Why Uber Won't Look Anything Like Lyft When It Launches in St. Louis

Categories: Bidness

Uber BLACK doesn't look anything like Lyft -- and we don't just mean the pink mustaches.
Remember back when Lyft tried to launch in St. Louis?

Cars wearing pink mustaches burst forth from Cherokee Street to offer rides to the taxicab-averse at the touch of a smartphone -- until police started pulling over any car with furry facial hair for not having a taxi license.

Months passed, and now St. Louis is faced with the very real possibility that Uber, Lyft's better-known rival, could launch here next week. Uber is being coy about a firm launch date, but if the Metropolitan Taxicab Commission approves its application on October 7, as it plans to do, Uber could start offering rides that day.

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Uber is Coming to St. Louis, Could Start Premium Sedan Service Next Week

Categories: Bidness

Uber BLACK will likely go live in St. Louis on October 7.
After months of negotiations, the ride-sharing app Uber could finally be on its way to launching in St. Louis.

The company applied Friday for its third-party dispatch license to operate its premium sedan service, Uber BLACK.

"We will be hopefully approving them on October 7, and they can get up and running," says MTC director Ron Klein to Daily RFT. Uber can start operating on October 7 with official approval.

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Mattress Source Promises Full Refunds if St. Louis Cardinals Win World Series

Categories: Bidness, Sports

bedzine via flickr
Mattress Source will refund your purchase if -- when? -- the Cardinals win the 2014 World Series.
Need a new mattress? Think the St. Louis Cardinals could win the World Series? A local mattress chain has got a deal for you.

Mattress Source, based in Imperial, Missouri, is offering full refunds on anything bought in its nine Missouri and Illinois stores from now through September 28 if (when?) the Redbirds bring home the national title.

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Missouri Weddings are Cheaper Than Most States Even As Costs Rise: Study

Categories: Bidness

tmarsee530 via Flickr
"And just think of all the money we saved getting married in Missouri!"
Love may not cost a thing, but weddings do. Even a struggling U.S. economy can't stop a bride determined to blow out her big day, and as other industries limp along, the wedding industry brought in $54.3 billion last year.

Flower, photos, videographers, save-the-dates, favors, cakes -- once you've factored everything in, the average wedding costs $37,983, according to NerdWallet's new study on wedding affordability.

But there's good news for brides and grooms-to-be in the Show-Me State: some of the cheapest places to get married are right here in Missouri. All of the ten least expensive counties for weddings were in Missouri, Kentucky or Mississippi, the study found.

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[UPDATED]: Unpaid Bills, Bad Press Keep KXFN 1380 "The X" Off the Air (For Now)

Categories: Bidness, Media

Lindsay Toler
The 590 AM studio.
Update: Rejoice, talk radio fans! As of 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, KXFN 1380 AM has returned to your radio dials. Operation manager Mike Calvin says the station's landlord granted an extension until KFNS 590 is sold, which means that the 1380 crowd will able to start broadcasting and selling ad spots. The major tower repairs have also been completed, though it still awaiting some additions to bring it in line with FCC and FAA regulations.

In the meantime, Cavlin says a new investor group is in the works for KXFN, and that'll likely mean more shakeups at "The X" in the near future. Still, it appears the station may get a shot at to succeeding on the merits of its lineup -- leaving the burden of past bills (and face-punches) behind. End of update, see original post below.

Fans of KXFN 1380 AM "The X: Extreme Talk Radio" are likely wondering why the station disappeared from St. Louis airwaves. Unpaid bills are only part of the story.

For nearly three weeks, those seeking the station's brash lineup of shock-jock comedy, sex talk and music have instead encountered dead air and static where the 1380 channel should be. Although the shows are still (mostly) broadcasting over the web via KXFN's downloadable app, it's a particularly bad timing for the radio signal to go quiet: Two of station's hosts were recently nominated in the RFT Reader's Poll for the upcoming Best of St. Louis 2014 awards.

Operations manager Mike Calvin tells Daily RFT that old bills and repairs on KXFN's transmission tower knocked the broadcast off terrestrial radio, but he expects to have the debts squared and repairs completed by Tuesday. However, that doesn't solve the larger financial crisis facing KXFN and its sister station, KFNS 590 AM.

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Six Things to Know About Bringing High-Speed Fiber to St. Louis

File photo
Is the sun setting on St. Louis' opportunity for ultra high-speed fiber?

Four years ago Google announced that it would test an ultra-high-speed fiber network in one United States city before exploring how to deploy similar networks across the country. With a speed of about 100 times faster than the standard Internet connection -- one gigabit per second -- Google Fiber in 2010 held the promise of revolutionizing productivity while increasing jobs and sparking an economic boom.

Naturally, St. Louis wanted a piece of that action. Mayor Francis Slay's office put together an application detailing why the Gateway City should be Google's guinea pig and even PC World backed St. Louis as a good candidate for high-speed broadband.

Alas, Google's fancy-pants network went to St. Louis' cross-state rival Kansas City, which has attracted new business to the region thanks to its newfound high-speed access. In fact, we didn't even land on Google's list of post-KC cities that would receive the fiber treatment. But that doesn't mean St. Louis has forgotten about the endeavor.

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Neighbors Still Trying to Stop the Loop Trolley With Legal Roadblocks

Categories: Bidness, Blowback

Neighbors are moving forward with one of two lawsuits against the Loop Trolley project.
As utility crews prepare Delmar Boulevard for the construction of the $43 million Loop Trolley line, three neighbors and a Delmar Loop business owner are pushing for a federal lawsuit to stop it altogether.

The four people challenging the Loop Trolley filed a lawsuit last October saying the project is unlawful. A U.S. district judge threw out the lawsuit, saying the three neighbors have no legal standing and that the business owner missed his chance to sue. Now, all four are appealing that decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals, asking for another chance to argue against the trolley project.

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Good Works Furniture Store Closing, Says It's the "First Casualty" of the Delmar Loop Trolley

Categories: Bidness

Lindsay Toler
Rita Navarro and Chris Dougher, owners of Good Works.
Good Works furniture store is closing after 23 years in the Delmar Loop, and the owners say the Loop Trolley is to blame.

Chris Dougher and Rita Navarro tell Daily RFT that the Loop has changed from a neighborhood street to an entertainment district for tourists, young people and students, which brings plenty of foot traffic to bars, ice-cream stores and novelty shops -- but not to furniture stores.

"We're not happy with what we see," Navarro says. "It's a carnival on weekends here. There's no place to walk, there's no place to park."

And as the Loop prepares for the new trolley, a $43 million project that will connect the Loop with Forest Park, things will only get worse, Navarro says. Between construction and increased tourist traffic, there's no future for a store that caters to a local client base.

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Michaels Store in Brentwood Apologizes For Telling Breastfeeding Mom to Leave

Categories: Bidness

Shingleback via Flickr
"Please don't make us leave, Michaels!"
Employees at the Brentwood Michaels caused a stir on social media this week after telling a nursing mother she had to go outside to breastfeed, despite the store's policy.

Jessa Marie says she and her mother were shopping for supplies her daughter's first birthday party when she realized her daughter needed to nurse. An employee told her she should go outside, where summer temperatures were in the 90s, which violates both the store's policy and a recently adopted state law.

See also: Breast-Feeding Bill Helps Nursing Missouri Moms Delay Jury Duty, Requires "Discretion"

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Would You Pay $1,950 to Rent the Poshest Porta-Potty in St. Louis?

Categories: Bidness

Gregory Haug
A Shrewsbury police detective is starting a luxury porta-potty business.
Imagine you are hosting a fabulously fancy outdoor party.

Consider it a Gatsby-level shindig: The male guests are tuxedo'd, the women are stunning and the shrimp cocktails never run out. Attendees catch up on the latest yacht gossip while a string quartet lays down the Bach, as is proper.

But the problem with an outdoor party is the bathroom. Where can your guests relieve their refined bodily waste products? In a porta-potty, like a band of commoners?! Perish the thought, old chum, because a Shrewsbury police detective has solved that problem by offering "luxury restroom cottages" to St. Louis' party elite, with luxury pricing to match.

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