will operate in the same division that acquired TUG Technologies in May.

 

By: Tim Rausch on January 19, 2015 - 4:18pm - Add new comment

Stevie B’s is closed in Augusta. I called the corporate office in Atlanta to ask why and whether there’s another franchisee in the works to take over the spot on Bobby Jones Expressway. The office had “no comment” as the answer to every question.

 

Stevie B’s might be well-known to parents because they sent vouchers for free buffets to kids with good grades. I’ve eaten there several times because my kids were on an honor roll.

 

By: Tim Rausch on January 9, 2015 - 4:11pm - Add new comment

As vegetable farmers put their crop in the ground this spring, so will Georgia Power begin its effort for solar farming.

 

The Army wants solar farms at its bases in Georgia. And Georgia Power will start constructing them this year.

 

The 30-megawatt solar farms will be installed at Fort Gordon, Fort Stewart near Savannah and Fort Benning near Columbus. The Army wants 18 percent of energy consumption generated from on-site renewable sources, hence the solar plants.

 

By: Tim Rausch on January 3, 2015 - 4:57pm - Add new comment

The Dow Jones started 2014 at 16,572. It ended the year at 17,823.

 

We track some of the companies that make up the Dow in the Sunday business section because of their direct local ties, such as Wal-Mart and Procter & Gamble, or their Georgia connection, Coca-Cola and Home Depot.

 

By: Tim Rausch on December 26, 2014 - 3:37pm - Add new comment

Not all big stories can land into a top-story list. Unisys coming to town, Bridgestone opening its historic tire plant, and the sale and transformation of the Partridge Inn are all stories from 2014 deserving to be recognized as among the top.

 

Contractors are arriving because of the move by Cyber Command headquarters from Fort Meade to Fort Gordon. Though that was a top story in 2013, now we’ve seen elements arrive in the city along with defense contractors who want to be nearby when the command moves in a few years.

 

By: Tim Rausch on December 12, 2014 - 3:22pm - Add new comment

The most popular Coca-Cola drink in Korea and China is … not Coke. Its Sprite.

 

Thierry Roques’ office is in Shanghai, China. He is the vice president and chief finance officer for Coca-Cola’s China and Korean markets, its third largest after the U.S. and Mexico.

 

Roques was in Augusta to deliver the commencement address at Georgia Regents University.

 

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