Business Briefcase: Tourism leaders sing new song

Business Briefcase: Tourism leaders sing new song

March 4th, 2012 by Staff Reports in Business Around the Region

Tourism leaders sing new song

The stage may be set for travelers in Tennessee, but state tourism officials have abandoned it for a song.

The Tennessee Department of Tourist Development has dropped the slogan "The Stage Is Set for You," which had been used for eight years. It's been replaced with "We're Playing Your Song," which was used from 1987 to 1995.

Department officials said the change was made after the reprised slogan tested well with focus groups and they decided a fresh approach was needed.

The revived slogan is now being used in television and print advertising as many families decide where to spend spring break and take their summer vacation.

"We'll see if the people who view it convert to a traveler here," said Susan Whitaker, state tourism commissioner.

ORNL upgrades supercomputer

Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Jaguar supercomputer has completed the first phase of an upgrade that will keep it among the most powerful scientific computing systems in the world.

Acceptance testing for the upgrade was completed last month for the Jaguar, which is manufactured by Cray Inc., and operated by the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility (OLCF). The upgrade makes the computer capable of 2,300 trillion calculations each second, or 2.3 petaflops. The same number of calculations would take an individual working at a rate of one per second more than 70 million years.

When the upgrade process is completed this fall, the system will be renamed Titan and will more than triple and be capable of 10 to 20 petaflops.

"During our upgrade, we have kept our users on Jaguar every chance we get," said Jack Wells, director of science at the OLCF. "We have already seen the positive impact on applications, for example in computational fluid dynamics, from the doubled memory."

Columbia voters decide on metro

Columbia and Maury County voters will decide Tuesday whether to combine in a metropolitan form of government. Similar consolidation referendums have been rejected three times between Chattanooga and Hamilton County. Statewide, voters have approved metro governments only in Nashville and Davidson County, merged in 1962, Lynchburg and Moore County, merged in 1987, and Hartsville and Trousdale County, merged in 2000.

Otics expands Morristown plant

A Japanese automotive parts manufacturer has begun work on a $24.8 million expansion of its Morristown, Tenn., plant. Otics USA, the American subsidiary of Otics Corp., plans to add 67 manufacturing jobs at 11-year-old facility on Interstate View Drive in the East Tennessee Progress Center.

"For over a decade, Morristown has been the perfect fit for Otics" first U.S. facility," said Charlotte Jennelle, general manager for Otics USA.