Hartford Business Journal

August 10, 2015

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G R E AT E R H A R T F O R D ' S B U S I N E S S N E W S w w w. H a r t f o rd B u s i n e s s . c o m For more B2B news visit AUGUST 10, 2015 Volume 23, Number 37 $3.00 Subscribe online GreenGuide C O N N E C T I C U T Reach decision-makers in the Green business community. Look for the Fall and Winter 2015 editions, publishing in August and October. Financial Justice Hartford lawyer Tiffany L. Stevens is in the business of raising money for wrongly convicted and exonerated state inmates so they can better transition to society. PG. 3 Index ■ Reporter's Notebook: PG. 5 ■ Week in Review: PG. 6 ■ Focus: PG. 8 ■ The List: PG. 10 ■ Deal Watch: PG. 11 ■ Opinion & Commentary: PG. 20 FOCUS: STARTUPS & ENTREPRENEURSHIP Innovation Ecosystem Find out what progress CTNext, the state-backed entrepreneurial network created in 2012 to encourage more startup activity in Connecticut, has made after nearly three years in existence. PG. 8 Latest attraction continues Lake Compounce's market-share push By Brad Kane bkane@HartfordBusiness.com W hen Jerry Brick started working for Bristol amusement park Lake Compounce in 1996, a busy day attracted 10,000 guests. This year, daily peak attendance will top 15,000. That 50-percent growth over Brick's 19 years at the park has largely come on the back of Lake Compounce's aggressive capi- tal investments underscoring the amusement park's strategy to woo patrons from a wider geographic footprint by adding new rides, experiences and amenities. "Any business, you want to add more rev- enue every year," said Brick, who took over as Lake Compounce general manager in 2004. "For us, attendance means more spending … so every year, we add more and more and more attractions." Lake Compounce's latest effort is the roller coaster Phobia, which will launch rid- ers three times before sending them around a twisting loop when it opens in 2016. The ride, announced in July, will be Lake Compounce's fourth roller coaster and its first since 2000. Phobia is the first triple-launch coaster in the Northeast and the fourth worldwide. "In the regional park business where near- ly all guests come from a 200-mile radius, having that new ride like Phobia really drives the business," said David Mandt, spokesman Continued on page 12 P H O T O | C O N T R I B U T E D Rising costs usher in pension 'de-risking' cycle By Matt Pilon mpilon@HartfordBusiness.com M any Connecticut workers probably think of a pension as something their parents had, or some- thing they'll never get. Indeed, as companies have frozen or curtailed their pen- sions or "defined-benefit" plans, the number of Connecticut private-sector workers and retirees with a single-employer pension (519,000) has plummeted 42 percent over the last decade, federal data shows. Though the ongoing shift from the guaranteed lifetime income of pensions to the more stock market-reliant 401k has saved companies copious sums, their financial risk from legacy pension programs isn't gone. Connecticut- based companies still have nearly 1.4 million active partici- pants in their pension plans, federal records show, and with plan participants living longer, and other factors increasing plan costs, those liabilities are weighing more heavily on companies' balance sheets. It's a trend causing many businesses — even those with healthy pension plans — to re-think whether keeping Continued on page 14 An illustration of what a ride on Lake Compounce's new Phobia roller coaster will look like when the ride opens in 2016. P H O T O | L I S A S . ; S H U T T E R S T O C K . C O M SUMMER SPENDING SUMMER SPENDING

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