Chattanooga ranked as top Ironman swim site last year and other business news

Staff Photo by Matt Hamilton / Jackie Hering completes the swimming portion of the 2022 Sundbelt Bakery Ironman along Riverfront Parkway in Chattanooga on Sunday, May 22, 2022.
Staff Photo by Matt Hamilton / Jackie Hering completes the swimming portion of the 2022 Sundbelt Bakery Ironman along Riverfront Parkway in Chattanooga on Sunday, May 22, 2022.

Chattanooga ranks No. 1 for Ironman swim venue

Among the more than 170 Ironman triathlon contests, Chattanooga was rated by athletic participants as offering the best overall swim competition last year.

The Chattanooga Ironman contests also ranked among the top 5 tournaments for biking, the finish line and the overall venue in the full-distance Ironman events held in North America last year.

Ironman Chattanooga, part of the VinFast Ironman North America Series, ranked in the Top 5 in five categories, including being No. 1 in the best overall swim venue as rated by the athletes who participated in the triathlon events.

"The Chattanooga community works hard annually to produce the best race environment for each of our Ironman events," Tim Morgan, chief sports officer for the Chattanooga Tourism Co., said in a statement. "We are so appreciative that the Ironman athletes love our Tennessee River and competing in Chattanooga."

For every Ironman race, event post-event surveys were sent to all athletes who competed.

Most economists expect recession later this year

A majority of the nation's business economists expect a U.S. recession to begin later this year than they had previously forecast, after a series of reports have pointed to a surprisingly resilient economy despite steadily higher interest rates.

Fifty-eight percent of 48 economists who responded to a survey by the National Association for Business Economics envision a recession sometime this year, the same proportion who said so in the NABE's survey in December. But only a quarter think a recession will have begun by the end of March, only half the proportion who had thought so in December.

The findings, reflecting a survey of economists from businesses, trade associations and academia, were released Monday.

A third of the economists who responded to the survey now expect a recession to begin in the April-June quarter. One-fifth think it will start in the July-September quarter.

Nevada to provide Tesla $300 million in tax breaks

Tesla may receive over $300 million in tax abatements over the next two decades for a massive new expansion of its northern Nevada facility, the product of a 2014 deal for when the company first came to the area on the promise of new jobs and major investments in the area.

The long-awaited sum -- kept quiet for a month due to a nondisclosure agreement with state officials -- will be voted on Thursday by the Nevada Governor's Office of Economic Development. Tesla projects it will bring in 3,000 jobs at an average rate of $33.49 per hour and invest $3.6 billion into the economy. It will cover health insurance for 91% of its employees, per its application.

Many have attributed Tesla's presence in northern Nevada to both economic diversification and fast-rising housing costs.

Combined with both its 2014 investment and project expansion where the company received over $1 billion in tax breaks, Tesla is set for over $10 billion in capital investments in northern Nevada between 2014 and 2028, which economic development board director Tom Burns called "ground zero for the energy transition" in a Monday release. The company projected over $750 million in direct and indirect tax revenue from the proposed tax breaks and those approved in 2014.

"On behalf of Tesla and its 7,000+ Nevada team members, we are grateful to you and your team for your partnership on this critical project," Chris Reilly, Tesla's director of workforce and recruiting, wrote to Burns on Thursday.

The company could also be reimbursed for upwards of $80 million in sales and use taxes over two decades, which is not part of the $330 million in already-abated taxes.

— Compiled by Dave Flessner