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The operator of popular NYC eateries including the Gramercy Tavern says restaurants likely won't open until there's a COVID-19 vaccine. That'll be in January at the earliest, medical experts say.


Danny Meyer

  • Danny Meyer, founder and CEO of Union Square Hospitality Group, said many of his famed restaurants will likely remain shut until a coronavirus vaccine is available.
  • Meanwhile USHG, owner of New York City's Gramercy Tavern and Union Square Cafe, will start offering takeout services at two of its counter-service restaurants.
  • "There is no interest or excitement on my part to having a half-full dining room while everyone is getting their temperature taken and wearing masks, for not much money," he said.
  • Medical experts expect the earliest a vaccine will be widely available is next January.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Danny Meyer, head of Union Square Hospitality Group, which owns New York City hotspots Union Square Cafe and Gramercy Tavern, has said that some of his restaurants probably won't open until there's a coronavirus vaccine.

Most experts indicate that the earliest a vaccine would be widely available is January 2021.

Meyer didn't specify which of USHG's 18 New York City restaurants would keep its doors closed, but told Bloomberg that full-service restaurants like the Union Square Cafe would be difficult to make profitable in a restaurant at half capacity or less.

"There is no interest or excitement on my part to having a half-full dining room while everyone is getting their temperature taken and wearing masks, for not much money," he said.

USHG operates Gramercy Tavern, Cafes at Moma, and Union Square Cafe — Meyer's first restaurant, which he founded in 1985 at age 27. Meyer went on to found Shake Shack, which is not currently owned by USHG.

Still, USHG's counter-service restaurants, including Daily Provisions and Marta, could open for takeout service as early as next week, according to Eater New York.

Already, USHG has laid off 80% of its staff as revenue has nosedived on account of the coronavirus pandemic, as reported by Business Insider's Taylor Borden. The cuts and prolonged shuttering signal a significant weight on the restaurant industry that's not going away soon; The New York Times reported that US restaurants could suffer a $225 billion loss in the next three months alone.

Current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines suggest reopening with strict social distancing measures, depending on recommendations from local authorities. And prominent NYC restaurateurs have expressed concerns on restricted openings to Mayor Bill de Blasio, which currently bar nonessential businesses from opening through June. New York guidelines set last week by Gov. Andrew Cuomo document seven requirements for reopening: a 14-day decline in deaths, a drop in hospitalizations, and sufficient testing and tracing.

SEE ALSO: The founder of Shake Shack insisted on micromanaging every decision at his growing restaurant chain — until an NYU student proposed a 3-category solution to help him become a better manager

NOW READ: Danny Meyer's restaurant group, which owns beloved NYC staples like Gramercy Tavern, just laid off 80% of its workforce — and it shows how badly the pandemic has brought the service industry to its knees

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: We tested a machine that brews beer at the push of a button

2 empty-nesters bought an abandoned farm in Pennsylvania for $220,000, and they've spent nearly 2 years and $150,000 renovating it. Here's what it looks like now.


PA Farm

  • In 2018, DeWitt and Jean Paul moved from their home in Las Vegas to an abandoned 31-acre farm in Pennsylvania that they bought for $220,000.
  • The property includes two small barns, a large barn, and the main house.
  • They moved into the house three days after they purchased the property and immediately began renovating it.
  • Business Insider caught up with DeWitt to find out what their journey has been like so far and how they were able to transform the main house into their dream home.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

In May 2018, DeWitt and Jean Paul packed their bags and moved from their suburban home in Las Vegas to an abandoned farm in Pennsylvania.

The couple had been living in Vegas, where they raised four children and ran a business for about 15 years. But after the kids moved out, they were eager to start a new adventure. So, in March 2018, they sold their businesses and bought another one across the country in Easton, Pennsylvania. After a few months traveling back and forth, they decided to move there permanently. 

On the hunt for a renovation project, the couple came across a rundown 31-acre farm in Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania — a village about 30 minutes from Easton. After some back-and-forth bidding, they won the property for $220,000.

The farm includes six structures, some of which needed more repairs than others. Those structures include two small barns, a large barn, a small house, the main house, and a garage/workshop.

The first and biggest project the couple tackled was the main house, which spans over 5,000 square feet. They moved into it just three days after they bought the property, and have spent the past 18 months transforming it from a rundown house into a dream home. They've documented the transformation on their website and Instagram and plan on repairing the other five structures on the farm by May 2021. 

Business Insider caught up with DeWitt to find out how they were able to do most of the renovation work themselves, and to get an idea of what their plans are for the rest of the property.

Do you have a similar home-renovation story you'd like to share? Get in touch with this reporter at Lbrandt@businessinsider.com.

SEE ALSO: The Waldorf Astoria, one of Manhattan's famous 5-star hotels, is selling condominiums for the first time ever. Here's what the units will look like.

DON'T MISS: A California professor spends his summers living on an 80-square-foot boat and sailing through America's river communities. Here's a look at how he built the floating cabin with just $5,000.

In May 2018, DeWitt and Jean Paul moved from their suburban home in Las Vegas to an abandoned farm in Pennsylvania.

They lived in Las Vegas for about 15 years. There, they raised four children and ran a business. But after the kids moved out, they were eager to start a new adventure.

So, in March 2018, they sold their businesses in Las Vegas and purchased another, in Easton, Pennsylvania.

The couple owns a Foot Solutions store — a franchise organization that, according to the website, specializes in personalized assessments, high performance footwear, and custom-crafted arch supports

DeWitt spent one week a month in Pennsylvania until he and Jean decided to pack up their house, rent it out, and permanently move across the country.

Finding their new home wasn't easy. While on the hunt for a project, the couple came across a rundown, 31-acre farm with a lot of potential. However, their first bid on it was rejected.

"After losing the bid on another property, we bid on this one sight unseen. There were 4 bids and all were rejected. Our first stop in PA after driving across the country was this property – we wanted to see it before deciding whether to bid again at a higher price," DeWitt wrote in a blog post.

After a real-life visit, they decided to place a second, higher bid. They won.

Around $220,000 later, it was theirs. While the closing price was $220,000, Dewitt estimates that there were about $3,000 worth of additional fees.

Source: We Bought The Farm

There are six structures on the farm: two small barns, a big barn, a small house, a garage/workshop, and the main house.

When the couple bought the property, two of the barns were (and still are) in ruins and both of the houses were uninhabitable. They had their work cut out for them.

The first major project they embarked on was fixing the main house. According to DeWitt, it was in terrible condition.

DeWitt told Business Insider that while the main house is around just 30 years old, some of the buildings, like the small house, have been on the property for over a hundred years.

"When we walked through the door we didn't know if we could make it through without gas masks," he wrote in a blog post.

The history of the farm dates back hundreds of years. In fact, according to Dewitt's blog post, the stone walls on the property were likely built in the 1700s.

Source: We Bought The Farm

The previous owner bought the property in 2000. She lived there for 16 years until the bank foreclosed on it. DeWitt believes the property was neglected for most, if not all, of the years after that.

Source: We Bought The Farm

And while there weren't any humans living in the main house, there were cats — lots of them.

Source: We Bought The Farm

"The house was basically being used as a big, huge kitty litter box," DeWitt said.

Despite its condition, the couple moved into the house three days after closing on the property.

In the days before they moved in, they had a plumber fix the kitchen sink, a shower, and a few toilets.

They cleaned out a bedroom, painted the floors with oil-based Kilz, set up a bed so they could sleep, and started renovating the house.

DeWitt told Business Insider that they did around 90% of the work themselves.

Source: We Bought The Farm

It was no small project: The house spans over 5,000 square feet and boasts five bedrooms and six bathrooms.

Source: We Bought The Farm

But DeWitt and Jean are no strangers to home-renovation projects. In fact, when they first got married, they flipped a home together.

The couple had help when it came to things like plumbing, electrical work, and setting up the kitchen.

"Basically, anything that would have the potential of burning down the house or flooding the house, we had the plumber or the electrician do," DeWitt said.

When it came to the kitchen, the couple ran into some structural and ventilation issues.

"Unfortunately, when you design a kitchen in an old house, you never know what you are going to run into when you open up the walls," DeWitt wrote in a blog post.

Source: We Bought The Farm

For example, there was a beam centered over the stove where the ventilation hose was supposed to go, forcing them to leave the slinky tube on an angle.

Source: We Bought The Farm

According to DeWitt's blog, they managed to make the hood cover using leftover materials from the demo and other projects. Because they repurposed materials, that project only cost them $46.

Source: We Bought The Farm

The couple also saved money by using the furniture they brought from Las Vegas. In fact, most of the furniture in the main house is furniture the couple already owned. DeWitt told Business Insider that they've only spent around $500 on new items.

DeWitt told Business Insider that, including the purchase price and renovations, they plan on spending a total of around $450,000. So far, they've spent around $150,000 on renovations.

While they've come a long way since May 2018, DeWitt told Business Insider there are still a few projects left to do in the main house.

Those projects include painting the rest of the home's exterior ...

... installing the balcony railings and floors, finishing trim work around the house, and completing the basement, where they plan on building a home theater.

Jean works on renovating the property full-time while DeWitt divides his time between the house and managing the business.

"My wife is the one that does a lot of the work, she's doing it full-time," DeWitt explained to Business Insider. "She's pretty amazing. She can do just about anything with the right power tool."

This year, the couple plans on rebuilding the two small barns, fixing up the big barn, and renovating the small house.

As for the garage, DeWitt explained that it's in pretty good shape and just needed some door repairs.

They plan on finishing all the renovations by May 2021 — just three years after the purchase.

And, while they won't be turning the property into a functioning farm again, DeWitt told Business Insider that they do get visitors every now and again.

In fact, they've encountered foxes, deer, groundhogs, turtles, frogs, turkeys, vultures, and even bears.

This article is part of Business Insider's ongoing series, How I Renovated It, where we talk to homeowners around the country about the process, budget, and transformation that goes into a renovation.

Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan's $800,000 donation to their 8 favorite restaurants is like the median US family giving 13 cents to each


Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan

  • Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan donated $800,000 to eight of their favorite restaurants in the Bay area.
  • The donations are helping business owners stay afloat during the coronavirus but also highlight major wealth disparities in the US.
  • When you do the math, the Zuckerbergs' donation is about the same as the median US family donating $1.02.
  • The Zuckerbergs have signed The Giving Pledge, promising to donate 99% of his Facebook shares over the course of their life.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Eight restaurants in the Bay Area received a windfall after Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan donated $100,000 dollars to each of their favorite eateries, according to a report by SFGate

It's undoubtedly a nice gesture. The $800,000 donation will likely help keep the restaurants afloat during the pandemic and is a solid boost of cash for each of the restaurant owners. To their credit, the Zuckerbergs have never been stingy with their wealth — they've pledged to donate 99% of their Facebook shares before they die as part of The Giving Pledge.

But whenever a large donation like this is announced, it can be helpful to examine what a comparable donation would like from a non-billionaire family. In this case, comparing the scale of Zuckerberg's wealth to the wealth of the average US household shows just how deep economic divides run between billionaires and everyday Americans.

Zuckerberg's net worth of $76.3 billion means each donation of $100,000 dollars is equivalent to around 0.000131% of his total wealth. For a typical US family with a net worth of $97,300 as of 2016, an equivalent share of total wealth works out to around 13 cents. The total donation of $800,000 to the eight Bay Area restaurants is comparable to the median US family giving about $1.02.

But the donations are a relief to restaurant owners, helping them forge ahead during the coronavirus pandemic and fill expenses such as rent, payroll, as well as their own donation of free meals to health care workers and first responders, according to SFGate.

Other billionaires such as Jeff Bezos and Jack Dorsey have made similar contributions in the past.

Bezos was criticized after only donating $690,000 to the Australian wildlife recovery because it was less than he made every 5 minutes in 2018. Dorsey recently announced he was donating $1 billion toward a coronavirus relief fund, which according to him was about 28% of his net worth.

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative did not respond to Business Insider for comment.

SEE ALSO: Photos of armed protesters in North Carolina carrying a rocket launcher, shotguns, and pistols while ordering food at a Subway restaurant are trending

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Here's what it's like to travel during the coronavirus outbreak

13 signs your friendship with someone is toxic


women fighting

Toxic relationships don't just apply to romantic partnerships. Sometimes, friendships with people can turn out just as abusive and damaging.

Rather than bringing company and comfort to your life, a toxic friendship will bring exhaustion and frustration, says psychologist and therapist Perpetua Neo.

Read more:9 signs it's time to end a friendship, according to therapists

There are quite a few signs you can look out for to tell you whether or not a friendship isn't healthy, Neo told Business Insider.

Some of the red flags are obvious, but some can be more subtle. Here are 13 of the most common signs to look out for in a toxic friendship.

SEE ALSO: 9 signs it's time to end a friendship, according to therapists

1. There's a whole lot of drama

One thing you can guarantee from a toxic person is drama. Chaos seems to surround them somehow, either because they're always arguing with someone and causing problems, or because unbelievable things keep happening to them.

"Drama is a very big thing when we talk about toxic friends," Neo said. "A toxic friend tends to be someone who sucks us in either by being very amazing, very grandiose, or by being this sad creature that needs our help."

Whatever their story, you can guarantee you'll hear about it, or worse, get dragged into it.

2. Everything is about them

A toxic friend will never really listen to you. They will always be waiting for their turn to speak, or to turn the conversation back to them.

"In a novel conversation between people, you can say this thing happened to me too, which is OK because that's where empathy happens, and you form a connection," Neo said. "But then with a toxic person, everything revolves around them. They'll twist it."

A good way to test for this is by bringing up random topics that have nothing to do with either of you. A toxic person will have the uncanny ability to manipulate the conversation back around to them again, whatever the topic, without skipping a beat.

3. They constantly put you down

Neo said a toxic friend will never compliment you. They'll never pick you up or congratulate you on your achievements. In fact, they're much more likely to kick you when you're down.

You'll realise you're never actually happy or relaxed around them because they don't make you feel good about yourself, Neo said. No friendship should be transactional, but if someone is draining all your energy, you should ask yourself whether you're getting anything out of it at all.

4. They compete with you

Whether it's your job promotion, a romantic partner, or a new class you're doing, your toxic friend will compete with you. They won't like the idea of you having anything that doesn't involve them, and they especially don't want you to excel at something.

"They want to compete with you, even if you're not competing with them," Neo said. "Even if you're in a completely different field, they want the same things you do."

5. They secretly copy you

The competition can go one step further, and a toxic person will start to mimic you. They might buy the same bag you bought the week before, or start using the same slang words as you.

"A very common thing I've heard, is this person really likes you, wants to spend all their time with you, and copies you," Neo said. "So it's not uncommon for toxic friends to be very jealous of you, tear you down, and to some extent try to steal your identity. In severe cases, they might pretend to be you and use your photos, like catfishing."

6. They cross your boundaries

Toxic people do incredibly inappropriate things. For example, Neo said they may ring you on your house phone when you never gave them the number, or even show up uninvited.

They won't listen if you tell them something they're doing makes you uncomfortable. Instead, they'll make you feel mean or crazy for even bringing it up. They have no respect for your space, and make you feel like you're abandoning them if you push back.

7. Toxic friends are obsessively needy

Neo said you might feel like you've gotten yourself an obsessive boyfriend or girlfriend without even asking for it. They'll call and text you at all times of the day, even if you said you're busy.

"They want all your time, so it's a very codependent kind of friendship," she said. "So they'll text you all the time and expect a reply. Even if you say I'm going to be really busy over the next six hours, they'll text you just before, and throughout. And if you don't reply, they will kick up a storm."

8. They're jealous of other friends

A toxic person will probably start to blame your other friends when you don't respond to their texts and calls. Neo said they're likely to criticize your friends to your face, and try and isolate you from them.

"They are extremely jealous of your friends and will even go so far as to tell you you're their only friend, and you're the only person they care about," she said. "Even if you're on a date they expect you to drop everything for them."

9. You feel responsible for them

Even though they're acting unreasonably, toxic people are skilled at making people feel bad for them. Their guilt trips know no bounds, Neo said, because they've probably spun a load of sob stories about how hard their life has been.

"You have this sense of support like you're a lighthouse for them, and if you collapse, they'll collapse," she said. "If you decide to spend your time with somebody else, what if they do something bad? If you don't answer them, what if they hurt themselves?'

10. They're hypocritical

While they make you feel bad for not making enough time for them, toxic people won't ever feel bad for letting you down. But because they're so irrational and dramatic, you'll let them get away with it as you don't want to set them off.

"They might owe you money and pretend they never owed you, and rewrite history," Neo said. "So you may feel irritated and angry, but because you don't want to trigger them and their difficulties, so you take a step back."

11. They lie to get sympathy

Toxic people tend to inflate their backstory. "They may play up the chaotic nature of their lives to get sympathy," Neo said. "They might tell loads of stories that make no sense, that don't quite add up." Still, always make sure to support a friend who constantly talks about drug use, alcohol problems, or abuse. Even the most toxic person might be secretly hiding a call for help.

12. You're always set up for failure

Putting on public displays of drama are a toxic person's favorite activity. If you haven't done anything obvious toward them in a while, they might set you up for failure. For example, they could say you promised to go to the cinema with them and you stood them up, when that conversation never happened.

"They're very dramatic so they might publicly shame you in a place by screaming and shouting at you, so you feel bad and put in your place," Neo said. "They make you feel like it's your fault — if you don't want such behaviors, then don't do it again."

13. You'll feel something is wrong

Neo said your body is good at picking up signals that something isn't quite right. It can be hard to pinpoint exactly what it is that's wrong, but if you are constantly feeling on edge, it could be because there's a toxic person around.

"You cannot figure out what the hell is going on," Neo said. "Your brain runs over time, and your mental energy is being sucked out by this person all the time. You don't only feel responsible, you feel destabilized around them. Some people make the room feel a bit energetically funny. Your body is a barometer telling you that they're trouble."

10 maps showing how different LGBTQ rights are around the world


Members of the LGBTQ community march against discrimination in Kolkata, India, on December 29, 2019

  • LGBTQ rights vary greatly around the world.
  • Homosexuality is still illegal in 35% of UN member states and fewer than 30 countries recognize same-sex marriage.
  • May 17 is International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

LGBTQ rights vary greatly around the world, even among countries we often think of as inclusive.

A 2020 survey by the Thomson Reuters Foundation and the gay dating app Hornet found that one in three gay men felt either physically or emotionally unsafe at home. 

"This is a critical time for LGBTI equality in Europe," Evelyne Paradis, executive director of ILGA-Europe, said in a statement. "With each year passing, more and more countries, including champions of LGBTI equality, continue to fall behind in their commitments to equality for LGBTI people, while more governments take active measures to target LGBTI communities."  

May 17 is International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia, commemorating when the World Health Organization removed homosexuality from the Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems in 1990.

Business Insider has created 10 maps to visually represent just how much LGBTQ rights differ around the world and how far we have to go to full acceptance and equality.

Same-sex acts can still carry the death penalty in at least a dozen countries.

Same-sex activity can be a capital offense in Afghanistan, Brunei, Iran, Mauritania, Nigeria, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen. 


Some 68 countries still criminalize homosexuality, most of them majority-Muslim nations in the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and Africa.

Though considered taboo, homosexuality is not technically illegal in most of Indonesia. The province of Aceh, though, is governed by strict Sharia law and same-sex activity has been punished there by public canings.

Following President Trump's military ban, just 19 countries allow transgender people to serve openly in the Armed Forces.

The Netherlands was the first country to allow transgender people into the military, in 1974, according to CNN.

Thailand is one of the more recent countries to accept trans service members, but they're only allowed to serve in an administrative capacity.

Even where homosexuality is legal, there are laws in place that make living openly difficult.

In Russia, a federal law makes it illegal to distribute "propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations" to children.

Critics say it's so broad that it can be used to ban Pride parades and arrest people for even identifying as a member of the LGBTQ community on social media. 


Only 28 countries have legalized same-sex marriage.

Italy, Switzerland, Poland, and Greece are among the countries that do not recognize marriage equality.

The first country to recognize marriage equality was the Netherlands, in 2001.

In May 2019, Taiwan became the first country in Asia to recognize same-sex marriage. 

Brazil, Ecuador, and the tiny Mediterranean island nation of Malta are the only three countries to ban so-called conversion therapy.

In the US, 20 states — including New York, California, Massachusetts, Utah, Maryland, and Virginia — have banned therapy to seeks to change a minor's sexual orientation or gender identity.

Efforts are underway to prohibit the discredited practice nationwide, as well as in Canada, Chile, Mexico, Germany, and other countries. 

Only 5% of UN member states have provisions in their constitutions barring discrimination based on sexual orientation.

South Africa was the first country to include sexual orientation protections in its constitution, which it did in 1997.

More countries have made strides when it comes to tackling workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation.

In Africa, Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, South Africa, and Seychelles are among the countries that bar workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation. (Source: ILGA)

Few countries outside of Europe and the Americas allow same-sex couples to adopt children.

Israel, which does not allow same-sex marriage, does allow same-sex couples to adopt.

And in February 2020, the country's Supreme Court ruled that gay couples should be allowed access to surrogacy. The high court gave lawmakers one year to amend the current law.

A real estate investor who was able to retire at the age of 37 breaks down how he makes $15,000 a month in passive income


Real estate/suburbs

  • On a recent episode of the podcast "The Side Hustle Show," hosted by Nick Loper, real estate investor Dustin Heiner explained how he was able to retire at the age of 37 by investing in rental properties.
  • Heiner breaks down the steps investors should take before buying a new property, and how those rental properties can make them money. 
  • He stressed picking the right city and state, assembling the right team, and the importance of the $250 monthly passive income benchmark. 
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Dustin Heiner is a seasoned real estate investor who retired at the age of 37 and makes roughly $15,ooo a month in passive income from his rental properties. 

On a recent episode of the podcast "The Side Hustle Show," hosted by Nick Loper, Heiner revealed how he went from working in a local government office to working for himself, and laid out the steps investors should take before deciding where to buy property. 

Back in 2006, Heiner bought his first rental property in Ohio for $17,000 in cash. He explained on the podcast that in his first month of renting out a home, he made around $350 after expenses. That number would prove significant as Heiner began investing more and more.

In order to turn the side hustle into a full-time gig, he explained, he had to invest in more properties that gave him the same type of  monthly cash flow.

"If I were to multiply that out, one property is $300, 10 properties, oh my goodness, that's $3,000 a month. That is $36,000 a year." 

In 2016, he had around 26 properties, so he quit his day job and focused full-time on rental property investments. He said that today, he owns over 30 properties. 

Heiner admitted he was lucky with that first deal he found in Ohio. "I did everything wrong," he explained. However, over 10 years and many properties later, he said he had developed a system of steps he suggests everyone takes before making a new purchase.

First, pick the state you want to invest in

Once the state is decided, Heiner uses Zillow to do research on the cities within that state. He looks at highly populated cities with a lot of available properties, he explained. Then, once the city is narrowed down,  he looks at all the properties within that city to see if they meet his criteria. This means looking for a property that matches up with the amount of money set aside for the investment and high rental income rates.

"Here's a principle for everybody listening, you want to buy for $250 or more in passive income [a month] after every single expense," he said on the podcast.

The next thing to do is build the business

This step requires "finding the right people to actually run the business for us," Heiner explained. 

These people include the property managers, realtors, wholesalers, investors, insurance experts, and handypersons.

The most important hire, according to Heiner, is the property manager. He suggested interviewing at least six different property managers before narrowing in on one.

One time, Heiner explained, "I flew to Illinois, I went to Springfield, Illinois, a great town, a great place, but I literally could not find a good property manager."

While the town was great, he said he left emptyhanded because he wasn't able to secure a manager he trusted. When it comes to finding the right one, Heiner explained, there are three things to look for: someone with personality that meshes well with your own, someone who is trustworthy, and someone who is good at communication and doesn't take long to respond to phone calls.

"A big pro tip is to ask them, 'If you were to invest your money right now in this city, where would it be? Where would you buy?' Those are great key areas of where you should start looking," he said.

After the Illinois experience, Heiner said he realized he didn't need to fly places to build out a business there, he could do it remotely. 

"Now, I literally do everything remotely," he continued. "I found there's no need to actually fly to another city ever again to start in a brand new place." 

But the key to being able to stay remote is to have a solid team so that the business runs automatically and makes money every month. In fact, Heiner said this system allows him to work just 30 minutes a month.

Here's why $250 a month is an important benchmark

Making $50 or $100 a month off of a property is too little, according to Heiner.

"If you extrapolate that out, $100 a month is literally $1,200 a year. If you have one bad thing, like a roof go out, there goes your entire profit," he said.

Of course it is important to have savings set aside to cover things like repair expenses, but, at $100 a property, that doesn't leave a ton of money to live on, he explained.

If you only seek properties that are going to make you $250 or more, once all other expenses like capital expenses, repairs, and property management fees are paid for, then you will have a "life-changing business model," according to Heiner.

But the key here, of course, is to have multiple properties in different areas making you passive income each month. Not only will this bring in more money, but it will limit the risk of the investment. 

"I've literally not paid any money for my properties out of my pocket, I want to say for 10 years because I have so many properties now that make me so much money that if there are any issues with any of these properties, that is coming out of the rents I'm getting from the next month." 

Five other ways investors make money off of a rental property

Picking up properties at a discount means that when they are sold again, the sellers will realize the equity gains. This is called equity capture, Heiner explained.

"We're investors, if the property is worth $100,000, we're going to offer $78,000 and then work our way to were we're probably going to be settling for $85,000 or $88,000, so we're getting the value down," he continued.

Then, there's forced appreciation and market appreciation, which means an increase in property value either through renovations that increases the value or through a natural increase in value over time as the market goes up.

The other two ways to make money off of a rental property are tax advantages offered to investors and mortgage buydowns, which means the monthly rents from tenants cover the mortgage expenses. 

Heiner explained that he doesn't pay insurance, taxes, or property managers out of pocket. Those expenses are covered by the rents he collects from his tenants.

SEE ALSO: Here's how to navigate the generational divide that is shaping the 2020 housing market: Millennials are set to drive home sales but boomers are sitting it out

DON'T MISS: Mortgage rates are predicted to hit record lows by the end of 2020, but is it a buyer's or seller's market? Here's what you need to know if you're planning to buy or sell a home this year.

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: We tested a machine that brews beer at the push of a button

I sold private jet charter flights for a year. Here's the best way to book a flight on the exclusive aircraft.


private plane jet luxury

  • Private jets are expected to soon be in high demand after the pandemic subsides and travel rebounds, with private aviation firms preparing for an influx of the wealthy. 
  • Though there is a high cost in chartering a plane, the actual process of booking an entire aircraft is typically not complicated as long as the right questions are asked. 
  • Getting prices for and booking a private jet can be as simple as sending a few emails, DocuSigning a contract, and providing a credit card. 
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Flying on a private jet is often considering the pinnacle of luxury travel.

It's a status symbol not easily attainable due to its high associated costs. But for those who can afford it, the process of booking a private plane for charter is actually quite simple. 

Though it's not as easy as going online to buy an airline ticket, the process can be done with a few emails, a DocuSign, and a credit card for the most seasoned private flyers. With the industry is expected to boom in the next few months, according to CEOs from leading private jet firms in the US and Europe, more wealthy flyers are expected to head to the private terminal instead of the commercial first-class lounge. 

The private jet world, however, can be tricky as not all aircraft are created equal and the cheapest option isn't always the best option, especially when it comes to aviation. 

Here's what you need to know when booking a private jet flight. 

Finding the right private jet charter firm to utilize

Bombardier Global 6000 VistaJet

The process of booking a private jet may seem daunting to a first-timer but it's actually a simple process as long as you ask the right questions. Finding a private jet firm to utilize to is as easy as using Google to find one at a local airport and calling them up to request a flight quote. 

There are two types of private jet companies: operators and brokerages. Operators are the companies that physically maintain and fly the aircraft while brokerages are merely intermediaries between customers and operators.

If the flight is out of an airport where they have planes based, an operator will quote their aircraft but if unavailable or outside of their normal coverage zone, they can call up other operators to check availability and book off-fleet options for their clients. Brokers, on the other hand, solely rely on outside operators to provide the aircraft and often do not have a direct connection to the aircraft their working with.  

Choosing one is a matter of preference with some customers wanting to cut out the middle man by going straight to the operator and others not minding going through a broker. An operator can also act as a broker for a client if they don't have a plane available for a requested mission.

For more frequent travelers, prepaying for flights by purchasing a jet card, opting into a membership-based program, or purchasing fractional ownership in an aircraft can be beneficial in the long run. Those spending greater than $500,000 per year on flights should consider purchasing their own jet.

For occasional flyers, on-demand charter allows all the perks of flying private without a long-term investment. 

The process of finding the right aircraft

The Dassault Falcon 8X takes to the air at Le Bourget airport on June 19.

After calling an operator or brokerage, the following questions should be asked by the charter representative: where do you want to go, when do you want to depart and return, how many passengers do you have, what size aircraft are you looking for, how much luggage will you have, and what's your budget? 

The first two are simple as they are the basics of any trip but the rest will be key in ensuring the correct aircraft is chosen as one size does not fit all and the cheapest and smallest option is not always the best option.

The number of passengers may automatically determine the minimum required size of an aircraft. For example, when flying with nine people, a super mid-size aircraft will likely be required while a group of only two people can fit easily into a turboprop or light jet. 

Luggage is also a determining factor in the size of the aircraft as certain oversized items like golf clubs, skis, and large suitcases can't fit in every private jet. Unlike airliners, not all private aircraft have baggage holds and require luggage to be stored onboard the jet. 

If excessive luggage and large numbers of passengers aren't an issue, the size of the aircraft may not be important as most will often request the cheapest option, though some may prefer larger jets. Heavy jets, as they're known, are preferred especially on long-distance or overnight flights so there is more room to stretch out and sleep

Giving a budget upfront will also allow the charter representative to provide better-suited options.

Determining the safety level of each flight

Private jet COVID-19

Not all aircraft are operated at the same levels of safety as each operator has different standards for their pilots. To ensure a high-quality aircraft and crew in terms of safety, clients should ask for the safety ratings of the aircraft, crew, and operator that they're flying on. 

Safety ratings in private aviation are determined by two main companies, Argus and Wyvern. Having a rating from these companies means that a safety audit has been performed and that flight crews must meet a certain threshold to fly under certain safety ratings. 

Clients, at the very least, should be requesting two pilots for their flights that meet either Argus or Wyvern status. 

In the post-pandemic world, clients should also be asking how their aircraft are being cleaned to avoid contact with potential infectious pathogens. Some operators are taking special precautions to ensure a coronavirus-free flight.

Booking an aircraft and paying for the charter

private jet

Once all the information is conveyed on the desired trip and requested safety ratings, the charter representative will provide the client with options for different aircraft. The options will include the type of aircraft, the amenities offered such as WiFi, and the final price. 

After an aircraft is chosen, the client will be sent a contract to fill out agreeing to the terms and conditions of the flight and any cancellation or change policy imposed by the company. The signed contract, which can be done over e-signing software DocuSign in most cases, locks in the flight, and then it's up to the client to pay for the flight before the day of departure. 

Payment is usually done via wire transfer but can also be done via a credit card or check. The method typically depends on what the company is most comfortable with, especially with new clients. 

While putting a $25,000 charter on a credit card will net some serious cash back or points, a charge can be disputed potentially causing a headache for the company down the line. 

If any optional extras are requested including catering or ground transportation, they will be put on the final bill. 

What to expect on the day of the flight

teterboro airport

Once the trip is booked and an aircraft is assigned, the charter sales representative or broker will provide the client with an itinerary or trip sheet. The itinerary lists three important details: the tail number of the aircraft, the departure facility, and the departure time.

The tail number is used to identify which aircraft a charter group will be flying on. Unlike the airlines, private flights don't typically go by a flight number and the tail number is the primary method of identification.

The departure facility will often be a private terminal at an airport known as a Fixed Base Operator or FBO. Unlike commercial terminals, FBOs are typically small and act as a waiting room with lounges, chairs, bathrooms, and sometimes fun amenities including a popcorn machine or golf simulator in the more high-end locations.

The benefit of departing out of an FBO is that passengers can drive right up to the aircraft at most airports and have their car valeted. If arriving early, the facilities typically offer free parking and a short walk from the parking lot to the plane. 

Once inside, the passengers will give their tail number to the front desk representative who will then connect them with their pilots or flight crew. A line service technician will then take any baggage directly to the plane. They'll often expect a tip for the service but it's not required. 

After an identification check and quick pre-flight briefing, it's off to the races. 

Onboard the aircraft

private jet

The onboard experience largely depends on the type of aircraft, the optional extras ordered ahead of time, and if a cabin attendant is on board. Most aircraft will offer a complimentary self-serve offering of snacks and drinks including soft drinks and alcoholic beverages. 

If catering was ordered ahead of time, it will be displayed in the aircraft's galley for customers to indulge in. If a cabin attendant is on board, all food and drinks will be served directly to passengers. 

Pilots very seldom serve passengers as their primary responsibility is flying the aircraft. 

Entertainment depends on the aircraft with larger aircraft typically featuring DVD systems and audio systems to help pass the time. WiFi is available on most jet aircraft but if that is a must, passengers should stress that to the representative that arranges their flights. 

After the flight

Private Jet Snow

If passengers have transportation arranged ahead of time, the arrival FBO can typically arrange for it to be waiting plane-side, one of the benefits of private travel. A new trend for the wealthy, however, is just calling an Uber. 

Ensuring a clean aircraft is also the responsibility of the passenger as they may be charged if the aircraft requires professional cleaning. 

If the same plane is being used for the return flight, the flight crew may offer to give their personal information such as a phone number so that they can be contacted directly. While most changes will have to be done through the charter representative, having a pilot's phone number can be useful to let them know if a passenger will be late or early. 

Tip or no tip?

private plane jet

Private jet pilots typically do not expect a tip but, as with most service professions, any signs of appreciation are welcome. Though their job is to fly the plane, private aviation pilots are often performing tasks that aren't usually required of airline pilots. 

As the only on-the-ground representative of the charter company, pilots are the first line of defense when it comes to customer service and troubleshooting potential issues. Private jet pilots also often don't have a flight planning team behind them and conduct most pre-flight activities such as route planning and filing flight plans.

Put simply, these pilots work hard and a tip would be appreciated. 

SEE ALSO: Private jet industry CEOs say business will boom as the wealthy abandon airlines and reveal what they're doing now to take advantage

DON'T MISS: Private jet industry CEOs say 2 new planes coming out soon will change the business forever. See inside the Gulfstream G700 and Bombardier Global 7500.

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Pathologists debunk 13 coronavirus myths

How the coronavirus will permanently change business travel, according to 17 top executives


What's Next Business Travel 2x1

  • Travel — both for leisure and for business — has ground to a halt during the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Some executives are predicting that even after the pandemic subsides, they won't be traveling as much for work.
  • We spoke to more than a dozen chief executives who noted that work trips will likely be a thing of the past.
  • This feature is part of a series based on conversations with more than 200 CEOs on how business will be transformed by the coronavirus. To read more, click here
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

As business leaders look forward to a post-coronavirus future, the importance of business trips is one of many things they are being forced to reevaluate.

Some 445 million business trips are taken each year, according to Certify, a travel and expense report management company, which cited data from the Global Business Travel Association. Those trips cost companies an average of $949 per person on domestic travel and $2,600 per person on international travel.

Business Insider spoke to more than 200 chief executive officers about how the pandemic will reshape their business. Several CEOs mentioned they would be more selective about taking work trips in the future, while some said the flexibility of videoconferencing has convinced them that traveling for business is unnecessary.

Overall, many echoed each other in saying that the pandemic has taught them that traveling for business is not as essential or as valuable as they previously thought. 

Here's what they had to say.

Interviews conducted by Dan DeFrancesco, Bradley Saacks, Madeline Stone, Shana Lebowitz, Sean Czarnecki, Rosalie Chan, Andrew Dunn, Thomas Pallini, Jeremy Berke, Alex Nicoll, Troy Wolverton, Caroline Hroncich, Patrick Coffee, and Matt DeBord.

SEE ALSO: Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky predicts a wildly different future of travel and living, and it sounds pretty great

Terry Duffy, chairman and CEO of CME Group: 'We will need to be more creative, rethinking old ways of doing business and developing new ones that fit this new reality.'

The way we meet as an industry and with our market participants will undoubtedly shift based on travel restrictions and a lower appetite for large gatherings. There will still be times when the industry will need to come together in person. I look forward to the day when there is a vaccine so that will be possible.

In the meantime, we will need to be more creative, rethinking old ways of doing business and developing new ones that fit this new reality. In addition, as more investment is made in online meeting tools, I expect these new platforms may well elevate virtual conferences to a whole new level.

As told to Dan DeFrancesco.

Luke Ellis, CEO of Man Group: 'There will be more selectivity around which meetings require travel.'

I think there will be more selectivity around which meetings require travel and which can be done via video — both internally and with clients and companies, and also who needs to travel.

As told to Bradley Saacks.

Dave Burwick, president and CEO of The Boston Beer Company: 'We expect to be traveling less on planes and not interacting with large groups of people.'

For the craft beer industry, we have a long road ahead. Re-opening of states will be fractured, complex and challenging. Bars and restaurants, including our own Tap Rooms, will have a slow return to a new "normal." That means we have to re-evaluate how we call on and support our customers, and how we work together.

We'll continue to rely on technology and new thinking to perform our jobs. And at least until there's a vaccine, we expect to be traveling less on planes and not interacting with large groups of people.

As told to Madeline Stone.

Chris Nassetta, president and CEO of Hilton: 'I've also heard from countless guests who are eager to travel again but whose expectations are changing.'

As the focus on health and well-being increases, so too have our on-property hygiene standards and cleaning protocols. Hilton is already leaning on our industry-leading technology like Digital Key to provide a seamless, contactless experience for our guests. I've also heard from countless guests who are eager to travel again but whose expectations are changing, so we are creating a new standard of hotel cleanliness and elevating our hygiene practices from check-in to check-out.

Our hotels become part of the fabric of our communities, often serving as the gathering point for cherished cultural events and business meetings alike. That will endure through this pandemic and beyond, though likely with some adjustments. As wedding receptions, business meetings and social gatherings return, the way our Team Members deliver food and beverage service will also change. We can expect the demand for buffet and communal dining to change, and the opportunity for personalized, one-on-one service to increase.

As told to Shana Lebowitz.

Donna Imperato, CEO of BCW Global: 'I don't think it was necessary to spend all that time to get the same outcome.'

We finished a pitch recently where we spent so much time traveling people all over the world and it was drawn out over months. It required so much of my senior people's time. Even though we won a good portion of it, I don't think it was necessary to spend all that time to get the same outcome.

Trying to get all the same people in the same room on the client side is always difficult. So yes, I do think that more clients will be doing that.

As told to Sean Czarnecki.

Carolyn Childers, CEO of Chief: 'This flexibility will benefit employees and leaders alike by boosting team morale.'

If productivity and connectedness are not impacted, remote work flexibility should be here to stay. This flexibility will benefit employees and leaders alike by boosting team morale (remote work is a widely sought after employee benefit), saving on travel costs and potentially rent, and increasing access to new, diverse talent pools beyond the city in which any company is based.

As told to Shana Lebowitz.

Scott Farquhar, cofounder and co-CEO of Atlassian: 'Business travel will be looked at with a more critical eye, and hygiene standards will certainly go up.'

I don't have a crystal ball, but I predict that when we return to normalcy (or as close as we can get), the world will become far more tolerant of remote workers. We will keep what worked, like collaborating on tools like Zoom, Slack, and Atlassian, and revert back to processes that we never could nail while working apart.

Business travel will be looked at with a more critical eye, and hygiene standards will certainly go up.

As told to Rosalie Chan. 

Paul Hudson, CEO of Sanofi: 'The one-business meeting trip will disappear.'

It is also clear — and I will lead by example — that the one-business meeting trip will disappear. People will be more comfortable with virtual meeting solutions and travel will become something we do when it's absolutely necessary and efficient.

As told to Andrew Dunn.

Reshma Kewalramani, president and CEO of Vertex Pharmaceuticals: 'I see the world becoming bigger again. We will have to adjust to the new normal.'

The world had become a very small place. Until recently, it was not unusual for a businessperson to travel across the Atlantic to meet a customer, or for a student to study abroad for a semester or for an entire four years, or for a consumer to walk into a grocery store and purchase cheese from France or pasta from Italy. 

I see that changing. I see the world becoming bigger again. We will have to adjust to the new normal.

As told to Andrew Dunn.

Thomas Flohr, CEO of VistaJet: 'This was a big shock to the entire world, and now health is at the forefront.'

Our client base, which are the chairmen and CEOs of significant companies, they still need to go and be with their companies. They need to go and see their customers and that's where we've seen over and again that business is done between human beings and it's that travel which we believe should rebound first.

However, over the long term, we believe that the safety, healthiness, carefulness of the health situation of every single person will change the behavior of the entire world. This was a big shock to the entire world, and now health is at the forefront, and we at Vista are doing the maximum possible to allow our client base to fly safely and healthy from A to B. 

As told to Thomas Pallini.

Doug Ingram, CEO of Sarepta Therapeutics: 'It may be the case that we can do less travel, but we can get more done.'

Look, crises are horrible. Nobody wants a crisis, but you know, as I've stolen a line from someone else many times internally, to the point of annoying my people, which is: Don't let a good crisis go to waste. There is a clarifying aspect to crises. 

And, and as we go back into work, even if the pandemic itself is not driving a lack of travel, I think that we get a clarity from the crisis. And it may be the case that we can do less travel, but we can get more done, travel less, that we're more thoughtful about what the live meetings need to be ... and not need to be.

As told to Jeremy Berke.

Ryan Gorman, CEO of Coldwell Banker: 'I will touch more people but possibly travel less than I did before.'

Before coronavirus I had a goal of being with between 500 and 1,000 of our people every week, four to five cities every week. I love it, loved understanding viscerally and personally what was going on throughout the company.

In the future, I'll be able to leverage technology to be able to touch more people more efficiently without having to travel to as many cities every week. It's become more acceptable, it's become more personal with video. I will touch more people but possibly travel less than I did before.

As told to Alex Nicoll.

Magued Eldaief, CEO of Prescient: 'Everyone now has to think about no travel.'

Everyone now has to think about no travel and cutting down on a lot of costs. Could that be the new normal?

As told to Alex Nicoll.

Brian Chesky, CEO of Airbnb: 'We used to do a lot of travel for work and then we entertained ourselves on screens. That's going to inverse.'

No one knows for sure [how the crisis will change the travel industry], but I can give you two thoughts.

First, when the comeback starts, it will start locally. People are going to take trips that are close to home and they're going to want something affordable.

Second, I think we're seeing that you can do a lot [via] video conferencing, and that's going to have a big impact on how often people travel for work. Business travel isn't going to go away, but I think it's going to look very different in the future.

We used to do a lot of travel for work and then we entertained ourselves on screens. That's going to inverse. I think we'll work more on screens and entertain ourselves in the real world.

I also think many people are realizing they don't have to be tethered to one city. So you'll see more people who are going to choose to live around the world, spending a few months at a time in different places. And we're going to focus in part on longer-term stays to better serve those people.

I've also been thinking about what won't change. In 1950, 25 million people crossed a border, and last year 1.4 billion people did. That happened because there is an innate human desire to travel, to explore and that is never going to go away. Travel may be on pause, but it's going to come back.

As told to Troy Wolverton.

David Hunt, CEO of Prudential Global Investment Management: 'The model we are in now is faster, more efficient, lower cost, and has a lower impact on the environment.'

While we will certainly need to go back to servicing and seeing clients in person, for many types of interactions, we expect parts of the current environment will remain. The model we are in now is faster, more efficient, lower cost, and has a lower impact on the environment. There is a lot that is attractive about technology enhanced interactions.

As told to Caroline Hroncich.

Mark Read, CEO of WPP: 'There's no doubt we will fly less, meet more by video.'

At WPP, there's no doubt we will fly less, meet more by video. But there will also be more fundamental changes in the way we work — faster, more agile and more collaboratively. 

As told to Patrick Coffee.

Henrik Fisker, chairman and CEO of Fisker Inc.: 'We have realized we can do more meetings without having to fly.'

We have realized we can do more meetings without having to fly, so we will look at implementing ways to cut down travel if it's too expensive and do digital meetings instead.

As told to Matt DeBord.

The owner of a Hamptons spa resort is offering to rent out the entire hotel for $1.25 million to one person this summer after bookings collapsed. Here's a look inside.


spa hotel

  • Amy Cherry-Abitbol, owner of a resort and spa in the Hamptons, decided to put the property on the market as a single rental for the entire summer (from Memorial Day through Labor Day) for $1.25 million.
  • People stopped booking rooms at Shou Sugi Ban House because of the coronavirus pandemic.
  • The property has 13 private guest studios, each with its own private entrance and garden patio.
  • Hotel amenities include outdoor hydrotherapy plunge pools, an infrared sauna, and a solarium roof deck.
  • There's also the option for other "add-ons," like access to a fleet of three Teslas.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

The coronavirus pandemic has devastated the hospitality sector, and some business owners are getting creative in order to stay afloat.

Amy Cherry-Abitbol, the owner of the Shou Sugi Ban House resort and spa in the ritzy Montauk area of the Hamptons, saw bookings decline over COVID-19 concerns. Ahead of the typically busy Hamptons summer season, Cherry-Abitbol opted to put the whole hotel on the market as a single rental — $1.25 million for the entire season, from Memorial Day through Labor Day.

According to the hotel's website, a single night's stay during the first weekend of August typically costs $1,250.

The property is listed with John Vitello of Brown Harris Stevens.

Here's a look inside this "social distancing" getaway for the ultrawealthy.

SEE ALSO: Take a look inside the Hamptons mansion that an NYC businessman, who's fleeing the city because of the coronavirus, is renting for nearly $2 million for the summer

DON'T MISS: The demand for rentals in the Hamptons is so huge right now that one couple is paying $10,000 a month for a renovated 'fisherman's shack' — and that's on the low end of the price range

Located in the Montauk area of the Hamptons on Long Island, the Shou Sugi Ban House is a resort and spa available to rent for $1.25 million.

Per the listing agent, the $1.25 million rental price covers Memorial Day through Labor Day. Alternatively, the resort can be rented monthly: $300,000 for the month of June, $450,000 for the month of July, and $450,000 for the month of August.

Source: Brown Harris Stevens

The property includes 13 private guest studios.

Source: Brown Harris Stevens

Each studio comes with its own private entrance ...

Source: Brown Harris Stevens

... a garden patio ...

Source: Brown Harris Stevens

... a fireplace, and a soaking tub.

Source: Brown Harris Stevens

The rental also includes access to the fully-operational spa.

Source: Brown Harris Stevens

The spa has a variety of high-end features, including outdoor hydrotherapy plunge pools ...

Source: Brown Harris Stevens

... a swimming pool, a steam room, a sauna, an ice fountain ...

Source: Brown Harris Stevens

... and a solarium roof deck.

Source: Brown Harris Stevens

The landscape features Japanese-inspired gardens, trees, and fountains.

Source: Brown Harris Stevens

There's a sprawling nearly 6,000-square-foot central barn building ...

Source: Brown Harris Stevens

The "barn" includes a conference center, a library, a chef's kitchen and dining area ...

Source: Brown Harris Stevens

... and even a "tea bar."

Source: Brown Harris Stevens

There is also an open-air fitness pavilion.

Its gym is fully equipped and even includes a ballet bar.

Source: Brown Harris Stevens

Meditation and movement classes can also be made available, upon request.

Other private program options include nutrition education classes and "healing arts" treatments, both available to renters upon request.

Source: Brown Harris Stevens

If that's not enough to keep you entertained, other add-on options include access to a fleet of three Teslas, a Chris Craft picnic boat, and a tennis court.

Source: Brown Harris Stevens

Perhaps the most notable feature available to the renter is an in-house culinary team, which is led by a Michelin-starred chef.

According to the listing, the in-house culinary team has the ability to source local and organic foods, and to fulfill other nutritional requests. The team collaborates seasonally with local farms.

Source: Brown Harris Stevens

The Shou Sugi Ban House is the latest multi-room vacation property to be made available for a single-renter buyout amid the pandemic.

Business Insider previously reported that other hotels in the New York tri-state area have made themselves available to be rented by a single party, for ultrawealthy people who want to social distance in maximum comfort.

The Blantyre Country Resort in the Berkshires, for example, was available for a buyout for $38,000 a day, while the 14-bedroom Cape Arundel Inn in Kennebunkport, Maine, was similarly up for rent for $19,500 a week, CNN Travel reported in late March.

Source:Business Insider

The 10 best whiskey brands you need to try, according to 2 renowned experts


heather greene.

  • For people new to drinking whiskey, it might seem overwhelming to know where to start and how to understand the differences between popular whiskey brands.
  • But expert Heather Greene said that "there are no hard rules" when it comes to enjoying the age-old spirit.
  • You can drink whiskey any way you want, whether neat, on the rocks, or elevated in a classic cocktail like an Old Fashioned or a Manhattan.
  • If you prefer a smokey alcohol, you might try a peated Scotch or a spicy rye; if you want something on the sweeter side, go for an American bourbon with more citrus and vanilla notes.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Many people may associate whiskey with men in old movies, who usually drink the liquor straight up. Today's top whiskey experts, however, are a far cry from that stereotype, and are working to make whiskey drinking less intimidating and more available for beginners. 

"I would love to tell you there are hard fast rules, but there aren't anymore. There's no 'all Scotch tastes like this' anymore," whiskey expert Heather Greene told Business Insider. "If I had to make one big generalization — and it's risky to say this — as to what differentiates American whiskey, it's that since American whiskey must be aged in new oak wood casks, it has a bigger vibrant and robust wood flavor that's slightly maple and sweet."

In contrast, Scotch, Irish, and Japanese whiskies are typically aged in old oak casks (often those first used by American whiskey makers), which Greene said can make them "more seasoned, subtle, and mellowed out. Think of it as the second or third dunk of a tea bag, whereas American whiskey is like the first dunk."

In American whiskey, bourbon (made from mash that is at least 51% corn) tends to be more sweet with hints of caramel, rye (made from mash that is at least 51% rye) is more spicy and herbal, and whiskies with a higher wheat or barley content are more earthy and nutty. 

Beyond that, there are an endless options for specific ways to make and mature whiskey, and even more freedom in how to enjoy them.

Greene has been in the whiskey industry for nearly 20 years and is the author of "Whiskey Distilled: A Populist Guide to the Water of Life." She first worked in Scotland as an ambassador for the iconic Glenfiddich Distillery, and later studied regional whiskey-making in Japan. After moving to New York, Greene lent her expertise to many whiskey-centric bars and was the sommelier at the Flatiron Room in New York. She is currently the CEO of Milam & Greene, a whiskey distillery in Blanco, Texas.

Susan Reigler Photo

Susan Reigler is a world-renowned bourbon expert, life-long Kentuckian, and former president of the Bourbon Women Association. She worked as a restaurant critic and had a weekly spirits column in the Louisville Courier Journal through the bourbon renaissance of the 1990s — "before bourbon became really cool again," she said. Reigler has written multiple books on bourbon essentials and the history of whiskey in the US, and continues to give talks and hold private tastings. Her upcoming release, coauthored with fellow connoisseur Peggy Noe Stevens and called  "Which Fork do I Use with My Bourbon?" is all food pairings and bourbon-centric parties.

In no particular order, these are their top 13 picks.

SEE ALSO: 15 bourbons that should be on your radar, according to 3 bourbon experts

READ MORE: 16 easy cocktails to try during quarantine, according to influencers, bartenders, and people who can send alcohol straight to your door

1. Old Forester Rye Whiskey

Kentucky distillery Old Forester makes both rye and bourbon whiskey. The original Old Forester is one of Reigler's favorites for making cocktails. "They started making this in 1870, and it's very characteristic," Reigler told Business Insider, "It has caramel notes, and fruity hints of banana and citrus."

Reigler also recommends the 1910 expression, a newer release, which she explained is "aged in a second barrel that is charred to the point that it would fall apart, if not for the iron bands. It's really smokey, with a lovely chocolate note."

2. Catoctin Creek Roundstone Rye

Another distillery that Reigler recommends for rye is Catoctin Creek, located in Virginia. 

"Rye is generally a bit spicier and more herbal than bourbon," Reigler explained. "Think of the scent of rye grass or caraway seeds. They have a peppery character, and some also have a lot of caramel."

3. Colkegan American Single Malt

Colkagen American Single Malt is produced by Santa Fe Spirits in New Mexico. "It's a single malt whiskey that's made from a 100% barley mash, and is smoked using mesquite wood," Reiger said, which gives it a smooth, nutty flavor profile.

4. Westland Peated Single Malt

Westland Distillery in Seattle, Washington, also makes a single malt whiskey that Reigler recommends. It's a unique five-malt barley mix consisting of Westland's original Washington Select Pale Malt, Munich Malt, Extra Special Malt, Pale Chocolate Malt, and Brown Malt.

This Single Malt is also a peated whiskey, meaning the malt is dried and smoked over a peat fire. It's flavor profile is described by the distillery as "smoldering moss, flamed orange peel, roasted plantains, campfire, iodine, roasted pistachios, and green herbs."

5. Johnny Drum Private Stock

This is a small batch, straight (i.e., aged a minimum of three years) bourbon from Willett Distillery. "It's 101 proof, has a strong brown sugar note, very smooth drinking, and makes a fabulous Old Fashioned," said Reigler. Willett Distillery also describes this bourbon as having hints of "sour apple, vanilla, and oak."

6. E.H. Taylor Single Barrel Bottled in Bond Bourbon

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E.H. Taylor Bottled in Bond can be "hard to find outside of Kentucky," Reigler said. She recommends the Single Barrel for people who prefer a more light-bodied whiskey. The most prominent flavors are maple, honey, and wood, with a touch of darker, peppery spices. 

"Bourbon is generally on the sweeter side of whiskies, just as corn is sweeter than rye. Think about corn bread compared to rye bread, or even white bread. They also get a nice, vanilla sweetness from the charred oak wood barrels," Reigler said.

7. J. Henry & Sons

Reigler recommends J. Henry & Sons Distillery as a reliable choice for a variety of whiskey options. They are a family-owned farm located in Wisconsin, and use a unique "4-grain mash bill" for all of their bourbons made up of "60% Red Heirloom Corn, 14% Heirloom Winter Wheat, 14% Heirloom Spooner Rye, and 12% Malted barley." 

"Many bourbons are over 70% corn, then filled in with rye, wheat, or malted barley," said Reigler. Given J. Henry & Sons' slightly lower corn content, she said these bourbons have a pleasant sweetness that is well balanced by the nutty wheat and spicy rye.

8. Glenmorangie Nectar D'Or

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Greene says she doesn't pick favorite whiskies, but for those dabbling in Scotch, she does recommend trying the spirits from Glenmorangie. "They've been around a long time and their spirits have awesome wood finishes, that have a real beauty about them," Greene said. "I love the Nectar D'Or, especially on the rocks, during summer and springtime."

9. Suntory Whiskey Toki

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For Japanese whiskey, Greene recommends the Suntory Whiskey Toki, which is a very light, sun-colored whiskey. The distillery describes this expression as having notes of "green apple, honey, grapefruit, thyme, vanilla, white pepper, and ginger."

10. Red, Yellow, and Green Spot Irish Whiskeys

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For Irish whiskey, Greene suggested three Spot Whiskeys made by Irish Distillers that come in different expressions called Red, Yellow, and Green. Each expression is matured differently.

The Green Spot whiskey is made in small batches in "a combination of ex-bourbon casks as well as ex-sherry butts for between seven and 10 years," she said. It has a spicy flavor palate of cloves, toasted oak, and fruity green apple.

The Yellow Spot whiskey is left for at least 12 years in used bourbon casks, sherry butts, and Malaga casks, Greene explained. Malaga casks are most often used for aging sherry, which leaves notes of "sweet honey, peaches, and cream" in this expression.

The Red Spot whiskey is matured for more than 15 years in American Bourbon casks, Spanish sherry butts, and Sicilian Marsala wine casks, said Greene. These casks create darker flavors including cooked fruit, black cherry, red and black pepper, and oak.

There's no right or wrong way to enjoy whiskey

"With a higher proof whiskey, I recommend adding an ice cube or splash of water," said Reigler. It's a popular myth that this ruins the bourbon, she said, but it actually releases more aromatics because it takes away some of the heat.

"Before the internet, I wrote about how Booker Noe drank his bourbon with with a splash of Evian water," Reigler said of the legendary master distiller of Jim Beam. "People were in uproar, but that's the way he drank it."

She also cites Mike Veach, a fellow bourbon historian, who drinks what she said he calls "book bourbons."

"He adds an ice cube to his bourbon and lets it sit. He takes the first sip, reads a chapter of a book, then tries another sip, and so on. This allows an evolution of flavors, to see how the bourbon opens up when it is aerated," said Reigler.

It's now more important than ever to support local distilleries

Although distilleries and tasting rooms are closed to the public due to the coronavirus pandemic, many whiskey makers are offering local delivery options, such as Mountain Laurel Spirits that make Dad's Hat Pennsylvania Rye Whiskey and Kings County Distillery in New York.

"It's a really important time to support local craft distillery," said Greene. "These are businesses in your community, and the people who are making sanitizer for first responders. Go online and find five different craft distillers that are nearby you, and buy from them. These distillers will survive based on local consumers supporting them."

A survival guide for reopening hotels says bars and buffets should remain closed for at least 6 months


FILE PHOTO: The window curtains are uniformily closed at a Hyatt hotel that is completely closed to guests during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Washington, U.S. May 8, 2020. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

  • The coronavirus pandemic has hit the hospitality industry incredibly hard. 
  • Many hotel operators are starting to look toward the future and wondering what's next. 
  • Streetsense, a strategy and design firm, crafted a "hotel survival guide" with recommendations for reopening hotels. 
  • It recommends bringing services back in phases, with some things like bars and buffets not returning for six to 18 months. 
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

As the US continues its reopening process, hotels are plotting what the road ahead might look like for them. 

The hospitality industry has been among the hardest-hit by the coronavirus pandemic. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on May 8 that about 7.7 million jobs were lost in leisure and hospitality in April, representing about 47% of the total industry. About 839,000 of those jobs were in accommodations. 

Additionally, a report issued by the American Hotel and Lodging Association on April 22 said that 2020 is expected to be the worst year on record when it comes to hotel occupancy, according to CBRE estimates. 

Streetsense, a Washington, DC-based strategy and design firm, made a "hotel survival guide" with recommendations for hotel operators as they start to look towards the future.

Many hotels, forced to close in response to restrictions and nearly nonexistent demand, are restarting from zero. Some hotels have served as lodging for healthcare workers and others affected by the pandemic for the last several months. 

"As you think about going from a dead stop to reopening, how do you get it so you're not hemorrhaging money?" Jay Coldren, Streetsense's managing director for eat and drink, told Business Insider.  

A key part of this, Streetsense writes in its guide, will be understanding how consumers' thinking will have changed as they emerge from coronavirus lockdowns. 

"Small lapses in cleanliness, staff grooming, organization, and practicing social distancing will be met with greater scrutiny than ever, and disapproving guests will perceive your offering as unsafe," the firm wrote. "Returning to market with your safety and sanitation processes writ large is crucial for your relaunch." 

Travelers will also be less likely to tolerate crowded spaces, and they might prefer to vacation in a destination that they can get to by car rather than by train or plane. 

Keeping these predictions in mind, Streetsense recommends that hotels take a phased approach to reopening. Front desk, housekeeping, and security services could come back right away, for example, but hotels may want to wait an additional six to 18 months before bringing back bars, buffets, and spas.

Even when those services could come back, Streetsense recommends implementing social distancing measures. 

Streetsense's recommended timelines project outwards from the pandemic's onset. 

streetsense hotel survival guide

The recommendations are aimed at independent hotels as many larger hotel chains have issued guidelines that its operators are expected to follow.

Another key reason for the firm's recommending a phased reopening is the financial burden of keeping people on staff. 

"When you're at 30% occupancy, can you afford all these people?" Coldren said. "As your occupancy grows and the money comes back, how can you create a more full service experience for your hotel?"

Coldren said it's important to note that every hotel is different, and each operator will have to make the decision that's right for their property. 

"We think that the guests coming back will be very flexible with their expectations. And I don't think that hotels need to feel the need to behave exactly as they have in the past," he said, adding that people likely won't want to be crowding into tight fitness centers or lay out on packed pool decks anytime soon. 

Read Streetsense's full hotel survival guide here

SEE ALSO: Business trips could become a thing of the past as the pandemic pushes CEOs to ask themselves what warrants a flight and what could've been a Zoom call

Join the conversation about this story »

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This Boeing 737 Max private jet interior design looks more like a futuristic spaceship than it does a private jet


Boeing Genesis Cabin

  • Boeing unveiled a design concept for its 737 Max aircraft shortly before its grounding that upends traditional aircraft interior designs. 
  • The Genesis concept was designed by Argentinian firm SkyStyle and introduces a futuristic look to the aircraft's interior, incorporating technology in the furnishings.
  • Five passenger compartments are included in the concept including a galley, dining area, living room, office space, and master bedroom, as well as a master bathroom. 
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Boeing's line of private jets is reserved for a special kind of wealthy. Known as Boeing Business Jets, or BBJs for short, they're the private jet equivalent of airliners.

With sticker prices for the cheapest just shy of $100 million, even the average millionaire likely couldn't afford to have one in their stable.

Notable owners of the converted jets include Tony Robbins with his newest private jet, a BBJ 737, and President Donald Trump, who flew on a Boeing 757 filled with gold-plating before being elected president. When the super-rich buy an aircraft of Boeing's size, the process of designing the interior is comparable more to decorating a home as they seek to personalize the jet. 

Owners of the jets frequently turn to design firms to craft the intricate interiors of their homes away from home. While there's no shortage of luxurious ideas, one firm teamed up with Boeing for a new futuristic design that for its 737 Max aircraft that looks more like a science fiction spaceship than it does a private jet. 

Take a closer look at the Genesis concept by Argentina's SkyStyle. 

SEE ALSO: See inside the the world's largest private jet: a Boeing 747 with an interior so large it took 4 years to design and build

DON'T MISS: An airline is offering Tony Robbins' Boeing 737 private jet featuring an onboard shower for charter. Take a look inside.

The new interior was destined for the Boeing 737 Max aircraft, the newest narrow-body jet to come from the American manufacturer.

While traditional concepts for aircraft interiors are traditional and light...

Argentina-based design firm SkyStyle's concept is very space-age with enhanced use of onboard technology and LED lights integrated into the furnishings that complement new design features.

Source: Robb Report and Runway Girl Network

The layout is anything but ordinary, departing from traditional configurations and incorporating wavy lines into the layout. Still, there's room for five compartments including a galley, dining area, living room, office, and bedroom.

Source: Runway Girl Network

SkyStyle's concept takes full advantage of the benefit that Boeing's jets have over its Gulfstream, Bombardier, Dassault, and Embraer competitors, which is and will always be an abundance of open space.

Even the smallest of Boeing's narrow-bodies feature more space than most know what to do with, creating endless possibilities for their owners. After all, the jets were designed for airline customers and intended to fit as many people as possible.

Open concept is also a key feature of the design but strategically placed pillars contain foldable barriers to offer on-demand privacy when needed, whether it be for an important meeting or just a getaway from the other passengers.

Source: KiPcreating

Even the partition that separates the galley and dining room can be opened and the countertop moved between the galley island and dining room table to easily transport meals between the two sections.

Source: KiPcreating

"From an aviation designer's perspective, the BBJ Max is incredibly appealing because there is so much more interior space to realize one's vision," SkyStyle co-founder Max Pardo said in a press release. "Since the Max flies ultra-long-distances, the owners are looking for a comfortable lounge, multi-function conference area and a large master suite."

Source: Boeing

The aircraft is also large enough to house a large bedroom with a king-size bed and opposite wardrobe.

The star-shaped LED lights in the ceilings also give the appearance of sleeping under the stars while flying directly under them in the upper altitudes.

Source: Robb Report 

And like most Boeing private jets, a full shower can be installed to further make it into a home-like environment.

This particular interior is intended to mirror a tropical beach landscape but like the aircraft's other features, the color palette is customizable.

A desert-inspired design can also be installed incorporating the colors of the region.

The Middle East is a large market for Boeing's private jets, including the largest private jet in the world, the Boeing 747-8i.

Read More: See inside the the world's largest private jet: a Boeing 747 with an interior so large it took 4 years to design and build

The onboard technology is also customizable to Arabic or any other language that the end-user prefers.

While the design isn't the most luxurious, it offers an ultra-modern alternative to traditional configurations not currently found on most aircraft.

The concept, unfortunately, may not see the skies any time soon as the Max jets are grounded indefinitely. But previous-generation 737 jet owners can opt for the interior.

Here's how the largest housing markets in California performed in April


San Francisco

  • Using data from Zillow, the largest real estate listing platform in the US, Business Insider determined which metro areas saw a drop in prices in April, and which metro areas saw an increase in prices.
  • Of the 100 largest metro areas listed, 10 are located in California, and the state of the April median listing price in each varies.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

The coronavirus outbreak brought most housing markets around the US to a halt by mid March. While some major markets are preparing to open up again, almost all were operating under strict stay-at-home orders during the month of April.

These restrictions forced prospective buyers and eager sellers to turn to virtual tours as an alternative way to shop and advertise homes. But despite the use of applications like Zoom and FaceTime, the upward momentum the industry experienced in the beginning of 2020 reversed its course as a result of the pandemic.

In fact, in the last week of March, new listings were down 36.9% from the same time last year. And by mid-April, that decline had spiked to nearly 50%, according to a report by Redfin. Home prices fell in some markets, too, but not by nearly the same percentage. 

Using data from Zillow that analyzed the largest 100 metro areas in the US, Business Insider found that those located in California saw a mix of increases and decreases in the median listing price from April 3 to May 3. 

Keep reading to see how the largest metro areas in California performed in the month of April, ranked from the highest median listing price decrease to the highest increase.

SEE ALSO: Millennials and baby boomers were both expected to shake up the housing market in 2020. Here's how the pandemic has changed the market for both generations — and why boomers are likely to emerge the winners.

DON'T MISS: Somehow rents went up in Manhattan in April, the deadliest month of the coronavirus pandemic. Here's what it means.

The median listing price in the Stockton metro area saw a month-over-month decrease of 2.3%.

Median listing price: $428,551

The median listing price in the Sacramento metro area saw a month-over-month decrease of 1.3%.

Median listing price: $519,638

The median listing price in the San Diego metro area saw a month-over-month decrease of 1.1%.

Median listing price: $749,810

The median listing price in the San Jose metro area saw a month-over-month decrease of 0.8%.

Median listing price: $1,167,354

The median listing price in the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim metro area saw a month-over-month decrease of 0.7%.

Median listing price: $865,915

The median listing price in the Ventura metro area saw a month-over-month decrease of 0.5%.

Median listing price: $791,377

The median listing price Riverside metro area saw a month-over-month increase of 0.4%.

Median listing price: $424,623

The median listing price in the Fresno metro area saw a month-over-month increase of 1.2%.

Median listing price: $354,256

The median listing price in the San Francisco metro area saw a month-over-month increase of 1.4%.

Median listing price: $904,188

The median listing price in the Bakersfield metro area saw a month-over-month increase of 1.5%.

Median listing price: $274,870

ESPN's 'The Last Dance' really just proves that Michael Jordan is the GOAT of image management


Michael Jordan

  • After spending much of the years since his 2003 retirement out of the public eye, Michael Jordan has returned with a vengeance in the ESPN documentary "The Last Dance."
  • The series can feel like a Jordan greatest-hits album, which can leave it feeling more like an exercise in brand management than examination of sports history.
  • Incidents involving former teammates such as Steve Kerr and opponents such as Gary Payton are covered, but always in the context of Jordan as the ultimate winner.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

In a televised-sports climate ravaged by the coronavirus pandemic, one series unmistakably stands out as the champion: ESPN's "The Last Dance," a massive 10-part documentary about Michael Jordan's reign of NBA championships with the Chicago Bulls, especially his last one. 

The extent to which the series has dominated the sports conversation represents a triumph of marketing for its main character, who left the sport widely acknowledged as its greatest-ever player. For instance, during a time with essentially no other sports programming available, the series' opening episodes smashed the record for highest-rated ESPN documentary ever, at 6.1 million viewers, compared to a previous high of 3.6 million for a 2012 program. It held strong in subsequent episodes.

It's a surprising turnabout as Jordan has largely avoided the spotlight since he last played in 2003, even despite becoming the first former player to own a team and the first to claim a personal fortune of at least $1 billion.

To much of the under-30 millennial generation and the younger basketball fans in Gen Z, Michael Jordan is best known as a meme, or as the namesake of a Nike brand. (That meme was so synonymous with Jordan that in a rare pre-"Last Dance" public appearance, giving remarks at Kobe Bryant's funeral, he joked through tears that he was providing a brand-new meme opportunity.)

"The Last Dance" is changing all that, running like a greatest-hits album of Jordan's undefeated run of six championships in the 1990s. Not only is it a marker thrown down in the "GOAT debate," but it's an excellent exercise in Jordan mythology management.

And that may be the problem.


'The Last Dance' as a phenomenal exercise in brand management.

The theory that "The Last Dance" was intended as image management was floated before the series aired, by Bill Simmons, the former longtime ESPN columnist and current Editor in Chief of sports and pop culture website The Ringer.

As the 10-part series has advanced, criticism has grown that it neglects certain aspects of the story that are less flattering to the legend of Jordan as the greatest-ever basketball player.

For instance, on the May 14 episode of the "House of Strauss" podcast, hosted by The Athletic's NBA reporter Ethan Strauss, guest star Beckley Mason from Bleacher Report said there's a certain "lack of truth in how this story is being told." Instead of an objective piece of sports journalism, he said it's more like the "best telling of the fairy tales you grew up with."

Mason noted that Jordan's role as a producer for the series goes unmentioned in its credits and that, as Insider has reported, the scenes of Jordan only appear to be filmed in his home but he actually refused to grant the filmmaker that access. Also, the series' director, Jason Hehir, told Insider that it was agreed upon that Jordan would have a chance to respond to things said in the other 105 interviews conducted for the documentary.

(Although Jordan does not have a producing credit, the series was produced in association with his company, Jump 23, and some of his business associates are listed as executive producers, namely, Estee Portnoy and Curtis Polk. ESPN confirmed that Jordan is not a producer on the project.)

There is an admission of bias by Mason, a fan of the now-defunct Seattle Supersonics, who the series depicted losing to Jordan's Bulls in the 1996 Finals. But still, Mason maintained, important facts about that year's playoffs that challenge Jordan's dominance were "completely elided" from the documentary, including several key injuries to members of the Orlando Magic and the actual statistics about how effective Sonics Point Guard Gary Payton was in defending Jordan. 

The documentary famously shows Jordan laughing at a clip of Payton saying he defended him well, but the statistics from that series show Jordan only shooting 36% and averaging about 23 points per game when Payton was guarding him, compared to shooting 46% and averaging about 31 in the other three games. 

ESPN's Bomani Jones said in the May 12 episode of his own podcast that "Gary Payton was right" and that viewers shouldn't let Jordan "fool" them. "Notice that he put no video up" to support his laughter in the face of Payton's remarks, Jones added. Jones wasn't otherwise as critical as Mason, but he seemed to concede the documentary emphasizing a certain narrative over what actually happened nearly 25 years ago.

The selectivity isn't limited to Jordan's opponents. The series also tackles the famous incident when he punched then-teammate Steve Kerr during practice. In interviews, both Jordan and Kerr, now an NBA legend in his own right as championship-winning coach of the Golden State Warriors, portray their fight as something that brought them closer together, something about winning. But Jordan gave Kerr a black eye.

The appeal of mythology vs. the value of truth.

Ethan Strauss agreed with Mason's criticisms, but he said he still enjoys watching the series, because he's interested in seeing "propaganda curated by Michael Jordan." He's also interested in the lack of subtlety that accompanies that propaganda, he added.

Strauss and Mason seemed to define the message that propaganda was trying to spread as an examination of the human impulse to "dominate" and "win," which some have and others simply don't. But in reality, domination doesn't equate to Gary Payton holding down your field goal percentage in the Finals. 

And the nature of Jordan's greatness or "GOATness" has also been debated on less quantitative and more qualitative terms, too, as his on-court dominance extended to his massive impact in the commercial realm but didn't translate to engagement with social issues, unlike his GOAT counterparts Muhammad Ali and LeBron James.

For what it's worth, as Business Insider reported, Jordan has finally confirmed in "The Last Dance" that he did utter the famous phrase "Republicans buy sneakers, too," while adding that he "never thought" of himself "as an activist." 

People don't want to look at this documentary critically, Strauss added, because "it feels good." Maybe that's because it hearkens back to an era when Americans had more confidence, a better economy, and weren't "locked in [their] houses," he added. 

Certainly the fact that a documentary series lionizing leadership and victory at a time when a pandemic is leading to so much loss cannot be overlooked. But it also shouldn't be overlooked that Jordan, for all his greatness as a player, really did have a tougher time with, say, Gary Payton than the legend now would have it. 

Jordan the symbol vs. Jordan the actual player.

There's more to the legend of Michael Jordan than the '90s nostalgia so beloved by Generation Z. In the early '90s, basketball was something a bit more than a game in an America newly triumphant in the Cold War. 

This was never more apparent than in 1992, when Jordan led the first group of professionals to represent the US in the summer Olympic Games, the so-called "Dream Team" of Barcelona. Their appearance followed a gold medal win by the Soviet Union in 1988, and basketball had been just one of the many sports that east and west employed as cultural proxies in their long twilight struggle from the mid-1940s until the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. 

In 1992, Jordan was the best player on the best team of all time as the US stepped into its role as the world's only superpower. It was the end of history and the American system had emerged victorious, Francis Fukuyama argued in a book published the same exact year

Jordan himself was the ultimate winner in an era when America itself had won the ultimate challenge. He had already started making history in the late 1980s as a blockbuster commercial presence, and he would go on to dominate the '90s not just athletically, taking the model of athlete-as-pitchman to never-surpassed heights. 

To say nothing of Jordan's greatest gift to the world: "Space Jam." 

None of this is to deny Jordan's greatness, but it is to point out that Jordan's critics, like Mason, Strauss, Jones, and myself, frankly, would prefer some nuance gets added to the narrative of Jordan as all-conquering, galaxy-saving American sports hero. But maybe that's not possible, because he represents an era when America was all-conquering, too. Certainly the appetite for it isn't present in the America of 2020, which has been conquered by an entirely new kind of enemy.

Just like in his playing career, Jordan is winning the narrative, and it appears that all of these criticisms will soon be forgotten as "The Last Dance" re-cements his legacy as the greatest of all time. It's one more reason he's also the greatest of all time at managing Michael Jordan's brand.

Jumpman, Jumpman, Jumpman: He's always up to something.

Meet the fitness influencers thriving in the era of the home workout



A sweet Riesling is best paired with a smoked sausage or spicy Thai curry, but Caitie Aiton prefers to keep hers bottled and served with a set of bicep curls.

"It's a different kind of workout," the 27-year-old receptionist, who lives in northern California, told Business Insider. "I wouldn't say you can't get the results you want at home, you just have to work a little bit harder."

Before the coronavirus pandemic spread through the U.S., Aiton had her workout down to a science. She'd hit her local gym, Fit Republic, three days a week to lift weights and run on the treadmill. Two days a week, she'd tune into at-home HIIT (high-intensity interval training) workouts streamed on a popular YouTube channel called Blogilates. But as self-isolation measures remain in place in many states, Aiton and her fellow fitness enthusiasts across the country have been forced to make working out at home work — even if it means using wine bottles as weight substitutes.

Enter: fitness influencers. 

As individuals around the world seek gym alternatives and stress relief, they've turned to YouTube channels, online workout programs, and Instagram videos to stay fit. Established fitness influencers like Cassey Ho and emerging fitness stars like Taylor Dilk alike have picked up the part of the day that people would ordinarily be spending in the gym.

Business Insider spoke to six fitness influencers around the world to see how the shift in demand has been affecting them. Whether the core of their business is focused on YouTube, Instagram, or paid memberships, they all described a boom in demand.

The golden age of demand for YouTube fitness influencers

Some of the best-known fitness influencers today got their start on YouTube nearly a decade ago.

For Aiton, the transition to YouTube workouts has been a smooth one thanks to Cassey Ho, the fitness instructor behind Blogilates. Aiton has temporarily bid farewell to Fit Republic and suspended the $123 she'd previously doled out to the gym every year. Now, she tunes into Ho's videos five times a week. The HIIT workouts, Aiton said, "work everything and make you work up a sweat like crazy."

The channel's free Pilates and bootcamp sculpting videos have garnered it a cult following of 5 million users. Aiton's not a newcomer — she's been a part-time Blogilates user for seven years, but Ho's summer slim down series and HIIT workouts have become the full-time antidote to her gym withdrawals.

And Aiton isn't the only who has been using Blogilates as a much-needed outlet during quarantine. Ho told Business Insider she's seen "a huge surge" of activity across all of Blogilates' social media platforms, particularly on YouTube.

Before Ho, a certified group fitness instructor and Pilates mat and Reformer teacher, became a worldwide fitness favorite, she was a hit with her students in the Bay Area, where she designed and taught POP Pilates classes that fused classical Pilates moves with pop music. When she moved across the country to Boston in 2009, she uploaded a farewell workout video to YouTube for her class.


Fast forward ten years and that single workout video has become Blogilates, a channel that now boasts 714 videos that run about five to 30 minutes in length. She and her bright aesthetic star in all of them. Whether she's leading a waist whittler routine or a total body stretch, Ho is often clad in cotton-candy pastels with a matching Pilates mat.

On March 11, the day the World Health Organization declared the novel coronavirus a pandemic, daily video views on Blogilates' YouTube channel hovered around 250,000, according to analytics viewed by Business Insider. Over the following six weeks, daily video views doubled. They now steadily stand in the 500,000 to 750,000 daily video view range.

A screenshot of Blogilates' internal YouTube analytics over the past 90 days, which Business Insider reviewed, also shows a steady jump in the rate at which the channel has been acquiring subscribers during the pandemic. From late January to early March, daily subscribers never exceeded 3,000 per day. From late March to the end of April, they never dropped below 3,000 new subscribers a day. At its peak, the channel acquired 8,000 subscribers in a single day. 

fitness blender

Like Ho, Kelli and Daniel Segars founded Fitness Blender, their 6-million-plus subscriber YouTube channel, more than a decade ago. The married couple launched the channel as a side project for extra income in 2008 during the Great Recession. It has since turned into an 886-video platform featuring workouts that range from five to 90 minutes — typically around 30 minutes — in which one Segar or the other leads viewers through a variety of exercises.

And, also like Ho, they've seen an upswing in activity on the platform during the pandemic. On March 11, they received nearly 1,200 new YouTube subscribers, according to analytics the couple provided to Business Insider. Less than a week later, on March 16, the daily number of new subscribers jumped up to 2,400. 

In the week after the coronavirus was declared a pandemic, their daily video views more than doubled from 287,163 to 613,482. And the views didn't just hit a new high — they maintained that high. Throughout April, daily video views have fluctuated around the 750,000 to 950,000 view range.

Demand for paid memberships and training guides is surging

While one-off videos are surging in popularity, their more regimented counterparts — multi-week workout programs and training guides — are also seeing a spike.

Consider Adriene Mishler, whose Yoga with Adriene channel has become one of the runaway stars of home workouts during the pandemic thanks to her friendly demeanor and slow-paced style. The decade-old YouTube channel, which lays claim to the single most-Googled workout of 2015, has seen engagement soar during the pandemic.

The channel currently boasts over 7 million subscribers. Pre-pandemic, it typically acquired new subscribers at an average rate of 3,000 subscribers a day, her cofounder and business partner Chris Sharpe told Business Insider. Today, it's seeing an average of 20,000 new subscribers a day.

In the first months of 2020, the channel was typically drawing around 500,000 daily viewers, according to YouTube analytics Business Insider reviewed. In mid-March, viewership climbed up to 1 million daily viewers. Throughout April, the channel drew a relatively steady — and whopping — 1.5 million daily viewers. 

yoga with adriene

Even so, Sharpe and Mishler don't factor YouTube — which they can't control and where revenue comes mainly from ads — into their business plan or financial forecast. Instead, Sharpe said, the core of their business is the $9.99-a-month membership program, Find What Feels Good. Along with premium courses and exclusive weekly content, it features their entire yoga library and none of YouTube's ads.

Longer-term workout programs are also available on personal training apps.

One of the most well-known personal training apps is the SWEAT App, which costs $19.99 a month or $119.94 a year. The app has 150 weeks' worth of content across a variety of workout styles, including interval training, yoga, cardio, and powerlifting.

The programs are geared towards women and curated by five trainers, the most famous of which is Kayla Itsines, who founded the app with Pearce. They have attracted an online fitness community exceeding 50 million, according to its website.

Tobi Pearce, CEO of the platform, told Business Insider that many of the app's followers are hungry for at-home and equipment-free programming. Delivering those programs has the made the transition to home workouts relatively seamless for users.

Prior to the pandemic, Hannah Brewton, a 27-year-old choir teacher, was working her way through Kelsey Wells' beginner PWR program, which alternates cardio and strength workouts with a focus on gym machines. When the pandemic hit, she just switched to Wells' at-home program. The biggest difference is that nowadays, she's using her piano bench for step-ups and decline push-ups.

A post shared by KELSEY WELLS (@kelseywells) on


Fitness Instagrammers are seeing a change in demand, but not necessarily more of it

When quarantine began, fitness Instagrammer Emily Ricketts made a personal commitment: She would use the time indoors to challenge herself. Specifically, she told Business Insider, she would nail the art of the handstand and would build her way up to doing more push-ups. She took to her Instagram Stories to share those goals, and, as she tells it, her direct messages were "flooded with home workout requests."

The London-based personal trainer said that before the pandemic, she typically filmed three to four strength workouts a week at the gym and shared them on her Instagram page, which has 190,000 followers.

Her output hasn't changed during the pandemic, but she's shifted to filming at-home workouts that are accessible to everyone. That includes encouraging viewers to "use things like bags of sugar or water bottles in place of weights if they don't have any." 


Taylor Chamberlain Dilk, a fitness influencer who posts workout videos on her Instagram two to three times a week, told Business Insider she's also received feedback from her 779,000 followers requesting at-home workouts. Prior to quarantine, she typically posted bodyweight workouts in the gym. She would also occasionally share at-home every minute on the minute (EMOM) workouts, in which one begins a different exercise repetition at the top of every minute.

EMOM workouts are now the focus of her Instagram channel. She thinks people are drawn to them because they can be completed at home in less than 45 minutes.

"They're quick, efficient, and accessible, and can still drastically change metabolisms and bodies without having to go to a gym or spend hours in the weight room," she said.

People are seeking workouts that don't require equipment

If the increased activity on Dilk's and Ricketts' Instagrams says anything, it's that people are tuning into videos as alternatives to cardio machines and the weight room.

Both Kelli of Fitness Blender and Pearce of the SWEAT app have noticed similar trends. Kelli said that on YouTube, the biggest viewership jump has been on no-equipment workout videos, specifically for strength training and HIIT. Pearce said the app has seen a spike in users of Kayla Itsines' Bikini Body Guide program, which consist of 28-minute HIIT workouts, and Kelsey Wells' PWR program, which focuses on resistance training.


For others, fitness influencers have become a source of anxiety relief and a way to stretch their limbs after working from home all day. 

Lauren Friedman, a 28-year-old publicist quarantining in Florida, never used to consider herself a yogi. When the pandemic struck, her only workout equipment consisted of an exercise mat and so, she told Business Insider, she turned to yoga. She first heard of Yoga with Adriene through a friend, and was drawn toward the videos because they target specific parts of the body and can typically be completed in under 30 minutes — a win, Friedman says, for her short attention span.

Her workout routine was "pretty sparse" before the pandemic, consisting of a cycling class or two on the weekend and trying to go to the gym during the week — even though, as she put it, "I have to admit, that rarely happened."

Nowadays, she's working out more than she used to, but her focus is less on intense cardio and more on rejuvenation.

"Yoga with Adriene is my girl," she said.

Fitness influencers are well-positioned to continue riding out the closures of the COVID-19 world

All the influencers Business Insider spoke to remained mum on the topic of how their increased views translate to money and refused to provide exact income figures. But as far as keeping businesses afloat during the pandemic goes, they have all found themselves better equipped for the times than both gyms and other influencers have.

Many of them haven't had to make significant changes to their content strategy. The YouTubers have been tapped into home fitness from the beginning and have built up years of content. The Instagrammers are filming similar workouts to their pre-pandemic repertoire, albeit in new locations.

Some of them are removing the cost barriers associated with their workouts or running specials to entice new members. The SWEAT app partnered with the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund to offer one month free for new members. Dilk cut prices on her at-home EMOM workout program from $24.99 to $19.99. Kelli and Daniel of Fitness Blender put several of their four-week programs on sale at $4.50, down from $14.99.


Several influencers told Business Insider their videos aren't just helping viewers find alternatives to their gym routines. As they see it, their home workout routines also function as a coping mechanism for viewers. In Daniel's words, workout videos "provide a sense of normalcy for people."

"My goal right now is to remind people more than ever that exercise and movement is vital for mental health," Ricketts said.

Science backs them up. Research has found that those who stay active tend to be happier. And more recent research suggests that exercise may protect against acute respiratory distress syndrome, a top cause of death among COVID-19 patients.

However, there are certain benefits of going to the gym that home workout videos, despite the best efforts of the influencers who have been cranking out content, just can't replace.

Brewton, the choir teacher, said that even though the at-home SWEAT app program is changing her muscle definition, it just doesn't motivate her as much as the gym does.

"I really miss the gym," she said. "I get a lot of energy and I push myself more when I'm around other people who are working out, and I miss being able to challenge myself with heavier weights."

For the most part, though, the fitness influencers' efforts to keep people active seem to be working.

"I'm not sure why it took the end of the world to get me into fitness, but I am loving it," Friedman, the Florida publicist, said. "It gives me something to look forward to, which I never thought I'd say about working out."

SEE ALSO: The couple behind a home workout channel with 6 million YouTube followers says they've seen a spike in subscribers amid the coronavirus pandemic, and it shows the effect social distancing is having on people's routines

DON'T MISS: 'New York City is my home': Influencers share why they're riding out the pandemic in the epicenter of the coronavirus as others flee

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How to buy a tiny home



  • Tiny homes have become hugely popular in the last few years.
  • The tiny home category encompasses a variety of dwellings, from pared down sheds to high-end custom homes.
  • When buying a tiny home, buyers have to make all kinds of decisions about types, sizes, finishes, and more.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Tiny homes are a popular option with minimalists, aspiring homeowners who can't afford a giant house, and people who want a home on wheels. They've even inspired multiple HGTV shows. When choosing a tiny home, the options can be overwhelming. Here are a few of the questions potential tiny homeowners should ask. 

What kind of tiny home are you looking for?

Tiny homes come in about as many configurations as regular-sized homes, but before picking an architectural style, there are more basic decisions to be made. Tiny houses come in two broad categories: tiny homes on wheels, which are legally considered RVs, and tiny homes without wheels, or accessory dwelling units (ADUs), according to Curbed.

Deciding on which type of tiny home to buy depends on a few factors. For someone drawn to tiny homes for their mobility and travel potential, a home on wheels, registered as an RV, is the way to go. It's also important to consider where the tiny home will reside. RVs will probably be restricted to RV parks and campgrounds, or on privately owned property, but zoning requirements will ultimately determine this. Finding somewhere to build an ADU can be a bit more complicated, again depending on local zoning laws. Some locales are working to make the permitting process faster and easier, like the preapproved Abodu ADU in San Jose, where paperwork can be turned around in just one day.


Who sells them?

You can buy just about anything on Amazon, including dozens of tiny homes delivered right to your door. The e-commerce site sells kits for houses buyers put together on their own, along with prefabricated tiny homes, some of which are made out of repurposed shipping containers or other unusual materials.

MODS 40 tiny home

tiny home allwood timberline

While Amazon has a wide variety of tiny homes, many are not currently available, or they don't seem to have any reviews that indicate they've actually been purchased. That's not a problem, though, as hundreds of companies have emerged to fill the craving for tiny homes. Business Insider has covered some of them. California studio Burdge Architects sell the buhaus customizable shipping container home, and Singapore-based Nestron sells a prefab smart home.


Hundreds of other companies sell tiny homes to whatever specifications a buyer could possibly want, from Tumbleweed Tiny House Company to Tiny Heirloom to Wind River Tiny Homes, just to name a few. You can even find tiny house plans on Etsy, with a few sellers listing an actual, constructed home.

Prefab tiny homes vs. kits

Whether you want a prefab tiny home ready to move into or you choose to buy and build a tiny home kit probably depends on why you want to live tiny in the first place. If you're attracted to tiny homes for convenience and minimalism, and money is less of a concern, a prefab option is the way to go, but for anyone going tiny to save on housing costs, a tiny home kit can definitely be cheaper.

Amazon has some of the most affordable DIY tiny home kits, starting at just over $5,000 for a 113-foot cabin. Be aware, though, that these kits typically come with only bare-bones features, and professional help will still be necessary to hook up electricity or other utilities.

allwood bella tiny home

Prefabricated tiny homes are typically more expensive, because all the construction is done and they're ready to move in. DIY homes are often made of wood and have very basic structures to make them simple to put together, while prefab homes can be more complex, and are often made of repurposed materials like shipping containers. In models like Nestron's Cube Two, that also means that furniture is built in as part of the design, and can make the most efficient possible use of space.



Prices, like tiny homes themselves, vary widely. DIY kits on Amazon are usually between five and ten thousand dollars, though other costs will come up for expert help, extra material, and furniture. 

Prefab tiny homes are much more expensive, rivaling the price of full-sized homes in some areas. This house on Amazon, for example, costs $119,000, although shipping is free. Be wary of shipping costs, too. The Cube 2 from Nestron is $52,000, but shipping to the US is an additional $8,000. Expect to pay at least in this range for a prefab tiny home. The Abodu tiny home in San Jose is one of the most expensive at $199,000, but that includes a fully assembled unit, pre-approved and delivered in one of the most expensive housing markets in the country, by crane if necessary.

What features are included?

Like every other aspect of a tiny home, the included features can vary from an absolutely no-frills design to a completely decked out luxury. Homes on the cheaper end, particularly anything you have to put together yourself, comes with few frills — typically, you're paying for the floor plan and materials for the shell of the building, and anything else to make it comfortable is up to you.

With high-end, prefab tiny homes, they're usually move-in ready. The Cube 2 from Nestron has all furniture built-in, while the Abodu comes furnished and equipped for all utilities. These prefab units also include utilities, and the Cube 2 has an AI assistant built-in and connecting everything in the house.


SEE ALSO: A $52,000 tiny smart home looks like a space ship and can sleep a family of 4 — see inside

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As dating apps try to pivot to virtual events, some users are trying to get people to violate social distancing rules


dating apps coronavirus

  • Dating apps like Tinder, Bumble, and Hinge have reported increased use amid the coronavirus pandemic, while touting virtual dating alternatives for users instead of meeting up in person.
  • Swaths of users are still encouraging matches to break quarantine to have sex and go on dates, despite social distancing guidelines and fines to comply with them.
  • An illustrator on Instagram has been collecting screenshots of these situations, and told Business Insider that users will brand themselves as "badasses," dispute the effectiveness of isolating, and lash out in anger and hurl abusive language when they're rejected.
  • Spokespeople for Grindr, Tinder and Bumble told Business Insider they've informed users to adhere to social-distancing guidelines, but did not respond to inquiries about actions they're taking against users in places where violating lockdown orders can be against the law.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

As millions remain confined to their homes to prevent the spread of coronavirus, the desire for human contact and connection has risen dramatically and led some to search for ways to break those social distancing rules.

Popular dating apps — including Tinder, Bumble, and Hinge — have reported significant increases during the outbreak of swiping activity, matches between users, and messages exchanged. It's also led to the introduction of a breed of users who are interested in shirking lockdown orders, and are encouraging their matches to join them in doing the same.

Dating app users have shared stories across social media, and recently with Mashable, about messages they've received from matches who ask them to come over or want to hook up. Artist Samantha Rothenberg, who uses the handle @violetclair on Instagram, has been collecting these screenshots from followers, and told Business Insider she's received close to a thousand of such stories.

"Because of how common it is, I can honestly say that anyone who is on a dating app right now has dealt with this," Rothenberg told Business Insider. "People are horny, and a lot of people are putting that ahead of the risk and the danger."

For dating platforms whose end goal is inherently to bring its millions of users together in real life, the coronavirus outbreak has put them in a curious predicament. Dating apps are forced to balance a desire to keep people on their platform for the sake of business, with a moral responsibility to discourage users to engage in behavior with potential life-or-death implications.

Since the start of the outbreak, apps have rolled out in-app virtual dating options and touted ways users can go on virtual dates. However, the prevalence of users who are trying to meet up in person, as documented by Rothenberg and screenshots across social media, raise questions about whether these dating platforms are doing enough to stymie such behavior in the time of coronavirus.

coronavirus dating apps

Rothenberg has long collected screenshots of users' horror stories from dating app interactions, which she often will depict in illustrations she posts to her Instagram account. But ever since the pandemic led states to instill lockdown orders starting in March, nearly all of the screenshots she's received have had to do with coronavirus.

These lockdown-violating users fall into a few general categories, according to Rothenberg. There's the users who try to paint themselves as "badasses" for breaking the rules, though Rothenberg says they're more like "a--holes." There are the matches who propose meeting up and, after getting rejected, reverse course to say they're were joking or "testing" you, she says. You'll also encounter the anti-quarantine user, whose reasoning is based on claims about herd immunity and the ineffectiveness of social distancing measures.

The last group is made up of users who react to "no" with anger and verbal abuse, Rothenberg told Business Insider. Women told Mashable recently about encounters with men on dating apps who badgered and harassed them after they turned down in-person meetings, going to the point of gaslighting.

These types of users are what led Rothenberg to launch a petition on Change.org to hold dating apps responsible for enforcing social distancing guidelines during the pandemic. She's also been active about calling out dating apps in her Instagram Stories she posts with screenshots she receives.

"People are angry, they tell me, 'can you believe this, this is disgusting, this is wrong,'" Rothenberg said. "Because I have this platform, I feel I have a bit of a responsibility to put these [stories] out in the open and share, and bring some light into what's going on out there to people who may not know."

In late March, platforms sent out various messages and alerts to their users that Rothenberg documented on Instagram. A message to Bumble users from CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd said: "Please don't meet your Bumble matches IRL for now." Hinge users were told to "stay safe and keep connected."

Tinder, arguably the most well-know dating app, also discouraged users to meet up in a platform-wide message sent March 26.

"We know there's a lot to stay to each other as we all do our best to stay healthy and prevent the spread of the coronavirus," the message from Tinder said. "We hope to be a place for connecting during this challenging time, but it's important to stress that now is not the time to meet IRL with your match."

dating apps coronavirus

Dating apps' responsibilities to pivot from IRL to TXT

As companies across industries adjust business to stay afloat, dating apps have transitioned to emphasize alternatives to in-person meetups. Although online dating success has long been measured by the amount of conversations that turn to real-life connections, platforms are forced to rethink their strategy as users continue turning to them en masse. A poll conducted by Hinge found that 70% of its users said they were open to going on dates on Zoom, FaceTime, and other video platforms.

Some dating brands have introduced new features amid the pandemic. Hinge launched "Date from Home" in April, where users can indicate to a match they're ready to move their conversation off-app. Plenty of Fish started rolling out a livestreaming feature in March to users in the U.S. to allow matches to go on short virtual dates. Tinder, relatively late to the game, announced this week it was launching a video chat feature by the end of June.

A spokesperson for Match Group — the parent company on Tinder, Hinge, Plenty of Fish, and other dating platforms — told Business Insider that it made updates to its products "to help users better navigate stay-from-home policies and date digitally via phone or video."

Other apps that already enabled video chat and voice call, like The League and Bumble, are pushing these features to their users more than ever. 

But while users on these dating apps are swiping and messaging at new highs, the transition to virtual-only hasn't been as seamless for those on Grindr, the most popular dating app for gay men. Steve, a 26-year-old living in Washington, D.C., told Business Insider that activity on Grindr is "completely dead." He said he doesn't check the app nearly as often any more, but messages he does get on the app are largely from people who say they want to meet up despite the quarantine.

Grindr, like other apps, has attempted to pivot to virtual dating: The platform recently introduced Circles, where groups of up to 20 users can join chats centered around certain topics and interests. However, Steve said he's seen these groups largely dissolve into "all d--k pics."

"I dont think Grindr has the ability to rebrand itself honestly at this point for something other than hookups," Steve said. "They tried to take the opportunity to rebrand itself as something else, and it just right away became sexual."

A Grindr spokesperson told Business Insider it had sent in-app notifications to all users asking them to "refrain from in-person meetings right now."Nonetheless, an app-wide message sent to users — and shared by users on Twitter— made no mention of asking users to social distance. 

For users across these dating apps who encourage the violating of social distancing guidelines, it's unclear how much responsibility platforms have to keep their users' indoors. In some states under lockdown, authorities havedoled out fines and even arrested residents found failing to follow at-home guidelines.

Grindr, Bumble and Match Group — the parent company of Tinder, Hinge, Plenty of Fish and others — told Business Insider in statements they have encouraged users to adhere to coronavirus guidelines from the World Health Organization and the Center for Disease Control.

None of the companies responded to Business Insider's requests for comment about whether asking to violate social-distancing guidelines on the platforms is a breach of policy or would garner any ban or suspension on a user.

SEE ALSO: What you need to know about Grimes, the Canadian musician who just had a baby with tech billionaire Elon Musk

Join the conversation about this story »

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A day in the life of a Deutsche Bank managing director who used to travel 10 days a month for work and is now hunkering down in New York's Catskill Mountains during the pandemic


Piers Constable

  • Before the pandemic, Piers Constable, a managing director at Deutsche Bank, spent about 10 days per month traveling for work.
  • Since the start of the coronavirus lockdown, the New York City-based executive has been working from home in the Catskills in upstate New York.
  • He walked Business Insider through his typical day in a world changed by the virus.
  • Constable wakes up at 6 a.m., spends the day on video calls with clients and colleagues, and manages to fit in a daily jog.
  • He said he's felt much more efficient working from home, making him reconsider how much he'll need to travel for work in the future.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Before the pandemic, Piers Constable had mastered his daily routine as a managing director at Deutsche Bank.

In 2018, Business Insider interviewed Constable for a look at a typical day in his life, which included waking up at 5 a.m. every day to work out — even on business trips. He traveled 10 days out of the month as the head of the bank's structured trade and export finance division in the Americas. As a competitive triathlete who competes in seven or eight triathlons per year as well as other races, Constable liked to take a morning run to explore new cities he was visiting for work.

The New York City-based executive has traveled to more than 60 countries while working for Deutsche Bank and has also lived in London and Dubai

Now, in a world changed by the pandemic where business travel is at a standstill, we caught back up with Constable and he walked us through a day in his new life. Since the beginning of New York's lockdown, he and his wife have been living at their house in the Catskills, about 100 miles north of New York City.

Here's what a typical day looks like for a Deutsche Bank managing director during a global pandemic.

SEE ALSO: A day in the life of a Deutsche Bank managing director, who wakes up at 5:00 a.m., spends 10 days of the month traveling, and works out twice a day even while on business trips

DON'T MISS: Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky predicts a wildly different future of travel and living, and it sounds pretty great

Piers Constable is a New York City-based managing director at Deutsche Bank.

He's the head of the bank's structured trade and export finance division in the Americas.

Before the pandemic, Constable was traveling for work about 10 days out of each month.

"I've spent the last 25 years traveling every few weeks around the world meeting clients and looking after our projects," Constable told Business Insider. "I was away for five weeks before the lockdown, in Costa Rica, Miami, Madrid, Paris and Abidjan, and immediately wondered how I would cope being stuck in one place. But I've surprised myself how I've adapted, I haven't missed the traveling because no one else is, and I feel I'm calmer now."

Since the start of New York's coronavirus lockdown, Constable and his wife, a logistics manager at H&M, have been living at their house in the Catskills, about 100 miles north of the city.

"We bought the house a couple of years ago, wanting to spend more time doing the things we love in the mountains," he said. "It's in the middle of nowhere and we have felt so fortunate being able to escape the city in this tough time."

A competitive triathlete, Constable takes off Monday mornings from training. Instead, he wakes up at 6 a.m. to get in 30 minutes of stretching before his work day starts.

"I've had to incorporate this into my routine as I've gotten older, if I want to continue doing all the running, riding, and traveling I do," Constable said. "It's a pain getting up 30 minutes earlier every day, but I can feel the benefits."

By 7 a.m., Constable is reading emails while he eats breakfast.

Constable says he eats the same breakfast wherever he is in the world: coffee and granola with yogurt and fruit.

At 7:30, he has a call with a client with whom Deutsche Bank is working on an infrastructure project in the US.

The early call is to suit the schedules of colleagues in London and Frankfurt who are dialing in.

After the call with the client, Constable and his coworkers catch up internally to discuss the next steps.

"This part of my job hasn't changed at all," he said. "We're all used to conference calls at inconvenient hours to accommodate different time zones."

After catching up on some more emails, Constable takes a 20-minute walk with his wife on their lane.

"We try and do this every morning," he said. "Despite the rain today, it feels great to stretch our legs and talk through the day ahead. My wife is a fast walker, and I always struggle to keep up with her."

By 9:30, Constable is back at the house for his daily video call with his team — a 15-minute-maximum FaceTime chat where they're not allowed to discuss work, only what they did the night before or what's worrying them.

"As it's a Monday we talked about the weekend, I felt immediately useless when I listened to the incredible things my team had done that weekend locked up in their apartments," Constable said. "I'm very proud of how we've stayed connected these past couple months. I feel closer to my team now than ever before; we're all really looking out for each other. These calls are a big part of that."

Next is a call with colleagues in London to discuss which law firm they should choose to act for them on a project in Africa.

"This could have been done by email, but I find myself favoring human contact these days and so try to connect with colleagues by phone or video as often as I can," Constable said.

After that, it's straight into a regular Monday morning call with the US management team on Skype.

"It's taken a few weeks to get to grips with video etiquette — when to speak and when to keep quiet, and definitely no multi-tasking as it appears immediately rude," Constable said.

At 12:30, Constable takes a break to eat some pasta leftovers for lunch and catch up on emails he hasn't had a chance to reply to.

He also calls his family in London.

"My father has been sick in hospital for the past six weeks, but he's better now and returning home this week," Constable said. "We're all super excited for him, but it's been tough for my mother being on her own at home. I've spent at least half an hour every day during this time on the phone with my mother and brother, and more recently my father too from his hospital bed. We're pretty close as a family and this has helped us get through this."

For an afternoon pick-me-up, Constable makes a cup of coffee for himself and one for his wife.

"We've settled into a routine pretty easily the last couple of months; she works upstairs and I work downstairs and pretty much keep to ourselves," Constable said. "She's been super busy these past weeks. Her job is stressful, but we're both thankful to still be employed and have interesting days."

Constable spends the rest of the day answering emails and making calls. He says he's "amazed" by how busy the company has been during the lockdown.

"I'm connecting with colleagues and clients just as regularly as before, but now over phone and video, not face-to-face," he said. "I feel I'm much more efficient now, and it's definitely making me think twice about how much I need to travel going forward."

The sun finally comes out after a rainy day, so Constable decides to go for a run at 5:30 p.m.

"We're so lucky where we are — I can run for an hour on empty roads without seeing a soul or worrying about social distancing," Constable said. "I've been able to run or ride every day since we've been up here. My legs are tired after an active weekend but it feels great to be out. I'm slower than normal, but the run is great for the mind!"

When he gets back to the house, he starts making dinner while his wife wraps up her work. On the menu: chicken and a butternut squash in the oven with some curry paste.

"This is probably the best change since the lockdown — I never cook dinner in the city and my wife and I rarely get home at the same time to eat," Constable said. "But we've cooked something different every night the past two months and always taken the time to talk over the day we've just had — a real luxury that we'll definitely try and keep to once we get back to the city."

After dinner, Constable spends another hour on his iPad sending emails before bed.

"It's been another productive day  — very different from how I'd spend it in normal circumstances, but proving we can be very efficient working from home, even when we take time out of the day to go for a walk or a run or cook a dinner," Constable said. "I'm secretly hoping we can carry on this lifestyle for a few more weeks at least."

Amex Platinum versus the Amex Gold: Which rewards credit card is better for you?


AmEX Platinum vs. AmEx Gold 4x3

  • If you want to earn Amex Membership Rewards points to book travel, both the Platinum Card® from American Express and the American Express® Gold Card are great options.
  • They're both on the premium end of the spectrum. The Amex Platinum has a much higher annual fee: $550 compared to $250 for the Amex Gold card.
  • Both cards have a few annual statement credits that can offset their annual fees.
  • If you spend a lot on travel and want luxury benefits like airport lounge access, the Amex Platinum could be worth it. The Amex Gold card is a better pick for maximizing everyday purchases, since it earns 4 points per dollar at US supermarkets (on up to $25,000 spent each year, then 1x).
  • See Business Insider's list of the best rewards credit cards »

American Express offers several cards that earn Membership Rewards points, which you can use to book travel like flights and hotels either directly through Amex or with partners like Delta and Marriott. The two most "premium" cards are the Amex Gold Card and the Platinum Card — and if you're serious about earning points and you're willing to pay a sizeable annual fee in exchange for benefits, these are the top Amex cards to consider.

Both cards have tangible benefits like annual statement credits that make up for the annual fee, but there are some pretty significant differences between them. The Platinum Card is the more premium of the two cards — it has a $550 annual fee compared to a $250 annual fee for the Amex Gold Card. The Platinum Card offers more luxury travel benefits, like airport lounge access and monthly statement credits for Uber, while the Amex Gold Card's perks and bonus categories are more geared toward dining.

Read on to learn more about the Amex Gold Card and Platinum Card and to see which is better for you.


Amex Gold vs. Amex Platinum: The biggest differences

 Amex Gold CardPlatinum Card
Annual fee$250$550
Welcome bonus35K points after you spend $4K in the first three months of account opening60K points after you spend $5K in the first three months of account opening
Earning rates

4x points at US supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per year, then 1x)

4x points at restaurants worldwide

3x points on flights booked directly with airlines or Amex Travel

1 point per dollar on everything else


5x points on flights booked directly with airlines or Amex Travel

5x points on prepaid hotels booked through Amex Travel 

1 point per dollar on everything else

Statement credits

Up to $10 each month at select restaurants*

Up to $100 in airline incidental fee credits each calendar year

Up to $15 in Uber credits each month ($35 in credits in December)

Up to $200 in airline incidental fee credits each calendar year

Up to $100 in Saks Fifth Avenue credits each year

Authorized user feeFree up to 5 cards, then $35 per card$175 for 3 cards, then $175 for each additional card
Foreign transaction feesNoneNone
Access to Amex OffersYesYes
Other benefitsX

Airport lounge access

Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts hotel program access

Application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck

Gold elite status with Hilton and Marriott

*at GrubHub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth's Chris Steak House, Boxed, and participating Shake Shack locations

Platinum Card® from American Express


American Express® Gold Card

Amex Platinum versus the Amex Gold: Bonus categories

The Amex Platinum card

The Platinum Card earns a massive 5 points per dollar spent on airfare, as long as you book directly with the airline or through Amex Travel, and on prepaid hotel stays booked through Amex Travel. It earns 1 point per dollar on everything else.

The Points Guy subjectively values Amex Membership Rewards points at 2 cents each, so that means a whopping 10% of value back on the bonus categories.

While other credit cards offer a wider array of bonus categories, 5x points is a fantastic earning rate, and if you book your own travel frequently, the points will add up quickly.

The Amex Gold card

The Amex Gold Card offers 4 points per dollar spent at restaurants worldwide, 4 points per dollar at US supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per year — 1 point per dollar for anything beyond that), and 3 points per dollar on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex travel. It earns 1x point on everything else.

The Amex Gold Card's restaurant category is broad — I've gotten the category bonus at restaurants, bars, pubs, and cafes. The supermarket category excludes big-box stores where you might buy groceries, like Target or Walmart, but includes most dedicated US supermarkets.

Using The Points Guy's valuations, you get a huge 8% of value back on those two top bonus categories from the Gold Card. This makes it one of the best available cards for dining

Statement credits

Both cards have annual fees, but thanks to a few statement credit benefits, the effective fees are lower than you might think.

The Amex Platinum card

The Platinum Card has one of the highest annual fees you'll find in a mainstream charge or credit card — $550. However, the various annual statement credits the card offers bring the effective fee down to just $50.

The first is up to a $200 airline fee credit each calendar year. Every January, you pick one airline for that credit to apply toward. While the credit doesn't cover tickets, it covers incidental fees like checked bags, seat assignments on basic economy tickets, change fees, and more. 

Second, you can get up to $200 in Uber credits each cardmember year, which is broken down into monthly chunks. Each month, cardholders receive $15 of credits to use on Uber rides or for Uber Eats. In December, that's boosted to $35.

Finally, you can get up to $100 in shopping credits each year at Saks stores, broken into two chunks: You'll get up to $50 during the first six months of the year, and another $50 during the second.

Since the airline fee credit is given each calendar year, you can actually collect it twice if you open your card mid-year and maximize the credit before and after January of that first cardmember year.

That would mean you're not just making up for the annual fee, you're actually getting more value than the fee in the first place. That's without even considering the other benefits and rewards.

The Amex Gold card

The Amex Gold Card's $250 annual fee puts it squarely in the mid-tier category, although one could make an argument that it's really a premium card with a lower-than-premium fee.

Thanks to two annual statement credits, the effective fee is just $30 — as long as you maximize them.

The first is up to $120 each year in dining credits, broken into monthly $10 portions. These credits only apply to a few participating chain restaurants — specifically Cheesecake Factory, Ruth's Chris Steak House, and some Shake Shack locations — but they also apply to popular food ordering services GrubHub and Seamless. The credits apply automatically to any qualifying purchase.

The Amex Gold Card also offers up to $100 in airline fee credits each calendar year. This works just like the Platinum card's credit, meaning it's possible to earn it more than once each cardmember year.

New-member bonus

Both cards have a new member bonus, although the Platinum card's is higher. Since both cards are part of the Amex Membership Rewards program, it's easy to compare the welcome bonuses directly.

Platinum card

The Platinum Card has a welcome offer of 60,000 Amex Membership Rewards points when you spend $5,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening. Using The Points Guy's subjective valuations, that's worth about $1,200.

Amex Gold card

The Amex Gold Card's welcome bonus is 35,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $4,000 in the first three months of account opening. That's worth about $700, based on The Points Guy's valuations.

Using your Amex points

Amex offers a few ways to use Membership Rewards points.

However, redeeming for anything aside from travel offers a poor value, usually 0.5-0.8 cents each, and is generally a poor use of points.

You can get a slightly better value by booking flights through Amex Travel, either online or by phone. Points are worth 1¢ each toward flights, but if you book a hotel or anything else, you'll only get 0.7 cents per point.

Another option is to use points to bid for upgrades on a flight. You'll only get 1 cent per point, but it can be a decent redemption if you want to try for an upgrade but don't want to pay cash.

The best use and value — potentially — is to transfer points to airline frequent flyer partners and book flights that way. You might be able to get a dramatically higher value for points this way.

That's because booking frequent flyer "award tickets" is different than buying reservations outright — you can read more about how it works here. In most cases, the cash price and the miles price of a ticket aren't linked, so it's possible to get exponentially increased value from your points by transferring them and booking an award ticket instead.

That means potentially being able to fly long-haul in first or business class with points, among other things.

For example, my wife and I recently flew first class to Japan and back by transferring credit card points to Virgin Atlantic, then booking flights on Virgin's partner airline All Nippon Airways. You can read about exactly how we booked the flights here.

The only catch is that you may need to search for saver availability — which are lower-priced award tickets. This can be tricky, but there are a ton of helpful guides online. Once you have a flight in mind, if you're having trouble figuring out how best to use your points, just do a Google search for that specific trip.

Amex's partners include: Aer Lingus, AeroMexico, Air Canada, Air France/KLM, Alitalia, ANA, Cathay Pacific, Avianca, British Airways, Delta, El Al, Emirates, Etihad, Iberia, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue, Singapore Airlines, and Virgin Atlantic, as well as Choice Hotels, Hilton, and Marriott.

Other card benefits

The Amex Platinum card

Added benefits is where the Platinum Card really shines.

One of the flagship perks is access to more than 1,200 airport lounges around the world.

The Platinum Card's lounge access is more extensive than anything offered by any other card. When you have the card, you can use Delta Sky Clubs whenever you fly the airline, Amex's own proprietary Centurion lounges, and any airport lounge that participates in the Priority Pass network. You can also use any of the international Amex-branded lounges, and a handful of other random lounges, including ones that fall under the Plaza Premium, Air Space, and Escapes brands — these number more than 50.

The Amex Gold card

While the Amex Gold Card doesn't have nearly as many flashy perks as the Platinum Card, it still has a few benefits worth keeping in mind.

Whether you decide the Amex Gold Card or the Platinum Card is best for your needs, you'll have a great tool for earning points on all your spending.

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Urban Decay founder predicts mascara and lighting device sales will boom during the coronavirus recession as Americans try to look their best on video calls and behind masks


FILE - In this March 1, 2020, file photo, a department store employee with a mask dresses a mannequin in Tokyo. Japan's economic growth plunged into recession in the first quarter as the coronavirus pandemic squelched production, exports and spending, and fears are growing worse times may lie ahead, according to a report on Monday, May 18, 2020. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)

  • Makeup sales plummeted by 22% in the first quarter of 2020 as Americans stopped leaving the house due to the coronavirus pandemic. 
  • Urban Decay founder Wende Zomnir says the recession sparked by the pandemic will rejuvenate sales, citing the "Lipstick Index," which argues people shop for lipstick when more expensive luxuries are out of reach. 
  • "This time around, the Lipstick Index is going to be the brow, mascara and liner index as we peer at each other from behind our masks," Zomnir said. 
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

The coronavirus is already changing the cosmetics industry, as makeup sales plummet. 

Wende Zomnir, the founder of Urban Decay, says that as the pandemic stretches on, shoppers will increasingly pick products based on how they look on webcam and what people can actually see, as masks hide people's faces. 

"People already feel less compelled to glam for their new WFH lives.  But they are focused on being well, and staying safe," Zomnir told Business Insider in April. "Brands need to look toward products that are as cozy as our sweats, and caregiving, with lots of skin benefits. "

Makeup sales dropped by 22% in the first quarter of this year, with sales plummeting during March, according to data from the NPD Group. Fragrance sales dropped 13%, while skincare sales fell by 8%. 

Zomnir believes the upcoming recession will drive beauty sales, pointing to the Lipstick Index, a term invented by Leonard Lauder who was the chairman of Estee Lauder during the Great Recession. Lauder said that when people struggle economically, they spend more on little luxuries, driving sales of lipstick. 

Wende Zomnir

"The Lipstick Index is real, and I think beauty will see a steady hold or uptick as customers look to their favorite brands to deliver something that makes them look good on camera, and adds something new and exciting to their look and their lives at a time when more expensive splurges are out of reach," Zomnir said.

Zomnir continued: "But this time around, the Lipstick Index is going to be the brow, mascara and liner index as we peer at each other from behind our masks."

Sales of lighting devices are also set to explode, Zomnir said, as "people strive to look their best for online meetings." 

The coronavirus pandemic has already created practical issues for the cosmetics industry, as shoppers are no longer able to test beauty products in stores.

Zomnir says technology will be crucial to driving sales. In the coming weeks, she predicts the industry will see a rise of virtual sessions with makeup experts, virtual shade matching, and more free samples to convince customers to buy products. Companies may also start giving customers virtual copy of a product, allowing them to "apply" the makeup via videoconferencing filters. 

"How do we create connection without our artists and beauty advisors when the nature of what they do is to literally be right in someone's face?" Zomnir asked.

"The obvious solutions are virtual, but will we be able to create the same sense of discovery and level of excitement?" she continued. "If the transformation doesn't happen on the customer's face IRL, is it as compelling?"

SEE ALSO: Hot dogs sales skyrocket by more than 120% during the coronavirus pandemic, as Americans embrace the 'best quarantine food'

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