The team from Sporting built a demo version in 24 hours that used the city of Kansas City's application programming interface, which included a list of public and garage parking spaces downtown. Where Da Spot is intended to provide users with a listing of available spaces, the ability to pay for those spaces using Dwolla, a reminder for when you'd need to feed the meter or move your car, and directions back to where you parked in case you've forgotten.
The Austin-based movie chain is in the midst of a massive expansion with theaters planned in Houston; Dallas; Washington, D.C.; New York City; and San Francisco. The quirky theater made national news last year for kicking a moviegoer out for texting in the theater. When she left a voice-mail tirade about how she was treated, their mock-PSA response went viral. The Alamo Drafthouse has had a strict no-talking policy since it opened in 1997.
AMC is in the process of building a new headquarters in Leawood, and Wanda said the company will be based there. The Los Angeles Times reports that the purchase price was $2.6 billion. Adding Wanda's 730 screens in 86 multiplexes in China to AMC's theaters makes it the largest theater operator in the world.
According to the statement released by the companies, Wanda will invest $500 million "over time to fund AMC's strategic and operating initiatives."
AMC announced last September that it would move its headquarters from downtown Kansas City to Leawood in the spring of 2013.
CEO Bo Fishback, who used to work for Kauffman Labs, wasted no time in lining up money and celebrity backers. In two days, he and his business partners had accumulated $1 million and the support of Ashton Kutcher, tech blogger Michael Arrington, and the investment fund started by Groupon's founders.
At the time, Fishback admitted that all startups are a gamble. He compared his young business with eBay, noting that while only a small percentage of people use the online auction site, it facilitated $100 billion in transactions last year. "But we have a shot of being bigger than that [eBay], actually. We also have a shot at being out of business in a year." It looks like things are leaning toward the former. The company announced today that it had banked an additional $14.1 million in funding from a handful of investors.
AMC will receive a tax rebate of more than $40 million to leave downtown and build a new headquarters in Leawood. The company is taking advantage of an economic development program that richly rewards employers who set up shop in Kansas. Dozens of Missouri companies have reached for the cash.
Monday's Wall Street Journal story touting Kansas City as one of the nation's new tech hubs has already earned a grumpy counterpoint from The Kansas City Star. The reality check was fair, but if you want to hold on a little longer to that warm, fuzzy feeling of being acknowledged by the East Coast, here's some good news: That Google Fiber super-double-crazy-fast thing is totally going to kick ass. Says who? The West Coast.
Rich peoples' magazine Forbes, which seemingly puts out a sports-related list every three or four months, has released a list of the world's 50 most valuable teams. And the Kansas City Chiefs came in at No. 27. According to the magazine, the Chiefs are worth $965 million, just ahead of the New Orleans Saints.
Surprisingly, the magazine calculates that the Chiefs are only $10
million less valuable than FC Barcelona, a world-famous soccer club. The description for how the Chiefs achieved such a high ranking is rather brief: "Arrowhead Stadium opened in 1972, but had a $375 million renovation completed last year that boosted stadium revenues for the Chiefs." Simple enough.
A Kansas City marketing company has moved four blocks, and the city will become a little poorer as a result.
Global Prairie has changed addresses in the Crossroads District. The company recently left its location at 1619 Walnut for the Vitagraph Film Exchange Building, at 17th Street and Wyandotte. Though its zip code remains the same, half of Global Prairie's workforce will fall off the city's tax rolls because of an agreement with philanthropist Shirley Helzberg, who restored the Vitagraph Building.
Get Motivated, the business seminar that takes over the Sprint Center next week, is not being advertised on every billboard in the city -- it only seems that way.
The daylong event doesn't lack star power. Among its dozen-plus speakers are two men who have run for the country's highest office (Rudy Giuliani, Steve Forbes) and a woman who is married to a former president (Laura Bush). Yet a number of the speakers bring imperfect résumés. Corporate executive Howard Putnam, for instance, will speak about the success of Southwest Airlines without having worked at the company for almost 30 years. Four other questionable choices are slated to appear.
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