April 26, 2014 |
Between a cluster of bars in this small coastal town, middle-aged European men hover around dozens of fresh-faced Brazilian women in tight dresses. Around the corner, two girls who look to be in their teens flag down cars, signaling their availability to potential clients. Most such activity, however, seems confined to a small, seedy tourist strip, the last gasp of a bygone era. Natal, long known as a hot spot for sex tourism, has seen fewer problems in the wake of a national economic boom and concerted government efforts to cut back on the Carnaval nation's carnal image.
April 23, 2014 |
In the battle for tourists, Los Angeles is losing ground to rivals Orlando, Fla., New York, and Chicago. L.A. County has broken its own record for annual visitors three years in a row - thanks to a rebounding economy, sunny California weather and popular tourist attractions. But L.A.'s tourist numbers are not growing fast enough to keep up with the nation's top three destinations, primarily because the city lacks enough hotel rooms to host more tourists. "We have an awful lot of things that are in our favor," said Robert Kleinhenz, chief economist at the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp.
April 22, 2014 |
Is this the end of designer dinners at the Hotel Bel-Air and charity fashion shows at the Beverly Hills Hotel? If high-profile members of the fashion community have their way, maybe. Several vocal personalities, including Decades boutique co-owner Cameron Silver and designers Brian Atwood and Peter Som have taken to social media to call for a boycott of the Beverly Hills Hotel and a host of other high-end Dorchester Collection properties around the globe with ties to the sultanate of Brunei.
April 22, 2014 |
Los Angeles hotels, you're the best. Conde Nast Traveler editors selected three SoCal sites - the Ace Hotel in downtown Los Angeles, Palihouse Santa Monica and the Line in Koreatown - for its 2014 Hot List of the 33 best new hotels in the world. Ace Hotel, the reimagined 1927 United Artists building, won accolades for best design as an "unabashed hipsters' playground. " Palihouse Santa Monica , described as a "sun-drenched California dream," was deemed among the best hotels for families.
April 22, 2014 |
Nearly a decade ago, when Los Angeles gave a $270-million tax break to the developer of a 1,000-room luxury hotel at L.A. Live, city leaders described the deal as essential to spur downtown redevelopment and help the struggling Convention Center. Today, however, downtown is booming and its hotels are doing brisk business, yet developers continue to line up for taxpayer handouts. Four more hotel projects have been approved for tax breaks worth half a billion dollars over the next two decades - money that otherwise would pay for police and fire services, street paving and tree trimming.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 18, 2014 |
Nearly a decade ago, lawmakers in Los Angeles took an aggressive step to boost the city's languishing Convention Center, granting tens of millions of dollars in tax breaks to spark construction of a 54-story hotel nearby. The strategy worked, bringing 1,000 new rooms to the sleepy neighborhood. Within a few years, hotel developers in the area had secured as much as $508 million in tax benefits over the coming decades. But as downtown continues to boom, some inside and outside City Hall say Los Angeles should be much more selective in giving out tax breaks to lure new hotels.