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Five Big Stories of the Week

By Times Staff
Published September 9, 2007


1. Busch Gardens unveils $16-million makeover

The Tampa park's former Congo area is being retooled as an Asian rainforest with animal encounters, a space shot ride and a zip line through the treetops. It'll be called Jungala

What it means:Busch is targeting the tween market as it tries to lure visitors from larger rivals Disney and Universal.

2. Apple offers new iPods and a cheaper iPhone.

Apple drops the iPhone's price by $200 and adds features like a touch-screen player and wi-fi capacity to its iPod lineup.

What it means: Apple CEO Steve Jobs is trying to stake out an early lead in holiday tech shopping.

3. Publix names new CEO

Charlie Jenkins Jr. turns the reins of the Lakeland-based grocery chain over to his cousin, Ed Crenshaw.

What it means: Publix already has beaten the odds as a family-owned supermarket chain fending off Wal-Mart and Target ... and actually growing. Crenshaw, president the past 11 years, isn't expected to change a successful formula.

4. Cypress Gardens heads for the auction block

Creditors force Cypress owner Kent Buescher to put the Winter Haven park up for auction.

What it means:Buescher has never recovered financially from the trio of hurricanes that swept through Cypress Gardens in 2004. He borrowed $25-million to get the park back on track; insurers would pay only $6.9-million in claims.

5. Toymakers capitalize on recalls

Brands such as Playskool, Brio and GeoMag are expected to get a boost because they haven't been connected to recalls involving lead paint or dangerous magnets.

What it means:Mattel's Fisher-Price, the subject of three recent recalls, may be the most vulnerable to losing market share.

-- Jeff Harrington, Times deputy business editor


[Last modified September 7, 2007, 22:33:15]

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