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Business news from around Tampa Bay
By Times Staff
Published November 5, 2007
These two pinch-hit for busy parents
Having kids is a huge responsibility, but sometimes parents just want to leave some of that responsibility to someone else. That's where Kidz Kare dropoff babysitting service comes in.
"You can drop them off and go do whatever you have to do," said Kidz Kare co-owner Janice Andrews, 44. "We're here for things, like you need to go to the spa, you need to go shopping, you need to go to a wedding or you have an emergency."
The business at 3720 Tampa Road brings a new concept to the area, one the mother of three said she wishes were around before.
"We were having trouble finding a reliable babysitting service," Andrews said. "A lot of people find themselves in a bind."
Children 2 and older are accepted at Kidz Kare, and they don't need to be toilet-trained. Prices begin at $10 per hour and go up, depending on the number of siblings.
The business partners met at Countryside Country Club, where Evins worked in the playroom and Andrews was a member. Evins and her friends took turns caring for each other's kids, but didn't have a place to go when the couples wanted to go out together. That's when Evins and Andrews came up with the idea for a dropoff babysitting service.
"It took us about two years to make our dreams come true," Evins said.
Patel resort project scraps condos
The owners of a long-stalled Clearwater Beach resort and condominium development say they will redesign the project and are looking to a major Miami builder for help.
Tampa entrepreneur and philanthropist Dr. Kiran Patel and the Related Group are negotiating a partnership that would change the scope of the $250-million Kiran Grand Resort and Spa.
"The condominiums are out," Patel said. "It's too fluid a situation with them."
In their place, he said, "we're going more toward a transient-hotel type of development."
The partnership would then begin construction on the high-rise, which the city approved several years ago.
"We hope to have a deal signed in the next few weeks," Eric Fordin, senior project director for the Related Group, wrote in an e-mail to the Times.
Fordin said that the South Florida developer would be the general partner and that the project, just south of the beach roundabout, would become more focused on providing overnight accommodations.
Original plans were for a resort 150 feet tall and 500 feet across with 350 condo-hotel units and 75 condominiums.
The new project would consist of a 250-room hotel with 200 timeshares, Fordin says.
They like to golf, and they're in business
A new business opportunity was the initial selling point. But the warmer weather and better tee times helped persuade Brad Hawley and John Rowley to join fellow Englishman Dave Joyce in Florida.
Joyce, who retired from working in car insurance in England in the late '90s, envisioned a new career that coincided with one of his favorite pastimes. So he sought a Golf USA franchise.
It didn't take much to persuade his comrades to join him in Florida.
The partners opened a store in June in Trinity, undeterred by the competition that includes the worldwide Internet marketplace and some nearby golf megastores.
Their only complaint so far is they're working too many hours at the store. Hawley, an 8 handicapper who played three times a week in England, said he spends more time in the store's swing area and putting green than on the courses.
With the Trinity store up and running, they're set to open another in Ellenton, near Bradenton.
[Last modified November 2, 2007, 21:18:51]