These new stores are coming to The Gardens Mall

Three new stores, including two jewelry retailers and a cell phone provider, are slated to open over the next few months at The Gardens Mall in Palm Beach Gardens.

Alex and Ani, a jewelry store known for its bangles and other American-made pieces, is scheduled to open in September. The 1,000-square- foot store will be located on the upper level between Marmi Shoes and Tumi, mall officials said.

RELATED: This new store just opened in the Wellington mall

Kendra Scott, a women’s jewelry and home goods retailer, is tentatively scheduled to open on July 21. The 1,062-square-foot store will be located on the mall’s lower level outside of Nordstrom.

T-Mobile plans to open a location in the mall this summer. The 2,373-square- foot store will be located next to Macy’s on the mall’s upper level.

RELATED: Why Park Ave BBQ is going into The Gardens Mall

The mall welcomed two other stores this spring — Kay Jewelers and at Fast-Fix Jewelry and Watch Repairs.

Meanwhile, Park Avenue BBQ and Grill will take over the Counter Burger space (on the lower level near Sears) at the end of the summer.

 

British Airways to launch nonstop service between Ft. Lauderdale and London

British Airways on Thursday will launch new nonstop service between Ft. Lauderdale and London’s Gatwick Airport.

The flight marks the airline’s first schedule commercial service from  Broward County’s Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, officials said.

British Airways will offer service on the route on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays, the airport said.

Airport officials said the new service will not only connect Ft. Lauderdale and London, but will also provide a link to more than 150 destinations around the world.

 

 

This Florida attraction was named the world’s top amusement park by TripAdvisor

Universal’s Islands of Adventure was recently named the world’s top amusement park by TripAdvisor — marking the third consecutive year the Orlando-area attraction has earned the coveted title.

Three weeks after the grand opening of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, guests jam the attraction, shortly after the Islands of Adventure park opening on July 9, 2010, at Universal Orlando in Orlando, Fla. (Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel/TNS)

Orlando’s Discover Cove took the second spot on the list, while Disney’s Magic Kingdom came in 4th place.

RELATED: Is Lion Country Safari going to be sold?

Universal Studios Florida and Disney’s Animal Kingdom — both in Orlando — also made the list.

For water parks, Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon and Aquatica Orlando both ranked among the best in the world.  Siam Park, a Thai-themed aquatic facility, topped TripAdvisor’s Water Parks list for the fourth consecutive year.

TripAdvisor said award winners were determined using an algorithm that took into account the quantity and quality of reviews and ratings for amusement parks and water parks worldwide, gathered over a 12-month period.

Here are TripAdvisor’s complete lists:

Top 10 Amusement Parks in the World:

  1. Universal’s Islands of Adventure – Orlando, Florida
  2. Discovery Cove – Orlando, Florida
  3. Europa-Park – Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany
  4. Magic Kingdom – Orlando, Florida
  5. Universal Studios Hollywood – Los Angeles, California
  6. Le Puy du Fou – Les Epesses, France
  7. Beto Carrero World – Penha, State of Santa Catarina, Brazil
  8. Universal Studios Florida – Orlando, Florida
  9. Epcot – Orlando, Florida
  10. Disney’s Animal Kingdom – Orlando, Florida

Top 10 Water Parks in the World:

  1. Siam Park – Tenerife, Spain
  2. Beach Park – Aquiraz, State of Ceara, Brazil
  3. Waterbom Bali – Kuta, Indonesia
  4. Aquaventure Waterpark – Dubai, United Arab Emirates
  5. Thermas dos Laranjais – Olimpia, State of Sao Paulo, Brazil
  6. Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park – Orlando, Florida
  7. Hot Park – Rio Quente, State of Goias, Brazil
  8. Wild Wadi Waterpark – Dubai, United Arab Emirates
  9. Aquatica Orlando – Orlando, Florida
  10. Yas Waterworld Abu Dhabi – Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Top 10 Amusement Parks in the U.S.:

  1.  Universal’s Islands of Adventure – Orlando, Florida
  2. Discovery Cove – Orlando, Florida
  3. Magic Kingdom – Orlando, Florida
  4. Universal Studios Hollywood – Los Angeles, California
  5. Universal Studios Florida – Orlando, Florida
  6. Epcot – Orlando, Florida
  7. Disney’s Animal Kingdom – Orlando, Florida
  8. SeaWorld Orlando – Orlando, Florida
  9. Disney California Adventure Park – Anaheim, California
  10. Disneyland Park – Anaheim, California

Top 10 Water Parks in the U.S.:

  1. Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park – Orlando, Florida
  2. Aquatica Orlando – Orlando, Florida
  3. Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park – Orlando, Florida
  4. Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari – Santa Claus, Indiana
  5. Water Country USA – Williamsburg, Virginia
  6. Noah’s Ark Water Park – Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin
  7. Splash Lagoon Indoor Water Park Resort – Erie, Pennsylvania
  8. Morey’s Piers and Beachfront Water Parks – Wildwood, New Jersey
  9. Waldameer Park & Water World – Erie, Pennsylvania
  10. Water World – Federal Heights, Colorado

 

 

 

 

Amazon’s “Prime Day” deals return July 11; Here’s what to expect

Amazon plans to bring back its popular “Prime Day” sale on July 11, offering 30 hours of deals to members in 13 countries.

The savings start at 9 p.m. ET (6 p.m. PT) on Monday, July 10 – and Amazon said new deals will be offered as often as every five minutes.

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Here’s what’s new this year:

Amazon said there will be more Alexa-exclusive deals for members with an Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, Echo Show, Amazon Tap, compatible Fire TV or Fire tablet.

RELATED: This new store just opened in the Wellington mall

Shoppers can also expect to find more television deals. “Amazon is planning one of its largest total volume TV deals in history with a record level of inventory but once again, the TV deals will likely sell out,” the company said in a news release.

Amazon will offer pre-Prime Day sales, beginning today. “Every day leading up to Prime Day on July 11 members will find all kinds of exclusive promotions and deals,” Amazon said.

These sales are already underway:

  • Amazon Music Unlimited – Prime members who haven’t yet tried Amazon Music Unlimited can get four months of the full catalog on-demand service with access to tens of millions of songs, for just $0.99.
  • Prime Video – Get $10 to shop on Amazon.com anytime on or before Prime Day when you stream a video included in Prime for the first time on your TV. Restrictions apply.
  • Kindle Unlimited – Prime members can save up to 40 percent on a Kindle Unlimited membership.
  • Audible – Shoppers can get access to Amazon’s library of audiobooks plus original audio programming from Audible for 40 percent off their first 6 months.
  • Everyday Essentials – Prime members can save up to 35 percent off with onsite coupons on select food and household items in Prime Pantry.

Amazon launched Prime Day in 2015, and the sales event has proven to be one of the company’s largest.

But the inaugural Prime Day also sparked complaints from shoppers, who said the deals didn’t live up to the hype.

This new store just opened in the Wellington mall

Natural Kerr, a beauty company offering a variety of hair and skin care products made with natural ingredients, has opened its first retail location at the Mall at Wellington Green.

The store is located next to Dillard’s on the malls upper level. Until the store’s opening, Natural Kerr’s product line had only been available on Amazon and its own website.

Last minute Christmas shoppers walk through the Mall at Wellington Green Saturday afternoon, Dec 21, 2013 in Wellington. (Bill Ingram/Palm Beach Post)

RELATED: This retailer plans to open in The Gardens Mall

The company said its ingredients include butters, cacao extract, botanical oils and silk amino acids.

“Natural Kerr resulted from my daily struggle dealing with split ends and stagnant hair growth, breakage, and frizz,” said founder Judith Cruz-Burnstine. “I was determined to find natural alternatives to damaging silicone derived conditioners, keratins that use formaldehyde and lye containing relaxers and turned to the Dominican homemade beauty recipes I grew up with. Who would have thought that going back to my cultural roots would not only solve my own unruly hair problems but would be the inspiration for a line of hair and skin products that can work for everyone.”

RELATED: Why Park Ave BBQ is going into The Gardens Mall

Natural Kerr open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

 

Brightline trains to use locally-blended biodiesel fuel

All Aboard Florida’s Brightline will use a blend of biodiesel fuel produced by Florida Power & Light at a Riviera Beach plant to power its fleet of passenger trains.

The rail company has inked a two-year deal with FPL to supply its five trains with the cleaner-burning fuel. Under the contract, FPL will produce 2 million gallons of biodiesel a year for Brightline’s fleet.

Outside Brightline’s West Palm Beach Station in May 23, 2017 (Photo: Jennifer Sorentrue/The Palm Beach Post)

Biodiesel fuel is a cleaner-burning alternative produced from renewable sources like corn, soybeans and used cooking oil.

FIRST LOOK: Inside WPB’s new Brightline train station

Tom Rutkowski, Brightline’s Chief Mechanical Officer, called the collaboration a “major milestone” for the company, adding that the deal is a “perfect partnership of smart energy powering smart trains.”
FPL started using biodiesel to power its own fleet nearly 20 years ago. The alternative is now the primary source of fuel for more than 1,750 vehicles in the company’s fleet, said Sam Forrest, FPL’s Vice President of Energy Marketing and Trading.

About three years ago, FPL signed its first contract to blend biodiesel for an outside group.

With the Brightline contract, FPL will produce roughly 6 million gallons of biodiesel a year for its own fleet and other outside partners. The company also has a contract to provide biodiesel for the county’s Solid Waste Authority.

“At FPL we have long been committed to energy independence as well as environmental stewardship,” Forrest said.

Each of Brightline’s locomotives can hold up to 2,200 gallons of fuel. The trains are expected to use about 2 gallons of fuel per mile, which means the 67-mile one-way trip from Miami to West Palm Beach consumes 134 gallons of biodiesel, the company said.

Brightline is expected to begin service later this summer. A grand opening is expected to be held in the fall.

Once operational, Brightline’s trains will shuttle passengers between West Palm Beach and Miami in about an hour. Ticket prices have not been announced.

Eventually, Brightline plans to expand service north to Orlando.

Construction on the West Palm Beach-to-Orlando leg has not yet begun. Brightline officials have said the project will take at least two years from the time work starts.

4th of July sales: Here’s where to find the best deals

If you are planning to shop 4th of July sales, you may want to consider these tips before you hit the stores.

The deal-hunting experts at FatWallet.com have put together a list of recommendations on what to buy, and what to skip this holiday.

Here are their tips:

View of customers at Rocky’s Ace Hardware store during Small Business Shopping day Nov 29, 2014 in Wellington.”We are up from last year with more than 400 customers so far,” said Bill Butler assistant manager. (Bill Ingram / Palm Beach Post) Beach Post)

 

Outdoor Sporting Gear — BUY

Hiking, camping and fishing gear will see deep discounts. Shoppers will also find some of the best deals of the summer on pools and outdoor toys and games.

RELATED: This retailer plans to open in The Gardens Mall

Swimwear — BUY

Swimwear and beachwear sales will feature discounts on top brands ranging from 25 to 75 percent off.

Kids Clothing — BUY

Many popular clothing brands offer site-wide sales that focus on summer apparel for children and babies. Savings of 20 to 40 percent can be found on shorts, polo shirts, dresses and sandals as retailers look to make room for new back-to-school items later in July.  Shopping through a cashback website like Ebates will earn additional discounts.

Air Conditioners — BUY

Stores like Walmart and Sears will offer 25 percent discounts on portable and window units. Expect to see fewer discounts and more limited selection after 4th of July sales events.

Furniture —  BUY

July is one of the best months to purchase furniture for the home. The holiday sales kick-off clearance of last year’s living room and bedroom sets. Furniture stores reduce prices on existing inventory to make room for new models arriving in late August.

Electronics — WAIT 

Those seeking good deals on most consumer electronics products will want to hold off until Prime Day and Back-to-School sales. Expect to see better pricing on Amazon products (Echo, Dot, Fire Tablets, Kindles and Fire TV), as well as TVs, home theater and wireless tech after the holiday.

Jeans/Denim — WAIT

The best denim sales of the year happen during August’s Back-to-School events for kids and in October for adults. Waiting can offer shoppers twice the savings over buying jeans in July.

Laptops and Tablets — WAIT

Main back-to-school laptop deals loom large in late July and August. Waiting offers parents a much larger selection of desktop, tablet and laptop deals. Those stack with additional savings from the summer’s Back-to-School sales tax holidays, student discounts and shopping rewards, often making prices better than Black Friday deals.

Brightline holds safety workshop for police, fire officials

Officials with All Aboard Florida’s Brightline held a train safety workshop on Saturday for police officers, firefighters and other emergency workers from Broward and Palm Beach counties.

More than 35 first responders attended the workshop, which was held at Brightline’s rail repair yard in West Palm Beach, the company said.

Brightline hosted more than 35 first responders from Broward and Palm Beach counties and cities at Workshop b on Saturday, June 24. (Photo provided by Brightline)

RELATED: Rep. Brian Mast questions former Brightline head about financing, safety

During the four-hour workshop, Brightline’s emergency management team provided training, an equipment and facility tour, and an overview of its safety and security plans, the company said.

MORE: Brightline, FPL to partner on biodiesel fuel for trains

“Safety is Brightline’s top priority, and it’s critical that we partner with all first responders along the rail corridor before we launch our service,” said Brightline Safety and Security Director Robert Gatchell, a railroad law enforcement veteran, serving 15 years for New Jersey Transit. “This specialized training and preparedness workshop offers our local responders insights on how rail works and how to deal with rail incidents. Collaboration is key to the safety and security of our guests, employees and the many communities in which we will operate. Our unified goal is for the highest level of safety preparedness.”

Brightline is expected to begin service later this summer. A grand opening is expected to be held in the fall.

Once operational, Brightline’s trains will shuttle passengers between West Palm Beach and Miami in about an hour. Ticket prices have not been announced.

Eventually, Brightline plans to expand service north to Orlando.

Construction on the West Palm Beach-to-Orlando leg has not yet begun. Brightline officials have said the project will take at least two years from the time work starts.

Brightline in April launched a safety campaign designed to warn students and those living near the Florida East Coast Railway corridor about the dangers of walking along train tracks.

The company has asked cities along the route to help promote the campaign, part of a national program called Operation Lifesaver, which is designed to reduce collisions, fatalities and injuries at highway-rail crossings and prevent trespassing on or near railroad tracks.

 

 

 

 

 

Rep. Brian Mast questions former Brightline head about financing, safety

U.S. Rep. Brian Mast questioned former All Aboard Florida head Michael Reininger during a federal subcommittee hearing Thursday to discuss the “challenges and opportunities” facing intercity passenger rail projects.

In a five-minute exchange that Mast posted on his YouTube channel, the Republican lawmaker from Palm City raised questions about the financing of All Aboard’s Brightline project and the safety of aging railroad bridges in his district.

Brightline’s first train rolling through West Palm Beach on Thursday, Jan. 19, 2017.

RELATED: Brightline, FPL to partner on biodiesel fuel for trains

“Is All Aboard Florida or Brightline, whatever we want to call it, is that publicly funded or will it be publicly funded?” Mast asked Reininger, who served as All Aboard’s president for more than four years before leaving the post in March to take over as executive director at Florida East Coast Industries,  Brightline’s parent company.

FIRST LOOK: Inside WPB’s new Brightline train station

All Aboard has maintained the project will not be publicly funded — a statement that Reininger repeated on Thursday.

“It is completely an investment of private sector capital,” Reininger told Mast on Thursday.

All Aboard has proposed using tax-exempt private activity bonds to help fund a portion of the project, which will carry passengers between Miami and Orlando with stops in Ft. Lauderdale and West Palm Beach.

“Private activity bonds are 100 percent capital,” Reininger said. “It comes from the private sector. It doesn’t have any involvement from any funds that are distributed from the federal government.”

Mast also raised concerns about aging railroad bridges in his district, asking whether those spans will be replaced as part of the rail project.

Reininger said the company plans to make “a significant investment in the complete reconstruction and re-manufacture of the major component parts of those existing bridges.”

Brightline is expected to begin service later this summer. A grand opening is expected to be held in the fall.

Once operational, Brightline’s trains will shuttle passengers between West Palm Beach and Miami in about an hour. Ticket prices have not been announced.

Eventually, Brightline plans to expand service north to Orlando.

Construction on the West Palm Beach-to-Orlando leg has not yet begun. Brightline officials have said the project will take at least two years from the time work starts.

 

Brightline, FPL to partner on biodiesel fuel for trains

Brightline and Florida Power & Light on Friday announced they have inked a two-year deal that will supply the high-speed rail project’s fleet of trains with U.S. sourced biodiesel fuel.

Under the contract, FPL will supply 2 million gallons of the fuel per year for Brightline’s fleet.

The new Brightline train station in downtown West Palm Beach on May 23, 2017. (Richard Graulich / The Palm Beach Post)

FIRST LOOK: Inside WPB’s new Brightline train station

The companies will kick off the collaboration on Wednesday with the “first ever fueling of the trains” at Brightline’s railroad operations center in West Palm Beach.

RELATED: Why is Brightline testing its train in this state park? 

Biodiesel fuel is a cleaner-burning alternative produced from renewable sources like corn, soybeans and used cooking oil.

Brightline is expected to begin service later this summer. A grand opening is expected to be held in the fall.

Once operational, Brightline’s trains will shuttle passengers between West Palm Beach and Miami in about an hour. Ticket prices have not been announced.

Eventually, Brightline plans to expand service north to Orlando.

Construction on the West Palm Beach-to-Orlando leg has not yet begun. Brightline officials have said the project will take at least two years from the time work starts.