MILLVILLE, Ky. – The whiskey quit flowing decades ago from a landmark Kentucky distillery housed in a picturesque castle. Nearly a half-century of neglect reduced the one-time tourist draw to a decaying relic.Now, two newcomers to the whiskey business have resurrected the Old Taylor distillery and renamed it. And along with bourbon and rye, they hope once again to generate tourism.Will Arvin and Wes Murry saw potential where others perceived only blight. In the past four years they’ve spent millions to restore the old glory of the castle-like entrance, sunken garden and colonnaded springhouse.“The spirit of the place really called to us,” Arvin said. “The bones of the building were solid. And we could just see through the decay and the brush to know that this place really needed to be brought back and saved as an iconic place.”Renamed Castle & Key Distillery, the facility resumed spirits production in late 2016 — the first year whiskey was produced there since the distillery shuttered in 1972.On Wednesday, the grounds reopened to visitors.Arvin and Murry are following in the footsteps of the distillery’s founder, Col. E.H. Taylor. A bourbon giant of his time, he built the Old Taylor distillery in the late 1880s and made it a forerunner of today’s bourbon tourism business. Ownership eventually passed to National Distillers, and production ended during a lean time for bourbon producers.Now bourbon sales are booming again, and the new owners are preparing bourbon and rye whiskey to hit the market under the Castle & Key label. The brown spirits are still maturing in barrels nestled in the distillery’s warehouses. Master distiller Marianne Eaves hopes rye can make its debut in about a year, and says the brand’s bourbon could be ready in 2021.“We’re letting flavour drive the decision on the release date,” she said.Murry said they hope to turn a marginal profit within a couple of years. In the meantime, the owners have found other ways to generate income. The brand’s vodka and gin reached store shelves in April. The distillery also produces bourbon and rye on contract for several corporate customers.Tourism should help the bottom line, especially if the iconic facility joins the Kentucky Bourbon Trail.Kentucky Distillers’ Association President Eric Gregory is among those predicting tourism success for Castle & Key. The central Kentucky distillery between Frankfort and Versailles sits a few miles from the Woodford Reserve and Buffalo Trace distilleries.“It will be one of the most visited bourbon tourism sites in Kentucky — quickly,” Gregory said.Bill Samuels Jr., who retired after a long career as top executive at Maker’s Mark, remembers admiring the castle-like distillery on a boyhood trip with his father. As years passed and the decay took its toll, he wondered if it would ever return. Twenty-five years ago, there was exciting talk of a restoration — but it came to nothing. Finally, he said, “we just gave up, thinking this will never happen.”Enter Arvin and Murry. Looking to become a distillery owner and tap into bourbon’s resurgence, Arvin discovered the Old Taylor site on the internet. A mutual friend connected him with Murry, 40, who was looking for an entrepreneurial venture.They paid about $950,000 for the distillery in 2014. Restoring it took longer and cost more than expected, and it meant career changes. Arvin, 51, left a law career behind; Murry worked in finance.The enormity of the renovation would have driven many to drink. Most of the windows were boarded up. One storage warehouse had collapsed. Roofs were failing. The grounds were a jungle of weeds.“You only walked where animals had beaten a path,” Murry said. “That was how you got around.”Gregory, who trudged through the thicket with Arvin during an early visit, said, “You were expecting some ghost at any moment … because it was just so overgrown and so abandoned.”Eaves, 31, was a rising star during her time at Brown-Forman Corp., whose products include Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey and Woodford Reserve bourbon. She was drawn by the Old Taylor site and the new owners’ ambitious plans to revive it. Creating the Castle & Key spirits lineup as master distiller seemed a “once in a lifetime opportunity” when she signed on in early 2015. Soon, though, the size of the challenge became apparent — and that was long before whiskey was mentioned as a tariff target in an international trade war.“We didn’t have any heat, no running water, no restrooms,” she said. “It was a stark change from working at a very comfortable corporate job to coming to this start-up environment.”Now, the distillery hums with activity seven days a week. The workforce is 60 and growing. The grounds are manicured, thanks to renowned Kentucky landscaper Jon Carloftis, and a quarter-mile botanical walking trail beckons.Gregory said the hidden treasures among Kentucky’s abandoned distilleries “are getting very few and far between.” But as Castle & Key achieves more milestones, he thinks some of the prospective buyers who passed up the chance might regret their decision.“They’re probably kicking themselves already,” he said.
4 November 2008Crown Prince Haakon of Norway, a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), is conducting a three-day visit to Mongolia as part of his efforts to promote the global anti-poverty targets known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Crown Prince Haakon of Norway, a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), is conducting a three-day visit to Mongolia as part of his efforts to promote the global anti-poverty targets known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).The Crown Prince began his visit to the Asian country yesterday, touring a community development centre in the Khoroo district of the capital, Ulaanbaatar, where many families have moved in search of new opportunities, according to a press release issued by UNDP.The community development centre aims to provide education and other opportunities to children in a district plagued by high unemployment and poverty, poor sanitation and a lack of basic social services.UNDP has provided leadership training for the local residents who have helped establish the centre, which also offers vegetable growing, nutrition training and classes for school drop-outs and children with disabilities.“Today, Mongolia stands at a crossroads to decide whether it will make full use of its economic growth to reach the Millennium Development Goals,” the Crown Prince said, referring to the targets that are supposed to be achieved by 2015.Since becoming a Goodwill Ambassador in 2003, the Crown Prince has visited Burundi, Guatemala, Sierra Leone, Cambodia and Tanzania for UNDP.
CALGARY — Pershing Square Capital Management has announced a public offering of more than 5.9 million shares of Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. that would have a value of more than $880-million at market prices.The deal makes good on a pledge by activist investor Bill Ackman back in June to divest seven million CP shares within a year, taking advantage of a big run-up in the railway’s stock.Ackman led a bruising proxy fight against the railway’s previous management aimed at wringing greater value out of CP stock.Since ousting former CEO Fred Green and replacing with veteran railway executive Hunter Harrison, the company stock has been on a roll.The issue closed up more than 10%, or $13.79, at a best-ever $148.53 on Wednesday on the Toronto Stock Exchange after CP reported record earnings and revenue and its best-ever operating ratio, a measure of a railway’s efficiency.The stock fell 58 cents to $147.95 on Thursday.The offering of just under 5.97 million shares by funds managed by Pershing Square will be underwritten by Credit Suisse, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley.The Canadian Press
Matters of major concern raised by Nasheed’s lawyers are : In view of the above facts his lawyers say they are extremely concerned for the personal safety of Nasheed should he enter the police premises.“Upon assessment of the facts surrounding the summons, we conclude that this summons is an attempt by the Government to thwart the progress of the Commission of National Inquiry and former President Nasheed’s participation in upcoming elections,” the lawyers said. 1. Former President Nasheed was selected as the official Presidential candidate of the Maldivian Democratic Party through party primaries held on 16 June 2012 by 32,305 votes (MDP membership is 48,393). The Waheed administration is currently demonstrating a clear pattern of abuse of power and tactics aimed at removing Nasheed from the upcoming Presidential race.2. President Nasheed resigned from office under duress. The factions of the police force, which are still in power, orchestrated the ouster of Nasheed from office. It is notable that the law categorically requires that in the case of a former President, he/she be addressed as “former President.” However, the police, in their letter addressed President Nasheed as “Mr. Nasheed” and this shows Police’s extreme disrespect towards Nasheed. Furthermore members of the security forces have openly issued death threats to Nasheed. Former Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed is to be questioned by the police over allegations he is responsible for attacks on police property during political unrest in the country.According to his spokesman, Nasheed has been ordered to be present at the police headquarters on Thursday to respond to the charges raised against him. 3. The letter to summon Nasheed is baseless and fails to state any specific charges. The letter refers indirectly to attacks on police, vandalizing of police property and claims that their observations have led them to believe Nasheed is responsible for such events.4. The Commission of National Inquiry, the body charged with investigating the events leading to Nasheed’s resignation from office, is currently active in its ongoing investigation and is making rapid progress.5. There have been numerous calls for Nasheed’s arrest by prominent politicians within the ruling coalition, and numerous attempts have been made by the police to arrest him. 6. Nasheed has been assaulted by the police on various occasions since his resignation from office, and these instances are still being investigated by the Police Integrity Commission. “It is with deep concern that we note that President Nasheed has been issued a summons to appear at police Head Quarters on the 2nd of August 2012 in connection with a criminal investigation at a time when the political and legal environment of the country is under unprecedented stress,” his lawyers said in a statement.
President Maithripala Sirisena has refused to give nominations for Western Province (WP) Chief Minister (CM) Prasanna Ranatunga to contest the Parliament election under the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA), sources close to Ranatunga told the Colombo Gazette.Ranatunga is to meet former President Mahinda Rajapaksa tomorrow to discuss the latest developments and is also expected to convene a media briefing to announce his next step. Sources said that Ranatunga is prepared to contest the election under another political party if the President refuses to reverse the decision not to give him nominations from the UPFA. Ranatunga is being investigated by the police Financial Crimes Investigations Division (FCID) over allegations surrounding a land deal. Ranatunga had last week denied allegations of corruption made against him and his wife after his wife was also questioned over the same land deal. (Colombo Gazette)Report by Ashanthi Warunasuriya
The appeals chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) ruled that the trial chamber had erred when it sentenced Dragan Nikolic to 23 years’ jail because it gave too much weight to the possibility that he might receive an early release.Summarizing the judgment, Judge Theodor Meron, who presided over Mr. Nikolic’s appeal, said the trial chamber had “clearly – although not expressly – entered into a calculation to reflect the practice of the International Tribunal of granting early release after the convicted person has served two-thirds of his sentence.”Four of the five judges hearing Mr. Nikolic’s appeal in The Hague – Judge Meron, Judge Fausto Pocar, Judge Mehmet Güney and Judge Inés Mónica Weinberg de Roca – upheld this ground. Judge Mohamed Shahabuddeen dissented. All other grounds of appeal were dismissed.Under a plea bargain agreement with prosecutors in 2003, Mr. Nikolic had pleaded guilty to four charges of crimes against humanity relating to his role as commander of the Sušica camp, close to the town of Vlasenica in eastern Bosnia and Herzegovina, in 1992.About 8,000 Muslim and other non-Serb men, women and children were confined to a hangar in the Sušica camp between May and October 1992 as part of an ethnic cleansing campaign in the area. Many were subsequently murdered.The tribunal found that Mr. Nikolic beat many inmates with weapons such as iron bars, axe handles, rifle butts, metal knuckles, metal pipes and truncheons. He also removed or assisted in the removal of female inmates knowing that they were to be raped or sexually abused at nearby locations.
With just six games left in the regular season, the Ohio State men’s ice hockey team, which sits fifth in the CCHA standings, will host second-place Western Michigan this weekend for a two-game series. OSU freshman defenseman Craig Dalrymple said he knows the Broncos are not satisfied with their standing in the conference and will play with a mission. “You obviously want home ice throughout the playoffs. They’re sitting at the top. They’re going to want to take that CCHA crown,” Dalrymple said. The Buckeyes have plenty to play for as well, as the league’s top five clubs will receive a bye in the CCHA Tournament. Junior forward Travis Statchuk said earning a bye would be “a great accomplishment and a great advantage” for his team. OSU returns home for four games after its trip to Alaska last weekend, where the Buckeyes won once and lost once. The players are battling the effects of returning home from a time zone four hours behind. Coach Mark Osiecki, who played collegiately at Wisconsin, said he remembers the difficulties of playing just one week after competing in Alaska. “That turnaround was tough. It was always very difficult after you’ve played Alaska,” Osiecki said. “More mentally than anything, we have to make sure we’re fresh.” Freshman defenseman Sam Jardine, who “didn’t get a whole lot of sleep (Monday) night” thanks to jet lag, said no excuses will be made once Western Michigan arrives. “I think it’s that time of the year that we know we have to be sharp regardless of the conditions,” Jardine said. The Broncos, who rank third nationally with 1.83 goals allowed per game, are strong defensively and on special teams. “They are going to make some progress on their power play,” Osiecki said. “They do a nice job on their penalty kill.” Osiecki said playing “extremely disciplined” hockey is key when facing a “well-coached team” like Western Michigan coach Andy Murray’s squad. Staying disciplined and out of the penalty box will be a major point of emphasis for OSU this weekend. “I think our depth is good. Our depth is part of our strength,” Osiecki said. “If you start getting in penalty situations, where you have to shorten your bench, it makes it very difficult.” Multiple players said they are excited to play a pivotal home series this late in the season. “If we do well this weekend we can jump up there in the standings,” Statchuk said. “There is a lot on the line. We have a great opportunity here.” Game one of the series is set for Friday at 7:05 p.m. at the Schottenstein Center.
He described his frustration at inconsiderate road users, who flout road safety regulations, admitting that motorists turning their attention away from the road was a particular concern for the father of two. ‘‘So we look at the road in a completely different way to other people. So, I do sometimes get irritated with people who are either using their mobile telephone or they are using their sat navigation systems and they are not concentrating on what’s around them.’’When the discussion ventured onto books, the Duke revealed that Margaret Craven’s novel, I Heard the Owl Call My Name, has proved to be especially poignant. He said: ‘‘Many years ago when I was in Canada I was given a book and it has always stayed with me, I Heard the Owl Call My Name and whenever I read it it always brings a tear to my eye and I’m not going to reveal anything about because you’ll see what I mean.”He also spoke about his highly successful entrepreneurial initiative Pitch@Palace. The Brilliant Minds Podcast is streamed on Spotify. The Duke, whose youngest daughter Eugenie will marry Jack Brooksbank in October this yearCredit:Mark Cuthbert/UK Press The Duke of York has revealed that he listens to House and Garage music in his car because the “headbanging nonsense” helps to keep him calm.He was discussing his views about how the power of art and music help to motivate people in an interview on The Brilliant Minds Podcast.He stated that though he does not generally use music to help him meet the demands of his busy life, the 90s dance genre often made its way onto his radio.When the Duke was asked by hosts Natalia Brezezinski and Juliet De Baubigny if he liked to play music by the composer Wagner, he said: ‘‘There are occasions where I listen to some very strange House or Garage on the radio in the car, just because it’s headbanging nonsense and for some reason it allows me to become completely calm and it doesn’t excite me.’’The Duke, whose youngest daughter Eugenie will marry Jack Brooksbank in October this year, stated that life as a member of the Royal family meant he was an especially vigilant driver. There are occasions where I listen to some very strange House or Garage on the radio in the car, just because it’s headbanging nonsense and for some reason it allows me to become completely calm and it doesn’t excite me.Duke of York He said: ‘‘There are occasions when I get slightly irritated with other road users who haven’t had quite the same level of training I’ve had, because I have been trained to the nth degree by security and all other things. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.
PopCap has a much deserved reputation for releasing polished games, but polish takes time. While the formula behind Bejeweled or Plants vs. Zombies may seem simple, that’s misleading: to get to that point, the guys over at PopCap have had to break down a game to its elements over and over again, throwing away anything that isn’t perfect.That makes PopCap’s development cycle incredibly time consuming, and goes a long way towards explaining why we haven’t seen Plants vs. Zombies 2 yet. Today, though, PopCap has announced an initiative to get more games out to their fan base quicker: they’re launching 4th and Battery, a self-proclaimed indie label within the company dedicated to rapidly prototyping and releasing smaller, less full-featured games.AdChoices广告“4th & Battery is a pressure valve intended to keep our heads from exploding,” explained Ed Allard, executive vice president of studios at PopCap. 4th & Battery gives us a way to quickly try really strange or marginal ideas, and to give our designers a safe area to hone their chops.”PopCap’s describing these games as being like short films, or B-sides, and they are launching with a game called Unpleasant Horse, in which players become a horse with wings that, as you probably guessed, kills birds. Maybe not full-game material, but it should be available free of charge on the iOS App Store later this month.Look out, Angry Birds. PopCap’s new studio is all about eating your lunch.Read more at 4th and Battery
LONGVIEW — The Port of Woodland is moving forward with a $1 million plan to bring high-speed internet and better cellphone coverage to rural communities in southeast Cowlitz County.Port commissioners voted unanimously April 19 to direct Executive Director Jennifer Keene to begin applying for federal and state grants to fund the project.Under the proposal, engineers will work with the Cowlitz PUD to place 28 miles of fiber line on 500 poles along state Highway 503 all the way to the Cougar.First proposed in June 2016 by Commissioner Paul Cline, the dark fiber plan was initially considered a long-term project. But with the port’s acquisition of 153 acres at Austin Point facing a legal challenge by Columbia Riverkeeper, the port is pursuing the dark fiber project first.The port initially completed a feasibility study along two routes. It determined that the Woodland-to-Cougar route offered the greatest return on investment. The route would also serve a larger population of residential, commercial and governmental needs, according to the study. A second route tracing the Columbia River could be added later.Woodland port officials worked with other officials from ports in Ridgefield and Whitman to model the project after similar dark fiber installations in those communities.
The Alaska State Troopers are looking for a missing fisherman in the Willow Creek area.Download AudioJerry Warner. (Photo courtesy Matanuska-Susitna Borough)According to the troopers, 71 year old Jerry Warner of Missouri left the Willow Creek Resort at about 11:00 am on Sunday to go fishing by himself. He planned to be away for a few hours. When he did not return by 7:30 pm, the troopers were contacted and a search began. On Sunday night, teams on foot as well as a Mat-Su Borough boat searched the creek until midnight, but found no sign of Jerry Warner.On Monday morning the search resumed with the addition of an Alaska State Trooper helicopter and four search and rescue dog teams. As of late Monday morning, no sign of Warner has been discovered.According to the troopers, Warner was carrying only a fishing pole, and has no survival gear with him.
Continuing its aggressive acquisition strategy, US-based information technology major Cognizant on Friday announced that it will buy Australian insurance consulting and IT firm Adaptra for an undisclosed sum.According to Economic Times, Adaptra works with five of the top ten insurers in Australia and New Zealand and this acquisition would strengthen Cognizant’s position in insurance domain.The report also says that around 100 of Adaptra’s consultants would join the IT firm. “Adaptra’s high-end business transformation and Guidewire expertise will complement our deep digital business, operations and systems capabilities, and further enhance our integrated solutions spanning the insurance life cycle,” the report quoted the Head of Asia Pacific Region for Cognizant, Jayajyoti Sengupta, as saying.Interestingly, the announcement comes less than a month as the IT major agreed to buy Dutch company Mirabeau, which is a digital marketing and customer experience agency. Cognizant has plans to expand its digital expertise in Netherlands and other European countries.Analysts are of the view that Cognizant will have the necessary resources to go ahead with future acquisitions. “Our base case assumes that Cognizant has $5.3 billion of net cash in hand. This capacity allows for a steady pace of attractive tuck-in acquisitions, which we believe will be even better received by shareholders when done in conjunction with a consistent capital return programme,” senior portfolio manager at Cognizant Jesse Cohn was quoted as saying.
The Lyda Hill Texas Collection of Photographs in Carol M. Highsmith’s America Project, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs DivisionTrees draped with Spanish moss within the Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge, on the Rio Grande River border with Mexico in Hidalgo County, Texas.You can squeeze a lot into a spending proposal that’s 2,200 pages long and $1.3 trillion deep. But if you look at the fine print in the spending deal passed by Congress and signed by the president late Friday, you may notice something big in there when it comes to Texas – $1.6 billion in new border security infrastructure.“What this bill spells out is that the Rio Grande Valley will be getting about 33 new miles of border fencing,” says Jeremy Schwartz, an investigative reporter with the Austin American Statesman. “That is about half of what Border Patrol and the Trump administration had originally been seeking for this area.”Schwartz says 25 of the 33 miles are slated for Hidalgo County – home to McAllen and the bigger cities in the valley – and eight miles in Starr County, according to U.S. Rep. Filemon Vela, D-Brownsville.“[Hidalgo] county already has 30 miles or so of fencing, so this 25 miles will basically almost seal off the entire county,” he says. “With one sort of major exception, and that is the Santa Ana Wildlife Refuge, which was also specifically exempted for border wall construction by this bill.”Schwartz says the exception made for the Santa Ana Wildlife Refuge is no accident.“The Santa Ana area really became the centerpiece, the focus of all this protestthat was going on for the last year or so,” he says. “And it appears to have been successful. Border Patrol definitely had their sights set on Santa Ana, had been doing soil samples and engineering work out there. And at least for now, that plan is shelved.”Written by Jen Rice. Share
Kolkata: An elderly couple was roughed up by their daughter-in-law. The incident took place at English Bazar in Malda.The victims Santosh and Santana Chowdhury received injuries in the incident. They lodged a complaint at the local police station on the basis of which the police have started a detailed probe.The couple was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment. It was learnt that Santosh Chowdhury received an injury on his head. He is a retired government employee. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThe victims told police that their son got married to the accused woman around seven years ago. For past three years, the woman has started mounting pressure on them over property issues. The accused woman wants their entire property. As they refused to do so, their daughter-in-law started abusing them.The incident turned ugly on Friday when the accused woman beat them up badly and tore their clothes.It was alleged that she also tried to steal some valuables from the house. The incident occurred when their son was away from home on Friday morning and triggered tension in Deshbandhu Nagar area of English Bazar.Locals rescued the elderly couple and sent them to hospital.They were later released. The police have assured the victims that a probe has been initiated and action will be taken against the woman who left her in-laws house immediately after the incident.
It is very rare to find people who think for others welfare and especially if they themselves are occupied by their work. But here is a person, who, with all her heart, is continuously working towards the welfare of underprivileged children and women. Dr Rekha Mehra is a trained classical dancer, who has acquired a unique style of her own. An exponent of Kathak Dance, Choreographer, Guru and social activist, she has skilfully blended Indian mythology with traditional dance style along Jaipur and Lucknow Gharana. From last five years she is teaching dance & music to underprivileged children. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfShe has performed for several International festivals in India and abroad namely – Lucknow Mahotsav, Mahakhumbha, International Trade Fair, Khajuraho Festival, Festival of India, Common Wealth Games Programme, Sharjah festival, Onam festival in Maldives and many more. “I have been teaching and learning dance for the past 35 years and when I saw these girls from the underprivileged section of our society, I thought about helping them in any way I can. I thought it would be amazing if I could promote them in any way possible,” says Dr Mehra who has been previously associated and empanelled with Ministry of culture, Govt of India, ICCR, Zonal cultural centers, Sahitya Kala Parishad and Sangeet Natak Akademi. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveShe has choreographed few dance and thematic events for the promotion of physical, social and mental well-being of Women and children like HIV-AIDS ‘Nidaan,’ Global warming, Women empowerment, war and peace, Dhani, Chunaria, Road safety, Athithi devo bhava, Save girl child, Ladli, Bhagidari mela in front of National and International audience.Her performance on February 25 at CGO Complex, Scope convention is the first for the underprivileged children along with Dr Mehra on stage. It is a Kathak Dance recital and ballet on Buddha. “Why are people getting more inclined towards Buddhism and chanting? It is because we all live a stressed, unhealthy life and this is the reason why this performance is based on the teachings and the life of Buddha.”
Image: Tony Ashby Source = ETB News: P.T. “We risk in Australia sometimes falling into the trap of not being realistic about what’s happening in the world,” Mr Packer said during an interview with Macquarie radio this week. “If you look at the biggest tourism success stories in the world they’re man-made attractions.” Australian business mogul and entrepreneur James Packer claims “Australian tourism has underperformed dramatically” and international tourists are yearning for man-made attractions. Following the NSW Government’s endorsement of the corporate magnate’s AU$1.5 billion Barangaroo casino development in Sydney, Mr Packer highlighted the need for manufactured magnetisms. Mr Packer believes the rise of China and the beginning of the Asian Century is upon us and Australia stands to benefit immensely in terms of tourism development and commercial opportunities. “When these people come they will spend money in Sydney and New South Wales and that will create taxes, that will create jobs, that will create on-spend and I think there will be a big economic benefit for everyone,” Mr Packer said.
InterContinental Wellington named Australasia’s Leading Conference HotelInterContinental Wellington named Australasia’s Leading Conference Hotel 2018 at World Travel AwardsWellington’s five-star hotel, InterContinental Wellington, was named Australasia’s Leading Conference Hotel at the annual World Travel Awards held last night in Hong Kong.This accolade now places InterContinental Wellington in the running for the title of World’s Leading Conference Hotel, to be announced early December following the next round of voting. Voting will take place by former guests and travel agents worldwide.“Our team take great pride in ensuring a memorable experience is had at all touch points from the planning phase through to the event dates. Our spaces and technology when combined with the experience and expertise of our team has long established InterContinental Wellington as the leading Conferencing Hotel in Wellington, and to receive Australasian-wide recognition is an honour” said InterContinental Wellington Director of Sales & Marketing, Marna van Blerk.Offering the most technologically-advanced conference spaces in Wellington, features include interactive whiteboards whereby presenters can wirelessly connect via iOS and Android devices, retractable projector screens and data projectors, wall mounted touch-screen control panels for lighting, sound and visuals, and conference menus that allow for tailored individuality.Drawing on the experience of the global brand, the InterContinental Meetings product is designed to inspire delegates and drive results, with the dedicated team understanding what it takes to create truly memorable meetings and events. When paired with a variety of accommodation options including 236 guest rooms and suites, guests will have the option to mix business and pleasure with Wellington’s largest collection of hotel facilities.InterContinental Wellington provides meeting organisers and delegates alike the most centrally-located and experienced global five-star hotel in New Zealand’s capital city.InterContinental Wellington’s Presidential Suite was also recognised last night, named as New Zealand’s Leading Hotel Suite. Source = InterContinental Wellington
March 14, 2016 520 Views Home Flipper Redfin Ten-X 2016-03-14 Staff Writer Homes bought specifically to resell within a year for profit, or flipped homes, recently captured the industry’s attention with major gains in store for investors.According to a Redfin report, flipped homes made up an estimated 3.1 percent (43,000) of all home sales in 2015, down from 46,000 in 2014. Flips were at their highest in 2005 during the housing boom at 4.4 percent (95,000) and lowest in 2008 at 1.4 percent (16,000) during the bust.”Even though it reflects such a small portion of sales, flipping activity can tell us a lot about overall market conditions,” Redfin said. “Investing in a flip involves making a bet on the market. It’s a vote of confidence that prices will appreciate, that value added by any improvements will outweigh the costs, and that a buyer will want to buy the home for the higher asking price.”The report found that home flippers gained the most from their flips in 2015 at an average of $102,400 per home, the highest gain ever recorded. Redfin noted that “gain does not equal profit as we do not know how much each flipper invested in renovations and updates.” New Opportunities Open Up for Home Flippers in Daily Dose, Headlines, News Rick Sharga, Chief Marketing Officer at Ten-X, sat down with MReport to reveal what the uptick in home flipping means for the housing market and what new opportunities lie ahead for home flippers in the market.MReport: What does this news mean for home flippers? The housing market as whole?Sharga: One of the things not mentioned in the Redfin report is that there will likely be an increase in the number of properties coming to market that are ideal homes for flippers. States with long, cumbersome judicial foreclosure processes—New York, New Jersey, Florida, Illinois and Maryland, for example—are seeing increased REO activity, as properties that have been in foreclosure for years are finally working their way through the system. These homes are often in a state of disrepair that’s too severe for typical owner-occupants, but because they’ll also be deeply discounted, they represent terrific opportunities for flippers.This is good news for the housing market for a few reasons. First, it will provide desperately-needed inventory at a time when the supply of homes for sale nationally languishes at about four months. Given the types of properties involved, these flips might even provide some opportunities for first-time homebuyers, who have been largely missing in action during the housing recovery. Finally, it will transform distressed, deteriorating properties into move-in ready homes that will sell at or close to full market value, protecting the home prices of other properties in the neighborhood.MReport: Although flips were not bad in 2015, they are still below the housing boom numbers. Is there any chance they will reach this level again? Under what conditions?Sharga: As long as home prices continue to rise, – especially in a market where there is extremely limited inventory of existing homes for sale, where demand seems to be outpacing supply—there will be opportunities for flippers. The majority of investors who buy properties using our Auction.com platform tell us that they plan to fix and flip, rather than hold for rent, so the market is primed for flipping to grow more than it already has.It’s not likely, however, that we’ll see flipping hit the volume it hit during the housing boom of the mid-2000’s. Flipping, like a lot of other trends that we saw in the housing market then, was driven by conditions that, fortunately, no longer exist: massive, rapid home price appreciation; bad loans made on these over-priced properties; and far too many would-be real estate investors getting in over their heads. Share
The Ups and Downs of Home Sales Existing home sales recorded an increase in May for the first time in two months, rising 2.5% from the month prior, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). The total number of home sold increased to 5.34 million in May, which is a decline of 1.1% from a year ago.“The purchasing power to buy a home has been bolstered by falling mortgage rates, and buyers are responding,” said Lawrene Yun, Chief Economist at the NAR.According to the report, the median existing home price for all housing types in May increased 4.8% to $277,700, and is also the 87th straight month of year-over-year gains.May’s housing inventory increased to 1.92 million, up from 1.83 million in April, and a 2.7% increase from last year. Unsold inventory is at 4.3-months supply, which is a slight increase from April’s 4.2-months supply.Housing supply remains at historic lows, according to the NAR, and Yun said “solid demand along with inadequate inventory of affordable homes” have caused home prices to rise.A factor in the low supply figures, according to the First American Financial Corp., is that the housing market is entering an unprecedented “homebody era,” with homeowners staying in their homes for record times.“Before the housing market crash in 2007, the average length of time someone lived in their home was approximately five years. Average tenure length jumped to seven years during the aftermath of the housing market crisis between 2008 and 2016,” said Mark Fleming, Chief Economist at First American. “The most recent data shows that the average length of time someone lives in their home reached 11.3 years in May 2019, a 10% increase compared with a year ago.”Fleming added that the 30-year fixed rate mortgage has fallen to its lowest point since January 2018, and many homeowners don’t have an incentive to sell.“Two trends are driving the increase in tenure length. The majority of existing homeowners have mortgages with historically low rates, so there is limited incentive to sell if it will cost them more each month to borrow the same amount of money from the bank,” said Fleming. “While mortgage rates have come down compared with last year, they are still below the 3.5% mortgage rates of 2016.“The second trend influencing tenure is seniors aging in place. A recent study from Freddie Mac shows that if seniors and adults born between 1931-1959 behaved like earlier generations, nearly 1.6 million housing units would have come to market by 2018. Improvements in healthcare and technology have made ageing in place easier, which has meant fewer homes on the market.” June 21, 2019 624 Views in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, News 2019 Housing Market existing home sales report 2019-06-21 Mike Albanese Share
Go back to the e-newsletter >Queen Mary 2’s renowned Queens and Princess Grill suites and restaurants will undergo lavish enhancements in May and June 2016, inspired by some of the world’s finest five-star hotels.The exclusive benefits of the historic Grills experience will remain unchanged, but all 172 Grills suites on the Queen Mary 2 will receive a restyling, reconfigured to maximize space.Cunard’s award-winning Grills dining experience is already considered the best at sea and will also receive enhancements as well, including more tables for two, increased space between the tables and additional loose tables.There will again be a clearer differentiation between the Queens Grill and Princess Grill restaurants through design, colour scheme and furnishings.Angus Struthers, Cunard Director, says: “I am confident that the new Grills experience on board the world’s most iconic ship will attract even more accolades and exceed the expectations of all those who book to sail Queens Grill or Princess Grill.”Go back to the e-newsletter >