Category Archives: United States

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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A Boeing employee has tested positive for coronavirus in Washington


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grapier@businessinsider.com (Graham Rapier,Reuters) Business Insider March 10, 2020, 7:52 AM CDT

  • A Boeing employee in Washington has tested positive for the coronavirus, the company said late Monday. 
  • Coworkers of the affected employee have been asked to self-quarantine and monitor for any symptoms, Boeing said. 
  • Any other workers who are able to telecommute have also been asked to work from home.

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Is this the worst restaurant in New York City?


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Ottoman steak 🔪

A post shared by Nusr_et#Saltbae (@nusr_et) on

Rachel Paula Abrahamson TODAY March 4, 2020, 4:09 PM CST

Three years ago, a Turkish butcher named Nusret Gökçe became an internet phenomenon after he posted a video of himself stripping, slicing and then sensually salting a hunk of meat.

Salt Bae was born — and the internet couldn’t get enough … for a few months.

Today, Gökçe still boasts more than 26 million Instagram followers, who eat up clips of his over-the-top seasoning style. He’s also been able to use his viral fame to grow his branded empire of steakhouses and burger restaurants around the world.

Today, Gökçe operates over a dozen eateries, but his latest venture, a burger place in New York City called #SaltBae, is definitely not as popular as the man himself.

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The Fanciest Members-Only Restaurants In New York

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by Stephanie Maida · March 5, 2020

Fancy restaurants are a dime a dozen in the city, and even if you’re willing to pay extra for an upscale private dining room experience, nothing compares to the exclusivity or bragging rights of a table at one of New York’s members-only eateries. From exorbitant dues to table-timeshares, these coveted spots primarily serve up status, with a side of dinner.

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WS New York

While commoners can dine downstairs at The Tavern by WS, Wine Spectator’s exclusive club above it, WS New York, is reserved for members who are willing to pay a $15,000 initiation fee, and $7,500 in annual dues. The food, drink, and social club at Hudson Yards promises “unparalleled access to the finest wine and spirits, world-class dining, and one-of-a-kind cultural events.” The menu is curated by Chef Eli Kaimeh, formerly of Per Se and Gramercy Tavern, and the space is, as one would expect, very plush.

WS New York, 37 Hudson Yards



Chicago police boost mass transit presence amid crime spike


CHICAGO (AP) — A spike in crime on Chicago’s rail system and some recent high profile outbursts of violence has prompted the city’s police department to put 50 more officers in trains and on platforms and assign four detectives to investigate nothing but Chicago Transit Authority crimes, officials announced Friday.

Hours after the new security plan was unveiled, Chicago police said an officer shot a man on the platform of a CTA station in the Chicago’s River North neighborhood. Officers confronted the man after he was observed moving from car to car of a moving train, a city ordinance violation, said Deputy Superintendent Barbara West.

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