Tag: draws

Thanksgiving Draws Travel to a Pandemic Peak

The weekend after Thanksgiving met expectations that it would be the busiest travel period in the U.S. since the coronavirus pandemic began, aided by clement weather and lower gas prices that encouraged some to drive rather than fly.

Almost 50 million people were expected to have made a journey during the Thanksgiving holidays, said AAA, despite tightening local clampdowns and warnings from federal health officials. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Nov. 19 recommended people not travel over Thanksgiving.

The number of travelers from Nov. 25 through Nov. 29 was down more than 10% from a record set last year, according to AAA, which includes flights and road trips of more than 50 miles. Airlines, which boosted capacity earlier in the month only to trim flying when cancellations started to climb in recent weeks, said traveler numbers were in line with their revised expectations.

The Transportation Security Administration said that its workers screened more than 964,000 people on Saturday, down 37% from a year earlier, and more than a million on Nov. 25, the busiest flying day since March. TSA said that it expected screenings on Sunday to be higher than that.

Travel flows were helped by the lack of winter storms that blighted travel last year, triggering thousands of scrubbed flights in the Northeast and on down the East Coast. Only around 200 flights were scrubbed across the country over the weekend, with the total number of flights down by around a half from a year ago.

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Proposed Winter Park hotel on Lake Killarney draws ire and praise from the neighborhood

WINTER PARK — Developer Adam Wonus wants to build the Henderson Hotel, a five-story luxury lodging on the banks of Winter Park’s Lake Killarney beside the Hillstone Restaurant where he proposed to his wife 10 years ago.

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But not all of the people who live in the neighborhood around the lake agree with Wonus’ vision for the property.

“It’s residential,” said 25-year resident Nort Northam sitting in his chair by the lake. “We’re not Kissimmee, and we’re not International Drive, and that’s what they’re trying to make us into.”

The latest plans for the project, which was pulled a year ago for revisions, will get their first public hearing at Winter Park’s Planning & Zoning Board meeting on Dec. 1. Residents, both for and against the hotel, are gearing up for a challenge.

“This is Winter Park,” said the city’s director of planning and community development Bronce Stephenson. “You always get a pretty good-sized group who are for things and a pretty good-sized group who are against things.”

The hotel on the block from U.S. Highway 17-92 to the lake between Beachview and Fairview Avenues would feature 132 rooms, a 220-seat restaurant and a 7,500-square-foot ballroom and meeting space.

Wonus, owner and CEO of Atrium Management, sees the project as connecting to the history of Winter Park.

“The city was founded at a lakefront hotel,” he said, referring to an 1882 gala at the Rogers House Inn that the city adopted as its founding date.

Wonus, 37, said the stretch of 17-92 between Lee Road and Fairbanks Avenue was once home to more than 30 motels and lodges. Working with architect Baker Barrios, who designed The Alfond Inn for Rollins College, Wonus said he has tried to capture some of the classic Winter Park style.

“The hotel has some really unique elements that play to the history of Winter Park,” Stephenson said. “The architecture is a bit of a throwback. It’s definitely not modern architecture.”

But Jeanne Wall, who owns two homes on the northwest side of the lake, says these appeals to history are a ploy to sell the hotel to the public at the expense of the character of the neighborhood.

“It’s too big an ask,” she said. “They shouldn’t even be considering it.”

According to the public notice on the hearings, the project would require amendments to the Comprehensive Plan for future land use for the site. While the part of the property along 17-92 is already zoned commercial, three lots along the lake would have to be changed from residential use. It would also require a height variance for going over the city’s maximum of four stories in the area.

Neighbor Dave Sutphin, whose house is a block from the proposed site, said he would be happy for the change.

“My wife and I are both very significant proponents of what Adam is trying to do,” he said.

Sutphin says the block is currently a blight on the area. Only one of the houses

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