This article originally appeared on Business Insider.
It’s the town that Airbnb built.
Thousands of rental cabins have descended upon sleepy, 219-person Hochatown, Oklahoma — a popular vacation spot on scenic Broken Bow Lake that’s a three-hour drive from Dallas, the New York Times reported.
Before the pandemic, there were about 400 properties for rent in the area. Now there are 2,400, according to the short-term-rental-tracking website AirDNA, as reported by the Times.
“The town is basically one giant Airbnb,” David Francis, an Oklahoma state official, told the Times.
But with Hochatown’s Airbnb boom comes challenges and growing pains. The influx of travelers was responsible for $456,000 in tax revenue the town collected in September — and local officials hope to hit $1 million a month in the near future. But Hochatown will need the money: It has no professional firefighters, police officers, or garbage collectors. Unpaved roads plague rental owners, as does unreliable water infrastructure, which is essential to maintaining the hot tubs that keep guests happy.
Some cabin owners who bought properties recently, when prices were high, also worry that there aren’t enough traveler bookings to make their investments worthwhile. That’s one hallmark of the so-called “Airbnbust,” which happens when the supply of homes for rent outpaces demand in some areas, cutting into owners’ profits.
Airbnb Director of Communications Jay Carney emphasized to the Times that the platform has been able to generate tourism dollars for more remote locations like Hochatown.
“The dispersal of tourism, often to places where there are no hotels, has major economic benefits,” he said.
How Airbnbs took over Hochatown
Hochatown is just one of the more rural areas that saw an explosion of short-term rental listings over the last few years.
At first, the boom was unexpected: Hochatown resident Todd McDaniel, who owns 60 rental properties in the area, said when the pandemic first hit, owners had to refund thousands of dollars to guests canceling reservations. But when Americans began to travel again, the floodgates opened.
“Then somebody flipped the switch, and we were running at 95 percent occupancy,” he told the Times.
The Airbnb boom fueled a campaign to officially incorporate the town, which was successful last November.
There may be too many Airbnbs for some hosts to make the money they dreamed of
In similar towns and cities across America, the gold rush to make money off Airbnb is slowing down.
Investor enthusiasm has translated into market saturation in some areas. Airbnb itself reported in its third-quarter earnings call that supply increased 19% from 2022 to 2023, outpacing traveler demand (which still increased by 14%).
It’s enough of a gap, though, to deflate some new rental owners’ dreams.
Take a Hochatown cabin called “California Dreaming,” which sold in 2020 for $590,00. It changed hands shortly after, in 2021, for nearly double that price: $1.1 million. In 2022, it listed for an all-time high of $1.299 million. However, since then, its price has been cut repeatedly; it’s now on the market asking just $899,000.
Dallas resident Leo Winegar has also gotten dinged in the slowdown. Winegar bought a piece of land in Hochatown at the end of 2021, with a dream of recreating childhood memories of his uncle’s cabin in Idaho.
“We scrimped and saved to buy a plot of land and get a construction loan,” said Winegar. “At the time, the numbers were so amazing, it seemed like there was no way I could lose.”
But now, he told the Times, he’s unsure about his ability to recoup his investment. Just this summer, Winegar got laid off from his tech job; he now works night shifts at Costco and is starting a handyman business in Hochatown.
“I hope I don’t have to sell the cabin,” Winegar said.
The additional $40 million investment is expected to provide additional financial stability and working capital to execute our plans for future, profitable growth
NEW YORK, Nov. 16, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Wheels Up Experience (NYSE: UP) today announced that it has closed a new investment by Kore Capital and funds managed by Whitebox Advisors LLC on November 15, 2023.
These new investors join Delta Air Lines, Certares Management LLC, Knighthead Capital Management LLC and Cox Enterprises, providing an additional term loan facility in the amount of $40 million under the existing Credit Agreement. Upon the closing of this new investment, the Credit Facility consists of the Term Loan in the amount of $390 million and the Revolving Credit Facility in the amount of $100 million.
“As discussed on our earnings call last week, we expect our cash balance at the end of the year will be flat to up versus third quarter levels, reflecting a stabilization of deferred revenue and working capital, the absence of the one-time transaction costs, and proceeds received from the additional term loan,” said George Mattson, Wheels Up Chief Executive Officer. “We are very pleased with the commitment from our new investors and the resources they are providing in addition to their capital.”
In connection with closing the additional term loan, Wheels Up completed the second issuance of shares of common stock to the lenders on November 15, 2023, such that the lenders now hold shares equal to approximately 95% of the company’s outstanding equity on a fully diluted basis as of September 15, 2023, after giving effect to such issuance.
About Wheels Up
Wheels Up is a leading provider of on-demand private aviation in the U.S. and one of the largest private aviation companies in the world. Wheels Up offers a complete global aviation solution with a large, modern and diverse fleet, backed by an uncompromising commitment to safety and service. Customers can access membership programs, charter and whole aircraft sales, as well as unique commercial travel benefits through a strategic partnership with Delta Air Lines. Wheels Up also offers freight, safety and security solutions and managed services to individuals, industry, government and civil organizations.
Wheels Up is guided by the mission to connect private flyers to aircraft, and one another, through an open platform that seamlessly enables life’s most important experiences. Powered by a global private aviation marketplace connecting its base of approximately 11,000 members and customers to a network of approximately 1,500 safety-vetted and verified private aircraft, Wheels Up is widening the aperture of private travel for millions of consumers globally. With the Wheels Up mobile app and website, members and customers have the digital convenience to search, book and fly.
To learn more about Wheels Up, go to Wheelsup.com
About Kore Capital
Founded in 2002, Kore Capital (“Kore”) is a multi-strategy credit investor with a history of investing in aviation assets. To learn more about Kore, go to www.KoreCapital.com.
About Whitebox Advisors LLC
Whitebox Advisors LLC (“Whitebox”) is a multi-strategy alternative asset manager that seeks to generate optimal risk-adjusted returns for a diversified base of public institutions, private entities and qualified individuals. Founded in 1999, Whitebox invests across asset classes, geographies, and markets through the hedge fund vehicles and institutional accounts we advise. The firm maintains offices in Minneapolis, Austin, New York, London and Sydney.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains certain “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the federal securities laws. Forward-looking statements are predictions, projections and other statements about future events that are based on current expectations and assumptions and, as a result, are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties, assumptions and other important factors, many of which are outside of the control of Wheels Up. The words “anticipate,” “continue,” “could,” “expect,” “plan,” “potential,” “should,” “would” and similar expressions, including references to future efficiencies or profitability, may identify forward-looking statements, but the absence of these words does not mean that statement is not forward-looking. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in forward-looking statements can be found in Wheels Up’s filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. You are cautioned not to place undue reliance upon any forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date made. Except as required by law, Wheels Up does not intend to update any of these forward-looking statements made in this press release.
The issuance, offer and/or sale of any securities described herein has not been registered under any federal or state securities laws and may not be offered or sold in the United States absent registration or an applicable exemption from the registration requirements of the applicable federal and state laws. This press release shall not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to purchase any securities, and shall not constitute an offer, solicitation or sale in any state or jurisdiction in which such an offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful.
SOURCE Wheels Up
A retired couple have sold their home to pursue an unusual retirement plan together.
You might think they downsized maybe to a bungalow or something well-suited to living out their retirement.
And you’d technically be right in saying that Mike and Barbara Soroker from Florida have ‘downsized’, though not into a house.
That’s because Mike, 80, and Barbara, 75, have spent $2.5 million on buying a cabin on a cruise liner to live out their retirement.
I didn’t even know you could buy cabins on cruise ships.
But it turns out that you can in fact do just that, and the pair have put down a deposit for a cabin on a ship which is still under construction, not so much getting in on the ground as the dry dock.
The ship is the MV Narrative, and is being carried out by Storylines. IT will be an enormous 18-deck ship featuring 450 crew, three swimming pools, a helipad, and even a marina on the ship.
Not quite sure how that last one will work, but it certainly sounds impressive!
It will be some 741 ft long with a beam of 98 ft. So quite a big boat then.
Mike told BusinessInsider: “I’m most excited to see the Middle East. I worked in Israel for a little while and never got to see any other countries. I’d also like to get to Antarctica. That’d be crazy. My wife loves visiting Asia, so she’d love to get over there again.”
And in an unusual move, rather than operating the ship as a cruise liner in the traditional sense, the company is allowing people to buy cabins and suites on the vessel.
These can either be for their own use, like with Mike and Barbara, or even to rent out to people as a mobile holiday let. The lease on the cabins lasts for the life of the vessel.
Needless to say, it’s not cheap. The starting price, repeat, the starting price, is $590,000 for an internal cabin, so no windows, except for a ‘virtual’ window.
They go up to a whopping $10 million for the biggest suites, which suffice to say have all the amenities.
But Mike isn’t worried that the project is still very much in the works and not underway, figuratively speaking.
He said: “Once a month, they have a Zoom meeting to update us on progress.I think it’ll be 2025 at the earliest. Some folks like myself who have already put money down, of course, want to know how secure that is.
“If it falls apart, I’m not worried. They basically said that, worst case, you get your money back.”
But the pair are looking forward to travelling the world together. Mike said: “Each year that goes by, I just feel younger. My wife and I have a great partnership. I feel like we can do almost anything. We enjoy dancing together. I’m very, very lucky.”
NEW YORK, Oct. 03, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Resonance is a leading advisor in tourism, real estate and economic development, and its World’s Best Cities rankings quantify and benchmark the relative quality of place, reputation and competitive identity for the planet’s urban centers.
The Best Cities data is lauded as the world’s most thorough annual city ranking, based on original methodology that analyzes key statistics, user-generated reviews, social media and online activity.
The ninth annual World’s Best Cities ranking is an important, timely analysis of the urban centers that are leading the planet in post-pandemic economic recovery and a resilient future.
Access the 2024 World’s Best Cities Report and all 100 city profiles at WorldsBestCities.com.
Learn more about how Resonance Consultancy can help your city and community at ResonanceCo.com.
”The 2024 World’s Best Cities rankings benchmark the overall performance of more than 270 principal cities in metropolitan areas with populations of more than one million, based on a wide variety of measures, in order to identify the Top 100 places to live, visit and invest on the planet,” says Resonance President & CEO Chris Fair.
The overall Best Cities rankings are determined by analyzing the performance of each city for a wide range of factors that have historically shown positive correlations with attracting employment, investment and/or visitors to cities. Resonance groups these 24 metrics into a ranking of each city’s Livability, Lovability and Prosperity.
Based on each city’s performance across our methodology, these are the World’s Top 10 Best Cities for 2024:
1. London, United Kingdom
2. Paris, France
3. New York, United States
4. Tokyo, Japan
6. Dubai, United Arab Emirates
7. San Francisco, United States
8. Barcelona, Spain
9. Amsterdam, Netherlands
10. Seoul, South Korea
The full ranking and extensive profiles of all 100 World’s Best Cities are available at WorldsBestCities.com.
About Resonance Consultancy
Resonance creates transformative strategies, brands and campaigns that empower destinations, cities and communities to realize their full potential. As leading advisors in real estate, tourism and economic development, Resonance combines expertise in research, strategy, branding and communications to make destinations, cities and developments more valuable and more vibrant. ResonanceCo.com
About World’s Best Cities
Best Cities is the home of Resonance’s exclusive ranking of the world’s top urban destinations. The data is used by leading news outlets, trusted by city leaders, and is widely considered to be the world’s most comprehensive annual city ranking. Bloomberg calls it, ”The most comprehensive study of its kind; it identifies cities that are most desirable for locals, visitors, and businesspeople alike, rather than simply looking at livability or tourism appeal.” WorldsBestCities.com | #BestCities
EDINBURGH, Scotland, Aug. 30, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Paris was named the number one global sport city for event hosting in a new report by Quantum Consultancy and Durham University Business School. The report, titled “Global Sport Cities & The Olympic Ecosystem” has unveiled the top 60 cities based upon their hosting of major multisport games and world championships across the sporting ecosystem, giving them prestigious recognition as global sport cities for event hosting.
Paris, France ranks as the number one sports hosting city as it prepares to host the Olympic and Paralympic Games next year, with Budapest, Hungary hosting most events overall during the 2021-2028 period analysed.
Tokyo, Japan ranks as the highest performing city in Asia, whilst Los Angeles, future host of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, places ninth and is the highest ranked city in the Americas.
A notable shift in the landscape sees cities in the Middle East such as Doha, Qatar; Dubai, UAE and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia all make the top 20 list as each continue to view sport as an important catalyst to unlock tourism, media exposure and social impact potential.
Chengdu, China is one of two Chinese cities to make the top 10, behind Beijing, and is the highest ranked destination that isn’t a capital city. Chengdu has embarked on an event hosting strategy which includes two large-scale multisport games in the recently concluded FISU World University Games and The World Games in 2025.
The cities are ranked based on their cumulative event score which considers the number of events a city has hosted or are set to host between 2021 and 2028, as well as the size, scale, and recognition of these events as part of the points-based methodology. The report analysed 355 individual event editions across 95 sports and 156 event properties. In total, 75 host nations and 330 host cities will have hosted this set of pinnacle events between 2021-2028, demonstrating greater diversity in the number and type of destinations hosting these events in comparison with previous years.
The report provides an insightful snapshot of the global sports hosting landscape and underlines the growing competition among cities to attract major events within the Olympic ecosystem, emphasising the strategic investments required to become a prominent global sport city.
The full report detailing the top 60 cities can be accessed here.
SOURCE Quantum Consultancy
NASA is exploring the idea of a passenger jet that could theoretically fly from New York City to London up to “four times faster” than today’s airliners.
In a recent news release about NASA’s research into supersonic commercial travel, the agency said that the passenger jet would theoretically travel between speeds of Mach 2 and Mach 4 — between two and four times the speed of sound, or 1,535-3,045 mph at sea level. By comparison, today’s larger passenger planes cruise at about 600 mph, or about 80% of the speed of sound, NASA said.
The agency also concluded that there are about 50 established routes connecting cities for potential passenger markets.
Since the U.S. and other countries prohibit supersonic flight over land, NASA said it was looking into transoceanic routes across the Atlantic and Pacific.
This development comes as the agency is conducting another research mission known as Quesst, which involves NASA’s X-59 “quiet supersonic aircraft.” Quesst explores technology that “reduces the loudness of a sonic boom to a gentle thump to people on the ground” in an effort to convince regulators to change supersonic flight rules.
“These new studies will both refresh those looks at technology roadmaps and identify additional research needs for a broader high-speed range,” project manager Lori Ozoroski said.
NASA has issued two year-long contracts to companies to develop concept designs and technology roadmaps that would include outlining risks and challenges in making Mach 2+ travel possible. Boeing will lead the first team; Northop Gruman Aeronautics Systems will lead the second.
“It’s important to innovate responsibly so we return benefits to travelers and do no harm to the environment,” Mary Jo Long-Davis, manager of NASA’s hypersonic technology project, said in a statement.
TEHRAN – Iranian presidential advisor says the Islamic Republic eyes attracting foreign investments to the tourism sector.
Visiting Sulaymaniyah International Tourism Expo, Hojjatollah Abdolmaleki, who doubles as the secretary of Iran’s Free Zones High Council, said attracting investors in the field of tourism and exchanging tourists are the main aims for the participation of Iran’s free zones at the Iraqi event, Tasnim reported on Saturday.
Speaking on the sidelines of a tourism industry seminar held with the participation of companies and activists in the tourism industry from various countries, Abdolmaleki stated that the development of investment in the tourism sector, creation of infrastructures, and requirements of tourists including the construction of hotels, transportation lines, and recreational centers are seriously pursued at Iran’s free zones.
The existence of seven free zones in Iran with high potential for tourists can be fairly profitable, he said, adding, “For this purpose, we are seeking to conclude memoranda of understanding (MOUs) with the companies and activists of tourism industry at this exhibition to launch joint tours.”
Elsewhere in his remarks, the official reminded the attendees of tourism’s high economic profitability, adding: “Therefore, huge investments should be made in this sector.”
“Realization of objectives of the tourism industry, as the most important pillar of development of countries, is of paramount importance and this issue should be taken into serious consideration,” Abdolmaleki emphasized.
A family from the UK has left their home and sold their possessions to start a new life in Bali.
Matt Dearing, 36, and his partner Carlie Donnelley, 35, have made the life-changing decision to emigrate to Bali in Indonesia.
They had wanted to build their own house and to build their life together, but despite working full time as a joiner and owning multiple houses, they still found themselves chasing bills.
The high cost of living meant that even though Matt owned five houses in Manchester, where the family lived, he said that he would need ‘ten’ in order to become ‘financially free’.
In the end the family decided to leave the UK behind and move to Indonesia as immigrants, where the cost of living is significantly lower.
Matt said: “This was something we have wanted to do for years. A couple of times we would go over to Spain, and I was looking for cave houses as I wanted to go off grid.
“In the UK it got to the point where I wasn’t spending much time with my kids, I would spend about an hour with them before bedtime. I was constantly chasing bills and working.”
In the end, they decided to move to Bali, where their rent for the whole year is £2,000.
Matt explained their reasoning: “I did a lot of research into Bali as it has all-year-round tourism, and the weather is great. The return on your investment here is amazing.”
Matt sold the house the family were living in for £365k and ‘everything’ they owned on Facebook marketplace.
He continued: “With that money, we were able to buy a 1,200 square foot plot of land to build two villas on. We have struck gold – this is everything we want.”
He added: “The people here are lovely and show a lot of gratitude – it ticked all the right boxes.”
Matt is now glad that he can spend more time with his family out in Indonesia.
Carlie, who works as a beautician, said: “I spent more time with the kids while he was at work, we were missing out on having Matt with us. It is great, I am loving life, the weather and just exploring different things – we are outdoorsy.”
Matt said: “With the land we bought we plan to keep one villa and sell one, then buy more land and build two more houses and sell one of them and rent another one out.
“We are hoping we get to the point where we can fly our family here and we are planning on coming back to the UK for two to three months at a time.”
When the family arrived in Bali, they spent three months travelling before settling down.
Moving away to become a digital nomad? Keep that mortgage-free home and rent it out. Photo / Getty Images
Q: I am 56 and recently a new widow. My three children are adults and doing well in their respective fields. None lives near me.
I am feeling a bit lost and am considering