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              Arnold Palmer has teamed up with venture capitalist 
         Peter Nanula and the Hicks-Muse real estate opportunity to
         fund a $200M real estate investment trust (REIT) comprising
         of more than 20 golf courses around the U.S., according to
         Peter Slatin of the N.Y. POST.  For Palmer, a REIT is a
         "tax-effective way of lumping real estate assets -- such as
         golf courses -- into a single corporate entity."  Nanula and
         Palmer's objective is "to create the first true branded golf
         courses, using the model of brand-name hotels like
         Marriott."  The REIT will be "launched this spring by Smith
         Barney" and "is expected" to go public one day.  Sources
         "close to the company" say the REIT "will lease its courses
         back to their current operators."  At "about" 10 of the
         courses, Palmer's firm is already manager (N.Y. POST, 3/5).

    Print | Tags: Finance, Marriott

              Despite slipping retail sales in snow-sports products
         nationwide last year, "it was snowboarding that heated up
         sales, while ski sales ... chilled," according to Penny
         Parker of the DENVER POST.  Gart Sports CEO Doug Morton:
         "Snowboarding is where the business is going."  Morton said
         the fact that "alpine ski heavy-hitters" such as Rossignol,
         Salomon and K2 have "leaped into snowboard manufacturing is
         a clear signal of a market shift."  Snowboards and snowboard
         accessories accounted for 60% of all downhill equipment
         sales at Gart Sports last year, and snowboards were 40% of
         all hard goods sold chainwide.  According to the Skiing
         Industry Association retail audit from August through
         December '97, total snow sport product sales dropped 4.7% --
          to $1.28B from $1.34B compared to the same period in '96
         (Penny Parker, DENVER POST, 3/5).
              CONSOLIDATE, MAN: SPORTSTYLE's Beth Howard examines
         consolidation within the snowboard industry.  Arbor
         Snowboards President Bob Carlson said that the 350 companies
         that were manufacturing snowboard products have been reduced
         to 100, and "in two years, there will be no more than 40
         viable companies producing snowboarding goods."  Carlson:
         "The industry grew so fast and manufacturers expected
         continued growth.  Even though the industry is still growing
         about [25%] a year, there are more manufacturers than the
         market can handle" (SPORTSTYLE, 3/98 issue).

    Print | Tags: Finance, Washington Nationals
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