“This area is known as the best way to experience Florida, so it’s no surprise that multiple hotels in The Palm Beaches have received the prestigious AAA Five Diamond and Four Diamond Ratings,” said Jorge Pesquera, president and CEO for Discover The Palm Beaches, the official tourism marketing corporation for Palm Beach County. “Our hotels consistently provide guests with truly exceptional experiences.”
Every year AAA reviews more than 28,000 hotels including resorts, historic inns, B&Bs and other hotels.
Of the 118 hotels that received Five Diamond awards, 12 are in Florida.
Roughly 1,500 hotels earned Four Diamond awards. Of those, 136 are in Florida.
“These unparalleled properties offer the best possible way to vacation,” Pesquera said. “Genuine hospitality is truly a way of life for us. It is wonderful to see our hotels attain this level of recognition.”
Wal-Mart said will close 154 locations in the U.S., including the company’s 102 smallest format stores, Walmart Express, which had been in pilot since 2011. The company also plans to close 23 Neighborhood Markets, 12 Supercenters, seven stores in Puerto Rico, six discount centers, and four Sam’s Clubs.
Wal-Mart said it is also closing 115 stores outside the United States. This includes 60 recently-closed, loss-making stores in Brazil, which represents only 5 percent of sales in that market, Wal-Mart said in a news release announcing the closures.
According to Wal-Mart’s website, none of the stores slated to close are in Palm Beach County.
Three Wal-Mart Express stores are closing Jan. 28 in Florida:
• Store No. 3358, 1113 S.R. 20, Interlachen
• Store No. 4265, 1209 East Wade St., Trenton
• Store No. 4267, 15726 S.E. Highway 19, Cross City
In total, the impacted stores represent less than 1 percent of both global square footage and revenue, the company said in a news release.
“Actively managing our portfolio of assets is essential to maintaining a healthy business,” said Doug McMillon, president and CEO, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. “Closing stores is never an easy decision, but it is necessary to keep the company strong and positioned for the future. It’s important to remember that we’ll open well more than 300 stores around the world next year. So we are committed to growing, but we are being disciplined about it.
Want to go to the South Florida Fair for free? Bring some non-perishable food items to the Palm Beach Outlets on Saturday and you’ll receive one free ticket.
Here are the details from a news release announcing the event:
Who/What: Palm Beach Outlets and the South Florida Fair are partnering for a worthy cause. They’re collecting non-perishable food items during its Food 4 Funevent to benefit the Palm Beach County Food Bank.
Those who donate at least two items will receive one ticket to the South Florida Fair that is good for free admission on any Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday during the fair, which runs from Jan. 15-31 at the South Florida Fairgrounds, 9067 Southern Blvd., West Palm Beach. The ticket limit is two per person. This year’s fair theme is “Discover the Palm Beaches, powered by FPL.”
More than 23 million items were ordered worldwide from sellers on Amazon on Cyber Monday, an increase of more than 40 percent from the online marketplace’s 2014 Cyber Monday sales, Amazon announced on Tuesday.
The company said its “Fulfillment by Amazon” service delivered more than 1 billion items worldwide in 2015.
During the holiday season, individuals and businesses selling on Amazon sold to more than 80 percent of Amazon customers worldwide who ordered a physical item, the company added.
“It’s never been easier for sellers, local merchants and artisans to grow their businesses on Amazon. With targeted advertising tools like Sponsored Products, access to Amazon’s fulfillment and customer service expertise through FBA, and new marketplaces like Handmade at Amazon and Amazon Home Services, businesses of all sizes can easily reach millions of customers around the world,” said Peter Faricy, VP for Amazon Marketplace. “2015 was a big year for sellers on Amazon. In fact, sellers added more new selection and shipped more items than in any previous year. We’re excited to build on that momentum as we continue to innovate on behalf of sellers and customers.”
Restaurateur Tim Gannon, co-founder of Outback restaurant and creator of the “Bloomin’ Onion,” has a knack for knowing what people want to eat.
Now Gannon and son, Chris, are out with a new concept: Bolay, a hip, fun eatery opening in Wellington in February 2016. Bolay will open in the newly-built Buckingham Plaza at 250 S. State Road 7.
Bolay promises to be a fast-casual concept featuring bowls “packed with nutrient-rich super foods” and proteins.
Translation: Look for items such as gluten-free cilantro noodles, Peruvian quinoa and marinated kale and currant salad.
Featured vegetables include Paleo sprouts, smoky cauliflower and and maple-roasted butternut squash. Proteins will include tuna, spiced steak, lemon chicken and tofu.
The concept will allow people to walk through a line and direct a Bolay employee to include the desired food items.
The food is intended to be healthy, nutritious and loaded with energy. “We want people to feel good about what they’re about to compose and eat,” Tim Gannon said.
Bolay, in fact, is the polar-opposite of the heavy, fried meal. “We’re going to be food-coma free,” Chris Gannon quipped.
“Every molecule in the building is going to be healthy,” Tim Gannon added.
But taste is important, too. The Gannons hail from New Orleans, where flavor and spice are important. “As much as the Bloom’ Onion send you flavor-wise into a special place, we’ll do the same thing without the heavy feeling or caloric content,” Tim Gannon said.
Gannon, who now lives on Palm Beach, is a former Wellington resident and polo aficionado. He said Wellington is dedicated to being physical and healthy, making it a good fit for the first Bolay store.
But Gannon expects to expand quickly once open. He’d like to open in West Palm Beach and Palm Beach Gardens, and throughout South Florida. Franchising is an option down the road, too, he said.
For now, though, Tim Gannon said he’s happy to work with son, Chris, to get Bolay off the ground.
In addition to food, Bolay also will feature cold-pressed juices, wine and craft beer from nearby breweries, Chris Gannon said.
As much as possible, food will be locally sourced and seasonal, Chris added.
Chef Martin Oswald, former protégé of Wolfgang Puck, helped curate Bolay’s menu. Oswald is known for cooking food based on a Nutritarian diet, a way of eating based on food choices that maximize the micronutrients per calorie.
Tim Gannon expects the bowls to be priced from between $8 to $11 for lunch, and he said they will be large enough for people to save some to eat later for dinner, too.
Bolay will be open from 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week. A grand opening date is not yet known but will be announced in the future.
The South Florida Regional Transportation Authority on Friday unanimously approved an agreement that would bring Tri–Rail to All Aboard Florida‘s station in downtown Miami — a move that would ultimately allow the commuter rail service to run between Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties on the Florida East Coast Railway tracks.
Of the 50 daily Tri–Rail trains, 26 are expected to travel to AllAboard’s Miami station.
Under the agreement, a handful of organizations and government agencies based in Miami-Dade County would set aside $43.61 million to pay for a rail line connecting the CSX tracks, which Tri-Rail currently runs on, to the FEC corridor. The money would also be used to link Tri-Rail to All Aboard’s MiamiCentral station.
Before the plan can move forward, the state’s Department of Transportation must also pledge an additional $17.2 million to fund the connection.
The hoteloccupancy rate in Palm Beach County grew slightly in October, while the cost of a nightly hotel stay continued to climb.
In October, there were 499,255 nightly bookings available in the county’s hotels and motels, according to the Palm Beach County Tourist Development Council. Roughly 345,500 of those nightly bookings were sold to out-of-town visitors and other guests.
The bookings mark a 2.9 percent increase over Oct. 2014, according to the council.
The cost of a nightly hotel stay in October was $132.27, up 5.6 percent from Oct. 2014.
Meanwhile, the countywide hotel occupancy rate stood at 69.2 percent in October, up just under a percent from Oct. 2014.