ELVIS WILL BE THE BUILDING: The company that owns the licensing rights to the name and image of Elvis Presley is continuing with plans to build a casino devoted to the King on the Las Vegas Strip, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing this week. New York-based FX Real Estate and Entertainment said the project, planned for an 18-acre site across from the CityCenter development, hinges on whether the company can raise capital through debt and equity financing. The development has a $3.1 billion price, not including land costs, financing and additional preopening costs, the filing said. FX told the SEC that it hoped to aim at the "upper strata of the luxury market" and that design plans were in flux "in relation to the demands of the Las Vegas market."
MORE FLIGHTS CANCELED: American Airlines and Delta Air Lines canceled hundreds of more flights Thursday as they kept inspecting wiring bundles on some planes. American, the nation's largest airline, said it canceled 132 of its estimated 2,300 flights scheduled for Thursday. That was about 6 percent of American's Thursday schedule after the airline canceled 318 flights Wednesday, spokesman Tim Smith said. The carrier found seats for most passengers on other of its planes but also put customers on other airlines' flights, Smith said. Delta said it expects about 275 cancellations through early today, affecting about 3 percent of its worldwide schedule. Spokeswoman Chris Kelly said about 70 percent of its MD-88 fleet was to be inspected by early Thursday evening.
STARBUCKS SUED OVER TIPS: Another former Starbucks employee is suing over the way the coffee chain divides tips. The Minnesota lawsuit says Starbucks broke a state law that prohibits employers from requiring employees to share tips. The lawsuit claims that some of those who shared in the tips were supervisors. Starbucks says its baristas and shift supervisors share tips because they provide the same customer service. A similar lawsuit was filed Wednesday in Massachusetts, and Starbucks is planning to appeal a California judge's order that it pay $100 million in tips and interest because supervisors shared in the tips given to baristas.
BEAR STEARNS CHAIRMAN SELLS STAKE: Bear Stearns Cos. Chairman James Cayne this week dumped his stake in the embattled investment bank for $61 million as it appears closer to a takeover by JPMorgan Chase & Co. Cayne sold 5.66 million shares for $10.84 a share Tuesday, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. His stake once was valued at about $1 billion, when the stock was trading at $171.50 per share. His stake at one point plunged to about $27 million, when JPMorgan announced nearly two weeks ago it would acquire the No. 5 U.S. investment bank for $2 per share. JPMorgan upped that offer to $10 per share.
JUICE TAX CHANGE ON HOLD: Officials in Florida are waiting a week to vote on reinstituting taxes on foreign orange juice producers. The Florida Citrus Department was scheduled to vote Thursday on a proposal for the Legislature. It would change the citrus tax structure to assess fees based on liquid measurements instead of pounds of oranges grown. That means all juice would be taxed equally, regardless of where the citrus came from. Citrus commissioners wanted more time to consider the proposal, because there were so many unknowns. The state changed its tax rules in 2003 as part of a lawsuit settlement. Importers argued it was unfair to pay a tax that helps fund advertising for Florida juice while they market a competing product. The state allowed them to opt out of two-thirds of the tax.
BEE NEWS SERVICES
1, 2, 3: Ranks of London, New York and Moscow as the world's most expensive cities for residential apartment buyers, according a survey by the Global Property Guide
$21,800 to $36,200: Cost range per square yard of residential apartments in prime Central London (includes Belgravia, Chelsea, Mayfair, Notting Hill, Knightsbridge, Regent's Park, South Kensington, St. John's Wood and St. James)
$13,270 to $22,923: Cost range per square yard of residential apartments in Upper Manhattan
47.9 percent: U.S. homeowners' equity in their homes in the fourth quarter of 2007, according to the U.S. Federal Reserve
Never: Year in which Americans' equity in their homes last fell below 50 percent, based on data tracked since 1945
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