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Wednesday P.M. Report

Q4 air fares from MSP descend 20 percent, Marathon looks to sell Minnesota assets, airport launches ‘elite’ parking program, and Rauenhorst family buys a chunk of Opus Northwest.

Air fares from MSP descend 20 percent in Q4: Air fares out of Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport continued to plummet in the fourth quarter, with average ticket prices falling 20 percent, compared with the same period a year earlier. Average domestic air fares out of the Twin Cities totaled $347 in the fourth quarter of 2009, according to data released today by the U.S. Bureau of Transporttion Statistics. That’s down from $435 in the same period of 2008. Read full story

Marathon looks to sell Minnesota SuperAmerica stores, other assets for $800 million: Marathon Oil Corp.intends to sell most of its Minnesota assets to three private-equity firms for more than $800 million, plus possible contingent payments over a number of years, the energy company reported today. Houston-based Marathon, the fourth-largest U.S. oil company and fifth-largest refiner, entered into a non-binding letter of intent with AconInvestments, NTR Partners and TPG Capital for “most of Marathon’s Minnesota downstream assets,” the company said. The sale includes the 74,000-barrel-per-day St. Paul Park refinery and 166 SuperAmerica stores. Read full story

MSP Airport launches ‘elite’ parking program: Frequent fliers can gain “elite” status, so why not frequent parkers? The Metropolitan Airports Commission is launching a membership program, dubbed eParkElite Option, that guarantees travelers a parking spot every time they come to the airport. To participate, travelers must pay $95 per month, as well as a one-time $20 activation fee. Read full story

Rauenhorst family buys a chunk of Opus Northwest: Opus Holding, a company owned by the Gerald Rauenhorst family, has acquired part of the “design-build” assets of Opus Northwest. Minnetonka-based Opus Holding is the same entity that purchased the assets of Opus North in December. Now, the assets it acquired, which will operate under the business name Opus Design Build, will become a sister company to Opus North. Read full story