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May 11, 2004

Written by Bob Meyer, Editor of BarterNews

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Large Scale Builder Offers Creative Barter Solution To Re-House Displaced Californians

When last October's firestorm swept through the master planned community of Scripps Ranch, it left 344 homeowners in need of a rebuild—and not enough custom home builders to start on the job. But several large-scale builders have stepped into the breach, one with an innovative barter solution.

Brookfield Homes of Del Mar (CA) has offered fire victims a barter offer: an independent appraisal of their scorched lot as a down payment on a new house in a nearby development. The value of the lost homes is roughly equal to the cost of new houses in neighboring Stonebridge Estates, starting in
the mid-$600,000s.

The developer will take the bartered lots in Scripps Ranch and build on them, or sell the lots to custom home builders in the future.


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Intagio Raises More Money

The Intagio Group announced that it has recently raised $1.5 million of expansion capital from existing investors within the company. Eric Jeck, CEO of Intagio, declared, "We are very interested in opening new regional offices, and our growing roster of national accounts and high-value inventories, especially our media offerings, allows Intagio to enter new geographic areas with highly relevant offerings that are distinct from those that traditional trade exchange businesses have been able to offer their customers."


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Barter's Versatility Remarkable

In looking at a BarterNews back issue recently, #52 (Allan Hackel cover), we were reminded of barter's versatility in reading the "People & Events" section which had dozens of interesting and far-reaching examples, among them were:

1) The Magoon family, descendants of Hawaiian royalty and Chinese nobility, traded a 23-acre parcel in Hawaii for 400 acres of California land 90 miles north of San Francisco in 1963. (The California property, where they subsequently developed a winery, sold in 2000 for $135 million.)

2) Disney traded on the value of the company name when they formed a joint venture agreement to build a theme park in Hong Kong. Disney put up their name and agreed to manage the park (for a 10% management fee) while the other partners put up 90% of the money. Yet Disney will own 50% of the park's value—leveraging its name by another $1.5 billion!

3) A minority share in the Wall Street Journal's European edition was traded to a German business-paper publisher for a like share in the foreign paper. The unusual barter agreement also called for the two publications to begin sharing same-day translations of news articles from each other's editions.

4) Procter & Gamble struck a barter agreement with Bally Total Fitness to introduce its new health-care products by Noxzema in Bally's 350 gyms. Noxzema will place its products, including facial and moisturizer items, for sampling in the fitness center along with Pert Plus shampoo and conditioner. Additionally, new television advertising for Pert Plus is being shot at a Bally gym, and a Bally web site will have links to Pert, Noxzema, and articles about total fitness.

5) Former hockey star Mario Lemieux was owed $33 million in back wages by the debt-ridden Pittsburgh Penguins. Under a reorganization plan Lemieux became part owner of the team in exchange for acquitting the debt.


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Timeshare Industry Soaring

Net timeshare sales soared in 2003 as the industry continued to improve its product and shake off years of bad reputation. According to a recent PricewaterhouseCoopers survey a record three million Americans owned timeshares last year, nearly double the number from seven years ago. The study was commissioned by the American Resort Development Association, a timeshare trade group.

The industry has become dominated by large companies...firms with more than $25 million in annual sales account for 94% of timeshare sales, and public companies account for 20% of sales.

Major companies with significant timeshare interests include travel-industry players such as Cendent, Marriott International, and
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide. The Four Seasons Hotels has entered the timeshare business, too.

A timeshare week sold for an average of $14,500 in the U.S. in 2003, up from about $10,000 a week in 1996, and the average maintenance fee was $385 for each week of use.


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Former Billboard Mogul Adds Video Stadium Screens
Moreno Knows Value of Branding

Arte Moreno, the oldest of eleven kids, made his fortune when he took over a small billboard company from Gannett and built it into a powerhouse. As president and CEO of Phoenix-based Outdoor Systems, he sold out 15 years later to Infinity Broadcasting/CBS for $8.3 billion. Forbes magazine estimates his net worth to be in excess of $940 million.

After purchasing the Anaheim Angels for $184 million from Disney company last year, he immediately looked for new ways to lure advertisers to Angel Stadium. By opening day several new scoring and advertising screens—27 feet high and 48 feet wide—were operating in various locations around the ball park. (South Dakota-based Daktronics got the $6.5 million contract to provide and install the screens.)

The move is part of the Angels' new branding and marketing plan. While honoring contracts with existing advertisers, the team hopes to attract others with the upgraded electronic displays and rotating advertising panels.


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Here & There...

  • The 668-room Hotel Del Coronado, on San Diego's Coronado Island, sold last year for $553,000 per room. The purchaser of the $383 million historic property was CNL Hospitality Properties. The "Del" has hosted ten U.S. presidents and just about every major Hollywood star from the Golden Age to the present.

    If you're in the San Diego area the 115-year-old beachfront hotel is worth a visit. Feature films made on location include "Some Like It Hot," the Marilyn Monroe, Jack Lemon and Tony Curtis classic that recently was heralded by the American Film Institute as the best comedy of all times. (The movie plays several times a day on an in-house cable channel for guests to enjoy.)

  • Have you signed up to receive a summary via e-mail of the Tuesday Report every week? If not, go to the top of this issue (right hand corner) and sign up!

  • The number of female-owned U.S. companies continues to grow at almost twice the rate of all firms nationwide. Of those that are women-owned, more than half (53%) are in services, 16% are in retail, and 9% are in finance according to the National Women's Business Council (www.nwbc.gov).

  • CoreNet Global, an Atlanta-based association of corporate real-estate executives, commissioned the Gallup Organization to conduct a poll of corporate real-estate managers to assess the impact of technology on how employees and companies operate now...and how they will in 2010.

    Findings included:
    --Nearly 40% of the 314 respondents say that 25% or more of their company's knowledge workers will be working remotely, and the amount of assigned space for workers will decrease.
    -- Companies may be willing to pay a premium for the ability to quickly rearrange the layout of their space, and to move in and out of a space in short order.

  • Advertising dollars devoted to Hispanic magazines grew 24% in 2003 over 2002, compared with growth of 8.6% for the general market, according to Media Economics Group in Fort Lauderdale. Despite the growth, advertising in Hispanic media represented only 3% of all ad spending in the U.S. last year, suggesting great upside potential.
  • TrimTabs Investment Research (www.TrimTabs.com), using daily tax withholding data, shows the economy is growing at a robust pace. Much faster than the Bureau of Economic Analysis reports of 2.4% in March. TrimTabs disclosed wage and salary growth exceeded 5.0% in March, and surpassed 7.0% for most of April.

Strong economic growth does not necessarily translate into positive gains in the equity markets. In the last two weeks, market cash flows have trended downward as corporations have flooded the market with newly printed shares of stock, creating an imbalance between the supply of cash available to invest and stock available for purchase.

  • The recent sale of Picasso's "Boy With Pipe" shattered the record for art at $104 million. The canvas was purchased by John Hay Whitney, former editor-in-chief of the New York Herald Tribune, for $30,000 in 1950, according to Sotheby's co-chairman of Impressionist and modern art David Norman.
  • EBay's evolution into an important cog in the nation's small-business economy continues onward with 100 of its biggest sellers, many of whom tote up annual sales of more than $1 million using the auction site, talking of forming their own trade association.

(Initially the vendors plan to form an advisory board that would meet regularly with management to discuss issues of particular importance to them, such as customer service. They are also putting together a white paper for presentation to eBay in the coming weeks.)

We welcome your comments, questions, and observations.
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