Originally created 11/30/02

Business briefs



BRIEFLY

Terrorism fears affect Orlando trade

ORLANDO, Fla. - The health of Florida's $50 billion tourism industry is going to be determined as much by Saddam Hussein and al-Qaida as by Mickey Mouse or Shamu in the coming months.

The threat of war with Iraq, further terrorist attacks and plunging consumer confidence have created an uncertainty in the Orlando area - the heart of the state's tourism industry - that hasn't been seen in a decade, experts say.

"There is a pretty fair degree of anxiety among the population which tends to depress one's enthusiasm for travel," said Harris Rosen, who owns six hotels on International Drive, Orlando's busiest tourist corridor.

Internet cornerstone files for bankruptcy

BOSTON - Internet backbone company Genuity Inc. filed for bankruptcy protection Wednesday as part of an agreement that will transfer its assets to Level 3 Communications Inc. for $242 million.

Genuity, which operates one of the key components of the infrastructure that supports the Internet, became the latest high-profile telecommunications company to file for bankruptcy protection.

Company will close Tennessee offices

ELIZABETHTON, Tenn. - Cendant Corp., one of the nation's largest real estate and travel services conglomerates, will close its hotel reservation call center in Elizabethton on Jan. 24, forcing 200 people out of jobs.

The company, the top employer in rural Carter County, told employees Tuesday that it would close the center to save money.

Fairfield Marketing, a vacation sales firm owned by Cendant, also announced Tuesday that it will close its call center in Bristol and offer most of its 120 workers transfers to the company's Johnson City location.

Several Web sites offer debt help

Try not to go in debt this holiday season. If it looks like you are, you may want to check out these Web sites for insights on how to manage and consolidate debt:

  • DebtSmart.com contains articles devoted to sorting out and handling debt issues.
  • DebtWizards.com has details on debt consolidation loans and consolidation services.
  • Quicken.com offers an interactive "Debt Reduction Planner" calculation tool.
  • YourCredit.com features articles on fixing credit, bankruptcy and debt consolidation.