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The Flap Over Flags

Nov 12, 2020
WonderWhy / Creative Commons

On the surface, a flag is a piece of cloth with pretty colors and designs. That's the thing with flags. They're often judged on their aesthetics, but their power lies in how well their design captures the culture, religion, politics, and history of a place and its people. 

Nicolas Boullosa / Creative Commons

One of the few silver linings of the pandemic has been a resurgence of interest in motels and RV life from a diverse group of millennials who want safe and less expensive options to travel and work during a pandemic.

And motels and RV companies are trying to meet the demand with upgrades and amenities like flat-screen TVs, memory-foam mattresses, and free Wi-Fi.

Some are turning to RV life permanently to travel, live, and work from where they want instead of being tethered to a desk and real estate. The pandemic has shown us that millennials who have never known the security of stable jobs or home ownership feel more "at home" outside traditional places.

Courtesy: Jonathan Jennings

It’s been seven months since a large event like a wedding has been permitted indoors in Connecticut. Jonathan Jennings, executive vice president of the Connecticut Wedding Group, said it’s time to change that. 

 

Mystic Aquarium Restructures For COVID — And Beyond

Sep 22, 2020
Mark Pazniokas / CT Mirror

A beluga whale glided to the edge of the platform overlooking its 750,000-gallon habitat and looked up, seemingly joining the Mystic Aquarium’s president, Stephen M. Coan, in greeting Gov. Ned Lamont and his economic adviser, David Lehman.

View from Sabrina Buehler's AirBnB Rental in North Stonington
Sabrina Buehler

Sabrina Buehler didn’t expect to make much from her Airbnb rental in North Stonington this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Courtesy: Hilton Hotels & Resorts

Coronavirus has been hard on many industries, perhaps none more so than hospitality. With both business and leisure travel at a historic low, hotels are struggling to survive. Two gems of the downtown Hartford hotel scene -- the Hilton Hartford and the Marriott Hartford Downtown -- announced to state officials this week that they are on the verge of mass layoffs and that their very survival is in question. 

A group of friends hang out at Hammonasset Beach State Park Friday to kick off the Memorial Day weekend.
Cloe Poisson / CTMirror.org

What’s typically known as a busy holiday travel weekend will look a little different this year. Many people may opt for road trips that don’t take them too far from home this Fourth of July.

Nicolas Raymond / Creative Commons

Connecticut has parted ways with its "Still Revolutionary" slogan to the relief of some residents. Now many are left wondering: How will the state move forward marketing itself to tourists?

This hour, we take an in-depth look at this question and we also hear from you. What local attractions or attributes would you like to see highlighted as part of a campaign to draw visitors to our state? 

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

The regular session of the Connecticut General Assembly adjourns at the stroke of midnight four weeks from tonight.

So far, none of the biggest policy goals identified early on by majority Democrats have made their way to the governor's desk for his consideration.

Not electronic highway tolls. Not legalizing recreational marijuana. Not sports betting. Not paid family and medical leave.

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The Thames River Heritage Park Foundation has received a grant to help expand and enhance the services the park provides.

ctvisit.com

Connecticut House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz has convened what's described as a blue ribbon panel on tourism in the state.

At the beach in Magens Bay, St. Thomas, the party is back on. It's one of the Virgin Islands' most popular beaches and by noon on a recent weekday, it's already busy. Reggae-inspired hip hop is playing as pickup trucks converted into taxis bring visitors direct from the cruise ship docks. Chris Dimopoulos runs the bar, serving up margaritas, rum punches and something called the painkiller.

"We're seeing a recovery slowly but surely. Every day gets a little bit better," he says.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Puerto Rico is officially declaring itself open for tourism -- nearly three months after Hurricane Maria. But on an island where so many people still lack electricity, what does open for tourism mean?

Friends of Hammonasset / Creative Commons

With the unofficial start to summer on Memorial Day weekend, Connecticut legislators are looking at a creative way to save state parks from budget cuts, closures, and restricted services.

Summer resorts around the nation are bracing for a tough season — not because the tourists won’t come, but because the workers might not. The reinstatement of a cap on visas for temporary workers has some in the hospitality industry predicting catastrophe.

Screenshot / PorterHouse Media

For decades, the three counties of Massachusetts along the Connecticut River — Franklin, Hampshire and Hampden — have been collectively known as the Pioneer Valley, but some boosters of the region decided the moniker is old-fashioned and confusing. 

 

 Several hiker-generated petitions have started in opposition to plans to build a hotel near the summit of Mount Washington, the Northeast's highest peak.

Mystic Aquarium

The state’s chambers of commerce say they want to be the ones to step up and oversee regional tourism promotion, now that the state of Connecticut has defunded its tourism districts. 

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Bradley Airport put the “International” back into its name Wednesday as a daily flight from Hartford to Ireland gets underway. Irish national carrier Aer Lingus will operate the evening flight to Dublin. 

Tourism professionals have warned that eliminating funding for Connecticut’s regional tourism districts risks hurting the state’s economy. 

Tracy Lee Carroll / Creative Commons

This Saturday, you have no excuse to say there's nothing to do in Connecticut. That's because it's the state's Open House Day for residents and visitors to explore the state -- from the smallest of historical sites to the largest of museums. This hour, we preview just a sliver of what is out there. What little gems exist where you live?

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo Monday announced $5.5 million in projects to construct visitor centers at each entrance of the longest elevated pedestrian bridge in the world —  Walkway Over the Hudson. Cuomo made the announcement mid-bridge before a number of local elected officials and others.

Starwood

The drama involving Stamford’s Starwood Hotels and Resorts continues. It now looks as if the company will go with its original merger partner after all. 

A hotel in downtown Dubai erupted in flames on Thursday evening, just two hours before the city was due to celebrate New Year's Eve with a massive fireworks display.

At midnight local time, the celebration proceeded as planned — resulting in a jarring double display of light and smoke, as firefighters continued to battle the blaze at one skyscraper while fireworks were sent off from the nearby Burj Khalifa.

Mohegan Sun is showing off progress on its new hotel development in Uncasville, a project that tribal chairman Kevin Brown said proves its commitment to its roots. 

ilirjan rrumbullaku / Creative Commons

Tourism and the arts took a hit in the budget adjustment agreed on by Governor Dannel Malloy and the legislature in special session earlier this week. The adjustment was needed to fill a $350 million hole in the state budget.

Now that Starwood Hotels has announced it's to be bought by Marriott International, there's the small matter of state incentives to be worked out.

Starwood

Starwood, the hotels group which is Stamford’s largest employer, is being bought by Marriott International. Marriott will pay $12.2 billion for Starwood. The combined company will be the largest hotel group in the world, with more than 5,000 properties.

For centuries, Vermont has been able to turn fall foliage into tourist dollars for the state. But there are two men who are now exporting the colorful leaves — for a price.

Tick Tock: Big Ben Slows As It Ages

Oct 20, 2015

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