Archive for the ‘Tourism’ category

Dolan Media, Reporting For Duty

11-09-07

With the Veteran’s Day weekend upon us, let’s do a surprise inspection of some of Dolan Media’s business and legal stories this week….

New Orleans City Business has a story about yet another lasting change to the city after Katrina: The inability of elderly residents to get back home. Reporter Richard A. Webster interviews Gordon Wadge, a local Catholic Charities official, about his mother, Gloria.

“We had some very emotional conversations,” Wadge said. “She told me, ‘I just want to come home and die in the house your father and I built.’”

Gloria Wadge’s home was undamaged but the circle of neighbors she depended on was shattered.

“There was an elderly couple she kept up with, but the husband died of a heart attack during the evacuation,” Wadge said. “Then there was the neighbor on the other side who came over for tea every day who was so traumatized by the storm that she moved across the lake to live with her daughter.

“And there was another neighbor across the street who was sick with cancer. I’m sure the stress of the storm accelerated that illness because he’s since deceased.”

For reasons like this, the numbers of New Orleans residents under 65 has dropped a staggering 63 percent, NOCB reports….

The impending long weekend has put two Long Island Business News editor in the mood for recreation. Publisher John Kominicki ponders a proposed year-round indoor skiing resort in Riverhead, and how that might help NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg attract more Euro-tourism….

Meanwhile, Associate Web Editor Henry Powderly II continues his LI wine tour, this time stopping at Roanoke Vineyards for a few helpings of jazz and rosé….

The Journal Record in Oklahoma City is hosting a dinner Nov. 29 to honor the “Best Dressed” Oklahomans…but the big buzz in OKC is about the NBA’s Seattle Supersonic’s owner announcing a move to “the Capital of the New Century,” which has upset the NBA commish. He’s mad at Seattle and Washington state officials for not building the Sonics a new home….

The Colorado Springs Business Journal has a feature about the, uh, breathtaking competition in the “vanity oxygen” industry. Reporter Joan Johnson writes:

Oxygen bars, which are popular at various athletic and social events, are facing competition from hand-held canister packs, which contain 25 breaths of 95 percent pure, enriched oxygen — more than four times the amount of oxygen found in ambient air.

Just as bottlers convinced consumers that it wasn’t ludicrous to pay $2 for a bottle of water, oxygen companies are betting that people will be willing to pay for a breath of fresh air.

Marketing canned or portable oxygen appears to have started in Asia, and grew out of the scuba industry. People were using small, supplemental oxygen tanks outside diving because of the air quality in major cities, said Kevin Berigan, president of Oxygen Plus Inc.

Berigan said that more than 11,000 7-Eleven stores in Japan began selling private-label oxygen about a year ago.

Bill Miller, creative director of Oxygen Plus, said that his company doesn’t claim its products have any medical benefits or can cure any ailments, but he said there are benefits for skiers, cyclists, hikers, partiers, spa goers, athletes and smog breathers.

But she also quotes a pulmonary specialist as saying the whole business is “a scam.”

I wonder if the next big thing will be bottled air from exotic locations like Maui…the North Pole…the Greek Islands….or Paris….

CUT TO: Casablanca Airport, Night

(A cloud of fog mixes with engine smoke.)

Ilsa: But what about us?

Rick: We’ll always have Paris. We didn’t have, we, we lost it until you came to Casablanca. We got it back last night.

Ilsa: Oh Rick, I have a bottle of Paris right here. Want a hit?

Rick: Here’s looking at you, kid!

No Business Like Snow Business

11-01-07

vail-snow-10-22.jpgForests might be burning in California, glaciers might be melting at the poles, but take heart: In the Rocky Mountains, there’s already two feet of snow, according to Colorado Springs Business Journal’s Amy Gillentine. That’s a big business story for U.S. tourism:

With millions of dollars spent for renovations and improvements, Colorado’s ski resorts are counting on early snow reports to bring tourists from around the world to the slopes this winter.

With early snowfall amounts at some resorts nearing two feet — and with the help of artificial snow at some of the ski slopes — two resorts are open, and many more are preparing for big opening days during the next two months.

“We had two feet of snow in the past week,” said Kristen Rust at Aspen Ski Resort, which includes four mountains. “That’s always a really good sign. Whenever you have a nationally broadcast football game in Denver, and they’re talking about snow — that gets the phones ringing.”

Apparently, Mother Nature was listening to some good marketing advice:

Big snow storms are the best publicity, she said. And the earlier in the season they come, the earlier the resort bookings begin.

“It’s still pretty warm on the East Coast,” Rust said. “So people are looking at the Rockies, hearing about the snow and booking winter vacations.”

Aspen relies on out-of-state visitors and international travelers for much of its clientele. Last year’s warm winter on the East Coast and dry European weather led to strong sales at Aspen.

Amy’s story has lots of details about conditions and new features at an array of Colorado resorts, including Vail, Breckinridge, Copper Mountain, Monarch Mountain — all of them happy campers so far.

(Photo credit: Colorado Springs Business Journal)

Windmills, Dams, Poker and Ghosts: Tuesday Evening Dolan Wrap

10-23-07

“Global warming is here.”  That’s how Richard Kessel, until a few weeks ago the chief of the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA), greets Long Island BizBlog’s David Reich-Hale and Henry Powderly II when they meet at Kessel’s favorite breakfast spotMary Bill Diner in Merrick, N.Y.  It’s mostly a chat about his personal plans, but Kessel did speak out on behalf of an offshore wind energy project that the new LIPA CEO opposes:

He shared concerns about the costs, but he asked “find me a project that is renewable, and it’s cheaper.” Unfortunately, there is no place to put these windmills on land on Long Island.

All alternative energy projects will cost a lot up front and pay off over time, that’s the problem. Bills would rise to cover the up-front costs, he said. And as for the windmills, Kessel swore there is no cheaper way. “In the end the wind project is going to look pretty good when oil hits $100.”

As for solar power on the per-house level, it takes a lot of time to install solar panels and if you spend the same money on them as the wind farm would have cost, you’d generate less electricity.

The bottom line is, alternative energy costs more. If we don’t want to pay, then “stick with oil and see what happens.”

There are wind-energy battles going on all over the country, the most notorious in Massachussets.  NIMBYism and environmentalism are on a collision course and, so far, NIMBYism is getting the better of it….

For those who don’t recognize the NIMBY acronym, it means Not in My Backyard.  Planners love these kinds of acronyms to describe foes of controversial projects.  This one seems perfect for Long Island:  GOAH.  It stands for Gedoudaheah….

The largest dam to be demolished in the Pacific Northwest in 40 years started coming down today, and DJC’s Libby Tucker was there to watch.  It was demolished by the same general contractor, Natt McDougall, who built it 18 years ago….

DJC links to a video here….

The IRS has noticed the poker tournament fad, and wants its cut, reports DC Dicta….

Halloween in New Orleans?  Why, it’s a “mini-Mardi Gras,” according to New Orleans City Business.

“When you enjoy the reputation as one of the nation’s most haunted cities, naturally Halloween is a big draw for people who want to make Halloween a destination,” said Mary Beth Romig, spokeswoman for the New Orleans Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau.

The Hotel Monteleone bills itself as “most haunted,” a distinction not every hotel wants….