Home Business Roamstead opens its first campground in the Smokies and other business news | Chattanooga Times Free Press

Roamstead opens its first campground in the Smokies and other business news | Chattanooga Times Free Press

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Roamstead opens its first campground in the Smokies and other business news | Chattanooga Times Free Press

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Roamstead opens first campground

Roamstead, the Chattanooga-based developer of modernized campgrounds, announced Tuesday it has opened its first campground adjacent to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Cosby, Tennessee.

Referred to as “Roamstead Smoky Mountains,” the 9-acre campground includes 18 cabins, nearly 50 recreational vehicle sites, nine yurts, eight tent sites and three rooms in a lodge pavilion that includes a coffee shop.

“The support and excitement for Roamstead has been an absolute blessing, and we couldn’t be happier to finally open our doors to our first guests,” said Thomas Connolly, co-founder of Roamstead, in a news release on the campground. “We want to make the great outdoors as welcoming and comfortable as possible, and I am so proud of our team for delivering on this vision by creating a truly beautiful and accessible campground.

The lodge includes a pavilion, an outdoor heated pool, a coffee shop and bar, and fire pits that will encourage communal gathering after a day in the great outdoors. Roamstead Smoky Mountains also has an activity yard and a playground where it will offer movie nights to keep the younger adventurers entertained. Conolly said Roamstead guests will be able to enjoy food and beverage options, including breakfast and dinner items, as well as a selection of regional beers. Similar amenities will be available at all future sites, according to the Roamstead website.

2,688 BlueCross letters sent to old addresses

BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee said Tuesday it inadvertently mailed letters to 2,688 old addresses for current and former members and is offering credit monitoring services to those affected by the outdated addresses.

During a system upgrade of its letter-mailing system mistakenly reprinted and remailed some letters in May already sent to members between 2019 and 2021, the Chattanooga-based company said in a news release. The reprinted letters were directed to the correct members, but some may have been sent to outdated mailing addresses that members previously provided to the company.

BlueCross spokeswoman Alison Sexter said the letters did not include sensitive information such as social security numbers or bank account information. BlueCross discovered the incident June 5 and has begun to notify members whose letters were sent to outdated addresses. The letters could have contained their names, member ID numbers, group numbers, provider name, claim numbers, dates of service, and plan name.

Members who would like more information may call the BlueCross Privacy Office at 888-455-3824 between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, or connect via email at Privacy_Office@BCBST.com.

Microsoft profits top $20 billion

Microsoft on Tuesday reported fiscal fourth-quarter profit of $20.1 billion, or $2.69 per share, beating analyst expectations for $2.55 per share.

It posted revenue of $56.2 billion in the April-June period, up 8% from last year. Analysts had been looking for revenue of $55.49 billion, according to FactSet Research.

CEO Satya Nadella said the company remains focused on “leading the new AI platform shift.”

“Organizations are asking not only how — but how fast — they can apply this next generation of AI to address the biggest opportunities and challenges they face — safely and responsibly,” he said in a prepared statement.

Microsoft was an early mover in this year’s hype around “generative AI” tools that can help people write documents and create new images and other media. It capitalized on its multibillion-dollar investments in ChatGPT-maker OpenAI to launch a chatbot for Microsoft’s Bing search engine and similar tools tailored to its business customers.

Congress wants curbs on China’s bank role

Lawmakers intent on reducing China ‘s influence on the U.S. economy are pushing the Treasury Department to help curb the outsized role of Beijing at the Inter-American Development Bank, which supports economic and social development in Latin America and Caribbean.

The bipartisan group of lawmakers say Beijing is using the bank as a tool to expand its influence in the region. And they want the U.S., the biggest voice at the bank, to do more to rein in the awarding of projects to Chinese firms and to block Chinese attempts to acquire more shares at the bank.

Rep. Mike Gallagher, the Republican chairman of a new House select committee focused on China, is the lead sponsor of the legislation, which is being introduced Tuesday, seeking to understand and reduce Beijing’s power at the bank.

The Inter-American Development Bank Transparency Act would require the Treasury to issue a report every two years on the scope and scale of Chinese influence and involvement in all aspects of the bank, including a list of Chinese-funded projects and an action plan for the U.S. to reduce Chinese involvement at the bank.

“For too long, the Chinese Communist Party has exploited its presence in the Inter-American Development Bank to advance its own geopolitical, economic and technological goals,” Gallagher said in a statement. “Latin American citizens deserve to have the IDB serve their economic development, not as a vector of CCP malign influence.”

Trader Joes’s recalls two cookie products

Trader Joe’s is recalling two cookie products because they may contain rocks, the grocery chain announced Friday.

The recall affects Trader Joe’s Almond Windmill Cookies and Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Chunk and Almond Cookies with sell by dates ranging from Oct. 17-21, 2023.

According to Trader Joe’s, the recalled cookies have been removed from store shelves and destroyed — but the company is urging consumers to check their cabinets and get a refund.

“If you purchased or received any donations of Almond Windmill Cookies and/or Dark Chocolate Chunk and Almond Cookies, please do not eat them,” Trader Joe’s wrote in its announcement, instructing customers to throw away the products or return them to any store for a full refund. “We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience.”

Lot codes for the recalled products and customer service contact information can be found on Trader Joe’s website.

Trader Joe’s did not specify how the rocks may have made their way into the cookies, and just noted the company was alerted of the “potential foreign material” by a supplier. When contacted Tuesday, a Trader Joe’s spokesperson did not comment further.

Banc of California acquires PacWest

The Banc of California has agreed to buy PacWest Bancorp in an all-stock transaction, bringing an end to months of speculation about whether PacWest could survive on its own after the failures of three other regional banks this spring.

PacWest shares have lost two-thirds of their value this year. The deal announced Tuesday got help from two large private equity firms that are investing $400 million to help shore up and restructure the balance sheet of the combined bank.

The $1 billion deal would make the combined Banc of Californa-PacWest an entity with $36 billion in assets with 70 branches throughout California.

— Compiled by Dave Flessner

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