Minneapolis Daily |
[Most Recent Entries]
Below are the 5 most recent journal entries recorded in
|Wednesday, May 15th, 2013|
|New beer, wine deal on tap for University of Minnesota
The University of Minnesota is hurriedly moving to renegotiate its contract with its longtime concessionaire to funnel more alcohol proceeds to the school after reporting that it lost money in its first year selling beer and wine at TCF Bank Stadium.
University officials said the new tentative agreement — which comes as the school faces continuing criticism for losing money on alcohol sales during the 2012 football season — would substantially increase its percentage of beer and wine sale proceeds from the stadium’s general seating area. Only two months ago, the school reported it lost nearly $16,000 in its first year of selling beer and wine at the four-year-old stadium, even though it sold more than $900,000 worth of alcohol.
The school and Aramark, one of the country’s largest concessionaires, have since been renegotiating the contract at the urging of university President Eric Kaler and athletic department officials, and a new agreement would raise the university’s percentage from 22.5 percent of net sales to 35 percent of net sales up to $475,000 and 40 percent of sales above $475,000 in the stadium’s general seating area. Using the new percentages, school officials said the university would make $110,000 this coming football season based on last year’s sales.
“I think it was a surprise that we lost money,” said David Benedict, the school’s executive associate athletic director. “We were not happy when we realized the fact that we had not shown a net profit.”
Benedict said Aramark, as part of the new agreement, also pledged to give the school $37,000 to help erase its first-year loss, but he said the move was not an attempt by the company to make sure its university contract was not jeopardized.
A spokesperson for Aramark said the company would have no comment on the renegotiated contract.
A review of the university’s recent agreements with Aramark, a Philadelphia-based company that has had contracts with the school since 1998, suggested that school officials initially might not have aggressively pushed for higher percentages of alcohol sales at the 50,720-seat TCF Bank Stadium.
Within months after the stadium opened in 2009, school officials agreed to get 22.5 percent of potential alcohol sales even though the university had previously agreed with Aramark on a much higher rate of non-alcohol concession sales at the stadium: 33.24 percent of non-alcohol concession sales up to $1 million, and 37.93 percent of concession sales above $2 million.
The school’s earlier agreement with Aramark on alcohol sales at TCF Bank Stadium also came as the school had been getting up to a 40 percent commission on net alcohol sales from the same company at nearby Northrop Auditorium. Leslie Bowman, the university’s executive director of contract administration, said the school subsequently agreed to the 22.5 percent figure at the football stadium and also agreed to lower the percentage at Northrop Auditorium to 22.5 percent “because we had to look at the campus as a whole.”
While Northrop Auditorium — which is now closed for remodeling — had “a bit larger” percentage, it produced “a very small, small dollar amount,” Bowman said.
It was not clear, however, how the deal that led to the school’s revenue loss at TCF Bank Stadium came about or who ultimately approved it. Benedict said he was hired by the school only last July and did not immediately tumble to the possibility the school would lose money.
Other U venues made money
By comparison, the public authority that oversees the Metrodome, the home of the Vikings and former home of the university’s football team, has regularly received more than $1 million annually in alcohol profits from general sales inside the stadium. Last year, the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority received nearly $1.9 million in alcohol money from general sales inside the stadium, while the Vikings got $615,887.
The public authority that oversees Target Field, the Twins’ ballpark that opened in 2010, gets 10 percent of the net alcohol sales from the limited number of non-Major League Baseball events at the facility and received $169,501 last year. Under an agreement with the Minnesota Ballpark Authority, the Twins keep all concession money including alcohol sales from its baseball games.
School administrators said the new percentages at TCF Bank Stadium would be in place for one year — the school said it hopes to further raise the percentage — and that the 22.5 percent figure would still apply to alcohol sales in the stadium’s premium seating. In addition, the school said it would push to make sure the Vikings — who will temporarily play at TCF Bank Stadium in 2014 and 2015 while their new stadium is under construction — do not negotiate a more lucrative deal with Aramark while using the campus stadium.
University officials also said that first-year alcohol sales in the premium seating at Mariucci and Williams arenas, where the school’s men’s hockey and basketball teams play, had netted $20,673 for the school during the past season.
The decision to sell alcohol at TCF Bank Stadium came after school officials had pushed the Legislature for something else: to sell alcohol only in the football stadium’s premium seating areas. School administrators indicated they had little time to assess the possibility of losing money because they had to quickly prepare an alternative plan when legislators last year insisted that alcohol also be made available in the stadium’s general seating areas.
The political sting of having lost money has not subsided.
“When we read the account that beer was being sold for — what? — $7.25 [and] we lost money, we were taken aback,” said Dean Johnson, a member of the school’s Board of Regents and a former Senate majority leader. “I don’t know a Minnesotan who would believe that you’d lose money with that kind of a gross. I think that a sharper pencil, and better accounting methods, ought to be used.”
Rep. Dan Schoen, DFL-St. Paul Park, who wants to extend alcohol sales to other sports facilities at the university, said the contract left him with questions of how aggressively the university negotiated its alcohol sales deal and showed that school administrators did not like close scrutiny. “Why is Aramark getting such a sweet deal, and how is that even allowed to happen?” he asked.
Board of Regents member Clyde Allen, however, defended the arrangement, and said prohibiting underage alcohol sales — and not making money — was the school’s top priority at the football stadium. “Making money on it is not really the main purpose of it,” Allen said. “We’re more interested in being sure that we can control the sale of it.”
For Minneapolis web design firm
, please call: (612) 590-8080
|Tuesday, April 16th, 2013|
Minneapolis proposal would relax liquor rules on restaurants
The next time you sidle up to a bar in Minneapolis to savor some craft beers, consider ordering a hamburger. Or two.
Behind the scenes, restaurant owners outside downtown are walking a tightrope to accommodate a city rule that requires them to make at least 60 percent of their revenue from food. The 30-year-old ordinance was intended to keep serious drinking out of the neighborhoods, but the popularity of high-end beers and other factors have made compliance nearly impossible at some establishments — particularly in Uptown.
At the Lyndale Tap House, owners have offered free tacos, nudged up food prices and aggressively pushed brunch offerings in a bid to increase food sales. They were found out of compliance last year, along with several nearby weekend hot spots.
“It starts throwing your liquor-food percentages off really quickly, when you’re talking about somebody that’s out for the night drinking,” said owner Gene Suh.
Those businesses may soon get a break. Two City Council members are pushing for a change that would allow them to increase alcohol sales to 50 percent of total revenue. The proposal may simultaneously relax special residential-area wine licenses that require patrons to eat to buy a drink.
“Downtown you can have unlimited alcohol sales,” said Council Member Gary Schiff, who is running for mayor. “And in the neighborhood, we want to achieve a balance. And 50/50 still achieves a balance.”
The proposal’s coauthor, Council Member Meg Tuthill, foresees some resistance from neighborhood groups. “Some of the neighborhoods might not be real happy,” said Tuthill, who represents Uptown. “But it’s not going to really change what’s going on. Because already [restaurants] are not meeting it.”
Tuthill said Friday she has been meeting with colleagues and staff about the proposal. It could be introduced next month.
The so-called 60-40 requirements apply to about 100 businesses in the city. They are generally outside of downtown and within 500 feet of a residential property. Some businesses have licenses that are grandfathered out of the restriction. Most establishments report figures annually, giving them a year to try to augment sales.
Twelve have been found out of compliance since January 2012, including Uptown venues Bar Louie, Stella’s Fish Cafe, Old Chicago, moto-i, Bulldog, Cafeteria and Cause Spirits and Soundbar. City licensing staffers work with non-compliant businesses to increase food sales, long before taking harsher action such as downgrading licenses or denying renewal.
“I think that there are places that are operating in Minneapolis right now that aren’t meeting the 60-40 that are not creating a problem for their neighbors or for livability or anything like that,” said Grant Wilson, the city’s head of business licensing. “So, if it’s occurring and people are able to successfully operate, maybe 60-40 isn’t the magic number.”
Former Council Member Tony Scallon, an original author of the 1983 ordinance, said it was crafted in response to restaurants that wanted to sell liquor in the neighborhoods following repeal of the city’s liquor patrol limits — which restricted licenses to certain sectors of Minneapolis. Back then, restrictions were needed to prevent the spread of more notorious liquor joints like those at the “Hub of Hell” on 26th Avenue and 26th Street south.
“There used to be about four bars where people would come in and just drink all night. … the guy would cash his check and then drink part of his family’s income,” Scallon recalled. “That is gone.”
Craft beers can be costly
Tastes have since become more sophisticated. Republic, a new restaurant in Calhoun Square with a sister location in Seven Corners, has 56 taps and only sells craft beers. The prices range from $4 for Boulder Mojo Nitro I.P.A. to $9 for a St. Bernardus Abt 12 Quadrupel Belgian. Burgers, meanwhile, cost between $8 and $11. Co-owner Matty O’Reilly estimates that about 60 percent of their revenues now come from alcohol five months after opening, though food sales are increasing.
“If everyone ordered happy-hour tacos and two beers, we’re at 70-30,” said O’Reilly, referring to the alcohol to food ratio. “And I think we’re doing a good job of trying to be a restaurant first.”
Across the river in St. Paul, restaurants outside of downtown may have fewer worries. Robert Humphrey, a spokesman for the city’s Department of Safety and Inspections, said those businesses with liquor licenses — rather than a beer and wine license — must serve food. But there is no percentage requirement.
Kim Bartmann, a local restaurateur whose businesses include Barbette, Bryant Lake Bowl and Pat’s Tap, which recently had a compliance problem, said the current ordinance is flawed because it forces some business owners to raise food prices or lower alcohol prices. Reducing the percentage requirement is a step in the right direction, she says, but the city should also revisit the whole approach.
“It’s too simplistic,” Bartmann said. “I think we need to have a more complex conversation about what do we want the city of Minneapolis to be. What are neighborhood places?”
|Monday, February 25th, 2013|
|Minneapolis won't bid for 2024 Olympics
Don’t believe the hype about Minneapolis pursuing the 2024 Summer Olympics.
Mayor R.T. Rybak sent a letter to the U.S. Olympic Committee on Thursday saying the city will not proceed with a bid for the games, which would involve an “extraordinary commitment of time and resources.”
Instead, he wrote, the city will focus on “large-scale, national-caliber events” like the Super Bowl and the Democratic National Convention.
His letter comes several days after the U.S. Olympic Committee reached out to more than 25 cities to gauge their interest in hosting the games.
Rybak said the city’s tourism and convention board, Meet Minneapolis, has formed a “Local Organizing Committee” that will work to recruit major events. They will offer the city as a site for Olympic training and exhibition events “that are a good fit for us,” Rybak said.
“We are ready to support the next U.S. city that will proudly host the Olympic and Paralympic Games,” he wrote.
For Minneapolis web design service, please contact ProWeb365 at info@ProWeb365.com or 612-590-8080.
|Wednesday, December 5th, 2012|
|Minnesota Web Design
ProWeb365 provides custom web design at reasonable prices and is always up-front about our affordable web design services. We list our web design costs
right on our website, so you can do price comparisons Online. Our Minnesota web design firm custom builds professional websites – including Ecommerce, Blog, and Mobile Websites - that are easy to self-update and manage, with integrated content management systems (CMS) such as Drupal, Joomla, Magento, and WordPress.
We can help place your business website on the most important real estate on the Internet: Google’s page-one. Contact our Minneapolis internet marketing
company at 612-590-8080 and let us prepare your website for Online marketing success. ProWeb365 is a results & relationship-driven company. We only bill you for results that we successfully deliver. Our Minneapolis web design firm provides the most reliable and professional web services, and strives to go above and beyond your expectations.
As leading Minnesota
web designers and Online marketers, we take a different approach in the web development process to transform your business vision into an effective online marketing website. We focus first on your needs by listening and learning about your business and targeted customers before recommending any ideas for your website designs.
Once our team clearly understands your business needs, we will identify key strategies to present your products and services most effectively to Online visitors. Many clients find our approach helpful because the more we understand about their businesses and targeted customers, the better we can create effective websites tailored to their specific types of services and customers. Overall, our Minneapolis web design team can create a unique website to help your business stands out professionally Online.
Today, consumers move quickly between tasks; anything that runs slowly, loads slowly or works slowly will lose their interest in seconds. Thus, a great website design
is one that looks professional, loads fast, displays consistently on different web browsers (Google, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Opera, and Safari), and communicates effectively and efficiently. Within 60 seconds of landing on your website, any visitor should be able to understand what products/services you are providing; otherwise, they may lose interest and leave your site. If your current website doesn’t have the attributes mentioned above, you should give our Twin Cities web design company a call at 612-590-8080; we will re-vamp your website to help you gain, retain, and convert new visitors into customers.
|How Internet Marketing Can Boost Business Prospects?
If you are going to launch the website of your business and done with register domain name, web design, add the content, and set live, internet marketing strategies will be the next step for you to get profit from your website.
Nowadays, all people know about internet marketing
. Internet marketing is one of the most effective ways to ensure that your service can be found and accessible to the target client with affordable price. This can be process by formulating and implementing internet marketing tool, online marketing techniques and strategies to improve the visibility of your website and services with all potential clients.
In order to get the best effective of internet marketing, it is important for you to point out the list of tasks that you have to follow. Firstly, you need to define the business objective & build up value content to your site. A business objective may be a service, discount sale or something you want to provide thought out your website. The content seems to be the most important thing to get traffic back to your site. Therefore, it should be informative and unique. After you point the business objective, you have to choose the market or target clients. You need to know exactly who would be interested in your service. Your service may not meet all people’s requirement. So, you need to break down large groups of people who may concern and interested in what you tend to give to them.
Secondly, pick up a channel of your internet marketing strategies. We have many channels for doing internet marketing. However, it not means that all channels can get good effect to your business. Depend on your budget & your business objective you can choose which channels may be suitable for your site. You may choose Banner Ads, Social Media, Social Network or Search Engine Marketing. With Banner Ads, you should collect the websites that have bunch of traffic and relevant with your service or site content. For Social Media, you should focus on the top three social media venues: Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Remember be honest to help the community rather than to push products. Search engine marketing includes PPC (pay per click)
and SEO (Search engine optimization). In order to get the best out of search engine marketing process, it is important for you to satisfy appetite of the search engines for unique, relevant, and interesting informative text. Build up a good landing page must be the important task for you to get good result from PPC campaign.
Finally, you should keep tracking the progress – For any reason, internet marketing strategy is all about experimentation. Anticipate that initial assumptions about the strategy or what it takes to get traffic to convert will not be right (or not effective enough) and changes will need to be made. For this reason, it is essential to have a complete analysis report to help figure out what’s working and what’s not.
All in all, internet marketing seems to be the perfect tool of promoting the prospects of your business (specially small business) in the short as well as the long term and getting it from a professional further enhances the chances of making it big and quick.