CNBC takes a look at 20 American cities that you don't want to live in, at least not yet. Based on City-data.com's statistics on the most "beaten-up, undesirable cities" in the country, CNBC asked "Best Places" expert Bert Sperling to discuss what's improving about each city.
Chattanooga and Memphis both made the list. On the bright side, Chattanooga has the new Volkswagen plant, a new chemical plant and the upcoming Amazon.com distribution center. On the negative side, Memphis has a high crime rate, high obesity rate and high diabetes rate.
For more on both cities and others, see the slideshow at this link.
Analyst Fred Lowrance at Avondale Partners says the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center could perform better than expected this year in part because recovering from last year's flooding may have set a new baseline. He says the floods "left management and investors with limited ability to project what the newly renovated [...] property may be able to produce with a full year of uninterrupted operations." (For the record, Gaylord told investors last month it is looking for consolidated cash flow from Opryland of between $73 million and $77 million.)
Lowrance also is constructive on shares of Gaylord, which he rates 'market outperform,' because the company is not as reliant on actual room rates as it is on getting more visitors to its facilities, where they spend a ton on food and drink. He sees Gaylord stock (Ticker: GET) rising from the mid-$30s to $51.
It’s easy to be distracted by the mammoth construction site of the Music City Center — where giant arms of steel have finally started to look like the skeleton of a building — and forget about the projects planned around the $585 million development.
One such recently overlooked project is the extension of Korean Veterans Boulevard, which is planned to extend from Fourth Avenue South to a new roundabout at Eighth Avenue South when the MCC opens in 2013. Joey Garrison at The City Paper reports that the owners of the land needed for the street extension have not yet accepted the city’s buyout offers.
“We’re extremely dissatisfied with the offer,” said Eddie Grant, president of Tennessee Electric Motors Co., which operates at Sixth Avenue and Franklin Street, in the path of the future street extension.
“You can’t do anything about them taking it,” he added. “They’re going to take it anyway. But it’s just going through the judicial or legal system, however you want to put it.”
Executives at Gaylord Entertainment have entered into talks with a lending consortium led by Bank of America about refinancing their $1 billion credit line that's due to mature in July of next year. CFO Mark Fioravanti on Monday told investors and analysts at a Raymond James conference in Florida that Gaylord has drawn about $700 million on the line, which was last refinanced in the summer of 2008.
"We feel very good about our ability to get that done at very competitive rates," Fioravanti said. "There are no issues on the capital structure side."
Peterson said he excepted ITEC Group of Orlando, Fla., to issue a statement soon about the park's design. Peterson said the designs released at today's announcement were about 10 years old, but he expected them to be updated soon. A spokesperson for ITEC Group could not be reached for comment. The project is to also include a charter school, a sports complex that Peterson hopes will attract an NBA team, a water park and a skate park. Peterson said he hoped Festival Tennessee's family atmosphere would help solve Tennessee’s “meth problem.”