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Bill Newbold, senior director of operations for Cycle Gear, give us an inside look at how the retailer is ramping up for 2014 and beyond.

Today in the news

Juan Valdez aims to perk up U.S. sales with first franchises
posted on Jul 25 14

Colombian coffee brand Juan Valdez will open its first franchise cafe in Miami, with plans to open four more this year in a push to compete with giant Starbucks. The brand, owned by the Colombian Coffee Growers Federation, is facing new competition at home — last week, Starbucks opened its first store in Bogota. Read the Bloomberg Businessweek story here

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$925M MGM casino project in Md. gets green light to begin
posted on Jul 25 14

Preliminary work has already started at the site of MGM Resorts International‘s planned National Harbor casino in Prince George’s County, Md., and the company’s plans have been approved by the county council. Read The Baltimore Sun story here

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La Quinta design turns lobby into great room, doubles gym
posted on Jul 24 14

La Quinta Inns & Suites is working on a prototype of a new brand called Del Sol, in which the lobby becomes a great room and the fitness center’s size doubles. Read the Hotel Management online story here

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$3.5B transit plan proposed for New Orleans
posted on Jul 24 14

A $3.5 billion proposal to improve New Orleans’ transportation network has been introduced. The plan calls for the installation of more than 180 bus shelters, the growth of the city’s bus fleet and the addition of 33.5 miles of streetcar track. The plan still needs to get the green light from the board of commissioners of the Regional Transit Authority. Read The Times-Picayune story here

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Panda Express aims to stay trendy with new store concept
posted on Jul 23 14

Panda Express opened a new eatery in a Pasadena, Calif., strip mall that will double as a test kitchen for new menu items such as scallion pancake burrito wraps. The chain, known for its quickservice food court outlets, has added a fast-casual assembly line and a bubble tea bar to the new footprint in an ongoing effort to stay relevant with customers and increase traffic. Read the Fast Company online story here

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