Ups and downs

Ups to the Convention and Visitors Bureau of Greater Cleveland. Its new “2002 Fun is Free” campaign offers visitors free tickets to Cleveland-area attractions such as the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Great Lakes Science Center for every room night they book in Cleveland. It’s a smart marketing move to generate increased tourist traffic.

Downs to Rep. James Traficant. The convicted felon says he plans to run for re-election to the U.S. House of Representatives as an independent. Traficant should resign, sparing his constituents the embarrassment of his actions, and leave a modicum of respect in Congress for all the good he actually did for his region.

Ups to Flight Options CEO Ken Ricci. First, Ricci pioneered the concept of fractional jet ownership for pre-owned jets. Then he engineered a merger with Raytheon Travel Air. Now Ricci has developed a unique pricing structure that reflects the real cost of operating airplanes. Ricci’s Flight Options is a true Cleveland success story that’s rarely reported on.

Ups to OfficeMax. After more than two years of corporate and strategic restructuring, CEO Michael Feuer says he expects the office supply retailer to show a profit with its first quarter results. Coupled with the sale of more than 2 million (of about 15 million) shares of stock by Orient Star Holdings, which had been accumulating stock for what many believed a potential hostile takeover, it appears the company has finally turned the corner.