November 19, 2019

Thursday's Daily Pulse

What you need to know about Florida today

| 9/5/2019

Hurricane Dorian missed Florida’s coast but targeted its tourism industry and other businesses, too

Hurricane Dorian didn’t slam Florida’s coast, but it likely put a dent in the bottom lines of the tourism industry, which was hoping for a robust Labor Day weekend. Tourism officials say it’s too early to estimate the economic cost in lost visits, hotel stays and other spending that visitors would’ve brought over the holiday, but it’s likely to be significant. More from the Orlando Sentinel and the Naples Daily News.

Why the feds want to block a flight-booking software deal involving a Florida company

Airline-booking software is the kind of back-office technology that seems like the last thing to attract the attention of antitrust regulators. But airlines complain that the US industry leader, Sabre, is opaque, frustrating, and sometimes slow-moving. So maybe it shouldn’t be a surprise that the US Department of Justice filed suit last month to prevent Sabre from acquiring a competitor. The lawsuit, brought last month in Delaware, would prevent Sabre from acquiring the newer Florida-based travel tech company Farelogix, for $360 million. [Source: WIRED]

Hepatitis A cases in Florida top 2,400 this year

Florida had 64 newly reported cases of hepatitis A last week, bringing the total number of cases this year to 2,413. Of the new cases, 84 percent involved hospitalizations, according to a Florida Department of Health weekly data release. State Surgeon General Scott Rivkees, who doubles as secretary of the Department of Health declared a public-health emergency because of hepatitis A last month. [Source: WPTV]

Activist investor takes 9 percent stake in Outback Steakhouse owner, Bloomin’ Brands

The same activist investor who pushed the owners of Outback Steakhouse to explore a sale have purchased another large share of the restaurant company. Jana Partners, LLC, a New York hedge fund, now holds about a 9 percent stake in Bloomin’ Brands. The hedge fund purchased $127.7 million worth of shares between July 9 and Aug. 30, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

Shortage of psychiatrists makes care spotty around Florida

A nationwide shortage of psychiatrists is among key factors making it difficult for South Florida’s mentally impaired residents to find care in their own communities. “Locally we have a large population of people with mental illness who are not receiving the services they should,” said Col. Brodes Hartley Jr., CEO of Community Health of South Florida. [Source: Miami Today]

ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:

› Large Sarasota office complex fetches $45.2 million
In one of the region’s largest commercial real estate deals this year, a private equity firm has purchased the Gateway Professional Center for $45.2 million. The four-building office complex off Fruitville Road near Interstate 75 changed hands on Tuesday, barely four years after seller TerraCap Management LLC of Estero acquired it for $37 million.

› On anniversary of Hurricane Irma, Big Storm Brewing to host Hurricane Expo
On the 2-year anniversary of Hurricane Irma and just days following Hurricane Dorian, Big Storm Brewing wants to make sure Floridians are prepared for the rest of this year’s hurricane season. Big Storm will be hosting a Hurricane Expo at its Cape Coral brewery on Friday, September 13th from 8 a.m. until 11 a.m., exactly two years after Hurricane Irma whipped through Florida.

› Duke Energy sends outside workers home
Duke Energy brought in more than 4,300 outside workers to deal with a possible Hurricane Dorian landfall in Florida. On Wednesday, the company said it “right-sized” its personnel resources and sent most of them home. Duke Energy still has 2,200 crew members and contractors on hand in Florida to deal with any outages caused by the storm.

› Building maintenance company expands in Florida
A company that claims to be one of the country’s largest management firms in the building maintenance industry announced its sixth Florida opening, with a new City Wide office in Fort Myers. North Naples-resident and former Wall Street businessman James Sperzel opened the doors of the office at 11220 Metro Parkway, Suite 20, according to a news release.

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