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Gary Nodler: Expedia officials have not said how many jobs might open up.
Gary Nodler: Expedia officials have not said how many jobs might open up.

State lawmaker: Expedia plans job expansion

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Expedia Inc. (Nasdaq: EXPE) has plans this month to announce a hiring expansion in Springfield, according to a state lawmaker close to the situation.

Missouri State Rep. Gary Nodler, R-Joplin, said he was told during a July 13 visit to Expedia’s Springfield office that an announcement would be made in early August regarding new jobs in Springfield.

At least two billboards along Springfield highways indicate the company is in hiring mode.

The billboards refer job seekers to www.expediajobs.com, where six openings are posted. While officials declined to discuss their plans, Nodler expects more jobs to open up.

Nodler introduced an amendment to a bill signed July 8 by Gov. Jay Nixon that exempts Expedia and others from paying municipalities’ hotel and motel sales taxes.

“Apparently there are 16 or 17 states in which Expedia is involved in similar litigation and is making legislative efforts,” Nodler said. “Missouri is the first state to adopt a law clarifying this issue.”

The city of Branson and St. Louis County are among about 200 municipalities that have filed more than 30 lawsuits since Los Angeles filed the first in 2004 alleging online travel services have pocketed the hotel taxes consumers pay that should be going to them.

“I’m told by Expedia that while they were looking at an expansion in the state of Missouri, because of the effect of this law, they anticipate a greater emphasis on business activity in this state,” he said.
“They believe it will result in an increased number of employees created at a facility in Springfield.
They are planning an announcement that’s specific on that the first week in August.”

Nodler, who is running to succeed U.S. Rep. Roy Blunt for Missouri’s Congressional District 7 seat, did not know the exact number of possible jobs. Expedia officials say the company is only hiring for jobs listed on the Web site.  

“We have not announced details regarding any growth plans in Springfield aside from our lease of the airport terminal including any hiring or recruitment advertising activities, and we don’t have additional information at this time,” Expedia Public Relations Director Katie Deines Fourcin said via e-mail.

Of the 458 Expedia job vacancies posted on the Web site, just six were for the Springfield office, 4124 S. McCann Court, where nearly 300 online travel employees work.

Expedia signed a lease in February to occupy the former Springfield-Branson National Airport terminal building beginning in the fall. The five-year lease gives Expedia 59,000 square feet in the northern portion of the 150,000-square-foot vacant building for $236,000 a year.

No job postings were made by Expedia at the Missouri Career Center in Springfield.

“I don’t know that we have anything listed with them at this point. They aren’t posted with us at all,” said work force supervisor Jaydean Miller, adding that Expedia hasn’t posted job vacancies with the Missouri Career Center in the past.[[In-content Ad]]

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