Early Briefing: Debating Retail at Metro Stations

Later this month, the Metro board is scheduled to consider whether to solicit proposals for retail kiosks in a dozen Metrorail stations. Metro has never allowed retail sales in stations in its 33 years. Officials tried once before to consider food sales at kiosks, but strong board opposition killed the idea.
This time, General Manager John B. Catoe Jr. thinks that tough economic times might allow Metro to broach that most taboo of topics: breaking the food barrier. There's also the convenience for riders and revenue for Metro.

A West Virginia coal and agriculture company said that it has acquired the Greenbrier resort and plans to ask a bankruptcy court to dismiss the resort's bankruptcy case. Jim Justice and the Greenbrier said that Justice's company, Justice Family Group, acquired the stock of the Greenbrier's holding company. They didn't provide details of the transaction.
Marriott International had agreed to buy the famous resort for up to $130 million and a spokesman for the Bethesda hotel giant said it expects CSX, the Greenbrier's owner, to live up to that deal. "We have a contract to acquire the Greenbrier Resort and we intend to fulfill our obligation and expect our counterparties to do the same," spokesman Thomas Marder said.

Vangent of Arlington said yesterday that it earned $964,000 in the first quarter, compared with a loss of $2.4 million in the comparable quarter a year earlier. It was the private company's first quarter posting a profit. Revenue fell 4.2 percent, to $137.5 million from $143.5 million, hurt by the economy's downturn and currency rates. Chief executive Mac Curtis said in a statement that the company sees opportunities in health care and education, where the Obama administration is focusing.

Arlington Asset Investment said it earned $94.7 million (67 cents a share) in the first quarter, up from $40.2 million (30 cents) in the comparable period a year earlier. The company, formerly Friedman, Billings, Ramsey Group, said revenue fell by 54.7 percent, to $52.5 million. The company said it extinguished $201.7 million of trust preferred debt and intends to extinguish the remaining $50 million.

By Terri Rupar  |  May 8, 2009; 7:30 AM ET  | Category:  Economy Watch , Morning Brief
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You know, I kinda hope they don't put food kiosks in the stations.

1) I've been on the T and in New York, and frankly the passenger parts are nasty from spilled and left-behind food.

2) The entrance areas may well be (more) crowded by lines for same.

If it's either that or hike fares again, then do it, but really I'd be fine if they kept food out.

(Alternatively, they could actually enforce the law and issue fines -- how much money would they get if they busted an average commuter car in the morning for people carrying on coffee and consuming it on the train? Take three Metro police with citation pads, have them enter a random car, and bust the people eating and drinking between two stations with a reasonable distance between them. Done.)

Posted by: forget@menot.com | May 8, 2009 9:50 AM

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