Yoga twins: Mayor “blessed” studio at opening

Alison and Ann Dadow, with West Palm Beach Mayor Jeri Muoio, at the 2012 grand opening of Twin Power Yoga
Alison and Ann Dadow, with West Palm Beach Mayor Jeri Muoio, at the 2012 grand opening of Twin Power Yoga

Ann and Alison Dadow, the former West Palm Beach yoga twins whose SUV plunged off a road in Hawaii May 29, in 2012 opened a studio on Clematis Street downtown with the city’s top politican on hand to celebrate.

During a grand opening on August 30, 2012, West Palm Beach Mayor Jeri Muoio was featured along with the twins.

The sisters were excited to open Twin Power Yoga at the corner of Clematis Street and Olive Avenue, in the heart of the city’s business and entertainment district.

In an email accompanying a photo sent to friends, Ann (who also went by Anna at the time), had this to say: “Our mayor blessing your property…..She gave the most amazing speech.”

Ann Dadow, 37, died in the May 29 crash. Her sister, Alison, has been charged with second-degree murder. Alison is accused of driving an SUV into a rock wall, causing the vehicle to fall 200 feet off a cliff, killing Ann.

The Dadows created a following of yoga devotees when they ran Twin Power Yoga in West Palm Beach. But they left town abruptly in 2014, leaving behind unpaid employees and customers holding now worthless memberships.

They moved to the resort town of Park City, Utah, where they opened another yoga studio before filing for personal bankruptcy.

The sisters then moved to Hawaii and lived on Maui — Ann as Anastasia Duval and Alison as Alexandria Duval. 

 

Grato eatery owners buy building next door

The Peggy Adams thrift store in West Palm Beach, purchased by Grato restaurant owners in January
The Peggy Adams thrift store in West Palm Beach, purchased by Grato restaurant owners in January

Grato means grateful in Italian.

And the owners of Grato trattoria in West Palm Beach must be feeling plenty grateful for their ability to buy the building next door to their new eatery.

In January, the Grato ownership group quietly paid $600,000 for 1905 S. Dixie Highway, the former Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League Thrift Shop, according to county property records.

That’s the same month Grato opened its doors for business next door at 1901 S. Dixie Highway.

So is this new space for a future expansion of Grato?

Not necessarily, said Sam Slattery, Grato’s operating partner.

But Slattery also wouldn’t rule out a restaurant use in the future.

Right now, the group plans to use the building for retail space. At 4,500 square feet, the property can be split into two, 2,200 square foot stores, he said.

“Our plan is to stick to our knitting and work on Grato,” Slattery said.

Down the line, however, Slattery said it’s possible Grato might build a sister restaurant in this space, perhaps with a different concept.

The idea has precedent.

The group owns the popular Buccan bistro at 350 S. County Road on Palm Beach. Next to it is a sister eatery, Imoto, which serves Asian cuisine.

The side-by-side eateries share the Buccan kitchen, an arrangement that could be copied if Grato turns the old thrift shop into an eatery, too, Slatter said.

In the meantime, plans are to fix the exterior, install glass doors in the front and the back and start leasing the space by the end of the summer, Slattery said.

The purchase of the Peggy Adams thrift store marks the second purchase by the Buccan group of land on sizzling South Dixie Highway, which during the past three years has attracted an increasing number of investors and business owners.

The group bought the 1901 S. Dixie Highway building in November 2014. The building previously was home to Reward Lighting, so the space needed to be completely retrofitted to accommodate a restaurant.

The Grato group includes Slattery, chef Clay Conley and Piper Quinn, who handles marketing and development.

 

 

 

 

 

SeaWorld, Guy Harvey team up to promote ocean conservation

SeaWorld is teaming up with conservationist Guy Harvey to promote ocean health and raise awareness about the global shark fishery.

SeaWorld will partner with Harvey on science and research projects that center around protecting sharks in the wild.

As part of the effort, SeaWorld said its new shark-themed roller coaster, Mako, will include a number of conservation-inspired exhibits for theme park guests who are waiting in line for the ride.

SeaWorld shows off Mako shark coaster car. Contributed by Chad Baumer
SeaWorld shows off Mako shark coaster car. Contributed by Chad Baumer

Harvey, the popular marine wildlife artist who launched a fish research institute, foundation and oceanographic center at Nova Southeastern University, will be featured in the interactive exhibits.

Mako will be Orlando’s tallest, fastest and longest roller coaster.
The 200-foot-tall coaster, is expected to reach a top speed of 73 mph and will feature 4,760 feet of track, nearly a mile long. The coaster and surrounding area will be themed to a shark environment, providing a learning experience along with extreme thrills.

As part of Wednesday’s announcement, Seaworld said it plans to sell an exclusive line of Harvey’s paintings and apparel. SeaWorld said it will donate a portion of the proceeds from the sale the items to the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation.

“SeaWorld is committed to raising awareness of the plight of sharks in the wild and the oceans they live in. As part of our commitment that we made in March of this year, we will put meaningful dollars, research and man hours towards reducing this troubling trend,” Joel Manby, President and CEO of SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment said. “The Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation and Guy Harvey Research Institute have been front and center in this effort for years, and we are proud to open a new chapter in those efforts today.”

SeaWorld said Wednesday that members of its animal care team recently joined a Guy Harvey Research Institute shark tagging expedition off the coast of Mexico, tagging six Mako sharks over the course of four days.

The tagged sharks will be followed by students and researchers at Guy Harvey’s Institute at Nova Southeastern University, and can be viewed by the public online at www.GHRItracking.org.

Blue Moon Fish Co.: The deal that got away from Delray Beach

Broward County-based Blue Moon Fish Co. thought it had hooked a deal to take over the shuttered Hudson at Waterway East restaurant in Delray Beach. Hudson closed its doors April 10.

The waterfront patio of Hudson restaurant in Delray Beach on June 2, 2015. (Richard Graulich / The Palm Beach Post)
The waterfront patio of Hudson restaurant in Delray Beach on June 2, 2015. (Richard Graulich / The Palm Beach Post)

» RELATED: Hudsons offered good food with great view

For Blue Moon, Hudson was ideal because it had the same setup: A waterfront restaurant on the Intracoastal, next to a bridge.

But at the last minute, Blue Moon owner Bryce Statham says the deal went south. And although he regrets that he and Hudson’s owners couldn’t come to terms, Statham sounded wistful about what could have been.

A raw bar. A broad range of fresh seafood.

And Blue Moon’s signature Lousiana-influenced cuisine that has made the eatery a destination restaurant in Lauderdale-by-the Sea for 20 years.

“I would have loved to have been there,” Statham said.

Blue Moon is at the northeast corner of the Intracoastal and Commercial Boulevard.

Waterfront restaurants are a rare commodity in Palm Beach County. Last month, River House in Palm Beach Gardens was sold to BrickTops,  a concept by the co-founder of Houston’s restaurant.

But even a great waterfront location doesn’t guarantee success.

And no matter how great business is  during the winter tourist season, “August comes no matter what,” Statham said.

Hudson, which opened in December 2014, was in business for less than two years.

A partnership that includes former professional hockey player Behn Wilson bought the Hudson property at 900 E. Atlantic Ave. for $2.6 million in July 2013, according to county property records.

The site previously was Old Calypso restaurant.

Together with owner/restaurateur Sam Bonasso, formerly of Outback restaurantsWilson and partners turned Hudson into a mix of concepts.

Hudson dubbed itself as a “speakeasy,” a gastropub-type lounge with high-top seating, a restaurant and outside bar. The limited menu featured a hodgepodge of seafood, meats and “comfort food,” such as mac ‘n cheese.

Statham saw the space and realized it would be the perfect spot to duplicate the success of his Broward location. He even was lining up a refrigerated food truck to service Delray.

But he was wary about the lease pricing, which he thought was too much for projected sales. Attempts to trim the price at the last minute resulted in the deal falling apart.

Statham, a self-described small operator, acknowledged he got nervous about committing to a higher number, especially because the deal happened very fast.

He also expressed a bit of regret with his hesitation: “Maybe it was a mistake….Who knows what will happen. It was a mixed opportunity on both ends.”

Now the property once again is being marketed for lease, or for sale.

The large restaurant property features 7,600 square feet of interior space, plus 1,200 of patio space. Dock parking for boats is available, too, said broker Tom Prakas of the Prakas & Co. in Boca Raton.

Prakas, who is marketing the site, said Monday he’s already received several promising inquiries, and he expects a deal could be done within the next couple of weeks. “We have multiple groups looking at it,” he said.

The property is listed for sale at $7.6 million. It also can be leased for $699,000, plus annual rent of $450,000 per year.

 

 

 

Yesteryear Village now opened weekly

Yesteryear Village, The South Florida Fair’s 10-acre history park, is now opening its doors to the public on a consistent basis.

The village had traditionally allowed the public to explore its historic buildings only during the South Florida Fair and other special events. But this month, the village began opening its doors on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

The 1935 woodframe Loxahatchee Groves Elementary School schoolhouse in Yesteryear Village Monday, January 26, 2015. (Bruce R. Bennett / The Palm Beach Post)
The 1935 woodframe Loxahatchee Groves Elementary School schoolhouse in Yesteryear Village Monday, January 26, 2015. (Bruce R. Bennett / The Palm Beach Post)

Admission rates are $7 for seniors and children ages 5 to 11 and $10 for those 12 or older. Children under 5 are free.

A ribbon cutting ceremony is planned for April 15 to mark the change.  The gates open at 10 a.m. and the ceremony begins at 11 a.m. Admission during the ribbon cutting ceremony weekend (April 14-16) will be free for the first hour — from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.

The ceremony will include first person interpreters portraying a character from the pre-1940s and old-fashioned refreshments.

“This is a unique opportunity to interact with town residents as they portray a character of early Florida living from more than 75 years ago,” said Yesteryear Village Manager Paige Poole.

The village, which was started in 1990 in response to a similar attraction at the Florida State Fair in Tampa, features a large collection of original and replicated early buildings from the area including an old schoolhouse, a farm, a blacksmith shop, a general store and several houses. It is also home to the only big band museum in the United States, the Sally Bennett Big Band Hall of Fame Museum.

 

 

 

Bond rating raised for PBIA as passenger demand increases

Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services has upped the bond rating for Palm Beach International Airport as passenger demand increases.

The agency raised the underlying rating for PBIA’s general airport revenue bonds to ‘A+’ from ‘A’. 071414 biz peoplexp 04

“The upgrade reflects our assessment of the airport’s strong debt service
coverage and liquidity, which we believe PBI will at least sustain given
steady enplanement trends,” Standard & Poor’s said in a news release announcing the rating increase. ”

Standard & Poor’s pointed to the airport’s “diversity of carriers,” including a number of low-cost airlines, the county’s stable economy, steady air travel demands from residents, and the airport’s relatively low “debt burden.”

Michael Simmons, the airport’s director of finance and administration, attributed the rating increase to PBIA’s financial health and the strong tourism market here.

“We were pretty happy to see it,” Simmons said of the increase. “There is a strong origination and destination market here. Tourism is good as well, and our financial health is strong…It all kind of goes into (Standard & Poor’s) black box of how they look us.”

Simmons said the airport recently paid off a large portion of its outstanding debt.

 

County breaks tourism record

A record-breaking number of tourists came to Palm Beach County last year, shattering the 2014 benchmark by 10 percent, tourism officials announced Wednesday.

(The Palm Beach Post)
(The Palm Beach Post)

Roughly 6.9 million people visited the county in 2015, marking the fifth consecutive year of record-breaking growth, according to Discover The Palm Beaches, the county’s official tourism marketing organization.

Tourism officials said the 2015 visitor tally “dramatically surpassed” Discover’s yearly forecast. Discover had predicted annual visitation would reach roughly 6.7 million.

“We saw a significant increase from our key target markets, particularly those where we made tactical investments and customized our message to resonate with that specific target audience,” said Jorge Pesquera, Discover’s president and CEO.

The announcement comes as the number of hotel rooms, shopping districts and cultural attractions in Palm Beach County continues to increase.

Tourism leader say shopping centers, including the Palm Beach Outlets in West Palm Beach and the $150 million waterfront Harbourside Place entertainment complex in Jupiter, have become huge tourism draws. Both shopping districts opened in 2014.

Meanwhile, the number of hotel rooms available in the county also continues to grow. There has been a surge in new hotel construction, particularly in West Palm Beach, Boynton Beach and Delray Beach.

Tourism leaders say the additional visitors in 2015 resulted in the creation of roughly 6,000 jobs here.

Hotel bookings were also up.  Roughly 4.3 million nightly bookings were made at Palm Beach County’s hotels and motels last year, up from 4.19 million in 2014.

Despite the spike in visitors and bookings, the amount of money tourists spent during their visits here fell slightly in 2015.  Direct visitor spending totaled $4.83 billion last year, down from $4.84 billion in 2014.

Tourism leaders said Wednesday they were “cautiously optimistic” about the 2016 tourism forecast. Some Palm Beach County hoteliers have said this year’s winter ­travel season got off to a slower-than-normal start, pointing to unseasonably warm temperatures across much of the country at the start of the year.

As part of its 2016 marketing plan, Discover has said it plans to encourage locals to use social media and other communication channels to encourage visitors to travel here.

“Our future success will largely depend on empowering local residents to become brand ambassadors,” Pesquera said. “We invite all residents to use the power of a personal invitation to support our tourism strategy this year.”

This retailer is hiring 450 employees in the Palm Beach County area

The Home Depot plans to hire 450 people to fill positions at 10 stores in the Palm Beach County area as part of a national hiring campaign, the company announced Wednesday.

(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

The home improvement giant said it plans to hire more than 80,000 employees at its 2,000 stores across the country. The spring is historically the company’s busiest season, The Home Depot said.

“There’s no better time to join our team than spring, whether you’re a college student, recent grad or a veteran hoping to build a career, a retiree who wants a fun job, or anyone who simply enjoys home improvement,” said Tim Crow, executive vice president—Human Resources.

Openings include sales, operations and cashier positions.

The company said it was also seeking “associates to set product merchandising displays, help maintain store appearance, and keep products customer-ready.”

Applications must be submitted online at The Home Depot’s careers site, www.careers.homedepot.com.

Your first look at the new Hilton in downtown West Palm Beach

An infinity pool is located between the Hilton and the convention center in West Palm Beach, Florida on January 28, 2016. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)
An infinity pool is located between the Hilton and the convention center in West Palm Beach. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)

The Palm Beach Post was there this morning for the grand opening of the new Hilton next to the Palm Beach County Convention Center in downtown West Palm Beach.

You can read more about the opening here, and view a photo gallery here.

The hotel boasts 400 rooms, a swimming poll, a massive ballroom and decor from local artists.

Post business editor Antonio Fins and business writer Jennifer Sorentrue attended the grand opening, and provided readers some of their first looks at the new, highly anticipated hotel.

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