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NEW YORK–()– #coronavirus–Barnacle Parking pivots manufacturing of vehicle immobilization devices to create and donate reusable face shields for first responders nationwide.
“Since our inception last July, we hit the ground running to accelerate the tourism economy,” said Brad Dean, CEO of Discover Puerto Rico. “This brand campaign follows a strong publicity effort that set up Puerto Rico as the top place to visit in 2019 and a recently revamped website, DiscoverPuertoRico.com.
“The creative highlights our two strongest assets – our culture and our people – and will help us strengthen traveler’s familiarity with what makes our Island one-of-a-kind.” The campaign officially launches today across digital channels via digital banners, social, pre-roll and a follow-up TV spot that will launch in coming weeks in key markets. Additional marketing support is expected throughout the rest of 2019, to attract visitors to the Island during the summer travel season.”
Discover Puerto Rico, Puerto Rico’s newly-established Destination Marketing Organization (DMO), announced today the rollout of Puerto Rico’s brand campaign called “Have We Met Yet?” which draws inspiration from Puerto Rico’s cultural and natural offerings and at its essence, focuses on the hospitable and welcoming nature of its people. By posing the question “Have We Met Yet?” the creative re-introduces the Island to the world and brings to life the exotic yet familiar essence of Puerto Rico. As the U.S. mainland’s “neighbor to the south,” the new campaign showcases through Puerto Rico’s iconic doors how the Island welcomes visitors with open arms.
Following extensive research that showed that Puerto Rico’s brand identity was neutral in the minds of travelers, this new campaign is this next phase of Discover Puerto Rico’s brand repositioning process, enabling the Island to fully capitalize on its rich tourism product offerings and emerge as a leading Caribbean destination. The creative repositions the island as that neighbor that one dreams of – with the festive flair, the ocean view, the incredible art collection, the delicious food. Puerto Rico is the neighbor you’ll laugh with, celebrate with, and maybe even fall in love with.
“Puerto Rico’s people, its rich culture and unparalleled natural offerings, combined with the fact that it’s a U.S. territory and easily accessible, were key factors that led to this creative. We’re excited to debut this brand campaign as it opens the door, literally, to endless possibilities that showcase the spirit of the Puerto Rican people and everything the Island has to offer,” said Leah Chandler, CMO of Discover Puerto Rico.
Travelers exposed to the new brand campaign will be immediately drawn by the colorful vibrant doors and stunning imagery found throughout the Island. The creative highlights many aspects that make Puerto Rico a unique destination—ranging from its people, its cuisine, its festive spirit, its natural attractions, and much more.
“The campaign invites travelers to visit Puerto Rico and meet us, the neighbor that you can’t live without,” said Chandler. “Puerto Rico was named the #1 Place to Visit in 2019 by the New York Times and has topped over 20 other notable lists of places to visit this year,” she added. “We want to send a message to all travelers that this is THE year to visit Puerto Rico. The entire island is eager to welcome them.”
The creative was ideated and produced by Beautiful Destinations, with support from local production crews who traveled throughout the Island to capture the beautiful scenery, thousands of colorful doors, and welcoming faces of the Puerto Rican people.
To view the “Have We Met Yet?” creative online, visit YouTube.com/DiscoverPuertoRico and be on the lookout for additional campaign creative coming soon.
The National Archaeological Museum of Taranto (MarTa) celebrated the return of important finds back home. Myth-Mania, rediscovered stories of men and heroes, speaks of objects taken from necropolises by grave robbers, and illegally smuggled out of the country.
Fourteen precious finds – Apulian red-figure vases, now displayed at the MarTa, have been returned to Italy by the Paul Getty Museum in Malibu, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and the Metropolitan in New York, thanks to the investigative work of the Command of the Carabinieri for the Protection of Cultural Heritage, and diplomatic negotiations of the MiBAC in synergy with the State Attorney and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The vases were produced on the turn of the fourth century BC in ancient Apulia, destined to satisfy the claims of refinement of the natives, who populated the lands around the Greek cities of southern Italy.
The volute krater- a vase originally intended for the symposium – at a time when men, according to the Greek fashion, at the end of the banquet mixed wine with water, honey and spices in this container and then poured it into the cups – it was used later for grave goods and testified to the wealth and sophistication of the burial owner.
Even the subjects that decorate the sides of the vases are funerary subjects. At the center of one of the two sides there are often stelae or small temples with statues, which reproduce the funerary monuments most in use at the time in Apulia.
The images painted on the vases can go back to telling stories of men and heroes who use the language of myth not for a simple “mania”, as the title of the exhibition provocatively suggests, but as a tool for sharing values and building identities among Greeks.
The director of MarTa highlighted the work she carried out for two years for the restoration of the vessels, following their finding in the MarTa’s museum storage shortly after taking office in 2016:
“Our museum is a great tourist attraction, explains the director. It boasts an annual turnout of 80,000 visitors including Russians, English, Americans and Chinese. Thanks to European funds (2.5 million euros), we are working at the Marta 3.0 project, which concerns the digitalization of the cataloging of over 40 thousand open data and open source exhibits, which means making an archaeological and artistic heritage available to all among the largest and most valuable in the world.
A FabLab is also being set up to allow the most representative works to be reproduced in 3D prints, thus activating valuable merchandising that will be supported by our internal boutique”.
Next to the exhibition of vases is the entire museum structure which on three floors houses exhibits of rare beauty: one above all the athlete’s sarcophagus.
A tourism promotion project.
The image of Taranto, always identified as an industrial and military (Navy) city, was destroyed following the environmental disasters caused by the Ilva industry.
For the last two years, the city has been experiencing a period of rebirth, explains the director Eva Degl’Innocenti, and in the absence of a tourism plan, the need to involve local authorities and private entrepreneurship to create a system for tourist reception with the revival of itineraries of Magna Graecia, involving Paestum, Naples and Reggio Calabria has become apparent.
The MarTa, is one of the richest archaeological museums in Italy, especially with regard to finds from the Greek-Roman period, including the famous collection of gold and silver found in the province of the famous city of Magna Grecia (Taranto) between the IV and the 1st century BC.
Having remained dormant for many years, the MarTa has implemented a revival by hosting highly successful exhibitions. Today museum is a great tourist attraction and boasts an annual turnout of 80,000 visitors including Russians, English, Americans and Chinese.
In celebration of Earth Day today, Delta is offsetting the emissions of all domestic leisure and business travel into and out of New York, Boston, Seattle, Los Angeles, Raleigh-Durham and Atlanta for over 300,000 customers across the country.
Plantable seed paper cutouts shaped like airplanes will be distributed on these selected flights to let customers know the environmental impact of their flight has been offset and inspire them to offset additional travel on delta.com/co2. Once planted, this special paper airplane will sprout non-invasive wildflowers.
“Delta led the U.S. aviation industry by launching the first carbon offset program in 2007, making it easy for customers to reduce the environmental impact of their travel,” said John Laughter, Senior Vice President – Corporate Safety, Security and Compliance. “Delta is also the only major airline to voluntarily cap carbon emissions at 2012 levels by purchasing carbon offsets.”
Since 2013, Delta has voluntarily purchased over 12 million carbon offsets, which is equivalent to the emissions from 1.7 million cars or electricity use for one year in nearly 2 million homes. This is more than any other U.S. airline. Today alone, Delta will buy almost 50,000 carbon offsets. To put this in perspective, 50,000 offsets will equal the emissions from more than 10,000 cars driven for one year.
Delta’s carbon offsets to benefit Conservation Coast project in Guatemala
Every offset Delta purchases today will benefit the Conservation Coast offset project, which provides environmental protection from deforestation and sustainable livelihood opportunities for communities in Guatemala. These offsets will help conserve over 400 bird species and 54,000 hectares of threatened rainforests situated along the Caribbean coastline of Guatemala.
The Conservation Coast project also supports sustainable livelihoods within local communities by teaching things like economically viable and environmentally sustainable agricultural practices that work with the environment rather than against it. To date, over 700 jobs are being supported by the project, 30 percent of which are held by women.
“At Delta, we believe connecting the world begins with caring for it,” said Laughter. “The offset projects we support are holistic, going beyond addressing the environmental impact of travel to provide resources, empowerment and financial opportunities to underserved communities like those involved in the Conservation Coast project.”
Offsetting is affordable. A roundtrip ticket from Atlanta to New York emits 0.28 metric tons of CO2, which can be offset for less than $5.
These offsetting efforts and more are why Delta was honored the Vision For America Award by Keep America Beautiful in 2017, recognized with Captain Planet Foundation’s Superhero Corporate Award in 2018, named to the FTSE4Good Index for four consecutive years, included in the Dow Jones Sustainability North America Index for eight consecutive years, given an honorable mention in Fast Company’s 2019 World Changing Ideas Awards and named one of America’s 100 most sustainable companies according to an in-depth Barron’s study.
If you live in New York, work in New York or are doing business in New York – there is only one appropriate drink to order…New York State wines.
New York State of Wine
The New York grape, grape juice and wine industries generate more than $4.8 billion in economic benefits annually for New York State. There are 1,631 family vineyards, over 400 wineries, producing 175,000,000 bottles of wine, generating $408 million in state and local taxes (www.newyorkwines.org). New York’s wineries also contribute to New York State’s exports and in 2012, 19.8% of the wine produced in the state was exported.
Wineries and satellite operations attracted more than 5.9 million tourist visits in 2012, spending $401+ million. The tourism industry (including wineries, hotels, restaurants, retailing, transportation) contributes over 6400 jobs to the state, for a total of $213+ million in wages. The tourist is particularly important to the farm wineries, with sales direct to consumers representing approximately 60 percent of total wine sales volume.
The winery industry directly employs approximately 62,450 people and generates an additional 14,359 jobs in supplier and ancillary industries which supply goods and services to the industry and whose sales depend on the wine industry’s economic vitality.
In excess of 101,806 jobs can be linked to the wine industry and these positions average $51,100 in annual wages and benefits. The total wages generated by direct, indirect and induced economic activity driven by the wine industry – $5.2 billon.
New York State Wines and Wineries (Curated)
At a recent Rockefeller Center/ Rainbow Room wine event sponsored by the Wine & Grape Foundation, Sam Filler, the Executive Director of the organization stated, “New York is home to the first bonded winery in the United States, making our state one of the oldest wine regions in the country.” The objective of the NY Drinks NY Grand Tasting, “…is to showcase the diversity, artistry and accessibility of New York’s wine and food landscape.”
The 8th Annual NY Drinks NY Grand Tasting offered access to over 200 wines from approximately 50 wineries across the state.
Located on the slopes above the southern end of Keuka Lake this winery showcases young vinifera and old hybrid plantings that range from 3-years (representing Cabernet Franc and Vignoles), to vines over 50-years of age (representing Leon Millot and Delaware vines).
Thanks to the Finger Lakes, the vineyard produces excellent fruit. The heat of the summer is retained by the lakes and moderates the extreme cold temperatures of the vineyards in winter. As spring approaches, the frigid waters moderate the warming air temperatures and act as a delay for bud break and lower the risk of frost damage.
The terroir is a glacial mix of glacially laid rocks, sand, silt and clay that has been deposited on the lower slopes above Keuka Lake providing for water drainage that is essential for vine balance and health.
The owner is Mel Goldman and the winemaker is Staci Nugent. Nugent attended Cornell and did graduate work in California in genetics. Making a career switch, she enrolled in the wine program at the University of California at Davis, receiving a Master’s degree in Viticulture and Enology. Nugent has worked with highly regarded wineries that include Ornellaia, Italy; Hardy’s Tintara Winery, South Australia; and William Selyem, Sonoma, California. Before joining Keuka Lake Vineyards (2008), she was a winemaker at Lamoreux Landing Wine Cellars.
Sustainable farming practices brings the Vignoles to our attention. The grape is made by crossing Seible and Pinot de Corton, is associated with the Finger Lakes and grows well in the gravel soils (glacial till).
Notes: Keuka Lake Vineyards. 2017 Turkey Run Vignoles
Light bright blonde to the eye, the nose is rewarded with lemons, honey, green grapes and sweet oranges, (lemons and oranges) while the palate enjoys citrus and other fruits with the sweetness tempered by a light acidity. Pair with seafood curry, Buffalo chicken wings, pepper and Swiss cheese.
Located on the east side of Seneca Lake (Hector, NY) in the Finger Lakes region, the winery started in 1998 by David and Debra Whiting and the 1998 vintage produced 1200 cases of Chardonnay, Riesling, Vida, Cayuga, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. The first white wines were released in July 1999.
Whiting is considered to be one of the top winemakers in the Finger Lakes Region. Current production of Red Newt Cellars is apprximately 20,000 cases with a white wine focus on aromatic varities: Riesling, Gewurztraminer and Pinot Gris. CIRCLE Rielsing is the most popular and widely distributed wine, made in a classic Finger Lakes style, with hints on tangerine and honeysuckle, citrus and peach on the palate.
Kelby Russell is the head winemaker at Red Newt and considered an expert in the art of cold-climate white wines. Thanks to the variable climate of the East Coast, he recognizes that the search for the “perfect wine” is a “false idol, “ finding that the role of the winemaker is to, “…artfully direct what comes into the winery into the best thing and the most honest expression of the year that you possible can.”
At Harvard (Class of 2009) Russell majored in government and minored in economics, was a member of the Glee Club and thought his career would follow a path that would lead to orchestra management. During a study abroad experience in Tuscany he discovered the art and science of making wine.
After graduation, when a job with Jazz at Lincoln Center did not materialize, he visited Fox Run Vineyards and thought he had an interview. The staff was busy with the harvest so he was handed a shovel and offered the opportunity to help on the “crush pad.” This was the begnning of his unpaid internships and he got to spend winters in New Zealand and Australia and autumns in the Finger Lakes as an intern.
His first salaried position in 2012 was with Red Newt as an assistant winemaker. David Whiting, the co-founder and winemaker, promoted Russell to head winemaker and the rest is history. He currently directs the Red Newt house styles and reserves and develops his own Kelby James Russell label with a focus on small-batch wines, from dry rose to Australian-style dry Riesling.
Notes: Red Newt Cellars. 2006 Legacy. Niagara Cream Sherry (Niagara grapes)
The Niagara grape develops into a long-aged solera sherry, creating a complex palate experience.
Bright golden yellow to the eye (think daffodils) with the nose picking up hints of honey, raisins, oranges, apricots, yellow apples, and spices. The finish to absolutely delicious, delivering honey, lemons and spices. Perfect as a dessert course or pair with Blue cheese and pate.
DWC was started by Lou Damiani, a Cornell engineer specializing in energy conservation, and Phil Davis. Damiani had an interest in winemaking and his education started in the field of food science before switching to engineering. In the 1990s he returned to study winemaking and mentored under Phil Hazlitt.
In 1996 Damiani wanted to plant Cabernet Franc and Merlot and visited an old friend and college friend, Phil Davis, who was also a viticulturist. They started the project and in 1997 Hazlitt pulled out a hybrid vineyard and planted Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir and Merlot. When their vineyards started producing in 2003 the next step was to make world class red wines.
Damiani was the head winemaker from 2003 – 2011 and he trained Phil Arras to continue and improve the DWC tradition. In 2007 Glenn Allen joined as a Business Consultant and later became a partner in the enterprise. Today DWC has four main vineyard sites with approximately 40 acres of land under vine and a new tasting room that hosts events and is the retail outlet.
Phil Arras, originally from Philadelphia, moved to the Finger Lakes in 2003 to attend Cornell University and majored in philosophy and political science. Inspired by a class on wine appreciation, Arrras changed his career focus to winemaking. He was hired by Damiani Wine Cellars in 2009 as the assistant winemaker and began “on the job” training. In 2012, Arras became head winemaker.
Notes: Damiani Wine Cellars. NV Marechal Foch “Vino Rosso” Finger Lakes. (Varietal may be a cross between Goldriesling and a Vitis riparia/Vitis rupestris or a cross between Gamay Noir and Vitis riparia – Oberlin 595).
Deep ruby color to the eye, an undertone of tomatoes runs alongside notes of plums and apricots and the tannins are so soft as to be obscure. Pairings might include pasta, barbeque and smoked gouda cheese.
Ted Cupp purchased 150 acres of frontage on Cayuga Lake from Robert and Mary Plan, trailblazers who started the Cayuga Wine Trail in 2001. During 2001 and 2002 he began construction on the winemaking facility and tasting room for the Thirsty Owl. In 2002, in cooperation with Shawn Kime, he planted Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Pinot Noir and Malbec. When the doors to the winery opened in 2002, Thirsty Owl had produced 1200 cases.
Today, the Thirsty Owl is synonymous with award winning wines, including the Governor’s Cup and the John Rose award for Rieslings. The Pinot Noir had the highest rated North American Pinot at the Taster’s Guild International Competition. Thirsty Owl produces Malbec and Syrah as well as blends, reds, whites and ice wine.
The winemaker and vineyard master, Shawn Kime, is originally from Romulus, New York and attended Morrisville College and Cornell University. Kime started to work in agriculture at the age of 14 and started winemaking after spending 2 years working with one of the earliest Finger Lake Vinifera growers.
The goal of the Thirsty Owl is to “…make changes in the vineyard and winemaking based on the year to produce wines that not only reflect our region but the growing season…. As a Finger Lakes native, I am proud of the fact that we are producing cool climate varietals that are on par with any region in the world.”
Notes: Thirsty Owl Wine Company. 2017 Traminette (cross between Gewurztraminer and Joannes Seyve 23.416).
To the eye, highlights of golden yellow. The nose finds apricots, peaches, pears, honey and fresh lemons as well as florals (especially roses and tulips) and a bit of spice. The palate is entertained with citrus and lemons, oranges and a bit of earth. The finish brings light acidity making it an interesting dessert wine.
Pair with spicy/sweet and sour sauces on chicken, pork and veal and Cheddar, Fontina and Gruyere cheese.
Benmarl (slate hill) Winery is located in Marlboro, NY and covers 37-acres and is considered to be the oldest vineyard in America (it holds New York Farm Winery license no.1). It was owned by magazine illustrator turned vintner Mark Miller from 1957 -2003. In 2006 Victor Spaccarelli purchased the vineyard and Matthew Spaccarelli is currently the winemaker
In the 17th century, wine was being made by the French Huguenots in New Paltz, New York. Andrew Jackson Caywood started his vineyard in the early 1800s. The community was incorporated as the Village of Marlborough, a cluster of grapes carved in its seal commemorated its major crop (1788).
Caywood became an important viticulturist and leading authority in the development of new grape varieties. The Miller family bought the Caywood property in 1957 and renamed it Benmarl. It was purchased in 2006 by the Spaccarelli family. They replanted many abandoned vineyards, refurbished the estate and carry on the tradition of experimentation, planting new hybrid varieties like Traminette as well as Old World vinifera.
Notes: Benmarl Winery. 2015 Baco Noir. Hudson River Valley
The Baco Noir, made from estate-grown fruit, brings dark plum hues to the eye, and delivers the aromas of dark plums, cedar and sage to the nose. On the palate are flavors of blackberry with hints of spice. Tannins give it a structure that is delicious and the finish delivers spice and black berry fruits. Benmarl has been producing Baco Noir for 50 years. Pair with pork roast, pasta with meat sauce, beef burgers with blue cheese.
The NY Drinks NY Event
The elegant Rainbow Room @ Rockefeller Center was the venue for the New York Drinks New York event. As an important wine trade events, many hundreds of wine buyers, sellers, sommeliers, wine educators, and writers convened to experience a wine-range of quality wines produced in New York State.
Wines of Distinction included:
Brotherhood Winery is the oldest continuously operating winery in America, producing wine for 180 years in Hudson Valley. It features one of the most modern bottling facilties for wine on the East coast, with a capacity of 1.5 million cases er year. A wine current featured focuses on low calories (approximately 90 calories per glass).
Glenora Wine Cellars
Glenora Wine Cellars produces award-winning Finger Lakes wines for over 40 years with a focus on sparkling wine and Riesling, sourcing grapes from 13 growers across four of the Finger Lakes. Glenora opened the first winery on Seneca Lake (1977).
Robin McCarthy is the owner and winemaker at Saltbird Cellars that started in 2014 and, based on the unique maritime terroir, developed Stainless Steel Sauvignon Blanc, Migratus Barrel Fermented Sauvignon Blanc and Stainless-Steel Chardonnay.
Hosmer Winery is located on Cayuga Lake in the Finger Lakes. Grapevine plantings date back to the 1970s and early experiments with plantings of classic Vinifera started in 1985. The 70-acre estate includes Rieslings, Chardonnays, Cabernet Francs as well as French-American hybrid varieties.
For additional information: @NYWineGrapeFdn and NYWineGrapeFdn
© Dr. Elinor Garely. This copyright article, including photos, may not be reproduced without written permission from the author.
Boston, Calgary, Perth and Macau – all associated with material wealth – have failed to make this list of the 15 richest cities in the world, compiled by market research firm New World Wealth.
The data gathered by the researchers reflects the total amount of private wealth held by all the individuals living in each of the cities on the list. Unlike traditional ratings, this top 15 is not based on Gross Domestic Product (GDP), but reflects analysis that covers all assets, such as property, cash, equities and business interests, excluding liabilities. Government funds are included.
1. New York City – $3 trillion
2. London – $2.7 trillion
3. Tokyo – $2.5 trillion
4. San Francisco Bay Area – 2.3 trillion
5. Beijing – $2.2 trillion
6. Shanghai – $2 trillion
7. Los Angeles – $1.4 trillion
8. Hong Kong – $1.3 trillion
9. Sydney – $1 trillion
10. Singapore – $1 trillion
11. Chicago – $988 billion
12. Mumbai – $950 billion
13. Toronto – $944 billion
14 Frankfurt – $912 billion
15. Paris – $860 billion
According to New World Wealth, wealth is a measure that differs from a GDP indicator, which is another common metric used to gauge economic power. The research firm revealed that Houston, Geneva, Osaka, Seoul, Shenzhen, Melbourne, Zurich and Dallas had just missed out on the top 15.
Today, the Underground Donut Tour, Chicago’s Original Donut Tour, is expanding beyond the Windy City to the City of Roses – Portland, OR. The Underground Donut Tour was founded nearly 4 years ago in Chicago and is one of the most popular food tours there.
Hosting thousands of guests from around the world and showcasing the best donuts the city has to offer. The Underground Donut Tour recently expanded to Philadelphia, New York City and now Portland! With the addition of Portland, the Underground Donut Tour expands their delicious footprint from coast to coast.
“Portland is the home of donuts. When you talk about Portland food culture, donuts are one of the first things people mention. We had to come to Portland!” said Jeff Woelker, founder of the Underground Donut Tour.
What Can Customers Expect
Walking between 4 of the best donut shops in Portland – we share the history of each location, local sights and history along the route including Pioneer Square, Chinatown, and the PSU Campus, but most importantly, lots and lots of the best donuts in Portland. Some of the locations include Blue Star, NOLA Doughnuts, and the one everyone wants to see Voodoo Doughnuts, where you can skip the line if you are on the tour.
“The Underground Donut Tour is a natural fit for Portland. We have the best donuts in the world!” said Beau La Fave, tour manager for the Underground Donut Tour Portland.
When Do Tours Run
Tours will start on Friday, April 19th. Tours run every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 9-11 with more days coming soon. Tickets are sold on a first come, first served basis, so don’t miss out.
Mr. C Coconut Grove, the first Mr. C hotel to debut in Florida, has officially opened its doors to begin welcoming guests. Mr. C Coconut Grove is the third property operated by the Cipriani brothers, who currently operate a 138 key luxury property in Beverly Hills, California and a 66 key luxury property located in the lower Manhattan neighborhood of the Seaport District New York.
“We are excited to officially welcome guests to experience Mr. C Coconut Grove and Bellini in the heart of one of Miami’s most culturally-rich neighborhoods,” said Ignazio Cipriani, Founder/President of Mr. C Hotels. “Our partners, staff, and management are proud to contribute to the revitalization of the Coconut Grove community.”
Accommodations at the well-appointed hotel include 100 guestrooms and suites with unmatched views of Biscayne Bay and the Coconut Grove skyline from the furnished room terraces. From its interior, the hotel draws inspiration from Italy’s iconic coastal style and hints at the aesthetic elements of a classic yacht. Interior design includes high gloss timber paneling, leather-upholstered blue and caramel headboards, nautical style dressers, playful and comfortable sofas and armchairs in a range of soft and airy blue and white fabrics throughout the space. Acclaimed architecture and design firm, Arquitectonica, in conjunction with the Martin Brudnizki Design Studio, combined the stylish European glamour and nautical aesthetic Mr. C Hotels are best known for with the tropical surroundings of South Florida.
The world’s tallest modular hotel – which will carry a brand of Marriott International – is on track to be stacked in late fall in New York City with prefabricated and pre-furnished guestrooms. Once erected over a 90-day period, the 360-foot-tall tower will represent a milestone for Marriott’s ongoing initiative to encourage hotel developers in North America to embrace modular for new construction projects. To be topped with a modular roof and modular rooftop bar, the world’s tallest modular hotel is expected to open in late 2020 as the AC Hotel New York NoMad.
“In North America, the construction process hasn’t changed significantly in 150 years and it’s ripe for innovation,” said Eric Jacobs, Marriott International, Chief Development Officer, North America, Select and Extended Stay Brands. “The world’s tallest modular hotel in one of the world’s greatest destinations will act as a game-changing symbol to ignite even greater interest in modular among the real estate and lending industries.”
Fully finished guest rooms
The 168-room, 26-story AC Hotel New York NoMad is scheduled to rise at 842 Sixth Avenue with prefabricated guestrooms arriving at the hotel site fully constructed, inside and out. Besides finished, painted walls, each “module” will contain a fully outfitted guest room – with beds, sheets, pillows, flooring and even toiletries. The hotel’s roof and rooftop bar are expected to be produced using modular construction, and its more customized public areas such as the restaurant and lobby are expected to be constructed using traditional methods.
Prefabrication is a process that Marriott has found typically reduces the construction timeline, curbs site waste and noise, and results in a higher-quality product produced with factory level precision. The time savings comes from the ability to perform two crucial functions simultaneously – building the public spaces on site while manufacturing the guest rooms offsite.
“This is the moment where modular construction takes center stage,” says Danny Forster, a leading modular building advocate whose firm, Danny Forster & Architecture, designed the project. As he explains it, “This hotel takes every advantage of off-site manufacturing, as you might expect. But it does so in a way that defies expectation. We wanted to demonstrate that modular building can do more than just harness the efficiencies of the factory. It can produce a graceful and iconic tower. And yes, it can do so at the rate of an entire floor a day.”
Marriott sees a modular future
Marriott, which has the largest pipeline of hotels in North America, began researching modular construction in 2014 to offset lengthening hotel construction times – a trend attributed to the nation’s building boom and resulting labor shortages. Since 2011, Marriott has seen the average time to build and open a hotel in North America increase by as much 50 percent, depending on factors such as location and size of property.
Since 2015, Marriott has been educating owners, franchisees, architects, lenders, consultants, general contractors and other stakeholders across the industry about the benefits of modular by hosting town halls, factory tours and stacking events. The company also worked with leading modular manufacturers to help them better understand the untapped demand that hotel development companies represent.
Since the launch of Marriott’s initiative, the company’s development partners in North America have opened 31 Marriott-brand hotels – all low-rise structures – that incorporate prefabricated guestrooms and/or bathrooms, including a Fairfield by Marriott Inn & Suites in Folsom, Calif.; a Courtyard by Marriott in Pullman, Wash., and three AC Hotels in Oklahoma City, Louisville, Ky., and Chapel Hill, N.C. To date, the largest Marriott-branded modular-built to open is the 354-room, dual-brand Courtyard and TownePlace Suites by Marriott property in Hawthorne, Calif., while the first to also incorporate a prefabricated elevator bank was the Fairfield by Marriott Inn & Suites in Prairie, Wisc. Later this year, a developer will start stacking the first modular-built Moxy hotel in the United States in downtown Oakland, Calif.
The company continues efforts to support developers interested in leveraging prefabrication, most recently launching modular versions of its prototypes for four of its higher-volume brands: Courtyard by Marriott, Fairfield by Marriott, SpringHill Suites by Marriott and TownePlace Suites by Marriott. Underscoring its commitment to igniting demand for modular construction, Marriott this year is offering an incentive to development companies that leverage prefabrication for guestroom construction.
The Pod Hotels is striving to address the rapidly-increasing demand for affordable lifestyle hotels targeted at progressive-minded and budget-conscious travelers who are creative and ambitious and who maintain high expectations when it comes to authentic experiences, smart design and intuitive technology.
As part of this progress, BD Hotels today announced the appointment of Rani Gharbie as the Head of Acquisitions & Development for The Pod Hotels, BD Hotel’s highly profitable micro-hotel concept to replicate this successful business model in even more key markets including Miami, San Francisco, Chicago, Austin, Boston, Nashville, Seattle, Montreal, Toronto, and Mexico City, amongst others.
Gharbie formerly oversaw development and acquisitions for North America at Virgin Hotels where he actively contributed to grow the brand’s footprint in key markets.
As Head of Acquisitions & Development working closely with BD Hotels owners Richard Born and Ira Drukier, Gharbie will be responsible for identifying potential investment opportunities and bringing together strategic partners and investors to fund future projects in numerous markets. He will leverage BD Hotels’ expertise in hotel development, investment and operations to expand The Pod Hotels brand across the country and eventually globally.
“Rani joins us at a pivotal time as we scale The Pod Hotels portfolio exponentially in North America” said Richard Born, Owner of BD Hotels. “He will undoubtedly be a tremendous asset as he brings over 20 years of experience in hotel acquisitions, development and operation.”
“I’m looking forward to expanding the profitable model Richard and Ira created to key markets nationwide,” said Gharbie. “I see great growth potential for the brand as there is an increased desire from today’s travelers to stay at smart, innovative brands like The Pod Hotels.”
Prior to joining Virgin Hotels, Gharbie was the Managing Director and Founder at Cedar Funds, a New York City based development and investment firm with a focus on progressive hotel and real estate assets, as well as regional Director of Development with InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG). In addition, Gharbie is an Adjunct Professor at Columbia’s Masters in Real Estate Development program, where he teaches the spring course Private Equity Development, Hotel Focus. He holds a Masters Degree from the program, an MBA from the HEC Business School in Montreal, a Bachelor degree in Hotel Management from the Glion Hotel School in Switzerland, and a Certificate in Hotel Real Estate Investments and Asset Management from Cornell University in New York.
The Pod Hotels currently has five properties in the portfolio, three of which opened over the past two years (the brand’s flagship Pod Times Square opened in January 2018; Pod DC and Pod Brooklyn opened in 2017), with the brand recently announcing two more hotels in the direct pipeline (Pod Philly opening in fall 2019 and Pod LA slated for 2020). With its functional guestrooms, vibrant communal space and flexible design, The Pod Hotels presents superior investment returns when compared to legacy hotel brands of similar positioning.