The global wellness economy is booming, King Tut’s treasures will soon be displayed to the world, and entries are now being accepted for the 20th annual HD Awards. All that and more in this week’s Five on Friday.
The recently debuted Las Vegas Sphere reports $98.4 million loss
The much-anticipated Las Vegas Sphere is down—but certainly not out—following its quarterly earnings presentation on Wednesday. Sphere Entertainment Co., part of MSG Networks, clocked an operating loss of nearly $100 million for the fiscal quarter ending September 30th. According to Skift, the next-generation entertainment venue, which took five years to complete and cost $2.3 billion, brought in $4.1 million in event-related revenue and $2.6 million from sponsorships and advertising; however, direct operating expenses alone totaled $7.8 million. With that said, billionaire businessman and Sphere CEO James Dolan remains optimistic. “We’re building positive momentum across Sphere and remain confident that we are well positioned to drive longterm value for shareholders,” he said. (Read about what went into the Las Vegas Sphere’s impressive design and lighting, courtesy of ICRAVE.)
Drive-through culture is changing
A new article from The New York Times delves into shifts and changes the American drive-through has been through since first being introduced in by In-N-Out Burger in 1948. Drive-through traffic has risen 30 percent from 2019 to 2022, while the number of people dining inside fast-food establishments decreased by 47 percent during the same period. Though some people were initially prioritizing safety, many have become accustomed to more limited social interactions. Gen Z customers, meanwhile, are making drive-throughs cool via TikTok. The surge in popularity has even caused some fast-casual concepts, like Sweetgreen and Shake Shack, to open their first drive-throughs. “The drive-through is no longer a trade-off that is just fast and cheap,” says Danny Klein, editorial director of QSR magazine and author of the annual Drive-Thru Report. “Now it’s really about the technology. It’s about being accurate and being a good experience.”
The global wellness economy reaches a record-breaking $5.6 trillion
New research from the non-profit Global Wellness Institute (GWI) reveals major growth in the wellness market post-pandemic. The just-released report found that the global wellness economy—which is defined by 11 sectors, including physical activity, wellness tourism, traditional and complementary medicine, and more—grew 27 percent since 2020 to reach $5.6 trillion, with seven of the sectors surpassing 2019, pre-pandemic values. “We are surprised by the resiliency of the global wellness economy, and how quickly it has bounced back from the pandemic. It has exceeded our own expectations and forecasts,” says Katherine Johnston, GWI senior research fellow. “If the pandemic disrupted industry momentum in the short term, it has simultaneously created a dramatic shift in the longterm opportunities and trajectory for wellness.”
Egypt readies to open an awe-inspiring museum
Twenty years in the making, the Grand Egyptian Museum may soon make its debut, reports Architectural Digest. Ireland-based firm Heneghan Peng Architects’ design won a 2003 competition and the $1 billion project broke ground two years later before a slew of setbacks occurred, including the 2008 financial crisis, the Arab Spring in 2011, and the pandemic. Now, there is reason to believe the monumental project, which features 12 exhibition halls and 484,000 square feet of floor space on a 120-acre site, will launch at the end of this year. The museum will be home to 100,000 artifacts, including all 5,000 objects from Tutankhamun’s tomb as well as a 36-foot-tall, 3,200-years-old statue of Rameses II on display in the sprawling atrium.
Submissions for the 2024 HD Awards are now open!
Entries are now being accepted for consideration in the 20th annual HD Awards. Lauded as the premier awards program for the hospitality industry, the event recognizes the best and most innovative achievements in project and product design from creative teams around the globe. To celebrate the momentous two-decade anniversary, we’re bringing the awards ceremony to Las Vegas on April 30th during HD Expo + Conference. The deadline for HD Awards submissions is February 9th. Sin City, here we come!