Mecum auction and Future of Freight festivals return to Chattanooga in November and other business news

Staff photo by Olivia Ross / The Mecum Auctions took place last year inside the Chattanooga Convention Center on Oct. 14, 2022. The car auction at the fourth annual Chattanooga Motorcar Festival returns to downtown Chattanooga on Oct. 13-14.

Mecum Auctions returns to Chattanooga Oct. 13-14

Mecum Auctions, host of the world's largest collector car auctions, will return to Chattanooga on Oct. 13-14 for the fourth annual Chattanooga Motorcar Festival.

The auction is projected to feature 600 American muscle cars, classics, Corvettes, trucks, exotics, hot rods and other vehicles at the Chattanooga Convention Center. A similar auction last year generated $21.2 million in sales and the inaugural Mecum auction in Chattanooga in 2021 netted $18.7 million in sales.

"We are proud and thrilled to have Mecum Auctions joining us again at the Fourth Annual Chattanooga Motorcar Festival," Byron DeFoor, founder of the festival, said in an announcement Wednesday. "We have always believed that Chattanooga is a perfect location for these popular auctions, and we're pleased to be able to provide unique events to the Festival fans, which also benefit neuroscience research."

Options for in-person, telephone and internet bidding at the Mecum auction start at $100, offering bidders the opportunity to get in on the action in whichever way suits them best.

Information on all events at the Fourth Annual Chattanooga Motorcar Festival, sponsored by Millennium Bank, may be found at The festival runs Oct. 13-15.

Freight Festival set for Nov. 7-9

One of the biggest annual conferences for the logistics industry is returning to Chattanooga this fall, according to an announcement by conference sponsor FreightWaves.

Chattanooga, billed as the heart of Freight Alley and home to FreightWaves, will host the second annual Future of Freight Festival in downtown Chattanooga from Nov. 7-9. The F3 event brings together experts, entrepreneurs, industry leaders and educators to discuss the key factors affecting freight markets and the latest trends in the trucking and logistics industry.

Last year's freight festival drew nearly 2,000 logistics leaders to Chattanooga for a similar three-day event.

JetBlue to wind down planned airline deal

JetBlue says it won't appeal a judge's ruling against its partnership with American Airlines, effectively dropping the deal in an effort to salvage its purchase of Spirit Airlines.

JetBlue Airways said Wednesday that it will wind down the deal with American in New York and Boston in the coming months and "turn even more focus" to its proposed $3.8 billion purchase of Spirit.

The U.S. Justice Department sued to block the Spirit sale, saying it would hurt competition by eliminating Spirit, the nation's biggest discount airline. JetBlue hopes that dropping the deal with American might persuade the government to allow the Spirit purchase to go ahead.

A federal judge decided in May that JetBlue and American must end their partnership because it violates U.S. antitrust law. American has said it will appeal the ruling.

Last month, JetBlue and American asked U.S. District Judge Leo Sorokin to let them keep selling selling tickets on each other's flights, an arrangement called code-sharing, and offering reciprocal frequent-flyer benefits. It now appears those features will also go away.

Christmas Tree Shops liquidates all stores

Christmas Tree Shops is poised to liquidate all of its stores roughly two months after the struggling home-goods retailer filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

When Christmas Tree Shops filed for bankruptcy in early May, the Middleboro, Massachusetts-based chain aimed to complete restructuring and exit Chapter 11 as a "financially stronger retailer" by the end of August. At the time, Christmas Tree Shops planned to close a small number of underperforming stores.

In a court filing last week, however, Christmas Tree Shops confirmed it defaulted on a $45 million bankruptcy loan and had agreed to liquidate its more than 70 remaining locations across 20 states, unless a buyer emerges in the final hour.

Out of business sales could start as soon as Thursday, per court documents. Landlords also have until Thursday to file objections.

"Quite simply, the debtor doesn't have the time nor the money to go forward with the plan (to exit bankruptcy)," Harold Murphy, a lawyer representing the retailer, said during a court hearing last week, per the Wall Street Journal.

— Compiled by Dave Flessner