Tag: signs

Vista Tower changes name, signs up new hotel partner

The high-stakes name game for Chicago skyscrapers continues. In the city of the Sears — er, Willis — Tower and the former John Hancock Center, now known just as 875 North Michigan Avenue until a different sponsor comes along, there is a new name for Vista Tower, the city’s third-tallest building.

The 101-story luxury building due to get its first residents next month is now called the St. Regis Chicago. The owner, Magellan Development Group, announced the change Wednesday because it has a deal with St. Regis Hotels & Resorts, a premium brand of the Marriott chain, to operate the property’s hotel and provide butler service to condo owners.

The agreement replaces a deal with China’s Wanda Hotel Development, which backed out and sold its 90% stake in the tower to Magellan for $270 million. The withdrawal caused a couple of condo buyers to try to cancel multi-million-dollar purchases with Magellan, arguing Wanda’s absence made the project less attractive. The developer changed what it originally called the Wanda Vista Tower to simply Vista Tower.

Magellan’s announcement emphasized that St. Regis will ensure the Jeanne Gang-designed building will be an ultra-premium destination. It also said Chicago-based Alinea Group will provide fine dining in the tower.

“We truly thank and appreciate our buyers for their continuous support and faith in Magellan to deliver a world-class product,” said David Carlins, the firm’s CEO. He also mentioned financial backing from J.P. Morgan and Goldman Sachs.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

The entire building at 363 E. Wacker Drive in Lakeshore East downtown is due to be finished in the third quarter of 2021. Magellan is betting the coronavirus will have subsided by then, and demand for hotel rooms and high-end condos will rebound.

Peter Weidman, managing director in the Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking Division, called its involvement “a vote of confidence in Chicago’s real estate market and a true testament to our longstanding relationship with the Magellan Development team.”

The hotel in the St. Regis Chicago will have 191 rooms and there will be 393 condos. Magellan said the condos are priced from $1 million to $18.5 million.

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Mayor Caldwell signs vacation rental agreement with Expedia, Airbnb – Honolulu, Hawaii news, sports & weather

“We know there are bad actors out there, and this will help us crack down on them. While this is not a panacea, it’s a step forward,” said Mayor Caldwell. “For our residents who depend on this income, we want to provide an avenue for people to list their rentals in a legal, and transparent manner. This collaboration will also provide a step forward for effective enforcement of illegal vacation rentals, and ensures that our neighborhoods remain neighborhoods for local families.”

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One wounded in shooting at West Palm Beach hotel; police say no signs of foul play





Julius Whigham II, Palm Beach Post







One wounded in shooting at West Palm Beach hotel; police say no signs of foul play

WEST PALM BEACH — One person was wounded Monday night in what appeared to be an accidental shooting at a West Palm Beach hotel, city police report. 



a blue car on display: Police siren


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Police siren

The shooting occurred at about 8 p.m. at the Embassy Suites Hotel at Belvedere Road and Australian Avenue, near Palm Beach International Airport. The preliminary investigation revealed two people in the same room were handling a firearm when one accidentally shot the other, police said.

More: Salt Life co-founder fled fatal Singer Island shooting after ‘playing’ with gun, authorities say

The wounded person was taken to a hospital and was in critical condition Tuesday, city police said.

Police said the shooting didn’t appear to be foul play, although it remains under investigation. 

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@JuliusWhigham

This article originally appeared on Palm Beach Post: One wounded in shooting at West Palm Beach hotel; police say no signs of foul play

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Orange County comptroller sees signs of hope after September hotel stays bring in $7 million

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Orange County’s comptroller, Phil Diamond, said the tourist development tax dollars from hotel and resort stays around the county continue to go up after the initial plunge this spring due to coronavirus closures.

Diamond announced Monday the September numbers further the trend of increasing collections every month since April.

He said the county brought in TDT collections totaling more than $7 million for the month of September.

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Diamond said that’s a 60% decrease from the same time last year but he added, in looking at the numbers, there are signs of hope.

When you compare September, which is just over $7 million, to the more than $5.7 million in TDT dollars in August of 2020, that’s an increase of over 22%.

Diamond also said travel has slowly been increasing since the month of April, which he attributed to the fact that there hasn’t been widespread outbreaks of COVID-19 at the theme parks.

Diamond said September is the final collection month for the fiscal year, and in comparing the numbers from 2020 to last year, he said they’ve seen a 41% decrease in collections.

Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings said while the promising COVID-19 vaccine news reported by Pfizer was encouraging, he said they may not see a significant improvement in the TDT numbers until late first quarter or second quarter of 2021.

Copyright 2020 by WKMG ClickOrlando – All rights reserved.

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NFL rookie Kemah Siverand signs with Raiders, gets 2nd shot

Kemah Siverand is getting another chance. 

The cornerback who was cut from the Seattle Seahawks in August for trying to sneak a female guest into the team hotel – in violation of COVID-19 protocols – was signed to the Las Vegas Raiders’ practice squad on Tuesday. 

The Raiders also signed linebacker James Onwualu to the practice squad on Tuesday, and sent receiver Robert Davis and defensive back D.J. White to the practice squad injured list.

Seahawks released Siverand in August

Siverand, who went undrafted out of Oklahoma State, attempted to sneak a woman into the team hotel in August and was caught on surveillance footage. 

He even got creative in his attempt, dressing the woman up in Seahawks gear to disguise her as a player. 

At the time, the league was attempting to get its season going amid the coronavirus pandemic and had implemented strict safety protocols. The team didn’t give him any leeway with the incident, quickly cutting him. 

The 23-year-old apologized after losing his job. 

Kemah Siverand was cut from the Seahawks after trying to sneak a woman into the team hotel in August. (Brian Bahr/Getty Images)

“After taking time to reflect and really consider the seriousness of my actions, I have tried to find the appropriate words to apologize to all of those affected by my poor decision and immaturity,” Siverand wrote in a statement. “I’ve privately apologized to Coach [Pete] Carroll, [general manager] John Schneider, and the Seahawks organization. I violated team rules, which would have been unacceptable in normal times, but absolutely inexcusable now during a pandemic. I understand my lapse in judgement put my teammates and the organization at risk, thankfully no one else was affected by my actions.”

Though it’s just a practice squad spot in Las Vegas, Siverand now has another shot at making it in the league.  

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Ex-Seahawks rookie cut for sneaking woman into hotel signs practice squad deal with Raiders

Kemah Siverand is getting another chance. 

The cornerback who was cut from the Seattle Seahawks in August for trying to sneak a female guest into the team hotel – in violation of COVID-19 protocols – was signed to the Las Vegas Raiders’ practice squad on Tuesday. 

The Raiders also signed linebacker James Onwualu to the practice squad on Tuesday, and sent receiver Robert Davis and defensive back D.J. White to the practice squad injured list.

Seahawks released Siverand in August

Siverand, who went undrafted out of Oklahoma State, attempted to sneak a woman into the team hotel in August and was caught on surveillance footage. 

He even got creative in his attempt, dressing the woman up in Seahawks gear to disguise her as a player. 

At the time, the league was attempting to get its season going amid the coronavirus pandemic and had implemented strict safety protocols. The team didn’t give him any leeway with the incident, quickly cutting him. 

The 23-year-old apologized after losing his job. 



a man wearing a uniform: Kemah Siverand was cut from the Seahawks after trying to sneak a woman into the team hotel in August. (Brian Bahr/Getty Images)


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Kemah Siverand was cut from the Seahawks after trying to sneak a woman into the team hotel in August. (Brian Bahr/Getty Images)

“After taking time to reflect and really consider the seriousness of my actions, I have tried to find the appropriate words to apologize to all of those affected by my poor decision and immaturity,” Siverand wrote in a statement. “I’ve privately apologized to Coach [Pete] Carroll, [general manager] John Schneider, and the Seahawks organization. I violated team rules, which would have been unacceptable in normal times, but absolutely inexcusable now during a pandemic. I understand my lapse in judgement put my teammates and the organization at risk, thankfully no one else was affected by my actions.”

Though it’s just a practice squad spot in Las Vegas, Siverand now has another shot at making it in the league.  

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Hawaii’s short-term vacation rental business is still showing signs of struggle since the recent lifting of the COVID ban

COVID-19 restrictions banning short-term vacation rentals just lifted on Oahu, which moved into Tier 2 of its economic reopening Thursday.

That means roughly 800 short-term vacation rental properties on Oahu, which had been sidelined by Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s pandemic restrictions since April 7, are now allowed to resume business like their neighbor island counterparts.

Short-term rentals, which rented for 30 days or less and weren’t being used to quarantine guests, have been allowed to operate on Hawaii island and Kauai and in Maui County since the middle of June, when the state’s first pandemic-inspired interisland quarantine was lifted. That didn’t change even after Aug. 11, when a partial interisland quarantine was reinstated for the counties of Kauai, Hawaii, Maui and Kalawao.

Still, it’s not exactly been smooth sailing for vacation rentals statewide, which have suffered from a COVID-19-related plunge in travel demand just like hotels, airlines and any other member of Hawaii’s visitor industry.

Overall, travel demand in September was still depressed significantly by the requirement that all out-of-state passengers abide by a 14-day self-quarantine. It wasn’t until Oct. 15 that the state launched a pre-arrivals testing program that allows some travelers to bypass the quarantine.

Even before the pandemic, Oahu’s short-term rental industry was more restricted than in other counties. Honolulu allows short-term rental lodging only in resort and certain apartment-zoned districts, unless the property is one of the roughly 800 or so that were issued a nonconforming use certificate back in 1989 and have maintained it.

Ordinance 19-18, otherwise known as Bill 89, created means for the city to issue roughly 1,700 permits to allow bed-and-breakfast homes to operate. However, there’s a bill to push back the start date for permits to Jan. 31 because of the pandemic.

In September, Caldwell didn’t yet consider Oahu short-term rental as essential businesses. But the isle’s owners and suppliers realized the highest, albeit still low, September occupancy statewide.

According to a report released Friday by the Hawaii Tourism Authority, using data from Transparent Intelligence, Oahu’s vacation rental occupancy for September fell to 14.5%, a 59 percentage point drop from September 2019. Oahu’s vacation rental supply fell more than 56% to 97,989 units. Oahu’s demand dropped to 14,160 units, but the nearly 92% drop wasn’t quite as steep as that experienced by Maui or Kauai.

September occupancy at Maui County vacation rentals decreased 68.8 percentage points to 5.4%. Maui’s supply declined more than 48% to 151,521, and demand dropped more than 96%, the most of any island, to 8,151.

Kauai’s vacation rental occupancy fell 62.3 percentage points to 5.6%. Kauai’s supply fell nearly 49% to 62,133, while demand decreased nearly 96% to 3,500.

Hawaii island’s occupancy declined 49.2 percentage points to 10.7%. Hawaii island’s supply dropped about 57% to 89,813, and demand decreased more than 92% to 9,620.

Despite the economic devastation that tourism lockdowns have caused Hawaii’s vacation rental industry, not all Hawaii residents support allowing them to operate during the pandemic, especially since the the Honolulu Department of Planning

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