(WisBusiness) TUES News Summary — 2 Dec. 2008

From WisBusiness.com …

— The nation’s economy may be in the tank, but business at the Kalahari Resort in the Wisconsin Dells and its counterpart in Sandusky, Ohio remains solid.

That’s the word from Todd Nelson, owner and president of the African-themed Kalahari water parks. The Ohio property gets 7 million visitors a year, more than twice as many as the Dells resort.

Business is so good, in fact, that the Dells’ Kalahari will open a 108,000-square-foot entertainment “family fun” center on Dec. 19 and hire 65 workers to staff it. With the new employees, the total workforce will rise to 1,100.

The project cost $20 million to build, he said.

The main downside to the recession, said a frustrated Nelson, is that the accompanying credit crunch is hindering plans to build a third resort in Fredericksburg, Virginia.

“Knock on wood, existing business is very strong,” said Nelson, who opened the Dells Kalahari in 2000. The Ohio facility opened in 2005.

“In fact, we find that the harder the economic times, the better we do,” often drawing the same families back three or four times a year, he said.

Unlike more expensive vacations that require flying to Florida, the Rockies or California, Nelson said many Midwestern families are willing to drive several hundred miles on a tank of gas and stay several nights for a mini-vacation in these trying times.

Read more and listen to the interview with Nelson:

http://www.wisbusiness.com/index.iml?Article=142627

— The state Supreme Court today ruled in favor of a pair of business owners who sued the former owner of their business over the violation of a non-compete clause and tradename infringement.

In 2000 Scott and Steven Statz purchased D.L. Anderson Marine Contractors from owner and founder Donald Anderson. The purchase agreement included a non-compete clause, which the Statzes contend Anderson violated several years later.

The court’s decision also found the jury’s initial decision to grant $235,000 in awards to the Statzes was proper, reversing an appeals court ruling.

“We are satisfied that the evidence is sufficient to support the compensatory and punitive damage awards, and we reverse the decision of the court of appeals in regard to those matters,”Judge Patrick Crooks wrote in his decision.

The court also remanded the case to the appeals court, asking that court to determine whether Anderson owes the Statzes for attorney fees incurred during the appeals process.

See the entire decision:

http://www.wicourts.gov/sc/opinion/DisplayDocument.pdf?content=pdf&seqNo=34771

— The Wisconsin Biotechnology & Medical Device Association is holding its annual meeting this afternoon in Madison.

The meeting includes a panel discussion with representatives of the Wisconsin Genomics Initiative plus a presentation from Ross Bjella, president of DDN. DDN is a provider of outsourced services to the life science industry.

See more on the meeting:
http://www.wisbiomed.org/events/index.php?category_id=4171

See background on Bjella’s talk:
http://www.wisbusiness.com/index.iml?Article=142633

— The Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin is moving forward with its lawsuit seeking to halt federal action on its proposed off-reservation casino in Kenosha.

That’s despite a judge’s decision to deny the tribe a temporary restraining order barring the Interior Department from issuing its ruling.

Following a 10-minute telephone conference on Wednesday, U.S. District Court Judge William Griesbach ruled against the tribe’s request to temporarily block action on the application. In denying the temporary restraining order, Griesbach said there isn’t a likelihood of success on the merits of the case given the Bureau of Indian Affairs has yet to take final action on the application and that the tribe failed to show it would suffer irreparable harm should its request not be granted

The tribe maintains that Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne has a personal bias against off-reservation gaming and intends to deny the Menominee’s application without respect to its merits.

“While we respect his decision, we were disappointed and will continue our challenge in the court and, if necessary, with the new administration,” casino project spokesman Evan Zeppos wrote in an e-mail. “Our case against the government as filed in federal court will move forward, and we’ll aggressively litigate it in an effort to prevent an unjust decision that makes a mockery of the law.”

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Press Releases
· Better Environmental Solutions: Give eco starter kits for the Holidays
· DDN: DDN president offers insight on ‘managing in challenging times’
· Edgewood College: Marketing Professor Moses Altsech elected to Rotary Club Board of Directors
· UW-Whitewater: College of Business and Economics’ technology center helps first client redevelop business Web site
· Wisconsin Towns Association: To sponsor working lands workshops

For these and more releases visit http://www.wisbusiness.com/index.iml?Content=82


TOP STORIES
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It’s official: Recession since Dec. ’07: The National Bureau of Economic Research said Monday that the U.S. has been in a recession since December 2007, making official what most Americans have already believed about the state of the economy.
http://money.cnn.com/2008/12/01/news/economy/recession/?postversion=2008120115

Super Steel’s Schenectady plant closing, up to 200 jobs lost: Super Steel Schenectady Inc. will close early next year, eliminating up to 200 jobs. The company is a division of Super Steel Corp., headquartered in Milwaukee. The company opened its 180,000-square-foot facility in Glenville, N.Y., in the mid-1990s, initially building $70 million worth of trains for General Motors Corp. “In the past few months, we have seen dramatic and unprecedented reductions and cancellations of orders,” the company said in a statement, referencing a “dramatic downturn” in the national and global economies.
http://www.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/stories/2008/12/01/daily12.html

Johnson & Johnson to buy Mentor; its Madison unit is making Botox competitor: Health care products company Johnson & Johnson said Monday it will buy cosmetic-product and breast-implant maker Mentor Corp. for $1.07 billion in a move to boost its presence in cosmetic and reconstructive medicine.
http://www.madison.com/tct/business/316602

Related:

– Mentor plans no changes at Madison facility
http://www.madison.com/wsj/home/biz/316684

Iverson Language Associates merges with TransPerfect: Iverson Language Associates of Milwaukee said Monday it has finalized a merger with TransPerfect, the world’s largest privately-held provider of language services. Iverson Language Associates Inc. will become a division of TransPerfect and will continue to operate in its current office on Milwaukee’s east side. All full-time employees are expected to remain with the company.
http://www.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/stories/2008/12/01/daily6.html

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WISBUSINESS FEATURED COLUMNISTS

GREGG HOFFMANN: Contributor, WisBusiness.com

TOM STILL: President, Wisconsin Technology Council

JENNIFER SERENO: Senior manager, Wood Communications Group

STEVE JAGLER: Executive editor, Small Business Times

TOM BURZINSKI: IT executive and consultant
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TECHNOLOGY (back to top)
– Program will focus on basics of e-commerce
http://www.postcrescent.com/article/20081202/APC03/812020477/1028

– Orbitec seeking investors for expansion
http://www.jsonline.com/business/35315959.html

ECONOMY (back to top)
– UW expert called recession
http://www.madison.com/wsj/home/biz/316713

– Iverson Language Associates merges with TransPerfect
http://www.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/stories/2008/12/01/daily6.html

MANUFACTURING (back to top)
– Muza Metal marks 80th year in business
http://www.thenorthwestern.com/article/20081129/OSH03/811290359/1167

– Manufacturing activity hits 26-year low
http://www.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/stories/2008/12/01/daily9.html

LABOR (back to top)
– October unemployment by the numbers
http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/article/20081202/GPG03/81201203/1247

SMALL BUSINESS (back to top)
– Valley experts help startups minimize risk
http://www.postcrescent.com/article/20081202/APC03/812020472/1028

– Kids’ clothing maker Florence Eiseman creates trendier brands
http://www.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/stories/2008/12/01/smallb1.html?b=1228107600^1740606

REAL ESTATE (back to top)
– Great Wolf gets extension on Ohio resort mortgage
http://www.madison.com/tct/business/316475

– General Growth gets loan extension
http://www.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/stories/2008/12/01/daily3.html

– Bank files foreclosure suit against owners of Brady St. building
http://www.jsonline.com/business/35346479.html

TRANSPORTATION (back to top)
– Hijacked ships impact consumers, expert says
http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/article/20081202/GPG03/812020583/1247

RETAIL (back to top)
– Continental to push Cudahy Wal-Mart store
http://www.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/stories/2008/12/01/story6.html?b=1228107600^1740561

– Roundy’s to close Copps store in Hurley
http://www.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/stories/2008/12/01/daily1.html

– Holidays becoming important season for sales of flavored brews
http://www.jsonline.com/business/35346864.html

– Tumbleweed restaurants close in Wisconsin
http://www.jsonline.com/business/35328814.html

REGULATION (back to top)
– Study: Many oppose raising business taxes
http://www.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/stories/2008/12/01/daily5.html

– Bubbly may get boot as shops face penalties for serving alcohol
http://www.jsonline.com/business/35350294.html

TOURISM (back to top)
– Packers are No. 1 sports brand, marketing survey finds
http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/article/20081201/GPG03/312010046/1247

– Water park company files for bankruptcy
http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/W/WI_RECREATION_BANKRUPTCY_WIOL-?SITE=WIMAD&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT

HEALTH CARE (back to top)
– World Class Health acquires Kidzhaven
http://www.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/stories/2008/12/01/daily11.html

Media Partners
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National Business Roundups ( back to top)
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–ABC BUSINESS NEWS: http://abcnews.go.com/sections/business/
–GOOGLE NEWS: http://news.google.com/news/en/us/business.html

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