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Tuesday, December 26, 2000

Cruise line parent
moving main office
to Florida

Florida offered a $2.2 million
economic incentive package
for the firm to leave Chicago

Star-Bulletin staff

CHICAGO -- American Classic Voyages Co., the largest U.S. cruise company, said today that the state of Florida has approved economic incentives of up to $2.2 million to lure the company's headquarters from its current location in Chicago.

Upon moving into its new home, planned for Sunrise, Fla., the cruise company will receive an annual tax refund of $543,750 for four years, beginning in fiscal 2002, under Florida's Qualified Target Industry Tax Refund Program. The tax refunds are part of a total economic incentive package of more than $4.2 million, including state job training funds and cash grants approved earlier by Broward County and the city of Sunrise.

"I am pleased to welcome American Classic Voyages to Florida," said Gov. Jeb Bush. "American Classic Voyages is a welcomed partner in our efforts to provide quality jobs for our residents and to ensure that Florida's strong economy continues to grow."

Philip Calian, chief executive of American Classic, said the public-sector incentives were a key motivation in the company's decision to move. American Classic also plans to relocate workers to Florida from its offices in New Orleans.

American Classic is the parent company of American Hawaii Cruises, which operates the SS Independence in Hawaiian waters.

The company recently completed a $114.5 million purchase of the Dutch ship ms Patriot, which arrived in Honolulu earlier this month.

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