Some say cold weather stokes their desire to shop, while others prefer snowy conditions, and still others choose sunny skies and moderate temperatures as they venture out on a gift-buying binge.
AccuWeather, which touts itself as a “global leader in weather-related big data and analytics,” considered these factors when predicting holiday sales in November and December would total $683 billion, an increase of 4.2 percent, or $27.5 billion, over the same period last year.
AccuWeather’s prediction comes in higher than the National Retail Federation’s prediction for an increase between $23.6 billion and $26.2 billion, according to a press release from AccuWeather.
“Nearly $2 billion of AccuWeather’s projected increase is directly attributable to AccuWeather forecasts of weather conditions that other retail sales forecasts may not be taking into account,” according to the press release.
Above-normal temperatures in parts of the country may give way to much colder conditions that will spur shopping, according to AccuWeather.
Financial Times recently named Waco’s Joe Calao to its “FT 401” list of top retirement advisers for 2017.
The list recognizes advisers who specialize in employers’ defined-contribution plans, including 401(k) plans, according to the magazine.
Calao, a graduate of Texas A&M University, is senior vice president of wealth management and senior retirement plan consultant at Calao Wealth Management Group in Waco, part of UBS Financial Services. He started his career in financial services in 1996 and holds several professional designations.
Financial Times chose its winning list from applicants advising on at least $50 million in defined-contribution assets. They then were graded on factors including experience, industry certifications and client retention.
Old Bethany Weddings
Six Baylor University graduates — Ben and Skylar Worley, Ali and Nate Sloan, and Luke and Rachel Whyte — have announced they will open a new wedding venue between Lorena and Bruceville-Eddy called Old Bethany Weddings & Events.
It will feature a newly built 6,500-square-foot white barn on 100 acres off Old Bethany Road and will welcome reservations starting in May, according to a press release.
The Whytes are co-owners of Waco Tours. While operating the tours, “we consistently have heard buzz about a desperate need for more places to host events for locals and those visiting from all over the country,” Luke Whyte wrote in the press release. “We saw an opportunity and jumped right in.”
More information is available at www.oldbethanyvenue.com.
The Waco-based Dwyer Group has hired Adam Kirschman to fill the newly created position of vice president of franchise development marketing, according to a press release.
He will lead promotional efforts for Dwyer, which serves as a holding company for 19 service-related brands, including Mr. Rooter, Mr. Electric, Mr. Appliance, Glass Doctor and Window Genie.
The company hired Kirschman to promote Dwyer at a time it is approaching $2 billion in systemwide sales, according to the press release.
Kirschman most recently managed marketing for TBC Corporation’s 3,000 franchise units, including Midas International and Big O Tires. He has also directed marketing for Harris Research Inc.’s 4,000 locations worldwide, the press release states.
“I’m thrilled to join Dwyer Group, which recently launched Neighborly to unify our professional service brands under one umbrella,” Kirschman said in the press release.
Greater Waco Legal Services, a nonprofit that provides legal advice at reduced rates, has moved into the former Burger Barn building at 1700 Colcord Ave., which it has renamed the Justice Barn.
Waco Community Development bought and renovated the building over the summer to provide Greater Waco Legal Services with expanded office space.
The group helps clients with legal questions relating to immigration, family, misdemeanor criminal defense, traffic tickets, municipal and justice court litigation, driver’s licenses, estate planning and criminal history. Clients pay either a flat fee or an hourly fee based on a sliding scale.
It also offers free legal advice at monthly clinics.
Cineworld Group PLC, which is based in the United Kingdom, has announced it will buy Tennessee-based Regal Entertainment Group in a $3.6 billion deal scheduled to close in the spring.
Regal owns and operates the Regal Jewel Stadium 16 off of Highway 84. Regal operates 7,315 screens in 561 theaters in the U.S. under brands including Regal Cinemas and United Artists. Cineworld operates 2,227 screens worldwide, including in the U.K., Ireland, Poland and Slovakia, according to information published by the company.
The deal is valued at $5.9 billion including debt.
Casa Ole closing
Though local managers had no comment, multiple sources confirmed Friday the Casa Ole restaurant at 414 N. Valley Mills Drive will not renew its lease and will close, merging operations with the Casa Ole in Bellmead.
Waco real estate agent Pat Farrar, who has listed properties in that area, said he has heard reports of the closing but could not officially speak for Casa Ole. He said he would have interest in listing the Casa Ole site.