• Nov 11, 2007
  • St. Petersburg Times

Talk of the Bay: Tell Gramps that the old Schlitz is back

Old beers don't die. They just get resurrected. Such is the case with Schlitz, which has been relaunched in the Tampa Bay area in its old 1960s recipe, vintage brown bottles and those barn-red labels. The new version replaces a budget brew sold only in cans in selected markets since the old Schlitz formula was mothballed in the mid 1970s. Since then, the brand has been sustained as a popular malt liquor. Schlitz beer, however, has been around since 1849, getting its nickname as the "beer that made Milwaukee famous" after brewer Joseph Schlitz shipped carloads of it to an appreciative Chicago after the city was destroyed by fire. Now owned by Pabst Brewing Co. and made in North Carolina, this new, old Schlitz is being marketed as a premium brew to aging baby boomers who might remember it as their first beer.

In the market to be your own boss?

If you can afford a house here, then, presumably, you can afford to buy a business, too. BizBuySell.com, an online marketplace of businesses for sale, reports that the median asking price of a business here is $200,000. That's $50,000 less than the national price, and virtually equal to the current price of a home here. The Web site reports that almost 900 businesses are for sale in the area, and they run the gamut from gas stations to British pubs. Mike Handelsman, general manager of BizBuySell.com, says he expects more businesses here to post "for sale" signs as baby boomers retire, which should make the price of being your own boss a little lower.

$3 gas changes our driving habits

Remember when we used to merely speculate about what we'd do when gas hit $3 a gallon? Well, the apocalypse is upon us, and one-third of motorists in a survey last week said they've changed their driving habits since gas reached that tipping point. An additional 32 percent of the 500 drivers surveyed said they'd change their driving habits if gas reached $4. The study, released last week, was sponsored by the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association, which was delighted to hear that three-fourths of the drivers who have made changes say they're better maintaining their vehicles. In that group, 90 percent are driving less, 31 percent are carpooling and 30 percent are buying more fuel-efficient vehicles.

Voters happy with Charlotte's rail

Tampa Bay area light rail supporters got a jolt of good news from Charlotte, N.C., last week. Voters rejected a measure that would have repealed a half-cent sales tax that helped build that city's new train line. It wasn't even close: Tax supporters outvoted tax opponents 70 percent to 30 percent. That means Charlotte can continue to collect an estimated $70-million a year to build rail lines to the suburbs. A delegation of Tampa business and government leaders admired Charlotte's rail line on a visit last month. Many hope to offer Tampa Bay area voters a chance to approve a transit-dedicated sales tax in 2010.

About BizBuySell

BizBuySell is the Internet's largest business for sale marketplace. Since 1996, BizBuySell has offered tools that make it easy for business owners and brokers to sell a business, and potential buyers to find the business of their dreams. BizBuySell currently has an inventory of approximately businesses - spanning 80 countries - for sale at any one time and receives more than monthly visits. The site also features an extensive franchise directory as well as an easy-to-use business valuation tool. Please visit www.bizbuysell.com for more information.

BizBuySell was founded in 1996 and in 2012 became a division of CoStar Group, Inc. (NASDAQ - CSGP) - commercial real estate's leading provider of information and analytic services. CoStar conducts expansive, ongoing research to produce and maintain the largest and most comprehensive database of commercial real estate information and offers a suite of online services enabling clients to analyze, interpret and gain unmatched insight on commercial property values, market conditions and current availabilities. For more information, visit www.costar.com.

Media Contact:

Bobby Chilver
Walker Sands Communications
office: (312) 546-4712
email: robert.chilver@walkersands.com

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