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The Biz Week That Was: New casino breaks ground, falling gas prices and a new Portillo’s are among the highlights



Ground breaking held for new Aurora casino

Aurora officials and representatives of Penn Entertainment broke ground Wednesday on the new site for the Hollywood Casino. The complex, expected to cost $360 million to build, will be at Farnsworth Avenue and Bilter Road. It will replace the current casino, situated on a permanently moored barge on the Fox River in downtown Aurora.

U.S. gas prices have fallen or remained steady for 10 weeks straight. Here’s why

It’s not just you. Across the U.S., prices at the pump have felt milder in recent months. Gas prices have fallen or remained steady since Sep. 19 — marking about a 70-day trajectory of decline, Andrew Gross, spokesperson for motor club AAA, said Tuesday. As of Tuesday, the national average for gas prices stood just below $3.25, according to AAA. That’s down 25 cents from a month ago and 30 cents less than this time last year. Experts point to a recent decline in oil prices and a seasonal dip in demand, as well as easing inflation.

New Portillo’s in Algonquin celebrates grand opening, 60 years after 1st one debuted

The area’s newest Portillo’s restaurant officially has opened off Randall Road in Algonquin. The new location, at 1801 S. Randall Road, hosted a grand opening and ribbon cutting event Tuesday morning with the Algonquin-Lake in the Hills Chamber of Commerce. Portillo’s Vice President of Restaurant Support Michael Portillo, whose father is founder Dick Portillo, spoke at the ribbon-cutting ceremony about the history of the business. This year marks the 60th anniversary of Portillo’s, which opened its first location in 1963 in Villa Park.

Study: Illinois, other Midwestern states behind on renewable energy

Five Midwestern states — Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin — are lagging behind other states when it comes to renewable energy, a new study from environmental organization The Nature Conservancy reports. In Illinois, almost 20% of generated electricity comes from wind and solar as of March 2023. While that’s more than triple the amount generated a decade earlier, the state’s renewable portfolio pales in comparison to states such as Iowa, South Dakota and Oklahoma that are each generating more than 50% of their electricity from solar and wind.

GM says it can handle rising labor costs as it announces huge share buyback and dividend increase

Clearly frustrated with its languishing share price, General Motors on Wednesday announced a massive stock buyback plan, raised its dividend and told investors it can absorb increased labor costs from a six-week autoworkers strike. The Detroit company said it lost production of 95,000 vehicles due to the United Auto Workers walkouts, costing the company $1.1 billion. But due to $2 billion worth of annual efficiency gains and cost reductions expected by the end of next year, the company said it can handle $9.3 billion in labor cost increases from U.S. and Canadian union contracts through April of 2028.


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