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Talk of the bay: Last remainingKash n' Karry to check out

By Times Staff Writer
Published August 28, 2007


After three years of remodeling and job retraining, the last Kash n' Karry food store closes Wednesday. The Tampa-based grocery chain's front office staff is taking a group bus trip to the store at 1651 SE U.S. 19 in Crystal River for an official barbecue/retirement ceremony of a trade name that dates to 1962. The store will reopen Saturday as the 98th Sweetbay Supermarket. The chain's Belgian owners at Delhaize Group decided to reinvent the brand by broadening the selection, remodeling stores and changing what the chain stands for as Sweetbay after research found that Kash n' Karry was not worth continued investment. The changes have halted a steep decline in market share.

Tourism recovery post is no vacation

Elaine McLaughlin better have her Superwoman cape ready. The Fort Myers women will head up the new Tourism Crisis Recovery Institute at the University of Florida. That means dealing with hurricanes, terrorist attacks and plane crashes. She'll be researching how events like those affected tourism in the past and helping client companies and government agencies develop crisis-response plans. The university is pledging $750,000 to get the institute off the ground, but hopes it will become self-sustaining by 2012. McLaughlin is former executive director of the Lee County Visitor and Convention Bureau.

Out-of-state visits on the upswing

Elsewhere on the tourism front ... .After years of hurricanes, high gas prices and increased headaches over international travel, the folks promoting Florida tourism have a little dose of good news. The number of visitors to the Sunshine State ticked up during the second quarter of the year, says Visit Florida, the state's tourism marketing agency. An estimated 23.5-million visitors came to the state from April through June, up 2.3 percent from the same quarter in 2006. That means the first half of 2007 was flat compared with last year with 46.3-million tourists, up 200,000, or less than half of 1 percent.

New housing blog

Where are the Tampa Bay and Florida housing markets heading? Catch more of the latest news online at Times staff writer James Thorner's new blog, (Un)Real Estate, at

All about money

Times personal finance editor Helen Huntley talks about money topics and answers your finance questions at

[Last modified August 28, 2007, 01:27:21]

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