A national grocery chain says it’s no longer a sponsor of a series of “wellness” expositions where a man convicted in the death of his toddler is scheduled to be a featured speaker.Sobeys had been sponsoring the Health and Wellness Expos of Canada, which lists David Stephan as a speaker at events this month and next in Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Calgary and Edmonton.But in an emailed statement on Sunday, a spokeswoman said the company couldn’t support the organizers’ decision to host Stephan as a speaker.In 2016, Stephan and his wife were both found guilty of failing to provide the necessaries of life in their son Ezekiel’s 2012 death from bacterial meningitis.Their trial in Lethbridge, Alta., heard they treated the 19-month-old boy with garlic, onion and horseradish rather than taking him to a doctor. The Stephans eventually called 911 but the little boy died in hospital.Stephan was sentenced to four months in prison, and his case is scheduled to be heard by the Supreme Court in May.
It’s not that Usain Bolt hasn’t already obliterated the records in the 100-meter, 200-meter and the 4×100 meter relays, but the sprinter has recently set a new track and field record.Bolt has surpassed Carl Lewis in the record book, after winning his third gold medal in the 4×100 meter relay at the world track championships Sunday in Moscow. Anchoring the relay for his Jamaican squad, Bolt easily pulled away from American Justin Gatlin, to help his team win the race.“I wasn’t really worried about Justin,” Bolt said. “I knew if he got the baton in front of me, I could catch him. So it was just going out there to run as fast as possible.”Gatlin commented on Bolt’s performance after the race.“It’s not just about the talent. It’s about rising to the occasion. He understands what that means,” Gatlin said of the sprinter’s accomplishments.The Jamaican sprinter insists that even with all the success, he will nonetheless strive to do more.“I’ll continue dominating,” said Bolt. “I’ll continue to work hard. For me, my aim is to continue hard into the greatness thing.”Bolt tied Lewis with his 10th world championship medal. Both have eight gold medals each, yet Bolt overtook Lewis’ record by adding two silver medals to his precious collection, while Lewis has a silver and bronze.What an amazing achievement!
Turnabout is fair play: Marriott ready to take on Airbnb Share Monday, April 29, 2019 By: The Associated Press BETHESDA, MD — Marriott, the world’s biggest hotel company, will soon start taking reservations through its website for 2,000 homes in 100 markets in the U.S., Europe and Latin America.The frustration for agents is that like Airbnb and other home-sharing options, the business model, with website bookings, is geared to B2C.Marriott expansion of its Homes and Villas program to other locations comes as Airbnb moves further into the hotel space. The San Francisco-based company says it’s working with a New York real estate developer to establish a hotel with 200 suites in Rockefeller Plaza in Manhattan. Airbnb, which plans to go public but hasn’t made clear when, also acquired Hotel Tonight, a last-minute booking service, in March 2019.Marriott is targeting families and groups with its home-sharing platform, and the homes skew toward luxury, with prices ranging from US$200 per night for a one-bedroom apartment to $10,000 for a full Scottish castle. Nearly 40 of the markets are in places where Marriott doesn’t currently have hotels, like Bar Harbor, ME and Bordeaux.Marriott is a long way from matching home-sharing behemoths like Airbnb, which boasts six million listings worldwide, or Booking.com, which has listings in 220 countries. The homes in its program aren’t even exclusive Marriott properties. Marriott is partnering with rental management companies to handle the maintenance and cleaning.More news: AMResorts has a new Sr. Dir. of Cdn. Sales & Consortia Rel’nsBut Marriott believes it has advantages. Unlike its home-sharing rivals, it has a loyalty program that lets travellers earn and use points on its hotels and homes. Business travellers can accumulate points at Courtyard hotels, for example, and use them for a week at a beach house. Airbnb is working on a loyalty program of its own, but the rollout has been delayed.Marriott says it also guarantees hotel-like standards that are often missing in home-sharing, such as WiFi, crisp white sheets, bath amenities, baby cribs and smoke alarms. Airbnb has tried to tackle that problem with user reviews and its Plus program, which highlights rentals that meet higher quality standards. But the sheer volume of properties makes it difficult to police them all.“One of the challenges you see with home-sharing is there’s too much inventory without quality filters or brand assurances,” says Stephanie Linnartz, Marriott’s global chief commercial officer. “There’s inconsistency across the brand experience.”Hotels have struggled to determine the right path into the home-sharing market. Hyatt invested in Oasis, a luxury home-sharing site, in 2017, but said the company was struggling to grow because of regulatory hurdles. The companies parted ways last year.More news: Sunwing to further boost Mazatlán service with new flights from OttawaAccorHotels bought home-sharing site Onefinestay in 2016 but has struggled to make money on it. Choice Hotels, like Marriott, partnered with property management company RedAwning and gets a cut of every property booked.For now, the home-sharing unit won’t be material to Marriott’s earnings, Linnartz said.Marriott’s move is an acknowledgment that home-sharing – which has boomed in the last decade since Airbnb’s founding – has fundamentally changed guests’ expectations. People may be satisfied with a cookie-cutter hotel for a business trip or a soccer tournament, but sometimes they want something unique and memorable, Linnartz said.Marriott began testing home-sharing with 200 homes in London last year, and later expanded it to several other cities in Europe. The company found that most of its home-sharing guests were leisure travellers and they stayed an average of 5.1 nights, or double the length of a traditional hotel stay.Marriott’s research also showed that 30% of its customers had stayed in a shared home in the last year.“When they were doing that, they weren’t staying at an offering from us,’’ said Linnartz. “This is a gap we want to close.” Tags: Airbnb, Marriott << Previous PostNext Post >>