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Current Events

Bush Cites Cost in Nixing Ergonomics Standard

In March, president George Bush put the brakes on an ambitious workplace safety plan that had been approved by the Clinton Administration, saying it posed “overwhelming compliance challenges” for businesses.

Under the original plan (see Special Events Magazine, January 2001), employers would have had to be in compliance with the rules set out in the plan by Oct. 14. The plan called for employers to share information about common musculoskeletal disorders, which could be caused by heavy lifting or repetitive motion. If employees then reported having a problem, the employer would have had to look for ways to change the job duties or work station to alleviate the threat.

Business groups quickly blasted the plan, saying implementation costs could run as high as $100 billion a year.

In signing the bill repealing the program, Bush said there needs to be a “balance” between the costs and benefits of federal regulations.

Premiere Party Rentals, Tents & Events Set to Merge

Austin, Texas-based Littlefield Corp. announced that it has entered into a letter of intent to acquire Premiere Party Rentals, also of Austin, with the goal of merging operations with Littlefield's recently acquired Tents & Events. The transaction is valued at $1.7 million, the company said.

Littlefield director of marketing and communications Risa Feit told Special Events Magazine that the pending merger will create the largest party and tent rental company in the central Texas area. The two companies will maintain their existing brands, but will both move to the same warehouse and consolidate operations. The deal is expected to be final by summer, she said.

In a prepared statement, Littlefield Corp. president and CEO Jeffrey L. Minch said: “We are currently pursuing other acquisitions in this exciting, lucrative and overlooked business space … I also like this strategic focus because it is a fragmented industry with obvious consolidation prospects almost devoid of the regulatory risks that are prevalent in our other businesses and is in many respects counter cyclical in its seasonal cash flow.”

Littlefield Corp. operates a holding company that oversees investments in charitable bingo halls in Alabama, South Carolina and Texas, amusement arcades in Alabama, a shopping center in South Carolina and the emerging event coordination business built around the acquisition of Tents & Events and Premiere Party Rentals.

Littlefield Corp.
816 Congress Ave., Suite 1250
Austin, TX 78701
512/476-5141

News & Notes

Atlanta-based Czarnowski Exhibit Service Specialists has acquired Thompson McCarthy, also of Atlanta, a special event/DMC founded by Mary Lynne Thompson and Patti McCarthy in 1987. The new venture will be named The Milestone Group. The acquisition expands Czarnowski's services to include trade show logistics, creative services, destination management, and international special event design and production services. The Milestone Group, 2334 Defoor Hills Road, Atlanta, GA 30318, 404/522-7793.

Pasadena, Calif.-based Ticketmaster announced that it will buy San Francisco-based Evite, an online-invitation service. Evite launched its online event-planning service two years ago but had to lay off 60 percent of its staff in November, according to published reports. Evite's operations will move to the Pasadena offices of Citysearch, the unit of Ticketmaster that runs an online city-guide service. Citysearch, 790 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91101, 626/405-0050; Web site: www.citysearch.com.

HelmsBriscoe, the Scottsdale, Ariz.-based meeting planning firm, will launch HelmsBriscoe Solutions, a new Web site offering Web-based support and accounting systems for internal use as well as housing and registration applications for the firm's clients. Steve Prats, HB's Houston-based regional vice president, will oversee the new subsidiary. 8535 E. Hartford Drive, Suite 206, Scottsdale, AZ 85255, 480/718-1111; Web site: www.helsmbriscoe.com.

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