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Delta Air Lines changes Sky Club plan, says travelers can use lounges on arrival

Delta Air Lines Inc. (NYSE: DAL) last week clamped down on who can use the airline's airport Sky Clubs, and when, in a bid to reduce crowding at the lounges. But the airline is already backtracking on some of the new restrictions. The travel website Simple Flying has a report on the latest changes. Delta on Thursday sent emails to customers saying that it would rescind a plan to bar Sky Club access to most travelers who had just landed. "We heard your feedback in response to the updates, including….....»»

Category: topSource: bizjournalsMay 14th, 2022

Pamper yourself at these 10 hotel spas in the US, from Arizona"s hot springs to New York"s Finger Lakes

We found the best hotels with spas in the US for self-care, from restorative treatments to guided meditation and holistic wellness. When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more. Aman Resorts A getaway to de-stress sounds more enticing than ever. Many hotels have incredible spas rooted in helping you relax; some of the best are in the US. The best hotels with spas range from $97 to well over $1,000 - no passport required. Table of Contents: Masthead StickyMany of us are looking to finally return to travel with a focus on much-needed wellness. Fortunately, the US offers some of the best destination spas on the planet in hotels housed everywhere from urban oases in major metros to remote retreats nestled on beaches and islands.As a travel writer with an emphasis on luxury, I've experienced hotels with spas that are simply otherworldly. My top picks boast expansive facilities with soothing designs, innovative technologies, and holistic approaches like meditation and acupuncture. If you're ready to invest in some serious self-care, keep reading for the best hotels with spas in the US. Though, if you're looking for something more far-flung while keeping to a budget, we also rounded up the most affordable hotel spas around the world.Browse all the best hotels with spas below, or jump directly to a specific area here:The best hotels with spas in the USFAQ: Hotels with spasHow we selected the best hotels with spasMore of the most incredible hotelsThese are the best hotels with spas in the US, sorted by price from low to high. Resorts World Las Vegas Resorts World Las Vegas opened in June as the first integrated complex to go up on the Strip in over a decade. Tripadvisor Book Resorts World Las VegasCategory: BudgetLocation: Las Vegas, NevadaTypical starting/peak price: $97/$263Best for: Families, couples, groups of friends, solo travelers, business travelersOn-site amenities: An enormous slate of dining, entertainment, nightlife, and retail options, plus pools, spa, fitness center, casinoSpa features: The theatrical Art of Aufguss experience (the first of its kind in the US), Fountain of Youth experience with six vitality pools, foot spa lounge, bodywork, facialsPros: As the newest full-scale resort-casino property on the strip, Resorts World is a buzzy new option with a full suite of amenities in addition to the next-level spa.Cons: Although it's the newest, this isn't the poshest hotel in Vegas compared with pricier, more upscale resorts with tricked-out guest rooms.The Strip's newest integrated resort (that is, a major resort property that includes a hotel, casino, entertainment, convention facilities, retail, and more) comes with a unique and Vegas-worthy spa experience: Awana Spa. The spa offers an experience not available anywhere else in the country, known as the Art of Aufguss. This unique treatment-slash-show within the spa was inspired by European saunas that provide rejuvenation and socializing with the communal goal of wellness. The spa showcases a theater-inspired heated room with aromatherapy, choreographed music, lighting, and dancing towels, and it's as avant garde as it is relaxing. Here, each "sauna meister" curates a 30-minute themed experience.The Fountain of Youth is an experience within the spa that houses a network of six vitality pools, heated crystal laconium room, tepidarium chairs, vapor-filled steam rooms, cool mist showers, and an experiential "rain walk." The huge co-ed facility features LED screens and immersive experiences that change throughout the day; when the projection transports guests to various picturesque destinations, the room's temperature and other details change to match the displayed setting. The spa also offers traditional facials and body work, and has a foot spa lounge. Resorts World is the first complex like it to be built on the Las Vegas Strip in more than a decade. The $4.3 billion property has 3,500 guest rooms and suites, gaming, more than 40 food and beverage options, and nightlife. Through its partnership with Hilton, the development includes the Las Vegas Hilton, Conrad Las Vegas, and Crockfords Las Vegas. COVID-19 procedures are available here. Inns of Aurora Inns of Aurora is a luxury lakeside boutique resort in the Finger Lakes with a 15,000-square-foot spa. Inns of Aurora Book Inns of AuroraCategory: BoutiqueLocation: Aurora, New YorkTypical starting/peak price: $187/$360Best for: Families, couples, groups of friends, business travelersOn-site amenities: Multiple dining options, spa, activity center, meeting and event spaceSpa features: Indoor and outdoor hydrotherapy pools, meditation spaces, 10 treatment rooms (4 with fireplaces), inclusive gender-neutral spacesPros: The location is dreamy and remote with stunning lake views, and the spa is new and expansive.Cons: While most reviews are overwhelmingly positive, some critical reviewers noted there were limited food options.Founded in 1789, the Village of Aurora is a tiny, serene village in New York's pristine Finger Lakes region. Set on 350 acres of rolling farmland overlooking the lake, the property has five inns in all. Entry-level accommodations at the Aurora Inn have luxurious Queen beds outfitted in Frette linens, a comfortable seating area, and a writer's desk. Balconies with rocking chairs add charm in warmer months, as do gas fireplaces in the cooler ones.Known for its extensive wellness offerings, the Inns of Aurora has a 15,000-square-foot spa and healing center, The Spa at the Inns of Aurora, which takes a holistic approach to wellness. Indoor and outdoor spaces offer views of Cayuga Lake and there are six indoor and outdoor hydrotherapy pools, multiple meditation spaces, 10 treatment rooms (four outfitted with warming fireplaces), and inclusive gender-neutral spaces, along with unobstructed access to lush lavender fields for outdoor massages and relaxing strolls among nature trails. COVID-19 procedures are available here. Carillon Miami Wellness Resort At 70,000 square feet, Carillon Miami Wellness Resort is the largest spa center on the Eastern seaboard. Tripadvisor Book Carillon Miami Wellness ResortCategory: LuxuryLocation: Miami, FloridaTypical starting/peak price: $298/$625Best for: Couples, groups of friendsOn-site amenities: Multiple dining options, spa, wellness activities, fitness classes, beach clubSpa features: 70,000-square-foot Finnish spa and wellness facility with vitality tub, steam room, foot spa, cooling "igloo" room, experiential rain showers, thermal loungers, salt float bathPros: The spa has every treatment you could imagine, including innovative and high-tech approaches. Apartment-style lodgings are large and offer homey comfort.Cons: Critical reviews say the rooms are due for a sprucing.Located on the white sands of Miami Beach, Carillon Miami Wellness Resort is the only fully dedicated wellness resort in South Florida. Indeed, the 70,000-square-foot spa is the largest on the Eastern seaboard.Everything about staying here is plush, starting with well-appointed, apartment-sized accommodations that range from one- to two-bedroom layouts, starting at 720 square feet. They feature floor-to-ceiling windows with ocean views, a separate living room, a fully equipped kitchen, and a spa-like bathroom.Wellness offerings are abundant, including a range of ultra-high-tech services and amenities such as a futuristic cabin with a height-adjustable water bed, heated water mattress, color therapy, steam bath with aromatherapy, Vichy shower with six jets, and Vibro massage.​​Carillon also recently launched a touchless wellness program meant to target a range of issues like sleep health, anxiety, muscle recovery, weight loss, respiratory health, and mental and spiritual wellness.Come here to indulge with a one-of-a-kind thermal therapy experience, or sweat it out in 65 fitness classes held each week. Traditional Chinese medicine and a medical wellness division are also offered. Just note that spa treatments are not included in the room rate.COVID-19 procedures are available here. Peninsula Chicago Peninsula Chicago has 339 guest rooms and a sleek spa with an indoor pool. The Peninsula Chicago Book Peninsula ChicagoCategory: LuxuryLocation: Chicago, IllinoisTypical starting/peak prices: $399/$720Best for: Families, couples, groups of friends, business travelers On-site amenities: Multiple restaurants, rooftop lounge, spa, fitness center, pool, event venuesSpa features: Rejuvenation lounge with fireplace, yoga room, fitness center, half-Olympic poolPros: Peninsula Chicago is known for its top-end service, luxurious accommodations, and supremely walkable location on Chicago's Michigan Mile.Cons: Among mostly glowing reviews, few critical guests expressed higher hopes for the property given other experiences with the Peninsula brand.Located on the Magnificent Mile in the heart of Chicago's premier shopping district, this 339-guest room hotel features three restaurants, a rooftop lounge, and glam rooms. Even the entry-level guest rooms are some of the most spacious accommodations in town. Facing south over Superior Street, the Superior rooms are bright and airy with sophisticated decor in muted earth tones and signature blues alongside rich wood and cream leather accents.The Peninsula Chicago's spa is an exquisite urban retreat, with an indoor half-Olympic length swimming pool surrounded by floor-to-ceiling windows for jaw-dropping views of the city from the 19th floor.This Peninsula Chicago spa is the first hotel spa destination in the city to offer ultra-posh treatments using the famously expensive and splurge-worthy Biologique Recherche. There's also a relaxation lounge with a fireplace, a fully-equipped fitness center, and a yoga room. COVID-19 procedures are available here. Lake Austin Spa Resort Lake Austin Spa Resort covers 19 lakefront acres for a wellness getaway that feels a world away. Tripadvisor Book Lake Austin Spa ResortCategory: LuxuryLocation: Austin, TexasTypical starting/peak prices: $525/$1,450Best for: Couples, groups of friends, solo travelersOn-site amenities: Spa, pool, restaurant, boutique, fitness center, water sportsSpa features: Aster Café, private couples suites, more than 100 treatments and services, day passesPros: Room rates are all-inclusive, meaning your overnight price comes with three gourmet meals per day and all the fitness classes you can handle.Cons: The all-inclusive rate isn't totally all-encompassing as spa treatments are not included.Located 30 minutes from downtown Austin and speak on 19 lakefront acres, the Lake Austin Spa Resort feels tucked far away from any urban bustle. As an all-inclusive resort, the majority of offerings are covered by the rate. While it doesn't include spa treatments, it does include three gourmet meals made from ingredients grown on-site each day, as well as morning yoga classes, water sports on the lake, and stargazing sessions with an astrologer. Think of this as an adult version of a summer camp, where the emphasis is on mindfulness and fitness.Overnight guests stay in one of 40 French country-style accommodations, which range from quaint rooms with private meditation gardens to the elaborate Lady Bird Suite with a private hot tub. Each comes with fresh-cut daily flowers, Veuve Clicquot champagne upon arrival, a De'Longhi Lattissima Pro Espresso Machine, and toiletries with the spa's signature lavender scent, created from plants grown on-site.The 25,000-square-foot LakeHouse Spa offers fresh, seasonal dining at Aster Café, private couples suites, and a range of treatments using ancient and modern therapeutic techniques in a serene setting. COVID-19 procedures are available here. The Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara The Ritz-Carlton Bacara in Santa Barbara has the largest spa of any Ritz-Carlton in the country. Tripadvisor Book The Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa BarbaraCategory: LuxuryLocation: Santa Barbara, CaliforniaTypical starting/peak prices: $779/$1,379Best for: Couples, families, groups of friends, business travelersOn-site amenities: Pools, spa, multiple dining options, a 12,000-bottle wine collection and tasting room, event spaceSpa features: 42,000 square feet of indoor-outdoor space with fireside lounges, rooftop terrace, poolPros: The pools, beaches, and gardens here are all spectacular and the views can't be beaten. There is also a full suite of amenities and the service is exceptional.Cons: The large, sprawling property can pose a challenge for travelers with mobility issues.The Spa atThe Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara is a magnificent retreat, sprawling across 78 acres of lush land overlooking the Pacific. It has access to two beaches and offers three infinity-edge pools, two of which have gorgeous ocean views.Guest accommodations also have views of the sea, or the pool or garden from individual patios or balconies, and entry-level rooms start at a generous 450 square feet. The design is coastal, with dark woods and beams, Frette linens, deep soaking tubs, marble showers, and Asprey bath amenities. Newly debuted fireside garden rooms offer patios with private fire pits.The spa, however, is the standout feature, a stunning 42,000-square-foot sanctuary — and the largest out of all the Ritz-Carlton properties in the country. There are abundant indoor and outdoor spaces for relaxation, with fireside lounges, a rooftop terrace, a swimming pool, and more.The spa menu features locally inspired, luxury rituals that pay tribute to the scenic California landscape. For instance, the Hollywood facial is a decadent treatment integrating three of the industry's top-trending technologies: HydraFacialä, Nutraceuticals, and NuFace Microcurrent. Or branch out with the Spirulina Wrap, which uses live spirulina algae to revitalize the skin. Other services include acupuncture, massages, skincare, and hair and nail services.When it's time to eat, on-site restaurants Angel Oak steakhouse and 'O' Bar + Kitchen offer locally sourced cuisine and wines.COVID-19 procedures are available here. Castle Hot Springs Castle Hot Springs dates back to 1896 and was recently renovated. Tripadvisor Book Castle Hot SpringsCategory: LuxuryLocation: Morristown, ArizonaTypical starting/peak prices: $1,500/$2,100Best for: Couples, families, groups of friendsOn-site amenities: Resort pool, hot springs pools, on-property farm, Arizona's first Via Ferrata cable climbing courseSpa features: Multiple mineral pools, spa treatments in alfresco cabanas, yoga, meditationPros: Meals are included at this recently overhauled resort. Deeply steeped in history, it's all about wellness through local, natural means, such as an on-site farm operation and hot springs. Cons: While most reviews are overwhelmingly positive, critical reviewers noted spotty service compared with their expectation for the price point.Castle Hot Springs is Arizona's first luxury resort, originally founded in 1896 as a holistic wellness retreat. Situated 50 miles outside of Phoenix in the Sonoran Desert, the 34-room resort feels a world apart from the demands of urban life and incorporates ancient hot springs and a digital detox philosophy into every stay.Historically, visitors came for the minerals' cures for ailments like rheumatism, gout, arthritis, and general aches and pains, which the pools were said to relieve. More than 200,000 gallons of mineral-rich water still flow through the pools each day.All guest suites (bungalows, cottages, and cabins) feature outdoor stone tubs plumbed with hot springs water, and telescopes outside lodgings encourage stargazing. Wellness features heavily, with a slate of offerings including access to thermal waters, which cascade into three pools ranging from 96 degrees to 86 degrees. The natural waters take on colors that reflect the minerals running through them: Lithium is a deep purple shade, iron looks red, and oxidized copper is in blues and greens. Other wellness spa services, yoga, and meditation are provided in custom cabanas set along the spring water creek under palm trees for a wholly rejuvenating experience.COVID-19 procedures are available here. Miraval Arizona Resort & Spa Arizona's Miraval is known around the world as a go-to destination for wellness enthusiasts. Tripadvisor Book Miraval Arizona Resort & SpaCategory: LuxuryLocation: Tucson, ArizonaTypical starting/peak price: $1,138/$1,518Best for: Couples, groups of friends, solo travelersOn-site amenities: Spa, pool, fitness and wellness classes, tennis, golf, hiking on Camelback MountainSpa features: Ayurveda, energy work, traditional massage, acupuncture, multiple meditation spaces including two labyrinthsPros: Meals and activities are included, which packs the steep nightly room rate with value.Cons: Not everything is included. Expect to splash out a lot more for spa treatments and other extras. Situated on 400 acres outside Tucson, nestled in the Santa Catalina Mountains, Miraval is a well-established and world-renowned domestic wellness getaway.Guests are asked to unplug and tuck their devices away before checking into spacious suites that come with hot tubs, walk-in showers, fireplaces, dining areas, and private patios. Extra wellness-minded touches include an organic pillow menu, a Tibetan singing bowl, coloring books, a community journal, and an essential oil diffuser, available on request. Room rates also include a nightly credit, all meals, and more than 200 classes and activities. Spa treatments are not included, but shouldn't be missed at the Life in Balance Spa, which features a myriad of services including Ayurveda, energy work, traditional massage, and acupuncture.Many spaces on-site encourage reflection and meditation including two labyrinths, an outdoor kiva, and a designated quiet room with mountain views. Experiences here combine yoga, meditation, and wellness, with spiritual journeys, culinary workshops, and outdoor activities.COVID-19 procedures are available here. Four Seasons Resort Lanai and Sensei Lanai, A Four Seasons Resort Four Seasons Resort Lanai and Sensei Lanai offer wellness, activities, and natural beauty on the Hawaiian island. Tripadvisor Book Four Seasons Resort Lanai and Sensei Lanai, A Four Seasons ResortCategory: LuxuryLocation: Lanai, HawaiiTypical starting/peak prices: $1,700/$2,585Best for: Families (Four Seasons Resort Lanai only), couples, business travelers, groups of friends, solo travelers (Sensei Lanai)On-site amenities: Pools, gardens, wellness offerings, activities (including archery and shooting range), food and drink from celebrity chef Nobu Matsuhisa Spa features: Private spa hales with steam and infrared saunas, traditional Japanese soaking tubs, outdoor showers, pools, one-on-one healing sessions like guided meditation or nutrition, couples suites, locally inspired treatmentsPros: Wellness offerings here are unparalleled, especially at Sensei where it's the focus. Airfare from Honolulu on Lanai Air is always included with Sensei Lanai. The natural beauty and service are among the world's most impeccable. Cons: Kids are not permitted at Sensei Lanai, although they are doted upon at Four Seasons Resort Lanai.This secluded 90,000-acre paradise on Hawaii's island of Lanai offers luxe accommodations at the beachfront Four Seasons Resort Lanai or wellness destination, Sensei Lanai, A Four Seasons Resort.The Four Seasons Resort Lanai is perfectly luxe with 213 guest rooms, multiple outdoor restaurants (including Nobu Lanai), Four Seasons' Kids for All Seasons kids' club, a beach and pool with seating areas tucked among tropical gardens, luxury boutiques, and an array of included classes and events.But if wellness is on your mind, and you don't have kids in tow, choose the adults-only Sensei Lanai, A Four Seasons Resort instead, set on 24 acres where spa where wellness is the top priority.Visitors select a curated well-being experience or design their own a la carte itineraries from options that include guided sessions on mindset or nutrition, as well as spa treatments, salon services, and a range of land and sea activities. Daily small-group yoga, fitness, and meditation, as well as guided hikes and weekly lectures are included.The 96-room resort offers Chef Nobu Matsuhisa's classics as well as menu selections that incorporate Sensei's nutritional philosophy created in partnership with Sensei's co-founder Dr. David Agus. The outdoor facilities include a 24-hour fitness center, movement studios, a yoga pavilion and outdoor yoga spaces, an 18-hole putting course, onsen baths, an oasis pool with lap lanes, and gardens with lush flora as well as sculpture and art. COVID-19 procedures are available here. Amangiri Amangiri is the wellness favorite for celebrities and A-listers looking to recharge in the desert. TripAdvisor/emtrip27 Book AmangiriCategory: LuxuryLocation: Canyon Point, UtahTypical starting/peak prices: $1,931/$3,500Best for: Couples, familiesOn-site amenities: Restaurant, 25,000-square-foot Aman Spa, national park tours, private air toursSpa features: Redwood-paneled treatment rooms, movement and fitness studios, 2 steam rooms, yoga, pilates, holistic Navajo-inspired therapiesPros: Amangiri is surrounded by unparalleled natural beauty and privacy. The design and service are otherworldly, equally indulgent for adventurers and luxury lovers.Cons: Though this property is close to flawless, for the over-the-top price point, guests expect impeccable service and are hyper-aware of even the smallest shortcomings.Amangiri is a celeb-adored Utah property situated on 600 acres in a protected valley, famous for sweeping views over towering mesas and dramatically stratified rock facing Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. The resort is built around a spectacular swimming pool defined by a jaw-dropping stone escarpment. There are 34 suites, many with private swimming pools and roof terraces. Suites are large with clean lines and natural materials, reflecting the surrounding Utah desert. Think white stone floors, concrete walls, natural timbers, and blackened steel finishings. Each suite has a fireplace and an outdoor lounge area. The Wellness Center at Amangani is a relaxing retreat with four redwood-paneled treatment rooms, movement and fitness studios and two steam rooms. Book beauty treatments and restorative therapies inspired by the holistic wellbeing traditions of the Navajo, or sign up for a day of wildlife treks, a private yoga, or a pilates session. Nourishing treatments, seasonal rituals, and holistic massages are all designed to help you unwind. In 2021, the resort introduced the Cave Peak Stairway, an installation that rises 400 feet above the ground, for outrageous views of the property. Thrill-seekers can climb the 120 steps leading from the resort's existing Cave Peak Via Ferrata Trail with just open air below.COVID-19 procedures are available here. FAQ: Hotels with spas Can I use a hotel spa without staying overnight?Whether or not you may use a hotel spa without staying overnight depends on the individual hotel and its policies. In some cases, hotels restrict the use of their spas and pool facilities to guests only in order to keep the experience intimate and private. In other cases, non-overnight guests may pay for a day pass to access the facilities, either directly through the hotel or through a third-party platform such as ResortPass, or visit simply by booking a treatment.Does spa access always come with the cost of a room night?Staying at a hotel doesn't always guarantee spa entry. In some cases, such as Awana Spa in Las Vegas, the room night might cost as low as $97 but using the spa is not included in the price, and spa access starts at $100 for hotel guests. Access is included, however, with the purchase of a 50-minute or longer treatment. Most hotels on this list have similar policiesWhere are the best hotels with spas in the US?As demonstrated by this list, there are excellent destination hotel spas throughout the United States, from urban day spas to remote retreats. Many are clustered around destinations known for wellness, such as Arizona and California, or destinations known for healing natural environments, like Hawaii. Others are simply known for providing flat-out luxury to travelers with money to spend, such as in Miami or Las Vegas.Is it safe to stay in a hotel?The CDC advises that fully vaccinated people can safely travel domestically. While hotels do provide opportunities for face-to-face interactions with staff and other guests in common spaces like check-in desks, lobbies, and dining venues, experts say guests who exercise proper precautions can stay safely in hotels. No travel is completely risk-free and we recommend following CDC current guidelines as well as all applicable local protocols at the time of travel. How we selected the best hotels with spas Hotels with spas are located throughout the US only.Each has a Trip Advisor rating of "Very Good" or above with a substantial number of reviews, and is highly rated on other trusted traveler platforms like Booking.com.We focused on amenity-rich properties at a range of price points, starting from just $97 and ranging to well over $1,000 per night for famously posh properties with lavish inclusions.We looked for hotels with spas that had extensive offerings including innovative technologies and holistic wellness approaches. We also sought spas that were large and beautifully designed.In addition to spas, we selected properties with notable amenities like pools, restaurants, and other notable features. And we focused on desirable destinations, from flashy urban to serene natural settings.Each hotel promotes rigorous COVID-19 policies and protocols to reassure and protect guests. More of the most incredible hotels Tripadvisor The best luxury hotels in the USThe most affordable spa hotels in the worldThe best hotel pools in the USThe best hotels with private plunge poolsThe most romantic hotels in the USThe best hotels with affordable overwater bungalowsThe best beach hotels in the USThe best island hotels in the US Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytSep 22nd, 2021

Delta Air Lines changes Sky Club plan, says travelers can use lounges on arrival

Delta Air Lines Inc. (NYSE: DAL) last week clamped down on who can use the airline's airport Sky Clubs, and when, in a bid to reduce crowding at the lounges. But the airline is already backtracking on some of the new restrictions. The travel website Simple Flying has a report on the latest changes. Delta on Thursday sent emails to customers saying that it would rescind a plan to bar Sky Club access to most travelers who had just landed. "We heard your feedback in response to the updates, including….....»»

Category: topSource: bizjournalsMay 14th, 2022

BoJo Unveils “Plan B” Restrictions As Omicron Cases Top 500 While Deaths Linger At Zero

BoJo Unveils “Plan B” Restrictions As Omicron Cases Top 500 While Deaths Linger At Zero Update (1330ET): BoJo held a press conference Wednesday evening at 10 Downing Street in the UK where he laid out his his plans for adopting "Plan B" restrictions in England (to fight the omicron variant, which government advisors have warned him could overtake delta as the UK's dominant strain by Christmas). The PM started by insisting "we have to act on the data." The only problem with this is that there isn't any data to act on when it comes to omicron. Only 568 cases have been confirmed in the UK so far, and it's not like the UK's government advisors haven't been wrong before. Though the PM did concede that the actual number of omicron cases is much higher. The senior aide who featured in a recent leaked video that greatly embarrassed BoJo's government also announced her resignation. UK: Government adviser Allegra Stratton announced her resignation and offered her "profound apologies" after a video emerged of her laughing about a reported Downing Street Christmas party at a mock press conference. pic.twitter.com/svs18hgmVe — Yid Info (@YidInfoNews) December 8, 2021 As for 'Plan B', the prime minister announced that face masks would be mandatory in theaters and cinemas starting Friday, while vaccine passports will be required for anybody trying to enter a club, a large sporting event or a concert. Restaurants and pubs will remain exempt from the new mask wearing rules. To qualify for the passport, people will need to have received at least two jabs. BoJo also asked that all Britons who are able should return to working from home starting Monday. So far, omicron hasn't put a single Briton in the hospital, nor has it contributed to any (confirmed) deaths. * * * Update (0800ET): More details about BoJo's "Plan B" are coming into focus. The plan could be announced as early as Wednesday evening, or possibly Thursday. According to the BBC, the UK cabinet is meeting at 15:45GMT and has scheduled a press conference for 17:30GMT on Plan B. As of now, the UK government is reportedly drawing up plans that will include a Christmas work from home order as PM Johnson considers measures to slow the spread of the Omicron variant. The measures are expected to include the introduction of vaccine passports to slow the spread of Omicron, along with a renewed work-from-home guidance, vaccine passports for nightclubs, alongside guidance on indoor and outdoor events. Elsewhere in Europe, Norway's Prime Minister said they must install more restrictions to control the spread of COVID but must avoid a full lockdown of society. The PM added that there should be no more than 10 visitors in private homes, while bars and restaurants must stop serving alcohol from midnight every day. The government will introduce new economic compensations for companies hit by COVID restrictions. * * * Since the start of the pandemic, we have cautioned readers to look past what political leaders are saying about lockdowns and vaccine mandates intended to "keep us safe", and focus more on ulterior motives, like pushing the Fed to monetize mountains of debt to keep the market-sustaining money tap open. Like with every other major decision, it's important to ask oneself: Cui bono - who benefits? With that in mind, UK PM Boris Johnson is facing bitter criticism from Britons after he allegedly rushed the announcement of England's "Plan B" - BoJo's more restrictive version of President Biden's "winter plan" - allegedly to try and distract from a national scandal caused by leaked footage of a 10 Downing Street Christmas Party held last winter, when holiday parties were expressly forbidden by COVID lockdown rules. The FT, which broke the news of BoJo's "Plan B" plans, described the impending announcement as a "dead cat" - that is, something done to draw attention away from a much bigger scandal. One said the move to Plan B — much earlier than expected — was a “dead cat” move by Johnson to distract attention from the furore over a leaked video of a mock Downing Street press conference showing staff laughing about the party, which breached Covid-19 rules. The new restrictions - intended to try and stop the spread of omicron - are expected to be announced at a press conference as early as Wednesday, with the new measures put before parliament on Thursday. Still, according to the UK's top COVID scientists, the new lockdowns couldn't come soon enough, as cases of the omicron variant are believed to be doubling "every two to three days." Neil Ferguson, one of the UK's leading coronavirus experts, warned on Wednesday that if no further measures were introduced, the peak of the current wave of infection would likely arrive in January, and that new infections caused by omicron could potentially overtake delta by Christmas. Whether that actually happens remains to be seen. But word of BoJo's rush to impose "Plan B" in England has rattled markets in the UK by stoking fears that more omicron lockdowns would be announced in the UK, and elsewhere in Europe. The plan includes requiring vaccine passports to enter large buildings, along with an order to work from home. British travel and leisure stocks tumbled Wednesday on the news, with Wizz, EasyJet, IAG all down about 4%. Restaurant Group dropped as much as 6.2%, while Cineworld shed 5.6%; the two companies were the worst performers on the All-Shares Index. Gilts, the UK's government bonds, rallied on the news, sending yields down 3 basis points to outperform German bunds. It's expected that "Plan B" will extend requirements for vaccine passports for travelers, and potentially cause up to £18 billion ($23.75 billion) in economic damage, according to documents seen by the Guardian. In the face of a national uproar caused by the Christmas Party revelations, UK health secretary Sajid Javid pulled out of a number of national broadcast interviews that had been scheduled for Wednesday after a video showing BoJo's top aides holding a mock press conference where they joked about the Christmas Party (which they later denied happened). Javid had been expected to discuss the UK’s vaccination efforts on the BBC and Sky News, as well as a number of radio stations, delivering an update on the one-year anniversary of the first jab being given in Britain. Adding to the sting from the news of the Downing Street Christmas Party, ITV also published this video from a mock press conference featuring staffers joking about the Christmas Party, which they later denied happened. It's an early Christmas present for the opposition...and any European leaders who are tired of BoJo's brusque negotiating style. Tyler Durden Wed, 12/08/2021 - 14:04.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytDec 8th, 2021

The 15 essentials you should pack while traveling during a pandemic this holiday season

Stay safe this holiday season with these travel essentials that help you minimize exposure to COVID-19 and stay safe and healthy while on the road. When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.Hispanolistic/Getty Images Holiday travel is safer in 2021 than in 2020 but you should still take precautions to minimize the spread of COVID-19. The best precautions for traveling are getting vaccinated and wearing a mask in public spaces. Additional items like at-home COVID tests and portable hand sanitizer can also help you travel safer. Medical review by: David Aronoff, MD, director of the Division of Infectious Diseases at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Table of Contents: Masthead StickyWith rising vaccination rates in the U.S. and around the world, travel is reopening further. Americans are cleared to travel within the U.S. and, if fully-vaccinated, many places abroad, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).However, traveling isn't the same as pre-pandemic or even the same as mid-pandemic: Whether or not you're vaccinated, you need to take precautions when flying or driving. Everyone must wear a mask over their nose and mouth on planes, buses, trains, taxis, and other forms of public transportation.Most countries have other specific rules to visit, including proof of vaccination and certification that you've had a recent negative COVID test. Many experts also recommend taking a COVID test before and after you travel regardless of if it's required.While it's relatively safe to travel, that's only true if you take proper precautions. We've talked to three experts about everything you need to know to travel safely in the fall and winter of 2021, whether you're flying or driving, vaccinated or not.Here are the new essentials everyone should pack before traveling:Vaccine passport: CommonPassN95 mask: Kimberly-Clark N95 RespiratorKN95 mask: Powecom KN95 masks, 10 packDisposable mask: DemeTech DemeMask Surgical MaskFabric face masks: Herschel Classic Fitted Face MaskFace masks with removable filter: Halo Life Nanofilter MaskFace masks for kids: Onzie Mindful Masks (2-Pack)At-home COVID test: EmpowerDX At-Home COVID-19 PCR TestPortable hand sanitizer: Touchland Power Mist Sanitizer SprayTravel-sized disinfectant wipes: Clorox Disinfectant Wipes To GoA smartphone sanitizer: PhoneSoap 3 Smartphone UV SanitizerPacking cubes: eBags Hyperlite Packing CubesTape to help your face mask fit better: Cabeau TapeA mask bracket for added comfort: HeartFormSF Mask BracketReusable bags for safety gear: Stasher Reusable Silicone BagWhat to consider before you goEmilija Manevska/Getty ImagesVaccination against the SARS-CoV-2 virus is the most important and effective way we can reduce the spread and severity of COVID-19, David Aronoff, MD, director of the Division of Infectious Diseases at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center, told Insider during his medical review of this piece."While masks, reduced crowding, and social distancing are among the many things we can do to reduce the spread of COVID-19, vaccination has been shown to protect against getting infected, reduce the risk of symptoms or severe disease, and prevent death," he said.Be sure that anyone in your traveling party (or meeting you at your destination) is vaccinated if they are eligible, and that they've received their booster vaccine doses, which is now available for most people who've already been immunized.Additionally, all travelers should ask themselves before they go: Can I afford to be trapped somewhere if I or one of my travel companions gets COVID and can't travel home? "If the answer is no, stay home," Dr. Aronoff added.If you are traveling, Dr. Aronoff encourages checking your health insurance carefully to find out where and how to seek medical attention if you need it and exactly what your policy covers. Some countries require proof of travel health insurance that covers COVID to enter their borders. Dr. Aronoff also suggested having a plan for where you'd go to get care if you got sick and how you'd quarantine from the people you're visiting.What should be in your travel safety kitImages By Tang Ming Tung/Getty ImagesWhether you're vaccinated or not, driving or flying, remember the basics of COVID travel: Wear the best mask you can (ideally an N95-type mask), making sure it fits snuggly without gaps at the sides (layering two masks can help), and keep your distance from people outside your household as much as possible.Then, pack a portable COVID-19 safety kit, whether flying or driving.Proof of vaccinationAgain, getting the COVID vaccine is the best thing you can do to stay safe and keep other safe while traveling during the pandemic. Many countries require proof of vaccination before entering their borders, and even if you're traveling domestically, it's a good idea to have proof with you just in case a public space or business upon arrival requires it.If you want to travel with your physical vaccine card, we suggest putting it in a protective vinyl casing. But there are also a handful of apps, such as CommonPass and VeriFLY, that allow you to upload proof of vaccine and even connect PCR test results so you have proof of your low-risk all in one place.Card Protector Vinyl Sleeve (small)App (small)App (small)Masks for adultsMasks are required on all airlines, regardless of your vaccination status or where you're flying. They're also recommended for any public place while driving, like public restrooms or service stations.As coronavirus is an airborne virus, wearing a mask is still one of the key ways to reduce spreading or getting COVID, especially in an indoor, crowded place like an airport or airplane, Joyce Sanchez, MD, medical director of the Travel Health Clinic at Froedtert and the Medical College of Wisconsin tells Insider.Wearing the right mask the right way helps to protect not only the people around you but the wearer too.Nearly everyone can safely wear a mask, other than those who can't put on or take off a mask themselves. This includes those with chronic lung and heart problems, Dr. Sanchez says. "Even if it feels harder to breathe while wearing a mask, it doesn't actually affect how much oxygen your body gets," she assures.Why are masks so important? Think of the COVID virus like cigarette smoke spreading indoors — it flows throughout the space (beyond 6 feet from the person who exhaled it and around plexiglass barriers) and can hang in the air for hours, even after the person is no longer in the room.Considering its spreadability, and given how contagious the Delta variant is, it's more important than ever to wear a well-fitting mask to both prevent spreading the virus to others and inhaling it yourself.Quick tip: If your mask tends to suction to your mouth when you breathe in, look for a mask with a more structured frame that keeps the fabric away from your lips (like a KN95 mask). Or, insert a frame, like one from HeartFormSF, into a covering you already have.N95-type masks are best now that they're no longer in short supply like early in the pandemic, followed by KN95 masks (both technically called respirators rather than masks). Both seal the sides of the face and top of the nose to minimize any gaps where air can leak, and offer additional filtration of air as you breathe, Dr. Sanchez explains.However, counterfeits are common, so check the CDC's list of approved masks and suppliers. A quick way to tell is that real N95s have straps around the back of the head instead of ear loops and a TC number (e.g., 84A-XXX for U.S.-approved N95s).After N95s and KN95s, a three-layer cloth mask is your next best option. The outside two layers should be a tightly-woven fabric like cotton or linen and the middle a filter fabric, either built-in or added-in by you (a folded paper towel works great).It's important that your mask fits snugly to trap the potentially-infected air particles rather than leaking through the edges of the mask and being directly inhaled, Abe Malkin, MD, MBA, the founder and medical director of Concierge MD LA, tells Insider. Make sure there are no gaps around the edges of your mask — a detail of equal importance regardless of if you're vaccinated or not.Quick tip: If a mask causes your glasses or sunglasses to fog up, that's a sign it doesn't fit properly and is allowing potentially virus-laden air in and out. Use a special tape like Cabeau Tape between the fabric and your skin where there's a gap to create a better seal.If your mask has gaps on the top or sides or if you only have a single-ply mask, it's smart to double up with a disposable surgical-type mask underneath and a tighter cloth mask over top. And if your mask slips down under your nose as you talk, it's a sure sign you need a better-fitting mask.Quick tip: Pack multiple masks. When you travel, you should have enough coverings to wear a fresh mask each day, as well as extras on hand if it gets dirty or wet.It's also important to wash reusable masks daily — a clean-looking mask can be covered with germs, which can spread to your hands and everything you touch every time you take it off or put it on. Wash it as you do your hands, with a minimum 20-second scrub with soapy water and a thorough rinse, then hang it to dry.Skip the neck gaiters and bandanas — early reports that they're worse than no mask at all were likely overblown, but researchers do know real masks are more effective. Plus, many airlines don't allow them anyway.N95 Respirator (small)KN95 Masks (10 Pack) (small)DemeMask Surgical Mask, 50 pack (small)Classic Fitted Face Mask (small)Nanofilter Mask (small)Mask Bracket (5-Count) (small)Tape (small)Masks for kidsA well-fitting mask is the most important factor for anyone, so children should use masks made for kids, Dr. Malkin says, adding "adult masks are too big for them."If kids can help choose their own supplies, it increases the chance they'll use them. Dr. Malkin advises opting for a mask with a character or designs your child likes to increase the chance that they'll keep it on when you're not looking.Mindful Masks (2-Pack) (small)Mickey Mouse masks, 4-pack (small)Smurfs Original Blue Cloth Face Mask (small)Masks are generally required on planes for kids 5 and older, though sometimes it's 2 or older (check your airline's requirements before you go). And Dr. Aranoff advises all kids over 2 years old should wear one in indoor, public places unless they physically can't. The CDC does not recommend masks for children under 2.Kids need multiple masks just like adults, so stash a few extras in their backpacks and in the car, Jagdish Khubchandani, PhD, a professor of public health at New Mexico State University tells Insider.Quick tip: It's super important to model safe practices, Dr. Sanchez says. "If you're wearing a mask, disinfecting your hands, maintaining that distance, and reinforcing those behaviors through what you say and do — children pick up on and mirror that."At-home COVID-19 testMost countries require you to have proof of a negative COVID test to enter. Taking one is a good idea even if you're traveling domestically, especially if you're unvaccinated, the CDC advises.Even if your destination doesn't require it and even if you're vaccinated, it's wise to get a COVID test both before you travel and after you arrive to minimize the chance of spreading the virus to vulnerable people. "If you are planning on visiting others, make sure to get tested to ensure everyone's safety," Dr. Malkin adds.For international or domestic travel, the CDC recommends that people who aren't vaccinated take a COVID test one to three days before you leave, keep your distance from others as much as possible while traveling, and once you return home, take another viral test and self-isolate for a full seven days. If you don't get a viral test, you should isolate for 10 days. Either way, avoid being around high-risk folks for 14 days.As for where to get a COVID test, many towns have free testing sites. But you can also snag an at-home rapid antigen test or, slightly less common, more accurate molecular tests (such as a PCR test). Just remember, the tests aren't 100% foolproof.Many at-home tests require you to mail in a nasal swab or spit tube to be processed in a lab. But newer tests (both antigen and molecular) available in some countries let you get your results online in as little as 45 minutes, with some antigen tests delivering results right in front of you, within 15 minutes. (Just be sore to follow the instructions closely and the tests can give a false negative.)Most tests that are supervised by a health professional over video provide you with the certification you need for flights. Just make sure you know the precise time window to do your test and get the certification back before your flight.When our team researched and tested the leading at-home COVID tests on the market throughout 2021, we found EmpowerDX Nasal to be the most accurate, covered by most insurance or the cheapest test available out of pocket and turns results around within two days of the lab receiving the sample. Dr. Sanchez also recommends the Abbott at-home antigen test kit, which offers six tests for $150.Dr. Sanchez recommends each person bring at least two approved at-home test kits that meet the testing requirements when traveling internationally in case there's a problem with one or you need to re-test. "You do not want to be stuck or delayed in returning home because you have not prepared for that required step," she adds.At-Home Covid-19 Nasal PCR Test (small)BinaxNOW COVID-19 At-Home Test Kit - 6 Pack (small)Hand soap, sanitizer, and wipesTraveling exposes you to tons of germs — viruses, bacteria, protozoa, and fungi — outside of COVID that can cause illnesses. It's super important to clean your hands before and after you eat, in particular. The best way: Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and then dry them thoroughly with a paper or cloth towel (rather than an air blower).But since that's not always possible, the second-best option is to use hand sanitizer. Always pack one with at least 60% alcohol in your carry-on, and rub it all over your hands, even the nooks and crannies, until it evaporates.Antibacterial hand wipes are less ideal since they sometimes contain harmful chemicals and may contribute to antibiotic resistance. But in a pinch, they're definitely better than having unclean hands. Keep in mind that most wipes are formulated for objects and not for skin, Dr. Malkin points out. As with hand sanitizer, the formula needs to be at least 60% alcohol to kill viruses.Power Mist Moisturizing Hand Sanitizer (small)Antibacterial Aloe Wipes (small)Disinfectant wipesKeeping high-touch surfaces clean is important, but don't obsess over disinfecting every surface you come into contact with, Dr. Sanchez told us — you're not at all likely to acquire COVID by touching an infected surface. This is especially true when driving; there's no need to wipe down your car handles or steering wheel, for example.That being said, high-touch surfaces on planes — armrests, tray tables, in-flight entertainment screens — can transmit germs, so it's wise to wipe down surfaces around your seat with a disinfectant wipe.Be sure to clean your phone too — you might be surprised by how dirty it actually is. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for how to clean it and try to use it only with clean hands. (But be careful: Some cleaners can ruin your screen.)Disinfectant Wipes On the Go (small)HomeSoap UV Sanitizer (small)Storage bagsWhen flying, carry-on storage is essential to make it easy to access hand sanitizer and other essential items. Ideally, your carry-on bag has multiple pockets so you can keep things like food and extra masks separate from dirty items. You can also use a small pouch to keep these essentials right on top (we like these durable, zippered pouches from Baboon to the Moon).We also recommend having a few plastic bags available to store dirty masks, in addition to things like used disinfectant wipes or tissues until you can find a trash can. You'll want one for your car and in your carry-on.It's also helpful to have a designated clean storage bag where you can put your mask when you take it off to eat away from dirty surfaces or other people's breath, Dr. Sanchez advises. Avoid placing your mask on a table or your arm to minimize germ contamination.Reusable Silicone Sandwich Bag (small)Dopp Kit (small)What you should leave at homeGlovesYou don't need to bring gloves with you traveling. First of all, COVID-19 is transmitted by breathing, not by touching things and then touching your face. Regardless, germs can live on the surface of a latex glove, the same as skin, Dr. Malkin says. Plus, "some people become too relaxed when they are wearing gloves. They do not realize they are at more risk for spreading [germs] because they are touching multiple personal items in between other things," he adds.Studies have suggested that people who wear gloves tend not to wash their hands as often or notice when gloves get dirty or damaged. It's also easy to contaminate your hands when removing gloves. Plus, we don't need any more COVID-19 waste than we already have.Face shieldsHow important are face shields? "As we do not have data to support the use of face shields in protecting individuals from acquiring COVID-19 in the community setting, they should not be used as a substitute for a well-fitting mask," Dr. Sanchez says.She added that while she saw no downside to adding a face shield to your travel safety kit, "they are not an equivalent substitute for face masks." They might provide protection if someone sneezes in your direction, for example, but they don't protect others from any virus you may be carrying.Is it safer to fly or drive?RuslanDashinsky/Getty ImagesIf you do need to travel, driving is generally safer than flying commercially, Dr. Sanchez says. If you drive, you have control over who shares the car with you, where you stop along the way, and when you return.If you're fully vaccinated and wearing a well-fitting mask, it's generally safe to fly from a COVID-19 transmission standpoint, she adds.Just keep in mind that you're most likely to transmit or catch the coronavirus when in close proximity to an infected person, especially in situations where people aren't wearing masks at all or wearing them properly. That means airport lines are an issue (sitting on the plane much less so, as we'll explain below), as is driving with anyone not already in your household bubble. Eating indoors — since people have no choice but to remove their masks — is high risk.Regardless of your mode of transportation, it's important to be diligent with precautions.Your driving safety planRealPeopleGroup/Getty ImagesRemember that COVID is spread by people breathing and talking, not by touching surfaces. If you're driving, you don't need to wipe down your steering wheel. But it can bring peace of mind to clean your hands before getting in; have hand sanitizer at the ready before and after you eat, and for after you use a gas pump and public restroom, for example.Power Mist Moisturizing Hand Sanitizer (small)Choose restaurants where staff are diligent about wearing masks. Keep your mask on unless you're actively eating or drinking, and try to eat outdoors or in your car.Use public restrooms for bathroom breaks. Pulling over for a roadside bathroom break is actually illegal throughout the U.S. Just wear a mask and try to wait outside in a well-ventilated space for a free stall. If the toilet has a lid, close it to flush. (There's evidence that the coronavirus can spread by flushing.)Dr. Sanchez adds that you should assume public restrooms are not properly disinfected and that surfaces could be covered in many kinds of germs aside from COVID. Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and then use a paper towel to dry your hands and turn off the tap and open the door. If you do touch anything on your way out, use your 60%-plus alcohol hand sanitizer.Your airport safety plandmphoto/Getty ImagesAirports — especially with lines at security, boarding gates, and within the plane itself — are risky because of the close proximity to other people. Wear your mask at all times and keep as much distance from others as you can.When the TSA has you lower your mask for identity verification, touch it from the ear loops rather than the middle to avoid transferring any germs on the fabric onto your hands. It's wise to sanitize or wash your hands after you've touched security trays, not so much because of the coronavirus, but to protect yourself from other germs.As for the plane itself, airlines have stepped up their disinfecting regimens. Many use electrostatic foggers nightly — sometimes between every flight. They spray a fine mist of disinfectant throughout the plane, and the electrostatic charge causes it to stick to all surfaces, not just fall to the floor.Though COVID isn't transmitted by touching things, don't assume your flight has been freshly fogged with disinfectant. Planes can be filthy. It's still wise to wipe down everything in your seat area with a disinfecting wipe like Clorox Ultra Clean Disinfecting Wipes; many airlines now hand out disinfecting wipes as you board, too.If you bring your own, look for "disinfecting" and at least 60% alcohol on the label — a cleaning wipe rids your tray table of that splash of Coke, but it won't kill bacteria and viruses. Settle into your seat and wipe down everything you're likely to touch: the seat belt, armrests, the tray table, the air vent, the window-shade handle, and all places you need to touch to operate the entertainment system.Then, thoroughly clean your hands with sanitizer. The TSA increased the size limit for sanitizer during the pandemic, and until further notice, you're allowed to bring one bottle that's up to 12 ounces in your carry-on bag. If you're flying internationally, note that some countries maintain the 3-ounce limit.Disinfectant Wipes On the Go (small)Power Mist Moisturizing Hand Sanitizer (small)You might be worried about sitting in an enclosed space for hours, but the air on planes is cleaner than in many indoor places, and airlines' mandatory mask policies help protect everyone from virus particles that anyone could be breathing out. A September 2021 peer-reviewed, real-world study showed that the risk of contracting COVID-19 on a plane is 0.1% thanks to mask policies, requiring negative COVID tests to fly, and planes' hospital-grade air filtration systems.When a plane cruises, the cabin air refreshes every three to four minutes, using both fresh air from outside and air that's gone through HEPA filters that remove virtually all viruses.However, if you need to eat or drink on a plane, it's wise to wait a few minutes after the people around you have put their masks back on before you take yours off.Minimize moving around on the plane, including wrestling carry-on luggage in and out of the overhead bin. If you need to use the restroom, be sure to close the toilet lid before you flush. After washing your hands for 20 seconds and drying them, use a paper towel to unlock and open the door. Avoid touching seatbacks as you return to your own, both to keep your hands clean (headrests are the dirtiest surfaces inside an airplane cabin) and so you don't disturb other passengers.After your flight, it's smart to avoid crowds around the baggage carousel — wait until space clears before you grab your bag.You'll also want to check your destination's latest COVID-19 rules for arriving passengers. Some countries require everyone, whether vaccinated or not, to have a negative COVID-19 test on arrival and self-isolate until it's confirmed negative.Our expertsFor this article, we deeply researched across leading health organizations like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO). We also spoke with the following experts:Joyce Sanchez, MD, the medical director of the Travel Health Clinic at Froedtert and the Medical College of WisconsinDr. Abe Malkin, MD, MBA, the founder and medical director of Concierge MD LAJagdish Khubchandani, PhD, a professor of public health at New Mexico State UniversityThis piece was also medically reviewed for accuracy before publishing by Dr. David Aronoff, MD, director of the Division of Infectious Diseases at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 15th, 2021

Inside the Golden Door Spa, the California retreat loved by the wealthy that"s $9,950 for a week"s stay

Insider went on a rare tour of the ultra-exclusive California spa and resort that boasts a guest list of the world's elite. Inside the Golden Door Spa and Resort. Thomas Pallini/Insider The Golden Door Spa and Resort in California has hosted the world's elite at its 600 acres. Guests pay $9,950 for a week-long stay that includes spa treatments, workouts, and other activities. Executive Chef Greg Frey Jr. crafts the spa menu that's unlike traditional spas with satiating, nutritional, and delicious food. Hidden in the hills of San Diego County in California is Golden Door, a top-rated spa and resort that's welcomed the world's wealthy and other privileged guests since 1958. Inside the Golden Door Spa and Resort. Thomas Pallini/Insider Sitting on 600 acres of land in between San Diego and Los Angeles, spa-goers visit for one week at a time to relax and indulge in a variety of activities and treatments aimed at achieving mindfulness and self-improvement. Inside the Golden Door Spa and Resort. Thomas Pallini/Insider A week's stay at Golden Door will set guests back $9,950 and high-profile visitors are common. It's not uncommon to see celebrities like Oprah Winfrey and Julia Roberts, among countless other high-net-worth individuals. Inside the Golden Door Spa and Resort. Thomas Pallini/Insider Each week will have a maximum of 40 guests, each of whom is required to test negative for COVID-19 upon their arrival at the spa. All Golden Door staff are also required to wear face masks on the property. Inside the Golden Door Spa and Resort. Thomas Pallini/Insider And like any high-end spa, coming to visit requires advance planning as some weeks at Golden Door are booked up for months, if not years, ahead of time. Inside the Golden Door Spa and Resort. Thomas Pallini/Insider Insider received a rare look inside Golden Door in September. Here's what it was like. Inside the Golden Door Spa and Resort. Thomas Pallini/Insider The Golden Door experience begins quite literally with a golden door, behind which awaits a Japanese-style oasis completely hidden from public view. Inside the Golden Door Spa and Resort. Thomas Pallini/Insider At a bend in the footbridge leading to the resort, guests are instructed to take three deep breaths and leave the stresses of the outside world behind. Inside the Golden Door Spa and Resort. Thomas Pallini/Insider "We say to people 'please leave all of your troubles and your worries out here in this world because when you come into Golden Door …. you are in our care, we will take care of you,'" Kathy Van Ness, Golden Door's general manager and chief operations officer, told Insider. Inside the Golden Door Spa and Resort. Thomas Pallini/Insider The foyer is the main lobby of the spa and is where guests will get their first taste of the ornate Japanese design found in rooms throughout the property. Week stays begin on Sunday with Monday serving as the first full day of activities. Inside the Golden Door Spa and Resort. Thomas Pallini/Insider Guests will have undergone a personal interview before even arriving that's designed to gain insight into each visitor's goals and personalize the week's programming to their needs. Inside the Golden Door Spa and Resort. Thomas Pallini/Insider An abundance of staff makes sure that guests are always on the right track and want for nothing. The ratio of employee to staff at Golden Door is five to one. Inside the Golden Door Spa and Resort. Thomas Pallini/Insider Guests are also told to pack light as workout clothes, t-shirts, terry robes, a yukata, a kimono, and sandals are provided as well a yoga mat, journal, tote, reusable water bottle, and skincare products. Inside the Golden Door Spa and Resort. Thomas Pallini/Insider A total of 40 guest rooms are available on the property and almost every one of them is identical. Two of the rooms are larger villas that are booked up first and they come with a premium of $600. Inside the Golden Door Spa and Resort. Thomas Pallini/Insider Couples visiting the resort can share a room but the experience, Van Ness said, can be better when having individual accommodations. That's because some of the programming will take place in the rooms including personal massages. Inside the Golden Door Spa and Resort. Thomas Pallini/Insider Japanese gardens fill the property with one of the largest selections of traditional lanterns in the US. Inside the Golden Door Spa and Resort. Thomas Pallini/Insider Side rooms such as the bamboo court lounge are where some of the sessions and classes take place over the course of a week. And during men's camp weeks, it's not uncommon for sports to be playing on the television. Inside the Golden Door Spa and Resort. Thomas Pallini/Insider The dining room is where guests will enjoy most of the meals over the course of the week designed to provide the energy to take on everything that Golden Door has to offer. Here, guests are encouraged to interact with one another, especially women traveling to the spa on their own and even high-profile guests. Inside the Golden Door Spa and Resort. Thomas Pallini/Insider The celebrity visitors, Van Ness has found, are also just as engaged and interactive as their peers. And if guests are "mesmerized" by a celebrity presence, they often don't let it show. Inside the Golden Door Spa and Resort. Thomas Pallini/Insider "That's why VIPs like to come here because nobody is being filmed on camera, nobody is worried about their privacy, and everybody is doing the same thing [other guests] are doing," Van Ness. Inside the Golden Door Spa and Resort. Thomas Pallini/Insider Executive Chef Greg Frey Jr. is tasked with crafting meals at the spa and upends the traditional notion of "spa food" with his creations. Meals are nutritional yet incredibly filling so guests are encouraged to find unhealthy food elsewhere. Inside the Golden Door Spa and Resort. Thomas Pallini/Insider "It's all about the sizes and the portions that you eat," Van Ness said of Golden Door's nutritional philosophy. "Portion control is 99% of healthy weight control." Inside the Golden Door Spa and Resort. Thomas Pallini/Insider Miso glazed black cod is served every Sunday because, on Monday morning, guests will need all of the energy it provides to take on the day ahead. Inside the Golden Door spa. Thomas Pallini/Insider "On Monday, everyone wants to do everything," Frey said. "They're going to do a lot more activity than they normally would have done at home. This [meal] was really designed to give them, the night before, those energies that they're going to need for the next day so they don't crash. Inside the Golden Door Spa and Resort. Thomas Pallini/Insider Guests can plan to burn between 2,000 and 5,000 calories in a given morning, whether it be from an eight-mile hike or an intense workout session in the gym. The quality of the meal is important to keep guests going during their stay. Inside the Golden Door Spa and Resort. Thomas Pallini/Insider And there’s no shortage of activities for guests to do to burn those calories. Golden Door has seven gyms, three pools, a tennis court, a fitness courtyard, and 30 miles of hiking trail across its 600 acres, just to name a few of its amenities. Inside the Golden Door Spa and Resort. Thomas Pallini/Insider Next to the dining room is also the tea room, where guests will "just refresh their day before heading to dinner," Van Ness says. Inside the Golden Door Spa and Resort. Thomas Pallini/Insider A warm cup of tomato broth, for example, will give guests a healthy serving of potassium. Inside the Golden Door Spa and Resort. Thomas Pallini/Insider And freshly picked fruits and vegetables offer a small snack in between meals. Inside the Golden Door Spa and Resort. Thomas Pallini/Insider Right outside the tea room is another tranquil Japanese-style garden, as well as a koi pond that's home to what seemed like hundreds of fish. Inside the Golden Door Spa and Resort. Thomas Pallini/Insider Protecting Golden Door's pristine aesthetic is the fact that the resort is grandfathered into building restrictions that allow it to have a koi pond without a fence surrounding it, for example. "We'll never touch the outside," Van Ness said. Inside the Golden Door Spa and Resort. Thomas Pallini/Insider Walls surround Golden Door where it's geographically feasible but they can't stop the highway noise from nearby Interstate 15 in some areas on the edges of the resort. Rooms are soundproofed, however, to minimize such distractions. Inside the Golden Door Spa and Resort. Thomas Pallini/Insider Wander down a dirt road just a few hundred feet from the guest rooms and a sprawling garden awaits from where the kitchen gets its ingredients that feed the spa. Inside the Golden Door Spa and Resort. Thomas Pallini/Insider Golden Door utilizes bio-intensive farming in its garden, growing rows upon rows of fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs, and spices. "Soil is the key to good food," Van Ness said. Inside the Golden Door Spa and Resort. Thomas Pallini/Insider One of the goals of the garden is to expose the guests to different varieties of produce beyond what's sold in grocery stores. There are 65 different types of tomatoes growing in the garden, for example. Inside the Golden Door Spa and Resort. Thomas Pallini/Insider It's here in the garden that Frey will find the inspiration for his meals. Inside the Golden Door Spa and Resort. Thomas Pallini/Insider "I want to go out and see, what are the ingredients and then those formulate and percolate into an idea," Frey said. "Until I have that plate in my hand and I'm actually putting these things together, I really have no idea what it's going to look like." Inside the Golden Door Spa and Resort. Thomas Pallini/Insider Some rows had been recently cleared, indicating that the produce was used that same day by Golden Door chefs. And whatever Golden door doesn't use goes to its newly-opened country store in the town of San Marcos. Inside the Golden Door Spa and Resort. Thomas Pallini/Insider California droughts don't greatly affect Golden Door. Wells on the property provide an ample water supply to keep the garden bountiful. Inside the Golden Door Spa and Resort. Thomas Pallini/Insider Guests will also have lunch in the garden once a week on a long wooden table crafted using the wood from old boat docks. Inside the Golden Door Spa and Resort. Thomas Pallini/Insider A coop with around 70 chickens supplies the eggs for the spa. Inside the Golden Door Spa and Resort. Thomas Pallini/Insider The eggs are also a best-seller in Golden Door Country Store, as well as items like pesto sausage. Inside the Golden Door Spa and Resort. Thomas Pallini/Insider Chickens are then moved to homes after they've begun laying eyes. Inside the Golden Door Spa and Resort. Thomas Pallini/Insider Rising high above the property is a mountain that's home to one of eight trails at Golden Door. The nearby Pacific Ocean is clearly visible from the peak. Inside the Golden Door Spa and Resort. Thomas Pallini/Insider Hiking is a popular pastime for guests and is one of the first activities of the day. Inside the Golden Door Spa and Resort. Thomas Pallini/Insider The Golden Door experience ends at the labyrinth, where guests spend around a half-hour walking the path while going through self-examination of what they've learned over the past week. Inside the Golden Door Spa and Resort. Thomas Pallini/Insider "Are you taking something with you that we've given you that need or are you leaving something behind that you don't need?" Van Ness said. "It's a very slow walk to have your mind clear up and focus on yourself." Inside the Golden Door Spa and Resort. Thomas Pallini/Insider And if the week was a success, guests should leave with a better understanding of "how to be a happier person, how to be satisfied, how to be kinder," she said. Inside the Golden Door Spa and Resort. Thomas Pallini/Insider Women make up the majority of customers with 42 weeks of the year dedicated to women's programming. But male guests are growing in number, with Golden Door increasing the number of men's weeks to six per year from two as well as six coed weeks. Inside the Golden Door Spa and Resort. Thomas Pallini/Insider There are activities geared toward male guests including archery and fencing but Van Ness has found that men enjoy the beauty aspect of the spa and participate there just as much as the women do. Van Ness attributes it to a sense of being freer in a group of their peers with no judgments. Inside the Golden Door Spa and Resort. Thomas Pallini/Insider Around 11% of Golden Door’s guests are international arrivals from Japan, Norway, England, Spain, and Canada, among other countries. The rest of the visitor list is comprised of a bi-coastal demographic split between East and West Coasts. Inside the Golden Door Spa and Resort. Thomas Pallini/Insider The high price of a spa doesn't deter repeat customers. In fact, around 60% of visitors will return in their lifetime. Inside the Golden Door Spa and Resort. Thomas Pallini/Insider A loyalty program does exist where Golden Door will host a party at their expense for any guest that makes at least 100 visits to the spa. And so far, only six men have reached that milestone. No women have hit that threshold but one guest has made 98.5 visits. Inside the Golden Door Spa and Resort. Thomas Pallini/Insider And while a week-long stay at Golden Door will run at least $9,950, travelers can experience a taste of the spa when booking a flight on some Singapore Airlines flights. Inside the Golden Door Spa and Resort. Thomas Pallini/Insider Singapore Airlines' ultra-long-haul flights between Singapore and the US will feature a new in-flight offering starting in January 2022 that includes a Golden Door-inspired wellness and dining program. Inside the Golden Door spa. Thomas Pallini/Insider Here's how Singapore Airlines and Golden Door are redefining luxury on the world's longest flight.  Chef Greg is tasked with crafting the menu that's very much in sync with what is served at the spa. Some dishes will be identical to what Golden Door serves its own guests while others will be specific to Singapore Airlines. Inside the Golden Door spa. Thomas Pallini/Insider Guests that want to bring a piece of the spa home with them can also visit the boutique in the center of the resort, with items specifically curated by Van Ness. Inside the Golden Door Spa and Resort. Thomas Pallini/Insider The Golden Door symbol on some of the store’s merchandise is likely one that few will recognize but will signify membership in an exclusive club of spa-goers. Other items, such as the Golden Door ginger snap cookies, aren’t likely to last very long after purchase before being eaten. Inside the Golden Door Spa and Resort. Thomas Pallini/Insider The most expensive piece of jewelry on display costs as much as a week's stay at the spa. Inside the Golden Door Spa and Resort. Thomas Pallini/Insider Though Golden Door is not a nonprofit, all of its net profits are donated to charitable organizations. Charities include Forensic Health Services, The New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, San Francisco Child Abuse Prevention Center, Whole Planet Foundation, I Have a Dream, Rady Children's Hospital & Fantastic Fungi. Inside the Golden Door Spa and Resort. Thomas Pallini/Insider Guests finally leave Golden Door on the same path in which they entered, and have to once again cross the bend. "Now you're leaving Golden Door but take us with you until we meet again," Van Ness said. Inside the Golden Door Spa and Resort. Thomas Pallini/Insider Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytOct 17th, 2021

Time to Buy Back into the COVID Stocks

The "COVID stocks" may have fallen from their peaks, but they're still fundamentally solid. Jeremy highlights three areas that should continue outperforming in the future despite selling off as the vaccines rolled out. The stock market has experienced some wild rides since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. We saw a crash in 2020 and a subsequent rally that currently puts us just 3% away from all-time highs in the indices. It has been a year and a half since COVID came to America and there are big questions surrounding what stocks will outperform into the end of the year.Life is not 100% back to normal and the market is in a confusing spot. Tech stocks were thriving during the pandemic, but started to see weakness when the vaccines were rolled out. Money then rotated into the reopening stocks like airlines, hotels, restaurants and cruise lines. This created a divergence on some trading days that separated the performance of the Nasdaq and S&P by as much as 1%.Delta Changed Everything The delta variant has unfortunately stopped the momentum reopening stocks saw earlier in the year. While vaccinations are slowing the spread, the world is still having issues fully coming back online.Investors now must look at the staying power of the “COVID stocks”. Many of these names have fallen from their peaks, but continue to perform fundamentally as we drift through the delta stage of this pandemic.The recent divergence has created tons of opportunities as the COVID names continue to see tailwinds from a permanently changed economy. Below we will discuss three areas that were hot during COVID, but have seen sell offs since the vaccines were rolled out. We will then dive into some stocks that reside within these sectors that will continue to outperform in the future.Continued . . .------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Is the Market Rigged?How often have you owned a stock that gets pummeled with no logical explanation? This is often caused by computer-driven High-Frequency Traders (HFT). They fire off massive amounts of short trades to drive stock prices down, then profit from the rebound. Their gains come at the expense of human investors.The good news is that Zacks has mounted a Counterstrike to catch the best of these “manipulated price drops” as they rebound. For example, we recently closed gains of +40.2%, +49.1%, +62.0%, and even one for +252.0% in less than a month.¹Access to these trades must be limited. It closes to new investors Sunday, October 10.See Counterstrike Stocks Now >>------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------1) Technology We all know the big names that did well during the pandemic. Companies like Amazon, Microsoft, Netflix, Apple and many more saw record revenues as people were dependent on their technology to continue living life and doing business.Many tech companies saw exponential growth over the last year, growth that they were not expecting for another 10 years. The pandemic accelerated tech into the future and we are now living in a permanently changed environment because of it.The technology ETF XLK took a 33% dip during the COVID crash. However, it quickly bounced back to all-time highs in June of last year and is now up over 135% from those COVID lows.Let’s go over two stocks that became household names over the last year and continue to do well while navigating COVID.ZM- Zoom Video is a communication platform that helped a lot of families and businesses connect during the pandemic. The company saw parabolic growth during COVID, seeing three straight quarters of triple-digit EPS beats in 2020. While growth has slowed, the company continues to beat expectations, with an EPS surprise to the upside of 17% in late August.The stock rose from $65 to $588 in 2021, but started to pull back in November, right when the vaccine news hit. The stock pulled back 53% from highs and has dropped back to the May lows around the $275 level.The company is valued at $82 billion and investors are looking to buy the dip if the current support area can hold.DOCU- DocuSign provides e-signature solutions and has become popular with users in real estate, insurance, healthcare, government and more. When people couldn’t get together to sign documents, they took care of business online with DocuSign.The company saw a breakout quarter last year, beating EPS by 142% back in September. The earnings momentum continued in 2021, as the company has reported two beats on EPS of over 60%. The most recent quarter saw a beat of 20% on earnings, but analyst estimates for the current year and quarter are headed higher.The stock was up almost 200% in 2020, hit new all-time highs in August, but has since pulled back over 15% from highs. The stock is now worth $54 billion as investors seem to be accepting that the company’s momentum is not stopping anytime soon.2) Consumer Staples  This sector is comprised of the goods and service that are necessities, which often do well during recessions. However, the COVID outperformance stemmed from stay-at-home orders, which led to panic buying of food, toilet paper and almost anything in a grocery store.The main ETF for this sector is XLP, which bounced 53% from the March 2020 lows to August highs. The sector has seen some selling of late, but is only 4% off its highs.Let’s go over two leaders in this group:PG- Proctor & Gamble is a household name that sells many of the products in your home. Toilet paper, shampoo, deodorant, razors, toothpaste and diapers are all products we buy from P&G.The company reported a 15% beat on EPS in July of last year, the major COVID quarter when people panic bought everything on the shelves. However, the company is still outperforming, with beats on EPS of at least 4% every quarter since that big July number.The company is valued at $345 billion, pays a 2.4% dividend. The stock is only 2% off its 2021 highs.WMT- Walmart is the popular brick-and-mortar store, but in recent years has expanded into e-commerce, which helped them during the early stages of COVID.The company reported a whopping 28% EPS beat last summer, but topped that with a 38% beat this past May. Their most recent quarter saw a 14% beat, which brought in some selling off all-time highs.While the momentum has cooled a bit, Walmart continues to outperform, beating earnings expectations five out of the last six quarters. The company is almost valued at $400 billion and pays a 1.5% dividend.3) Camping There was a lot of fear surrounding travel at the height of the pandemic. Because the U.S. had one of the highest cases counts, some countries issued quarantine rules for travelers. This wasn’t appealing for someone on vacation so we saw a big uptick in domestic travel. And since all the hotels were closed, the demand for RVs and the desire to camp increased.While America has opened up, the demand for camping is still there as we head through the fall months. We have already seen evidence of this when two of the RV manufacturers recently reported earnings.THO- Thor Industries is the largest manufacturer of RVs in the world. Some popular brand names include Airstream, Jayco and Keystone.The company had a lot of success in 2020, including a 200% beat on EPS in June of last year. More recently, the company is coming off a 39% EPS beat this June, as well as posting an order backlog of $14 billion. The only issue for Thor is making the RVs fast enough, which led to a 30% slide in the stock in Q2 of 2021.The stock went from $32 to $152 last year, so you can’t blame investors for taking profits. However, the demand for RVs is the strongest it has ever been, which has the company valued at $6 billion. Investors can also collect a 1.5% dividend if they jump into the recent sell off.WGO- One of Thor’s biggest competitors is Winnebago. The company is valued at $2.2 billion and has strong brand recognition after being around for sixty years.Winnebago is smaller and only pays a 1.1% dividend, but an EPS beat of 23% in June helped the stock bounce. The stock is now trading sideways, but looks poised to go higher if the company can show investors that earnings momentum will continue when they report in October.In Summary The questions surrounding the “COVID stocks” will lead to continued volatility. This will create opportunities that will allow entry points at discounted prices. If investors focus on the stocks that are both fundamentally and technically strong, they will be rewarded with outsized returns. How to Capitalize  The current atmosphere is not your typical stock trading environment. The Fed is about to start the tapering talk and the reopening trade is largely priced in. This combination could cause outsized earnings moves.The opportunities during this earnings season will be plentiful due to the recent volatility. The mission of our portfolio, Zacks Counterstrike, will be to catch these big moves, playing both the long and short side of the market.I plan to be in before and after earnings depending on the situation and look forward to capturing the big moves that are coming our way. The upcoming quarter will be important for stock prices so join me and let's profit from it!Our goal: Quick and consistent profits.For example, we recently closed gains of +40.2%, +49.1% and +62.0%. One even closed at a remarkable +252.0% in less than a month.¹Look inside our Counterstrike portfolio today and you may also download our Special Report, 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days, absolutely free. These buy-and-holds are the perfect complement to Counterstrike's faster-action trades. Zacks experts reveal stocks believed to have great upside potential over the next 30 days.Important Note: Access to Counterstrike is limited and your chance to look in and claim your free bonus report ends Sunday, October 10.Get exclusive access to Zacks' Counterstrike portfolio now >>Happy trading!Jeremy MullinEditor of Counterstrike Jeremy Mullin is a stock strategist who combines the fundamental power of the Zacks Rank, technical analysis and computer driven trading to find the best trades. Discover all of his current recommendations in Zacks Counterstrike.¹ The results listed above are not (or may not be) representative of the performance of all selections made by Zacks Investment Research's newsletter editors and may represent the partial close of a position. Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksOct 6th, 2021

I went on Norwegian Cruise Line"s first sailing for vaccinated travelers - here"s why I felt safe

Norwegian Cruise Line is sailing again for vaccinated guests only. Here's what new safety measures were like on the Encore from Seattle to Alaska. When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more. The writer embarks on Norwegian’s first comeback cruise to Alaska. Lori A. May/Insider Norwegian Cruise Line is sailing from US ports again with a 100% vaccination policy, no exceptions. COVID-19 tests are still given so everyone may cruise without social distancing or wearing a mask. I traveled on Norwegian and felt so safe with the guidelines, I can't wait to sail mask-free again. Table of Contents: Masthead StickyI'm an avid cruiser with dozens of sailings to my credit across multiple cruise lines. So, I was thrilled to be among a small group of media guests invited to join the first comeback cruise from a U.S. port with Norwegian Cruise Line on the Norwegian Encore, sailing from Seattle to Alaska.I've sailed with NCL many times, but this one felt extra special as the cruise line made its long-awaited return to my home port of Seattle. This was also my first time cruising since COVID and I was curious to see whether I would feel safe enough to enjoy it. NCL's health and safety protocols are operating with reduced capacity and require all guests and crew to be fully vaccinated, with no exceptions. Still, guests must undergo rapid COVID testing on the day of embarkation, which not only reassured me but meant we could go mask-free while on the ship. I loved sailing with these new protocols and can't wait to sail mask-free with NCL again. Here's what my experience was like.Here's what it was like to sail on Norwegian Cruise Line ship for vaccinated guests. Embarkation Norwegian Encore in Ketchikan for the first time after 500 days. Lori A. May/Insider I arrived at the cruise port early because I wasn't sure how long it would take to board with the new pre-cruise testing requirements. During the embarkation process, rapid antigen tests were administered and paid for by the cruise line. All I had to do was complete the online registration and show up a little earlier to allow time for test results to come through.  Pre-boarding COVID testing Guests awaiting rapid tests prior to boarding. Everyone wore a mask while awaiting their results. Lori A. May/Insider A lengthy line led into the testing center, located within a conference room at a neighboring port hotel. But considering a few thousand people were getting tested on the same day, the experience was quite efficient and the test itself only took a minute.I waited for my results in a crowded room of eager cruisers, but everyone wore masks so I wasn't too worried about the large group. Test results take anywhere between 15 minutes to two hours, depending on how many were being conducted at a given time. My own negative results came through about an hour after arrival. Checking in to my stateroom Cabin stewards still create towel animals as part of stateroom cleaning and turndown service. Lori A. May/Insider At check-in, I was surprised to find that there was no line. I walked right up to the desk, received my stateroom key, and immediately boarded. It was one of the fastest processes I've ever experienced on a cruise.I was booked in a standard balcony stateroom on Deck 11, Forward, with approximately 300 square feet and one Queen bed. I dropped off my luggage and briefly met my cabin steward who noted rooms would be cleaned once per day. As expected, mine was already sparkling clean with a towel animal on the bed to greet me. The pool deck Guests exploring the pool deck prior to sail-away with Norwegian Encore at the port of Seattle. Lori A. May/Insider Next, I headed to where I always go first after boarding a cruise — the pool deck.With a reduced capacity sailing, I was overjoyed to see there would be no rush to secure a lounge chair by the pool. Likewise, there were no waits to zip down the waterslide.There were several pool options on the Norwegian Encore, including a splash pad dedicated to the children. However, due to the vaccine requirements, there were no small kids on my cruise. Dining on board Norwegian Encore has mini buffets in observation lounges, in addition to the Garden Café buffet. Lori A. May/Insider With reduced capacity, there was never a wait to be seated at dining venues.There were several free dining venues on Encore, in addition to a la carte specialty restaurants including Italian fare, traditional Mexican, a steakhouse, and fine French dining. There were also two options for outdoor seating and taco and pizza spots for quick bites.And since everyone on board was vaccinated, guests were able to partake in the classic cruise buffet experience. The Garden Café buffet was easy to navigate with several food stations and the crew was always on hand to tidy spills and routinely replace utensils. Celebrating missed milestones Norwegian Encore helped buffet guests celebrate missed holidays and milestones. Lori A. May/Insider On the first full day of sailing, the buffet served a special lunch to help guests celebrate all the milestones and celebrations missed during the pandemic.There were stations dedicated to anniversaries, birthdays, Valentine's Day, Christmas, New Year's, graduation, and more. NCL’s crew are well-known for their washy-washy song, encouraging guests to wash up before heading into dining areas. Lori A. May/Insider While guests don't need to wear masks, even at indoor venues, the crew consistently wore them. The crew must also be vaccinated, but this extra layer of safety seemed to put some guests at ease. It was wonderful to see how happy the crew were to be back to work. They put a smile on my face every day, whether it was hearing them sing their "washy washy" song by the sanitizer stations or creating cute towel animals in my stateroom every day. Daily entertainment The Choir of Man performs on Norwegian Encore and is included in the cruise fare. CTS Photos Also included within the cruise fare was an endless list of entertainment options, like The Choir of Man musical on the main stage, in addition to variety and comic performances, interactive game shows such as "Deal or No Deal," and social mixers like trivia, karaoke, and dance lessons. Activities at sea My pass for Mandara Spa allowed daily access to the relaxing, quiet space with an incredible ocean view. Lori A. May/Insider Add-on activities were available for an additional fee, including virtual reality in the Galaxy Pavilion, Norwegian Encore Speedway — the largest racetrack at sea — and wellness offerings at Mandara Spa.While massages are always a nice treat, I opted for a weekly spa pass to use the therapy pool circuit and dipped into a rejuvenating body temperature pool every day after returning from port. In port: Ketchikan, Alaska Local tribal members celebrate the arrival of Norwegian Encore with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at The Mill at Ward Cove in Ketchikan. CTS Photos During my sailing, NCL unveiled a new port just outside of Ketchikan, Alaska. During the ribbon-cutting at The Mill at Ward Cove, local tribal members joined the celebration and guests seemed to really love the new facility, which offered quick access to area attractions like Tongass National Forest. While masks weren't required on the ship, they were required while visiting Alaskan ports Excursions NCL guests waiting to board shuttle buses back to The Mill at Ward Cove. Lori A. May/Insider However, for those who wanted to go into downtown Ketchikan, the shuttle bus system was quite time-consuming.Guests were required to first receive a ticket for the shuttle, then wait to board, and then take the drive into town, and then endure a lengthy wait to return, all of which ate up valuable port time. This was really the only time I saw people clustered together. In port: Icy Strait Point The new arrival center in Icy Strait Point has a free gondola ride for guests. Lori A. May/Insider In Icy Strait Point, passengers were able to spread out a bit more thanks to a new free gondola ride that transports guests across the destination, from port shops to the zipline and museum attractions.The local staff made sure to limit how many people boarded each gondola, so there were never more than four people on each ride during my visit.  NCL president Harry Sommer and his family enjoying the day in Icy Strait Point. Lori A. May/Insider In Icy Strait Point, I actually spotted Harry Sommer, the president and CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line. He was there with his family, enjoying the sights and celebrating the latest developments of this cruise port like any other guest. The return of cruising I had a chat with NCL president Harry Sommer about his excitement in returning to cruising. Lori A. May/Insider I wasn't at all surprised to see Harry Sommer enjoying the cruise with his family, as I knew he was aboard the Encore to celebrate the comeback cruise. I even had a chance to sit down with him for a few minutes where he shared his excitement about returning to cruising. Sommer had already sailed with the Greek cruise comeback, but his wife insisted they enjoy the Alaska cruise, too. How much it costs to cruise Here I am snapping photos of icebergs while sailing through Dawes Glacier. CTS Photos A weeklong cruise to Alaska with NCL starts as low as $399 per person and includes meals in three different dining rooms, the buffet, and 24-hour pub fare, and daily entertainment.Caribbean cruises start as low as $299 per person, while sailings along the Mexican Riviera start at $489 per person. Cruisers can also take advantage of booking deals right now, and Norwegian offers a wonderful selection of cabins for solo travelers, which most cruise lines do not. The bottom line On this reduced capacity sailing, there was never a wait for anything, whether in the spa, on the pool deck, or even in the casino.And, with staggered entry and exit at ports of call, there wasn't the usual mad rush to get off the ship. There was some crowding in ports, but mostly due to a shuttle system that could use improvements. Mostly, though, I loved sailing on a 100% vaccinated cruise. I felt confident in NCL's health protocols, and safe knowing that everyone around me was vaccinated and tested negative prior to boarding. Most of all, I appreciated that I could enjoy going mask-free without lines or venue restrictions. I've heard of no COVID cases on my sailing, either. That doesn't guarantee that no cases happened, but to my knowledge, none were discovered. In fact, the only NCL cruise that has reported a positive case was one where a vaccinated guest tested positive prior to the cruise and therefore couldn't board.Finally, right now is a great time to sail with fewer crowds and many deals, including discounts on purchases made on the ship. I simply can't wait to book my next mask-free cruise. Book a Norwegian Cruise Line sailing starting at $299 per person FAQ: Norwegian Cruise Line When is Norwegian Cruise Line sailing again? Now! Norwegian Cruise Line first returned to sailing in the Greek Isles this summer, while their first cruise from a U.S. port in over 500 days started in Seattle in August 2021 to relaunch the Alaska cruise season. The first sailings to relaunch from Los Angeles will take place in October 2021 aboard the Norwegian Bliss. Will Norwegian Cruise Lines require a COVID vaccine?Yes, Norwegian Cruise Line is sailing with a 100% vaccination requirement for crew and guests, no exceptions. While that means younger kids who don't yet qualify for vaccination aren't able to sail quite yet, it does mean guests are assured that all fellow passengers are completely vaccinated. Ships have also been fitted with medical-grade air filtration systems and are constantly cleaned and sanitized. A dedicated Public Health Officer oversees each sailing to ensure no suspicious sniffle goes undiagnosed.  I'm vaccinated. Do I still have to take a COVID test before sailing on Norwegian Cruise Line? Yes, in addition to the 100% vaccination policy, all NCL guests must currently take a pre-cruise COVID test on the day of embarkation. This test is administered and paid for by the cruise line, so passengers won't have to make their own arrangements or spend extra money. Rapid tests are conducted at the port, prior to boarding. My kids aren't vaccinated. Can they cruise with me?Since the policy prohibits minors who aren't yet eligible for vaccines to sail, only vaccinated children can cruise right now. The youngest cruisers I noticed during my cruise were tweens and teens.Are masks required on board Norwegian Cruise Line? At no point aboard the ship are passengers required to wear masks. The vaccination and testing requirement combined means guests can enjoy all parts of the ship without social distancing or wearing a mask.However, when visiting ports of call, passengers will need to follow local health guidelines, including mask mandates where applicable. How else is NCL ensuring guest safety aboard their cruises?Norwegian Cruise Line has a new, staggered embarkation process to streamline check-in and get passengers on their way to vacation fun faster than ever. Boarding documentation is handled electronically to speed up the process and reduce touch points. On board, guests will enjoy a reduced capacity sailing, which means there's never a wait for the water slides or finding loungers by the pool. Reservations for specialty restaurants are all done electronically, too, with the Cruise Norwegian App, which is free for everyone to use, no internet required. Is Encore the newest ship from Norwegian Cruise Line? Norwegian Bliss debuted in April 2018 and then Norwegian Encore first set sail in November 2019 as the newest ship, right before the pandemic hit. The next ship to debut from NCL is Norwegian Prima, which will start its inaugural celebrations in late 2022 before home porting in Galveston, Texas for the 2023 and 2024 season. Tony Award-nominated musical "Summer: The Donna Summer Musical" will be the headlining show for Norwegian Prima, and ports of call will include Costa Maya and Cozumel, Mexico; Roatan Island, Honduras; and Harvest Caye, Norwegian's private island destination in Belize. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderOct 1st, 2021

I went on Norwegian Cruise Line"s first US sailing for vaccinated travelers - here"s why I felt safe

Norwegian Cruise Line is sailing again for vaccinated guests only. Here's what new safety measures were like on the Encore from Seattle to Alaska. When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more. The writer embarks on Norwegian’s first comeback cruise to Alaska. Lori A. May/Insider Norwegian Cruise Line is sailing from US ports again with a 100% vaccination policy, no exceptions. COVID-19 tests are still given so everyone may cruise without social distancing or wearing a mask. I traveled on Norwegian and felt so safe with the guidelines, I can't wait to sail mask-free again. Table of Contents: Masthead StickyI'm an avid cruiser with dozens of sailings to my credit across multiple cruise lines. So, I was thrilled to be among a small group of media guests invited to join the first comeback cruise from a U.S. port with Norwegian Cruise Line on the Norwegian Encore, sailing from Seattle to Alaska.I've sailed with NCL many times, but this one felt extra special as the cruise line made its long-awaited return to my home port of Seattle. This was also my first time cruising since COVID and I was curious to see whether I would feel safe enough to enjoy it. NCL's health and safety protocols are operating with reduced capacity and require all guests and crew to be fully vaccinated, with no exceptions. Still, guests must undergo rapid COVID testing on the day of embarkation, which not only reassured me but meant we could go mask-free while on the ship. I loved sailing with these new protocols and can't wait to sail mask-free with NCL again. Here's what my experience was like.Here's what it was like to sail on Norwegian Cruise Line ship for vaccinated guests. Embarkation Norwegian Encore in Ketchikan for the first time after 500 days. Lori A. May/Insider I arrived at the cruise port early because I wasn't sure how long it would take to board with the new pre-cruise testing requirements. During the embarkation process, rapid antigen tests were administered and paid for by the cruise line. All I had to do was complete the online registration and show up a little earlier to allow time for test results to come through.  Pre-boarding COVID testing Guests awaiting rapid tests prior to boarding. Everyone wore a mask while awaiting their results. Lori A. May/Insider A lengthy line led into the testing center, located within a conference room at a neighboring port hotel. But considering a few thousand people were getting tested on the same day, the experience was quite efficient and the test itself only took a minute.I waited for my results in a crowded room of eager cruisers, but everyone wore masks so I wasn't too worried about the large group. Test results take anywhere between 15 minutes to two hours, depending on how many were being conducted at a given time. My own negative results came through about an hour after arrival. Checking in to my stateroom Cabin stewards still create towel animals as part of stateroom cleaning and turndown service. Lori A. May/Insider At check-in, I was surprised to find that there was no line. I walked right up to the desk, received my stateroom key, and immediately boarded. It was one of the fastest processes I've ever experienced on a cruise.I was booked in a standard balcony stateroom on Deck 11, Forward, with approximately 300 square feet and one Queen bed. I dropped off my luggage and briefly met my cabin steward who noted rooms would be cleaned once per day. As expected, mine was already sparkling clean with a towel animal on the bed to greet me. The pool deck Guests exploring the pool deck prior to sail-away with Norwegian Encore at the port of Seattle. Lori A. May/Insider Next, I headed to where I always go first after boarding a cruise — the pool deck.With a reduced capacity sailing, I was overjoyed to see there would be no rush to secure a lounge chair by the pool. Likewise, there were no waits to zip down the waterslide.There were several pool options on the Norwegian Encore, including a splash pad dedicated to the children. However, due to the vaccine requirements, there were no small kids on my cruise. Dining on board Norwegian Encore has mini buffets in observation lounges, in addition to the Garden Café buffet. Lori A. May/Insider With reduced capacity, there was never a wait to be seated at dining venues.There were several free dining venues on Encore, in addition to a la carte specialty restaurants including Italian fare, traditional Mexican, a steakhouse, and fine French dining. There were also two options for outdoor seating and taco and pizza spots for quick bites.And since everyone on board was vaccinated, guests were able to partake in the classic cruise buffet experience. The Garden Café buffet was easy to navigate with several food stations and the crew was always on hand to tidy spills and routinely replace utensils. Celebrating missed milestones Norwegian Encore helped buffet guests celebrate missed holidays and milestones. Lori A. May/Insider On the first full day of sailing, the buffet served a special lunch to help guests celebrate all the milestones and celebrations missed during the pandemic.There were stations dedicated to anniversaries, birthdays, Valentine's Day, Christmas, New Year's, graduation, and more. NCL’s crew are well-known for their washy-washy song, encouraging guests to wash up before heading into dining areas. Lori A. May/Insider While guests don't need to wear masks, even at indoor venues, the crew consistently wore them. The crew must also be vaccinated, but this extra layer of safety seemed to put some guests at ease. It was wonderful to see how happy the crew were to be back to work. They put a smile on my face every day, whether it was hearing them sing their "washy washy" song by the sanitizer stations or creating cute towel animals in my stateroom every day. Daily entertainment The Choir of Man performs on Norwegian Encore and is included in the cruise fare. CTS Photos Also included within the cruise fare was an endless list of entertainment options, like The Choir of Man musical on the main stage, in addition to variety and comic performances, interactive game shows such as "Deal or No Deal," and social mixers like trivia, karaoke, and dance lessons. Activities at sea My pass for Mandara Spa allowed daily access to the relaxing, quiet space with an incredible ocean view. Lori A. May/Insider Add-on activities were available for an additional fee, including virtual reality in the Galaxy Pavilion, Norwegian Encore Speedway — the largest racetrack at sea — and wellness offerings at Mandara Spa.While massages are always a nice treat, I opted for a weekly spa pass to use the therapy pool circuit and dipped into a rejuvenating body temperature pool every day after returning from port. In port: Ketchikan, Alaska Local tribal members celebrate the arrival of Norwegian Encore with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at The Mill at Ward Cove in Ketchikan. CTS Photos During my sailing, NCL unveiled a new port just outside of Ketchikan, Alaska. During the ribbon-cutting at The Mill at Ward Cove, local tribal members joined the celebration and guests seemed to really love the new facility, which offered quick access to area attractions like Tongass National Forest. While masks weren't required on the ship, they were required while visiting Alaskan ports Excursions NCL guests waiting to board shuttle buses back to The Mill at Ward Cove. Lori A. May/Insider However, for those who wanted to go into downtown Ketchikan, the shuttle bus system was quite time-consuming.Guests were required to first receive a ticket for the shuttle, then wait to board, and then take the drive into town, and then endure a lengthy wait to return, all of which ate up valuable port time. This was really the only time I saw people clustered together. In port: Icy Strait Point The new arrival center in Icy Strait Point has a free gondola ride for guests. Lori A. May/Insider In Icy Strait Point, passengers were able to spread out a bit more thanks to a new free gondola ride that transports guests across the destination, from port shops to the zipline and museum attractions.The local staff made sure to limit how many people boarded each gondola, so there were never more than four people on each ride during my visit.  NCL president Harry Sommer and his family enjoying the day in Icy Strait Point. Lori A. May/Insider In Icy Strait Point, I actually spotted Harry Sommer, the president and CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line. He was there with his family, enjoying the sights and celebrating the latest developments of this cruise port like any other guest. The return of cruising I had a chat with NCL president Harry Sommer about his excitement in returning to cruising. Lori A. May/Insider I wasn't at all surprised to see Harry Sommer enjoying the cruise with his family, as I knew he was aboard the Encore to celebrate the comeback cruise. I even had a chance to sit down with him for a few minutes where he shared his excitement about returning to cruising. Sommer had already sailed with the Greek cruise comeback, but his wife insisted they enjoy the Alaska cruise, too. How much it costs to cruise Here I am snapping photos of icebergs while sailing through Dawes Glacier. CTS Photos A weeklong cruise to Alaska with NCL starts as low as $399 per person and includes meals in three different dining rooms, the buffet, and 24-hour pub fare, and daily entertainment.Caribbean cruises start as low as $299 per person, while sailings along the Mexican Riviera start at $489 per person. Cruisers can also take advantage of booking deals right now, and Norwegian offers a wonderful selection of cabins for solo travelers, which most cruise lines do not. The bottom line On this reduced capacity sailing, there was never a wait for anything, whether in the spa, on the pool deck, or even in the casino.And, with staggered entry and exit at ports of call, there wasn't the usual mad rush to get off the ship. There was some crowding in ports, but mostly due to a shuttle system that could use improvements. Mostly, though, I loved sailing on a 100% vaccinated cruise. I felt confident in NCL's health protocols, and safe knowing that everyone around me was vaccinated and tested negative prior to boarding. Most of all, I appreciated that I could enjoy going mask-free without lines or venue restrictions. I've heard of no COVID cases on my sailing, either. That doesn't guarantee that no cases happened, but to my knowledge, none were discovered. In fact, the only NCL cruise that has reported a positive case was one where a vaccinated guest tested positive prior to the cruise and therefore couldn't board.Finally, right now is a great time to sail with fewer crowds and many deals, including discounts on purchases made on the ship. I simply can't wait to book my next mask-free cruise. Book a Norwegian Cruise Line sailing starting at $299 per person FAQ: Norwegian Cruise Line When is Norwegian Cruise Line sailing again? Now! Norwegian Cruise Line first returned to sailing in the Greek Isles this summer, while their first cruise from a U.S. port in over 500 days started in Seattle in August 2021 to relaunch the Alaska cruise season. The first sailings to relaunch from Los Angeles will take place in October 2021 aboard the Norwegian Bliss. Will Norwegian Cruise Lines require a COVID vaccine?Yes, Norwegian Cruise Line is sailing with a 100% vaccination requirement for crew and guests, no exceptions. While that means younger kids who don't yet qualify for vaccination aren't able to sail quite yet, it does mean guests are assured that all fellow passengers are completely vaccinated. Ships have also been fitted with medical-grade air filtration systems and are constantly cleaned and sanitized. A dedicated Public Health Officer oversees each sailing to ensure no suspicious sniffle goes undiagnosed.  I'm vaccinated. Do I still have to take a COVID test before sailing on Norwegian Cruise Line? Yes, in addition to the 100% vaccination policy, all NCL guests must currently take a pre-cruise COVID test on the day of embarkation. This test is administered and paid for by the cruise line, so passengers won't have to make their own arrangements or spend extra money. Rapid tests are conducted at the port, prior to boarding. My kids aren't vaccinated. Can they cruise with me?Since the policy prohibits minors who aren't yet eligible for vaccines to sail, only vaccinated children can cruise right now. The youngest cruisers I noticed during my cruise were tweens and teens.Are masks required on board Norwegian Cruise Line? At no point aboard the ship are passengers required to wear masks. The vaccination and testing requirement combined means guests can enjoy all parts of the ship without social distancing or wearing a mask.However, when visiting ports of call, passengers will need to follow local health guidelines, including mask mandates where applicable. How else is NCL ensuring guest safety aboard their cruises?Norwegian Cruise Line has a new, staggered embarkation process to streamline check-in and get passengers on their way to vacation fun faster than ever. Boarding documentation is handled electronically to speed up the process and reduce touch points. On board, guests will enjoy a reduced capacity sailing, which means there's never a wait for the water slides or finding loungers by the pool. Reservations for specialty restaurants are all done electronically, too, with the Cruise Norwegian App, which is free for everyone to use, no internet required. Is Encore the newest ship from Norwegian Cruise Line? Norwegian Bliss debuted in April 2018 and then Norwegian Encore first set sail in November 2019 as the newest ship, right before the pandemic hit. The next ship to debut from NCL is Norwegian Prima, which will start its inaugural celebrations in late 2022 before home porting in Galveston, Texas for the 2023 and 2024 season. Tony Award-nominated musical "Summer: The Donna Summer Musical" will be the headlining show for Norwegian Prima, and ports of call will include Costa Maya and Cozumel, Mexico; Roatan Island, Honduras; and Harvest Caye, Norwegian's private island destination in Belize. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderSep 30th, 2021

12 luxury hotels on the Las Vegas Strip that will make you feel like a high roller without spending like one

These are the best luxury hotels in Las Vegas on the Strip in 2021, from the hotel-within-a-hotel The Palazzo at the Venetian to the Four Seasons. When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more. TripAdvisor Las Vegas hotels offer opulent luxury at surprisingly cheap prices. Many five-star stays on or near the Las Vegas Strip often start under $250 per night. The best luxury hotels in Las Vegas boast spacious suites, private pools, excellent views, and more. Table of Contents: Masthead StickyThere's plenty to gamble on in Las Vegas, but you don't have to risk the odds when it comes to choosing a hotel. Las Vegas is one of the few US cities where a luxury hotel can regularly start under $250 per night, sometimes as low as $75 to $100. Of course, weekends and high seasons will bring increased prices, but with a little sleuthing you might just snag a great deal so you can save those extra dollars for Sin City's casino floors, top-notch restaurants, and world-class entertainment. Browse all the best luxury Las Vegas hotels below, or jump directly to a specific area:The best luxury hotels in Las VegasFAQ: Luxury hotels in Las VegasHow we selected the best Las Vegas luxury hotelsMore of the best places to stay in Las VegasThese are the best luxury hotels in Las Vegas, sorted by price from low to high. Signature at MGM Grand Every room here is a suite with apartment-like features. Tripadvisor Book Signature at MGM GrandTypical starting/peak prices: $89/$320Best for: Families, business travelersOn-site amenities: Pool, restaurants, shopsPros: All rooms are quiet, apartment-style suites with kitchenettes and are close to the action but removed from the party atmosphere.Cons: The walk to MGM Grand is long and some may view the off-Strip location and lack of a casino as a con.The Signature is an all-suite hotel set back from the MGM Grand's main resort and casino but is still easily accessible to it by indoor walkways. There's no casino on-site, which means the crowd is less rowdy, and the hotel feels peaceful. There are fewer amenities too, though all of the restaurants, entertainment, and wellness found at MGM Grand are just steps away. We once used the Chase Sapphire Reserve card to book here and scored extra perks such as free upgrade, late checkout, and complimentary food and beverage credit. Spacious suites are quiet and include spa baths, flat-screen TVs, separate sitting areas, balconies, and kitchenettes for an apartment-like experience. It's a great fit for a family or someone in town for business on an extended stay.COVID-19 procedures are available here. NoMad Las Vegas The luxe NoMad has its own sleek pool that is private from guests at adjacent Park MGM. Trip Advisor Book NoMad Las VegasTypical starting/peak prices: $99/$345Best for: Couples, friendsOn-site amenities: Spa, salon, fitness center, restaurants, Moroccan-themed pool deck just for NoMad guestsPros: The hotel feels in-the-know and stylish, hidden away from the throngs filling Park MGM, while still offering easy access to its amenities. Cons: The hotel within a hotel concept is intimate, and lacks the big Vegas punch of other big resorts.Located on the upper four floors of the Park MGM Las Vegas, the NoMad Las Vegas is the third location from the luxury NoMad hotel group with properties in New York and Los Angeles.It's one of many hotel-within-a-hotel concepts that are popular in Las Vegas (and within this list) for a more intimate, boutique-quality that feels rare in this town of mega-resorts. Rooms are decadent and design-forward featuring hardwood floors, velvet furnishings, and standalone soaking bathtubs in the bedroom.COVID-19 procedures are available here. Aria Resort & Casino Aria has a 150,000-square-foot casino, 16 restaurants, and more than 4,000 rooms. Trip Advisor Book Aria Resort & Casino Las VegasTypical starting/peak prices: $107/$359Best for: Groups of friends, couplesOn-site amenities: Casino, 16 restaurants, CityCenter shops, nightclub, huge spa, three pools, fitness centerPros: Rooms boast high-end technology for an exceptionally comfortable stay and the location is very central to the Las Vegas Strip.Cons: Food is pricey on property, as is the resort fee.Located on the Las Vegas Strip within the CityCenter complex, Aria is a glittering curvilinear property with a 150,000-square-foot casino, 16 restaurants, and more than 4,000 rooms. Opened just a decade ago, rooms feature fully tricked-out tech, including a one-touch room control system to adjust lighting, curtains, and more from the touch of a tablet.Hakkasan Group's Jewel nightclub is located here, as is a huge spa with 62 treatment rooms, and three pools, including the Liquid pool club for grown folks.Plus, the location is central, close to the City Center, conference events, and all the Strip action.COVID-19 status and policies available here. The Venetian Resort Las Vegas Even the cheapest standard rooms are suites with separate living areas. The Venetian Book The Venetian Las VegasTypical starting/peak prices: $113/$399Best for: Families, first-time visitors, couples, business travelersOn-site amenities: Casino, theater, night club, Grand Canal Shoppes, multiple pools, 80 restaurants, bars, spa, fitness centerPros: Even entry-level rooms at this all-suite hotel are impressively large, and it's tough to beat taking an indoor gondola around. Cons: The opulent style might not be to your tastes if you prefer a sleeker, modern look. This five-star Las Vegas Strip resort is one of the most instantly recognizable resorts on the Las Vegas Strip. Drawing inspiration from Italy, it's best known for its indoor canals and gondola rides, modeled off its namesake city. However, vast interiors show off an array of architectural styles and swathes of Renaissance-era aesthetics, and the hotel is one of the most visually impressive in a city of decadent hotels.There are 80 restaurants — including Thomas Keller's Bouchon — a glittering casino, the Grand Canal Shoppes, and a pool deck that covers 1.2 acres, and every room is a suite, and huge, starting at 650 square feet.The Venetian also connects to the Sands Expo & Convention Center, and guests are granted access to the Canyon Ranch Spa Club gym.COVID-19 procedures are available here.Read our full hotel review of The Venetian Encore at Wynn Las Vegas The Encore is the Wynn's take on a boutique hotel. Oyster.com Book the Encore at WynnTypical starting/peak prices: $115/$410Best for: Groups of friends, couples, familiesOn-site amenities: Encore-only pool, access to Wynn's mega-complex of restaurants, bars, nightclubs, spa, pools, gym, and even a golf course.Pros: This hotel has a boutique vibe with all the perks of a huge resort that caters to a sleek set.Cons: Room pricing is volatile and can swing dramatically in either direction.Not to be confused with the Wynn itself, the Encore is the Wynn's take on a boutique offering. It also comes with all the benefits of being housed within a parent property.While guests of the Wynn can't use Encore facilities, such as the pool, all those booked at Encore are allowed privileges at both. I've scored cheaper deals at Encore, though historically it's sometimes more expensive than Wynn. If you like the glitz of the Wynn but think it feels too overwhelming, or prefer a more intimate approach, the Encore offers a solid alternative.COVID-19 procedures are available here. Nobu Hotel at Caesars Palace Nobu Hotel is zen and quiet, with 182 stylish, Japanese-inspired rooms and suites. Trip Advisor Book Nobu Hotel at Caesars Palace Las VegasTypical starting price: $116/$447Best for: Couples, business travelersOn-site amenities: Nobu restaurant, pool, spa, the full slate of dining, shopping, and entertainment available at adjacent Caesars PalacePros: The hotel is quiet and private with a gorgeous Japanese-inspired design by noted architect David Rockwell.Cons: There is a steep resort fee of $45 per night plus tax.Inside the blockbuster 85-acre, 3,960 room resort Caesars Palace, the intimate Nobu Hotel is tucked away as a boutique hotel-within-a-hotel concept, created by the famed sushi chef of the same name. If Caesars is frenetic and bustling, Nobu Hotel is uber-Zen and quiet, with 182 stylish, Japanese-inspired rooms and suites. Staying here feels a bit like being a celebrity, with added VIP perks.Rooms channel Japanese traditions with deep soaking tubs and come with free Wi-Fi, a 55-inch flat-screen TV, an iPod docking station, and Natura Bisse toiletries, as well as priority seating at Nobu Restaurant and Lounge. Nobu Hotel guests also have access to a private front desk and lounge, the Venus Pool at Caesars Palace, expedited line privilege at OMNIA nightclub, a complimentary Friday social hour, and a dedicated hotel concierge.COVID-19 procedures are available here. Bellagio Las Vegas We love the Bellagio for its central location, designer shopping, and iconic fountain show. TripAdvisor Book Bellagio Las VegasTypical starting/peak prices: $119/$475Best for: Families, first-time visitors, business travelersOn-site amenities: Casino, multiple restaurants and bars, nightlife, spa, pool, designer shoppingPros: This is a fashionable hotel with a classy casino, excellent shopping, and a must-try buffet. Cons: You'll have to brave the summer heat to score cheap prices here.The Bellagio draws a consistent crowd for its central Strip location, popular casino, designer fashion, and curated art, including the signature Dale Chihuly glass installation hanging from the lobby ceiling.It's also a huge draw to those craning for a front-row view of the dancing fountains, and there's no better spot than a room overlooking the action. We've reviewed the balcony room facing the fountains and can confirm it's one of the best rooms on the Strip. Plus, in what's clearly a competitive field, they might have one of the best buffets in Las Vegas, though that's subject to change in a post-pandemic world. COVID-19 procedures are available here.Read our full hotel review of Bellagio Las Vegas Wynn Las Vegas The Wynn is renowned as one of the best on the Strip with world-class amenities, dining, gambling, and entertainment. Booking.com Book the Wynn Las VegasTypical starting/peak prices: $131/$497Best for: Groups of friends, couples, families, first-time visitors, business travelersOn-site amenities: Casino, designer shops, entertainment theater, fitness center, spa, pools, multiple restaurants and barsPros: No detail is overlooked at this stunning resort with a beautiful pool and spa area, beautiful guest rooms, and plenty to keep you on-site.Cons: Some might view the Strip location as far from other attractions, and prices surge in the high season.I once stayed at this luxury resort and casino and was blown away by the level of detail and thoughtfulness in each generously appointed guest room. The design is immaculate with a clean, modern palette and smart-enabled features that only add to an air of sophistication. Since then, the hotel's reputation has only continued to grow as one of the best on the Strip with world-class resort amenities, dining, gambling, and entertainment. There's a reason it's consistently rated as one of the best places to stay in Vegas and if you can secure a good deal, this might be one of the best places to book.COVID-19 procedures are available here.Read our full hotel review of the Wynn Las Vegas Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas A posh pool deck strikes a serene tone. Trip Advisor Book the Waldorf Astoria Las VegasTypical starting/peak prices: $139/$384Best for: Couples, business travelersOn-site amenities: French restaurant, 3 pools, spa, fitness center, easy access to CityCenter complexPros: The Waldorf is a leading figure in luxury and this location is no exception.Cons: A major renovation was delayed due to COVID.Travelers accustomed to the highest level of hospitality book this five-star property known for immaculate service and spacious rooms that start at 500 square feet with extravagant soaking tubs.With no casino on-site, it's another great option when you prefer a more blissful stay. If you come to Vegas for luxe spas, pools, and dining, this is a great bet.COVID-19 procedures are available here. The Palazzo at the Venetian Spread out in standard suites with ample living spaces, plush bedding, sleek bathrooms, all the amenities of the Venetian. TripAdvisor Book The Palazzo at The VenetianTypical starting/peak prices: $142/$399Best for: Groups of friends, couples, familiesOn-site amenities: Pool, spa, access to the Venetian's casino, restaurants, bars, and nightclubs, and entertainment.Pros: This is like a higher-end version of The Venetian with close access to all its attractions.Cons: While prices in summer are cheap, expect them to skyrocket at other times when it's more comfortable to visit the desert.While The Venetian is perhaps more well-known, and cheaper, consider a stay at its sister property, The Palazzo.Newer and more low-key but equally refined, even The Palazzo's standard rooms are dubbed Luxury Suites and are not only more up-to-date than entry-level Venetian offerings but significantly larger. Spread out with ample living spaces, plush bedding, sleek bathrooms, and relish in the fact that your room is just steps from tons of the Strip's best attractions, plus all that the Venetian has to offer.COVID-19 status and policies available here. The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, Autograph Collection Bold, sleek, decor shines on the casino floor, especially in the signature Chandelier Bar. Tripadvisor Book The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, Autograph CollectionTypical starting/peak prices: $150/$500Best for: Groups of friends, couplesOn-site amenities: Celebrity chef-driven restaurants, several bars and lounges, a pool deck with dive-in movie nights, gym, Drybar salonPros: Staying at Cosmo offers the trimmings of a Las Vegas resort in a boutique format. The central location is one of the best on the Strip, and balcony views are hard to come by elsewhere.Cons: In high season, expect the starting rate to at least double.The Cosmopolitan is trendy, hip, and sophisticated, and generally feels like you're hanging out inside a chandelier (likely why they have a bar named after one). It's a favorite among those visiting Las Vegas who want to join in on nightlife action over betting at tables, though the latter is readily available too. Plus, it's one of the few hotels with balconies — request one facing Bellagio for a great view of the fountain show.A member of the Autograph Collection of hotels, it's also a great way for Marriott Bonvoy members to earn and redeem points. Book here if you're looking to blur the lines between a glam getaway and a healthy dose of revelry.COVID-19 procedures are available here.Read our full hotel review of The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas The Four Seasons Hotel Las Vegas There's a private, tranquil pool area just for Four Seasons guests, plus all the perks and attention to detail associated with the brand. Trip Advisor Book the Four Seasons Hotel Las VegasTypical starting/peak prices: $250/$495Best for: Couples, business travelersOn-site amenities: Private pool only for Four Seasons guests, all the bars, restaurants, spa of Mandalay Bay.Pros: Enjoy top luxury accommodations with impeccable service and a private pool that is separate from the more raucous Mandalay Bay.Cons: The Mandalay Bay crowd can be rowdy, and you still have to navigate that space to find the Four Seasons. The location is also at the far end of the Las Vegas Strip.The Four Seasons is a symbol of luxury and one that often comes with an accompanying high price tag. However, I've seen deals around $200 per night at this location hidden within Mandalay Bay, and it's widely regarded as one of the nicest hotels in Vegas.Rooms feel like a scintillating oasis of luxury, cocooned away from the frenetic pace of the Strip, though, it's right there when you choose to seek it out. There's a private, tranquil pool area for Four Seasons guests only, plus all the perks and indulgent attention to detail you'd expect from a Four Seasons.COVID-19 procedures are available here. FAQ: Luxury hotels in Las Vegas Westend61/Getty Images Where is Las Vegas?Las Vegas is located in the southern tip of the state of Nevada, near the borders of both California and Arizona. When will I find the best deals on Las Vegas luxury hotels?You'll often find the cheapest hotel prices in Las Vegas midweek in summer, when scorching hot temperatures keep most travelers away, or in the winter, after New Year's Day, when it's still too cool to hit the pool. Once the temperatures turn milder, expect prices to rise.Much of Las Vegas tourism also revolves around an annual convention calendar, which often drives up hotel prices. Holidays also see an influx of crowds.Why are Las Vegas hotels cheap?Because Vegas resorts make most of their profits on the casino floor, cheap room rates are intended to attract guests who will then spend their extra money on slots and tables.As Las Vegas is located in a desert climate, you can expect hot, hot summers and cool winters. No matter when you visit, it's likely to be chilly at night. Early winter and spring, however, offer the nicest, mildest weather when it will be the most comfortable to stroll the Las Vegas Strip or lounge at the pool.Though, if you're planning to spend most of your time indoors on the casino or convention floor, the weather likely won't be a big factor when considering the time of year to visit.Is Las Vegas open?Las Vegas is open, without restrictions involving capacity limits and large gatherings.However, the State of Nevada has mandated that everyone, including fully vaccinated individuals, wear a mask in public indoor settings, including resorts and casinos, restaurants, bars, showrooms, and meeting spaces. Masks are also required on public transportation.Large indoor events also have masks, testing, and vaccination requirements so check before arriving both with local Las Vegas mandates, the Nevada Health Response updates, as well as your individual hotel and destination.Is it safe to stay in hotels right now?The CDC says fully vaccinated people can safely travel in the US. And, with added caution, experts we spoke to said it is safe to stay in a hotel.  How we selected the best Las Vegas luxury hotels All hotels are five-star stays with exceptional luxury service, decor, rooms, amenities, and high-quality attractions.Hotels have been personally visited and/or vetted by our team of reviewers whenever possible, and include accompanying reviews in most cases.Every standard room in this list feels like you've upgraded to a suite or more indulgent offering.Hotels are also loved by guests with top ratings and reviews on sites such as Trip Advisor, Booking.com, and Hotels.com.All of these luxury hotels are priced under $250 per night to start in the low season. For this guide, we looked for hotels on or right near the Strip. However, you may also want to consider some of the best Vegas hotels off the Strip too.All hotels also have updated COVID-19 policies, which we've outlined below.Hotel rooms are sophisticated and spacious, even for entry-level, standard rooms. More of the best places to stay in Las Vegas Airbnb The best cheap hotels in Las VegasThe best Las Vegas hotels off the StripThe best Las Vegas hotel suites for all budgetsThe best Las Vegas Airbnbs Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytSep 24th, 2021

Delta Air Lines backs off (some) of its new Sky Club limits

Delta Air Lines Inc. (NYSE: DAL) last week clamped down on who can use the airline's airport Sky Clubs, and when, in a bid to reduce crowding at the lounges. But the airline is already backtracking on some of the new restrictions. The travel website Simple Flying has a report on the latest changes. Delta on Thursday sent emails to customers saying it would rescind a plan to bar Sky Club access to most travelers who had just landed at one of the more than 50 Sky Clubs it operates throughout its….....»»

Category: topSource: bizjournalsMay 16th, 2022

Expedia or Bookings Holdings: Which Stock Should You Travel With?

Despite both companies delivering positive earnings, the tape is telling two different stories In this article, we’re going to look at Expedia (NASDAQ:EXPE) and Booking Holdings (NASDAQ:BKNG). These are two of the titans of the travel sector. Both reported earnings this week so it’s a good time to look at which of these stocks, if […] Despite both companies delivering positive earnings, the tape is telling two different stories In this article, we’re going to look at Expedia (NASDAQ:EXPE) and Booking Holdings (NASDAQ:BKNG). These are two of the titans of the travel sector. Both reported earnings this week so it’s a good time to look at which of these stocks, if any, is a good buy in this volatile market. .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles .af-body.af-standards input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get The Full Ray Dalio Series in PDF Get the entire 10-part series on Ray Dalio in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q1 2022 hedge fund letters, conferences and more The charts of both stocks since the pandemic tell a similar story. There was a sharp sell-off. Then there was a sharp recovery as investors suspected that pent-up demand would be unleashed with the arrival of Covid-19 vaccines. Then in 2021, the stocks moved in a choppy fashion as the world dealt with first the delta and then the omicron variant of the coronavirus. That brings us to 2022. This was supposed to be the year when travel, at least leisure travel, got back to nearly pre-pandemic levels. And both companies suggest that demand is strong. What Did the Earnings Reports Say? Expedia reported first and reported negative earnings per share of 47 cents which was a 24% beat over the consensus estimate for a loss per share of 62 cents. Revenue came in as a slight beat with the company reporting $2.25 billion as opposed to the estimate of $2.23 billion. This news along with the company’s bullish guidance lifted EXPE stock along with the stocks of the entire sectors. And that included Booking Holdings stock. However, both stocks gave up those gains as part of the broader market sell-off in advance of the Federal Reserve’s decision on interest rates. This wouldn’t be the first time EXPE stock had the misfortune of reporting positive earnings in a bearish week. However, when Booking Holdings reported strong earnings on May 5, BKNG stock moved sharply higher while EXPE stock fell hard. Some suggest this was just a case of the stock getting caught in the broad sell-off hitting the market. But there was also some concern when Hilton (NYSE:HLT) gave a forecast for softer demand that contradicted the bullish sentiment. Will Travel Demand Remain Strong? This is the question that investors must answer for themselves. The Federal Reserve is making no secret of its intention to suppress demand. However, society has been shifting to an experience economy for many years. The pandemic temporarily swung the pendulum in the opposite direction. However, it appears many consumers kept a healthy amount of savings in reserve for post-pandemic travel. And both companies are saying summer travel demand remains strong. But what happens after that? By the time summer arrives, consumers will be feeling the effect of what will likely be another 50 basis point interest rate hike. But as this is happening, consumers won’t be experiencing much relief at the pump or at the grocery store. And the Winner Is...? This is a tough one. Both companies are getting bullish price target increases since delivering earnings. And due to their acquisitions, it’s likely travelers use one or both companies for their travel needs. Both companies reach into all sectors of the travel industry. So should we experience a downturn in travel, it will affect both companies relatively equally. I’ll put it this way. If there’s any bullish news for the economy, both stocks should move higher. However, I like Booking Holdings margins a little better. But if you’re an investor looking to make a short-term move, I’d give the nod to EXPE stock based on the current chart action. As of this writing, Expedia does look oversold from a purely technical standpoint. Should you invest $1,000 in Expedia Group right now? Before you consider Expedia Group, you'll want to hear this. MarketBeat keeps track of Wall Street's top-rated and best performing research analysts and the stocks they recommend to their clients on a daily basis. MarketBeat has identified the five stocks that top analysts are quietly whispering to their clients to buy now before the broader market catches on... and Expedia Group wasn't on the list. While Expedia Group currently has a "Hold" rating among analysts, top-rated analysts believe these five stocks are better buys. Article by Chris Markoch, MarketBeat Updated on May 6, 2022, 5:11 pm (function() { var sc = document.createElement("script"); sc.type = "text/javascript"; sc.async = true;sc.src = "//mixi.media/data/js/95481.js"; sc.charset = "utf-8";var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(sc, s); }()); window._F20 = window._F20 || []; _F20.push({container: 'F20WidgetContainer', placement: '', count: 3}); _F20.push({finish: true});.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkMay 6th, 2022

A NASA helicopter took photos of wreckage from a rover that landed on Mars. It"s yet another example of how humans are polluting other worlds.

The 4-pound chopper, the first aircraft to take flight on another world, snapped pictures of the Perseverance rover's discarded landing gear. The parachute and cone-shaped backshell of the Perseverance rover, captured by NASA's Ingenuity helicopter, on April 19, 2022.NASA/JPL-Caltech A NASA helicopter captured photos of the gear that helped the Perseverance rover land on Mars in 2021. The images show debris, including a discarded parachute, on the floor of the planet's Jezero Crater. Space junk, left by humans in orbit or on other planets, is growing concern for space agencies.  NASA's Ingenuity helicopter captured a bird's-eye view of human-made space junk on another planet — the landing gear that helped it, and the Perseverance rover, get to the red planet.The 4-pound Ingenuity chopper, the first aircraft to take flight on another world, located and captured photos of the wreckage of a dust-covered, orange-and-white parachute and a backshell — or the protective cover, which stored the chute — from 26 feet in the air. The pictures, which NASA shared Wednesday, were taken on the one-year anniversary of Ingenuity's first foray into Martian skies on April 19, 2021.Tasked with searching for signs of ancient life, Perseverance landed on Mars on February 18, 2021, after a 300-million-mile journey that took seven months. NASA's Perseverance rover descends onto the Red Planet, on February 18, 2021.NASA/JPL-CaltechOfficials at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory said in a statement that the landing gear held up pretty well. The backshell acted as a heat shield to the SUV-sized Perseverance (and the helicopter tucked in its belly) throughout its lengthy trek from Earth. During its descent toward the Martian surface, the rover deployed a parachute to slow it down and stick the landing at Jezero Crater — home to what was once an ancient river delta.While the backshell ended up in pieces after a fiery plunge at about 78 miles per hour, its protective coating and the suspension lines connecting it to the parachute appear to be intact. Just one-third of the 70-foot-wide chute is visible in Ingenuity's images, but "the canopy shows no signs of damage from the supersonic airflow during inflation," the agency said in a statement, adding, "Several weeks of analysis will be needed for a more final verdict."Since both pieces of hardware worked as expected, researchers hope studying the components that allowed for a safe landing can help them plan for future space missions. "Perseverance had the best-documented Mars landing in history, with cameras showing everything from parachute inflation to touchdown," Ian Clark, a former Perseverance systems engineer who now leads the effort to haul Martian samples back to Earth at JPL in Southern California, said in a statement. "If they either reinforce that our systems worked as we think they worked or provide even one dataset of engineering information we can use for Mars Sample Return planning, it will be amazing. And if not, the pictures are still phenomenal and inspiring."The dilemma with high-flying trashThe Perseverance rover's backshell amid a field of debris, on April 19, 2022. NASA officials say the hardware held up well.NASA/JPL-CaltechSpace junk — artifacts left by humans in our orbit or on other celestial bodies, including defunct satellites, burned-up boosters, screwdrivers, parachutes, and other leftovers from human space exploration — is a growing concern for space agencies. As more satellites are regularly launched into space, Earth's orbit is getting more crowded. The problem worsens each year, as old satellites and other objects collide, generating thousands of bits of debris and starting a chain reaction of collisions. That satellite congestion circling Earth raises the risk of orbital collisions and imperils future space exploration."Protecting the expanding space environment is critical," a report from the NASA Office of the Inspector General concluded in January of last year. "The services billions of people rely on daily such as weather forecasting, telecommunications, and global positioning systems require a stable space environment."Still, restrictions protecting space from pollution are scant. "My concern and fear is that in 20 years it will be very dangerous to go to space because of the pollution," Ram Jakhu, associate professor and acting director of McGill University's Institute of Air and Space Law, told Wired last year."We've polluted the Earth left, right, and center. We will be doing the same thing in space. There has to be a wake-up call or things are going to be serious."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderApr 28th, 2022

A Boeing 767 has been transformed into a VIP private jet complete with a bedroom and home cinema — see inside

An American aircraft design company has refurbished a Boeing 767 with six living areas and four lavatories, including a bedroom and dining room. John Ruiz's Boeing 767 refurbished plane.VIP Completions A Florida-based aviation design company has refurbished a Boeing 767 private jet that can sleep 17 people. The widebody plane features six living areas, including a bedroom, dining room, and home cinema. Also onboard are four lavatories, two of which feature full stand-up showers. Private aviation has been booming since the start of the pandemic, with more and more travelers recognizing the convenience and efficiency of flying on private jets.aviation-images.com/Universal Images Group via Getty ImagesPrivate aviation boomed during the pandemic and the industry is reshaping itself with new business jets to keep up with growing demandNot only do passengers avoid long security lines and crowded airports, but they can also enjoy the luxurious onboard.A Gulfstream G550 private jet.JetcraftAmenities vary plane to plane, with smaller business aircraft like Volaris' HondaJet offering four large recliners and a small galley in the cabin. The hourly rate is $4,000.Flying on Volato's $5 million HondaJet.Taylor Rains/InsiderI flew on Honda's $5 million private jet that seats 4 — see inside Volato's HondaJetMeanwhile, deep-pocket travelers who want even more luxury and sophistication can opt for larger aircraft with multiple living spaces, like VistaJet's Bombardier Global 7500, which costs tens of thousands of dollars to charter.Inside a Bombardier Global 7500 demonstration aircraft.Thomas Pallini/InsiderBombardier just delivered its 100th Global 7500 business jet built for the ultra-wealthy that features a private bedroom — see inside the 'Ferrari of the Skies'Florida-based aviation design company VIP Completions has enjoyed the surge in demand, taking on unique projects from rich clients wanting to customize their plane.VIP Completions president Ben Shirazi.VIP CompletionsOn Thursday, the firm announced the completion of the interior and exterior refurbishment of a Boeing 767 private aircraft owned by entrepreneur, attorney, and philanthropist, John Ruiz.John Ruiz's refurbished Boeing 767 private jet.VIP CompletionsSource: VIP CompletionsThe jet, which can carry 33 people and sleep 17, is the biggest project the company has taken on to date, according to VIP Completions president Ben Shirazi, saying the plane will "more closely resemble a luxury home than a business aircraft" once delivered.John Ruiz's refurbished Boeing 767 private jet.VIP CompletionsSource: VIP Completions"Beyond its size and the potential that offers, the 767 stands out from other VIP wide-body platforms because of its impressive range, altitude, and speed capabilities," Shirazi said.John Ruiz's refurbished Boeing 767 private jet.VIP CompletionsSource: VIP CompletionsRuiz's mammoth plane features six distinct living spaces, two of which are in the main lounge. The spacious lounge features a dining room that seats seven…John Ruiz's refurbished Boeing 767 private jet.VIP CompletionsSource: VIP Completions…and an entertainment area with an 80-inch home cinema and DJ station with an audiophile-caliber sound system.John Ruiz's refurbished Boeing 767 private jet.VIP CompletionsSource: VIP CompletionsThe cabin also has a conference room with space for eight…John Ruiz's refurbished Boeing 767 private jet.VIP CompletionsSource: VIP Completions…a master ensuite bedroom with a queen bed, standing shower, and leather cabinets…John Ruiz's Boeing 767 refurbished plane.VIP CompletionsSource: VIP Completions…and two lounges that can be converted into staterooms.John Ruiz's refurbished Boeing 767 private jet.VIP CompletionsSource: VIP CompletionsConnecting the rooms is a long passageway that features the same flooring that Ruiz used on prior refurbishments, creating consistency across his collection of private jets.John Ruiz's refurbished Boeing 767 private jet.VIP CompletionsSource: VIP CompletionsThe cabin also offers four lavatories, two of which are VIP bathrooms with standing showers and woodlike flooring...John Ruiz's refurbished Boeing 767 private jet.VIP CompletionsSource: VIP Completions...and crystal white marble vanity countertops.John Ruiz's refurbished Boeing 767 private jet.VIP CompletionsSource: VIP CompletionsAccording to the company, the interior has been personalized to embody Ruiz's "character and passions." Specifically, the color scheme was hand-picked to include light grey, off-white, taupe, and sable...John Ruiz's refurbished Boeing 767 private jet.VIP CompletionsSource: VIP Completions...and the cabin accessories were sourced from premium brands like Loro Piana and Garret Leather.John Ruiz's refurbished Boeing 767 private jet.VIP CompletionsSource: VIP CompletionsThe inflight experience has also been optimized for passengers' convenience and comfort, offering state-of-the-art high-speed internet, full-spectrum LED lighting, and an HD audio system, all of which are controlled by an iPad.John Ruiz's refurbished Boeing 767 private jet.VIP CompletionsSource: VIP CompletionsNot only did VIP Completions remake the interior, but it also gave the plane a modern paint job. Pictured is the plane's old livery.The old paint job of John Ruiz's refurbished Boeing 767 private jet.VIP CompletionsSource: VIP CompletionsThe new bold exterior features "black, white, and pearl with fine accents" using high-quality paint.John Ruiz's refurbished Boeing 767 private jet.VIP CompletionsSource: VIP CompletionsMoreover, the engine cowlings were given a shiny "carbon fiber effect."John Ruiz's refurbished Boeing 767 private jet.VIP CompletionsSource: VIP CompletionsThe project is one of over 15 private planes the company has done for Ruiz and other clients. For example, VIP Completions has customized a Bombardier Challenger 605…VIP Completions refurbished Bombardier Challenger 605.VIP CompletionsSource: VIP Completions…and a Dassault Falcon 900c.VIP Completions refurbished Dassault Falcon 900c.VIP CompletionsSource: VIP CompletionsRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytApr 24th, 2022

4 Leisure Stocks to Buy as America Readies for Summer

This year, people are returning to leisure travel in a big way. Everybody is getting ready to travel again as the summer season gets underway and we move from the pandemic to the endemic stage of COVID 19. Travel companies have been some of the last to recover because that’s where you’re most exposed to the virus.The National Travel and Tourism Office (NTTO) estimates that the total economic output generated by travel and tourism fell $50.1% from 2019 to 2020. Although some travel did return in 2021, this was mostly to destinations you could drive to. This year however, demand appears to be more of the regular kind, and likely to eclipse pre-pandemic levels.While the entire sector will benefit from the resurgent demand, the players that are likely to do better than the market are the ones that have invested in the business during the weak period, while also focusing on premium offerings and on cutting down debt. Financial and operational measures are likely to pay off as demand returns to normal.One limiting factor remains the availability of labor, especially in the face of steadily increasing demand.Bluegreen Vacations Holding Corp. BVHBoca Raton, Florida-based Bluegreen Vacations Holding Corporation sellsvacation ownership interests (VOI) in resorts and destinations that it maintains and manages for leisure travelers. These properties are located across a number of regions in the U.S. including Orlando, Las Vegas, Myrtle Beach, Charleston, New Orleans and others. Bluegreen also provides resort management, mortgage, title, reservation, and construction design and development services; financing for qualified VOI purchasers; and management services for vacation club and homeowners' associations. Its resort network includes 45 club resorts and 23 club associate resorts, as well as 128 Bass Pro Shops and Cabela's stores.Bluegreen is one of those companies that can be said to operate a subscription model for travel (that’s what time-sharing models essentially are). The time-sharers pay upfront for the property and then keep paying for maintenance. So you make money when new vacation packages are sold and then again, every year, when the maintenance money comes in. And then there are renewals, which ensure that the revenue base keeps expanding, as new customers are brought in. So these are the three numbers to watch.Since Bluegreen’s results are tied to the consumer’s propensity to travel and 2020 was impacted by the pandemic, there were high hopes for 2021. But that didn’t quite materialize either, as fresh waves of the pandemic served as a dampener. Consequently, the all-important VOI package sales volumes and prices both declined in 2021 although they were up in the fourth quarter. With travel returning in a big way this summer and Bluegreen being well positioned with accommodation that can be driven to, there should be further gains.Analysts seem as optimistic as management. They’ve taken the 2022 and 2023 estimates up a respective 56 cents (19.9%) and 68 cents (21.9%). And revenues and earnings are expected to grow both this year and in the next.The shares are also undervalued at 7.68X forward earnings and 0.70X sales.The shares carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).Target Hospitality Corp. THThe Woodlands, Texas-based Target Hospitality is the holding company of Target Lodging, Signor Lodging and their respective subsidiaries. The company, through Target Lodging and Signor Lodging, builds, owns and operates customized housing communities for hospitality purposes including catering and food, maintenance, housekeeping, grounds-keeping, security, health and recreation, workforce community management, concierge, and laundry services. Its network of specialty rental accommodation units has approximately 15,528 beds across 27 communities, of which 26 are owned and one leased, as well as one community not owned or leased by it. Its four segments are Hospitality & Facilities Services - South, Hospitality & Facilities Services - Midwest, Government, and TCPL Keystone. Its customers are mainly in the U.S. government, government contractors, investment grade natural resource development companies and energy infrastructure companies.Target Hospitality has been working on a turnaround plan. Management has executed on several of its initiatives, including a continued focus on diversifying into the government (humanitarian aid) segment, it has focused on more profitable business and on paying down debt. With demand continuing to improve through 2021 and in the first few months of 2022, utilization rates have also been on the rise, which has been positive for profitability.Analysts have taken their estimates up 3 cents (50%) and 2 cents (22%) in the last 60 days. Revenues and earnings are expected to grow strongly in 2022 and slower in 2023.At 1.83X sales, the shares are trading well above their median value over the past year but well below the S&P 500’s 4.50X.The shares carry a acks Rank #1.Cedar Fair L.P. FUNSandusky, Ohio-based Cedar Fair and its affiliated companies own and operate a number of amusement and water parks in the U.S. and Canada: Cedar Point on Lake Erie, Knott's Berry Farm near Los Angeles, Dorney Park in Pennsylvania, Valleyfair near Minneapolis, and Worlds of Fun/Oceans of Fun in Kansas City to name a few. The parks are family-oriented, with recreational facilities for people of all ages, and provide clean and attractive environments with exciting rides and entertainment. The company also owns and operates complementary resort facilities including the Cedar Point Marina, one of the largest full-service marinas on the Great Lakes. The company also owns and operates the Castaway Bay Indoor Waterpark Resort, Hotel Breakers, Cedar Point's Express Hotel and Sawmill Creek Resort. As of December 31, 2021, the company operated 13 amusement parks.Cedar Fair was significantly impacted by the pandemic in 2020, which forced it to close down its parks for most of the year. 2021 proved significantly better, as travel demand returned and especially because management was also broadening and enhancing the guest experience. This helped it surpass the 2019 revenue level by a wide margin. Management expects its intelligent pricing and labor rate management strategies to support strengthening demand as we move through the year.Analysts are also optimistic. They’ve taken the 2022 consensus up 44 cents (15.4%) in the last 60 days. The 2023 estimate is now up 48 cents (14.6%). This represents 623% earnings growth this year and another 14% next year. Operating leverage will definitely play a part as well since revenue growth is expected to be 34% and 4% in the two years, respectively.Since P/E is not meaningful for this company, valuation should be on a P/S basis. And on a forward sales basis it appears that Cedar Fair shares, trading at 1.74X sales is trading close to its low point over the past year and also significantly lags the S&P 500.The shares carry a Zacks Rank #1.SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc. SEASOrlando, Florida-based SeaWorld Entertainment is a theme park and entertainment company operating primarily in the United States. The company owns and operates twelve theme parks under the SeaWorld, Busch Gardens, Aquatica, Discovery Cove, Water Country USA, Adventure Island and Sesame Place brands.Like the others, SeaWorld also saw demand returning in 2021 and it continues to return in a big way this year. The company has prepared for this with completed significant transformation of its in-park venues, many of which were redesigned, refreshed or added in 2021 It also launched new iOS and Android mobile apps for all its parks in 2021. Fiscal discipline as well as record financial performance in 2021 has also put it on a strong financial footing despite the fact that there was limited international guest attendance and reduced group-related attendance due to the pandemic.At 3.22X forward sales, the shares are trading close to their median value over the past year. Its P/E of 17.43X is below the median level over the past year and the S&P 500’s 19.05X.The shares carry a Zacks Rank #1.3-Month Price MovementImage Source: Zacks Investment Research Just Released: Zacks' 7 Best Stocks for Today Experts extracted 7 stocks from the list of 220 Zacks Rank #1 Strong Buys that has beaten the market more than 2X over with a stunning average gain of +25.4% per year. These 7 were selected because of their superior potential for immediate breakout. See these time-sensitive tickers now >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Cedar Fair, L.P. (FUN): Free Stock Analysis Report SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc. (SEAS): Free Stock Analysis Report Target Hospitality Corp. (TH): Free Stock Analysis Report Bluegreen Vacations Holding Corporation (BVH): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksApr 19th, 2022

Why So Many Flights Were Canceled or Delayed This Weekend

Thousands of travelers were stranded in airports over the weekend as thunderstorms in Florida curtailed operations and technology issues left one of the largest airlines scrambling to recover during the spring break travel rush. More than 10,000 U.S. flights were canceled or delayed, according to flight tracker FlightAware, with another 5,085 delayed and 779 canceled… Thousands of travelers were stranded in airports over the weekend as thunderstorms in Florida curtailed operations and technology issues left one of the largest airlines scrambling to recover during the spring break travel rush. More than 10,000 U.S. flights were canceled or delayed, according to flight tracker FlightAware, with another 5,085 delayed and 779 canceled on Monday. “Absolute madness,” one person wrote on Twitter to Southwest Airlines. “Very disappointed,” another wrote to JetBlue Airways. Some passengers said they waited on hold with airlines for hours, while others stood in long lines to speak with an agent to get their canceled flights rescheduled. Southwest alone canceled 920 flights between Saturday and Sunday, with 43% of its scheduled Saturday flights delayed. On Sunday, JetBlue canceled 25% of its flights. Alaska Airlines, Frontier, Spirit and American Airlines also reported similar delays and cancellations. [time-brightcove not-tgx=”true”] Here’s everything that went wrong. Inclement weather Heavy rain and damaging winds across central Florida on Saturday were the main cause of air travel disruptions over the weekend. At one point in the afternoon, forecasters were tracking a tornado threat in between Jacksonville and Gainesville, prompting air traffic controllers to institute a “flow constrained area” over that part of Florida. The Federal Aviation Administration had to briefly halt flights at several airports in the state because of the extreme weather conditions, and other flights had to be rerouted away from the storms. The weekend’s problems were exacerbated by it being peak spring break travel season, with close to 2.3 million travelers screened at airports on Friday. “Over the past several days, severe weather in the southeast and multiple air traffic control delay programs have created significant impacts on the industry,” JetBlue said in a statement. The airline claimed the cancellations were necessary to help “reset our operation and safely move our crews and aircraft back in to position.” Technology issues In addition to the inclement weather in Florida, the nation’s largest domestic carrier—Southwest—said it also faced “intermittent technology issues” early Saturday morning that impacted its scheduling. The airline briefly paused departures as part of overnight maintenance prior to the storm in order to perform checks on a backend system that it reset. The maintenance was planned, though Southwest did not specify how or why it became an issue that led to delays. However, these technology issues only impacted some of the airline’s earliest flights on Saturday, hours before the storm hit. Staffing shortages Alaska Airlines, a frequent flyer around the Pacific Northwest, seemed to be dealing with a separate issue over the weekend that led to even more flight cancellations: a staffing shortage and ongoing contract negotiations with its pilots. The airline canceled nearly 300 flights between Friday and Sunday, affecting more than 37,000 customers, as off-duty pilots picketed in several U.S. cities over stalled negotiations. The cancellations began the same day the union representing Alaska Airlines pilots organized outside the carrier’s terminals in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland, Seattle and Anchorage. Pilots there have been without a new contract for three years, and continue to bargain for more flexible schedules and increased job security and wages alongside the Air Line Pilots Association. But the union claims its picket lines are not to blame for Alaska Airlines’ cancellations since pilots only organized on Friday, and the airline canceled 161 of its flights on Saturday and Sunday when pilots weren’t demonstrating. Rather, it says pilot attrition is the cause. “Alaska Airlines failed to properly plan for increased travel demand and take the steps necessary to ensure it attracted and retained pilots,” the pilots union said in a Friday press release. Consulting firm Oliver Wyman projects there will be a shortage of pilots that exceeds 12,000 by 2023 due to an aging pilot population and strong use of early retirements. A series of now-deleted viral TikToks from late February chronicling how a JetBlue flight cancellation left people stuck for at least 48 hours in Las Vegas raised concern that pilots had gone on strike, but there have been no such reports. “Alongside other carriers, we continue to be impacted by a national pilot shortage and the required training regimen to bring new pilots onboard,” Alaska Airlines acknowledged in a statement Saturday. Capt. John Ladner, Alaska’s vice president of flight operations, wrote in an email to pilots on Friday that the carrier will offer 150% of their pay to pick up extra flights. Brett Snyder, author of the Cranky Flier airline industry site, says airports haven’t been this busy since before the pandemic began two years ago, when airlines saw record-low passengers and deep financial losses. But with 65% of the nation now fully vaccinated against COVID-19, combined with pent-up demand amid the busy spring break season, airlines are left scrambling to rebuild their networks and employee ranks, as some 400,000 airline workers were fired or furloughed in the last two years. “That means they may have less slack than they’d like, and something like the bad weather Florida experienced this weekend can create havoc more easily,” Snyder says. What to do if your flight is canceled With 304 U.S. flights already canceled on Tuesday and another 29 on Wednesday as of press time, travelers should be prepared for more unexpected flight changes to occur throughout this week. The first thing travelers should do when their flight is canceled, experts say, is look up their ticket information and review airline-specific policy. Airlines are legally obligated to provide a full refund to customers if a flight is significantly delayed and the passenger chooses not to travel, but ultimately it’s up to the airline to determine what constitutes a significant delay. Passengers who choose to take the next available flight are not entitled to compensation under federal law, though some airlines may offer refunds if the delay is their fault or caused by mechanical issues. Southwest, however, has not publicly offered refunds for flights delayed by its weekend technology issues. “If you’re at the airport, get in line to speak with an agent,” Snyder says. Passengers will typically be given a few options, such as a seat on the next available flight, their money back or travel credits that expire in one year. Passengers can also call their airline directly, but given the long wait times and potential challenges with dialing international phone numbers, Snyder recommends also sending a Tweet to the airline. Some airlines will also post updates on social media with a list of alternate options available. But for travelers caught in the wrath of Florida’s weekend storm, experts note that airlines are not obligated to arrange any accommodations, so travelers will have to fend for themselves when it comes to meals and overnight lodging. For travelers who booked their flights through an online travel agency, such as Expedia or Orbitz, the process can be a little more difficult. Customers are advised to contact the agency directly to resolve any issues, and the agency can then request a refund from the airline on the traveler’s behalf. What does this mean as travel season ramps up? Although some airlines are resuming near normal operations, the recent string of flight disruptions isn’t over yet. On Tuesday, 114 flights on Spirit Airlines are still canceled, and the delays have created a massive backlog for airlines with the effects reaching airports all across the nation, from Boston to Las Vegas to Dallas. Experts warn the staffing shortages at Alaska Airlines and across the industry are most likely a lingering problem that could lead to continued delays and cancellations in the coming months. But extreme weather events are less predictable. “A flight cancellation is always a possibility for travelers at any time,” Snyder says. “Airlines can never predict the weather well enough to be able to schedule everything perfectly, so things can be derailed.”  .....»»

Category: topSource: timeApr 5th, 2022

"Feels Like The New Retail": Some Owners Giving Up On Older Offices In High-Cost Cities

"Feels Like The New Retail": Some Owners Giving Up On Older Offices In High-Cost Cities By Tim Carroll of Bisnow News After two years of pandemic uncertainty, many questions around the return to office and its impact on commercial real estate have yet to be answered. But as migration patterns from high-cost markets to the Sun Belt have entrenched alongside attitudes around remote work, familiar, ominous music is playing for owners of older office buildings in Chicago and New York City. In the last two weeks, owners of Class-B office properties in both cities have handed the keys to their buildings over to their lenders, much as owners of Class-B malls have elected to do in recent years. “Office in what you’ll call the northern, the colder climates, the high-tax [cities] — that feels like the new retail, right?” Origin Investments co-CEO Michael Episcope told Bisnow. "Where retail was 15 years ago and its slow demise." Epic turned over 220 West 42nd St. in Manhattan to its lender. Within a year of the pandemic's U.S. arrival, Simon Property Group, the country’s largest mall owner, relinquished four malls to lenders. It followed that up by handing back the keys to an Atlanta-area mall in February 2021, about a month after Brookfield gave the deed on the 1.3M SF North Point Mall outside of Atlanta to its lender.  About a year later, big-name borrowers are doing the same with their office properties in two of the three biggest U.S. office markets. In Chicago, a lender reportedly took control of the 1.4M SF 175 West Jackson Blvd. building where Brookfield had fallen into delinquency on a $258M loan, according to Trepp, which maintains a database of securitized mortgages. Just a day later, Trepp reported that the special servicer on a $100M loan backed by 135 South LaSalle St. said the most likely resolution for the loan was the owner handing over the deed in lieu of foreclosure. The distress moved east from there, with Blackstone handing back the keys to 1740 Broadway, a 621K SF, 26-story office tower with a $308M CMBS loan. Most recently, UK-based investment firm Epic turned over ownership of the 24-story office property at 220 West 42nd St. it acquired in 2012 in a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure transaction.  In general, office buildings in Chicago, New York and other traditional gateway cities have been less busy than those in Sun Belt markets like the Texas Triangle of Dallas, Houston and Austin, according to Kastle Systems’ Back To Work Barometer.  While those figures could be interpreted as reflective of the local politics of public health, they align with U.S. population shifts: higher-cost markets like New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and San Francisco lost a combined 700,000 residents between July 2020 and July 2021, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. By contrast, Houston, Dallas, Phoenix, Atlanta and Austin gained a combined 300,000 residents. “You can’t copy the Sun Belt’s weather, right?” DBRS Morningstar Head of CMBS Research Steve Jellinek said.  The Windy City's office market is a microcosm of the concerns around cold-weather, higher-cost office markets that lost population during the pandemic. Nearly 11% of its $8.28B office CMBS balance was in special servicing in February, according to data Jellinek analyzed, compared to the national average of 3.1% in February, according to Trepp. As additional loans mature on office properties, lenders are getting more cautious along geographic lines. Cold-weather, higher-cost markets like Chicago haven't recovered as quickly as Sun Belt markets “You have more conservative underwriting, from what we’ve seen, in some of those cities that are taking a little bit longer to come back,” said JLL Senior Managing Director Sean Ryan, who sources and executes loan, distressed debt and real estate-owned portfolio sales.  “You’re going to see continued investment, but there’s going to be a higher cost of capital looking at those deals, unless it’s truly a newly stabilized, Class-A product with phenomenal loan service in place,” Ryan said. Confidence in the office market is following the population, and with some of the biggest office-using sectors decentralizing because their talent is moving, developers are looking west and south.  “What’s certainly been driving the Sun Belt markets for investment have been people and the talent, and the companies have been following,” said Nuveen Managing Director Nadir Settles, adding that gateway cities’ reopening have begun to mitigate the migration trends. New York and Chicago are at a unique disadvantage — combined, the two markets have more than 720M SF of office inventory, according to JLL, much of which is decades old and at risk of obsolescence with modern tenant demands. “There’s just a tremendous amount of space that’s coming online that’s truly — people would call it second-gen space, but it’s older than that,” Ryan said. “A bank has been in that building for 15, 20 years, and even if it was redone five, seven years ago, to try to re-lease it at a quality rate today is going to cost you significant capital.” “I don’t see anybody coming from their home and going to a Class-B building just because of price anymore,” Settles said.  Office leasing demand had its sharpest dip in February since the beginning of the pandemic, according to CBRE's U.S. Leasing Index. Even in office markets that have recovered relatively well, companies aren’t taking huge chunks of space off the market. “There’s companies that are looking for space, but they’re not looking for 400K SF of space,” Ryan said of Houston. “They’re looking for 25K SF, maybe 50K SF. That’s a tough ask, to fill a 400K SF building or larger with 25K SF leases.” As the pandemic recedes, Episcope said he expects the office market to get a natural lift. Coronavirus cases were down 12% over the two weeks prior to Monday, and Covid-19 hospitalizations were down 36% over those last 14 days, according to New York Times data.  But even as Americans get more comfortable or more mandated to return to offices, landlords in cities facing cost-of-living and inventory disadvantages are going to have to compete that much harder for tenants.   “I can no longer just buy office and expect just natural lift because I’m in that area,” said Settles, who oversees Nuveen’s New York office investments. “I have to be able to buy it and execute the business plan where I can put the right amenities, I can put the right ESG factors to future-proof that office building and make it more attractive.” Nuveen Managing Director Nadir Settles Nuveen’s 730 Third Ave. in the Midtown East area of Manhattan pulls out all the stops in the so-called amenities arms race. In addition to the 6K SF sky lounge, 8K SF fitness center and 9K SF for rotating food vendors the renovated 27-story tower boasts, Settles said the Gensler-designed, LEED Gold-certified building has a golf simulator, providing all the amenities an employee may need throughout a day.  Part of Settles’ optimism for New York stems from the same logic of CRE following residential: New York City rents have reached all-time highs. Indeed, tenant demand for office has responded similarly, with a record number of leases for at least $100 per SF signed in Manhattan in 2021.  “I think there’s definitely still opportunity in cities,” Settles said. “You just have to be cautious and you have to be able to effectuate the business plan where tenants are attracted, and that is having assets in transit-rich-oriented neighborhoods, that will offer work-live-play.” He pointed to Related Cos.’ Hudson Yards and L&L Holding Co.’s 425 Park Ave. as examples of the sustainability-forward, amenity-rich properties that are attracting modern tenants. “The tenant of tomorrow, the ones who are out there looking for office space, it’s not just about price,” Episcope said. “It’s about location, building amenities ... It’s just more important for these buildings to have all the bells and whistles, and those who don’t, [who] are just kind of trying to sell space into a market and have more urban location are going to be losing out, and we’ve seen that in Chicago, too.” Experts aren’t ready to declare New York, Chicago, LA and other large metro office markets dead. Instead, they see opportunity. For example, the lender that was handed the keys to Epic's building on 42nd Street was Yellowstone Real Estate Capital, PincusCo reported. It acquired the note on the property from M&T Bank in November.  “The really savvy investors who have the time and the expertise are going to continue to lend in the office space because I think there’s an ability to get paid maybe a slight premium today in that market,” Ryan said. “So office offers that opportunity, retail offers that opportunity, some others. There’s a little more price differentiation from those two assets, which I think is where people are going to start moving to, migrating to and figuring out.” Tyler Durden Mon, 04/04/2022 - 17:00.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeApr 4th, 2022

Bombardier just delivered its 100th Global 7500 business jet built for the ultra-wealthy that features a private bedroom — see inside the "Ferrari of the Skies"

VistaJet is the world's largest operator of the Bombardier Global 7500 private jet, which features four living spaces, like a bedroom and dining room. Taylor Rains/Insider Bombardier delivered its 100th Global 7500 private jet on Tuesday to private charter company VistaJet. The plane is the largest and longest-range purpose-built private aircraft on the market capable of flying 7,700 nautical miles. VistaJet's cabin was inspired by the color of espresso and includes four living spaces, including a private bedroom. Canadian planemaker Bombardier just delivered its 10th Global 7500 business aircraft to VistaJet, the world's largest private charter company and the biggest operator of the aircraft type.Taylor Rains/InsiderSource: BombardierThe milestone marks the 100th Global 7500 that Bombardier has delivered and makes VistaJet the owner of 10% of the world's 7500s.Taylor Rains/InsiderSource: BombardierBombardier has recently consolidated its products to focus solely on business aircraft, with its Global 7500 being considered the best of the best.Inside a Bombardier Global 7500 demonstration aircraft at the Dubai Air Show.Thomas Pallini/InsiderSource: BombardierThe $75 million plane is the largest and longest-ranged purpose-built private jet on the market, boasting an incredible 7,700 nautical mile range and capacity of up to 19 passengers.Inside a Bombardier Global 7500 demonstration aircraft at the Dubai Air Show.Thomas Pallini/InsiderSource: BombardierThe jet has become a staple of luxury travel that can connect nearly any city pair on Earth, like from New York to Hong Kong or from London to Tokyo.A VistaJet Bombardier Global 7500.VistaJetSource: BombardierAt a ceremony in Montreal on Tuesday, Bombardier CEO Éric Martel officially handed the keys to VistaJet founder and chairman Thomas Flohr.Taylor Rains/Insider"This industry has achieved a great deal, partially through COVID, and the world has actually discovered how efficient it is to use a business jet," Flohr said at the event.Taylor Rains/InsiderNot only is it more convenient for travelers to fly private because they can skip busy airports and security checkpoints, but it is also more sustainable, Flohr explained.Private passengers can many times drive straight up to the plane. Pictured is VistaJet’s Global 5000.Taylor Rains/InsiderI flew out of a general aviation airport to see how the rich travel. I didn't miss the hassle, lines, and frustration of commercial flying."Why fly a 737 into a remote town with a load factor of 20-30% and burn a lot more fuel, when you can take a small business jet and actually get there and have a lower carbon footprint," he said.Private jet at the airport for the Super Bowl in February 2022.Courtesy of Levi StocktonMedia were welcomed onboard VistaJet's historic Global 7500, which the company has dubbed the "Ferrari of the Skies." Take a look inside the stylish cabin, complete with four separate living spaces.Taylor Rains/InsiderThe first room passengers will see when they board is the club suite, which has four seats and a pull-out table in between each pair, allowing for plenty of space to work or discuss business.Taylor Rains/InsiderThe seats are zero-gravity loungers called Nuage that are exclusive to the Global 7500. They feature a unique tilt that allows the chair to have a deep recline and floating base.Taylor Rains/Insider"It feels like you're floating," Flohr told Insider. "They are a new development, and they are just more comfortable and a more modern look for passengers."Taylor Rains/InsiderThe seats have plenty of storage space for phones, as well as USB and power outlets to charge electronics.A VistaJet Bombardier Global 7500 at the Dubai Airshow 2021.Thomas Pallini/InsiderDirectly behind the club suite is the conference suite, which also doubles as a dining room.Taylor Rains/InsiderAccording to Flohr, the space is relatively new in the industry because it has six dining seats instead of the standard four.Taylor Rains/InsiderIn partnership with Bombardier, VistaJet developed a unique table that can fold out into a larger surface space but can also connect to the table across the aisle via a leaf in the middle.VistaJetBeyond the dining area, there is a cinema room with a large television and seating area.Taylor Rains/InsiderFlohr explained that this can be used to relax, watch movies, view a presentation, or have a private business conversation. The room is divided from the conference and club suites via a soundproof pocket door.Taylor Rains/InsiderTowards the back of the aircraft is a bedroom with a double bed, TV, and closet...Taylor Rains/Insider…and a separate lounger. The lounger also has a pull-out table.VistaJetThe bedroom is one-of-a-kind in the industry, according to Flohr, and is important for long-haul travel.Taylor Rains/Insider"You cannot fly 15 hours in a seat or you'll arrive wrecked, so we have installed a proper bed, not a pull-out, with a permanent mattress so passengers can actually sleep," he told Insider.Taylor Rains/InsiderAfter the bedroom is a full lavatory with a toilet and sink. It was spacious with plenty of room to change or freshen up. A shower can also be installed, though VistaJet did not have one onboard.Taylor Rains/InsiderDuring the tour, Flohr emphasized the large size of the windows throughout the cabin, which he said makes passengers feel like they are "floating."Taylor Rains/InsiderMoreover, the seats always align with the windows, which have blinds that can be closed to create a dark cabin.Taylor Rains/InsiderIn addition to the four rooms, there is also a full galley and crew rest area at the front of the plane.Taylor Rains/InsiderThe rest area has space for three crew members to sit, or one to lay down and rest in between shifts, particularly on flights reaching 16 hours.Taylor Rains/InsiderThe galley has plenty of room for the crew members to prepare meals, drinks, or anything else a passenger may need, complete with two refrigerators and two ovens...Taylor Rains/Insider...a coffee maker...Taylor Rains/Insider...and plenty of storage space for glassware.Taylor Rains/InsiderAlso in the crew rest area is a second lavatory, which is smaller than the aft bathroom but still spacious.Taylor Rains/InsiderAs far as the colors and textures used in the cabin, Flohr told Insider that it started with the color of espresso.Taylor Rains/Insider"If you pour an espresso, it's obviously very dark but there is also that foam on top," he explained. "So, we felt it was a very balanced color scheme that we could use to design the seats, carpet, and wood."Taylor Rains/Insider"We're just trying to make the cabin calm and not loud because life is already so stressful, so we wanted a peaceful environment," he continued.VistaJetAccording to Jennifer Farquhar, VistaJet's head of group communications, the company is focused on providing a consistent uniform cabin across each plane so passengers have the exact same experience regardless of which Global 7500 they are on.Taylor Rains/Insider"We've had some of our cabin hostesses take photos upon landing, particularly families with kids, of the exact location of the coloring books or stuff animals left out," she told Insider.Taylor Rains/Insider"But then it's a whole different crew that will pick the passengers up, but they can place that teddy bear where the child left it, so it makes them feel like they're coming back to their home," she continued.Taylor Rains/InsiderRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytApr 3rd, 2022

From the dance club to despair: One DJ"s journey through war-torn Ukraine with her newborn baby in tow

A 32-year-old Ukrainian woman spoke to Insider about her perilous, days-long journey to a semblance of safety amid Russia's ongoing assault. Katya DJing at a nightclub in Kyiv before Russia invaded.Courtesy of Katya. When Russian troops invaded Ukraine last month, a DJ fled Kyiv in search of safety. Katya spoke to Insider about her treacherous journey through Ukraine with her newborn daughter. "It's like the worst movie you can ever imagine and you're starring in the main role," she said. In a matter of moments, Kateryna's life turned from a dream into the worst kind of nightmare — the type from which she cannot wake up.As sirens ring out each night, she jolts from frightening dreams in a panic, only to realize that the terror persists.Since Russian troops invaded her native Ukraine five weeks ago, Katya, whose full name is known by Insider but is being withheld to protect her safety, has been to hell and back.She's endured long nights in a freezing, underground bomb shelter as Russian shelling rained from above; she's fled through uncharted forest roads, uncertain of what may be mere meters ahead; and she's witnessed the depths of humanity's depravity — and generosity.Katya, 32, spoke to Insider about her perilous, days-long journey to a semblance of safety amid Russia's ongoing assault, highlighting the heartbreaking human toll that Russian President Vladimir Putin's unprovoked war has left in its wake.Several times during an interview from Western Ukraine last week, Katya described her circumstances in cinematic terms, comparing her life to a film:"The worst movie you can ever imagine and you're starring in the main role."While describing her experiences over the last month, she evoked images of World War II horrors and compared herself to one of literature's most infamous war-begotten female protagonists, "Gone With the Wind's" Scarlett O'Hara.It's a far cry from the "perfect" life Katya was living just one month ago.Before the war came to Ukraine, the lifelong Kyiv native had spent 10 years as a prominent DJ and music producer. She said she hosted shows all over the world, producing popular dance music with top international artists and regularly working at one of Kyiv's most popular nightclubs, where a loyal audience of locals and foreigners gathered to dance the night away.In January 2022, Katya became a first-time mother to a baby girl. She and her husband of seven years spent one splendid month spoiling their daughter, buying her everything she could ever want or need and filling their apartment in Kyiv's city center with baby clothes and formula.Katya and her daughter before Russia invaded.Courtesy of Katya"Everything was perfect," she told Insider. "We had everything."Like most weekend nights, Katya was scheduled to DJ a show in Kyiv on Friday, February 25.But, of course, that show never happened.Russian forces rolled into Ukraine in the early hours of Thursday, February 24.The Kyiv club where Katya was scheduled to perform — along with so much else throughout the embattled country — is now shut down.A quick decision to flee KyivKatya was already awake when the first bombs rang out in Kyiv around 4:30 a.m. that Thursday. She couldn't sleep, she told Insider, plagued by a seeming prophetic fear that "something bad" was coming.Russian forces bombarded the capital city almost immediately upon invading, while Ukrainian troops fought to protect it from the outskirts of the city. In the weeks since, Russian troops have aimed to fully encircle and cut off the capital, but the Ukrainian defense has proven strong enough to maintain control of Kyiv.After a stalled start to the war, the Russian military said last week that the "first stage of the operation" had primarily been accomplished and it would now refocus on "the liberation of Donbas" in the east. But Russian forces have continued to bomb Kyiv's suburbs, Reuters reported Wednesday, despite Kremlin claims that it would scale back the assault to build "trust."As she heard explosions throughout the city that first morning, Katya said she was struck by a panic attack."Nobody's ever prepared for war life," she said.Danger had arrived. In a flurry, Katya and her husband packed their bags, preparing to escape. Within the first minutes of the bombardment, the family decided to flee Kyiv.A panicked Katya said she packed nearly half of her baby's extensive wardrobe, as well as all the extra formula they had recently purchased — a decision that would prove to be a life-saving one in some day's time.But Katya left with only the shoes on her feet and a couple of extra hoodies and leggings.The family waited for Katya's mother to finish her workday — the last normal one any of them would have for some time — and hit the road by 6 p.m., where an endless line of cars full of other escapees sat idling. As they slowly made their way out of the capital, Katya said she witnessed staggering lines for gas, cash, and groceries."Everyone was in panic, buying water, food, and pumping the car with gas," she said.In hindsight, Katya now knows that they were heading straight into one of the most dangerous Ukrainian regions, where Russian forces were quickly amassing troops and laying siege. But at the time, anywhere seemed safer than bomb-addled Kyiv.No light, no service, no foodThe family decided to seek refuge at their country home in a small village located fewer than 100 miles east of Kyiv, near Bucha and Irpin. The drive to the house, which typically takes 30 minutes, dragged on for four hours.A map of where the village is located.Courtesy of Katya.When they arrived, they were grateful to find that the electricity was still working.But the next day, the lights went out. Cell phone service and internet connectivity quickly followed."We were cut off from all over the world, not knowing what was happening," Katya said.Despite their lack of information, one thing was clear: The nonstop shelling and gunfire indicated that her family had flocked not to safety, but toward more acute danger.As artillery fire pierced the skies upon their arrival, Katya said her family went to a neighbor's underground shelter."The sounds were so loud and terrifying that we were just staying in this bomb shelter and praying nobody would enter with tanks," she said.When the sound of airstrikes momentarily passed, Katya said she and her family returned to their small country home — one of the few houses in the village that used gas heating instead of electricity and could therefore combat the near-freezing temperatures. In the coming days, several other people from the village would come to escape the cold, praying by candlelight for relief as the sounds of shelling inched closer.Katya and her compatriots had no cellphone connection to get information about nearby Russian military positions, nor could they get updates about the status of the war or the conditions of their loved ones.They covered the windows with blankets and lived in a total blackout after 6 p.m. each night, staying desperately silent. And they were running out of food. The only grocery store in the village had already shut down, depleted of supplies.For the first few days in the village, from about February 25 to February 28, Katya said there were rumors that Polish humanitarian aid would be coming soon. Nobody at the time knew that their village was sitting in the middle of a 30-kilometer Russian-occupied "death circle," as Katya called it.Maps from Insider and The New York Times tracking the Russian invasion over the last month show heavy aerial strikes as well as Russian occupation in the region where Katya's village is located beginning soon after the invasion.The Bucha-Irpin area, located to the southeast of Katya's village, was plagued with heavy fighting starting around February 25 and continuing through March. Meanwhile, the town of Borodyanka, located to the north of the village, was hit with repeated Russian shelling in early March, and Makariv, to the south-west, sustained damage and casualties as well, before Ukrainian forces said they retook the city last week.!function(){"use strict";window.addEventListener("message",(function(e){if(void 0!==e.data["datawrapper-height"]){var t=document.querySelectorAll("iframe");for(var a in e.data["datawrapper-height"])for(var r=0;r.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytMar 30th, 2022

3 Defense Equipment Stocks to Watch Amid Poor Air Traffic View

Poor air travel outlook in the near term may hurt the Aerospace-Defense Equipment stocks, while mergers should benefit. You may keep a tab on TDG, AJRD & KAMN from this industry New travel restrictions in the wake of the highly transmissible Omicron variant have once again made the near-term outlook for air travel trends dismal. Moreover, COVID-led supply chain disruption might result in lower earnings and cash flows for the industry. This may hurt the growth prospects of the stocks in the Aerospace-Defense Equipment industry. Nevertheless, frequent mergers and acquisitions tend to boost revenue generation prospects along with the production efficiency of the industry players. Moreover, the latest feud that has erupted between Russia and Ukraine is expected to boost investment in the industry. Some important players in this industry include TransDigm Group TDG, Aerojet Rocketdyne AJRD  and Kaman Corporation KAMN.About the IndustryThe Zacks Aerospace-Defense Equipment industry comprises firms that manufacture a wide variety of vital components for the aerospace-defense space, ranging from aerostructures, space shuttles, propulsion systems, aircraft engines, defense electronics, missile and radar systems to flight test equipment, structural adhesives, instrumentation and control systems, communication products and many more. A few of these companies also offer integrated simulation and training services to the U.S. defense force. While the majority of the revenues is generated from the production of the aforementioned accompaniments, the industry players also generate revenues by providing notable aftermarket support and services like maintenance, repair and overhaul activities to aerospace and defense players.4 Trends Shaping the Future of the Aerospace-Defense Equipment IndustryNew M&As Instill Hopes: Rising competition has historically prompted industry majors to expand their product lines through small and medium-sized mergers and acquisitions (M&As) besides some big mergers witnessed in the industry. In November 2021 , Raytheon completed the acquisition of SEAKR Engineering, a supplier of advanced space electronics. The transaction is expected to boost Raytheon’s Space business opportunities. This deal adds to Raytheon’s earlier made FlightAware buyout, which strengthened RTX’s footprint in the flight data monitoring market.  Such consolidations should improve economies of scale for the industry as a whole with the industry players having access to such diversified business models.Poor Air Traffic View Hurts Prospects: Although optimism surrounding the arrival and initial distribution of vaccine instilled confidence among travelers over the last few months of 2021, world air travel data once again dwindled at the onset of 2022. In fact, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) revealed in its January 2022 report that global air travel started 2022 on a soft note. The Omicron outbreak resulted in new travel rules that negatively impacted passenger capacity and demand. Per the report, developments in international ticket sales suggest that international travel will be affected more than domestic routes by the Omicron wave, at least in the near term. This surely makes us skeptical about the near-term growth prospects of aerospace-defense equipment industry stocks.Socio-Political Uncertainty to Aid: Widespread geopolitical as well as socio-economic tensions have been a growth driver for the aerospace and defense equipment industry for decades. In the recent times, escalating international terrorist attacks along with civil wars like the ones in the Middle East have been boosting the prospects of this space. In particular, U.S. defense contractors’ prospects in this region remain high, thanks to the constant military conflict that has been taking place between Israel and Syria for quite some time now. Moreover, the latest feud that erupted after Russia attacked Ukraine and the United States’ strong opposition to this hostile action of Russia boosts the prospects of America’s defense companies. Such geopolitical tensions are expected to be beneficial for the aerospace-defense equipment industry.Supply Chain Disruption Poses Risk: The COVID-19 pandemic has led to an unprecedented crisis in the aerospace and defense (A&D) supply chain. Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) need to dramatically scale back their capacity to reflect the new realities of the commercial air travel market. Such OEM rate reductions have been affecting the extended commercial aerospace manufacturing supply chain, which might result in lower earnings and cash flows for the aerospace and defense equipment industry in the near term.Zacks Industry Rank Reflects Bleak OutlookThe Zacks Aerospace-Defense Equipment industry is housed within the broader Zacks Aerospace sector. It currently carries a Zacks Industry Rank #169, which places it in the bottom 33% of more than 250 Zacks industries.The group’s Zacks Industry Rank, which is basically the average of the Zacks Rank of all the member stocks, indicates dull near-term prospects. Our research shows that the top 50% of the Zacks-ranked industries outperforms the bottom 50% by a factor of more than 2 to 1.The industry’s position in the bottom 50% of the Zacks-ranked industries is due to a negative earnings outlook for the constituent companies in aggregate. Looking at the aggregate earnings estimate revisions, it appears that analysts have lost confidence in this group’s earnings growth potential over the past few months. Evidently, the industry’s earnings estimate for the current fiscal year has gone down 3.3% to $3.77 since November 2021.Before we present a few aerospace-defense equipment stocks that you may want to add to your portfolio, let’s take a look at the industry’s recent stock market performance and valuation picture.Industry Beats S&P 500 & SectorThe Aerospace-Defense Equipment industry has outperformed the Zacks S&P 500 composite as well as its own sector over the past year. The stocks in this industry have collectively gained 10.5% against the Aerospace sector’s decline of 15.9%. The Zacks S&P 500 composite has risen 10.4% in the same timeframe.One-Year Price PerformanceIndustry's Current ValuationOn the basis of trailing 12-month EV/Sales, which is used for valuing capital intensive stocks like aerospace-defense equipment, the industry is currently trading at 2.42X compared with the S&P 500’s 3.97X and the sector’s 1.88X.Over the past five years, the industry has traded as high as 2.68X, as low as 2.25X, and at the median of 2.47X, as the charts show below.EV-Sales Ratio TTM3 Aerospace-Defense Equipment Stocks to WatchAerojet Rocketdyne: Based in El Segundo, CA, Aerojet Rocketdyne is a technology-based engineering and manufacturing company, which develops and produces specialized propulsion systems as well as armament systems. In February 2022, Aerojet announced that it had successfully built and tested a Stored Chemical Energy Propulsion, a lithium boiler that could be used to power the U.S. Navy’s next-generation torpedoes. Aerojet Rocketdyne is also developing SCEPS for the larger MK 54 MOD 2 torpedo. Such developments should boost Aerojet’s order growth possibilities from the U.S. Navy.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Aerojet’s 2022 earnings indicates a 5.1% improvement year over year while that for sales projects an increase of 4.1%. The company currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.  Price & Consensus: AJRD Transdigm Group: Based in Cleveland, OH, Transdigm Group’s diversified portfolio of highly engineered proprietary aerospace components enjoys solid demand in the aircraft market. The company recently reported its first-quarter fiscal 2022 results, wherein its net sales increased a solid 7.8% year over year, while adjusted earnings increased 54%.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for fiscal 2022 earnings implies an improvement of 30.8% year over year. Its long-term earnings growth estimate is pegged at 22.2%. The company currently holds a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Price & Consensus: TDG Kaman Corporation: Bloomfield, CT-based Kaman produces and markets proprietary aircraft bearings and components; super precision, miniature ball bearings, proprietary spring energized seals, springs and contacts; complex metallic and composite aerostructures for commercial, military and general aviation fixed and rotary wing aircraft; and safe and arming solutions for missile and bomb systems for the U.S. and allied militaries. The company recently reported its 2021 results, wherein its gross margin increased more than 200 basis points to 33.4%, driven by improved performance in several of its businesses.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Kaman’s 2022 earnings suggests an annual improvement of 14.2%, while that for 2022 sales indicates an increase of 5.4%. The company currently has a Zacks Rank #3. Price & Consensus: KAMN  Just Released: Zacks Top 10 Stocks for 2022 In addition to the investment ideas discussed above, would you like to know about our 10 top picks for the entirety of 2022? From inception in 2012 through 2021, the Zacks Top 10 Stocks portfolios gained an impressive +1,001.2% versus the S&P 500’s +348.7%. Now our Director of Research has combed through 4,000 companies covered by the Zacks Rank and has handpicked the best 10 tickers to buy and hold. Don’t miss your chance to get in…because the sooner you do, the more upside you stand to grab.See Stocks Now >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Transdigm Group Incorporated (TDG): Free Stock Analysis Report Kaman Corporation (KAMN): Free Stock Analysis Report Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings, Inc. (AJRD): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksFeb 25th, 2022

They Said They Would Slow The Spread

They Said They Would Slow The Spread Authored by Jeffrey Tucker via The Brownstone Institute, It’s been the most astonishing two weeks for American public life, with so many prescient changes, from new censorships, admissions, backtracks, experts speaking out, public outrage, and what strikes me as a progressive unraveling of every orthodoxy imposed nearly two years ago.  Not even the influential and powerful are in a position to defend what has happened to us. They seem to be gradually pulling away from public life, unable to say things that connect to what everyone knows.  Above all else, what’s remarkable right now is the undeniable arrival of Covid to a degree to which hardly anyone could have imagined all that time ago, when so many experts set out to deploy their fabulous new system for stopping the spread of a disease.  There was a goal (stop cases). There was a method (state compulsion). And there was a test (cases were supposed to go down and go away). There would be a war on a virus and the state would win! And now we look around and see the evidence of failure so pronounced, so impossible to deny, that we must face that which so many have worked so hard to deny for so long.  The best way I can describe this is by observation. In the Northeast of the US, and in many other parts of the country, everywhere you go, right now, you see sick people milling around. They don’t admit it and they don’t talk about it with strangers simply because there is such shame attached to having Covid. They complain of a cold, of a flu, or just suffer in silence. But there it is.  After nearly two years of work to control the spread, after brutal shutdowns of the whole country – shutdowns that happened two years too early, as judged by actual case trends (but of course lockdowns never should have been considered in the first place) – Covid is here. Not just here. It is everywhere. The case counts are beyond anything anyone on the planet could have imagined a year or two ago. The spikes make everything that came before look like child’s play.  Here is the global chart.  And we are talking really sick. Not so much death. Not even out-of-control hospitalization. We are talking about being sick in bed or walking around with misery. The nasty bug lasts maybe two days, maybe two weeks, maybe longer but it is vexing and wicked, not like a cold or flu but something more electric and strange.  Which variant? Two weeks ago, the CDC wanted to blame it all on Omicron. That is no longer possible. Perhaps that constitutes 20%; we just do not know for sure because tracking is so weak. Most of it is evidently Delta, meaning very sick but with no serious loss of taste and smell. Most everyone eventually gets well, and that’s what happens here.  We get to endemicity perhaps in a month or so and life will move on, my experts tell me, at least in some areas of the country. What’s striking and truly shocking is that all of the efforts, all of the propaganda, all of the astonishing spending and compulsion – the shutdowns, masking, size limits, travel restrictions, vaccination requirements, the track and trace, the endless testing, the enforcement, the intimidations, the censorship – and what do we have to show for it? Lockdown architect Carter Mecher promised us as follows: “If you got everyone and locked each of them in their own room and didn’t let them talk to anyone, you would not have any disease.” They attempted a version of that, experimenting on the human population in ways without precedent. And let’s say that is true (it probably isn’t). That is not life. That is not society. That is not freedom. That is something else unimaginably horrific.  It was unsustainable. They pushed their theory without regard to the history of public health or, really, the whole of human experience. And now, the true pandemic finally arrived. And what is it? There are a ton of sick people. People are calling in sick because they cannot come to work. Institutions are having to shut down, not because government closed them but because people are too sick to come to work. This is the normal course of events – exactly what one would expect in a pandemic.  And it’s not just Covid. The head of an Indiana life insurance company reports that deaths among people aged 18-64 are up 40%, an astonishing increase. It’s suicide, drug overdoses, and every other manner of horror. And that’s just death. Many others are just sick from other things.  I personally know dozens and they each know many dozens of more people in the Northeast right now who are down for the count, miserable and pathetic, but still testing negative for Covid. Why would this be? It’s because immune systems have decayed over two years. The lack of vitamin D, the lack of exposure to normal germs in life, the isolation and depression, the overconsumption of liquor and drugs – it’s all been a terrible drain on health.  Meanwhile, the actual pandemic of Covid has certainly arrived. And it is far worse than the data indicated. Look at Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Connecticut, any of these states, and including some Southern and Midwestern states, and what you find is increases of 500-1,000% in cases. And keep in mind that these are just cases as discovered by official testing spots.  Go to any CVS or Walgreens and you find long lines of people buying testing kits. If they are available. If they are not, the wait is weeks. They are $23 a kit and people are buying as many as possible. Why? Partially it’s because employers and schools are demanding negative tests, but it is also just curiosity. People are sick as dogs and want to confirm their illnesses.  People are estimating that real cases are 50x to 100x what the official data say.  But let’s talk now about a real scandal. When you are sick, you need treatment. Every competent medical professional I know is pretty darn sure that the best hope for dealing with Covid is a combination of Zinc, Vitamin D, and (sorry to mention the dreaded name) Ivermectin. This is not ideological. This is what experienced doctors are saying right now. I’m on many email lists with serious medical professionals and they are all saying the same thing. We can add HCQ to the list if you catch it early enough.  But here’s the kicker – and let me be clear that I’m NOT giving ANY medical advice here, merely just reporting the sense of the community out there. What’s remarkable is that people are having a very difficult time getting these basic therapeutics. Vaccines are everywhere but things to make you well once the virus penetrates the vaccine? Those are hard to come by.  There is a problem getting a prescription because state medical boards are actually barring people and preventing them from serving patients if they prescribe HCQ or Ivermectin, as incredible as that sounds. But once you get the prescription – if you have a doctor brave enough to risk it – finding a pharmacy to fill it is another challenge.  Most people in the UK today are getting their therapeutics from India. Americans get them from Mexico. And some are shipping to the US and they are being distributed via gray markets for anyone who is lucky enough to have a contact. It’s a speakeasy nation but this time for distributing basic therapies.  I feel like I’ve seen horrible things for almost two years now, and you feel the same way. But of all the scandals, and there are so many, this one seems to top the list, namely that once the real pandemic has arrived, there are no effective medicines that are widely available. Doctors are actually being blocked from doing their jobs.  Beyond belief. But you know this. I’m sure you have your own stories. I suspect that many of our readers have encountered this virus for the first  time in the last two weeks and have dealt with the horrors of just getting basic medicines to get through this.  The NIH has funded almost no serious trials of these generic drugs. It is not in the interest of pharmaceutical companies to fund them either. As a result, we are truly at a loss – nearly two years into a pandemic at a time when people need meds more than ever.  Meanwhile, the FTC is spending its time cracking down on pharmacies that advertise that they have therapeutics available for people. They are sending cease and desist letters all over the country as a way of intimidating providers. I’ve seen these letters. They have invited me to post them but I’ve declined in the interest of keeping people out of trouble.   One merciful upside to all of this is that there is no more talk of lockdowns. At last, even the experts are saying that society must function. Lockdowns are not even being considered. The whole country is fed up with the phony baloney enterprise of virus control. It did not and cannot work.  Nearly two years ago, they deployed a new experiment in stopping a pathogen. It was a plan that was 15 years in the making, hatched by fanatics who imagined that state policy could outwit a virus.  The wreckage was astonishing, and yet what was the payoff? Here we are today with a wave of sickness that defies every prediction, and with collateral damage beyond even the worst predictions (including my own). And the truth of this is all over the data that anyone can see and the stories that anyone can hear.  The country is right now sicker than it has ever been in our lifetimes.  What a stunning repudiation of state policy – the worst failing of public health and public policy perhaps in the history of the US if not the entire world. We are right now living in its last days. Remember these days, my friends. They are legion and mark what is likely the end of the great fiasco.  And yet it is not really the end. There will be decades of hell to pay for what has happened to us.  Tyler Durden Tue, 01/04/2022 - 16:21.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeJan 4th, 2022