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WORLD
February 25, 2014 | By Hashmat Baktash
KABUL, Afghanistan - An explosion Tuesday evening at a hotel in southern Afghanistan's Oruzgan province killed at least eight people and injured 37,  authorities said. The Afghan Interior Ministry said the attacker was a sucide bomber who was thought to be staying at the hotel in the provincial capital, Tarin Kowt. But the provincial governor, Amir Mohammad Akhundzada, said investigators had not ruled out the possibility that the bomb had placed in a shop in the building. The victims were civilians staying at the hotel, Akhundzada said.
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NEWS
February 25, 2014 | By Betty Hallock
Hugo Bolanos is the executive chef of Hotel Bel-Air, overseeing the entire food and beverage operation of the iconic hotel, including Wolfgang Puck at Hotel Bel-Air. The Guatemala native attended Pasadena City College and worked as executive sous-chef at Puck's Spago in Beverly Hills. His culinary training includes time spent at Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athenee in Paris and Daniel, Babbo and Le Bernardin in New York. Most recently he was chef de cuisine at Puck's steakhouse Cut. At Wolfgang Puck at Hotel Bel-Air, Bolanos is cooking, for example, grilled Marcho Farms veal chop; Dover sole with black trumpet mushrooms and sweet and sour shallots; black truffle pot pie with Jidori chicken; and New Zealand venison with braised red cabbage, chestnut puree and Marasca cherries.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 22, 2014 | By Matt Stevens
A Los Angeles man was shot in a guest room at the Pechanga Resort Casino late Friday night and later died from his injuries, authorities said. Deputies were called to the casino in Temecula about 11 p.m. Friday where they found the 49-year-old man "in need of medical attention," according to the Riverside County Sheriff's Department. The man had gone to the hotel lobby seeking help. The man, who has yet to be identified by the coroner's office, was taken to Temecula Valley Hospital where he later died, sheriff's officials said.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 21, 2014 | By Lewis Segal
Notwithstanding its name, the L.A. Dance Project is an international touring company that spends most of its time in Europe. On Thursday it launched a residency (reportedly through this fall) at the Ace Hotel downtown with a three-part program notable for large-scale production values and a commitment to contemporary expression. The venue itself, located on Broadway at 9th Street, is anything but contemporary. Built as the United Artists Theatre in 1927, it's an overwhelmingly ornate structure in Neo-Inquisition style (officially Spanish Gothic)
BUSINESS
February 20, 2014 | By Roger Vincent
The landmark Mark Hopkins Hotel on San Francisco Nob Hill is being acquired for $120 million by Los Angeles investors who are expanding their holdings in one of the Bay Area's most elite neighborhoods. Affiliates of Woodridge Capital Partners and funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management are buying the historic inn from InterContinental Hotels Group. The 383-room Mark Hopkins will continue to be managed by English hotelier InterContinental. The hotel opened in 1926 on the former site of railroad magnate Mark Hopkins' 40-room mansion.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 18, 2014 | By James Rainey
Los Angeles City Council members opted Tuesday to seek an economic study before moving to enact one of the highest minimum wages in the country - $15.37 for workers at big hotels - a review that opponents hoped would slow or stop the proposal. Council members Mike Bonin, Nury Martinez and Curren Price asked fellow council members to request a review of the economic effects of ordering a "living wage" for workers at hotels with more than 100 rooms. There are 87 hotels of that size in Los Angeles.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 17, 2014 | By James Rainey
Los Angeles lawmakers plan to introduce an ordinance Tuesday that would require the operators of big hotels to pay workers $15.37 an hour, one of the highest minimum wage rates targeting private employers anywhere in the U.S. The initiative by City Council members Nury Martinez, Curren Price and Mike Bonin is expected to set off a fierce contest between labor and business. Union activists say workers deserve a bigger share of revenue in the booming hotel industry, while owners say that nearly doubling the state minimum wage of $8 an hour will hurt profitability.
TRAVEL
February 16, 2014
What a great treat to see John Horn's cover story on Belize ["Coppola's Jungle Set," Feb. 9] as my family (wife and two boys) spent a week in Belize last month. We also split our time between Blancaneaux Lodge and Turtle Inn and did many of the same things as the author: visit to Caracol, Barton Creek cave and zip lining. We really enjoy going to places off the beaten path, and Belize certainly delivered on this front. The local people as well as the staff at both resorts were excellent and very accommodating.
BUSINESS
February 16, 2014 | By Hugo Martin
This year's Super Bowl was less than super for hotels in New York and New Jersey. Hotel occupancy rates for Super Bowl weekend were 61% in Bergen County, N.J., 79% in New York's Times Square area and 75% in New York's uptown and midtown areas, according to the hotel consulting and analytics firm STR Analytics. By contrast, hotels reached 99% occupancy in New Orleans during the 2013 Super Bowl and 91% in Indianapolis during the 2012 Super Bowl, according to STR Analytics. One possible reason for the lower occupancy rates this year is that the area in New York and New Jersey has more hotel rooms to offer, making sellouts less likely, said Christopher Heywood, a spokesman for NYC & Co., the city's tourism organization.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 15, 2014 | By Chris Barton
There was a perverse sort of logic at work in the cultish U.K. band Spiritualized opening the reborn United Artists Theatre, now the lavish centerpiece of downtown's new Ace Hotel. The band never made the same impact on American pop culture as countrymen Oasis or Radiohead, but Spiritualized's 1997 album, "Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space," is still considered a musical high-water mark from that era. A blend of soaring psychedelic rock and symphonic grandeur, the album chronicles devastating heartbreak, obsessiveness and the need to self-medicate.
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