Hawaii continues to welcome tourists as it mourns losses from wildfires, hotels are now charging extra for this popular perk, and a New York real estate nightmare carries on. All that and more in this week’s Five on Friday.
Costa Rica’s car-free beach town takes a holistic approach to healthy living
Las Catalinas—a fully walkable beach town developed less than two decades ago in Guanacaste, Costa Rica that follows the principles of New Urbanism—will soon introduce La Rambla. The new commercial center is expected to open in November 2024 and will comprise 67,800 square feet of dining options, offices, retail spaces, and residences across five buildings. “In a world that is increasingly virtual, they appreciate the importance of the places where they physically live and work more than ever,” says Las Catalinas founder Charles Brewer. “People crave easy and enjoyable interactions with other like-minded people. They crave connection to nature. They want to be surrounded by beauty. They want access to enjoyable outdoor activities. All of this can be accomplished exceptionally well in Las Catalinas, and La Rambla provides the opportunity for companies to offer this lifestyle to their employees and customers to a degree that is available in very few places.”
The Times Square EDITION building faces foreclosure
A foreclosure lawsuit filed on Monday accuses Mayfield Development (along with its CEO, Mark Siffin) of failing to repay a $750 million loan on 20 Times Square in New York, The Real Deal reports. Filed by Wilmington Trust, the suit notes five events of default, including failure to pay the sum by its maturity date on May 5th. While the Times Square EDITION hotel opened its doors in Midtown Manhattan in March 2019 to much fanfare, the company has had difficulty finding tenants to lease the building’s 76,000 square feet of retail space.
Maui tourism impacted by wildfires
To travel or not to travel? CNN interviewed Leslie Wilkins, president and CEO of the Maui Economic Development Board, about the role of tourism after the Hawaiian island’s devastating wildfires. While Wilkins notes that she is not an expert in the visitor industry, she has listened to the community and it is in a state of grieving. She urges visitors who do come to respect the sanctity of Lahaina. Approximately 10,000 jobs have been lost due to the fires and $1.05 million has been lost per day in tourism spending. According to Hotel News Now, Hawaii officials are strongly discouraging travel to West Maui; however, other areas of Maui—like Kahului, Wailuku, Wailea, and more—as well as the other Hawaiian islands are open to tourists.
Is early check-in worth the fee?
Although once a perk, more hotels have begun charging a fee to guests who request an early check-in or late checkout, according to The Wall Street Journal. From budget hotels to luxury resorts, properties across sectors in the U.S. have begun implementing—and advertising—these surcharges. The TWA Hotel in New York’s JFK Airport, for example, mentions early check-in fees that range from $25 to $75, while a late checkout will cost between $50 and $150. Even travelers with status from hotel loyalty programs, who previously enjoyed this perk free of charge, are now being asked to pay up in many situations. Anna Marie Presutti, vice president and GM at San Francisco’s Hotel Nikko, argues that hotels are not making a lot of money off these charges. “We had to pay a housekeeper to get in early and get the rooms ready,” she says. “We’re basically passing the cost on to the consumer.”
Read HD’s Product Marketplace issue
The annual Product Marketplace has dropped! The tabloid-size issue is our chance to dive into all things products—and the people behind them. “This is our opportunity to showcase a wide breadth of product design,” says Hospitality Design executive editor Alissa Ponchione. “And this year was no different as we explored how a tile collection from WOW Design and a light fixture from Catellani&Smith are made in our Process pages; broke down the products sourced in Texas’ sprawling Omni PGA Frisco resort in our Spec Sheet interview; and, in a new section, highlighted four collaborations between designers and manufacturers.” Read the full issue here.