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Talk of the bay: Condo buyers say Vegas dream was an illusion

By Times Staff
Published October 25, 2007


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The developers of Clearwater Cay Club Resort promised to build a luxurious condominium complex modeled after Las Vegas' Venetian hotel. The gondolas and water parks never materialized, so now 23 disgruntled buyers are suing Cay Clubs in federal court, accusing the company of violating securities laws. The buyers say businessmen Dave Clark, Ricky Stokes and Dave Schwarz lured them into contracts with the "false illusion" of quick profits and easy rental income, but left them holding apartments worth half of what they paid for them. The buyers, none local, include airline pilots who invested more than $1-million in units at the complex facing Tampa Bay.

Orlando to become Busch parks' HQ

Anheuser-Busch Cos. is moving the headquarters of its theme park unit from St. Louis to Orlando next year. The headquarters is the nerve center for seven Busch theme parks and three water parks. Jim Atchison, Sea World Orlando general manager, has been promoted to president and chief operating officer of Busch Entertainment Corp. and will oversee the domestic theme park business. Busch said it is moving the headquarters here to be more efficient, as four of its theme parks, including Busch Gardens Africa and Adventure Island in Tampa, are in Central Florida.

Travelers craving something new

In the week's second big 2008 travel forecast Wednesday, the Travel Industry Association served up some standard statistical fare: Domestic tourist trips are expected to rise 1.6 percent and hotel rates should jump 5 to 6 percent. But presenters also offered a little color about what travelers are thinking. Three out of four vacationers want to go somewhere they haven't been before. Interest in historical attractions is waning. Casinos and cruise ships are gaining in popularity. One in three leisure travelers is interested in going somewhere with a spa. Visiting friends and relatives (56 percent) remains the top reason people chose a vacation destination, followed by going to a beach or lake (27 percent). Gambling (9 percent) and attending sports events (6 percent) are farther down the list.

[Last modified October 24, 2007, 23:08:11]


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