Posts tagged with "Forbes"

In Switzerland, an hotelier and two artists challenge the definition of luxurious hospitality

June 27, 2022

Dream of a night under the stars—but allergic to sleeping bags? This summer in Switzerland, an artistic/hospitality concept named  Null Stern—The Only Star Is You  may offer exactly what you need, reports Forbes magazine.

Imagine a hotel room without a roof or walls, set directly under the sky within a magnificent Alpine landscape. For some, it may look like an optical illusion, but for the 6,500 travelers on the waiting list, a night at Null Stern (whether near Saillon in the Valais region, or at 6,463 feet above sea level in one of six locations in Eastern Switzerland) is very much a reality.

Surrounded by vineyards, the Saillon suites will be available from July 1 through September 18, 2022.

“The definition of luxury has evolved over the years from tangible to intangible,” said co-founder hotelier Daniel Charpentier. “Marble in the bathroom is now much less important than a guest’s emotional experience.”

Charpentier worked in hotels all over the world before he came back to settle in his native Switzerland. There, he met concept artists (and twin brothers) Frank and Patrik Riklin, known first for an art installation set inside a 1980s nuclear shelter hidden in the basement of an apartment building in St. Gallen.

They named it “Null Stern Hotel,” the no-star hotel. Since then, the Riklin brothers continue to imagine artwork and art installations that challenge people’s habits and thought processes. outside of museums and galleries, i

For Null Stern, the three partners search locations that offer both a dramatic backdrop and view. They build platforms on which they place a Queen size bed, two nightstands and light fixtures.

“We call them zero-real estate suites,” said Mr. Charpentier. “But they are within walking distance of bathrooms and also a back-up bedroom that’s reserved for these guests in case the weather turns.”

Each suite costs $295 per night and comes with its own butler, in charge of bringing out dinner and breakfast to guests in bed. But the Null Stern butler is its own invention too. The person who takes care of the guests will wear a white shirt, white gloves and a bowtie but will have complete freedom as to what else to wear. And while he will be responsible for traditional service tasks, he will also be freed to improvise in order to enhance the experience.

Inspired by the simple beauty of the Swiss landscape, the Riklin brothers are known for taking their art outside of museums and galleries, the typical boundaries. In fact, by giving human beings a place to rest within nature, they are showcasing the landscape as art.

Finally, a new suite named the “anti-idyllic” suite and created in partnership with the town of Saillon, challenges even the beauty of the landscape. Set between a gas station and a highway, it aims to provoke a “positive disruption.”

“There are so many problems in the world right now, how can we sleep?” asked Patrik Riklin. “Our new version is an incubator for reflection.”

The brothers’ goal is to make guests stop and think. Perhaps by continuously breaking with conventions, they will succeed in bringing people together to effect change.

“What is luxury? How can we be safe?” they ask.

“We all love nature, but we continue to destroy it,” he said. “The bedrooms of the future may very well not have walls or roofs anymore because we won’t have the resources to build them any other way.”

Whether you choose the “conventional” suites or the anti-idyllic one, Null Stern will challenge your thinking. Will we just go back to the way we used to travel before the pandemic? Art asks questions. The answers are up to us.

Research contact: @Forbes

Dartmouth College to eliminate undergraduate student loans, replace them with scholarships

June 22, 2022

Dartmouth College has announced that it will eliminate all federal and institutional loans from its undergraduate financial aid packages and replace them with scholarship grants. The new policy will first take effect beginning with the 2022 summer term, reports Forbes magazine.

The no-loan financial aid packages—revealed by Dartmouth President Philip J. Hanlon—will benefit both current and future students, but they will not be applied retroactively to loans that Dartmouth students may have received before the start of the summer term.

Just last year, Dartmouth had eliminated loans for incoming students from families earning less than $125,000 per year, says Forbes.

But now, because of the fundraising success of the College’s “The Call to Lead Campaign,” Dartmouth is eliminating that threshold and will be offering no-loan, need-based financial aid to all eligible students.

According to the  news release from Dartmouth, the policy will reduce the college-related debt by an average of $22,000 over four years for about 450 Dartmouth students and their families.

In addition, because Dartmouth has been able to raise $120 million in scholarship gifts and pledges for its endowment in the past year, it has made other significant enhancements to its financial aid. For example, it now offers need-blind admissions to international students, thanks to a record $40 million gift from an anonymous donor; and it also has eliminated the expected parent contribution when calculating financial aid awards for students from families earning less than $65,000 per year.

Two recent gifts helped Dartmouth reach its no-loan financial aid goal. In May, Anne Kubik, a 1987 Dartmouth alum, added $10 million to an earlier commitment of support she had made. And an anonymous donor committed $25 million—endowing one of the largest scholarship funds in Dartmouth history.

But many others contributed as well. According to Dartmouth, more than 65 families gave to the campaign to eliminate the loan component of the college’s financial aid, committing more than $80 million in gifts to the endowment. That included several families who recently donated $5 million to eliminate loans in the financial aid awards for current undergraduate students going forward.

“Thanks to this extraordinary investment by our community, students can prepare for lives of impact with fewer constraints,” said President Hanlon. “Eliminating loans from financial aid packages will allow Dartmouth undergraduates to seek their purpose and passion in the broadest possible range of career possibilities.”

Dartmouth now joins several other leading, private institutions that have adopted a no-loan, need-based, financial aid policy. They include Williams College and Ivy League peers Brown University, Columbia University, Harvard University, the University of Pennsylvania and Yale University.

Research contact: @Forbes

Ready to roll: Airstream museum opens in Ohio

June 9, 2022

Ohio may not be at the top of your bucket list for summer travels, but if you own or love Airstreams—those shiny, silver travel trailers that are hallmarks of the American open road—then you might want to revise your plans. The company has just opened the Airstream Heritage Center, located inside its world headquarters in Jackson Center, Ohio, reports Forbes.

The Heritage Center brings Airstream’s history to life in a museum space that highlights over 90 years of globetrotting adventures. It celebrates both the company’s cutting-edge innovation and the thousands of people who have helped build Airstreams by hand since 1931.

There has long been a partnership between Airstream design and travel adventures. Design aficionados love their looks, while their distinctive shape still commands awe and respect on American highways, says Forbes.

A 1960 Airstream Bambi travel trailer has long been part of the permanent collection of New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MOMA). You’d be hard-pressed to find a more passionate band of vehicle owners than those who own Airstreams, which have become true emblems of the American passion for driving and discovering.

There are more than 15 vintage Airstream models on display, including a 1938 Clipper, an example of the first riveted aluminum Airstream model. There’s also the Gold Airstream that company founder Wally Byam used to lead the Capetown to Cairo Caravan, a seven-month journey.

The Heritage Center uses Airstream’s collection of original films and photographs of caravanners traveling around the globe. It begins with the first Airstream Caravan in 1951 and the collection includes country flags flown during the Around the World Caravan and travel diaries from the Africa Caravan.

In 1956, Byam shipped 36 Airstreams and 87 caravanners across the Atlantic Ocean for the first Wally Byam Caravan to Europe. Throughout the course of the six-month trip, the caravanners visited 16 countries and traveled 16,000 miles. The trip was documented by National Geographic and the white Airstream Byam used to lead the group is in the Heritage Center.

For those more interested in the mechanics and design of Airstreams, there are selections from the Airstream Archives on display, some 90 years of company history, product testing films, brochures, engineering drawings, newspaper articles, and even plans for NASA’s Mobile Quarantine Facilities.

“For years we’ve been looking for the right way to celebrate our history, and our new Heritage Center is a testament to the products that inspired generations of travelers, and the people who built this brand into an American icon,” said Airstream President & CEO Bob Wheeler.

“The vintage models, mementos, journals, and films on display vividly illustrate how an Airstream is more than simply a recreational vehicle. It’s a vessel that holds the stories accumulated over years of travel and adventure.”

Research contact: @Forbes

Andy Warhol’s pop portrait of Queen Elizabeth to be displayed for her Platinum Jubilee

April 14, 2022

A rarely seen portrait of Queen Elizabeth II by pop artist Andy Warhol will go on display next month—alongside portraits of Britain’s other ruling queens—as part of a special Sotheby’s exhibit for the Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee, which marks her 70th year on the throne, reports Forbes.

The special exhibit will feature portraits of each of Britain’s seven queens regnant—those who ruled in their own right, not as the wife of a king. The Andy Warhol portrait, completed in 1985, is on loan from a private collection. It was based on a photograph taken in 1977 to commemorate the queen’s Silver Jubilee.

 Another rare portrait that will be displayed is the world-famous Armada Portrait of Queen Elizabeth I from the private Woburn Abbey Collection, commissioned to celebrate the 1588 defeat of the Spanish Armada—and widely considered to be one of the finest portraits of the Tudor queen.

 Sotheby’s also will display a selection of aristocratic tiaras and jewelry, rare books, manuscripts and book bindings with royal provenance from both British royalty and from European ruling families, which includes a special copy of Elizabeth II’s Coronation Bible, which was used at her crowning ceremony at Westminster Abbey on June 2, 1953.

 The exhibit will run from May 28 to June at Sotheby’s New Bond Street galleries in London and will include programming including special talks, debates, and musical and drama performances.

Queen Elizabeth turns 96 next week on her birthday, April 21, although her official royal birthday is celebrated in June with the annual Trooping the Colour military parade. Elizabeth became the longest reigning monarch in 2015 when she beat out the previous record holder, her great-great grandmother Queen Victoria, who ruled for 63 years and 7 months.

 Elizabeth is the first British ruler to mark 70 years on the throne. The year-long Platinum Jubilee celebration will culminate this spring and summer with a variety of events across the U.K., including other special exhibits and programs at cultural institutions like the Victoria and Albert Museum and British Museum in London, as well as concerts, parties, parades—and even a dessert contest.

 Research contact: @Forbes

A tease preview from the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards

April 5, 2022

The Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards—”most probably the world’s funniest photography competition,” according to the organizers—has released a series of funny images to kick off its 2022 competition, reports Forbes.

Co-founded in 2015 by professional photographers Paul Joynson Hicks and Tom Sullam, inspired by their passion for wildlife and decades of experience living and working in East Africa, the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards focus on the lighter side of wildlife photography to help promote conservation through humor.

The competition is free to enter and open to wildlife photography novices, amateurs, and professionals, alike, who want to celebrate the hilarity of the natural world while highlighting the need to protect it.

Each year, the competition supports a sustainable conservation organization and in 2022 is collaborating with the Whitley Fund for Nature, a British charity that helps conservation leaders working in their home countries across the global South. Over 29 years, it has channeled £19 million (about US$25 million) to more than 200 conservationists in 80 countries.

Photographers can enter up to ten images across six categories: Creatures of the Air, Creatures of the Land, Underwater Category, Video Category, Junior Category and Portfolio Category.

Closing date for entries is September 1. The main prize is a safari in the Maasai Mara in Kenya with Alex Walker’s Serian—a charismatic collection of exclusive and intimate safari camps in the prime wildernesses of Kenya and Tanzania.

Research contact: @Forbes

Ukraine launches NFT sale to fund fight against Russia

March 28, 2022

Ukraine is selling nonfungible tokens (NFTs) inspired by Russia’s invasion, with the proceeds going toward the support of the nation’s army and civilians, Vice Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov  announced on Friday, March 25, reports Forbes.

The project, part of the Meta Museum History of War, aims to memorialize the invasion, “spread truthful information” online and to collect donations for Ukraine, according to the website.

The 54 NFTs that make up the collection so far explore the events of the Russian invasion chronologically, with pieces inspired by landmarks in the conflict—starting with the February 24 announcement by Russian President Vladimir Putin of what he called a “special military operation” in Ukraine.

Buyers will be able to purchase the NFTs with ether, and all proceeds will go directly to the Ukrainian Ministry of Digital Transformation.

The sale’s format and prices will be announced in the coming days, a representative told Forbes, saying they hope the project raises millions of dollars for Ukraine.

More NFTs are in the works, the representative told Forbes, and the museum plans to create digital collectibles to “continue depicting … history until this awful war will end.”

To date, Ukraine has received $65.9 million in cryptocurrency to help fund its war efforts. Earlier this month, an NFT of the Ukrainian flag sold for roughly $6.75 million, with proceeds going to Come Back Alive, a group that supports the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

Ukraine, which in 2019 established its Ministry of Digital Transformation, has used the internet and crypto to help wage a “digital battle” against Russia. Federov has used his Twitter account to shame companies still operating in Russia, as many choose to suspend business there amid the invasion.

The ministry also has  directed  hackers—who are volunteers and not officially affiliated with the Ukrainian government—to temporarily take down websites for the Moscow Exchange and other Russian institutions.

“We are the first in the world to introduce this new warfare. And it’s powerful, yet simple at the same time,” Oleksandr Bornyakov, Ukraine’s deputy minister of digital transformation, told Politico earlier this month. “It’s impossible to disrupt it or break it down.”

Research contact: @Forbes

Derek Jeter steps down as Miami Marlins CEO; sells stake in the team

March 1, 2022

Derek Jeter is stepping down as chief executive of the Miami Marlins and selling his stake in the Major League Baseball franchise, the Hall of Famer announced on Monday, February 28, reports CNBC.

The reason? In a statement announcing the move, Jeter, 47, said the “vision for the future of the franchise is different than the one I signed up to lead,” when he took over the Marlins.

“We had a vision five years ago to turn the Marlins franchise around, and as CEO, I have been proud to put my name and reputation on the line to make our plan a reality,” Jeter said. “Through hard work, trust and accountability, we transformed every aspect of the franchise, reshaping the workforce, and developing a long-term strategic plan for success.”

Jeter, the New York Yankees icon, took over the team’s top C-suite role in 2017. The Marlins finished in fourth place in the National League East division last year. The team made the postseason once during Jeter’s tenure, a wild card spot in 2020.

The Marlins are worth $990 million, according to Forbes.

Marlins chairman and principal owner Bruce Sherman said the club would work as a committee to run business and baseball operations while searching for Jeter’s replacement.

Sherman also said the team is “committed to keep investing in the future of the franchise—Marlins fans and the local community.”

The news came on a big deadline day for MLB. Owners gave the players union until Monday to agree to a new labor deal—or Opening Day and potentially other games would be canceled.

Research contact: @CNBC

Storyliving is Disney’s new venture into planned residential communities

February 18, 2022

The Walt Disney Company has announced the launch of a new initiative to develop residential communities called Storyliving by Disney, reports Forbes magazine.

According to Disney, the new communities will feature “distinctively designed spaces, unique amenities, and world-renowned service.” The first community is set to be developed in Rancho Mirage, California, and additional locations around the United States are under exploration.

The master-planned communities are intended to, as Disney says, “Inspire residents to foster new friendships, pursue their interests and write the next exciting chapter in their lives—all while enjoying the attention to detail, unique amenities, and special touches that are Disney hallmarks.”

The first location of Rancho Mirage is a nod to Walt Disney, himself; who once owned a home in the area, where he would spend leisure time with his family. It will be called Cotino, a Storyliving by Disney community.

Homebuyers can choose from estates, single-family homes and condominiums to purchase, along with feature neighborhoods for those 55 years old and over.

Rental units are not anticipated to be available. There will be a voluntary club membership through which Disney will provide access to a variety of curated experiences, entertainment, and philanthropic endeavors. Each location within the community will be operated by Disney Cast Members.

 Disney also has announced that Cotino will have a mixed-use district with shopping, dining, and entertainment. A beachfront hotel and beach park will also be available. The hotel and park will also be able to be accessed by the public with a purchase of a day pass.

Cotino is being developed in collaboration with DMB Development of Scottsdale, Arizona, which is widely known for its execution of planned communities. “Cotino represents the creativity and operational excellence of Disney combined with the extensive community development expertise of DMB Development. We are delighted to collaborate with Disney in this groundbreaking new concept,” said Brent Herrington, CEO of DMB Development.

“As we prepare to enter our second century, we are developing new and exciting ways to bring the magic of Disney to people wherever they are, expanding storytelling to storyliving. We can’t wait to welcome residents to these beautiful and unique Disney communities where they can live their lives to the fullest,” said Josh D’Amaro, chairman, Disney Parks, Experiences and Products in a press release.

Storyliving by Disney isn’t the company’s first dip into the world of real estate and community development. According to Click Orlando, Disney announced plans for Celebration to the public in 1991 and broke ground in 1994. The master-planned community had plenty of homes, schools, shopping, and dining. However, Disney ultimately let go of Celebration in 2004 and sold it to private investors.

Those with millions of dollars to spend and a love for Disney can also live in the private, ultra-luxe neighborhood of Golden Oak set in the heart of Walt Disney World. Prices start at $2 million and go upwards, to well over $10 million for a home in the desirable neighborhood.

Research contact: @Forbes

Club Med will open its first five-star resort in Utah

December 1, 2021

Home to some of the greatest snow on earth, Snowbasin—located about a half hour from Salt Lake City–will welcome a new all-inclusive resort with the opening of Club Med Utah, scheduled for December 2024, reports Forbes.

The ribbon-cutting will celebrate the brand’s first ‘Exclusive Collection’ Five-Star resort in the United States, as well as the brand’s first new resort in the USA in more than 20 years.

“Club Med is known for pioneering new destinations, and we are eager to introduce Snowbasin to travelers as well as bring the very first luxury all-inclusive mountain resort to the U.S.,” Carolyne Doyon, president and CEO of Club Med North America and the Caribbean said in a statement.

While the architecture and decor is said to be inspired by the area’s natural surroundings, the 320-room resort will combine American luxury with Club Med’s trademark all-inclusive experience.

In addition to lift tickets, all day dining and nightly entertainment, the resorts direct ski-in, ski-out access—as well as ski and snowboarding lessons—will be a big part of the draw for guests who stay here.

During the warmer months guests will have the opportunity to explore area’s 3,000 acres of peaks and valleys through guided activities like hiking through national parks, mountain biking, and Club Med’s trademark circus activities.

“Continuing our 70-year legacy, Club Med Utah will give travelers additional opportunities to discover Utah’s natural beauty and welcoming communities through a transformative mountain getaway experience,” Doyon said.

The announcement comes on the heels of the opening of Club Med Quebec which will officially open its doors to the public this month.

Research contact: @Forbes

YouTuber MrBeast recreates ‘Squid Game’ with $456,000 top prize

November 30, 2021

Hundreds of cash-strapped “Squid Game” fans recently competed in a real-life recreation of the dystopian smash-hit Netflix series for a $456,000 cash prize, reports the New York Post.

Popular YouTuber MrBeast, who boasts 81.5 million subscribers, said he spent US$3.5 million on the elaborate reenactment, in which 456 contestants battled for the jackpot.

The social media star, whose real name is Jimmy Donaldson, said on Twitter that it cost him around $2 million to build and produce, while he spent around $1.5 million on prizes.

In addition to the six-figure first prize, Donaldson doled out $2,000 to every competitor and $10,000 to the runner-up.

The recreation included the same Korean children’s games played in “Squid Game,” such as Red Light, Green Light; marbles and tug-of-war —played within huge sets that took weeks to construct.

However, there was one major difference from the real-life show: No contestants were harmed.

Instead, players were rigged with “wireless explosives” packed with fake blood that burst open when a player was eliminated. In the tug-of-war and glass bridge challenges, losing contestants fell into a foam pit rather than plummeting to their deaths.

Yet, true to form, the real-life “Squid Game” contestants were seen in footage of the game trembling as they tried to carve shapes out of honeycomb in the “dalgona challenge.”

According to the Post, the “Squid Game” reenactment isn’t the first time Donaldson has pulled off an extravagant stunt like this for his YouTube channel. Donaldson is famed for offering outlandish prizes to his online followers willing to compete in absurd challenges, such as when contestants stood in a circle for 12 days for $500,000 cash.

The social media sensation was the second-highest paid YouTube star in 2020—earning about $24 million and garnering some 3 billion views, according to Forbes.

But his latest video has attracted harsh criticism from viewers who slammed Donaldson for reenacting a game about rich people exploiting the poor for their macabre viewing pleasure.

Finally, in the latest, stunning development kickstarted by the original Netflix series, the stunt video was released just a day after a smuggler who sold copies of “Squid Game” in North Korea was sentenced to death by firing squad.

Research contact: @nypost