Coffee and Downloads

Starbucks sweetens its offerings July 1 and introduces free Wi-Fi at all company-owned locations.

Fifty-four Starbucks stores in and around Las Vegas now offer free Internet access, but the 107 privately owned, non-franchise outlets, including mall kiosks and locations in casinos and Target stores, are exempt from the change.

The coffee giant previously included up to two hours of Internet time with a $5 card, but it had to be registered online. When your time was up, Starbucks charged a $4 reconnecting fee.

Southern Highlands Starbucks supervisor Erica Duheaney likes the new policy. Her location shares a parking lot with a McDonald’s, which has been offering free Wi-Fi (and presumably wooing Internet-hungry, coffee-loving customers) since January. “We have at least one customer a day come in and ask about the Wi-Fi,” she says. “I think making it free will be great for business.”