Hotel Fund – Three Bears Band B http://threebearsbandb.com/ Fri, 26 Nov 2021 04:00:14 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8 https://threebearsbandb.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/icon-1.png Hotel Fund – Three Bears Band B http://threebearsbandb.com/ 32 32 Oral Funding for Choices Homeless Shelter | Citizen of Orangeville https://threebearsbandb.com/oral-funding-for-choices-homeless-shelter-citizen-of-orangeville/ Fri, 26 Nov 2021 02:58:26 +0000 https://threebearsbandb.com/oral-funding-for-choices-homeless-shelter-citizen-of-orangeville/ November 25, 2021 0 comments By Sam Odrowski Work continues on a homeless men’s shelter in Orangeville, with the intention of putting something in place before the worst of winter sets in. Choices Youth Shelter ran a homeless men’s shelter from August to mid-October this year in Orangeville, but had to close due to lack […]]]>

November 25, 2021 0 comments

By Sam Odrowski

Work continues on a homeless men’s shelter in Orangeville, with the intention of putting something in place before the worst of winter sets in.

Choices Youth Shelter ran a homeless men’s shelter from August to mid-October this year in Orangeville, but had to close due to lack of funding.

Since it opened, which was made possible through a one-time anonymous donation, Choices President Randy Narine has worked to secure long-term funding to get the men’s shelter back up and running and said things are moving in a positive direction.

“Where we’re at right now is we’ve verbally secured funding through the county,” he told The Citizen.

“Now there are a lot of obstacles, you have to take the plunge to receive this funding from the county because this funding comes from the federal and provincial governments, it has nothing to do with the city of Orangeville, so much money that they submit to the county. “

Choices initially hoped to receive one-time emergency funding from City Council in September, to get them through the winter following positive conversations with Mayor Sandy Brown and councilors, but in the end funding was denied. . At the time, councilors said they believed tackling homelessness at the local level was outside their jurisdiction and that it would be better to ask the county to deal with it.

Fortunately, the six men who received help while Choices operated the men’s shelter either reunited with their families or found support through another organization.

However, there are many more men in Dufferin County who need help, and over the past few months, finding a suitable location to open the men’s shelter on a permanent basis has been a priority for Nostril.

“I’ve been spending my time basically from September until now, trying to locate the appropriate facility,” he told The Citizen.

“Now there are a bunch of factors that we have to work with, and one is zoning. So there are certain places in Orangeville that are zoned for this type of facility, and if we were to put it in an area that is not, then it’s quite a process with the council where the residents have the possibility of concluding the whole agreement. “

Narine has said in all fairness that he understands why residents wouldn’t want a homeless shelter next door, due to the stigma associated with homeless people.

For this reason, he searched areas in Orangeville that have the correct zoning for a homeless shelter. Townline is one of those areas where Choices Youth Shelter is located, but the buoyant real estate market in Orangeville makes it difficult to purchase a suitable property.

“The few times things have happened because of the heat of the market, it’s gone before I can do anything,” noted Narine.

Alliance Church as a location

However, there is potentially good news when it comes to securing a location.

The use of a section of the Covenant Alliance Church, located at 3 Zina Street, has been proposed as a solution, the only problem is that the property is owned by the Mayor of Orangeville, Sandy Brown, so Narine is concerned about a conflict of interest.

“It’s all about taking public funds and handing them over to an elected official,” he noted.

Narine told the Citizen he was exploring whether a conflict of interest would apply here and Mayor Brown has already contacted the Dufferin County Integrity Commissioner for information on how and if the arrangement might go forward.

The Choices board will review this information tomorrow and decide how to proceed at that time.

“We’re exploring what the conflict of interest really means with this whole business right now, as there are a few other factors. Yes, the mayor would derive income from it. Yes, it is money that comes from the federal provincial government, but the rate it offers us is significantly less [than market value]”Said Narine.

Besides the conflict of interest, another key issue with church property is that it requires several renovations to make it appropriate.

“It will add time. This will add costs. But the homeless committee has said that there are members of their organization and members of the community who are ready to come forward to fund it, ”Narine noted.

However, he said he wanted to see a written commitment before moving forward.

“Without commitment, these are just words to me, especially after what I have been through with all the hardship of trying to get funding from the Council,” said Narine. “I’ll be honest, I thought it was a sure thing the way they told me, and then it turned out it wasn’t. So until someone comes to me with a check, it’s just talking.

“And I’m not trying to put it in a negative light. I just try to be realistic about everything, especially with the experiences that I have had.

Another possible problem with the advancement of the church is that there are two other tenants currently renting it out, one of which is a club organized with young people. Narine said he was concerned about potential interactions between homeless men and minors as it creates liability issues.

“I’m not saying something would happen, but I want to make sure nothing can happen,” Narine explained.

However, there are advantages to using the Covenant Alliance Church, as it is located close to the city center, which is important for enabling homeless men to access banking, shopping, social services. and appointments.

Although the church is only available for 15 months, so it is not permanent, but if it is the only option to run a homeless men’s shelter during the winter season and it is legal to go ahead, Narine said they will have to take it. .

“I don’t want to go into a temporary shelter and have to move again, but if that’s my only option to make it happen before winter, the end goal is really to help the homeless men out there. -low, ”Narine said. .

“We do our due diligence with everything. We’re not trying to override anything, even though we’re under fire before winter really hits. We just want to make sure it’s done right.

Narine says he will also continue to research other properties, in addition to exploring the church as an option, as buying a properly zoned property would be much more successful in the long run than renting the church for 15 months.

Motel Coupon Program

If the church breaks down and no other property is found, Narine says staff in Dufferin County have said they are increasing their motel voucher program, which pays for a motel or room in homeless hotel for a period of time.

“They said as long as someone wants to protect themselves from the cold in the winter, the county will step in and help,” Narine noted.

The only downside is that one of the hotels that participated in the program was purchased privately and no longer offers rooms for the program, so there are fewer options.

Narine told the Citizen he would have more information to share on the future of men’s shelters following a meeting with the Choices Youth Shelter Board on Friday, November 26.


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RedDoorz CEO on SEA Potential, Performance Marketing Lessons and Rapid Growth https://threebearsbandb.com/reddoorz-ceo-on-sea-potential-performance-marketing-lessons-and-rapid-growth/ Mon, 22 Nov 2021 17:53:02 +0000 https://threebearsbandb.com/reddoorz-ceo-on-sea-potential-performance-marketing-lessons-and-rapid-growth/ Digitization has accelerated among consumers as well as independent hoteliers YEOH Siew Hoon interviewed Amit Saberwal, CEO of RedDoorz, the largest technology-driven hotel management and reservation platform in South East Asia at Phocuswright Europe where they spoke about the Southeast Asia region during Covid and how the pandemic has made entrepreneurs like him think differently […]]]>

Digitization has accelerated among consumers as well as independent hoteliers

YEOH Siew Hoon interviewed Amit Saberwal, CEO of RedDoorz, the largest technology-driven hotel management and reservation platform in South East Asia at Phocuswright Europe where they spoke about the Southeast Asia region during Covid and how the pandemic has made entrepreneurs like him think differently about customer acquisition, profitability and Fund raising.

Q: Glad to meet you in Fort Lauderdale from Singapore. Why did you take the trouble to make the trip in the midst of a pandemic?

I represent the huge Southeast Asian market which is often overshadowed by India and China. It is a phenomenal opportunity from a tourism and travel perspective. The addressable market is bigger, the hotel supply is available – you need a good deal to start a good business. I also wanted to pay tribute to and remember my good friend and board member Philip Wolf through this event. It would be the first Phocuswright without him.

Amit Saberwal: “If I have to raise a billion dollars, then I have to create a story. What we want is to create value. Not everything can be solved with money. If that was the case, Google would handle everything.

Q: Yes, Southeast Asia certainly became the region of disruption during Covid. Facebook’s 2021 Digital Consumers Report indicates that 70 million people – the equivalent of the entire UK population – have become digital consumers in the region. And its online retail penetration is expected to grow 85% year-over-year by the end of 2021, and is now higher than that of India or Brazil.

Yes, there was a quick scan. Customers don’t want to meet people anymore, they want smooth experiences, as smooth as possible. What’s interesting is that full digitization is happening in 25-bedroom properties as well – so it’s accelerating on the consumer and supplier side, and it’s paying off for hotel owners. Hotel owners – which were part of the RedDoorz brand – report 15% higher occupancy than similar unbranded products.

Q: It must not have been easy over the past 20 months. I know RedDoorz takes pride in being a “honey badger” (your mascot), and his key characteristic is fearlessness. But you must have been scared at one point during the height of the pandemic in markets like Indonesia, Thailand, and the Philippines – you raised $ 150 million in total (the last round was Series C) and were about to become a unicorn, so there must have been pressure from investors?

Yes it has been a challenge, but we are proud of the fact that we are a definite survivor – we have just been ranked 6e best place to work in Indonesia and there is no travel agency on the list. The company has a soul – our partners, employees, investors, have supported us in the worst times and we have come out much stronger.

I remember early on, all the investors were trying to help us by telling us the bad news until we told them we read the same papers and said ‘execute’, and reassured them, we wouldn’t cut back the growth function – it means technology and business development. And we executed our way out.

Q: What was the secret sauce of the execution?

The main trigger was that we acted very quickly and took decisive action from the start. This included removing minimum guarantees, shutting down Thailand and reducing our workforce by 40%. We are now a lean company.

A positive result is that the competition died out, there was a rationalization. Indonesia and Philippines, our income is higher today than before the pandemic, 96% of our business is domestic there. What happens in Bali, which depends on the foreigner, does not apply to us. Our business in Vietnam has been affected due to the bottlenecks but we remain fully committed to the market. Singapore – we have reduced from 13 to 3 properties – we do not intend to develop the activity in Singapore.

We now have 2,900 properties in four countries – we were 1,600 to 1,700 before the pandemic. We have adopted a multi-brand strategy and increased the offer.

Q: You now have five brands, RedDoorz, your bread and your butter; Urbanview, SANS and Sunerra – which is 3.5 stars, and KoolKost for remote workers – don’t you risk going down the same path that traditional hotel companies have to have so many brands it’s hard for consumers to differentiate yourself and it becomes complex to distribute yourself?

These are all nuances of the same type of budget accommodation. We are technology first, we don’t have a GM on the property, so we don’t have a problem with differentiation. What’s interesting is that during Covid we were afraid that if we shut down Google or Facebook we would lose our business and we had no money to spend. But our customers kept coming back to us directly.

We’ll probably never come back to performance marketing on Facebook or Google. We are a hyperlocal business and have found that brand marketing works well on TV and you need to personalize the offer.

Sunerra – we’re still working on things. We love to experiment and we think the business has a different pace. Our ambition is to be the largest new age hotel company in South East Asia. We don’t want a heavy asset model.

The doubts about Sunerra are scalability – design takes effort and requires multiple owners. We like to be where integration is easy, meeting the needs of the traveling salesperson. There is a fortune to be made at the bottom of the pyramid.

Q: The competition has died down, but new, well-funded competitors are entering the market: Yanolja, the South Korean hospitality giant, which has just raised $ 1.7 billion and VN LIFE in Vietnam which has raised $ 250 million, will invest part of these funds in VN Travel.

Each region would have a hyperlocal player who would win. Yanolja did a great job but in a different market. It’s a huge opportunity for many players.

The way I see the evolution of the hospitality industry – Hospitality 1.0 – Taj owns and manages properties; Hospitality 2.0 – Marriott operates other properties. Hospitality 3.0 who is us – using technology to manage other businesses and assets, the way Airbnb uses technology to manage other people’s assets.

Q: What was the best technology investment you have made?

The best investments made have been to improve our algorithms around the sufficiency of supply, corresponding to what customers are asking for in this square foot area, improved by leaps and bounds – hyper-localized recommendations. In our market, one side of the street versus the other can mean a 20 minute difference in travel time.

Q: You were MakeMyTrip employee # 28 – and I think when you started RedDoorz it was called something else, you started in India. Why didn’t you stay to face India?

India is like an elephant that threatens to dance but never dances but has recently started dancing. We focus on South East Asia.

Yes, when we started we had a B2B product but we learned that in India you can donate the technology but if they don’t have the capacity or the intent or the bandwidth to do it you are stuck.

Q: What does domination in Southeast Asia look like?

15 to 20,000 real hotels under our brand. Empty hotels are like empty calories, they don’t make sense. Each hotel must earn a certain amount of money each month.

Q: You have declared your ambition to be a unicorn, what is left?

The Covid has delayed us by two years. Our income profile is much better. Every dollar that is made on the core business, we make 50 cents on the auxiliaries, it was zero before the pandemic. Our participation rate is over 20%. We make more money on half of the overnight stays today.

Q: It’s interesting how some companies that were previously looking for unprofitable growth are now profitable. Eric Gnock Fah from Klook spoke to WiT and explained how they are now profitable in markets like Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Yes, profitability is a choice for us now and it is a powerful position for us. RedDoorz’s revenue profile is so much more sustainable. In pursuit of unprofitable growth – including us – those days are over. Covid was a wake-up call and we were made to grow up fast.

Now the new metric for the business is MIB – Money In Bank.

Q: What was the old metric?

ORM – Nights in an occupied room. There are so many ways to present income. It’s time to cut the bulls …

Q: When is the IPO?

2023-24 maybe, and I don’t see it as the exit but the starting point for RedDoorz. It is an event in a long journey.

Q: There’s a lot of talk about super apps in Southeast Asia and fintech. Are you interested in any of these areas?

I think the story of the superapp is not as straightforward as it claims it is. Portfolios, I think you have to think about core vs. non-core in every business. If you approach the kernel well, everything will fall into place.

If I have to raise a billion dollars, then I have to create a story. What we want is to create value. Not everything can be solved with money. If that was the case, Google would handle everything.

We will focus on what we are doing and continue to perform. And maybe we’ll fundraise next year.


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How Stella Stays is changing the hospitality landscape https://threebearsbandb.com/how-stella-stays-is-changing-the-hospitality-landscape/ Sun, 21 Nov 2021 05:31:36 +0000 https://threebearsbandb.com/how-stella-stays-is-changing-the-hospitality-landscape/ Many trips and flights from one global business center to another have been a part of Mohannad Zikra’s life for a decade. The former high-profile corporate executive, who started his career at Ericsson and rose through the ranks to become its sales manager in Canada, has stayed in numerous hotels around the world for a […]]]>

Many trips and flights from one global business center to another have been a part of Mohannad Zikra’s life for a decade. The former high-profile corporate executive, who started his career at Ericsson and rose through the ranks to become its sales manager in Canada, has stayed in numerous hotels around the world for a decade. It was an experience he did not appreciate.

“I was gone 320 days a year,” says Zikra. “When I go away, whether for a week or a month, I was always stuck in these hotels and when I came back to Canada my friends would say ‘man you are living the dream, it must be awesome to travel’, but I absolutely hated this experience.

After leaving Ericson in 2015, he joined UXP Systems, a technology start-up in Toronto as Sales Director, and has still traveled extensively. However, instead of the high-end hotels awarded to businesses, he this time opted for cheaper options, including Airbnb, which was gaining popularity in North America.

It was a much better experience, providing a personal touch and a sense of friendliness, but at times the services were unprofessional and inconsistent.

“It was a fluke,” he says.

After experiencing both ends of the hospitality spectrum, Mr. Zikra felt there had to be a better way to handle the business of vacation and long-term rental properties. The whole model had to be redesigned to offer customers – whether vacationers, business executives or residents looking for longer-term, hassle-free stays – a much lighter personalized hospitality experience.

“I realized there was a huge opportunity,” he says. “There has been a huge shift in people’s minds and they have turned to furnished apartments instead of hotels.”

This awareness has been the cornerstone of Stella Stays, a Dubai-based hotel startup that offers individually designed and equipped homes and provides end-to-end digital services to guests. It’s a value proposition that, according to its founders, is better than a hotel.

Mr. Zikra, who grew up in Kuwait and moved to Canada at a young age, holds a computer engineering degree. After the acquisition of UXP in 2017, he decided to leave the corporate sector. With a group of friends, he built a portfolio of a few properties in Canada and managed them in 2018 as short term rentals, experimenting with improving hospitality experiences.

However, it was a conversation with an old friend in Dubai, a former colleague of Ericsson, about the emirate being the real estate and hotel capital of the Middle East that convinced Mr. Zikra to bring his role model. personalized hospitality to the emirate.

“Within a week it was myself and one of the co-founders, we jumped on a plane. We didn’t have a plan, we didn’t know what was going to happen,” he said. he declares.

Mohammed Al Ghussein, an Emirati entrepreneur and an old acquaintance of Mr. Zikra, was among the first people in Dubai to hear about the idea of ​​revolutionizing the hospitality industry. A day later, Mr. Al Ghussein, who is now a very involved president of the company, decided to join the team.

The founding team started the business, injecting around Dh1 million ($ 272,479) of their savings into the business. The business was officially launched in March 2019, and like most start-ups, it was not an easy journey.

“Even with Mohammed as the initial investor, it was very difficult to raise funds,” Zikra said. “It was either we were going to do it or break it.”

Running operations from a small office, Mr. Zikra, along with co-founders Hassan Al Saadi, Marc Diab and Hamza Al Saadi, visited many properties trying to convince owners to let the company rent their homes, furnish them and re-let them to tourists in Dubai.

“They [homeowners] thought we were ridiculous. They thought we were crazy and nobody wanted to talk to us, ”Zikra said of the initial hardships when he and his cash-strapped fellow Canadians survived eating the cheapest meals in Dubai.

Stella Stays landed her first penthouse in the marina, when an “entrepreneurial” owner decided to let the company run the property.

“He decided to take a risk on us and so far he’s been very happy. He’s been there from day one,” Zikra said.

At the end of last year, the company had 85 properties in its portfolio and is growing rapidly, now taking up entire floors of buildings, where each unit is individually furnished to avoid the ‘cut and paste’ decor themes of hotels, he said.

Stella Stays has been a major pivot during the pandemic that has brought the global travel and tourism industry to its knees amid travel restrictions. As the number of tourists dwindled, the company turned to residents of the United Arab Emirates looking for managed accommodation to guide the company through the difficult times, Al Ghussein said.

“When you are hit by something unpredictable and unique like a pandemic, there are only two possibilities for every start-up: either the company closes or it is forced to develop a whole new strategy to stay afloat, ”he said.

The company did the latter, and it also revamped its business model, marketing, pricing and “everything in between” to survive the lean season and eventually grew as a business as the markets grew. were recovering and travel restrictions were relaxed, Al Ghussein said.

When you are hit by something unpredictable and unique like a pandemic, there are only two possibilities for every startup: either the company closes or they are forced to develop a whole new strategy to stay. afloat.

Mohammed Al Ghussein, President, Stella Stays

However, despite growing rapidly, Stella Stays delayed their funding round as much as possible because “getting a meaningful valuation” was difficult, with investors rating Stella Stays as “next to nothing” to begin with.

The now profitable company reinvested income generated from its operations in businesses and expanded to Bahrain earlier this year. It currently has a portfolio of 300 managed properties spread across the UAE, Bahrain and Canada, and plans to increase that number to 1,000 by 2022.

To fund its expansion, the company is in talks with investors for a “big” Series A growth funding round next year, Zikra said, declining to give the potential size of the funding.

Stella Stays is also open to the membership of strategic investors to expand its presence in other regional markets in the Middle East and beyond. Part of the potential fundraising will be invested in improving its technology platform and hiring staff to keep pace with the growth, he said.

Q&A with Mohannad Zikra, co-founder and CEO of Stella Stays

What other start-up would you have liked to launch in place of Stella Stays?

During the initial phase, as we were discussing business ideas, there were a lot of opportunities around real estate and real estate technology. I have always been interested in the idea that technology improves the experience of brokers and agents. This was one of the potential startup projects I was reviewing that would have really solved a critical issue that exists today.

What would you do differently if you had to start over?

Stella Stays is doing pretty well. So we wouldn’t necessarily do much differently, but the one piece of advice we would have been grateful for early on is to never underestimate the growth potential of a business idea, especially in a market that continues to grow. grow. I know a lot of entrepreneurs are afraid to make big decisions early on, but that’s what’s important. Sometimes it’s okay to jump into things you think you’re not ready for, but don’t be afraid. You will be pleasantly surprised with the result.

What skills did you acquire while starting your business?

The most essential skill I have learned in starting the business is selling. Sometimes all you have is two minutes or even 30 seconds to sell your idea. You need to determine and execute a good pitch as quickly as possible, especially when you are in the early stages. The other crucial aspect that I touched on is finance, as it is essential to understand end-to-end finance as a start-up. As entrepreneurs, we understand the product, the company’s operations, and what needs to happen, but the finances are put aside as an afterthought during the initial stages. Eventually you will have to face it and dig deep.

What is the only quality that an entrepreneur should have?

You need to be a salesperson or just have the skills to sell your point of view and idea to someone else, be it an investor, advisor, client and even of the first group of people you hire. If you are doing a great job of selling your product and your dream, then you are ready for something great. If you can’t, this is when you will see your business struggle.

What advice would you give to entrepreneurs in difficulty?

There are several things: focus and prioritize. This is what we have learned as a growing company. Think “what’s the best effort that will give you the best return?” Focus on the small steps, think carefully, and take one step at a time. Don’t look around and just follow trends, calculate your own moves, and create your own timelines. Plus, feedback is crucial. One of the things we do is send updates to our investors, showing them the good and the bad, as well as the really ugly side of things. Entrepreneurs are afraid to talk about ugly stuff, but you have to be able to put it forward to get quality feedback.

Company Profile

Name: Stella stays

Founders: Mohannad Zikra, Hassan Al Saadi, Marc Diab and Hamza Al Saadi

Year started: 2019

Based: Dubai

Employees: 45

Amount collected: Bootstrap Dh1m, plans a Series A round of funding in 2022

Update: November 21, 2021, 5:30 a.m.


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Changing casino rules would allow cashless gambling without in-person identity verification https://threebearsbandb.com/changing-casino-rules-would-allow-cashless-gambling-without-in-person-identity-verification/ Fri, 19 Nov 2021 14:26:31 +0000 https://threebearsbandb.com/changing-casino-rules-would-allow-cashless-gambling-without-in-person-identity-verification/ Nevada regulators are considering changing the rules to allow casino customers to sign up for cashless payments on wagers on table games, slots, and hotel purchases without physically presenting a coin. identity. The change would not apply to betting on sporting events or races. Current law allows customers to set up and fund cashless betting […]]]>

Nevada regulators are considering changing the rules to allow casino customers to sign up for cashless payments on wagers on table games, slots, and hotel purchases without physically presenting a coin. identity. The change would not apply to betting on sporting events or races.

Current law allows customers to set up and fund cashless betting accounts remotely, but they must come in person to verify their identity with a casino employee.

The proposed change would allow a customer to complete the process, including identity verification, on an app and start spending as soon as they enter the casino.

“We already allow exactly the same for an online transaction but do not allow this in the terrestrial world where the player must enter the casino …”, complained Thursday the member of the Gaming Control Board Philip Katsaros during ‘a workshop on measurement.

The American Gaming Association says eight states, including Nevada, currently allow mobile wallets.

“Cashless payments bring casinos closer to everyday life,” says the website of Sightline Payments, a digital commerce platform that submitted a petition to gaming regulators in September 2020 at the height of the pandemic to allow the remote verification of in-house identity documents. patrons. “Fears about the spread of COVID-19 are leading to wider consumer adoption of mobile phone payment systems to avoid contact at cash registers. “

“Cashless transactions are rapidly replacing traditional cash payment methods and the conversion has been further accelerated by the global pandemic,” says a document submitted to regulators by Sightline. “Gamers are now accustomed to cashless transactions outside of the game in their day-to-day lives, seeking contactless transactions due to social distancing and health concerns. … The ability for a player to set up a remote betting account is an essential part of this technological evolution. ”

Joe Pappano, CEO of Sightline, told members of the Supervisory Board of a bottleneck for customers who signed up for cashless bets at the opening of Resort World and had to queue for control identity.

“A casino employee must personally verify the identity of the customer before they can fund a gaming account,” he said.

The proposed change would allow customers to upload ID through a kiosk or mobile phone and have it verified without human interaction.

Operators would be able to register a customer and verify the uploaded ID remotely, as players with interactive online betting accounts are currently allowed.

Reid Rubenstein Bogatz attorney Marc Rubenstien, representing Station Casinos, submitted a letter to the board of directors saying that federal anti-money laundering laws “require physical casinos to use documentary methods of identity verification to gambling on the spot “. He said the proposed amendment is “an invitation to approve a regulatory change that would violate federal law.”

But lawyer Jennifer Carleton, representing Sightline, said the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCen) “has come out and has recognized that this type of amendment is necessary, appropriate and consistent with their guidelines.”

“It makes good sense to say that you can sit in your living room and check who you are from a distance, but you can’t do that in a casino. And is this going to somehow violate federal law? Carleton asked rhetorically.

“Very well said,” sounded Katsaros, who made it clear his support for the rule change.

“I sat here very patiently listening to a presentation that totally misled you,” said Rubenstein, now that federal law prohibits remote identity verification for “a land wagering account.”

“Why are there no cannabis companies related to casinos. I mean, we all sort of look at it and roll our eyes, don’t we? ” He asked. “But the fact remains, it’s the law and the Gaming Policy Committee has been very clear that as long as it’s the law, we’re not going down that rabbit hole, are we. It is directly analogous as long as federal law still requires a terrestrial examination.

“We don’t all roll our eyes on this,” Katsaros said. “I can at least speak for myself.”

Rubenstein did not immediately respond to requests for comment on whether Station Casinos supports the measure outside of legal issues.

Cashless gaming is seen to be beneficial for operators, increasing a seamless gaming experience. Its effects on clients are still unknown.

The board decided to take the matter to a regular hearing.

Earlier today, the new Chair of the Gaming Commission, Jennifer Togliatti, chaired its first meeting. It was the second meeting as commissioner of former state senator Ben Kieckhefer, who was also recently appointed to the commission by Governor Steve Sisolak.


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JetBlue Vacations Launches Flight, Cruise and Hotel Packages as Complete Travel https://threebearsbandb.com/jetblue-vacations-launches-flight-cruise-and-hotel-packages-as-complete-travel/ Wed, 17 Nov 2021 23:03:26 +0000 https://threebearsbandb.com/jetblue-vacations-launches-flight-cruise-and-hotel-packages-as-complete-travel/ JetBlue now offers hotel and cruise packages to make traveling as easy as possible. A phone call is enough … [+] all that! JetBlue I was recently basking in the Caribbean waters when I struck up a conversation with the gentleman swimming near me. We started talking about our favorite vacation spots and vendors – […]]]>

I was recently basking in the Caribbean waters when I struck up a conversation with the gentleman swimming near me. We started talking about our favorite vacation spots and vendors – and he raved, raved, and praised me for his Jet Blue experiences. No exaggeration. He regularly books flight and hotel packages with Jet Blue, and expressed his great loyalty to the brand to me.

And now with Jet Blue you can book a flight, a great hotel and a cruise! – all at once – and you can do it transparently. This is great news!

JetBlue Travel Products (JTP) recently announced the launch of JetBlue Vacations Flight + Cruise packages, making JetBlue the first US national airline to offer customers the ability to book their flight, cruise and hotel in one location. New cruise packages with Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Carnival Cruise Line are now available at www.jetbluevacations.com, offering customers a unique opportunity to save time and money by bundling their travel purchases, with all segments of their travel supported by JetBlue’s signature service. Building on the fluidity of travel, new flight + cruise launch marks JTP’s next foray into JetBlue’s evolution into a broader travel agency offering whole trips in addition to thefts.

“Continuing to build on the trust that JetBlue has established over the past 20+ years, we want customers to book everything from flights and cruises to hotels and more, all with us,” said Andres Barry, president of JetBlue Travel. Some products. “Managing customer service ourselves, rather than sending it to multiple entities, allows us to go above and beyond while meeting JetBlue standards at every point of contact. As cruise lines increasingly return to sailing, we are excited to refresh our package offerings, as we continue to create accessories and grow our non-ticketing revenue base. “

With a focus on ease and convenience, the new offerings from JetBlue Travel Products are designed to create a smoother travel experience, from booking to travel and even back. Today, booking a cruise vacation can be a stressful experience – customers spend a lot of time researching flights that will get them to their port on time, doing the math, and keeping track of travel time themselves. There is also always the risk that their flight will be delayed or canceled, causing them to miss their cruise departure, without recourse. To address some of the issues customers have and get them into vacation mode faster, JTP has partnered with travel technology specialists Traveltek to make it easy for customers to find and book cruise packages.

As part of JetBlue Plane-Port ™ Commitment, if a customer’s JetBlue flight is delayed or canceled, the airline will rebook the next available flight and / or ensure they go to their next port, free of charge. Alternatively, the airline will cover up to 150% of the customer’s original package price for a new JetBlue Vacations package, if their JetBlue flight is delayed or canceled. The airline’s plane-to-port commitment is only applicable if a cruise is missed due to a JetBlue flight delay or cancellation. JetBlue is committed to providing its customers with the best possible travel assistance, should any unforeseen travel schedule changes or delays cause them to miss their cruise departure. Looked.

· Same cruise, new port

If a customer misses their cruise departure due to a JetBlue travel delay, the airline will take them to their next port on the cruise itinerary so they can still enjoy the rest of their vacation.

· Same cruise, new dates

If a customer misses their cruise departure due to JetBlue travel delays but prefers not to go to the next port, the airline will rebook their flight + cruise package so they can go on vacation at a different time. (The customer will be responsible for any difference in the price of the package.)

· Same dates, new holidays

If a customer misses their cruise departure due to a JetBlue trip delay or cancellation and the airline is unable to get the customer to their next port (or, if they prefer do not fly to the next port), JetBlue will cover up to 50% of the customer’s original package price for a new JetBlue Vacations package.

JetBlue is offering a “Best Price Guarantee” on all of these new JetBlue Vacations flight + hotel and flight + cruise packages, so customers can spend less time searching for the best price and more time waiting for their next trip. If a customer finds a better price online for a flight + hotel or flight + cruise vacation package identical to a package offered by JetBlue Vacations before or within 48 hours of the customer’s purchase of that package from JetBlue Vacations, JetBlue warrants that it will match that price or refund the customer the price difference. By booking a flight and cruise package through JetBlue Vacations, customers have access to the award-winning onboard experience of JetBlue, including free in-flight alcoholic beverages (21 and over), free snacks, earlier boarding, and a Fly -Free WiFi. Customers will also have the opportunity to earn TrueBlue points (including qualifying Mosaic points), as well as cruise loyalty points. For more information, visit jetbluevacations.com or call 1-844-JB-VACAY to join a team of 24/7 vacation planning experts who can help you book every detail of your next cruise trip.

I got an exclusive interview on Forbes.com with the president of Jet BlueTravel Products, Andres Barry, and that’s what he told me.

What prompted JetBlue Travel Products to now offer full trips instead of just flights?

Some things – one is that we’ve known for a long time that customers really appreciate the service we provide – it’s a natural extension – our customers go on pleasure trips. This is the first piece we recognized. There is a great opportunity as to how tour packages are different and we felt there was a better way to do it by being more user friendly and providing better travel experiences.

Can you give me a price range for, say, a JetBlue flight from Miami on Celebrity Cruises for 10 days?

For example, for a cruise – from New York – a 10-day trip per person, a little over a thousand dollars per person – that’s for the flight and the cruise. Purchased separately, it’s a few hundred dollars more. We have unique offers on the flight. The other advantage – if you want to change your plan – you only make one phone call.

Tell me more about the airplane-port engagement.

This is where we want to bring the flavor of JetBlue to space. We make sure the trip goes as planned and makes it easy for customers to come the day before or in the morning. Things don’t always go as planned. There is a lot of anxiety about “What if we miss my cruise?” We will find a way to make something beyond your control more preventable. If you’re late, we’ll fly you to the next port – we can get you there relatively easily. Or we will reserve another day for you again. Third, it might not be practical to fly to the second port – we’ll put you in a hotel to make sure you still have a beach vacation. We want customers’ peace of mind – and we will fund the hotel – we will apply the cost of the cruise plus an additional 50% to booking a hotel if you paid $ 300 a night for the cruise, Jet Blue will pay at $ 450 a night at the hotel – so you get your vacation. It’s pretty unique – if you just want to get from New York to somewhere warm. We will take care of all the parts – customers appreciate that. If you need to make any changes, one phone call with us will take care of everything.

What problems do these new flight and cruise packages avoid and solve for travelers?

Planning all the different components – flights for a cruise – often you want a hotel too, ground transfers – now the overall planning is made as easy as possible. Other benefits – loyalty link to receive True Blue Points. One-phone call service customers – we can change everything in one phone call.

Tell me about the best price guarantee.

We want to improve the process – do the hotel, cruise and flight package – you get a free drink on the flight, perks in hotels, we have a better product with better value for money. We believe we can give customers a great experience. We don’t want you to worry about getting the best deal – we take this seriously – we are a better deal than buying it separately. If your trip is cheaper, we’ll refund the difference. If you find something similar, on the same dates and hotels, and it’s cheaper elsewhere, we’ll refund the difference. We want to give our customers the confidence to book with us. We are usually already the best price.

What makes JetBlue special, unique and different? Why do travelers love it so much?

I think it’s a series of things – we’ve invested a lot in customer service on the ground and on board – the most legroom in our coach product – live TVs, Wi-Fi free, full snacks, we don’t skimp on drinks – we continue to invest to support our customers and we continue to innovate and stay ahead of the industry. This is what our customers tend to like. That feeling of confidence – and you can relax on your trip and let us have your vacation plans.

Can JetBlue also book your car rental? Tell me about it.

At JetBlue Travel Products, we wanted to disrupt the package market – we have a concierge on the ground, we have added cruises to the vacation product, and we are seeing tremendous traction for our packages. We recognize that package travel isn’t for everyone – we bring the JetBlue level of service to customers who want to build their trips differently – we wanted to do it differently and make the experience our own. If you’ve already booked the flight, but want to add a car or hotel later, this is where we built Paisly by JetBlue, where everything is just a click away and build your trip a la carte as you go. time. We are really proud of what we have done. We are excited about all the benefits and flexibility. Adopt a more customer-centric view. We see it in the customer traction we get, especially when there is so much travel uncertainty.

To me as a journalist everything sounds great and very, very good – and I’m sure my new friend in Caribbean waters would be in awe!


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The Landers Center will expand https://threebearsbandb.com/the-landers-center-will-expand/ Tue, 16 Nov 2021 04:22:29 +0000 https://threebearsbandb.com/the-landers-center-will-expand/ Photo: Render of what the enlarged Landers Center will look like when completed. (AERC PLLC image) When it was originally built, the DeSoto Civic Center was built as a way to hold high school diplomas due to the county’s massive growth. The Civic Center brought professional ice hockey and arena football to the building and […]]]>

Photo: Render of what the enlarged Landers Center will look like when completed. (AERC PLLC image)

When it was originally built, the DeSoto Civic Center was built as a way to hold high school diplomas due to the county’s massive growth. The Civic Center brought professional ice hockey and arena football to the building and attracted a myriad of entertainment acts and events.

Today, the Landers Center, as it is now called, is home to professional basketball and a soon-to-be-operational professional indoor football team, while continuing to be a major venue for concerts and shows.

At the same time, the building offers congress and meeting space to organize lunches, trade shows and other types of meetings.

At the time, it was hoped that the arena and convention center could grow and have an even greater impact in south-central and northern Mississippi.

That’s about to happen with the DeSoto County Supervisory Board’s approval on Monday of a $ 35 million bond to fund a massive expansion. The unanimous vote directs the bond to fund a convention center, a full-service hotel and an independent restaurant on the grounds.

The hotel component is important to Southaven Mayor Darren Musselwhite, who told supervisors the city has attracted several hotel franchises interested in locating a full-service hotel at the Landers Center.

“We have more than one hotel we’re talking to right now,” Musselwhite told supervisors. “In order for us to have this hotel that we’ve never had in DeSoto County before, there has to be a convention center.”

Aerial view of the Landers Center after expansion. (AERC PLLC image)

Musselwhite added that if the hotel was not part of the Landers Center complex, the city would look at other locations, but preferred it to be part of the complex.

“We think this is a special and special area,” Musselwhite said. “We believe that the location of the real estate is essential in the metro and from a regional point of view. The Landers Center is right in the middle of this. Oversee

The DeSoto County Convention and Visitors Bureau owns and operates the facility, but cannot issue bonds. The CVB will be responsible for covering the difference between the county bond and the estimated cost of the expansion, set at around $ 50 million.

“The Supervisory Board is very pleased to partner with the DeSoto County Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Town of Southaven to make a much-needed addition to the Landers Center,” said Chairman of the Board Mark Gardner. “This expansion will allow us to host, among other things, large-scale conventions and trade shows, and this has been our dream since the Landers Center project began in the 1990s.”

The extension will connect to the existing Landers Center which will now be able to accommodate more and larger events.

The hotel addition will be the region’s first full-service hotel, with flexible options for meeting spaces, at least 200 spacious guest rooms, a resort-style pool, and an independent restaurant. Construction is expected to begin in the summer of 2022 and take approximately 24 months to complete. AERC, PLLC based in Hernando, Mississippi, is the architecture firm at the forefront of design. Once the official agreement has been signed with the hotel and restaurant partners, an announcement will be made. More information is available on the Landers Center expansion website.


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Bahraini lender aims to save River North Chicago project https://threebearsbandb.com/bahraini-lender-aims-to-save-river-north-chicago-project/ https://threebearsbandb.com/bahraini-lender-aims-to-save-river-north-chicago-project/#respond Thu, 11 Nov 2021 16:55:00 +0000 https://threebearsbandb.com/bahraini-lender-aims-to-save-river-north-chicago-project/ Chicago City Council has never approved the proposed building on Wabash Avenue and Superior Street, and New York-based developer Symmetry Property Development finally agreed to repay the money last November, after a two-way battle. years about a federal securities fraud lawsuit. But investors have yet to receive a dime. It’s another problem in a long […]]]>

Chicago City Council has never approved the proposed building on Wabash Avenue and Superior Street, and New York-based developer Symmetry Property Development finally agreed to repay the money last November, after a two-way battle. years about a federal securities fraud lawsuit. But investors have yet to receive a dime.

It’s another problem in a long history of development disaster that includes a foreclosure lawsuit, city hall roadblocks and a controversial federal visa program that critics say is vulnerable to fraud. While Symmetry may clean up the mess with a big loan from the mystery lender, lawyers for the Chinese investors doubt the money will ever arrive.

For several months, a Symmetry lawyer told US judge Charles Kocoras that a Middle Eastern lender had agreed to finance the development, with part of the loan proceeds being used to repay investors. But the process dragged on. Multiple heists due to anti-money laundering regulatory hurdles and other red tape have kept funds from arriving in the United States, Greenberg Traurig lawyer Daniel Hildebrand said in court.

Delays test the patience and confidence of investors and their lawyers. As part of its class action settlement with Chinese investors, Symmetry was required to repay them by May 7, Doug Litowitz, one of the attorneys, wrote in an email.

Symmetry “said the money is in their possession but has been stuck in a foreign country for 6 months,” he wrote. “As a former hedge fund lawyer, I have never seen such a delay in a wire transfer.”

Litowitz has another reason to be skeptical: It would be extremely unusual for a developer to receive such a large construction loan – $ 200 million, according to court transcripts – for a project that has not even been approved by the city. . A construction lender may agree to lend money on a conditional basis – after, say, the developer obtains the zoning and permits for the project – but they wouldn’t bet on coming in and advancing the funds on the project. prospect of approval.

“The money is unlikely to come out until the time” approvals are obtained, said mortgage broker Keith Largay, senior general manager of Chicago-based Jones Lang LaSalle.

The chances of that happening are slim as long as Ald. Brendan Reilly, 42, represents River North on City Council. In keeping with the longstanding tradition of city council, aldermen have veto power over developments in their neighborhoods. Reilly used this power in 2017, when he rejected Symmetry’s initial development proposal. He turned down a revised plan in 2019.

“It’s a total mess,” Reilly said in 2019. “There is no real proposal, there are no next steps and there are no pending approvals for the foreseeable future. “

Reilly declined to comment for this story.

To complicate matters, a foreclosure lawsuit on the River North development site owned by a Symmetry company. The case, which was filed in 2019, is pending.

Hildebrand, Symmetry’s attorney, ignored a request for an interview, releasing a statement instead. Attempts to reach Symmetry executives in New York were unsuccessful.

“My client has indicated that he will continue to go through the court process, as he always has,” Hilldebrand wrote. “They are working through the court to meet their terms of settlement.”

Although the hearings in the Symmetry case are open to the public, details about the Bahraini lender and the potential loan are not. Kocoras has authorized Hillebrand to file documents related to the financing under seal and to present certain documents privately to his chambers.

Still, court hearing transcripts reveal growing frustration among lawyers for Chinese investors and suspicions that they are being played. At a hearing in August, Litowitz questioned why the $ 200 million loan had to go through an Abu Dhabi bank and why Symmetry was struggling to pay a $ 200,000 fee related to the financing. Considering the amount of the loan, it should be easy, he argued in court.

“It’s like picking up a $ 100,000 Porsche and going to the bank and borrowing $ 1,000 on it, or borrowing a hundred dollars on it,” he said, according to a transcript. “I mean, it gets silly after the point, it gets amazing.”

Hildebrand, meanwhile, backed down, arguing that the delays were nothing more than that, not some sort of nefarious Symmetry plot to avoid reimbursement.

“I think we can really do some sort of reduction or ignore the suggestion that it might sort of,
at worst, be some sort of ploy to avoid the settlement agreement, ”he said at the same hearing in August, according to the transcript. “Nothing like that is possible. “

However, the challenge does not help the image of the EB-5 visa program, which allows developers to finance projects with money from foreigners who receive green cards in return. Symmetry raised its funds through the federal program, which has come under scrutiny in recent years amid allegations of fraud and mismanagement.

In 2017, a federal judge sentenced a Chicago developer to three years in prison after pleading guilty to defrauding 290 Chinese investors. He raised $ 158 million from them through the EB-5 program for a $ 912 million hotel project near O’Hare International Airport.

The visa program expired in June and Congress has yet to re-authorize it.


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Governor Kathy Hochul hailed for post-COVID hotel stimulus dollars https://threebearsbandb.com/governor-kathy-hochul-hailed-for-post-covid-hotel-stimulus-dollars/ https://threebearsbandb.com/governor-kathy-hochul-hailed-for-post-covid-hotel-stimulus-dollars/#respond Tue, 09 Nov 2021 23:56:00 +0000 https://threebearsbandb.com/governor-kathy-hochul-hailed-for-post-covid-hotel-stimulus-dollars/ New York City’s hospitality industry, ravaged by long shutdowns linked to the coronavirus pandemic, is making a comeback and congratulating Gov. Kathy Hochul, industry officials said on Tuesday. After consulting with the leaders of the New York Hotel Trades Council, which has 40,000 members, Hochul directed much of its $ 450 million tourism stimulus package […]]]>

New York City’s hospitality industry, ravaged by long shutdowns linked to the coronavirus pandemic, is making a comeback and congratulating Gov. Kathy Hochul, industry officials said on Tuesday.

After consulting with the leaders of the New York Hotel Trades Council, which has 40,000 members, Hochul directed much of its $ 450 million tourism stimulus package for New York towards increasing employment in the 300 city ​​hotels – which employed some 50,000 workers before the pandemic.

The plan includes a $ 100 million tourism worker recovery fund, which includes a one-time payment: from $ 2,750 to up to 36,000 hotel workers and other workers in the tourism industry who were eligible for expired unemployment benefits.

An additional $ 100 million is intended to incent hotels and other tourism-dependent businesses that have suffered job and income losses to rehire workers by offering grants of $ 5,000 to subsidize each full-time worker added to the mass salary and $ 2,500 for part-time workers.

To receive the full benefit, employers will need to maintain job increases for 6 months.

The tourism stimulus package includes a $ 100 million tourism workers stimulus fund.
Robert Nickelsberg / Getty Images

Hospitality industry sources said it was good policy – and policy – for Hochul to support the hard-hit hospitality industry reeling from travel stoppages and restrictions during the pandemic. Hochul is running for reelection next year and faces what is expected to be a tough Democratic senior challenge from state attorney general Letitia James.

Hochul is using a combination of funds from the US federal COVID-19 rescue plan as well as state funds to pay for the plan.

A hotel union insider said Hochul’s support for the industry will not be forgotten.

New York State Attorney General Letitia James
New York State Attorney General Letitia James is expected to lead Kathy Hochul.
AP Photo / Ted Shaffrey, file

“Gov. Hochul has gained tremendous goodwill and support from our union members and leaders. No doubt, ”said the source of the hotel union.

Hotel Trades Council President Rich Maroko said, “The loss of federal benefits has been devastating for thousands of hotel workers. But by working with Governor Hochul on this strategic subsidy program to incentivize rehire those who are still unemployed, we are able to tackle the unemployment crisis our members face. The additional income these workers receive will be critical to keeping them afloat as the tourism industry recovers and rebuilds itself after COVID. “

Vijay Dandapani, President of the Hotel Association of NYC, said, “We think this is a great move by the governor to help a besieged industry that has been badly hit by COVID, the impact of which has been felt by all parts of the hospitality industry: employees (both management and workforce) and employers (owners and operators).

Tom DiNapoli
Tom DiNapoli found that declining tourism was responsible for 59% of the drop in tax revenues in New York City.
New York State Comptroller’s Office

He said Hochul’s plan was more constructive than the city’s “severance pay law” requiring hotels with 100 or more employees to provide workers with severance pay of $ 500 per week for 30 weeks.

In addition, the Hochul plan includes a $ 25 million “Meet in New York” grant program that convention planners partnering with hotels can tap into to offer discounts on booking fees or blocks of rooms to attract. business tourism.

Hospitality industry sources said the help couldn’t come soon enough.

Vijay Dandapani, President and CEO of the Hotel Association of New York City
Vijay Dandapani, President and CEO of the New York Hotel Association, congratulated Governor Kathy Hochul.
Getty Images for Hotel Associati

Last year, international visits statewide fell 86% from 2019 and domestic visits increased by almost 40%.

A report by state comptroller Tom DiNapoli found that the decline in tourism activity accounted for 59% of the city’s $ 2 billion drop in tax revenue.

Hospitality and tourism workers suffered the worst job losses of any industry in New York City, according to the state Department of Labor. The number of jobs in the tourism industry fell by 62%, from 52,400 to 32,700 between September 2019 and July 2021.


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Further price hike of $ 13 million for Whangārei’s Oruku Landing conference and event center https://threebearsbandb.com/further-price-hike-of-13-million-for-whangareis-oruku-landing-conference-and-event-center/ https://threebearsbandb.com/further-price-hike-of-13-million-for-whangareis-oruku-landing-conference-and-event-center/#respond Mon, 08 Nov 2021 07:58:44 +0000 https://threebearsbandb.com/further-price-hike-of-13-million-for-whangareis-oruku-landing-conference-and-event-center/ Whangārei’s controversial Oruku Landing conference and event center will cost $ 13 million more than expected, according to a new report. Artist’s impression of the Oruku Landing development project on the waterfront of the Whangārei city basin. Photo: Supplied / Avocado du Nord The cost of constructing the proposed center and surrounding area has increased […]]]>

Whangārei’s controversial Oruku Landing conference and event center will cost $ 13 million more than expected, according to a new report.

Artist’s impression of the Oruku Landing development project on the waterfront of the Whangārei city basin.
Photo: Supplied / Avocado du Nord

The cost of constructing the proposed center and surrounding area has increased by $ 13.15 million from figures originally provided by the Whangārei District Council (WDC). It will now cost $ 136 million, up from $ 123 million when it was first announced at the start of public consultation on October 18.

This means that a potential 23% increase from the $ 57 million proposed by WDC taxpayers for the project has now risen to $ 70 million – towards the $ 136 million center and surrounding infrastructure project.

This means that WDC’s rates would potentially increase by seven percent next year – up from an initial forecast of six percent on Oct. 18 – if the council decides to fund the conference center, which is part of the Oruku Landing hotel. , larger and more private by $ 250 million. , apartment and store development by Northland Development Corporation.

The construction cost of the Oruku Landing conference and event center has increased from $ 80 million to $ 87.45 million. Surrounding state-funded infrastructure increases include its $ 4.4 million boardwalk and the $ 3.15 million sea wall.

The new cost increases mean that WDC will need to get additional feedback on submissions from those who have already submitted more than 1,700 project submissions. These were based on the October 18 costs.

The council received its 146-page preliminary report commissioned by the WDC from Beca Oruku Landing CEC on November 4.

WDC chief executive Rob Forlong said the cost increases could be explained by the board’s move from the design phase to the preliminary design phase. This made it possible to strengthen the costings, as was usual in the evolution of a project.

The proposal was out for the start of the Oct. 18 consultation with design estimates, rather than the more usual – and more precise, preliminary design estimates. This had been so that WDC could meet the timelines for the use of government project funding, he said.

On October 18, the originally $ 123 million Oruku Landing conference center and surrounding infrastructure project were to be funded at $ 57 million by WDC taxpayers, $ 6 million by WDC taxpayers. Northland Regional Council (NRC) and $ 60 million from the government.

Forlong said the board is now reviewing how the extra cost is being handled.

It would not be determined whether the latest increase meant the project was still in progress or was canned. It was a decision of advisers on Nov. 26, after the submissions were considered, he said.

Options included, do not continue with the project; WDC taxpayers pay the additional $ 13.15 million; ask the government to increase its project contribution by $ 60 million; NRC increases funding to taxpayers; remove the proposed $ 2.6 million Oruku Landing ferry terminal from the project; the removal of the proposed $ 18-20 million footbridge from Oruku Landing on the Hātea River.

But any changes had to be made in consultation with the government. Its $ 60 million funding requires the inclusion of the bridge, with the total amount of the contribution being reduced accordingly if the bridge is not functioning.

WDC’s membership, if successful, commits taxpayers to underwrite project cost overruns and pay the center’s annual operating costs of $ 5 million.

Local Democracy Reporting has asked NRC CEO Malcolm Nicolson if the area council plans to increase its financial contribution to the center, following the new report, but has yet to receive a response.

Three public meetings on the proposed center are taking place this week. About fifty people were expected at the first meeting at the Ruakākā recreation center last night (Monday).

The next meeting will take place at Whangārei’s Forum North Exhibition Hall on November 9 (6:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m.) and at Hikurangi War Memorial Hall on November 11 (6:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m.).

Registration is mandatory for these Covid-19 risk management meetings and places fill up quickly.

Public submissions can be made through the WDC website until November 18.

The submission form includes the option for the authors of the submission to say whether they want the conference and event center to be retained or continued.

More information, including the new report, can be found here.

no metadata

Local Democracy Reporting is a public interest information service supported by RNZ, the News Publishers’ Association and NZ On Air.


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The founder of ASK-GARY links the story, the editorial; the school tax does not earn much https://threebearsbandb.com/the-founder-of-ask-gary-links-the-story-the-editorial-the-school-tax-does-not-earn-much/ https://threebearsbandb.com/the-founder-of-ask-gary-links-the-story-the-editorial-the-school-tax-does-not-earn-much/#respond Sat, 06 Nov 2021 10:08:52 +0000 https://threebearsbandb.com/the-founder-of-ask-gary-links-the-story-the-editorial-the-school-tax-does-not-earn-much/ Hotel developer and anti-vaccine activist The irony struck me when I read two seemingly disparate articles in the Nov. 2 Herald-Tribune, “Controversial Hotel Development at South End of Siesta Key Gets Sarasota County Approval” and “Falling Immunization Rates in Florida Put Our Children at Risk.” The developer of the seven-story hotel in question is Gary […]]]>

Hotel developer and anti-vaccine activist

The irony struck me when I read two seemingly disparate articles in the Nov. 2 Herald-Tribune, “Controversial Hotel Development at South End of Siesta Key Gets Sarasota County Approval” and “Falling Immunization Rates in Florida Put Our Children at Risk.”

The developer of the seven-story hotel in question is Gary Kompothecras, founder of 1-800-ASK-GARY, a medical / legal counseling service.

More than two years ago, before anyone heard of COVID or focused on the currently raging debate over childhood immunizations, he was invited to a Sarasota Tiger Bay Club meeting to give another perspective on life-saving immunizations for children, sharing the stage with knowledgeable pediatric and health services. officials, who stressed the importance of these vaccinations.

Following:How to send a letter to the editor

This anti-vaccination proponent stunned the clearly uncomfortable and embarrassed public by spitting out his paranoid right-wing conspiratorial rhetoric about the dangers and ills of these routine childhood disease prevention health practices, supplemented by baseless charts, but certainly colorful and graphic trying to influence and renew its position.


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