Tag: seeks

ND Parks and Recreation Department seeks advisory committee applicants

BISMARCK — The North Dakota Parks and Recreation Department is searching for applicants for the Recreational Trails Program Advisory Committee.

The Recreational Trails Program is an 80/20 matching grant program that provides funding for recreational trail projects.

The purpose of the RTPAC is to assist in ranking projects seeking federal trail funds administered by the North Dakota Parks and Recreation Department and to provide additional program guidance. Committee members are appointed by the Parks and Recreation Department director and required to be recreational trail users and represent trail interests.

Those considering applying should classify themselves as representing the following interests, per the Parks and Recreation Department:

  • A nonmotorized recreation representative.
  • An off-highway vehicle representative.
  • A motorized recreation representative.

Committee members serve three-year terms. The term will run from 2021 to 2024. Committee meetings occur at least once a year and members are reimbursed for mileage and hotel expenses if meetings are unable to be conducted virtually.

Interested parties must email parkrec@nd.gov before 5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 30. Include name, email address and phone number, desired category, county of residence and one to two paragraphs about why one wants to be considered.

For more information, contact Jolene Rieck, PLA, chief of planning and programs, or Char Binstock, grants coordinator at the North Dakota Parks and Recreation Department, at 701-328-5357.

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Devon Energy seeks buyer for Colcord Hotel in downtown OKC

Calls to CBRE were not returned on Friday.

Devon Energy’s plan early on was to eventually sell the hotel. Then CEO Larry Nichols told The Oklahoman it was “very likely” the hotel likely would be sold within four years because the company wasn’t the hotel business.

“I have never been in the hotel business and don’t want to be in the hotel business,” he said. “We are in the oil and gas business, and we try to focus on what we think we know something about.”

Coury continued to manage the hotel for a brief time before former Skirvin Hilton manager John Williams was hired to take over. In 2014 Devon hired Coury to return and manage the hotel.

Like many energy producers, Devon was hit hard by the collapse in energy prices earlier this year. For the second quarter of 2020, it posted a net loss of $670 million, or $1.78 per share, on total revenues of $394 million.

It also holds a massive amount of debt — $4.4 billion. However, only $558 million of that will mature during the next decade. Devon officials stated earlier this year it held $4.7 billion in liquidity, with $1.7 billion of that in cash.

Since then, Devon has closed on its deal to sell its assets in the Barnett Shale field for about a half-billion dollars, and announced corporate boards for both it and Tulsa-based WPX Energy plan to merge. If shareholders agree, officials expect that would happen during the first quarter next year.

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Thailand Seeks Travel Bubble Pact With China to Spur Tourism

(Bloomberg) — Thailand is in talks with China to establish a quarantine-free travel corridor by January to rescue its ailing tourism industry.

The agreement with Beijing will be subject to the success of a limited reopening of the Thai tourism industry to foreign travelers this month, according to Tourism Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn. China, which accounted for more than a quarter of Thailand’s tourist arrivals before the pandemic, will be the first low-risk country the Southeast Asian nation will sign up for quarantine-free travel, he said.

The current mandatory quarantine will be replaced by coronavirus testing and a mobile tracking application for the Chinese visitors if the return of foreign tourists does not lead to fresh Covid-19 outbreaks, Phiphat said. About 11 million Chinese holidaymakers visited Thailand in 2019, netting the country about $17 billion, official data show.

chart, pie chart: Big Spenders

© Bloomberg
Big Spenders

Thailand has struggled in its efforts to reopen its borders to tourists due to opposition from a section of the local industry and concern among the public that the government is ill-prepared to deal with a second wave of infections. But a pact with China may open the door for similar travel agreements with countries such as Japan, South Korea, Singapore and Taiwan, Phiphat said.


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“It can be a very happy new year as Thailand’s travel high season is the perfect time to allow people into the country,” Phiphat said in an interview in Bangkok on Thursday. “Most Chinese visitors come to Thailand for a week, so being quarantined would not be worth the trip for many.”

READ: Hong Kong-Singapore Travel Bubble to Reopen Financial Hub Links

The minister expects tourist arrivals to total between 5 million to 10 million next year, compared with an estimated 7 million this year. While Thailand has weathered the virus outbreak better than most other Southeast Asian nations, the pandemic has devastated its tourism industry, which netted more than $60 billion in revenue from about 40 million visitors in 2019.

First Batch

“China has about 800 million people in 22 provinces that have been free from infections,” Phiphat said. “If we can attract even just 1% of those people to travel here, that would already be plenty.”

The first group of visitors from China under a previously announced long-term tourist visa program will arrive in Bangkok on Oct. 20, the minister said. The government expects to issue about 1,200 visas a month under the program to help the industry that’s reeling from no foreign tourists arrivals for five months in a row.

“Thais don’t have enough money to boost the industry, so either way we have to find a way to bring in foreign tourists,” Phiphat said. “If we don’t receive any foreign tourists, our economy will suffer a heavy contraction.”

Thailand is also grappling with mounting anti-government protests, prompting authorities to impose a state of emergency in Bangkok on Thursday. The protesters are now planning more rallies in the capital and outside in the coming days, scaring away potential foreign

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NYT: Trump family seeks rent break for DC hotel from Trump administration

The Trump Organization has looked into changing the Trump International Hotel’s lease payments to the General Services Administration in recent weeks, according to The Times, which cited people familiar with the matter.

The DC hotel is housed in the Old Post Office building, a federally-owned property on Pennsylvania Avenue between the White House and Capitol building. The hotel is currently paying a monthly rent of $267,653 to the GSA, according to the GSA website.

CNN reached out to the Trump family and a spokesperson for the organization for comment but has not received a response. Eric Trump, one of the President’s sons who oversees the family business, confirmed the request to the Times and said they were asking the GSA about relief the agency may be giving other federal tenants.

“Just treat us the same,” Eric Trump told the Times. “Whatever that may be is fine.”

The GSA did not respond to requests for comment.

CNN has reported that Trump properties have collectively furloughed nearly 2,000 employees across several states as businesses are forced to close to stop the spread of the virus.

Trump International hotel workers were furloughed in Washington (237). Chicago (294 employees) and Las Vegas (552 employees). Trump International Hotel and Tower in New York furloughed 70 employees and Trump National Golf Club in Potomac Falls, Virginia, another 102 employees.

The coronavirus pandemic is costing Trump Organization properties over a million dollars in lost revenue daily, according to The Wall Street Journal. The Washington Post reported earlier this month the company has laid off or furloughed nearly 1,500 employees at its hotels in the United States and Canada.

Trump and his family have been barred from seeking relief from a Treasury Department $500 billion lending program included in the $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package he signed last month.

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