Category Archives: Vacations

Pandemic puts NYC hotels on the brink

It does appear that several big hotels in the NYC have announced that they are closing for good, and some experts say that more closures are in the near future.

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In the last two weeks, the 478-room Hilton Times Square and two Courtyard by Marriott hotels in Manhattan said they would not reopen, joining several others that had already closed for good, including the 399-room Omni Berkshire Place in midtown.  
PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

By Patrick McGeehan

Many of New York City’s biggest hotels closed their doors in March when the coronavirus wiped out tourism and business travel. The shutdowns were supposed to be temporary, but six months later, with no potential influx of visitors in sight, a wave of permanent closures has begun.

Sinking under the weight of overdue mortgage payments and property taxes, some hotels have already shut down for good, and many others are struggling to survive.

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Some hotels, including the Westin in Times Square, remain closed. About 25,000 hotel workers remain out of work.
Some hotels, including the Westin in Times Square, remain closed. About 25,000 hotel workers remain out of work.Credit…Chang W. Lee/The New York Times

“We love our jobs,” said Cristina Marino, who, along with her husband, worked at the Hyatt Centric Hotel in Manhattan until it shut down in March and they were laid off.
“We love our jobs,” said Cristina Marino, who, along with her husband, worked at the Hyatt Centric Hotel in Manhattan until it shut down in March and they were laid off.Credit…Chang W. Lee/The New York Times

Las Vegas Strip violence causes security, room rate increase



By Bailey Schulz Las Vegas Review-Journal

Several fights over the weekend along Las Vegas’ tourist corridor have caused at least one casino operator to increase both security measures and room rates in an effort to quell the violence.

Capt. Patricia Spencer, head of Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department’s downtown area command, addressed the media Tuesday afternoon to discuss the multiple events along the city’s tourist corridor over Labor Day weekend.

On Friday alone, downtown area command arrested 28 people and issued 27 citations. Spencer declined to offer details on where the incidents took place and did not offer figures for Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

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Plane skids off runway in India; 16 killed, dozens hurt

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NEW DELHI (AP) — A special flight carrying evacuees to India who had been stranded abroad because of the coronavirus skidded off a runway and split in two while landing Friday in heavy rain in the southern state of Kerala, killing at least 16 passengers and injuring 123 more, police said.

Abdul Karim, a senior Kerala state police officer, said the dead included one of the pilots of the Air India Express flight. He said at least 15 of the injured were in critical condition, and that rescue operations were over.

The two-year-old Boeing 737-800 flew from Dubai to Kozhikode, also called Calicut, in Kerala, India’s southernmost state, the airline said.

A similar tragedy to Friday’s was narrowly avoided at the same airport a year ago, when an Air India Express flight suffered a tail strike upon landing. None of the 180 passengers of that flight were injured.

Kozhikode’s 2,850-meter (9,350-foot) runway is on a flat hilltop with deep gorges on either side ending in a 34-meter (112-foot) drop.

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Hawaii extends travel restrictions


By: KTNV StaffPosted at 6:50 AM, Jul 14, 2020  and last updated 9:24 AM, Jul 14, 2020

The state of Hawaii is extending its restrictions to out-of-state visitors. 

Hawaii Gov. David Ige issued a mandatory 14-day quarantine for all arriving passengers, which applies to anyone who arrived after March 26.

Beginning Sept.1, the governor says anyone arriving in Hawaii will need a valid COVID-19 test within 72 hours prior to their trip – and show proof of a negative result – to avoid 14-day quarantine.

The islands are reporting around 1,200 cases.

Learn more on the Hawaii Tourism Authority website

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Giving Away the House? Las Vegas Resorts Reopen With Rock-Bottom Rates

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Cameron Sperance, Skift June 8, 2020, 11:30 AM CDT

Initial visitors to Sin City following coronavirus shutdowns may feel like they hit a jackpot before they even board a plane.

Some Las Vegas casino resorts reopened last week after Nevada lifted coronavirus restrictions that had been in place since late March. Travelers looking to book a room were greeted by an array of deals at normally expensive Las Vegas Strip resorts.

The five-star Bellagio had mid-week rooms for $125 per night later in the summer. Wynn Las Vegas offered a $150 per night weekend package at the end of June that included a $100 dining credit. The Cosmopolitan is waiving all self-parking fees, and other resorts like the Sahara Las Vegas said they would waive resort fees, sometimes known as “the most-hated fee in travel.

It wasn’t too long ago when travel analysts said offering steep discounts right out of a downturn would bake in further financial duress for struggling operators. But analysts argue Las Vegas is a different kind of travel animal and has enough revenue streams to make it pencil out.

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Florida Panhandle Beach Named Top in US by ‘Dr. Beach’


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What to Know

  • Stephen “Dr. Beach” Leatherman, a coastal scientist and professor at Florida International University, has been ranking the nation’s beaches for 30 years
  • It is one of two Florida beaches that were on the 2020 list released Thursday, along with Caladesi Island State Park at No. 6
  • Leatherman says he gives bonus points for beaches where smoking is banned and that are staffed with lifeguards

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Las Vegas launches new TV ad as resorts, casinos prepare to reopen: ‘A new Vegas for the new reality’

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Ed Komenda, Reno Gazette JournalUSA TODAYMay 18, 2020, 5:07 PM CDT

LAS VEGAS – As resorts prepare to reopen in the era of the coronavirus pandemic, tourism authorities here are pitching a “new Vegas for the new reality.”

On Monday, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority and R&R Partners – the advertising company behind the famous “What happens here” campaign – launched a new 30-second television spot, reports the Reno Gazette Journal, which is part of the USA TODAY Network. 

“The world has changed,” a narrator says, “and Vegas is changing with it.” 

The ad is a response to the post-pandemic Las Vegas landscape – one that shut down in March to stem the spread of COVID-19, leaving thousands out of work and resorts scrambling to develop reopening plans

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Alabama luxury hotel group prepares for full reopening by emphasizing safety: ‘We take this seriously’


By John Sharp | jsharp@al.com

Restaurants and spas that are a part of eight Marriott-brand hotels and conference centers owned by the Retirement Systems of Alabama and managed by PCH Hotels and Resorts will begin reopening next week following long closures during the coronavirus pandemic.

The hotel’s team, in an email to AL.com and other media outlets, is emphasizing safety as it begins reopening restaurants, spas and pools this week.

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Grand Hotel Golf Resort & Spa (Point Clear): Bayside Grill and Bucky’s Bar reopened Friday. Spa at the Grand reopens on Wednesday. Massage and facials will begin on Wednesday as well.

Renaissance Riverview Plaza Hotel (Mobile): Fathoms Lounge reopened Tuesday.

Battle House Renaissance Mobile Hotel & Spa (Mobile): Joe Cain Café reopened on Monday. Spa at Battle House reopened on Tuesday. Massages and facials will begin on May 27. Pool reopens Friday, May 22.

Renaissance Montgomery Hotel & Spa (Montgomery):House Restaurant reopened Friday. Spa at Montgomery reopens Friday, May 22 for massages. Hair, nails and facials will be added at a later date.

Marriott Prattville Hotel and Conference Center at Capitol Hill (Prattville): Oak Tavern reopened Friday.

Auburn/Opelika Marriott Resort & Spa at Grand National (Opelika): Splash Bar reopened on Thursday. Spa at Grand National reopens Thursday, May 21 for hair, nails massages and facials.

Renaissance Ross Bridge Golf Resort & Spa (Hoover):Clubhouse Restaurant reopened Tuesday. Spa at Ross Bridge reopened on Friday. Massages and facials begin Thursday, May 21.

Marriott Shoals Hotel & Spa (Florence): Swamper’s Bar and Grille reopened Monday. Spa at the Shoals reopened on Thursday for hair. Massages, facials and nails begin on Thursday, May 21.


How long can Las Vegas companies AND CASINOS survive a shutdown?


What the research shows 

Here’s a look at what Macquarie’s analysis found: 

  • Monarch Casino and Resort (Reno): 14.3 months, burning $300,000 a day.
  • Red Rock Resorts: 13.8 months, burning $1.7 million a day.
  • Golden Entertainment: 10.4 months, burning $1 million a day.
  • Boyd Gaming: 9.4 months, burning $3.2 million a day.
  • MGM Resorts International: 9 months, burning $14.4 million a day.
  • Penn National: 5.2 months, burning $6.4 million a day.

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Coronavirus and casinos: How long can Las Vegas companies survive a shutdown?

Quarantine motels spark fear in virus-struck Washington state

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Officials in Washington state have moved to fill four properties bought to house those unable to self-quarantine
Officials in Washington state have moved to fill four properties bought to house those unable to self-quarantine (AFP Photo/Michelle WALLARD MARTIN)

Michelle Wallar MARTIN AFP March 17, 2020, 1:25 AM CDT

Officials in Washington state have moved to fill four properties bought to house those unable to self-quarantine

Officials in Washington state have moved to fill four properties bought to house those unable to self-quarantine (AFP Photo/Michelle WALLARD MARTIN)

Seattle (AFP) – A project to set up “quarantine motels” in the US coronavirus epicenter of Washington state has infuriated local residents who fear they will be exposed to a high risk of infection.

More than half of all US novel coronavirus deaths so far have struck in King County, which encompasses the city of Seattle. The region has suffered 43 fatalities.

With the entire northwestern state going into lockdown Monday — bars, restaurants, gyms and museums are all closed — officials have moved to fill four properties bought to house those unable to self-quarantine.

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Kent mayor Dana Ralph has called for heightened security including physical fencing (AFP Photo/Michelle WALLARD MARTIN)
Kent mayor Dana Ralph has called for heightened security including physical fencing
Kent mayor Dana Ralph has called for heightened security including physical fencing (AFP Photo/Michelle WALLARD MARTIN)
The scheme is intended to relieve hospitals as resources grow increasingly stretched by the pandemic (AFP Photo/Michelle WALLARD MARTIN)
The scheme is intended to relieve hospitals as resources grow increasingly stretched by the pandemic
The scheme is intended to relieve hospitals as resources grow increasingly stretched by the pandemic (AFP Photo/Michelle WALLARD MARTIN)
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