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Monday's Daily Pulse

Sports tourism is a big economic driver

Cricket or the Super Bowl? The answer is both for Broward County tourism officials striving to continue luring a record number of visitors to the county. Even as snagging another Super Bowl in 2016 is a high priority, tourism officials see a wider plane of sporting events as one of the keys to developing a year round economic engine. "Sports tourism is one of our growth markets," said Nicki E. Grossman, president of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau. "It's a big money maker." [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]

Archived content from Florida Trend:
Sports Tourism - Clermont Is on the Fast Track

Florida Trend Exclusive
Wealth management: Investing advice

Al Bhatt
“We need to look for leading global companies whose stock prices are selling at a discount.” ~ Al Bhatt » Story

Uncertainties in the stock market make it hard to assess risk and forecast safe havens — will this be the year that interest rates start to rise and devastate returns for fixed-income investors? With unprecedented low interest rates, history is not necessarily indicative of future performance, and even the most brilliant investors are cautious.

Here is what some Florida wealth managers are advising.

Restaurant chains turn to foreign investors to expand

The New Miami Subs Grill and local franchise holders for Voodoo BBQ are among a growing list of chains tapping a U.S. visa program that lets qualified foreigners obtain U.S. residency with their families when they pump at least $500,000 into a U.S. firm and create at least 10 jobs, lawyers said. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]

New 401(k) fee-disclosure rule impresses few employees, experts

Nearly eight months after taking effect, the federal government's 401(k) fee-disclosure mandate, designed to help workers and their employers better understand the costs of their retirement plans, appears to have lost something in the translation. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]

Column: For more companies, a 'bottom line' they want to shrink, not grow

A recent survey of 800 employers by human resource consulting firm Aon Hewitt finds that companies increasingly are rewarding some workers and penalizing others as part of their employee wellness programs. Overall, the survey found 79 percent offered rewards to participate in wellness programs, 5 percent use penalties, and 16 percent use both penalties and rewards. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]


› New Port Richey McDonald's opens PlayPlace for national test
At the McDonald's on Rancho Del Rio Drive, cheeseburgers, fries and coffee are just part of the appeal. What customers really gobble up is the new indoor PlayPlace with interactive toys, computer games and a playhouse. The PlayPlace is the first of four "evolution" play areas the world's largest hamburger chain is testing in Florida.

› Tech hub movement gains steam with calls to action
Last week, the business community was celebrating how far the South Florida tech community has come while at the same time acknowledging the hard road ahead.

› UCF receives $55 million grant from NASA
UCF has been awarded a $55 million grant from NASA to build and launch an instrument into space to capture "unprecedented" images of the Earth's upper atmosphere, the university announced late Friday.

› Grocery war: Walmarts muscle in on Publix turf
Already the nation's largest grocery retailer, Wal-Mart Stores is trying aggressively to lure shoppers from Publix, the Lakeland-based supermarket chain that dominates Central Florida.

Go to page 2 for more stories ...

› Unclaimed insurance: Florida’s hidden windfall
A look at the legal fight over hundreds of millions in insurance money that should have been paid to Florida beneficiaries but wasn’t.

› UF vet school opens its doors for all to see
Saturday was the college's annual open house, and some of the hundreds of people who came to see displays, exhibitions, demonstrations and to learn about veterinary medicine got to see the profession in action.

› Akshay Desai and the rise and fall of Universal Health Care
Akshay Desai rose high into the Republican fundraising ranks, dining with President George W. Bush at his Texas ranch. Eventually he realized his dream: a $1.5 billion health care company, with more than 140,000 members in 23 states. But his success was largely an illusion.

› With law lifted, panhandlers dotting Sarasota street corners
After years of efforts to reduce homelessness in Sarasota, city leaders and police are stymied. They lifted a law against soliciting money from people in vehicles because it infringed on free speech, and now, Sarasota's street corners have become an ATM.