More people expected to travel by car this Thanksgiving

Monday, November 23, 2009

The roads are likely to be more crowded this Thanksgiving, North America's largest motoring and leisure travel organization predicts.

AAA said about 33.2 million people will use an automobile to travel more than 50 miles from their home. That's 700,000 more than last turkey day.

A growing dissatisfaction with air travel is expected to cause 200,000 fewer people to fly to their Thanksgiving destination. Last year 2.5 million people took to the friendly skies over Thanksgiving, a 6.7 percent decrease from 2008. Since 2000 the number of Americans using an airline for Thanksgiving travel has dropped 62 percent.

"I was surprised that there was such a decline in air travel, but the way people are becoming more dissatisfied it's not surprising," said AAA Missouri spokesman Mike Right. "I think you'll see more people choosing options like the automobile or train for travel. But even though many consumers are struggling because of the economy, they won't let money problems keep them from visiting family, because that's what Thanksgiving is all about."

Last year was one of the worst declines overall since the organization began taking its travel poll, with a 25.2 percent drop in all travel for Thanksgiving.

* Nail salon applies for liquor license: Customers visiting a nail salon could soon pass the time by drinking an alcoholic beverage.

King Nails and Spa, 1131 N. Kingshighway, Suite A and B, has received a conditional liquor license to serve wine and champagne. Owner James Nguyen said customers receiving the ultimate pedicure package or large groups will receive a glass of wine or champagne free, though the salon will sell the beverages by the glass to other customers. The salon will begin selling the drinks once it passes its health department inspection, which Nguyen believes could happen soon.

"We have so many people coming in for wedding parties that I felt like now was a perfect time to start offering wine or champagne to our upscale clientele," Nguyen said.

* Plaza Tire Service begins construction on new site: For a few weeks crews have worked on a site that will serve as the new Plaza Tire Service store at 1710 N. Kingshighway. Owner Scott Rhodes told me that construction, which began late last year, should be complete by mid March.

Once finished, the 7,200-square-foot building between World of Honda and Immediate Healthcare will replace the location at 1634 N. Kingshighway.

* Organic farmers market opens: The Jones Heritage Farms Market, 5739 Route W in Jackson, has opened. The market offers fresh meats, farm milk and other products from local farmers. A grand opening to celebrate the occasion is planned for 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, with free grilled bratwursts and burgers, hayrides and tours of the farm. The market is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Contact Jones Heritage Market at 332-7447.

* Scott City rehabilitation center plans opening: Health Facilities Rehabilitation Services will open a center in Scott City.

The Sikeston, Mo.,-based medical provider will open a facility in the Scott City Plaza at 2112 Main St., according to Tom Kelsey, a broker with Lorimont Place Ltd. who handled the transaction.

Kelsey said the 1,600-square-foot space is undergoing extensive remodeling for the new Scott City business, which plans to open in early December. The new building is directly behind the Rhodes convenience store and next to H&R Block.

Health Facilities Rehabilitation provides long-term, outpatient and home health care for residents in Missouri and Arizona. Services including professional physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech-language pathology, and industrial sports medicine. Kelsey said the Scott City site will serve residents in northern Scott County, Scott City, Chaffee, Mo., and surrounding areas.

* Hospital recognized for projects: Southeast Missouri Hospital has received statewide recognition for a marketing and public relations project. "Consult: A Journal for Medical Professionals" was produced by the hospital this year to communicate with physicians and other health care professionals in the region.

For their project the hospital won two first-place Show-Me Excellence Awards, as well as three second-place and two third-place awards. The Show-Me Excellence Awards are presented annually by the Missouri Association for Healthcare Public Relations and Marketing.

In addition to a first-place award for its "Consult" magazine, Southeast Missouri Hospital received first place in television advertising for its promotion of vascular services. The marketing department received second-place awards for its Healthier Look print ad, a neurosciences television spot and a special marketing project which promoted the Wellness Connection. The hospital received third-place awards for its promotion of the "Pink Parade" in support of the fight against breast cancer and its direct-mail piece on "Rounding Up the World's Best Volunteers."

* Realtors, design company form partnership: Exit Realty-Thomas Meyer Associates has formed a partnership with Life-Style Design, a Southeast Missouri design company. According to Exit Realty-Thomas Meyer Associates marketing director Ashley Breland, Life-Style Design will help with the realty company's open houses and discuss with the homeowners small renovation projects that could bring their homes up to date. See more information about the design company at life-styledesign.com.

Southeast Missourian business reporter Brian Blackwell may be reached at 388-3628 or bblackwell@semissourian.com.<I>

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