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Real Estate

March 31, 2005
VIP for the KID

There's a travel article at MSNBC talking about how kids are getting VIP treatment at South Florida's 5-Star Hotels. The article addresses how hotels are trying to anticipate the wants and needs of young people. Michelle Payer, a Ritz-Carlton hotel spokeswoman says,

"kids are important to the Ritz. As the growth of family travel to luxury hotels continues to increase, we’ve expanded our signature service to deliver a special experience that even the kids will remember long after the vacation is over.”

When I was around 7-years old, my parrents took me on a vacation to Las Vegas. One night, they dropped me off at this kiddie casino - and it wasn't Circus Circus. It was like a 1970's version of a 24-hour Vegas day care center. The place was a awesome! They had movies, and games, and even saloon serving milkshakes.

30-years later, I can still remember so much detail about the event.

Go for it Ritz-Carlton, and all of you other 5-Star Hotels. It works.

Posted by Gus at 06:03 PM | Comments (0)

Hot Cars & Pretty Sights

Here's a nice post from Santosh Sankar at Confessions of a Dangerous Kind about the hot cars and pretty sights that he saw on his recent trip to Florida...IYKWIM

Posted by Gus at 03:05 PM | Comments (0)

Crobar vs. Opium

Who would have guessed Crobar could beat Opium in a Googlefight.

Posted by Gus at 12:40 PM | Comments (0)

Sharks Close Delray Beaches

Lifeguards (70 miles north of Miami) in Delray, Deerfield, Boca Raton and Palm Beach had to close the beaches on Tuesday after hundreds of sharks gatherd offshore.

Experts believe the sharks off Deerfield beach were black tip and spinner sharks. Experts said the sharks came so close to shore because they were chasing baitfish. The spinner species is not known as man-eaters but they have been blamed for biting people.

Now, I don't mean to alarm you. I have never seen a shark in Miami Beach, but I did have a nasty run with a Portuguese man-of-war jellyfish.

See shark photos at NBC6.

Posted by Gus at 11:24 AM | Comments (0)

March 30, 2005
Record Year for Miami Tourism

William D. Talbert, President and CEO of the GMCVB recently announced that 2004 overnight visitors to Greater Miami grew 5 percent to nearly 11 million visitors, fueled by 5.7 million domestic visitors and strong growth in international markets.

The international market grew 7 percent, helped by an 11 percent growth in European visitors and a 6.8 percent increase from Latin America. This overall growth in overnight visitors resulted in a nearly 6 percent growth in occupancy year-round, proving that Miami is no longer a seasonal destination.

A Smith Travel Research study shows that Miami’s 7.8 percent growth in average daily room rate — now up to $114.48 — was second only to New York’s growth rate.

Mr. Talbert added that "the Bureau’s marketing efforts helped bring high profile events like the MTV Video Music Awards and Art Basel Miami Beach, which created an international buzz about the destination."

The GMCVB recently announced a new global event for July 16-20 — Sunglass Hut Swim Shows Miami.

Posted by Gus at 10:18 AM | Comments (0)

Miami Vice the Movie

Director, Michael Mann, is bringing his 80's TV series "Miami Vice" to the big screen. The film is scheduled for release in 2006. Actors, Colin Farrell and Jamie Foxx will play Crockett and Tubbs.

Posted by Gus at 09:04 AM | Comments (0)

Jennifer Lopez is moving out

Jennifer Lopez is selling her $11 million Miami Beach mansion, because she does not want to be reminded of her ex-lover, Ben Affleck. The mansion contains eight bedrooms, eleven fireplaces (in Miami?), a pool, a dock - and apparently a host of bad memories of her failed engagement to Affleck. Lopez and her new husband, singer Marc Anthony, are planning to move to penthouse apartment in the same area.

Posted by Gus at 08:25 AM | Comments (0)

Links of the Weird

Something strange is happening in the travelsphere, as there are a bunch of really weird stories to share:

--An Air-India pilot slapped his co-pilot in the cockpit, while the aircraft was taxiing on the Dubai runway. The pilot was upset with the co-pilot, and lost his temper. The flight was delayed for three hours, till another pilot could arrive

--A Midwest Airlines employee was loading baggage into the cargo hold of a plane and somehow got locked in there as the flight took off for Philadelphia.

--A drunk passenger punched a Qantas pilot while the plane was still on the runway, after the pilot asked the man to settle down. The hostile passenger was dragged kicking and screaming from the plane.

--The British Airline Pilots' Association is complaining that polluted cabin air is making pilots sick. So, on your next flight if you smell something funny (besides your neighboring passenger) consider telling an attendant.

--As of April 14th, air travelers in the United States can no longer carry lighters on planes or in secure areas, but matches are still allowed.

--And finally... A Cubana IL-18 (that's a Russian commercial airliner) slid off the runway in Caracas yesterday, injuring 13 during the aborted takeoff. My question is, if an old Russian plane skids of a Venezuelan runway, does anyone show up to investigate?

If you've seen some strange behavior, please feel free to post a comment.

Posted by Gus at 08:03 AM | Comments (0)

Rescued manatees are going home

Here is local feel-good story to start off your day: Two manatees are going home and getting a new lease on life. Two years ago, a male manatee, Bo, and a female manatee, Daisy, were rescued in the Banana River in southwest Miami-Dade County. When Bo and Daisy were found, each weighed a little over 200 pounds and were sick and emaciated.

Now, they both are healthy weighing in at almost 800 pounds each. On Tuesday, Bo and Daisy were taken back to their home in the Banana River and released into the wild.

Vist NBC6 for photos of the release.

You can also track how Bo and Daisy are doing, at the

Posted by Gus at 07:33 AM | Comments (0)

March 29, 2005
Oceanfront Hotel is going condo

On April 18, 2005 the Oceanfront Hotel located at 6261 Collins Avenue will close it's doors to make way for the new Cabana Club condo-hotel. The Cabana Club on Collins will have a gourment restaurant, day spa, and a private beach club. The project is headed by BSG Development and will take 3 years to complete.

The Oceanfront follows a number of other condo-hotel conversions that are taking place on Miami Beach.

Posted by Gus at 09:11 AM | Comments (0)

Dance Music Awards

Winter Music Conference has announced the winners for the 20th Annual International Dance Music Awards. The Ultra Music Festival in Miami wins the award for "Best Global Dance Event".

Posted by Gus at 08:19 AM | Comments (0)

Sailing Florida's Gulf Coast

MSNBC has published their "10 greatest U.S. adventure vacations". Adventure Sailing along Florida's Gulf Coast makes the list.

"Sail aboard 26-foot Commodores through the small islands off Fort Myers for seven days and nights in flotillas of up to six boats at a time. The crafts are designed for four adults, and qualified sailors can captain their own craft"

Posted by Gus at 07:33 AM | Comments (0)

Zoomquilt interactive artwork

For those of you still tripping from the Winter Music Conference, you'll like this - The Zoomqulit is an interactive trip through more than a dozen artists' illustrations. I suggest choosing the Flash version. After Zoomquilt opens, click and drag up or down with your mouse to zoom in & out. Give it a ride!

Posted by Gus at 07:00 AM | Comments (0)

March 28, 2005
The Captain backlash

Captain Morgan and his new blog are taking a beating from some of the brightest minds in the blogosphere.

Robert Scoble says...

"No comments? Lame. That tells us you don't think we're important enough to listen to. No RSS? Lame. That tells us you don't want connectors/sneezers/influentials to talk about you and you don't want anyone to have a relationship with you on THEIR TERMS. No real human author? That tells us that you aren't passionate or authoritative about your product and you aren't willing to get over your fear of talking with real customers."

The Head Lemur joins in...

"The captain will perform a community service as some kid will get on the site, join the club, get the rum and get his silly ass killed. The parents will sue for millions and despite all the disclaimers, privacy statements, and lawyerly, they will win and make the captain do a 9000 city tour for Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

gapingvoid's "The "Beyond Lame" Award of The Week goes to..."

Now, I'm not hating on Captain's blog. I just started blogging myself, but I did notice the hundreds of comments on the website. It seems strange that a such a new blog would have so many comments. You don't think the marketing department at Captain Morgan’s Rum would stoop so low as to stuffing comments, do you?

Posted by Gus at 05:06 PM | Comments (2)

Frenquent Flyer Specials

Our friends Michael and Lisa are getting married in Argentina, this September. Michelle and I are trying to rack up our Delta SkyMiles for a free trip. Here are two frequent flyer specials that I came across:

Delta Airlines
Delta SkyMiles American Express cardholders can earn double miles on all purchases between March 15 and April 15. You must register your card in order to earn miles. For more information or to register, visit American Express' website.

United Airlines College Plus Program
It being Sping Break, college students should know about United Airlines College Plus Program. Students who travel during academic breaks can not only earn miles toward a free trip, they can receive 10,000 miles for free upon graduation. For more details, go to United's College Plus site.

Posted by Gus at 09:47 AM | Comments (0)

33137 & 33138

CNN/Money has published a report tracking the hottest zip codes in the U.S. - with the largest five-year price increases - and their prospects for the coming year.

Miami's 33137 and 33138 zip codes top the list.

Posted by Gus at 06:06 AM | Comments (0)

Podcasting in South Beach

Have you heard of "podcasting"? It's best described as blogging meets radio meets ipod.

Podcasting is a web-based broadcast medium. A podcast is like an audio magazine article: a listner receives audio programs delivered via the internet, and can listen to them at their leisure.

The medium started gaining exposure after former MTV VJ, Adam Curry, did a live podcast as he walked around South Beach. Adam calls it a "soundseeing tour." It's like a sightseeing tour, except that you experience the tour through sound instead of sight.

urlgreyhot sums it up nicely...

"What I really loved about this podcast is that it really creates what he refers to as the "theater of the mind". On his walk, you hear: street construction sounds; a chat he has with a crazy misanthropic passerby who seems to care a lot about getting a swimming pool and a Walmart in South Beach; lots of Spanish as he passes sidewalk cafes; and a chat with DuoLive, some Brooklyn kids selling their CDs."

If you have 30 minutes, Adam's South Beach podcast is definitely worth a listen.

Posted by Gus at 05:30 AM | Comments (1)

March 27, 2005
Happy Easter!

For you chocolate lovers out there, I came across a press release at PR Web about a new city guide to Hershey, Pennsylvania, I was excited to visit the site, but sadly disappointed.

If you want to see some chocolate, visit Hershey’s site.

Happy Easter!

Posted by Gus at 07:20 PM | Comments (0)

March 26, 2005
New Library for Miami Beach

The Miami Beach Regional Library has opened a new facility at 227 22nd Street. says...

"The Library serves residents and visitors from all over the world who come to obtain information, to read a paper, or to check out a book. There is a wide selection of U.S. and foreign newspapers and extensive periodical subscriptions. In addition, the library has more than 100 computers with flat screen monitors for accessing the Internet"

An official ribbon cutting ceremony will take place on Friday, April 1, at 2pm. A free Family Festival Day will be held on Sunday, April 3.

Media inquires contact Marivi Prado at 305-375-5180.

Posted by Gus at 03:27 PM | Comments (0)

Kayaking in the Everglades

Last week, my friend Pancho (more about Pancho later) was asking me about kayak trips. By accident, I found a good article at WetDawg (the adventure water sports site) about an overnight kayak trip in the Florida Everglades. The article chronicles a 3-day canoe trip from Flamingo to Everglades City.

"Florida Bay was as smooth as glass. Cape Sable lay off to our right. On shore began a stretch of more than 20 miles of uninterrupted natural beach, by far the largest preserved stretch of ocean front property in the mainland Southeast."

You can read the 3-page article, see photos and find links to maps and outfitters on WetDawg's site.

To find more info about the Florida Everglades call 305-242-7700 and ask for a Wilderness Trip Planner.

Posted by Gus at 11:10 AM | Comments (0)

Biscayne Corridor Map

Our graphic designer, and good friend Atiosis Blanco, just finished revising the Biscayne Corridor map. This big, colorful map is part of our Biscayne Real Estate Report which highlights most of the developments along Biscayne Boulevard.

Michelle and I just moved off South Beach and into this neighborhood. We love the area, but it's confusing because it has so many names. We've heard it called: Midtown, the Design District, Edgewater, Uptown, Wynwood, Little Haiti, and the Biscayne Corridor. Whatever it's called, there's a lot of construction going on. Read the report to learn more about it.

Posted by Gus at 09:43 AM | Comments (1)

March 25, 2005
Cuban Refugees Land at Fort Jefferson

Julio C. Zangroniz at Babalu has an exclusive story about a group of Cuban refugees arriving at Fort Jefferson in the Dry Tortugas.

"On Wednesday, March 23 a group of 14 Cuban refugees, 13 men and one woman, walked quietly into the grounds surrounding historic Fort Jefferson, then sat meekly at a picnic table, just as if they were just another group of tourists exploring the remote outpost."

Michelle and I visited the Dry Tortugas, last February. We took a 90-minute ferry boat ride from Key West. It's a magical place.

In 2004, over 450 Cuban refugees made it to freedom there.

You can read Julio's full story, and see some touching photographs here.

Posted by Gus at 11:01 PM | Comments (1)

Do you know what you are doing?

Here's the auto generated response I got from MT:

Welcome to Movable Type! We have installed Movable Type on your server and configured the paths for the initial weblog in the system per your request. Do not delete this weblog ("First Weblog") unless you know what you are doing, because it is already configured for your server. You can also edit the templates themselves; more information on template tags and customization is in the manual.

I like the "unless you know what you are doing" part. I've always been the type to forget the instructions and figure it out on my own. This approach has caused me both pleasure and pain. I'll keep you posted.

Posted by Gus at 04:32 PM | Comments (0)

This is gonna be fun...

I just got an email notification that my Movable Type webblog has been installed on the server.

This is gonna be fun...

Posted by Gus at 12:09 PM | Comments (0)
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Recent Posts
VIP for the KID
Hot Cars & Pretty Sights
Crobar vs. Opium
Sharks Close Delray Beaches
Record Year for Miami Tourism
Miami Vice the Movie
Jennifer Lopez is moving out
Links of the Weird
Rescued manatees are going home
Oceanfront Hotel is going condo
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