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  • The American Pet Products Association's annual report on pet industry spending says Americans spent $58 billion in 2014 on their 397 million pets, which range from freshwater fish and reptiles to cats and dogs. Last year, people spent $22 billion on food; $15 billion on veterinary care; $14 billion on supplies such as beds, bowls and collars and over-the-counter...

  • Ringling Bros. to give up elephant acts in 3 years Thursday, 5 Mar 2015 | 8:06 AM ET

    The move announced Thursday is bittersweet and didn't come easily, Feld family members said as they broke the news to The Associated Press. "It was a decision 145 years in the making," said Juliette Feld, who now helps run the circus company with her sisters and father, Feld Enterprises Inc. President Kenneth Feld. "We're not reacting to our critics; we're creating the...

  • Lumber Liquidators executives skip Florida appeareance Wednesday, 4 Mar 2015 | 10:39 AM ET

    TOANO, Va.— Executives with Lumber Liquidators backed out of an investor conference in Florida where they were expected to appear Wednesday. The company announced early last month that CEO Robert Lynch and Chief Financial Officer Daniel Terrell would make a presentation Wednesday at the Raymond James Annual Institutional Investors Conference in Orlando.

  • ORLANDO, Fla.— As Florida's housing market tanked seven years ago, construction worker David Rager saw jobs dry up. In a recent survey of more than 900 contractors by Associated General Contractors of America, 83 percent said they were having trouble filling craft positions. Given the amount of building going on, "it's going to be interesting because we're going to...

  • MIAMI— As Florida lawmakers appear ready to allow key portions of the state's high-stakes gambling deal with the Seminole to expire, other gambling interests are watching keenly for openings in the multi-billion dollar industry if the tribe and Gov. The tribe owns six casinos in Florida, including the highly profitable Hard Rock Casinos in South Florida and...

  • NEW YORK— You may think you're immune to transparent sales pitches like "Do you want fries with that?" But the tactics restaurants use to nudge you into spending a little extra may be subtler than you realize. Greg Rapp, a menu consultant in California, says he advises restaurants and fast-food chains to leave those off when listing prices on a menu.

  • Marriott beats 4Q profit forecasts Thursday, 26 Feb 2015 | 11:54 AM ET

    ORLANDO, Fla. _ Marriott Vacations Worldwide Corp. on Thursday reported fourth-quarter earnings of $1 million. The Orlando, Florida- based company said it had profit of 1 cent per share. The average estimate of analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of 61 cents per share.

  • ORLANDO, Fla.— SeaWorld reported a wider loss in its fourth quarter as attendance to its theme parks continued to fall. SeaWorld has been battling negative publicity after a 2013 documentary, "Blackfish," suggested that its treatment of animals may have led to the deaths of trainers. SeaWorld has taken out newspaper ads to defend its practices.

  • SeaWorld reports 4Q loss Thursday, 26 Feb 2015 | 9:27 AM ET

    ORLANDO, Fla. _ SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. on Thursday reported a loss of $25.4 million in its fourth quarter. The average estimate of analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for a loss of 14 cents per share. Analysts expected $254.4 million, according to Zacks.

  • Feb 24- An experimental therapeutic vaccine from Danish drugmaker Bavarian Nordic helped significantly extend survival in patients with advanced prostate cancer, according to results of a small early-stage trial conducted by the U.S. National Cancer Institute. Patients were treated with the company's Prostvac vaccine, in addition to escalating doses of...

  • Darden names interim CEO Lee to post permanently Monday, 23 Feb 2015 | 8:21 AM ET

    ORLANDO, Fla.— Darden Restaurants Inc. has named interim CEO Eugene I. Lee Jr. to the post on a permanent basis. The appointment is effective immediately, the operator of Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse and other restaurants said Monday. Darden, which is based in Orlando, Florida, said that it will now focus its search efforts on finding someone to succeed retiring...

  • ORLANDO, Fla., Feb 22- A one-day ticket to the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World in Orlando jumped on Sunday to $105 from $99, an increase that likely makes the Florida family attraction the first in the industry to breach the $100 psychological barrier. All other Walt Disney Co parks in Orlando and California increased prices for one-day, one-park admission, but...

  • US port fight ruins Lunar New Year Thursday, 19 Feb 2015 | 3:06 PM ET
    Ben Tan, whose shop, Harmony Gift Center, has less than a third of its normal stock, in the Chinatown neighborhood of New York, Feb. 19, 2015.

    Items for the start of Chinese New Year celebrations were in short supply in the US, an example of the fallout from the gridlock at seaports.

  • Feb 12- Darden Restaurants Inc was sued on Thursday by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which accused the company of age discrimination in hiring for its Seasons 52 restaurants nationwide. In a complaint filed with the U.S. District Court in Miami, the EEOC said it is "standard operating procedure" for Darden, which also runs the Olive Garden chain,...

  • Analysts expect companies presenting at the conference- which include Lululemon Athletica, Big Lots and Guess- to shine a light on holiday trends and discuss business expectations for 2015, and in some cases update their outlooks. J.C. Penney Co, American Eagle Outfitters and Aeropostale Inc all had strong results, though Macy's disappointed.

  • *Olive Garden 2nd- qtr same-store sales up 0.5 pct. Dec 16- Darden Restaurants Inc, whose entire board was replaced by activist investor Starboard Value LP, reported a 4.9 percent rise in quarterly sales and raised the lower end of its adjusted profit forecast for the full year. Darden said it now expects adjusted profit of $2.25- $2.30 per share from continuing...

  • Dec 16- Darden Restaurants Inc reported a 4.9 percent rise in quarterly sales, helped by higher comparable sales at its flagship Olive Garden chain, and raised the lower end of its adjusted profit forecast for the full year. The company has suffered more than a year of traffic declines at Olive Garden, which accounts for more than half of Darden's overall revenue...

  • SeaWorld CEO to step down, company to cut jobs Thursday, 11 Dec 2014 | 6:15 PM ET

    SeaWorld did not say how many jobs it would cut, as part of its restructuring plan aimed at saving about $50 million by the end of 2015.. Negative publicity has hurt SeaWorld' s 11 park enterprises, with attendance rising only twice in the last seven quarters. SeaWorld shares closed at $16.09 on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday.

  • Hilton Worldwide in talks to buy four hotels - Bloomberg Wednesday, 10 Dec 2014 | 4:25 PM ET

    Dec 10- Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc is in talks to buy four properties from Blackstone Group LP and others for deferring tax payments from the sale of its Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York, Bloomberg reported. The company is planning to buy San Francisco's Parc 55 Wyndham, two Waldorf Astoria resorts in Key West and one in Orlando, Florida, the report said, citing...

  • ORLANDO/ WASHINGTON, Nov 16- In recent weeks, hundreds of thousands of U.S. More than 17 million cars have been recalled worldwide, including over 11 million in the United States. Robert Lamoureux, 47, a coordinator for an events production firm in Orlando, heard about exploding airbags on the news weeks ago and confirmed on Honda's website that his 2002 Accord SE...