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VOL. 130 | NO. 49 | Thursday, March 12, 2015

Daily Digest

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Main Event Entertainment Acquires Land for $1.2 Million

A family entertainment concept new to the Memphis market has acquired the land for its first center.

Main Event Entertainment LP purchased the land at Appling Road and Interstate 40 from Belz Investment Co. LP for $1.2 million, according to a March 6 warranty deed.

Main Event Entertainment is bringing its “Eat. Bowl. Play.” experience to Memphis with a 50,056-square-foot entertainment center and restaurant at Appling Road and Interstate 40.

With centers ranging from 48,000 to 75,000 square feet, Main Event locations offer more than 20 state-of-the-art bowling lanes, a multilevel laser tag arena, billiards and a gravity ropes course suspended over a game room with more than 100 interactive video games. Giant television screens are located throughout the centers.

Main Event, which has 19 centers in five states, also has private rooms for birthday parties, social gatherings and corporate meetings.

Main Event opened six centers in new and existing markets in 2014. In addition to Memphis, it plans to open centers in Fort Worth, Texas; Kansas City; Phoenix; Chicago; Orlando, Fla.; Tulsa, Okla.; and Albuquerque, N.M., by June 2016.

Source: The Daily News Online & Chandler Reports

– Amos Maki

Healthy Memphis Food Festival Coming to Broad

The first annual Healthy Memphis Food Festival is coming to the Broad Avenue Arts District next month.

The event, produced by event company Mocha Enterprises LLC, will happen April 11 and April 12. It will transform the Water Tower on Broad into a mini marketplace filled with things like healthy food vendors, music, art and wellness businesses.

Fitness classes and free blood pressure and cholesterol tests also will be available.

Admission to the festival is free. Bringing a full bag of non-perishable food allows guests to register to win prizes from participating vendors.

– Andy Meek

Visible Music College to Bring Back Music Week

Visible Music Week is returning this summer to Memphis and Chicago, offering a week-long music program for high school students that allows them to experience the college academic environment and challenges them to create, record and perform new original music.

The week involves Visible Music College condensing the elements of a semester into one week. Students will be taught music theory, have devotionals, be placed in bands and asked to work out a tune to record and perform live by the end of the week.

In week-long sessions in Memphis and Chicago, plus one weekend session for middle school-aged students, Visible Music Week will provide training in vocals, drums, bass, guitar and keyboard; hands-on seminars in worship leadership; music production and music business; and a microcosm of the student experience at Visible Music College.

The middle school weekend in Memphis is June 12 and 13. The high school week is June 14-June 20.

Chicago’s music week is June 21-June 27.

In addition to the educational and spiritual components of the week, participants also will record in Visible Music College’s new Music Industry Underground facility and stay in student housing.

– Andy Meek

Applications Open for EPIcenter Logistics Accelerator

Applications are now open for the 2015 EPIcenter Logistics Innovation Accelerator, a new entrepreneurship accelerator program sponsored by FedEx and created to help startups bring innovative logistics technology to market.

The accelerator focuses on technologies and products that enable and enhance logistics, leveraging the region’s strengths as the world’s distribution hub. The accelerator is operated by the Memphis Bioworks-led EPIcenter strategic initiative, and beyond the accelerator, participants also will have access to EPIcenter-led collaborations among entrepreneurial support organizations in Memphis, as well as expertise and support from the full ecosystem in the region.

Up to six companies will be chosen for the summer 2015 cohort and will receive $25,000 in initial seed capital from Memphis-based venture capital firm Innova.

Competition for participation in the program is open internationally. However, companies chosen must be based in Memphis for the duration of the program.

– Andy Meek

Founding Fathers Brews Now Available in Tennessee

Tennesseeans looking for a patriotic brew have a new option as Founding Fathers Brewing Co. lagers are now available throughout the state.

The Minneapolis-based brewing company will offer its amber, pale and light lagers in Tennessee through Lipman Brothers Distributing.

Founding Fathers produces a uniquely American product: Not only is it formulated, owned and brewed in the U.S., but the company also donates 50 percent of its proceeds to organizations that support American military families.

The two primary organizations that receive the funding are The Armed Forces Relief Trust, which aids active duty military across all service branches, and The American Legion, a veteran’s service organization.

“I founded the company to create a superior lager-style, American-made beer that supports American military families with what I consider to be a heroic level of giving,” said Founding Fathers CEO Phil Knutsen. “We hope Founding Fathers will become the beer of choice for patriotic, mainstream, domestic beer drinkers.”

Tennessee marks Founding Father’s seventh state. It also is available in Minnesota, North Carolina, Florida, North Dakota, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

The brewing company was founded in 2009 and plans to continue its national expansion throughout 2015.

– Jane A. Donahoe

Tennessee Mulls Removing Control Over Guns in Parks

Community parks, playgrounds and sports fields are among the few areas in Tennessee where local governments can ban people with handgun carry permits from being armed. Now gun-friendly state lawmakers are looking to change that.

Lawmakers included the local exemption when they enacted a law to allow guns in parks in 2009 as a nod to local control, and more than 70 communities initially opted out.

But state Republican Rep. Mike Harrison said that law has created a confusing situation for the nearly 500,000 permit holders in the state who don’t know whether a particular park is off-limits if they are armed.

“We’ve had seven years of people with gun carry permits all across the state — in state parks, local parks, Little League games — and there’s not been any problems,” Harrison said. “So this would just make it consistent across the state.”

Harrison’s bill was advanced by voice vote in the House Civil Justice Committee on Wednesday.

Kathleen Chandler Wright, a member of the Tennessee chapter of the Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, said the measure raises serious concerns.

“It’s going to be allowing people to carry guns into playgrounds and places where we take our children,” she said. “It doesn’t seem right to have them come in and override the community’s decision on whether to allow the guns.”

– The Associated Press

Southwest Saw February Gains in Traffic, Capacity

Southwest Airlines Co. said Wednesday that passengers flew more, flights were more crowded, and a key revenue figure increased in February compared with a year earlier.

Southwest said traffic rose 6 percent as passengers flew 7.57 billion miles last month. The increase outstripped a 3.6 percent increase in capacity, which is measured in seats times miles flown. Southwest has been adding larger versions of the Boeing 737 and flying longer average flights, both of which increase capacity.

With traffic rising faster than capacity, the average flight was 79.9 percent full compared with 78.1 percent in February 2014.

A closely watched number, revenue for every seat flown one mile, rose about 1 percent over February 2014, the company said. That figure rises when planes fly with more passengers or average fares increase.

– The Associated Press

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