Posts tagged with "lodging"

PLUM GUIDE EXTENDS ITS FOOTPRINT WORLDWIDE

WITH AN EXPANDED PRESENCE IN THE U.S.

Recognized as a global benchmark for quality, innovative vacation booking platform, Plum Guide (www.plumguide.com), the world’s most recommended homestay company, is extending its footprint worldwide with an expanded presence in the United States.  A success story since it launched in London in 2016, Plum Guide has attracted $57 million in investments and has become the premium alternative to Airbnb.

Ready for the post-pandemic global travel boom anticipated with this holiday season, Plum Guide offers the affluent traveler access to exceptional properties across the United States, such as New York, Los Angeles, Aspen, Miami, Joshua Tree, and the Hamptons among their roster of 500 destinations worldwide including some of the world’s most cosmopolitan cities.

According to Co-Founder & CEO Doron Meyassed, “Restaurants have the Michelin Star. Books have the New York Times Bestseller List. Vacation homes now have the Plum Award. Our mission is to find and award the best homes in the USA with our mark of trusted quality.” He adds, “It’s time to upend our competition’s model of letting anyone rate  a home.  We are taking a powerful new stance on quality control by allocating a team of trained professional home-reviewers dedicated to ferreting out ‘home truths.’ Our quality standard is one the world can trust.”

Plum Guide is more than simply a booking platform. It is, in essence, the Michelin guide for home rentals. With standards so high that they eliminate literally millions from the 5,000,000+ vacation homes listed online, accepting only 3% of submitted places to stay.  Understanding that the pandemic postponed travel plans for many, leaving some with a residual sense of travel anxiety, Plum Guide takes the guesswork out of booking a stay with their highly curated approach to global vacation home selection. Guests can expect excellence; quality is guaranteed no matter the price point.

WHAT SETS PLUM GUIDE APART

Plum Guide has a unique model for curating homes unlike their competitors.  They use a combination of technology, data, and human expertise. The quality control process culminates in an onsite visit from a specially trained “Home Critic” and only homes who have passed this final test receive the Plum Guide Award.

“Home truths” are revealed on each listing —such as, assessments revealing if the kitchen is indeed fully functional, or if the living area really has enough dedicated space for a family of four. It is this highly curated approach that sets Plum Guide apart.  Explains Co-Founder and CEO Doron Meyassed, “Not only has every nominated and awarded home been subject to a meticulous vetting process but our comprehensive price-checking assures that our prices are consistently the best available.” Given the stringent testing before being accepted as a home rental option, only one in a 100 pass the 150 different criteria set forth by Plum Guide.  It is important to note that such “musts” include only properties in a desirable neighborhood with three places for breakfast within a five-minute walk. Additional “musts” include rooms with plenty of natural light, ample space for socializing, bedrooms quiet enough for restful sleep, showers with strong water pressure and fast Wi-Fi connection.

THE BACK STORY

The origins of Plum Guide are personal, rooted in a vacation home Meyassed booked in Tel Aviv. “I felt like I won the lottery. I asked myself, ‘Why isn’t it always like this? Why is booking a home so hit-and-miss?’” Then he realized, “Every time someone books a holiday, it shouldn’t feel like a lottery.” So how to avoid the gamble? A team of architects, travelers, interior designers, and psychologists was assembled to scientifically decode the secret ingredients of the perfect stay. 150 criteria determining everything from shower pressure to Wi-Fi speed as well as design credentials became the stringent standards allowing just the smallest fraction of homes submitted to be accepted as Plum Guide properties.

THE PLUM AWARD

The Plum Award is a coveted honor. To earn it, homes must pass all four stages of The Plum Test, successfully meeting 150 criteria, with a personal home visit from an independent Home Critic as the final deciding factor. Leaving nothing to chance, with every new city or country opened, Plum Guide creates a database of available homes which are then systematically reviewed. The multi-stage vetting process allows travellers to select from a remarkable selection of the world’s best homes in the US as well as global destinations including Paris, Milan, and Rome. New locations are constantly being added as Plum Guide continues to delight customers with their rigorous selection of only the best homes available from a worldwide catalogue.

Walla Walla’s Newest Businesses

WALLA WALLA’S NEWEST BUSINESSES SPOTLIGHT THE VALLEY’S BOUNTY
From a luxury winery resort to a refurbished 1930’s Showroom, Walla Walla’s new businesses further the valley’s connection to character and place.

Walla Walla is so nice, they named it twice. Honored for the second consecutive year as America’s Best Wine Region, and boasting a flourishing farm-to-table culinary scene, this rural-chic town in central Washington has earned a reputation for continually building upon its successes as opposed to resting on its laurels. With its sweeping landscape of wheat fields, vineyards, and farmland, not to mention its health and safety-minded Peace of Mind Pledge, Walla Walla continues to delight and entice visitors with no fewer than 11 new businesses opening their doors in recent months.

Among the most notable, a new luxury winery resort, three new restaurants, three new tasting rooms, and four other businesses, including a curated grocery store, an elevated general store, an artisan showroom, and an educational hops tour.

“It gives me great joy to see these new businesses opening their doors,” Says Robert Hansen, Executive Director of Visit Walla Walla and Walla Walla Valley Wine. “The common theme running through these new businesses is a unified connection to place and community supporting the local landscape, artisans, and history that makes Walla Walla so genuinely unique.”

Following is a list of some of the notable businesses that have opened their doors in Walla Walla in recent months:

LODGING
Yellowhawk Resort (formerly Basel Cellars): Yellowhawk Resort is an 84-acre hillside retreat on Walla Walla’s south side. The resort features a sparkling winery and tasting room with farm-to-table dining, a swimming pool and cabanas, lodging, and event space for weddings, reunions, and corporate retreats. As you enter the gate and wind up the hill to the estate house, the elevated setting provides a sweeping outlook on the fields of wheat, lush vineyards below, and the Blue Mountains in the distance. The property was purchased in December 2020 by Pacific Northwest hospitality leaders Dan Thiessen, Chad Mackay, Scott Clark, Philip Christofides, and Paul Mackay, and is part of the Revelers Club loyalty program. Winemaker George-Anne Robertson leads Yellowhawk’s sparkling wine program.

DINING & RESTAURANTS
AK’s Mercado: One of Walla Walla’s top eateries, Andrae’s Kitchen, which Food & Wine magazine’s Ray Isle once described as “hands down the best restaurant inside a working gas station in America,” recently relocated to its own space on Main St. in the heart of downtown Walla Walla. Focusing on tacos, smoked meats, and other street food, Mercado is inspired by Chef Andrae Bopp’s love for the cuisines of Oaxaca and New Orleans, among other places, with a craft cocktail program curated by local mixology legend Jim German. The venue also features various popups from Secret Squirrel wine, Daylight Plant Co, Walla Walla Cheese Co. and others.

The Kitchen at Abeja: Those with a taste for wine country living have yet another reason to visit Abeja, a 38-acre historic Walla Walla farmstead and home to the acclaimed Abeja winery and bucolic Inn at Abeja. The Kitchen at Abeja, which opened July 13, offers a fine dining experience showcasing innovative wine country cuisine and celebrating the Pacific Northwest’s seasonal bounty. Dinner guests choose from a five or seven-course prix fixe menu, as well as an optional wine pairing menu. Executive Chef Elodie Li, who returns to her home state after two years of cooking in Michelin two-star restaurants in Provence, France, collaborates with Abeja winemakers Dan Wampfler and Amy Alvarez-Wampfler on the menus, updated weekly. Surrounded by the winery’s vineyards and gardens, The Kitchen at Abeja is a rich, refined wine country experience.

The Kinglet at Whitehouse-Crawford (opening early 2022): Farther on the horizon is The Kinglet at Whitehouse-Crawford, a new bistro eatery in the historic Whitehouse-Crawford Planing Mill building, from acclaimed Seattle Chef Maximillian Petty. A multiple James Beard semifinalist, Petty’s menu will range from exuberantly curated items, which built his reputation at Eden Hill, to a bar and lounge area that will stay open later with a snack-heavy lineup, including a pizza oven and an extensive cocktail program.

TASTING ROOMS
Moonbase Cellars: The Blue Mountains and rolling wheat fields of Walla Walla enticed Laine and Drew Pauk to call the valley their home. That, and their desire to make wine with a straightforward approach amidst an ideal viticulture climate. Moonbase Cellars’ philosophy is to find fantastic vineyards suited for a specific grape variety, sourcing excellent fruit from premier vineyard sites in the Walla Walla Valley, including multiple locations within the coveted The Rocks District of Milton-Freewater AVA. As for the name, Drew has always been fascinated with space. Though his dream of becoming an astronaut didn’t work out, he managed to combine his love for wine and space with Moonbase Cellars.

Kinhaven Winery: This new family-owned small lot winery and vineyard is perched atop a picturesque knoll in the Southside winery district of Walla Walla. The property, with 8 acres of Merlot, Cabernet, Carmenere and Malbec, enjoys unobstructed views of the Blue Mountains and is the perfect setting for family and friends to connect while enjoying their thoughtfully crafted wines. Purchased in 2019 by Terry and Lisa Davenport, who also own the recently renovated Boyer House. From dining in the vines to weddings, the combination of Kinhaven Winery and Boyer House sets up for the perfect family and friend gathering.

5 Dollar Ranch Brewing: Self-proclaimed as “Walla Walla’s best new brewery in 2021,” this newcomer opened in June 2021. Located on the south side of town along the Oregon border on twelve acres of farm property, with sweeping views of the Blue Mountains. An evolving menu of hop offerings is fit to appease the novice to beer connoisseur. The location is both dog and kid-friendly. According to brewer and owner Josh Hulett, while he loves all of his beers, the Hazy’s are not to be missed.

Hoquetas Wine Company: Located at the Port of Walla Walla wine incubator facility in the Walla Walla Airport District, Hoquetas Wine Co. opened its doors in September of 2021. Started by musician turned winemaker Robert Gomez and his family, the winery focuses on producing wines that are both expressive and representative of the region’s terroir. Hoquetus, a musical method where vocal parts alternate to create a single melody, speaks to Gomez’s musical approach to winemaking, where the ingredients are carefully composed to create a melodious pour.

Runway Market: Located in the airport district of Walla Walla’s wine region, Runway Market is a sparkling wine bar serving up local bubbles. The Market serves an assortment of food options, including picnic boxes, paninis, flatbread pizza, and various other grab-and-go options. All tastings include complimentary gourmet popcorn. Cathy Bay and her husband opened Runway Market in 2021 with the hopes of being a stop for not only bubbles and food, but laughter and celebration.

SPECIALTY, ACTIVITIES & OTHER
Showroom at Colville: The Showroom on Colville was built in the 1930s as a showroom for auto sales in the center of downtown Walla Walla. In October of 2019, the Showroom on Colville underwent extensive renovations which unveiled the beautiful bones of the structure, and from there the story began to blossom. A corner of downtown Walla Walla honors local history to gather and celebrate the community with local-centric artisans and purveyors. Shops include TMACS, The Market by Andy’s, Wildlings Co. kids boutique, and many more.

Walla Walla General Store: A new home, kitchen & gift store founded by Jean Bender and Peggy Frasse. The store opened to locals & visitors alike on May 6, 2021. From small delights, such as penny cent candy to homewares from makers such as Simon Pierce, Walter G textiles, Riedel and Staub – there is something for everyone at the Walla Walla General Store. Much more than just a retail space, co-founders Jean & Peggy envision the store as a space for community. Following a successful summer Art Series, resident Allison Palmer will host a continuation of “Make for Joy” there this fall. Weekly Monday-Wednesday classes will begin in September, and continue through December.

Walla Walla Brews Cruise: Walla Walla is known for wine, but it’s also home to plentiful craft beer and cider. Alongside thousands of acres of vineyards are century-old wheat fields and orchards stretching across the valley. Generations of wheat farmers have made their home in Walla Walla and now support a growing community of brewers. Walla Walla Brews Cruise tours are knowledge-based tours where you will learn about the process of brewing beers and crafting cider, with a guided discussion of varying styles of alcohol.

Foodscape Walla Walla: Foodscape could technically be described as an online grocer, but it’s so much more. It’s a place to acquire food, talk about food, or gather meaning from food. It was started by Hannah MacDonald, a longtime chef, local, and significant influencer on the Walla Walla food scene over the past decade. Foodscape highlights the area’s bounty, from food to all the agriculture offerings: produce, meat, and seafood. They also directly import hundreds of spices from all over the world, as well as other specialty products like olive oil, seafood, and vinegar. Foodscapes give locals and visitors alike the tools that they need to cook any cuisine under the sun.

About Walla Walla:
As the unofficial capital of Washington wine country, Walla Walla is home to more than 120 wineries, a nationally recognized culinary scene, access to an abundance of outdoor recreation, and an arts & entertainment scene that rivals cities many times its size. This community of just over 30,000 residents is known for many things, including its friendliness and hospitality, the quality of its wine, and of course the famous Walla Walla Sweet Onion. An easy and scenic four-hour drive from Seattle, Portland, or Boise, Walla Walla can also be accessed via Alaska Airlines’ daily non-stop flights from Seattle. For more information and to begin planning a trip to Walla Walla, visit www.wallawalla.org.

Lake Mead from Andrea Heerdt, The Vox Agency for use by 360 Magazine

Lake Mead Mohave Adventures Invites Visitors to Share Memories for Prizes

Visitors are invited to share their most memorable photos and stories at Lake Mead Mohave Adventures’ (LMMA) properties for chances to win gift vouchers redeemable for small, motorized boat and kayak rentals. Each marina location, including Callville Bay Marina, Cottonwood Cove Resort & Marina, Willow Beach Marina & Campground and Temple Bar Resort & Marina, will award a first-place winner a $500 credit and two second-place winners each a $250 credit, totaling $4,000 in prizes across all (LMMA) properties.

The photo and story contest is open now through September 30, 2021. To submit photos and stories, click here.

“To say thanks for making Lake Mead Mohave Adventures a part of so many visitors’ family vacations and other memorable moments, we will be giving away $4,000 worth of gift vouchers across all four of our marinas,” said Chad Taylor, director of sales and marketing, Lake Mead Mohave Adventures. “We can’t wait to see all the photos and read all the unforgettable stories our guests will share with us.”

For more information on Lake Mead Mohave Adventures, go to Lake Mead Adventures’ website.

About Guest Services

Since 1917, Guest Services, Inc. has earned the reputation as a premier hospitality management company and national and state park concessionaire that has taken great care and pride in delivering best-in-class food, lodging, retail and recreation services. The Fairfax, Virginia-based company and its subsidiaries employ more than 3,500 staff at more than 250 facilities, which welcome approximately 30 million guests annually across the United States. Guest Services, Inc. is proud to welcome visitors at Mount Rainier National Park, North Cascades National Park and Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area in Washington, several parks in the Washington, D.C. area, and state parks such as Bear Mountain in New York, in addition to Missouri’s newest state park in the Ozarks – the much anticipated Echo Bluff State Park. To learn more visit Guest Services.

illustration bv Samantha Miduri for use by 360 Magazine

Redmont Hotel

The Redmont Hotel, a historic hotel property in Birmingham, Alabama, and part of Curio Collection by Hilton has selected Rebel Hospitality to engage in hotel management services.   

Rebel Hospitality, a leader in the hotel management of independent and soft branded lifestyle properties, offers a progressive new management option that aligns owners’ interests with operational excellence to deliver enhanced guest experiences and peak financial performance. Rebel’s growing portfolio of managed properties includes hotels in destination and gateway markets throughout the United States. 

“As Rebel Hospitality continues its rapid growth, we are proud to be chosen to manage The Redmont Hotel, one of the preeminent properties and top-rated hotels in the vibrant destination of Birmingham,” said Brian Sparacino, President, and CEO of Rebel Hospitality. “With our experienced operations team, we look forward to engaging with this exciting property that features beautiful historical architecture, well-appointed modern guest rooms, and the best rooftop bars in the city with stunning panoramic views of Downtown Birmingham and the surrounding areas.”  

The Redmont Hotel was redeveloped by Birmingham, Alabama-based, Rhaglan Hospitality LLC. Rhaglan’s experience in development and hotel management totals over $200 million of completed commercial buildings, including numerous core branded hotels totaling over 850 rooms, with a focus on historic preservation.

Located in the heart of downtown, The Redmont Hotel is the oldest hotel in Birmingham. Newly restored, the 14-story historic landmark features 120 renovated guest rooms that embrace the glamour of the 1920s. The Redmont Hotel, Curio Collection by Hilton, offers guests a boutique hotel experience within walking distance of the flourishing downtown Birmingham entertainment district. The Redmont has many unique spaces for any occasion; the property boasts 3,600 square feet of meeting space which includes two boardrooms as well as two luxurious ballrooms connected by a charming mezzanine and New Orleans style balcony overlooking 5th Avenue. Each meeting space is equipped with built-in audio-visual equipment.    

The city of Birmingham is considered to be the up-and-coming food destination of the South. The Redmont’s dining options, and exciting rooftop lounge with breathtaking city views, highlight the best of the city’s culinary experiences. 

About Rebel Hospitality

Rebel Hospitality offers a progressive new paradigm for hotel management. Rebel Hospitality blends modern technologies with management excellence to create a one-stop, full-service hospitality management biome spanning operations, revenue management, procurement, human resources, marketing distribution, and investment and development partnerships. The unrivaled technology, expertise, and fee transparency make Rebel Hospitality an emerging leader and premier partner as a niche hotel management platform that is philosophically aligned with hotel investment strategies. For more information, please visit their website. 

About Curio Collection by Hilton

Curio Collection by Hilton is a global portfolio of more than 100 one-of-a-kind hotels and resorts in nearly 30 countries and territories. Curio Collection properties offer travelers authentic, curated experiences through distinctly local offerings and elevated amenities while providing the benefits of Hilton and its award-winning guest loyalty program Hilton Honors. To make reservations, travelers can visit curiocollection.com. Read the latest brand and hotel stories here, and connect with Curio Collection on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. 

About Rhaglan Hospitality

Rhaglan’s experience in development encompasses over $200 million of completed projects, including core branded hotels totaling over 850 rooms. Rhaglan focuses on redeveloping and repositioning unique buildings irretrievably linked to the history of their communities.

Lego Illustration Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

LEGOLAND New York Resort Now Open

The Orange County Tourism & Film team is incredibly excited to share that LEGOLAND® New York Resort is officially open for fun. The 150-acre park is located in Goshen, New York.

“We are thrilled that LEGOLAND® New York Resort is officially open to all!” said Orange County Tourism Director Amanda Dana. “LEGOLAND® New York Resort will not only benefit Orange County, but it will have a tremendous economic benefit in the Hudson Valley region and the entirety of New York. I know I can’t wait to go explore LEGOLAND® New York Resort!”

After starting construction in 2018, LEGOLAND® New York Resort opened all seven of their themed lands to the general public on Friday morning. Attending the grand opening was Gov. Andrew Cuomo, joined by other elected officials and regional tourism partners who marked the opening of the theme park by flipping a power switch.

LEGOLAND® New York Resort features a theme park with seven uniquely themed worlds, filled with attractions for the whole family. The theme park also includes a variety of dining options, as well as stores to purchase your favorite LEGO® products. A 250-room resort accompanies the theme park, offering patrons the chance to stay in either pirate, kingdom, Lego Friends or LEGO® NINJAGO® themed rooms. The LEGOLAND® hotel will start accepting reservations on August 6.

The addition of LEGOLAND® New York Resort increases the number of major attractions in New York State that currently reside in Orange County. Sitting 50 miles away from New York City, Orange County provides recreational activities, history, shopping, arts and culture, dining and more for all ages. Enjoy a tasting at one of the numerous wineries, breweries, distilleries and cideries or enjoy the outdoors, rafting down the Delaware River or hiking the Appalachian Trail. Orange County provides fun for all ages throughout the entire year, making the area a premier North East destination.

About Orange County Tourism & Film

Orange County Tourism, based in Goshen, N.Y., is the county’s tourism headquarters and a participant in the I LOVE NY program. A comprehensive listing of area attractions, lodging and events can be found at Orange County Tourism and Film. Like Orange County Tourism on Facebook for the latest news on local happenings.

 

illustration by rita azar for use by 360 magazine

How To Save Big On Road Trips

It’s that time of year again – road trip season! Now that travel is slowly starting again, consumers are looking for ways to save money. Personal finance sites such as MyBankTracker suggests that planning ahead is likely the best way to keep your wallet happy. The personal finance site recommends these strategies to help consumers save in its newest edition of How to Save on the Costs of a Road Trip.

Planning Can Help Save the Most

  • Maintenance – Get a maintenance check if you’re driving a personal vehicle. The cost of a check is likely much lower than that of abreakdown and tow.
  • Food – Brown bag a few meals and snacks, this could be healthier and less expensive than fast food.
  • Attractions – Look for bundle discounts or coupons online; if the road trip is to visit national parks, consider the $80 “America the Beautiful” annual pass instead of paying individual entrance fees.
  • Lodging – Camping is typically the go-to for road trips; this strategy can be less expensive than a hotel — even with the cost of rental camping gear, but be sure to make a reservation in advance.

Utilize Travel Credit Card Perks

  • Redeem credit card points – Use the points, but wisely! Some of the best travel credit card rewards programs allow points to be redeemed for a bonus value — or may be worth more if transferred to hotel loyalty programs. Think more free nights!
  • Auto rental collision coverage – Check what’s covered by credit card insurance, many make you eligible for reimbursement to cover collision or theft damage so you can decline the waiver from the rental company.
  • Roadside assistance – Some pay for services like tows, flat tires, fuel delivery and more.
  • Trip cancellation/interruption –This perk can provide a refund for prepaid, non-refundable expenses paid on the card. On a road trip, this will likely extend to lodging and scheduled tours.

It’s fun to be spontaneous, but not as fun for your bank account,” notes Simon Zhen, senior research analyst for the financial comparison site. “Rental cars are getting harder to find, flight prices are increasing, and gas prices continue to be elevated. The best cost-saving strategy is to plan at least a part of your trip in advance.”

About MyBankTracker
MyBankTracker is owned and operated by QuinStreet, Inc., a leader in providing performance marketplace technologies and services to the financial services and home services industries. QuinStreet is a pioneer in delivering online marketplace solutions to match searchers with brands in digital media. The company is committed to providing consumers with the information and tools they need to research, find and select the products and brands that meet their needs. MyBankTracker is a member of QuinStreet’s expert research and publishing division.

MyBankTracker is an independent comparison website helping consumers make smart banking and financial decisions. The mission is to match consumers to their perfect bank by providing and tracking in-depth information on more than 5,000 banks, credit unions and financial products. Using a combination of technology and money management expertise, MyBankTracker provides personal finance comparison tools and educates consumers to optimize their relationships with banks and lenders.

casino image

Are Online Casinos Dominating the Gambling Industry in 2021?

Having the opportunity to do multiple tasks “on the go” is considered a groundbreaking technological advancement as well as one of our generation’s greatest privileges. From making video calls while traveling on the train to online wagering and earning a massive fortune, the virtual reality has already conquered our world. Speaking of massive fortune, by the way, Wildz Casino NZ can get you in a winning streak in no time. By grabbing the generous bonuses that they offer in addition to the 200 free spins on the table, even luck itself wouldn’t bet against you.

But why should you take advantage of iGaming when you can walk right into your familiar casino on the corner?! Sure, you can save yourself the trip, but is that reason enough? No doubt your doctor recommends a little bit of daily walking and exercise, but online betting offers some great benefits and you shouldn’t rule it out just yet.

In this article, we will examine how the increasing popularity of online casinos has changed the gambling industry, how it all started, and what are the pro and cons of virtual betting.

The Beginning of Online Gambling

Betting from the comfort of your sofa has improved quite a lot since the launch of the first online gambling website back in the 90s. This innovative industry took its first steps in Antigua and Barbuda where the Free Trade and Processing Act allowed for up-and-coming businesses to get the necessary licenses thus marking the beginning of virtual wagering in all history books.

Microgaming, the most prominent software provider at the time, is known for completely transforming the way we gamble and serving as the founding father of internet betting. Moreover, Microgaming has kept their esteemed place within the ever-changing industry and has managed to remain more than relevant by constantly improving their software so that all types of online gambling games are supported.

By the year 1997 the internet was crawling with more than 200 online betting websites, including internet poker games and sports wagering. All seemed to be going great for the industry until the Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act was enacted which threw all online casinos into frenzy. Depositing and withdrawing funds was now illegal and the USA was no longer a welcoming territory for developing iGaming activities so most gambling companies took their business elsewhere.

Things were put on hold for the gambling industry for quite a while. However, America wasn’t the only country affected by the new regulations. In 2021 most European countries like Italy, Germany, Austria, Finland as well as China in Asia prohibit all forms of gambling.

Google’s New Policy for Online Betting Apps

A black cloud was hanging over the industry’s head but things took a turn when Google’s Play Store made a shift in restrictions back in March 2020. Up until now digital betting apps were available only in Brazil, France, Ireland and the UK, but thanks to this new policy 15 more countries (Australia, Belgium, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Romania, Spain, Sweden, and the United States) will get the chance to wager on their mobile phone 24/7.

Naturally, all current laws in the respective countries must be taken into account when attempting to do some online gambling but nevertheless, internet betting seems to be on the rise. So what’s all the fuss about?

Online Gambling vs Land-based Casinos


There is no denying that dressing up, spraying the most expensive perfume you own all over yourself, and walking into a flashy casino in all small hours with a James Bond kind of confidence, is a thrilling experience. However, dominating a mobile betting game in your pajamas while eating Doritos, has its own perks, so hear me out:

IGambling Offers a Wide Variety of Games


A land-based venue, no matter how glamorous, is restricted by the laws of physics – you simply can’t cram all betting games that should be explored, into so few square meters. The Internet world, on the other hand, is limitless. A gambling fanatic can grab his/her mobile phone and dive right into an endless ocean of exciting games – from card and roulette games to sportsbooks and slots. In our constantly evolving online reality, it’s a daunting task to keep the user’s attention for more than 5 minutes, so infinite game supply sounds like a jackpot for the iGambling industry.


Online Casinos Provide Tutorials for Beginners

Taking up gambling can be quite challenging, especially for total newbies. There are so many different games to choose from, not to mention the overwhelming rules each game abides by. Luckily, the online betting platforms are packed with tutorials that are super easy to access by anyone interested in mastering some gambling skills. By contrast, in traditional casinos no one would rush in to teach you the ropes. On the contrary, people might get mad if you try to pull them out of their betting mind zone, and ask them questions.


Bonuses Are a Given When Wagering Online

Land-based establishments don’t provide the same luxurious experience to customers as they once did. Regardless of the posh atmosphere in traditional casinos, the player would rarely get more than one free drink in contrast to the high paying bill at the end of the night. Online casinos, however, have a great marketing strategy that attracts new gamers by showering them with sweet welcoming bonuses and promotions in the form of free spins. This way, the better gets hooked on more playtime for a smaller initial investment.

Are Online Casinos Worth Your Time?

So what’s the final verdict? Should you join a betting app immediately or should you stick to the old dress up routine? To say that online gambling is more convenient than taking a drive in fancy attire, is stating the obvious. It all boils down to your personal preference as well as the time and money you are ready to spent in your pursuit of the big scores.

If you’re looking to explore new games, hone your betting skills, enjoy more bonuses or just kill some time, web gambling is definitely the way to go!

If your desire is to make a fun night out of it – call some friends, head to the casino and squander your inheritance. Just kidding! Always gamble responsibly and don’t forget to have a great time!

new candy illustration by Rita Azar by 360 Magazine

What to Know Before Traveling with CBD

By Ed Donnelly, founder of AmourCBD

CBD, also known as cannabidiol, is the oil found in the stem of hemp plants which has the THC extracted to reach levels below 0.3%.  CBD products have become an everyday essential and as travel begins to pick up, many people are unsure if they can bring their favorite CBD products with them.  Here are a few things to keep in mind when bringing your CBD products along.

Consider state laws

Hemp’s classification changed under the 2018 Farm Bill from being considered a Schedule I drug, meaning it is no longer considered a controlled substance, thus making consumption, production, and transportation across state lines legal. In order to even be considered hemp, products have to meet very strict requirements.  For one, the THC percentage in the product cannot be higher than 0.3% otherwise it can be considered marijuana which is yet to be legalized on a federal level.  Thankfully, AmourCBD products have a 0.00% THC guarantee and are produced in an FDA regulated facility so travelers need not worry.  When transporting hemp, the product has to be produced lawfully under the 2018 Farm Bill, and the USDA has to have issued approved regulations and procedures within that specific state.  Each production plan was submitted individually by states—additional information pertaining to that can be found here.  

TSA Compliant

While transporting marijuana across state lines is not allowed since it has not been legalized on a federal level, travelers can still bring most cannabis infused products with them, like CBD, as long as they contain under 0.3% THC. Like most hygienic products such as makeup and lotions, the TSA requires that any products brought in carry-on luggage do not exceed 3.4 oz and are stored in a resealable, clear 1 qt bag. Anything greater than 3.4 oz has to be stowed away in checked luggage. All AmourCBD products are less than 3.4 oz and can be brought safely on the plane. Additionally, CBD products do not need to be declared at the airport during domestic travel as they are federally legal in the United States.

Benefits of CBD for travel jitters

Why would travelers want to bring CBD along?  Various studies have shown that CBD can be used to help alleviate symptoms associated with insomnia, anxiety, and some muscle pains. Whatever your fear may be, whether a fear of heights, flying in general, or uneasiness during turbulence, consuming products like AmourCBD’s 10mg Gummies can help significantly when conquering your flight.  Not enough legroom or stiff muscles? AmourCBD’s Pain Relief Cream, which is the very first FDA-registered CBD cream on the market, has an active ingredient of lidocaine which helps soothe discomfort quickly, and without residual smells.  If you want to combat jet lag or simply want to rest on a long flight, travelers can also use CBD in place of products like melatonin.

International Travel Guidelines

When traveling internationally, CBD regulations can become a bit less straightforward. While it is legal to travel with CBD products containing less than 0.3% THC domestically in the United States, other countries have different laws regarding CBD use. Before bringing CBD products along for international travel, check on the regulations of the country you are traveling to in order to ensure you are abiding by that country’s laws. If you are unsure, professionals suggest leaving CBD products at home since many countries have stricter CBD-related drug laws than the United States.

Check for THC in CBD Products

Be sure to double check the ingredients of your CBD products before travel. As previously stated, CBD products containing less than 0.3% THC are federally legal, but CBD products containing higher doses of THC can vary in legality by state. Especially when traveling to or from a state where marijuana is legal, make sure to check your CBD products for their THC levels. Luckily, AmourCBD products contain 0.00% THC guaranteed, ensuring safe domestic travel.

Keeping rules and regulations in mind when traveling with your CBD must-haves can help ensure a smooth and relaxing trip, especially during a time we need it most.

Lego Illustration Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

LegoLand Discovery Center Westchester

BUILDING MEMORIES AGAIN – LEGOLAND® DISCOVERY CENTER WESTCHESTER REOPENS TO GUESTS ON MARCH 26

Attraction Welcomes Nominations for Deserving Family to be VIP Guests on Reopening Day and Invites Guests to Honor Local Healthcare Workers with Ticket Donations for Visits Shared on Social Media

LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Westchester is thrilled to announce they will officially reopen its doors to guests on Friday, March 26th, welcoming fans back after over a year being closed due to local regulations. Guests can enjoy a day of family fun with signature experiences including MINILAND, LEGO® Racers: Build and Test, and LEGO® 4D Cinema! The ultimate indoor LEGO playground is looking for nominations for a deserving family to be the first to experience the attraction when it reopens. Nominations can be submitted on the attractions Facebook page or emailed to Westchester@LEGOLANDDiscoveryCenter.com

Taking extra precautions for health and safety, LEGOLAND Discovery Center Westchester has implemented enhanced physical distancing measures, new limited capacity 2-hour playtimes, LEGO® bricks just for families to use during playtimes, and stringent cleaning protocols before each playtime following the guidance of local and national health officials.

“The health of our guests and employees is of utmost importance. We are taking proactive steps to provide visitors with a safe, comfortable environment when we welcome them back to LEGOLAND Discovery Center again,” said Laura Whitman, General Manager of LEGOLAND Discovery Center Westchester. “After over a year spent social distancing, we hope to provide our fans with a day of togetherness, learning, creating, and carefree play.”

As part of the reopening, LEGOLAND Discovery Center Westchester will also honor the tireless work of local medical professionals by donating complimentary tickets to local organizations and their healthcare heroes. For every guest who tags the attraction in a social media post during their visit, LEGOLAND Discovery Center Westchester will donate one ticket to a local healthcare worker from a health care partner to be announced soon.

Families are encouraged to visit https://www.legolanddiscoverycenter.com/westchester as soon as next week to purchase tickets and check out LEGOLAND Discovery Center Westchester’s visit safety tips.

ABOUT LEGOLAND® DISCOVERY CENTER WESTCHESTER
LEGOLAND® Discovery Center is the ultimate indoor LEGO® playground and has 11 locations across North America including Arizona, Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, Kansas City, Michigan, Philadelphia, San Antonio, Toronto, and Westchester. Geared towards children ages 3 to 10 and their families, the attraction features millions of LEGO® bricks and multiple attractions including Master Builder Academy; Kingdom Quest Laser Ride; Merlin’s Apprentice Ride; LEGO® 4D Cinema; Build and Test; MINILAND™ featuring iconic landmarks; LEGO® Friends Heartlake City, and more.

Visit LEGOLAND® Discovery Center’s site for attraction info and locations. LEGOLAND® Discovery Center is a part of the Merlin Entertainments Group. 

About Merlin Entertainments plc 

Merlin Entertainments plc is a global leader in location-based, family entertainment. As Europe’s number one and the world’s second-largest visitor attraction operator, Merlin now operates more than 130 attractions, 19 hotels, and 6 holiday villages in 25 countries across four continents. Merlin’s purpose is to deliver memorable experiences to its 67 million guests around the world, through its iconic brands and multiple attraction formats, and the commitment and passion of its 28,000 employees (peak season).

Visit Merlin Entertainments site for more information and follow on Twitter @MerlinEntsNews

 

Beating the Competition: How to Make More From Your Airbnb 

If you have some space to spare in your home, Airbnb is an excellent way to make a good income. But today, there are loads of listings in almost any neighborhood, and let’s face it; better homes, better amenities, nicer views… And the truth is that these days you can’t compete on prices alone.

This spells the need to rethink how you run your facility. 

You want first-time guests to love it so much that not only will they long to come back, but also they refer you to their circles. For this to happen, you need to bring your A-game. Roll up your sleeves and get ready. Here’s to make more from your Airbnb.

  1. Focus on the Bedrooms

You will be surprised at how much attention people give to bedrooms and sleeping areas when choosing vacations. This is an area that will require you to put your best foot forward if you are to stand out. 

Think doonas with quality filling, white hotel-style linen, and so on. 

Ensure to capture these details in your listing as well so that potential guests know what to expect beforehand. This can significantly help increase your bookings.

  1. Think Sustainability

Going green campaigns in recent years have increasingly focused on what individuals can do on a smaller scale. Combined with national-level policy, individual efforts create a considerable impact as well. 

As a business owner, running a sustainable property is advantageous on several fronts. 

The key ones are that one, you are likely to attract like-minded, pro-green proponents to your property. 

The second is that you can use the specific sustainability features on your property to separate yourself from other Airbnb’s in your locale when marketing. This does not have to be anything complicated; water conservation, live plants, composting, and so on are small touches that can amplify your brand. 

  1. Welcome Pack

Let’s face it: everyone loves freebies. To understand just how much, look at reviews left for different hotels and see how prominently the idea of welcome packs feature. 

This will require some creativity, however. Because you are a business looking to make a profit, your accommodation fees will dictate what your welcome pack should hold. Ultimately, it’s the time and effort you put into making your guests feel warm and fuzzy that matters.

Items like candy, fruit, or local delicacies will work well enough. 

While it’s okay to mention this in your advert, you can opt to leave it as a surprise. There is no expectation of a grand welcome pack, and the surprise element can add you extra guest points.

  1. Make It Family-Friendly

Most vacationers with young children will tell you the hassle they go through to find family-friendly accommodations. If you have a location where families will make up a significant percentage of guests, making your facility family-friendly can give you an edge. 

Think about things like cots, high chairs, laundry powder, free washing/machine, extra mattresses, and so on. 

You can also consider building a safe child corner where parents can leave their kids playing as they unwind. You can take this a notch higher and have a resident baby minder at a fee. 

The opportunity to explore, relax and unwind while a resident baby minder takes care of their little ones for a couple of hours is a dream come true for most parents. 

Think Outside the Box

Guests have lots of options today more than ever before, and being the choice facility will take some thinking outside the box. Luckily, these do not have to be expensive undertakings. Small, thoughtful additions are often enough to woo your guest and keep them coming back for more.