Why 'run, hide, fight' is the best advice

Plus: LendingTree heads to South End; flights to London for Panthers game

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Today is Wednesday, May 1, 2019. Here are today’s big stories in Charlotte-area business news:

UNC Charlotte’s quick, decisive response

Another day, another lunatic loser goes on a rampage.

UNC Charlotte’s chancellor called Tuesday’s shooting “the saddest day in UNC Charlotte’s history,” but it is actually worse than that: It is outrageous that our society has to tolerate shooters in our midst on such a recurring basis. And it is appalling that in our country, as advanced as it is, we have been unable to stop these shootings from happening again, and again, and again.

Today, there are grieving parents forced with the unthinkable task of burying their children. Yesterday’s shooting will haunt thousands of shell-shocked students and staff members for years. That’s not just sad. It’s abhorrent.

About the best you can say is that Tuesday’s shooting wasn’t worse, largely because of the quick response from law enforcement. We should be thankful that there are people willing to run into dangerous and deadly situations.

Revised approach: Since the Columbine shooting in 1999, police and security teams at private companies have altered their approach to active shooters, choosing to confront them as soon as possible, instead of the old practice of waiting for the SWAT team to arrive. From what we know Wednesday morning, it sounds as though UNC Charlotte’s reaction was nearly flawless.

UNC Charlotte police Chief Jeff Baker said his officers train twice a year for mass shooting incidents: “We train to go to the sound.”

He said that just moments after the shooter entered a classroom and unloaded a pistol, police confronted him: “One officer immediately went to the suspect to take him down.” Good. We will probably learn more about this hero in the coming days.

Of course, armed officers aren’t always around. Businesses and schools regularly counsel people upon hearing shots to take action, as hard as that might be. UNC Charlotte’s alerts got it exactly right:

The slogan “run, hide, fight” comes from a 2012 safety video by the city of Houston and the federal Department of Homeland Security. A lot of businesses have used it to train employees. The idea is that if you have time to react, you can’t just allow shooters to roam the building and pick victims off one-by-one:

If you haven’t seen it, you might check it out. Until our country figures out how to stop these a-holes from terrorizing us, this approach is a smart and practical way to prepare yourself.


LendingTree to South End

Think rents are high in South End now? Wait until LendingTree moves its headquarters out of Ballantyne and puts 500 workers in a new building on South Tryon Street and Carson Boulevard, just a block from Morehead Street:

The Spectrum Companies today announced that LendingTree, the nation’s largest online lending marketplace, will move its headquarters from Charlotte’s Ballantyne submarket to Spectrum’s new 5-acre mixed-use development in South End, on the doorstep of Uptown.

Located on South Tryon Street at Carson Boulevard, the project will include two 11-story office buildings, an expansive urban courtyard with event space, restaurants, shopping and a 200-room boutique hotel – one block from the Carson light rail stop and two blocks from Uptown. LendingTree will occupy 175,000 square feet in the first office building, with a formal groundbreaking in June and completion set for late 2020.

With its stock price nearly doubling so far this year, LendingTree is crushing it. In the last few years, the online financial marketplace has bought businesses that have given it footholds into insurance and credit cards. Those have worked out well.

Finding the best workers can be tough in any business these days, especially in tech and finance. LendingTree’s move, as expensive as it must be, should help it better attract workers — both people moving to Charlotte who enjoy South End’s vibe, as well as uptown bankers who previously wouldn’t consider commuting to Ballantyne.


Travel idea: Panthers in London

If you’re entertaining the idea of flying to London for the Carolina Panthers’ first international game in October, you should know that a lot of fans are apparently already snatching up plane tickets.

Frequent flier miles for the the one daily nonstop from Charlotte to London have already sold out at the lowest levels: 30,000 American AAdvantage miles each way.

You’ll have to either use a lot more miles, go over much earlier or fly one-stop through another airport such as Chicago or New York’s JFK.

If you’re paying, about the best you can do right now is $689 round-trip, one stop on Delta.

The Panthers play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in London on Oct. 13. If you’re looking for the ultimate European party week, note that Oktoberfest in Munich runs through Oct. 6. Just sayin’.


In brief

  • More golf: Wells Fargo Championship renews for another five years at Quail Hollow Club. (Biz Journal)

  • Park Terrace adds bar, reclining seats: Movie theater at Park Road Shopping Center reopens Friday. (Observer/paywall)

  • Washing machine prices surging: The Trump administration’s tariffs on washing machines have driven up costs by nearly $100. (NBC News)

  • iPhone sagging: Sales of Apple smartphones plunge 17%. (CNN)

  • Elon Musk’s new Twitter rules: Tesla CEO reaches agreement with SEC, tweets about “sentient leaf-blower” (Bloomberg)


Off the Clock

Low-key ideas for the weekend

Movies opening in Charlotte this weekend:
  • Long Shot (R) (87% on Rotten Tomatoes): Journalist and diplomat rom-com

  • El Chicano (R): Detective becomes masked avenger

  • The Intruder (PG-13): Couple haunted by widower

  • UglyDolls (PG): Dolls discover life’s meaning

Highly rated movies now playing:
  • Avengers: Endgame (PG-13) (95%)

  • Us (R) (94%)

  • Shazam (PG-13) (90%)

  • Captain Marvel (PG-13) (78%)

  • Breakthrough (PG) (65%)

Cheap getaways from CLT:
  • This weekend: Charlotte to Colorado Springs, $298 round-trip on American (one-stop), May 4-8.

  • Charlotte to Orlando, $76 round-trip on Frontier (nonstop), May 31-June 3.

  • Charlotte to Newark, $80 round-trip on Spirit (nonstop), June 21-24.

  • Farther out: Charlotte to Brussels, $463 round-trip on Delta (one-stop), July 4-11 and other dates

  • Farther out: Charlotte to Luxembourg, $471 round-trip on Delta (two-stop), July 24-31 and other dates.

  • Farther out: Charlotte to Bogota, Colombia, $306 round-trip on Spirit (one stop), Aug. 23-27 and other dates in August/September.

  • Farther out: Charlotte to Guadalajara, Mexico, $230 round-trip on Volaris (nonstop), Sept. 11-18 and other Wednesdays in September/October/November

Source: Google Flights. Fares retrieved Wednesday morning. They might have changed by the time you read this.


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The Charlotte Ledger is an e-newsletter and web site publishing timely, informative, and interesting local business news and analysis Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, except holidays and as noted. We strive for fairness and accuracy and will correct all known errors. The content reflects the independent editorial judgment of The Charlotte Ledger. Any advertising, paid marketing, or sponsored content will be clearly labeled.

The Charlotte Ledger is published by Tony Mecia, an award-winning former Charlotte Observer business reporter and editor. He lives in Charlotte with his wife and three children.