Mortgage Fraud Risk on the Rise

first_imgMortgage Fraud Risk on the Rise in Daily Dose, Data, Headlines, News For the second straight year, Washington, D.C., is the place lenders are most likely to encounter mortgage fraud, according to the annual Mortgage Fraud Risk Report released Thursday by Interthinx.Interthinx, a subsidiary of First American Financial Corporation, annually studies loan applications processed by its FraudGUARD system to determine the riskiest places in the country for mortgage fraud. What it found from its study of applications in 2013 was that fraud risk nationally rose by 4 index points to a total of 104. This continues the rising trend in fraud risk observed over the past three years as inventories shrink, prices rise, and markets stabilize.More alarming is that nationally, the risk of occupancy fraud—whereby a borrower lies that a house will be occupied in order to secure a mortgage—rose 24 percent to an index rating of 135. Greeley, Colorado, was the riskiest for occupancy fraud risk, with an index of 227. According to Interthinx, this increase is likely due to a more purchase-driven market and continued investor interest in acquiring real estate.The District of Columbia remained atop the list of riskiest states, with a mortgage fraud risk index of 142. California was a close second on the list with an index of 141, which is up 12 percent from 2012. Nevada, Illinois, Florida, Alaska, Hawaii, Colorado, Maryland, and New Jersey rounded out the top 10 riskiest states.The least risky state in the report is Maine, which has a risk index rating of 55. Mississippi, South Dakota, Nebraska, Wyoming, North Dakota, West Virginia, Vermont, Iowa, and Kansas were the other nine least risky states.Perhaps encouraging is Interthinx’s finding that the geographic distribution of fraud risk was less dispersed in 2013 than it was in 2012. Still, California holds an unusually intense concentration of risks, claiming nine of the top 10 riskiest metropolitan statistical areas, or MSAs; 18 of the 25 riskiest ZIP codes; five of the 10 riskiest MSAs for identity fraud; seven of the 10 riskiest MSAs for occupancy fraud; and eight of the 10 riskiest MSAs for income and employment fraud.“What this year’s report clearly demonstrates is the effect of changing markets on fraud operations,” said Ashley Woodworth, VP of business development and corporate strategy at Interthinx. “In previous years, when refinances dominated the market, we saw higher instances of employment and income fraud. Now that the market has shifted to the purchase arena, we’ve seen a corresponding increase in occupancy fraud.”Interthinx president Jeff Moyer said that because underwriters haven’t been exposed to purchase-market fraud schemes  in several years, statistical analysis of fraud trends is all the more timely. “The more statistical information we can provide regarding where and how mortgage fraud risk manifests,” he said, “the better lenders are able to guard against fraud, which can only help in furthering the recovery of the mortgage industry.” April 3, 2014 436 Views center_img Share Interthinx Mortgage Fraud 2014-04-03 Scott_Morganlast_img read more

Pending Home Sales Wane in June

first_img in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, Headlines, News Existing-Home Sales Home Prices National Association of Realtors Pending-Home Sales 2014-07-28 Tory Barringer Share After three straight months of increases, pending home sales lost momentum in June, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR).NAR’s Pending Home Sales Index, an indicator of future home sales based on contract signings, fell to 102.7 last month, down 1.1 percent from May and 7.3 percent from June 2013.NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun said that while the housing market is stabilizing, ongoing challenges are holding sales back from their full potential.”Activity is notably higher than earlier this year as prices have moderated and inventory levels have improved,” Yun said. “However, supply shortages still exist in parts of the country, wages are flat, and tight credit conditions are deterring a higher number of potential buyers from fully taking advantage of lower interest rates.”Declines were led in the Northeast, where pending sales fell 2.9 percent month-over-month to an index value of 83.8. Pending home sales were also down in the South, dipping 2.4 percent to an index of 113.8.Meanwhile, the Midwest’s index gained 1.1 percent to 106.6, while the West climbed 0.2 percent to 95.7.Even with the national decrease, however, Yun notes that June’s index remained above the benchmark considered to be an average level of contract activity. Based on current measures, the group expects a minor uptick in sales during the latter half of the year, with a slowdown in home price appreciation and a pickup in inventory driving more activity.”With rents rising 4 percent annually, potential buyers are less likely to experience sticker shock and can make smart decisions on whether or not it makes sense to buy or continue renting,” Yun said.According to the group, the national median existing-home price for all housing types in June was $223,300, a gain of 4.3 percent over June 2013. It was the slowest annual increase since March 2012. Home prices between 2014 and 2015 are expected to grow between 5 and 6 percent per year.For all of 2014, NAR forecasts existing-home sales to come to 4.95 million, a 2.8 percent decrease from 2013.center_img July 28, 2014 520 Views Pending Home Sales Wane in Junelast_img read more

Survey Finds LikeKind Exchanges Promote Economic Job Growth

first_img Economic Growth Job Growth Like-Kind Exchanges National Association of Realtors 2015-07-10 Staff Writer July 10, 2015 463 Views Survey Finds Like-Kind Exchanges Promote Economic & Job Growth Sharecenter_img Like-kind exchanges in the real estate market are an important factor for property acquisition and disposal, and they also support the nation’s financial growth, job creation, and economy, according to a new survey from the National Association of Realtors (NAR).The survey, titled “Like-Kind Exchanges: Real Estate Market Perspectives 2015,” questioned NAR’s commercial and residential members and determined that Realtors are active participants in like-kind exchanges, with 63 percent of Realtors noting that they participated in a like-kind exchange transaction between 2011 and 2015. The survey also found that these like-kind exchanges in which Realtors participated created between 10 and 35 new jobs, mostly resulting from spending on building improvements following acquisition.Real estate investors and commercial property owners place a very high priority on current like-kind exchange tax rules, NAR said. Of those surveyed, 40 percent indicated that transactions would not have occurred in the absence of the tax provision, and 56 percent said even if the project would have occurred it likely would have been smaller in scale.According to the survey, the like-kind exchange rules, or Internal Revenue Code Section 1031, allows taxpayers to defer tax when they exchange investment or business properties for another property of a “like kind.” The main benefit of the like-kind exchanges is the opportunity to use capital and resources efficiently, which encourages economic growth and job creation. Replacement properties must be identified in 45 days and the transaction completed within 180 days.”Like-kind exchanges that allow investors and businesses to defer capital gains taxes on the exchange of similar properties bring great advantages to investors, real estate markets and the economy,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. “Realtors and their clients often look for better economic use of existing properties that are underutilized, which helps promote local economic development and increase the nation’s gross domestic product.”Among the reasons for participating in a like-kind transactions, survey respondents and their clients noted deferral of capital gains taxes, equity to acquire additional properties, estate planning, portfolio diversification, and completion of a development project.Tax savings from like-kind exchanges help bring more capital into local markets, NAR determined. Eighty-six percent of respondents said the savings from tax deferment allowed them or their clients to invest additional capital and make improvement in their acquired properties. These investments are mostly responsible for the creation of new jobs, such as in construction and property management.NAR believes like-kind exchange transactions are vital to the real estate investment sector, and repealing the tax provision would negatively impact real estate markets and the industry.”Like-kind exchanges help investors more efficiently allocate capital and resources with less borrowed money into new investments that drive economic activity in communities across the nation,” said Chris Polychron, NAR president and executive broker with 1st Choice Realty in Hot Springs, Arkansas. “Any tax reform plan repealing like-kind exchanges would hurt investors and small businesses, increase financial leverage, weaken growth and the economy, and result in the loss of jobs.”Robert Dietz, Ph.D., VP for tax and market analysis for the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) said on their Eye on Housing blog that the land development sector also benefits from existing like-kind rules.“The study highlights the importance of the like-kind exchange rules for the real estate sector, as well as the construction of new residential and commercial properties,” Dietz said. “While the research did not examine the land development sector, this industry also benefits from the existing rules.”Click here to view the National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) Like-Kind Exchange Survey.  in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, Newslast_img read more

ValuAmerica Integrates with Ellie Maes Encompass Software

first_img ValuAmerica, a national provider of appraisal, title, closing and settlement services headquartered in Pittsburgh, has announced an integration with Ellie Mae, a provider of on-demand software solutions and services for the residential mortgaging industry.The partnership has allowed ValuAmerica, a subsidiary of Clayton Holdings LLC, to integrate its ValuNet xsp platform with Ellie Mae’s Encompass all-in-one mortgage management solution so lenders can retrieve ValuAmerica’s appraisal, title, closing, and settlement services. Encompass gives users a more organized workflow, which allows users to order ValuAmerica’s appraisal and title products through the software.“Our secure, seamless integration with Encompass enables our clients to simplify the ordering of our appraisal and title services, so they can more efficiently process mortgage loans and grow their business,” said Shaun Murphy, EVP of ValuAmerica. “We look forward to a long, successful relationship with Ellie Mae.”Radian Group Inc., the parent company of Clayton Holdings, LLC, has introduced Encompass to multiple subsidiaries, according to Murphy. Radian Guaranty, a Radian Group, Inc. company, has previously integrated its mortgage insurance offerings with Ellie Mae, allowing lenders to access a plethora of services to streamline their businesses. ValuAmerica Integrates with Ellie Mae’s Encompass Software Share Ellie Mae ValuAmerica 2016-11-18 MirashaBrowncenter_img November 18, 2016 748 Views in Headlines, News, Technologylast_img read more

Castro Notes Accomplishments in Farewell Memo

first_img January 5, 2017 1,002 Views Castro Notes Accomplishments in Farewell Memo Julián CastroJulián Castro is ending his run as the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) on a positive note, releasing a final memo to the American people that deems housing a “platform for opportunity.”The memo calls attention to some of HUD’s top housing-related accomplishments, including its efforts to stabilize the post-Great Recession market; help homeowners who lost their properties in Hurricane Sandy, floods, and other natural disasters; and give public housing residents access to high-speed internet through the ConnectHome program.“We stabilized a housing market in crisis and then,” Castro says, “through the Federal Housing Administration, stepped up lending to responsible borrowers while increasing capital reserves and lowering mortgage insurance premiums. We developed public-private partnerships to preserve affordable housing. We affirmed the Fair Housing Act’s basic principle of desegregated communities and protected housing opportunities for all. And conscious of the damage climate change is wreaking on our homes and infrastructure, we invested more than $18 billion in communities recovering from natural disasters and initiated a $1 billion competition for resilient housing and infrastructure projects, and unlocked access to Property Accessed Clean Energy financing so that the thousands of American’s that chose an FHA-backed mortgage each day can make energy efficiency improvements on their homes at no upfront cost.”HUD also worked with the Department of Justice and 49 state attorneys general to protect homeowners from mortgage fraud during the financial crisis. The result was a $25 billion agreement in 2012 with the country’s five largest lenders, providing relief to millions of homeowners across the country.It’s these types of acts, along with many others, that make HUD the “Department of Opportunity,” Castro says.“Everything we did in the last eight years was oriented to bring greater opportunity to the people we serve every day,” he said.President Obama’s administration also has many things to be proud of, Castro says.“Through the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP), the Hardest-Hit Fund, and the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP), the Obama Administration’s efforts stabilized the economy by providing a critical lifeline to more than 10 million distressed homeowners,” Castro said. “These efforts paid off—Americans built nearly $7 trillion in housing wealth since 2009. Today, home values in many housing markets are fully recovered, and more people are once again turning to homeownership to build equity for themselves and their families.”But despite the many things that have been accomplished over President Obama’s eight and Castro’s nearly three years in office, Castro says there is still work to be done.“Much has been accomplished during the Obama Administration, but new challenges are on the horizon, including a severely aging public housing stock and an affordable housing crisis in many areas of the country,” Castro said. “Just as HUD provided necessary reinforcement to the housing market during the latest economic crisis, this vital Department will be crucial to the continued improvement of the American economy and the security of millions of Americans in the years to come.”Castro has been the HUD Secretary since July 2014, and his tenure in that position is expected to end after President-elect Donald Trump is sworn in on January 20. If he is confirmed by the Senate, Dr. Ben Carson will be the next HUD Secretary. HUD Julián Castro Obama Administration 2017-01-05 Seth Welborncenter_img in Daily Dose, Data, Government, Headlines, News Sharelast_img read more

Construction Jobs and the Housing Market

first_img in Daily Dose, Data, Government, News September 7, 2018 723 Views Share Unemployment has stayed steady, according to the latest Employment Situation Summary from the U.S. Census Bureau. The unemployment rate is still at 3.9 percent as of August 2018, and the number of unemployed persons remains relatively unchanged at 6.2 million.“Today’s jobs data showed wage growth is slowly increasing, currently at 2.9 percent compared to 2.3 percent at this time last year,” said Mark Fleming, Chief Economist, at First American. “The increased pace of wage growth, combined with the recent slowdown in price appreciation, should bode well for consumer house-buying power this fall.”Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men, adult women, teenagers, Whites, Blacks, Asians, and Hispanics showed little or no change in August.Construction has seen a trend upward in employment, up by over 23,000 in August, and up by 297,000 over the year.“The headline numbers from the August jobs report point to a solid labor market,” said Doug Duncan, Chief Economist at Fannie Mae. “Despite the downward revisions in the prior two months, average monthly job gains year-to-date sit at 207,000, above the 189,000 over the same period in 2017. The pop in annual wage gains to the expansion best, along with the recent uptrend in inflation, seems to support Fed Chair Powell’s argument in Jackson Hole that moving interest rates too slowly could risk overheating, consistent with our call for September and December rate hikes. For housing, a pickup in residential construction workers was encouraging and badly needed as supply constraints largely kept housing on the sideline during the first half of the year while other consumer and business demand helped propel strong economic growth.”Fannie Mae notes that increased employment has led to an overall more positive sentiment among homeowners. Fannie Mae’s Home Purchase Sentiment Index was 88 points in August, up 1.5 points month over month. According to Fannie Mae, the uptick in home purchase sentiment can be attributed to job- and income-related HPSI components, as 15 percentage points fewer Americans were afraid of losing their job as of August, a large recovery from July’s 11 point month over month decrease. This puts the share of those who are unafraid of losing their job at 80 percent, a record high for the survey.Find the complete Census Bureau charts here.center_img Construction Jobs and the Housing Market Census Bureau Employment Fannie Mae 2018-09-07 Seth Welbornlast_img read more

For the past 35 years we have been risktakers

first_img“For the past 35 years, we have been risk-takers,” notes Steve Barnard, President and CEO. “This avocado revolution is a once in a lifetime opportunity and we do not plan on slowing down anytime soon. It’s only half-time.”Among a long list of accomplishments, Mission Produce was the first company to pioneer a nationwide U.S. avocado ripening program, the first to commercially import avocados from Chile, and the first to open an avocado ripening and distribution center in China. The company has always been on the forefront and continues to lead the industry. “Mission simply pays attention and seizes opportunities,” stated Jim Donovan, Senior Vice President of Global Sourcing. “We will continue to capitalize on being the most innovative and quality-centric avocado handler in the world,” added Donovan. Innovation is a fundamental value of the business and one of the reasons why Mission Produce has remained so successful.The company operates in nine countries and owns eleven ripening facilities in North America, Europe, and China. Mission is grateful for its team members and partners, who have helped put Mission Produce on the map.“Although we have grown tremendously in the last 35 years, our core values remain the same. Our employees abide by the acronym FIRST, which stands for fun, innovative, reliable, successful and trustworthy. We will continue building this business by investing in relationships, living by the motto ‘work hard, play hard’, and showing our partners our devotion for success. We are looking forward to connecting with everyone at PMA and celebrating this momentous occasion,” concludes Ross Wileman, Senior Vice President of Strategic Initiatives. PRESS RELEASEOxnard, California –Mission Produce, the world’s leading distributor of fresh Hass avocados, celebrates 35 years of innovation at PMA Fresh Summit. This anniversary is a proud moment for all Mission employees, who are celebrating by reflecting on the past but more importantly, looking towards the future. Mission Produce reveals avocado ‘size interchangea … You might also be interested in October 17 , 2018 last_img read more

cruiseMajestic LineScotland

first_imgcruiseMajestic LineScotland Scotland’s exclusive small ship cruise company, Majestic Line, which sails Scotland’s spectacular west coast and isles of the Outer Hebrides, has announced the addition of a new purpose-built vessel – The Glen Shiel – along with new itineraries. The Glen Shiel has been specifically designed to undertake longer cruises to the very edge of Western Europe and will offer new routes to the Western Outer Hebrides, St Kilda and the stunning North West Mainland Coast from the end of June 2019. Glen Shiel will complement Majestic Line’s three existing boats with added features such as more powerful engines for faster sailing to new remote destinations and an improved observation saloon for wildlife watching. Accommodation will comprise of seven ensuite double cabins taking up to 12 passengers onboard. She will be finished in traditional wood and brass with a steel based hull, like her sister ship Glen Etive.Glen Shiel will visit the furthest far flung areas of the West Coast including:“North West Coast Wilderness” 10-night cruise through mountainous sea lochs peppered with delightful places such as Torridon, Gairloch, Applecross and Shieldaig and north to the idyllic Summer Isles.“Islands on the Edge of Europe” 10-night cruise to the very edge of the Outer Hebrides with stopovers at Barra, Vatersay, Lewis and Harris.“Outer Hebrides and St Kilda” 10-night cruises from July 2019 with sister vessel, Glen Etive offering two new “Over the Sea to Skye” 10-night cruises in July and August 2019.last_img read more

The 5 Takeaways from the Coyotes introduction of

first_img The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo While Whisenhunt didn’t suffer the same fate Monday, he was asked about his job status and the relationship he has with team management.“I’ve talked to Michael [Bidwill] every day,” Whisenhunt said. “We talk about all kinds of things. You know I control what I can control. “Like I said, I understand this business and I have a job to do. I feel disappointed we haven’t done it.”With their loss on Sunday, the Cardinals have now been eliminated from postseason contention for the third consecutive year. And while Whisenhunt built up plenty of goodwill within the organization after leading the Cardinals to back-to-back division titles in 2008 and 2009, that seems like an afterthought these days in the midst of a nine-game losing streak.Although it would be easy for the Cardinals coach to deflect the negative attention he and his woeful team have garnered around the Valley in recent weeks, Whisenhunt admitted Monday that the fans deserve better.“My greatest disappointment is for our fans,” said Whisenhunt. “They’ve been so good to me and to us. I feel like I’ve let them down from not being able to do what we wanted to do.” Comments   Share   After the 2012 season, Whisenhunt still has one year remaining on his current contract for $5.5 million.In 93 games as Arizona’s head coach, Whisenhunt is 44-49. Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Top Stories center_img – / 17 Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling If Ken Whisenhunt’s proverbial coaching seat was only lukewarm heading into Sunday’s game against the Seattle Seahawks, it’s certainly been notched up a few degrees after the Arizona Cardinals suffered their worst loss in franchise history, 58-0.The organization hasn’t been shy about letting go of a head coach following an embarrassing defeat. After Arizona was routed 48-7 by the Dallas Cowboys back in October 2000, team president Bill Bidwill and general manager Bob Ferguson fired head coach Vince Tobin a day later and replaced him with defensive coordinator Dave McGinnis.last_img read more

Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impa

first_img Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Arians said Palmer looked “outstanding” in his first 11-on-11 action during mini-camp.Another Cardinals star on the comeback trail could be Mathieu, who Wesseling put seventh on his list. “Honey Badger” played 13 games in his return from reconstructive knee surgery, but clearly wasn’t himself in a limited role. The Cardinals believe he has finally recaptured pre-injury form this offseason, which will allow him to channel the playmaking ability he flashed while making a run at Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2013.As for Mathieu, the defensive back has had an impressive offseason, with Arians saying he looks more and more like he did as a rookie.The 5-foot-9 defensive back worked his way back into the lineup in 2014 after suffering a torn ACL in 2013, picking up 37 tackles (35 solo) and an interception.As a rookie, he had 68 tackles (65 solo) with a sack and a forced fumble with two interceptions in 2013 before suffering the injury.Palmer and Mathieu are among the several Cardinals looking to come back for the injury-riddled team that won 11 games and made the playoffs in 2014. Don’t call it a comeback.Or, actually, do.According to NFL.com writer Chris Wesseling, Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer and defensive back Tyrann Mathieu could have big comeback years in 2015.Wesseling listed Palmer second in his list of the “Top Comeback Player of the Year candidates for 2015,” ranking just behind Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson. The recent history of quarterbacks returning from ACL injuries doesn’t bode well for Palmer’s chances, but he has already exceeded expectations in his speedy recovery. His surrounding talent is significantly better than conventional wisdom suggests, with a suddenly stout offensive line and a wide receiver corps featuring breakout candidate John Brown. Palmer is 13-2 with a 27:12 touchdown-to-interception ratio over his last 15 starts in Bruce Arians’ offense.Palmer was 6-0 in starts for Arizona last season, throwing for 1,626 yards and 11 touchdowns with three interceptions before tearing his ACL against the St. Louis Rams. Comments   Share   Top Stories center_img Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retireslast_img read more

Cardinals receiver John Brown set a career high wi

first_imgCardinals receiver John Brown set a career high with 196 receiving yards Sunday, but his game against the Pittsburgh Steelers might end up being about the what ifs.What if Brown hadn’t fumbled in the third quarter, setting the Steelers up at the Arizona 32-yard line, where behind third-string quarterback Landry Jones they would quickly score to take a 12-10 lead?What if, in the fourth quarter with Arizona trailing 18-13, Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer had seen safety Mike Mitchell bearing down on Brown, ready to intercept a pass in the end zone? He also made catches of 12 and 19 yards on an eight-play, 59-yard drive as Arizona ate nearly five minutes off the clock, seemingly setting up a late score — a touchdown would have put them ahead. But the possession ended, like too many for the Cardinals on Sunday, with no points as Palmer threw his second pick of the day.Said head coach Bruce Arians: “The ball should’ve never been there.” – / 11 Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo “The thing that stings the most … the play I caught the ball, I got hit, the ref ruled it a fumble,” Brown told Paul Calvisi on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM. “The Steelers took good advantage of that.”Had the Steelers not taken advantage of so many things, including the plus-three turnover battle in their favor, then the Cardinals might be able to celebrate Brown’s career mark.Instead, Arizona fell 25-13 to make his performance a bit hollow.Nonetheless, it was an impressive showing for the second-year receiver. His 10 catches came with a 19.6-yard per reception average and despite the fumble — hard hits by James Harrison will do that to you — he gave Arizona a fighting chance in a mistake-riddled game. It didn’t take long for Brown to make an impact. He nabbed this 45-yard catch on the Cardinals’ first possession, taking the ball right out of a defender’s hands.Watch that unbelievable opening 45-yard catch from @Jwalk_back12. #AZvs PIThttp://t.co/kVabk463Um pic.twitter.com/FC00uV2Ov5— Arizona Cardinals (@AZCardinals) October 18, 2015Later, Brown had a 42-yard catch to set up an Arizona field goal that cut Pittsburgh’s lead to 15-13. Comments   Share   Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Top Stories Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impactlast_img read more

So when Anderson joined Doug Wolf on 987 FM Ari

first_imgSo when Anderson joined Doug & Wolf on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station and was asked about when Arians knew he’d retire, it wasn’t surprising to hear just how close the coach was to returning for another season.“I’m being 100 percent honest when I thought there was a chance that we were going to have to spike the story at The Athletic, that we were going to have to kill the story, as Bruce was walking up to the podium,” Anderson said Wednesday. “He was just so torn up about it. Of course a decision like this, you have to talk it through with family, you have to look at it from every angle.“We had talked a couple times late last week and I put something together (for a story),” Anderson said. “He was being 100 percent sincere when he said he just didn’t know. This is the thing: His heart is telling him to keep coaching, but his head is telling him he should probably step away.”Anderson said he pitched the retirement story idea to Arians to help explain why the coach saw it important to end his coaching career. But even though Arians agreed, Anderson didn’t know if the story would run this year, next or even further down the road. Author Lars Anderson knows the temperature of former Arizona Cardinals coach Bruce Arians’ emotions as well as anyone.He watched the head coach sling drinks with the Cardinals’ front office after a day’s work, golfed with him in the offseason and helped write Arians’ book, “The Quarterback Whisperer: How to Build an Elite NFL Quarterback.” Anderson also wrote The Athletic’s story explaining why Arians retired on Monday following his fifth year leading Arizona. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Arians’ wife, Christine, had a part in pushing the 65-year-old coach to retire, Anderson said.While Arians wasn’t battling any specific health issues in 2017, the wear of being an NFL head coach played a part in his decision to step away from the game.“Probably one of the hardest things for me this year was sitting at the lake this summer, and Chris said, ‘You know (our son) Jake’s going to be 40?’ And I mean, it hit me like a ton of bricks that I missed all that time,” Arians said during his Monday press conference announcing his decision.Will Arians’ retirement keep him entirely away from football?Anderson indicated the former Cardinals coach may not be done. At the least, Anderson said Arians would be willing to lend advice to those wanting his perspective.“He has a plan to try to keep his hand in the game. I can’t get into what that is but I think you haven’t seen the last of B.A.,” said Anderson. “No, he’s not going to be on the sidelines for the Arizona Cardinals and that absolutely breaks his heart.“I’m sure Bruce will be willing to give any type of advice. He certainly would be willing to take a phone call and answer any questions. It wouldn’t surprise me if Bruce showed up at the combine.” Top Stories The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelocenter_img 3 Comments   Share   (AP Photo/Matt Dunham) Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impactlast_img read more

Go back to the enewsletter Swiss International Ai

first_imgGo back to the e-newsletterSwiss International Air Lines will be further adjusting its range of services from Zurich and Geneva in its 2016 summer schedules. Alicante in Spain will receive scheduled service from Zurich, while the vacation destination of Lamezia Terme in Southern Italy will be served from Geneva. The new summer schedules will also see frequencies increased to various existing European and intercontinental destinations. And the new Boeing 777-300ER will be introduced onto a number of routes in the course of the summer timetable period. SWISS will serve 102 destinations in 46 countries in its new summer schedules, which come into effect at the end of March.SWISS will offer a new thrice-weekly service from Zurich to Alicante on Spain’s Costa Brava in its new summer schedules. Three further weekly flights will also be added to the Zurich-Hamburg, Zurich-Berlin and Zurich-Krakow routes, bringing the last of these to daily operation. And Brindisi, Bari, Bilbao, Naples and Thessaloniki all receive an additional weekly Zurich flight.On the long-haul network, SWISS will be gradually raising its frequencies to Boston. As a result, the self-styled ‘Hub of the Universe’ will be served by up to two daily flights in the peak summer season.New Boeing 777-300ERs for ultra-long-haul routesFlights to a range of long-haul destinations will be switched to operation with the new Boeing 777-300ER in the course of the summer timetable period. SWISS’s new fleet flagship will be deployed on services between Zurich and Bangkok, Hong Kong, Los Angeles, Montreal, San Francisco, São Paulo and Tel Aviv.New services from GenevaSWISS’s Geneva-based network will see the new addition of Lamezia Terme in Southern Italy, which will receive a seasonal weekly flight from Geneva in July and August. Service on the Geneva-Valencia route will be raised to up to four weekly flights; and frequencies to Ajaccio, Biarritz and Calvi will also be increased. Services will also be intensified from Geneva to destinations in Portugal and on the Greek islands, in response to the generally higher demand on these routes in the summer months.SWISS will serve 102 destinations (76 European and 26 intercontinental) in 46 countries in its 2016 summer schedules. The new summer timetable will be valid from 27 March to 29 October 2016.Edelweiss to add Rio de JaneiroSWISS will also be offering services to new vacation destinations in collaboration with its sister carrier Edelweiss in the 2016 summer timetable period. Edelweiss is further expanding its long-haul network, and will offer two weekly services to the Olympic city of Rio de Janeiro from the end of April. Edelweiss will also be adding a further Canadian destination to its network: Calgary, the gateway to the Rockies, will be served twice weekly from Zurich from the end of May. Two further leisure destinations will also be added to Edelweiss’s short-haul network from June onwards: Seville (Spain) and Pula (Croatia), which each receive two weekly services. Flights to both will be bookable from 17 March.The Lufthansa GroupThe airlines of the Lufthansa Group – Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Eurowings, Lufthansa and SWISS – will be even more attractive this summer for business and leisure travellers alike. And, as always, customers can be assured of the top-notch service quality and reliability of the Lufthansa Group.In the coming summer schedules, the airlines of the Lufthansa Group will offer one of the most comprehensive networks of air services in the world, with over 23,140 weekly flights. Via their Frankfurt, Munich, Zurich, Vienna and Brussels hubs, and also with numerous point-to-point connections, the Group’s airlines will serve 316 destinations in 101 countries (compared to 321 destinations in 103 countries in summer 2015).This already-vast range of services will be further supplemented by over 18,000 codeshare flights offered in collaboration with some 30 partner airlines to provide Lufthansa Group customers with a virtually worldwide air travel network.The summer schedules of all the member airlines of the Lufthansa Group are valid from Sunday 27 March to Saturday 29 October 2016.Go back to the e-newsletterlast_img read more

Go back to the enewsletter During this years Virt

first_imgGo back to the e-newsletterDuring this years Virtuoso Week, Virtuoso revealed research that indicates certain steps lead to indisputable success for its travel agency members and their frontline advisors, particularly new entrants into the business.Additionally, Virtuoso shared some recent data and findings that show exactly why the industry is bullish when it comes to travel advisors.Virtuoso’s analysis on the state of affair for travel advisors:Virtuoso saw a 26 per cent increase in advisors in 2015; 57 per cent of that growth came from existing Virtuoso members.Growth has been consistent over the past five years. Virtuoso reports an 85 per cent jump in network advisors between 2010 and 2015.Growth will continue: 79 per cent of agency owners expect sales to grow this year and 68 per cent of them intend to staff up. Following an analysis of proprietary research on advisors who were new to the profession as well as its network, Virtuoso surmised which practices led them to become million-dollar producers in record time, as compared to their counterparts who did not participate at the same levels.Here, then, the “Seven Habits of Highly Effective Travel Advisors”:Engage in networking: Virtuoso says this group of advisors is twice as likely to attend its famed Virtuoso Travel Week conference, where travel advisor “speed-dating” results in hundreds of thousands of meetings with preferred suppliers, all in the name of relationship building.Participate in professional development: Virtuoso’s research shows that this group took 75 per cent more training classes than the average advisor.Utilise marketing: 83 per cent of them participate in Virtuoso’s marketing initiatives, ensuring that over 70 per cent of their clients receive customised marketing vehicles that direct consumers back to their Virtuoso advisor.Connect through social media: Over 90 per cent of this group are active on multiple social media channels, using it as a means to communicate and inspire their clients.Present themselves as professionals: 80 per cent have created a bio that includes their areas of specialisation, the countries they have visited and when, and a professional headshot. This detailed information lives on Virtuoso’s Advisor Catalogue on the network’s website, and creates a way to engage prospects who may be seeking their services.Encourage feedback: Over 40 per cent of these advisors have clients who have submitted reviews and recommendations for their profile page. This is nearly four times the network average. These advisors thrive on the feedback, which is routinely glowing.They follow-up: This group knows that follow-up, particularly after the trip, is essential to building the foundation of a successful advisor-client relationship. It is no surprise that these advisors average 26.2 reviews per person versus the network average of 14.5.Go back to the e-newsletterlast_img read more

Photo by Cheriss MayNurPhoto via Getty Images T

first_img(Photo by Cheriss May/NurPhoto via Getty Images)This article originally appeared on Business Insider. Life is good for Evan Spiegel.His company, Snap Inc., went public on Thursday at a US$33 billion valuation. And with a net worth of at least US$5 billion, 26-year-old Spiegel is one of the youngest billionaires in the world.He lives a charmed life and he knows it.“I am a young, white, educated male,” the Snapchat creator once said at a Stanford business conference. “I got really, really lucky. And life isn’t fair.”Business Insider pulled the highlights of Spiegel’s spectacular life and career from profiles by LA Weekly, Forbes, Business Insider, court documents, and more.Spiegel grew up in the Pacific Palisades, a ritzy Los Angeles enclave just east of Malibu. He is the older son of two Ivy League-educated lawyers. His parents divorced when he was in high school.When Spiegel turned 16 and got his driver’s license, he was given a Cadillac Escalade, which he parked in the gated Southern California Edison car park next to his school. Spiegel’s father represented Edison during the energy crisis.Spiegel spent his early years at an ultra-exclusive school called Crossroads in Santa Monica, which costs tens of thousands per academic year. Other notable alumni include Tinder cofounder Sean Rad, Kate Hudson, Jonah Hill, Jack Black and Gwyneth Paltrow.Around the time that he landed a marketing internship with Red Bull, Spiegel decided that he wanted a more fuel-efficient car to drive around the city in. In a letter from 2008, Spiegel asked his parents to lease him a BMW 550i, which retails for about $75,000. “Cars bring me sheer joy”, he wrote. “I would really appreciate you validating me and all of my hard work by leasing the BMW.”The Spiegels were members of a number of exclusive clubs, including the Jonathan Club in Santa Monica and the La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club. They often went on trips to Europe, employed a full-time housekeeper, and even went snowboarding by helicopter in Canada. “We live in a bubble”, Evan wrote in the letter asking for the BMW.Spiegel went on to study product design at Stanford (his father’s alma mater), where he met future Snapchat cofounders Reggie Brown and Bobby Murphy.“We weren’t cool,” Murphy later told Forbes, “so we tried to build things to be cool.”While at Stanford, a friend of the family let Spiegel sit in on a graduate-level class on entrepreneurship and venture capital. In that class he heard talks from tech luminaries like Google CEO Eric Schmidt and YouTube cofounder Chad Hurley.Spiegel befriended Intuit founder Scott Cook after he gave a talk at one class. Cook ended up letting Spiegel work on a product Intuit planned to release in India while he worked on his undergrad.Spiegel dropped out of Stanford just a few credits short of graduation to work on Snapchat full time. The team developed the bulk of the disappearing messages app, which was first called Picaboo, in 2012 while headquartered at Spiegel’s dad’s house in the Palisades.Though Snapchat eventually moved to offices on the Venice boardwalk, Spiegel lived at his dad’s house for years, in part because “the rent is cheap”.Reggie Brown filed a lawsuit against Spiegel and Murphy in 2013 after he was forced out of the company and not given equity. The lawsuit was eventually settled, and Snapchat paid Brown US$157.5 million to disappear.Spiegel moved out of his dad’s house in November 2014 and bought his own three-bedroom house in Brentwood for US$3.3 million.It wasn’t long before would-be acquirers came knocking on Spiegel’s door to buy Snapchat. He famously rebuffed a US$3 billion offer from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in 2013.Shortly after Spiegel turned down the offer from Zuckerberg, Facebook tried to clone Snapchat with a failed app called Poke.As Snapchat’s user base and valuation continued to swell, Spiegel quickly became a bona fide celebrity in the worlds of tech and media.In 2014, Spiegel’s startup loaned he and cofounder Bobby Murphy US$5 million each.After Snapchat completed a big funding round in June 2015, Spiegel bought himself a Ferrari.Spiegel was romantically linked with pop superstar Taylor Swift for a brief time. The two reportedly met in December 2013 at a New Year’s Eve party.Spiegel has been fascinated with the music industry for years, and Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton is Snap’s board chairman. Spiegel was reportedly interested in buying Big Machine, the record label that represents Swift, though the deal never went through.Spiegel started dating supermodel Miranda Kerr during the summer of 2015. They first met at a 2014 dinner for Louis Vuitton.In May 2016, the couple purchased a 666-square-metre house that had been owned by Harrison Ford for US$12 million.Things moved quickly after that: the power couple announced that they were engaged in July 2016.Spiegel cares about fashion more than most tech CEOs. He made headlines in October 2015 for appearing on the cover of Vogue Italy.He’s a licensed helicopter pilot who also enjoys flower arranging. His signature shirt is a James Perse white v-neck, which retails for US$60.Spiegel highly values secrecy in his business dealings as well as his personal life. Snap employees often don’t know about products the company is working on until they’re announced publicly.He often moves across the company’s network of Venice Beach outposts in a black car flanked by his security detail. His security cost US$890,399 in 2016.In February 2016, Snapchat loaned Spiegel US$15 million. Snapchat raised US$175 million the following month at a US$16 billion valuation, and Spiegel repaid his outstanding loans in full later that year.In September 2016, Spiegel renamed Snapchat to Snap Inc. and called it a “camera company”. He also unveiled camera-equipped sunglasses called Spectacles.The 26-year-old has been named the youngest self-made billionaire in the world by Forbes for the past two years. He has an estimated net worth of about US$5.6 billion based on Snap’s public offering.Snap went public on Thursday  2 March at a roughly US$33 billion valuation. Spiegel instantly added about US$1.6 billion to his net worth based on Snap’s 44% jump in share price.He earned a US$503,205 salary in 2016, plus a US$1 million bonus. His base salary has been reduced to US$1 now that Snap has gone public, but his ownership of the company makes his worth at least US$5 billion on paper.Going forward, Spiegel’s mission at Snap is to “reinvent the camera.” He’s positioned his company as the anti-Facebook for communicating with only your closest friends, and he recently told the LA Times that he wants to “inspire creation”.last_img read more

These days it seems that everyone is trying to be

first_imgThese days, it seems that everyone is trying to be more environmental friendly, more eco-conscious, more green, in every aspect of our lives.And travel should be no different, says Eleni Andreadis, head of sustainability at Sani Resort and Oceania Club in Halkidiki Greece. Here are Eleni’s top tips on how to make your next holiday as green as possible.**1. Location, Location, Location**Unless you stay at home, or walk or cycle to your vacation destination, going on holiday is likely to involve some form of carbon-intensive travelling.Let’s get the facts first. Tourism contributes 5% to total global greenhouse gas emissions, 40% of which is due to air travel. Yet it is also worth considering that when practiced responsibly, tourism offers local communities the opportunity to prosper sustainably instead of turning to other carbon-intensive activities (for example the burning and clearing of forests which places more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than the whole transportation sector put together).While we wait for aircraft fuel efficiency to improve, the advice is straightforward: closer to home is best, travelling by land and especially rail is better than plane and short-haul flights are better than long-haul flights.If you do fly, offset . Most airlines now offer this option when booking your flight, and if not, you can do so online with a number of companies.But make sure to read the fine print and look into where your money is going: funds directed towards renewable energy production make for a much more measurable and credible offsetting investment than tree-planting. **4. Don’t Waste Water**You’ve arrived, you’ve checked in. Your room is fabulous, but clammy. Your first impulse is to run a cold bath. Studies show that even the conscientious among us, when donning the hat of a tourist tend to be more wasteful with water, energy usage and waste creation than we are at home.At Sani, we’ve installed water-flow reducers in bathrooms and we recycle water for gardening use, but we still need all the help we can get from our guests in conserving water, as water shortages are a very acute problem in Greece.5. Easy on the ACYour conscience has won this one and the cold bath is out. But after your short, cold shower, you’re still feeling hot. So you grab that air-conditioning remote and turn the dial down to Antarctica. Turning it up, even one or two degrees, will make a big difference in saving energy. The largest single energy wasters for a hotel are air-conditioning and lighting. Also, unless it is necessary, don’t ask for your linen to be changed daily.6. Recycle and ReuseWhen it comes to shopping, reuse a cloth bag instead of one-use plastic ones, and if there’s a recycling scheme at the hotel, take part in it. We offer recycling in our hotel rooms but would like to increase the participation of guests in the programme!**7. Eat Local**Make sure you taste the seasonal, local products available, that haven’t flown thousands of miles to get to you, and will bolster the local economy. If there are local, organic products on the menu, make sure you go for those. At Sani, we’ve started an organic garden that supplies our hotels. If there is such a programme at your hotel, its continued success depends on your support.8. Shop LocalBe sure to venture out to the local community. This doesn’t mean stocking up on souvenirs you don’t need, but leaving your hotel and checking out the local food and culture will ensure the wider local community benefits from tourism.9. Enjoy NatureAt Sani, we encourage guests to learn about and experience the miles of hiking paths the company’s forest team preserves, or grab a map and take a bird watching trip at the bird sanctuary.10. Give FeedbackProvide the hotel you’ve visited with feedback on its environmental performance. Hotels take your opinion very seriously and few hotels can claim to be perfect. The industry has a long way to go and your feedback is critical in making sure future holidays are greener and more in demand. _Eleni Andreadis is in charge of Sustainability at Sani Resort and Oceania Club in Halkidiki, Greece. After starting her career as a strategy management consultant in London, Eleni soon focused on environmental consulting. She earned her Master’s in Environmental Policy and Media at Harvard University, and has presented and produced for a variety of environmental channels in the UK and US. She recently designed an environmental hotel certification scheme for the Greek Ministry of Tourism, and is a member of the Committee for the Green Key Award in Greece, where she is currently based.______Sani Resort is set within 1,000 acres of ecological reserve blessed with pine forests, olive groves and a bird sanctuary, family-run Sani Resort boasts five miles of EU-flagged golden beaches, four elegant hotels, three Spas, a private marina and a wide variety of bars and restaurants._ReturnOne wayMulti-cityFromAdd nearby airports ToAdd nearby airportsDepart14/08/2019Return21/08/2019Cabin Class & Travellers1 adult, EconomyDirect flights onlySearch flights Map **2. Accommodation**Next thing to consider is where to stay. With the myriad of green certifications, most still in their infancy, this is no easy feat. Look into the details and credibility of a specific hotel eco certification: does the hotel go through a self-assessment process to be awarded the label remotely, or is there an onsite inspection by an independent third body? In Europe, certification programmes to look out for are the EU Flower, the Green Key, EarthCheck, tour operator award TUI Umwelt Champion, and environmental management schemes such as ISO 14001 and EMAS.But you shouldn’t stop there. Most hotels, if they are serious about their green programme, are likely to include details about it on their website.At Sani, while the hotels were awarded the Green Key for carbon footprint reduction efforts, we also run initiatives such as reforestation programmes and wildlife studies. Reading up on the details of a hotel’s environmental programme will give you a clearer idea of what to expect.3. Packing – What to Bring?Travelling lightly reduces the amount of fuel necessary to keep the aircraft in the air. And moreover, a greener holiday needs some wise packing. A refillable set of shampoo bottles will go a long way towards ignoring the disposable ones you may find at the hotel.Bring a reusable water bottle along to save on buying plastic ones. And bring sunscreen – the chances that you’ll find your favourite biodegradable sunscreen locally if you are visiting an isolated location are remote; scientists have linked dying sea life to the sunscreen that washes off swimmers, so pack a natural, biodegradable one. RelatedHow to be an eco-traveller (and still have it all)Weighed down with the eco guilt of the frequent traveller? We can’t promise to banish it completely but we do have ways to make your carbon footprint a shadow of its former self. Each of these tips might seem small enough on its own but add them all together and…Green Skies: Environmentally Friendly FlyingSkyscanner investigates flying and the environmentThe Skyscanner travel glossaryDo you know your praycation from your bakecation from your laycation? A drug tourist from a death tourist?last_img read more

Related 6 spooktacular Halloween holidaysSix supe

first_img Related6 spook-tacular Halloween holidaysSix super-scary places to take a frightfully fang-tastic haunted holiday this Halloween.7 best events and places to go for Halloween around the worldSeven tremendously terrifying things to do and places to go this Halloween… if you dare.Bargains of the week: Bucharest | New Orleans | FrankfurtSkyscanner’s popular “cheap flights from the UK to Everywhere” search feature to handpick three cheap destinations 1. Bran Castle, RomaniaWhere better to begin our creepy Halloween holidays than a fortress on the border of Transylvania and Walachia in Romania and home of Bram Stoker’s legendary character, Dracula. Fictional he may be, but this fortress was once home to Vlad III Tepes, or ‘Vlad the Impaler’, a ruler of Walachia known for barbaric punishments he imposed during his reign and the inspiration for Stoker’s most famous character. It is rumoured that Vlad III Tepes would impale thousands of his victims at the same time, leaving the bodies on the stakes decaying for months to be seen far and wide.Stay in an 18th century inn at the foot of the Carpathian Mountains from €36 per person and experience the traditional Transylvanian way of life. Horse riding, sleigh tours and even wine tours and a sauna will take the edge off this spooky break. Find flights to Bucharest 2. Ghost Tours, Edinburgh, ScotlandThe Cadies and Witchery Tours of Edinburgh use every trick in the book to give visiting ghost hunters and horror seekers a thrill. Even on an ordinary evening, the narrow, dank cobbled streets of Edinburgh’s Old Town possess an eerie quality. Take a tour and hear tales of torture, plague and witchcraft as hideous witches, mad monks and the grim reaper lurk at every turn.Hear the stories of Burke and Hare, those infamous body snatchers who bumped off their victims in the middle of the night and sold their bodies to the local medical school. You can also tour the underground vaults which are said to have their own supernatural going’s on with ghosts harking back from centuries past.Calm your nerves with a hot toddy and a haggis feast in one of the traditional pubs on the Royal Mile before heading back to your hotel for a, hopefully, restful sleep. Find flights to Edinburgh 6. Day of the Dead Festival, GuatemalaOn 1 November, the cemetery at Santiago Sacatepéquez comes alive with colour, music and people. Guatemalans set up altars in their homes dedicated to those who have passed away surrounding them with flowers, food and drink. Families then build giant kites made of crepe paper and bamboo that they fly in the streets to communicate with the souls of their dearly departed.At night the kites are burned so the dead may quietly return to their world. It is said that if the kites are not burned, the souls won’t know how to return home and they will linger on in our world indefinitely. If that sounds too spooky – lighten the mood with delicious coffee and traditional Mayan markets selling all manner of handmade goods. Find flights to GuatemalaReturnOne wayMulti-cityFromAdd nearby airports ToAdd nearby airportsDepart14/08/2019Return21/08/2019Cabin Class & Travellers1 adult, EconomyDirect flights onlySearch flights Map Love things that go bump in the night? Want to spook yourself silly? Skyscanner reveals the scariest places to get a fright this autumn…Halloween was born from the ancient Gaelic festival of Samhain, marking the end of the ‘light half’ of the year and the start of the dark half. The pagans believed the walls between our world and the next became thin and porous around this time, allowing spirits to pass through and linger on in our world.Enjoy the season of spookiness with one of these Halloween holidays! 3. Catacombs, Paris, FranceParis may be known as the ‘City of Lights’, but around All Hallows Eve there are far more sinister things to be doing than gazing at the Eiffel Tower. For those who like serious frights, it’s time to explore the dark side of the French capital. Drawing tourists for more than 200 years, the Catacombs (an underground ossuary) are a vast network of tunnels that run below the streets of this beautiful city and store the remains of 6 million people, taken from condemned cemeteries.Masses of bones lie stacked against the tunnel walls and a danker, creepier atmosphere you’d be hard pushed to find; even maestro of the macabre, Edgar Allan Poe, mentioned the catacombs in his story ‘Cask of Amontillado’. In honour of Halloween, grab a torch and a map and see how far your fear will let you go.If you make it out alive, treat yourself to a night on the Paris town and a very large glass of vin rouge. Find flights to Paris.4. The Sedlec Ossuary, Prague, Czech RepublicNot only is Prague home to the Old Jewish Cemetery in the Old Town Jewish ghetto with its collection of crowded and unsettling tombstones, haphazard due to the fact Jews had to bury their dead in layers; it is also home to one of the best-known ossuary’s (bone churches) in the world. The Sedlec Ossuary sits underneath a church and uses human bones used as interior decoration.From coats of arms to chandeliers and staircases, the image is one that is both deeply disturbing but also beautiful. If that whets your appetite, you could follow it up with a visit to Prague’s Torture Museum which is sure to give you the creeps. There seemed to be no limitations for inflicting cruelty on our own kind. Back in Prague, the sight of a fairy lit Charles Bridge should ease the frayed nerves and if that doesn’t, a shot of absinthe should! Find flights to Prague5. Salem, Massachusetts, United StatesWhether you’re spellbound by witchcraft or outraged at the senseless burning of ‘witches’, a visit to Salem, Massachusetts where the famous Witch Trials took place promises to intrigue and scare at the same time. Americans celebrate Halloween with gusto and this New England town goes all out, with costumes, parades and parties.Salem is now the home to several museums which describe and commemorate the witch trials while ‘The Witch House’ stands on the corner of North and Essex Street as a reminder of those times. Take a tour and see eerie memorabilia like “witch pins” and a small bottle containing the bones of fingers. Get ready to see a ghostly witch or two haunt the local area.Blow away the cobwebs with a walk along sandy Collins Cove Beach; the perfect antidote to all that terror! Find flights to Bostonlast_img read more

London Great Britain – Reported by Elite Traveler

first_imgLondon, Great Britain – Reported by Elite Traveler, the private jet lifestyle magazineThe 24th annual London Art Fair will once again display the leading Modern British and contemporary art. From January 18th to 22nd, 2012, over 100 galleries will feature an amalgam of 20th century masters and today’s leading artists like Damien Hirst, Marcus Harvey, Bridget Riley and Patrick Heron and emerging talent.In addition to the main fair, several sections will display niche genres. Art Projects will feature solo shows, curated group displays and large-scale installations from contemporary artists and international galleries, including Beers.Lambert Contemporary Art, Edel Assanti, Hoxton Art Gallery and Limoncello Editions.Sue Steward will curate an exhibit of contemporary photography for Photo50 while Photography Focus Day on January 18th will feature a series of discussions and tours on the camera arts. An extensive program of talks will also be held in association with key partners.www.londonartfair.co.uklast_img read more

Geneva Switzerland – Exclusive Elite Traveler Rep

first_imgGeneva, Switzerland – Exclusive Elite Traveler Report of timepiece trends at SIHH (Salon International de Haute Horlogerie) and the GTE (Geneva Time Exhibition).At last week’s SIHH and GTE in Geneva, watch brands unveiled their latest creations for 2010. With the current economic situation, many companies chose to add line extensions to the brand rather than totally new movements and models. However, there were a slew of innovative and interesting pieces for 2010, many of which are highlighted below.Some of the notable trends permeating the collections included thin watches or a general trend toward smaller case sizes, convertible or double-faced watches, true high complications and an array of watches geared toward women.Thin Is In:After the over-saturation of bigger and bigger case sizes, this year many brands reverted to more classic-sized models and thin, elegant cases. With the launch of their new caliber in the Altiplano case, Piaget now claims the world record for the thinnest automatic movement at 2.35mm, and the thinnest automatic case. Meanwhile, Vacheron Constantin holds the distinction of producing the thinnest mechanical caliber at 2.5mm, housed in the new Historique Ultra-Fine 1968 model.Others introduced the thinnest movements within their respective brands as well. Panerai’s new P999 movement is their thinnest yet, and is offered in the 42mm Radiomir case in a range of metals. FP Journe also unveiled the thinnest, as well as lightest, minute repeater ever, which also has a chronometer complication with a double barrel.Convertible Creations:Watches with dual-faces or those that served dual purposes were also a trend at the shows. One of the most innovate creations was Montblanc’s Metamorphosis. The design was realized by an independent watch constructor and a watch engineer, but created by Montblanc. Housed in a case based on an existing model, the watch’s dial transforms like a butterfly—the date function recedes into the case as the chronograph function rises.Antoine Preziuso, who showed at GTE, revealed a new watch with a dial that conveniently flips to reveal a second dial. And Bovet, who held individual appointments in its Geneva headquarters during the show, unveiled its new Amadeo concept, named for Owner Pascal Raffy’s son. The brand’s Fleurier collection is now called Fleurier Amadeo and is able to be easily converted from a wristwatch, to a table clock, to a pocket watch and vice versa.Cutting-Edge Complications:Brands this year pulled out all the stops when it came to complications, presenting some of the most groundbreaking timepieces yet. DeLaCour revealed a spectacular double minute repeater, the Birepetition, in an impossibly large case. Featuring a movement designed by Christophe Claret, the timepiece has two minute repeaters, a big date and two time zones.Audemars Piguet introduced its Royal Oak Offshore Equation of Time timepiece, which can be customized for location. It is the first time the brand is offering the high complication in its sportier Royal Oak case. Jaeger-LeCoultre added to its Master Grand Tradition line with this year’s Grand Complication timepiece, which features a minute repeater, floating tourbillon, month, day, date and zodiac functions.Meanwhile, DeBethune came out with its new Moonphase watch with a unique blued titanium dial, polished to a high-finish and featuring gold rods depicting stars (which can be customized based upon specific star charts). The moon phase is indicated just below 12 o’clock.Interestingly, Cartier unveiled several new timepieces, more than most brands, and many containing high complications. These included the new Astro Tourbillon, in which the tourbillon makes one revolution around the dial every minute acting as the seconds hand, and the new Rotund de Cartier Grand Complication, which boasts a tourbillon, perpetual calendar, single push chronograph and a skeletonized movement.For Women Only:Adding to its prized Poetic Complication collection, Van Cleef & Arpels introduced its Bridge of Lovers timepiece, which features an entirely new enameling technique on the dial. The watch has a split retrograde, with the hours and minutes indicated by a man and a woman standing on a bridge, who as the time progresses move closer and closer toward each other. At midnight, the two figures finally reach each other for a one-minute kiss before jumping back to opposite ends of the dial.DeLaneau, the women-only watch brand, came out with some beautiful and ultra-feminine, high jewelry timepieces this year, including a variation on last year’s Magnolia collection, and additions to its Invisible Setting, Waves and Circle collections.Richard Mille also turned his eye toward women. The usually masculine brand unveiled its first tourbillon for women, the RM19, or the Infinite Knot timepiece as it has been dubbed, which features an intricate skeletonized diamond knot in the case.Old Faces, New Places:Yvan Arpa, former CEO of Romain Jerome and creator of the Titantic DNA watch, has joined Volna as Creative Director and launched Artya, again bound to provide controversy with cases that have been treated and partially melted via high voltage electrical charges.last_img read more

This is the very first time that an 80 Goals mat

first_imgThis is the very first time that an “80 Goals” match has been held in Europe . Eleven of the world’s best polo players are competing at Polo de Paris, in a unique event known as “The Perfect Match”.In 2008, to announce its partnership with Gstaad Polo Club and to present its new Argentinean ambassador Miguel Novillo Astrada, Hublot had selected Argentina. A few weeks after these fruitful and cordial meetings, the famous “Perfect Match” was organized in Buenos Aires, bringing together the world’s best players. Hublot immediately made a commitment with them (and with Miguel) in the venture: which was to recreate a legendary match that had been held just once in the history of polo, in 1975, in which 8 players with a handicap of 10 (the highest qualification in this discipline) took part. The match, dubbed “80 Goals”, was held at the Centauros Club in Buenos Aires, with Hublot once again reaching the peak of the art of this sport.In 2009, the “Perfect Match” is to be held for the first time outside Argentina, at Polo de Paris. Indeed, the Argentinean Polo Players’ Association wanted to export this extraordinary event. “Bagatelle” now offers a spectacle that is now to bear the name “Hublot, the Perfect Polo Match”. The Swiss watchmaker is delighted to associate its name with this prestigious match, which promises to live long in the memory… To mark this big premiere on European soil, Hublot has created a Big Bang with the effigy of the Paris Club, bearing the Polo de Paris logo on its dial, and with a “Hublot, the Perfect Polo Match” transfer on the back. The series comprises of 50 numbered pieces.BIG BANG “POLO DE PARIS”TECHNICAL DETAILS -Case “Big Bang” diameter 44.5 mm, in micro-blasted black ceramic -Bezel Micro-blasted tantalum with 6 H-shaped titanium screws; embedded, polished & locked -Crystal Sapphire with interior/exterior anti-reflective treatment -Bezel lug Black composite resin -Lateral inserts Black composite resin -Case-back Titanium with sapphire crystal, “HUBLOT THE PERFECT POLO MATCH PARIS 2009” logo transfer -Crown Black PVD titanium with black rubber insert -Push-pieces Black PVD titanium, rectangular, with black rubber insert -Water resistance 100 m or 10 ATM -Dial Matt black with ruthenium colored satin-finished numerals and applique indexes, grey “POLO DE PARIS” logo, at 9 o’clock -Hands Sand-blasted, ruthenium, black Super Luminova, chronograph hand with -H counterweight -Movement Mechanical chronograph with automatic winding Hublot calibre -HUB44 developed with La Joux-Perret -No. of components 252 -Jewels 27 -Bridges Satin-finished, bevelled & polished -Screws Black PVD -Date Trapezoid window at 4.30 -Oscillating weight Tungsten carbide with black PVD treated dimpled surface -Main plate Sand-blasted & rhodium-plated -Barrel With reinforced spring -Escapement Glucydur hairspring -Power Reserve 42 hours -Strap Black Alligator Gummy outer surface, rubber inner -Clasp Black PVD steel deployant -Series Limited, 50 numbered pieces from 01/50 to 50/50www.hublot.comlast_img read more