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Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Hotel Owners Looking to Stay Current Put Money in Properties - The New York Times

Hotel Owners Looking to Stay Current Put Money in Properties - The New York Times: Investing at record levels, owners of hotels across the United States are doing everything from rewiring their rooms and buying smart TVs, to replacing bathtubs with more easily maintained walk-in showers.

These represent some of the latest capital expenditures by American hotel owners identified in a new survey by Bjorn Hanson, a professor at the Tisch Center for Hospitality and Tourism at New York University, who estimates that this spending will climb to $6.4 billion this year, up 7 percent over last year.

The heavy investments represent not only an effort by hotel owners to stay current, particularly after the 2008 recession, Mr. Hanson said, but also an escalation of standards set by hotel management companies like Hilton, Marriott, Starwood, Hyatt and InterContinental Hotels. Consumer tastes are changing faster than ever, he said, particularly among younger travelers, who have replaced baby boomers as the demographic hotel owners and management companies most covet.

Brief: Dwellxchange Launches Real Estate Crowdfunding Website -�Crowdfund Insider

Brief: Dwellxchange Launches Real Estate Crowdfunding Website -�Crowdfund Insider: Dwellxchange, a real estate crowdfunding website that connects homeowners and investors, will officially launch today. Founded by Eric Eckardt, an online real estate entrepreneur and former investment banker, Dwellxchange will offer homeowners a method by which to extract equity in their homes by connecting with retail and institutional investors through an innovative crowdfunding platform. The company�aims to deleverage the housing market�while empowering homeowners.

Canadians invade Manhattan as real estate buys reach US$3.85-billion record | Financial Post

Canadians invade Manhattan as real estate buys reach US$3.85-billion record | Financial Post: Canadians are invading Manhattan.

The country’s largest real estate investors have bought a record US$3.85 billion in property this year in the New York city borough and spent more than any other foreign country in the last decade, according to data from Real Capital Analytics Inc.

The purchases by Canadian investors such as pension funds, insurers and asset managers are double the US$1.97 billion bought in 2014 and have surpassed the previous peak of US$2 billion in 2007. The investments include the headquarters of 21st Century Fox and Hudson Yards, the biggest private real estate development in U.S. history.

Best Memphis Burger Fest relocates to Tiger Lane, expands activities

Tim James, one of the founders and organizers of the annual Best Memphis Burger Fest, has a confession: He doesn't believe in the concept.
"I get asked a lot, where's the best burger. There really is no such thing as a best burger," said James before naming off a list of revered examples from such diverse spots as Alex's Tavern, Tops BBQ, Babalu and Roxie's Grocery. "Memphis has got some good guys who know how to cook burgers around here. It's a Southern thing, I guess. It's what we do is grill and eat."

Movie Review: Mississippi Grind Is a Winning Bet -- Vulture

Movie Review: Mississippi Grind Is a Winning Bet -- Vulture: Ryan Reynolds and Ben Mendelsohn, betting on the structural integrity of that railing. Photo: Patti Perret
The gambling drama — a genre that ranges from Robert Altman’s California Split to David Mamet’s House of Games to John Dahl’s Rounders�— often walks a fine line between focusing on the minutiae of the game and observing the humans playing it. There’s drama in the game, to be sure — and one sign of a world-class filmmaker is the ability to convey said drama without requiring that viewers be familiar with the game itself. But the real story always lies in the people playing out in the “real world,” where messiness rules and winning and losing mean very different things. Mississippi Grind, from the writer-directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck (Half Nelson, It’s Kind of a Funny Story), luxuriates in that real-world messiness. It’s as much a movie about the gamble of friendship as it is about friends gambling.