Missouri Minute: Great Plains-Westar merger will get decision in April; Visit KC names top priorities

Here are today’s top business headlines from across Missouri:

$12.2B Great Plains-Westar merger will get decision in April

After six days of testimony, the Kansas Corporation Commission ended a hearing concerning the $12.2 billion merger of Great Plains Energy Inc. and Westar Energy Inc. According to The Topeka Capital-Journal, the commission will issue its decision on April 24. Read more

KC’s convention and tourism agency names three things the city must do

Visit KC, the area’s marketing agency for travel and big events, said at its annual meeting that for every $1 spent on its media budget last year, it produced a $93 return on investment in visitor spending, a major improvement over its historical average return of $70. The agency reported that it assisted with 279 conventions in 2016 that produced 325,874 room nights. Those gatherings generated an estimated economic impact of more than $246 million, according to Visit KC data. Read more

Missouri state budget leader wants to increase education funding in governor’s budget proposal

The Chairman of the Missouri House Budget committee said he generally agrees with Gov. Eric Greitens’ budget approach, but will consider funding changes for K-12 education. Greitens’ $27 billion proposed state spending plan that begins July 1 includes a reduction of $31 million to K-12 schools’ busing budget. Read more

Indoor cycle chain CycleBar entering St. Louis with plans for 5 studios

Nationwide indoor cycling chain CycleBar is opening its first Missouri location next month in Chesterfield, with plans to add four more studios in the St. Louis area. Founded in 2004, Cincinnati-based CycleBar began franchising two years ago and has since added dozens of studios around the country. Read more

American coal has new playbook to dig itself out

Boosted by higher prices and presidential promises of aid, U.S. coal is having a comeback season. Yet a looming quandary remains for Peabody Energy, Arch Coal and other big American coal companies: Demand continues to shrink. Read more

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