Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Business Digest

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Business Digest

Article excerpt

Illinois offers $1.5 million in search for resort operator: The Illinois Department of Natural Resources is continuing its efforts to find vendors interested in reopening facilities at the Fitzgerrell State Recreation Area near Rend Lake.

The Department of Natural Resources is upping its effort to reopen the facilities with up to $1.5 million in financial incentives to help with renovations. The department is also accepting bids from people interested in operating smaller sections of the Rend Lake complex.

Illinois in 2016 ended a lease agreement with Rend Lake Resort Inc. because of delinquent rent, utility and tax payments.

When the state shut down the facilities, officials found mold, peeling paint and other health and safety concerns. Since that time, the state has remediated mold in all areas of the resort in southern Illinois.

Back-to-school spending will rise 9%: Spending for new clothes and school supplies used to begin in August, ahead of the new academic year. Now, retailers are using Amazon's midsummer Prime Day as the starting gun for their back-to-school promotions. This year, Prime Day, which is in its fifth year, will run over 48 hours starting July 15.

In a sign of how Amazon's event has altered the summer landscape, 63% of parents said they will start buying items for the school year in July or even earlier, up from 60% from last year, according to a study from RetailMeNot, a digital coupon provider. A longer shopping season may translate into higher spending: This year, they plan to dole out $507 on average for clothing, electronics and other school-related goods, the study found. That's up from $465 in 2018.

Eighty-four percent of retailers say Prime week has become the most important time for online sales during the nearly three-month back-to-school season, the study found.

When Amazon started Prime Day as a midsummer shopping event, only about seven other companies joined in to offer competing deals, according to Michelle Skupin, RetailMeNot's head of marketing and communications. …

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