Business briefs

Visitors Guide information requested
The Cajun Coast Visitors & Convention Bureau is in the process of updating its annual Visitors Guide with more than 50,000 guides to be produced, the bureau announced in a news release.
The Visitors Guide is the response piece mailed to visitor inquiries and the guide is distributed throughout the parish at hotels, campgrounds, restaurants, attractions, and the visitor centers as well as at industry trade shows throughout the state and nationwide, the news release stated.
The sections of the guide include: Exploring and Recreation including attractions and forms of recreation such as golf, fishing, horseshoes and guides; Shopping; Accommodations including campgrounds, hotels, and bed and breakfasts; Restaurants; Itineraries; Day Trips; and Visitor Services.
If you or someone you know has recently opened a business, offers a service or if you would like to inquire whether your business is included in this guide, contact the Cajun Coast Visitors & Convention Bureau at 985-380-8224 or email info@cajuncoast.com by July 21, the news release stated.
There also is space available for advertisements, the news release stated. For more information about placing an advertisement in the Visitors Guide contact the Cajun Coast Visitors & Convention Bureau at 985-380-8224 or email info@cajuncoast.com.

Growth prompts Scott to consider zoning laws
SCOTT (AP)— The Scott City Council is set to consider new regulations next month that, for the first time in Scott, would spell out what can be built where.
The move is in line with a trend seen throughout Lafayette Parish.
In the past five years, new zoning laws or land-use codes have been implemented in Carencro, Broussard, Youngsville and the rural areas of the parish — all of which had little or no regulation on development.

April B.R. consumer spending flat
BATON ROUGE (AP)— Consumer and business spending in East Baton Rouge Parish was virtually unchanged in April when compared with the year before, rising less than 0.2 percent.
Sales tax collection figures released Monday by the city-parish Finance Department showed businesses and consumers spent $676.3 million in April. That compares with $675 million in April 2013.
Retail and grocery sales, which account for more than half of all spending, were up by 3.4 percent over the previous year. Restaurant and bar sales increased by 3 percent. But manufacturing spending plummeted by 21 percent.
Vehicle sales were up 2.1 percent from the year before, coming in at $65 million for the month.

Audit gives good marks to port
LAKE CHARLES (AP)— The Port of Lake Charles ‘ financial statements have received a clean audit for 2013 by a private accounting firm.
The findings were presented this past week to the port’s audit committee.
A representative of auditors McElroy, Quirk and Burch says the port received the highest opinion possible.
The audit found assets of the district exceeded its liabilities as of the end of 2013 by $306.1 million.
According to the report, the port achieved operating revenue of $33.2 million during 2013, a drop of $400,000, or 1 percent, from 2012.
Operating expenses were $34.3 million, up $3.6 million, or 12 percent, from a year earlier.
Citgo and Pinnacle were the Port’s biggest customers in 2013 based on revenue.
Port director of administration and finance Richert Self said the audit reflects the port’s sound financial condition.
The audit will be presented to the full port board when it meets on June 30.

Miss. pipe mill files for bankruptcy, plans sale
BAY ST. LOUIS, Miss. (AP)— The owner of a steel pipe mill in Bay St. Louis has filed for bankruptcy protection and seeks to sell the plant.
PSL North America LLC, which began operations in 2008, made the Chapter 11 filing June 16 in Delaware. In court papers, it said it plans to sell itself for $100 million to another pipe maker, Jindal SAW Ltd. The company wants to have a bankruptcy auction in August, and with court approval, Jindal or a higher bidder could own the company by the end of August.
Indian pipe maker PSL Ltd. owns 83 percent of PSL North America, while two other companies own the remaining 17 percent. The Indian parent had to restructure $900 million in debt in 2013, and couldn’t bail out its American unit.
The mill said in court papers that it plans under new ownership to move into making concrete-lined water pipe, a business it says is less competitive and more profitable than making oil and gas pipes. PSL North America said it will cost $7 million to modify its factory in the Port Bienville Industrial Park to make the water pipe by the end of the year, and hopes to deliver a trial order in 2015. PSL North America will pay for some of that work with a post-bankruptcy loan which is also financing ongoing company operations.

Mississippi casino revenues dip sharply in May
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Casinos across Mississippi saw big drops in revenue in May, dipping by 10.6 percent compared to the year before.
Mississippi Department of Revenue figures show casinos statewide won $172 million from gamblers in May, down from $192 million May 2013.
The 12 coastal casinos won $84.3 million, down 11 percent from May 2013. The 18 river casinos won $87.5 million, down 10 percent from a year earlier.
In Louisiana, the 21 state-licensed casinos took in $202.5 million statewide in May, nearly even with winnings from a year earlier. The total dipped $317,000 — one-tenth of one percentage point down from May 2013.
Winnings were down in New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Lake Charles and Morgan City, but rose in Shreveport-Bossier City and Opelousas.
It’s the 21st month out of the last 23 that Mississippi casinos have won less money from gamblers compared to the same month of the previous year. June could see even sharper drops in the river region, with Caesars Entertainment Corp. closing its Harrah’s casino in Tunica County on June 2.
About 1,000 workers lost their jobs in the shutdown, which left Caesars with two smaller casinos in the struggling eight-casino market.
The numbers exclude Choctaw Indian casinos, which aren’t required to report winnings to the state.
Revenue at Gulf casinos is down 2 percent over the last 12 months, reflecting a pattern where winnings have actually risen in a few months and have been flat in some others. The river casinos have seen revenues fall 7 percent over the last 12 months, where Tunica and Lula casinos have suffered in part from competition from expanding gambling at two racetracks in Arkansas.
Revenues in Arkansas increased almost seven-fold from 2007 to 2013, rising by more than 10 percent from the year earlier for 55 straight months. But rapid growth has shown signs of leveling out in the first half of 2014. Arkansas casino winnings rose 1.5 percent in April to $18.8 million.
In Louisiana, the 21 state-licensed casinos took in $202.5 million statewide in May, nearly even with winnings from a year earlier. The total dipped $317,000 — one-tenth of one percentage point down from May 2013.
Winnings were down in New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Lake Charles and Morgan City, but rose in Shreveport-Bossier City and Opelousas.

St. Mary Now & Franklin Banner-Tribune

Franklin Banner-Tribune
P.O. Box 566, Franklin, LA 70538
Phone: 337-828-3706
Fax: 337-828-2874

Morgan City Daily Review
P.O. Box 948, Morgan City, LA 70381
Phone: 985-384-8370
Fax: 985-384-4255

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