Tag Archives: luxury

City-of-Phoenix-27thAve-Waste-Transfer-Station

Luxury Lake Yacht Rentals to Be Introduced at Lake Powell

A new level of luxury is coming to the magnificent Lake Powell with the addition of the new Axiom Star fleet, a one-of-a-kind collection of lake yachts. Beginning today, guests can book their summer vacation on one of Lake Powell Resorts & Marinas’ new lavish vessels.

“We are excited to offer our guests the opportunity to explore Lake Powell aboard a luxury lake yacht. We believe our new fleet will change the future of the boating vacation experience,” said Bruce W. Fears, president of Aramark Parks and Destinations.

The 65-foot Axiom Star fleet is available for a minimum seven-day rental during the summer and a minimum five-day rental for the rest of the year. The vessels are an ultimate indulgence with the amenities of a high-end home. Each Axiom Star is equipped with four staterooms, a screened-in, private upper deck, and luxuries including a state-of-the-art kitchen, an eight-person hot tub and flat screen televisions. Also included with rental are piloting services to various beaches and the guest’s choice of a powerboat or two personal watercrafts.

“There is new energy and excitement at Lake Powell with the arrival of the Axiom Star vessels,” said Eric Johnson, vice president of operations for Aramark Parks and Destinations. “With its stunning natural splendor, Lake Powell is the ideal setting for this type of luxurious experience.”

To be among the first to experience an Axiom Star voyage, visit www.lakepowell.com/axiom-star or call 888-896-3829. For the latest news and information, like Axiom Star on Facebook or follow the on Twitter.

N323JK Exterior

Aero Jet Services expands operations

Scottsdale-based Aero Jet Services has just announced they are expanding their operations to Sarasota, Florida.  They are an industry leader in luxury private jet charter around the globe and wear the crown as #1 in Arizona. They will officially open their location at the Dolphin Aviation Facility at the Sarasota-Bradenton Int. Airport (SQR) on April 8th, 2013.

Sarasota, Florida is where urban amenities meets small-town living by offering visitors and residents miles of sandy white beaches, top-level fine dining, stunning golf courses, the finest shopping establishments and so much more.  Let Aero Jet Services be your ticket to this ultimate urban-beach destination and beyond.

Aero Jet Services Executive Vice President, Mike McCain is looking forward to this progressive move. “This is going to be a game changer for us. This strategic business move is positioning us to plan ahead for rapid growth in 2013 and the future.”

This new location at SQR will serve as Aero Jet Services hub for service to the eastern coast, the Midwest, the Caribbean islands, and the Mexican resort area in an effort to fill a niche market of luxury private travel to these underserved areas. They will have Sarasota based pilots and crew as well as a beautiful Hawker 700 stationed at their SQR location and are looking to add three to four more jets by the end of 2013.

Aero Jet Services is always positioning themselves to soar ahead of the competition and this new location will allow them to do just that. They are one of the ONLY private jet companies that have direct over fly from any of their destinations, making your travel easier and more effective by not having to stop in customs until you get into the U.S.

As always Aero Jet is looking forward to assimilating into the Sarasota community by being actively involved with philanthropic organizations.

image003

Travel Like a Celebrity This Holiday Season

Scottsdale-based Aero Jet Services, an industry leader in luxury private jet charter, is making holiday travel an unforgettable and hassle free experience. This holiday season, Aero Jet Services is treating their clients to a first class luxury experience that is second to none.

“We are excited for this upcoming holiday season,” said Michael McCain, Aero Jet Services’ Director of Business Development. “We have our entire fleet of aircraft carriers geared up and ready to soar into the most sought-after and exclusive holiday destinations.”

Holiday travel is the busiest it has been in six years, so there is no surprise that Aero Jet Services is prepared to help their clients with their elite travel needs during this holiday season. Booking your air travel ahead of time is a must since popular destinations air landing slots are offered on a first come, first serve basis. Whether clients are looking to fly to the white mountains of Telluride, CO. or the white sandy beaches of The Caribbean, Aero Jet Services brings style, class, comfort and safety to any destination.

Looking to get somewhere fast? Beat the storm with Aero Jet Services where private travel gets in and out fast. Have a lot of baggage? Don’t trust putting those Saloman Ski’s or those Titleist golf clubs with just any aircraft carrier? Well, no need to fret, Aero Jet Services handles all equipment and requests of their clients with the care and ease that only a private jet service can offer.

With Aero Jet, clients will be provided all the necessities for a world class experience during this busy holiday season. The company turns its client’s needs and wants into reality, making for a perfect solution to your holiday travel accommodations.

Established in 1997, Aero Jet Services is located in North Scottsdale at the Scottsdale Air Park. Owned and operated by Arizona residents Mike and Marilyn Aaby, Aero Jet Services is a jet charter company that can transport and arrange travel around the globe at any time of day. The company is known for its impressive safety record and for putting the needs and wants of its clients first. For more information, visit www.AeroJetServices.com.

Bed and breakfasts can be the perfect option for those who'd like to get away while still enjoying the comforts of home.

Bed And Breakfasts Around Arizona

Getting away for the weekend can be fun, but sometimes it’s nice to have the comforts of home available even while away on vacation.  Bed and breakfasts can be the perfect option for those who’d like to get away while still enjoying the comforts of home. Here’s a list of bed and breakfasts around Arizona for when the average hotel just doesn’t cut it.

  • A Territorial House
    65 Piki Dr., Sedona
    800-801-2737
    A two-story, Western-style ranch adorned with old-fashioned furnishings, this comfortable and peaceful inn is charming and friendly. Outdoor hot tubs, fireplaces and a great desert landscape provide a serene situation.

  • Adobe Hacienda Bed & Breakfast
    10 Rojo Dr., Sedona
    800-454-7191
    A Spanish style hacienda with handmade Mexican furniture, antiques, Native American art, fireplaces, whirlpool tubs and full breakfast is served.

  • Adobe Hacienda Bed & Breakfast
    10 Rojo Dr., Sedona
    800-454-7191
    A Spanish style hacienda with handmade Mexican furniture, antiques, Native American art, fireplaces and whirlpool tubs. Full breakfast is served.

  • Amado Territory Inn
    3001 E. Frontage Rd., Amado
    888-398-8684
    Situated near the Mexican border, this bed and breakfast is considered to be great birding country.

  • Apple Orchard Inn
    656 Jordan Rd., Sedona
    800-663-6968
    With an eclectic mix of natural wonders, skip around town enjoying music, festivals, shopping and contemporary art. Full breakfast is served on the patio. Rooms come furnished with great amenities.

  • Bed & Bagels of Tucson
    10402 E. Glenn St., Tucson
    520-760-5595
    This bed-and-breakfast, offering a pool, hot tub and five-course breakfasts, welcomes pets and children. Special diets are accommodated and Bed & Bagels is suitable for most chemically sensitive (MCS) guests. Especially well-suited for foreign visitors, as the owner speaks four languages.

  • Bedlam Bed & Breakfast
    15253 N. Skylark Crl., Fountain Hills
    480-837-9695
    High atop a hillside, this B&B offers breathtaking views of the vast desert and surrounding mountains, including Four Peaks and the Superstition Mountains. Each bedroom comes with its own private bathroom, TV, telephone and high-speed Internet access. Closed June, July and August.

  • Birders Vista Bed and Breakfast
    5147 S. Kino Rd., Sierra Vista
    520-378-2493
    Guests at Birders Vista B&B can enjoy a wide array of birds in the lush backyard. Amenities include a reading library with 1,500 books, high-speed Internet access, TV and a telescope for your birding pleasure.

  • Boots And Saddles Bed & Breakfast
    2900 Hopi Dr., Sedona
    1-800-201-1944
    Each room is decorated in unique Southwestern themes and feature air-jet tubs, private patios, telescopes for star gazing, fireplace, refrigerator, luxurious robes and free Internet access. A fresh, two-course breakfast is served every day.

  • Briar Patch Inn
    3190 N. Hwy. 89A, Sedona
    928-282-2342
    Stay in one of the 19 cottages nestled in Oak Creek Canyon and enjoy a peaceful, natural setting. Located 3 miles from shopping, dining and great views of the Sedona sunset.

  • Canyon Villa Bed & Breakfast
    40 Canyon Circle Dr., Sedona
    800-453-1166
    This two-story Spanish Mission-style inn is luxurious, outstanding and relaxing. Take in the fresh flowers and the effortless entry to Oak Creek for a morning swim.

  • Casa Tierra Bed & Breakfast
    11155 W. Calle Pima, Tucson
    520-578-3058
    This Mexican-style adobe home makes resting easy, as it is located in an isolated area and is near many local accommodations.

  • Catalina Park Inn
    309 E. 1st St., Tucson
    520-792-4541Six guest rooms are strategically placed to provide privacy that opens to a walled courtyard. Built in 1927, this two-story Mediterranean-style mansion woos guests with its mahogany woodwork and architectural nuance.

  • Cozy Cactus Bed & Breakfast
    80 Canyon Circle Dr., Sedona
    928-284-0082
    This five bedroom bed and breakfast offers guests a choice of one- or two-bedroom suites with private entrances, Red Rock views and hiking access, plus many other amenities.

  • Desert Dove Bed & Breakfast
    11707 E. Old Spanish Trail, Tucson
    520-722-6879
    This Territorial adobe bed and breakfast is situated on four acres and nestled in the foothills of the Rincon Mountains near the Saguaro National Park East. Accommodations include great porches, polished colored concrete floors, open trusses, antiques and collectibles — all of which create a unique ambience.

  • El Portal Bed & Breakfast
    95 Portal Ln., Sedona
    800-313-0017
    Going beyond the ordinary, the architecture and adobe construction of El Portal is completely authentic. Nowhere else in Sedona will you find a luxury inn or hotel with 18-inch thick adobe walls that provide both quiet and history. All rooms feature free broadband cable high speed Internet, as well as free wireless access throughout the hotel, including the courtyard.

  • Full Circle Ranch
    40205 N. 26th St., Cave Creek
    623-465-7570
    A romantic hideaway nestled in the desert, complete with horse facilities, an observation deck, pool and heated spa.

  • Graces Secret Garden Bed & Breakfast
    1240 Jacks Canyon Rd., Sedona
    800-579-2340
    Pets are welcome to come along for the stay at Greyfire. Meet and greet with the four resident Arabian horses and enjoy your stay in the Southwestern ranch home decorated with antiques and positioned on more than two acres.

  • Graham’s Bed & Breakfast
    150 Canyon Circle Dr., Sedona
    800-228-1425
    Open all year, this contemporary, Southwestern inn offers a bountiful breakfast and beautiful views.

  • Grand Living Bed and Breakfast
    701 Quarterhorse Rd., Williams
    928-635-4171
    A two-story log cabin with a wrap-around veranda and country Victorian decor. Horseback riding, fishing lakes and hiking trails exist in the surrounding area.

  • Hacienda del Desierto Bed & Breakfast
    11770 E. Rambling Trl., Tucson
    800-982-1795
    Award-winning Spanish hacienda on 16 secluded acres next to National Park. Four luxury accommodations, three with kitchenettes. TVs, business center, garden, patios, views, nature trail, birding, outdoor hydrotherapy spas.

  • Heritage Inn
    161 N. Main St., Snowflake
    866-486-5947
    Has 12 rooms with full baths, Jacuzzi tubs, gas log stoves, cable TV, wireless Internet and daily gourmet breakfast specials.

  • Hidden Meadow Ranch
    620 County Road 1325, Greer
    928-333-1000
    Includes 12 luxuriously furnished log cabins, dining room, lounge and library. There is also a spring-fed trout pond for fly-fishing and canoeing.

  • Hotel Vendome
    230 S. Cortez St., Prescott
    928-776-0900
    A quaint 1917 inn, the Hotel Vendome is nestled in the beauty of the Prescott wilderness amid Victorian architecture. A shot away from the famous Whiskey Row and a charming small town, experience the settlement and then enjoy a glass of wine in the quietly shaded veranda while watching the sun go down.

  • Inn at 410 Bed & Breakfast
    410 N. Leroux St., Flagstaff
    800-774-2008
    The Inn at 410 Bed & Breakfast is an oasis of peace and serenity amidst our stressful world. The Inn’s spacious parlor is a relaxing place to sip hot cider and curl up with a book in front of the fireplace. The gazebo and perennial gardens offer summer guests an intimate retreat for afternoon iced tea or morning breakfast. A scrumptious, healthy breakfast and afternoon tea with homemade cookies are just two of the ways our innkeepers accomplish the task of making The Inn at 410 the “Place with the Personal Touch.”

  • Inn at Castle Rock
    112 Tombstone Canyon Rd., Bisbee
    520-432-4449
    Now remodeled, it was once an 1890s boarding house for miners. Full breakfast is served and a glass of wine is offered in the evening to enjoy on the patio under the starlit sky. Dinner and lunch are available at the restaurant located on site.

  • Inn on Oak Creek, The556 Hwy. 179, Sedona
    800-499-7896
    Private creekside decks, gas fireplaces, whirlpool tubs, full breakfast.

  • Jenny Kent’s B & B
    450 S. Orange Ave., Yuma
    928-783-4520
    Stay in a charming, historic house — Jenny Kent’s Bed and Breakfast — moderately priced and conveniently located off Interstate 8. Jenny’s is nestled in the the historic Century Heights District of Yuma.

  • Jeremiah Inn Bed & Breakfast
    10921 E. Snyder Rd., Tucson
    520-749-3072
    Guest rooms feature private baths, queen beds, and other amenities.

  • Lodge at Sedona, The
    125 Kallof Pl., Sedona
    928-204-1942
    Located in the heart of Sedona, this four diamond bed & breakfast has gardens, mature pines, waterfalls, majestic red rock views, a fitness center, and many other amenities that provide a serene relaxing place to stay.

  • Log Cabin Bed & Breakfast
    3155 N. U.S. Hwy. 89, Prescott
    888-778-0442
    This three story rustic log cabin is open year-round and is located near Watson Lake/Willow Lake Recreation Area in the Granite Dells. Enjoy hiking out their back door or enjoy looking at the stars from the deck or the hot tub.

  • Maricopa Manor Bed & Breakfast
    15 W. Pasadena Ave., Phoenix
    800-292-6403
    Built in 1928, the Spanish Mission-style home offers seven suites with private facilities.

  • Noftsger Hill Inn
    425 North St., Globe
    928-425-2260
    The front rooms provide a panoramic view of the ruggedly beautiful Pinal Mountains. Rear rooms face the Old Dominion Mine, offering a picturesque view of historic mining operations.

  • Oakwood Inn Bed & Breakfast
    6558 Wagon Wheel Ln., Pinetop-Lakeside
    800-959-8098
    Oakwood Inn offers guests the opportunity to relax and enjoy common areas for their convenience. Guest rooms offer traditional decor with private baths. Home-cooked breakfasts are served family-style in the dining room.

  • Pinetop Country Bed & Breakfast
    2444 W. Jan Ln., Pinetop
    888-521-5044
    Romantic and charming, this B&B offers candlelit dinners and wine-and-cheese parties every Saturday night. The Victorian suite proves to be the most popular with its fireplace, private balcony overlooking a pond and a fire pit.

  • Pleasant Street Inn, The
    142 S. Pleasant St., Prescott
    928-445-4774
    Unwind in a 1906, two-story Victorian home with traditional English furnishings. Beautiful views and fresh flowers make this inn an enjoyable weekend getaway. Four rooms are available with private amenities.

  • Prescott Pines Inn
    901 White Spar Rd., Prescott
    928-445-7270
    Austrian lace curtains, white picket fence and grand flagstone porch create the feeling of Victorian elegance. The entrance to the guesthouse welcomes you with ivy and beautiful pink flowers.

  • Ramsey Canyon Inn Bed & Breakfast
    29 Ramsey Canyon Rd., Hereford
    520-378-3010
    A modern country inn that offers hiking trails through the hummingbird capital of the world. This B&B offers serene settings for a chance to relax amid its antiques and country furnishings.

  • Red Garter Bed & Bakery
    137 W. Railroad Ave., Williams
    928-635-1484
    A beautifully restored 1897 saloon in a Victorian Romanesque brick building with 12-foot ceilings, skylights and antique furnishings. Located in the heart of downtown Williams; sight-seeing is nearby.

  • Royal Elizabeth Bed & Breakfast Inn
    204 S. Scott Ave., Tucson
    877-670-9022
    An 1878 adobe Victorian mansion, located on a quiet street in historic Downtown Tucson. Enjoy colorful gardens, heated pool, spacious guest suites, period antiques, private baths and the services of a fine resort.

  • Sleepy Hollow Bed & Breakfast
    5522 E. Tapekim Rd., Cave Creek
    480-488-9402
    On a small knoll above a gently rising hollow, Sleepy Hollow is the perfect place to relax.

  • Spur Cross Bed & Breakfast
    38555 N. School House Rd., Cave Creek
    480-473-1038
    Offers four suites with amenities such as separate outside entrances, private baths, upgraded Southwestern furnishings, satellite TV, refrigerator, microwave and coffeemaker.

  • Sunglow Guest Ranch
    14066 S. Sunglow Rd., Pearce
    520-824-3334
    Located in the foothills of the Chiracahua Mountains, this ranch offers birding, hiking, biking, stargazing and the Sunglow Cafe for refreshing teas and mouthwatering desserts. Yoga classes available.

  • The Commons at White Mountain Lodge
    140 Main St., Greer
    928-735-9977
    The Commons at White Mountain Lodge provides guests with a choice of freestanding cabins or cottages in the historic main lodge. Both cabins and cottages in the main modge provide guests with spectacular views of the Greer Valley Meadow, Little Colorado River or Aspen Grove.

  • Touch of Sedona Inn & Retreat
    595 Jordan Rd., Sedona
    928-282-6462
    Located in the heart of uptown Sedona, and within walking distance to a wealth of fine art galleries, restaurants and easy hiking trails.

  • Valley O’ the Sun
    Scottsdale
    480-941-1281
    An authentic Irish bed-and-breakfast captured within a 1960s-style ranch home with traditional furnishings. Located near Arizona State University in Tempe.
people gambling - AZ Business Magazine Sep/Oct 2010

New Resorts Are Sprouting In The Valley Despite The Shaky Economy

Arizona touts dozens of breathtaking resorts with countless amenities, but there’s still room for more. The Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino in Chandler opened its doors in October 2009, and Talking Stick Resort in Scottsdale opened this past April. What makes the opening of these two new resorts all the more remarkable is that they happened during the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.

Of course no one plans to open a hotel in a tough economy, but who could have predicted this level of devastation a few years back? However, Harold Baugus, CEO of Gila River Gaming Enterprises, the driving force behind the Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino, is not one to be easily deterred.

“We determined long ago that we needed a better, more sophisticated and more advanced product offering more entertainment value and better food and beverage for our clients,” he says. “In 2005, we started the process, and at that time the economy was on the upswing … but it doesn’t drive what we do. We wanted to build this product for the future of the community. The economy didn’t really play a factor.”

Steven Horowitz, director of sales for Talking Stick Resort, says the venture has proved successful so far, even in this economy.

“Hospitality demand was at its lowest during the majority of our building phase,” he says. “We were due to open when the economy would hopefully begin the cyclical upswing. That has been the case.”

Developed by the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, Talking Stick encompasses a 240,000-square-foot casino in a 15-story tower that houses almost 500 rooms.

Despite early encouraging signs, Horowitz does think people are continuing to be very careful about how they spend their money.

“While we feel like Talking Stick Resort is opening as the economy is beginning to rebound, some of the initial challenges during recovery would be the lack of demand for resorts, and the overall economic downturn in gaming,” he says. “For obvious reasons, people have been very careful about their discretionary income, and entertainment, until recently, hasn’t been top priority.”

Baugus says his property is competing for all discretionary dollars, not just those targeted to other hotel properties.

“We have created an overall entertainment experience for those with complete discretionary income,” he says. “We are not necessarily concerned with other facilities or casinos, but rather if people are going to take those dollars to a ballpark or the movies.”

These properties offer guests a laundry list of entertainment and luxury options. Besides gaming and lounges, Talking Stick has its signature restaurant Orange Sky, multiple pools, and entertainment venues.

“We are truly an all-encompassing entertainment destination. A guest literally does not have to leave the property,” Horowitz says.

Baugus also is proud of the options and amenities available at Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino. The 10-story property has 242 hotel rooms with a 100,000-square-foot casino. It also boasts a range of dining options, including the area’s only Shula’s Steak House; a 1,400-seat entertainment venue; the AiRIA nightclub; and pool parties.

“We’ve tried to offer something for every demographic,” he adds.

The two resorts also offer plenty of meeting space for corporate or organizational gatherings. Talking Stick has 100,000 square feet of indoor/outdoor meeting and banquet space; Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino has about 12,000 square feet of meeting space.

Along with providing world-class amenities and entertainment, the actual construction of these facilities has given the local economy a much needed boost. The opening of Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino added about 500 jobs. During construction, 1,000 workers a day were employed to complete the facility. Talking Stick Resort added 600 jobs to the economy when it opened, and employed hundreds of additional workers during its construction phases, as well.

Both Baugus and Horowitz are pleased with the resorts’ initial numbers and neither is letting the summer heat slow down that momentum. Talking Stick Resort offers regular gaming promotions and a concert series. Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino has kicked off a comedy series for the summer, pool parties and golf specials.

The Valley’s resorts are often ideal places for staycations during the summer, and both properties appear to be generating interest from the locals.
“There are so many facets of Talking Stick Resort that you just can’t see or get anywhere else, and that naturally sparks interest from folks both locally and those who are out of town,” Horowitz says.

Baugus adds: “We have had a tremendously positive response and have already seen repeat business. People were pleasantly surprised with the opening. They were not expecting this level of quality.”

    If You Go:
    Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino
    5040 Wild Horse Pass Blvd., Chandler
    800-946-4452



    Talking Stick Resort
    9800 E. Indian Bend Road, Scottsdale
    480-850-7777

Arizona Business Magazine Sept/Oct 2010

Photo: www.designerclothesonline.co.uk

Social Media Hasn’t Reached Luxury Brands, Yet

With celebs tweeting about everything from their morning latte to a product they’re peddling and Facebook taking over the world one movie at a time, you can’t go a day without being involved in social media.

However, luxury brands, like Chanel and BMW, have yet to catch the social media bug.

This Forbes.com article explains why many luxury brands aren’t advertising on social media sites the way most retailers are.

One reason is that consumers looking to buy luxury items are seeking more than just a sleek sports car or a perfectly-fitted suit. They’re looking for an experience that drips luxury from the attentive staff to the chilled champagne they’re sipping. That experience isn’t something a consumer can achieve sitting at home on a computer, even in the plushest of pads.

Luxury retailers are about decadence not convenience, which is why some of them don’t have a huge online presence.

At Oscar de la Renta, online transactions make up only 10 percent of the company’s overall sales, while Chanel doesn’t sell its items online.

If online sales aren’t a big deal to companies, how can they get excited about social media advertising?

The answer is that most of them don’t, even though a recent Unity Marketing survey of luxury brand consumers found that almost 80 percent of them have a social media profile.

Brands like Jimmy Choo and Oscar de la Renta have used social media to reach consumers.  But these retailers are the leaders, not the norm.

Luxury Residential Ship Live And Work Onboard

Luxury Residential Ship Allows People To Live And Work Onboard

You know what a cruise ship is — a small floating city packed with people, all-you-can-eat buffets, frosty umbrella drinks and a few families wearing matching T-shirts that say things like, “Thompson Family Reunion.”

But have you heard of a “community at sea”?

Imagine, if you will, a luxury community where residents have access to the best amenities. Now imagine that luxury community on water and you have The World residential ship.

That’s right, you can buy an apartment on The World and travel the world. You must have a minimum net worth of $10 million just to apply to buy one of the exclusive residences, which range from 357-square-foot studios to 4,200-square-foot, six-bedroom apartments. Besides the crew and staff, the only ones onboard are owners or their guests. The ship is managed and staffed by ResidenSea Management out of Miramar, Fla.

Although capacity on the ship is 600, rarely are more than 300 people onboard at one time. Main thoroughfares and community spaces are often vacant, especially when the ship is in port. That’s when residents are off exploring solo or participating in ship-facilitated group activities on land such as Pretty Women Day, a nine-hour shopping spree on Rodeo Drive.

The World is for those who love luxury travel. But it’s not for everyone. The quiet, reserved vibe, neutral interior design of common areas, and strict dress code help create a community culture that doesn’t seem to fit anyone with mildly eccentric tastes.

While rock stars and other nonconformist types aren’t found here wearing the standard pantsuit, there’s another breed of folks who are plentiful — business people.

Take Richard Reed for example. He is founder and chairman of a company and one of the many World residents who hasn’t hit retirement yet.

Reed lives onboard about four months every year, winters at his penthouse in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, and spends the rest of his time in Scottsdale. Despite this jet-setter lifestyle, Reed manages to stay well connected while on the high seas.

“It is just as easy to do business in our apartments onboard as it is on land,” says Reed, a resident of The World since its maiden voyage in March 2002.

Every apartment has Internet access and a private fax and telephone line (a Miami area code makes it convenient for domestic callers to get in touch with residents). A conference room equipped with cutting-edge technology and a library offering an array of daily newspapers make doing business at sea easy.

With two networked computers and an all-in-one printer in his condo, Reed has everything he needs to check on business, pay bills and manage his stock portfolio online.

“Just last week I was able to purchase a piece of real estate in Mexico, complete all the paperwork and close — all while the ship was sailing in the Bering Strait, far from civilization,” he says. “Frankly, it’s a lot more fun doing business from the ship than anywhere else I can think of.”

www.residensea.com

Star Island, Green Island Resort

Star Island — A Green Island Resort Dream

While channel surfing on a recent Saturday, I stumbled across a show counting down the best exclusive island resorts. I decided to indulge in a little daydreaming and watched the special. Much to my surprise, near the top of the list was a resort unlike any other.

S.T.A.R. Island is a 35-acre island located near the Bahamian island of Eleuthera. The acronym stands for Sustainable Terrain and Resources, which, according to its Web site means that S.T.A.R. Island is “slated to be the world’s first sustainable, carbon neutral exotic island resort.”

The description alone is enticing. “An exclusive private island resort community and shining example of sustainable development, seamlessly combining the latest earth-friendly construction and design with the ulimate in luxury and comfort. A pure paradise where every detail has been artfully designed to balance with our environment at every level.”

How does S.T.A.R. Island plan on achieving such an amazing feat? Well, with a few things. A mixture of solar, wind, hydro and biofuels will help the resort provide typical amenities you would find at any luxury resort, but without any reliance on fossil fuels. The resort’s carbon footprint will be virtually nonexistent, washed away with the clear blue waters of the ocean.

Photovoltaic cells will convert natural light into electricity. The cells, which will be placed on the roof of every building, are designed to produce enough electricity to power all the resort facilities. The buildings will be constructed from Insulated Concrete Forms, eco-friendly, non-toxic recyclable polystyrene that provides not only a strong structure, but also a thermal barrier. Because of this unique material, the size of the resort’s heating/cooling units will be smaller than those normally found on such buildings. In addition, each building will also have a mini-wind turbine with excess energy being stored for later use.

But the green technology doesn’t end there. The resort will house geothermal heat pumps, solar water heaters, rainwater harvesting, and more. The developers of S.T.A.R. Island aren’t the first to embark on this idea, but they do appear to be among the first to actually achieve it. I must say I’m quite impressed with the resort and am curious to see how it turns out.

Led by president and lead designer of Star Island Development David H. Sklar, the developers have put together a top-notch team of designers and consultants to make the resort a reality. Now, if only I can figure out a way to come up with the green to experience this green resort … stay tuned.

www.starislandbahamas.com

luxuryrealestate

Housing Crash is Hurting The Valley’s Luxury Real Estate Market

A meticulous five-bedroom, remodeled home sits nestled in one of Paradise Valley’s most beautiful neighborhoods. But the most remarkable thing about this home is not its one-acre lot, new flooring or up-to-date kitchen. It’s the “For Sale” sign that has graced the front yard for two years.

Two years, two different realty companies and several price reductions later, the home finally is generating some energy and a contract is in the works. But, according to information from Coldwell Banker’s luxury home experts with The Walt Danley Group, that never would have happened if the price hadn’t dropped 20 percent in one year and 40 percent from the time it first went on the market.

This scenario is playing out to varying degrees throughout the Valley’s high-end home submarkets, from the Biltmore area to Paradise Valley to North Scottsdale. Real estate professionals say that while wealthy clients clearly are insulated from some of the economic hardships that face production-home buyers, they are not completely immune from them.

Inventory is high, homes are sitting on the market longer and Realtors must convince sellers to lower their expectations on price.

“What’s happening in the marketplace,” says Sandra Wilken of Sandra Wilken Luxury Properties, “is we are trying to get our sellers to be extremely realistic on their list price. The ridiculous prices of three years ago are not going to happen.”

In 2007, Wilken says buyers in Paradise Valley purchased 133 properties worth $2 million or more. The most expensive home sold for $8.8 million. This year, 62 homes have been sold in that range, with the highest fetching $7.62 million.

Information from the Arizona Regional Multiple Listing Service in two high-end zip codes, Paradise Valley’s 85253 and North Scottsdale’s 85256, shows inventory climbing through 2007 and the first half of 2008 compared to accepted offers. The average price for a property sold in Paradise Valley in September 2006 was $2.328 million. This past August it was $1.606 million.

Break it down
It is important to understand that in the luxury home market, different segments are performing in different ways.

Buyers who can afford a $2 million to $4 million home, or higher, are more insulated from current market conditions.

Tom Fisher calls them “program buyers,” successful and affluent business people who are on track to build homes that some call “family resorts.”

Fisher, owner of Fisher Custom Homes, builds houses that start at $2 million. His clients’ income or cash flow often is tied to the stock market, and while that has bred caution in their spending, in his experience it hasn’t derailed many building plans.

Walt Danley agrees there still is activity in the high-end market, but poor economic conditions fostered by sub-prime lending have, in a sense, trickled up.

Credit crunch
Credit in the form of jumbo loans, or loans for more than $417,000, has dried up as well. Several years ago, buyers could purchase a $1 million home with as little as 5 percent down, says Dean Bloxom, president of iMortgage Services in Phoenix. Some banks asked for 10 percent on $2 million.

Today, loans are available but banks want at least 20 percent down, and clear, documented evidence of someone’s assets and income — a correction that should have happened earlier, Bloxom says.

There are indications the market may pick up some velocity, says Cionne McCarthy, an agent with Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty.

The Luxury Home Tour, which showcases homes in Paradise Valley and the Arcadia and Biltmore districts, recently released figures that show homes in August spent less time on the market.

From Aug. 8 to Sept. 6, homes spent an average of 151 days on the market, compared to an average of 223 days between August 2007 and August 2008.