SHLACHTER, PEROTIN, FUQUAY & CO.: Hybrid vehicles for rent at D/FW

June 26, 2007

Jun. 25--Green cars have made their way to the Hertz counter at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport.

A handful of Toyota Prius hybrid cars are available for rent at D/FW Airport. Hertz started rolling out the Prius to airports around the country this month. D/FW will get more of the cars in September, said Paula Rivera, a company spokeswoman.

The fuel-efficient vehicles rent for about $50 a day. If you drive them 500 miles, you can save $20 to $75 in gas, depending on how much of a gas guzzler you would have driven.

Because the cars are so new to Hertz, Rivera couldn't say who's asking for them. But the Prius is part of a stable of fuel-efficient cars that Hertz calls the Green Collection. It includes the Toyota Camry, the Buick LaCrosse, the Ford Fusion and the Hyundai Sonata.

And demand for the cars in the Green Collection, which average 31 miles per gallon, is evenly split between leisure and business travelers.

Doughnuts at D/FW

Also new at D/FW Airport: Dunkin' Donuts.

The Massachusetts-based chain is going all out to promote itself at D/FW. It chartered a plane last Friday to fly in its president, Robert Rodriguez, so he could cut the ribbon at the first Dunkin' Donuts store there, which opened about two weeks ago next to Gate A26.

The promotions crew for KTCK/1310 AM was handing out free coffee, coffee cups, T-shirts and coupons. There was also a man dressed as a giant coffee cup in the terminal.

The company is expecting to announce franchisees in six to eight weeks who will splash the Dunkin' Donuts name across North Texas, Rodriguez said. The company is hoping to open 200 to 300 stores within five years.

Inside the airport, two other Dunkin' Donuts will open in several weeks. But Rodriguez isn't stopping at three.

Why not 14? he said with a laugh. "I'm serious."

After all, Starbucks has 14 spots at D/FW.

Planning ahead

It's Christmas in June for Steve Calloway.

The former general manager of Six Flags Over Texas is working with the San Antonio and northern California parks to implement Holiday in the Park this year. Though the Christmas-themed festival doesn't start until November, Calloway said the parks are planning how to add snow attractions and other shows.

The Six Flags executive, who is also examining how to improve the chain's New Jersey park, was at Six Flags Over Texas for its Cirque Dreams Coobrila gala June 15. For Calloway, the show opening was especially satisfying because he came up with the idea three years ago.

"I'm enormously excited to see this come to fruition, particularly since this park has a wonderful tradition of first-class entertainment," Calloway said.

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