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The most expensive sneakers ever sold at auction


Michael Jordan

  • Sneakerheads are known for their collections of rare (and often quite pricey) shoes. 
  • Today, many collectors buy their shoes on the resale market, where prices can enter the five-digits.
  • On the auction block, shoes can go for even more.
  • Business Insider' Shoshy Ciment recently reported that a pair of Michael Jordan's game-worn shoes sold for over half a million dollars, breaking the existing record and becoming the most expensive sneakers ever sold at auction.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Sneakers can be extremely valuable, and no one knows that better than "sneakerheads." The closets of some of the most prominent sneakerheads can be as mindbogglingly expensive as those of Birkin bag collectors.

Today, many collectors can find shoes on the resale market, which had an estimated worth of $2 billion dollars in 2019, according to Business Insider's Dennis Green. But at auction, individual pairs of sneakers can be even pricier.

The value of a given pair of sneakers is often tied to the history behind them. Shoes worn by Michael Jordan, for example, tell the story of his basketball career and serve as snapshots in time. Other shoes are valuable because of how rare they are; one example is the Nike Dunk SB Low Paris, which has fewer than 200 pairs in existence. 

Recently, Business Insider' Shoshy Ciment reported that a pair of Michael Jordan's game-worn shoes sold for over a half a million dollars, making them the most expensive sneakers ever auctioned.

Business Insider teamed up with the Guinness Book of World Records to see what other sneakers broke auction records. Here they are, listed from least to most expensive.

SEE ALSO: 9 famous paintings that sold at auction for millions more than their earlier value

DON'T MISS: A designer reimagined iconic Nike and Adidas sneakers as face masks. Here's what they look like:

2013: Nike Air Jordan 12 ($104,765)

In December 2013, a pair of Michael Jordan's Nike Air Jordan 12 basketball shoes were sold by a former ball boy, who was given the shoes by Jordan himself after his 1997 "flu game," so called because Jordan was very sick while playing but still ended up scoring 38 points.

The shoes, a size 13, were worn and signed by Jordan, who was playing for the Chicago Bulls at the time. They sold for $104,765 to an unidentified buyer.

Source:Business Insider

2016: Nike Mag self-lacing trainers ($200,000)

In November 2016, the Michael J. Fox Foundation sold a pair of Nike Mag self-lacing trainers, which were inspired by the sneakers seen in the 1989 film "Back to the Future Part II." The shoes sold for $200,000.

Source: Sole Collector

2019: Nike Waffle Racing Flat "Moon Shoe" ($437,500)

In July 2019, Sotheby's auctioned a pair of 1972 Nike Waffle Racing Flat "Moon Shoe" sneakers for $437,5000. The shoes were unworn, and were handmade by Bill Bowerman, Nike's cofounder.

The buyer was entrepreneur Miles Spencer Nadal, who said he plans to display the sneakers in his Dare to Dream Automobile Museum, located in Toronto, Canada.

Source:Sotheby's, CNN

2020: Nike Air Jordan 1s ($560,000)

In May, Sotheby's auctioned a pair of Nike Air Jordan 1s, game-worn by Michael Jordan in 1985. The shoes were sold for $560,000 via online auction. The right shoe has Jordan's signature in permanent marker. They were expected to auction for between $100,000 and $150,000, but sold for nearly five times that, setting a new record for the most expensive sneakers ever sold at auction.

The shoes are also mismatched in size — the left is a size 13 and the right is a size 13.5. Jordan is said to have preferred this while playing.

Source: Business Insider

5 major changes travelers can expect to see right away in hotels like Marriott, Hilton, and Wyndham as they open back up


coronavirus hotel cleaning

  • The American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA) has released new safety and cleaning guidelines for hotels to use when reopening amid the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Major hotel brands like Marriott, Hilton, and Wyndham have pledged to abide by the new protocols.
  • They include using contactless check in, getting rid of daily housekeeping, avoiding or limiting breakfast buffets, and encouraging self-parking instead of valet service.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Prepare for a significantly different experience the next time you stay in a hotel.

As states and countries begin to reopen, the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA) has released new safety and cleaning guidelines for the hotel industry.

Major hotel brands including Marriott, Hilton, Wyndham, Hyatt, and Walt Disney Parks and Resorts have pledged to abide by the Safe Stay initiative, which was created by the AHLA Safe Stay Advisory Council in collaboration with public health experts, scientists, and medical leaders.

Some of the AHLA-recommended changes include getting rid of or limiting many aspects of a traditional hotel stay like daily housekeeping, breakfast buffets, and valet service.

Here are five major changes you can expect next time you stay in a hotel.

SEE ALSO: How the coronavirus will change vacations forever, according to 10 travel industry leaders

DON'T MISS: 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

1. You'll check in with your smartphone.

The AHLA encourages contactless check in and payment processes whenever possible as hotels welcome back guests.

Many hotels, such as Hilton, already have their own smartphone app that allows you to check in and access your room — as well fitness centers, side doors, and any other areas you'd normally access with a key card — without interacting with another person.

2. Don't expect housekeeping to come clean your room every day.

Guests typically expect daily housekeeping in their hotel rooms unless they request their room be skipped. That's about to change.

Per the new AHLA guidelines, housekeeping should not enter a guest room during a stay unless specifically requested.

Rooms will be thoroughly cleaned after check-out as usual, with cleaners paying particular attention to disinfecting high-touch, nonporous objects like remote controls, toilet seats and handles, door and water faucet handles, nightstands, telephones, light switches, luggage racks, and more.

The AHLA notes that "the frequency of room cleaning during a guest's stay may be altered based on guest requirements."

3. Room service will now come via a bag dropped outside your door — or a server in full PPE.

The AHLA recommends that traditional room service be replaced with a no-contact delivery method.

This could come "in the form of a market bag left at the door," as the general manager at Snow King Resort in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, recently told Business Insider.

Or it could mean delivery by an employee outfitted in PPE, as at luxury hotel brand Aman Resorts.

4. Say goodbye to the traditional hotel breakfast buffet.

Buffet service should be limited. Prepackaged foods and "grab and go" items should be the preferred method of food delivery, per the AHLA.

If a hotel chooses to continue offering a buffet, food should be served by an attendant in PPE; sneeze and cough shields should be placed at all food displays; and condiments, silverware, napkins, and glassware on tables should be limited to allow for proper disinfection between each guest.

5. Instead of valet service, self-parking will be encouraged.

If valet service is provided, the hotel must properly disinfect all contact points within the vehicle, per the AHLA.

A businessman is selling his brand-new Bombardier Global 7500 for $70 million, the only one on the market. Take a look inside the 3-month-old jet.


Bombardier Global 7500

  • A businessman is selling his brand new Bombardier Global 7500, one of the newest private jets on the market with an unparalleled range for its class of 7,700 nautical miles.
  • The jet was delivered in February 2020 but the owner hasn't flown on it or seen it since it was delivered.
  • Complete with 16 seats and a private bedroom, the jet is ideal for long-range jet setters.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

The Bombardier Global 7500 is one of the world's newest wide-cabin private jets and the latest in the Canadian manufacturer's popular Global Express lineup. 

First delivered to a customer in December 2018, merely a handful of the type are currently roaming the skies, making it one of the most exclusive private jets flying. The jet is a long-range leader with a range of 7,700 nautical miles, more than 200 nautical miles greater than currently offered by rival Gulfstream. 

But the Global 7500 is not a typical private jet. Complete with a master bedroom, seating for up to 19, and an optional shower, the jet doesn't compromise in any area and is a bonafide leader in its class. Thomas Flohr of VistaJet, one of the newest owners of the aircraft, recently described the aircraft as a "game-changer" in a recent interview with Business Insider regarding the future of private aviation

While most are coming straight from Bombardier's factory, one owner is currently selling his Global 7500 with an asking price of $70 million. It's currently the only "pre-owned" Global 7500 for sale and with a clear demand for the aircraft, it likely won't be on the market for too much longer once the pandemic eases up, according to seller Philip Rushton of the aircraft acquisition and sales firm Aviatrade

Take a look inside the three-month-old jet currently awaiting its new home.

SEE ALSO: 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.

DON'T MISS: 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

This Bombardier Global 7500 was delivered in February 2020 and only has 35 hours just from its flight testing and delivery flights. Built in Toronto, it was later flown to Montreal to have its interior completed and onward to the US for storage.

Source: Aviatrade

Opting for other aircraft while waiting for his Global 7500 to be delivered, the owner decided to sell the aircraft, making it the only one to be listed on the market for "pre-owned" purchase.

The owner himself, however, hasn't even flown or seen the $70 million jet as it sits idle awaiting its new home. Though it was delivered to the owner's representatives, the aircraft, for all intents and purposes, is brand new.

Inside the luxurious jet, the owner opted for a 16-seat configuration with four passenger seating compartments.

Source: Aviatrade

The first seating area, known as the club suite, consists of two pairs of club seats, each with their own table stowed in the sidewall.

Source: Aviatrade

All seats are Bombardier's new Nuage seat which do not recline fully flat but offer a deep recline thanks to a unique tilt system, as well as an adjustable headrest and floating base for easy movements.

Source: Aviatrade

The conference and dining suite is located directly behind the club suite featuring six club seats in total, each around a fixed table. The two ends can also be connected when more space is needed.

Source: Aviatrade

The first two passenger compartments are seamlessly connected with no barriers dividing them, offering an open concept-style configuration in the front of the plane.

Two couches then make up the more intimate lounge area. They can also be made into beds when taking on additional guests.

Source: Aviatrade

Other options for this section include the entertainment suite where one couch sits adjacent to a large, high-definition television ideal for entertainment on a long-haul flight.

The highlight of the aircraft is the bedroom, located in the rear of the aircraft and complete with a full bed.

Source: Aviatrade

The Global 7500 is one of the few jets in its class to offer this feature but with the longer than 16 hours of flight that this jet is capable of, the bed certainly comes in handy.

Opposite the bed is also a single-seat for a more private workspace complete with a retractable table stored in the sidewall.

Source: Aviatrade

Behind the bedroom is the lavatory complete with a full sink and its own window. The owner opted against the shower feature, with Rushton telling Business Insider that it uses up too much potable water for it to be useful.

Source: Aviatrade

Other unique aspects about the aircraft are its oversized windows, offering bounds of natural light and greater views from altitude.

As well as its fully-equipped forward galley, featuring a convective oven, refrigerator, and freezer.

Source: Aviatrade

Opposite the galley is a crew rest area with a bunk bed to house additional pilots on the longest flights. The feature was a major selling point for the owner who initially wanted the flexibility to use the plane to its maximum extent.

Source: Aviatrade

Though the pandemic has delayed some overseas buyers from coming to visit the aircraft and ultimately complete a transaction, Rushton believes this aircraft won't be for sale much longer.

The jet is a hot commodity, despite having been delivered to an owner, as the backlog of Global 7500s stretches until around 2022, Rushton told Business Insider. And as this jet is the only one on the market ready for near-immediate delivery, it'll still fetch a pretty penny.

The 20 cities that attracted the most interest from prospective homebuyers in April


Rochester, New York

  • A recent report by Realtor.com found April's 20 most in-demand cities for prospective homebuyers.
  • The report measured the 40 largest US metro areas and found the listings that were viewed the most and where homes were spending the least amount of time on the market.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

During the deadliest month of the coronavirus pandemic, prospective buyers leaned toward certain US housing markets.

A recent report by Realtor.com found April's 20 hottest metro areas for prospective homebuyers, measuring where listings were being viewed the most and where homes were spending the least amount of time on the market. The report considered the 40 largest US metro areas.

According to the report, the top 20 markets saw 1.8 to 2.9 times the amount of views per home for sale compared with the national rate. And homes in these markets are moving between 13 to 31 days faster.

Realtor.com said that while these markets were the top performers of the month, their numbers were dragged down by the pandemic.

"In April's rankings, just 4 of the 20 hottest markets saw a year-over-year improvement in days on market compared to March, when all 20 were moving faster. Moreover, April saw 15 of the top 20 markets decline in views per property compared to last year; in March there were just three markets seeing declines," the report said. 

"Despite these overall market slowdowns, familiar locales continued to rank near the top of our list of hottest markets. So although some markets are showing improvements along key metrics, April's hottest markets list is a sign of market resilience more so than a list of thriving markets," it added.

The housing market on a national level took a hit in April

Another report from Realtor.com in early May showed that the national inventory in April saw a year-over-year decrease of 15.3%. And the homes that were for sale sat on the market for 62 days on average, four days more than the same time last year.

The drop in inventory was largely because of the decrease in new listings, which saw a year-over-year decrease of 44.1%, as sellers have and still are opting to hold off on listing their properties until the market levels out. 

One group of sellers expected to make a big splash in the 2020 market was the baby boomers, who are largely at or nearing retirement age and likely to list their homes. However, Realtor.com predicted that those who are already holding on to properties would be more inclined to keep them off the market for another year, when the market could normalize.

There are a few reasons that baby boomers are holding back, George Ratiu, Realtor.com's senior economist, told Business Insider. One is that it's hard to ascertain the right price in the current market. In addition, once those sellers become buyers, they will enter a market with very little inventory, resulting in few options.

That leaves millennials as the relative losers, who were at or near homebuying age anyway, before the coronavirus-led recession and remote-working situation opened up many possibilities for them to leave their rented apartments and hunt for property deals.

So what cities were people looking at in April?

The 20 hottest markets in April were spread across 10 states

The states that made the list were: California, Colorado, Indiana, Kansas, North Carolina, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Washington, and Wisconsin.

The state that dominated was California, which had seven markets in the top 20. Colorado had the metro area that ranked No. 1.

The biggest cities, including New York and Los Angeles, didn't make the list.

Keep reading for the full list.

SEE ALSO: 5 designs for the post-coronavirus office that the most cash-strapped companies can adopt

DON'T MISS: Here's how the largest housing markets in California performed in April

20. San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, California

Views per property year-over-year change: -7%

Days on the market: 40

Days on the market year-over-year change: 11

Median listing price: $938,500

Median listing price year-over-year change: 1%

19. Dayton, Ohio

Views per property year-over-year change: 4%

Days on the market: 49

Days on the market year-over-year change: 7

Median listing price: $188,500

Median listing price year-over-year change: 22%

18. Rochester, New York

Views per property year-over-year change: -18%

Days on the market: 48

Days on the market year-over-year change: 13

Median listing price: $250,000

Median listing price year-over-year change: 8%

17. Racine, Wisconsin

Views per property year-over-year change: -15%

Days on the market: 44

Days on the market year-over-year change: 4

Median listing price: $265,000

Median listing price year-over-year change: -4%

16. Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, Wisconsin

Views per property year-over-year change: -5%

Days on the market: 45

Days on the market year-over-year change: 2

Median listing price: $340,600

Median listing price year-over-year change: -1%

15. Burlington, North Carolina

Views per property year-over-year change: -8%

Days on the market: 45

Days on the market year-over-year change: -14

Median listing price: $267,200

Median listing price year-over-year change: 3%

14. Stockton-Lodi, California

Views per property year-over-year change: -3%

Days on the market: 41

Days on the market year-over-year change: 6

Median listing price: $438,600

Median listing price year-over-year change: 3%

13. Yuba City, California

Views per property year-over-year change: -17%

Days on the market: 45

Days on the market year-over-year change: -3

Median listing price: $370,000

Median listing price year-over-year change: 10%

12. Spokane-Spokane Valley, Washington

Views per property year-over-year change: -23%

Days on the market: 39

Days on the market year-over-year change: 6

Median listing price: $381,300

Median listing price year-over-year change: 9%

11. Vallejo-Fairfield, California

Views per property year-over-year change: -4%

Days on the market: 39

Days on the market year-over-year change: 10

Median listing price: $490,000

Median listing price year-over-year change: 1%

10. Fresno, California

Views per property year-over-year change: 9%

Days on the market: 43

Days on the market year-over-year change: 4

Median listing price: $329,800

Median listing price year-over-year change: 5%

9. Sacramento–Roseville–Arden-Arcade, California

Views per property year-over-year change: -14%

Days on the market: 38

Days on the market year-over-year change: 3

Median listing price: $499,100

Median listing price year-over-year change: 2%

8. Lafayette-West Lafayette, Indiana

Views per property year-over-year change: -12%

Days on the market: 40

Days on the market year-over-year change: 6

Median listing price: $260,000

Median listing price year-over-year change: 3%

7. Manchester-Nashua, New Hampshire

Views per property year-over-year change: -15%

Days on the market: 43

Days on the market year-over-year change: 2

Median listing price: $391,000

Median listing price year-over-year change: 4%

6. Modesto, California

Views per property year-over-year change: 1

Days on the market: 39

Days on the market year-over-year change: 1

Median listing price: $377,500

Median listing price year-over-year change: 3%

5. Columbus, Ohio

Views per property year-over-year change: -16%

Days on the market: 43

Days on the market year-over-year change: 6

Median listing price: $309,600

Median listing price year-over-year change: 3%

4. Pueblo, Colorado

Views per property year-over-year change: 5%

Days on the market: 34

Days on the market year-over-year change: -11

Median listing price: $286,300

Median listing price year-over-year change: 4%

3. Topeka, Kansas

Views per property year-over-year change: 17%

Days on the market: 40

Days on the market year-over-year change: 3

Median listing price: $161,300

Median listing price year-over-year change: 14%

2. Fort Wayne, Indiana

Views per property year-over-year change: -17%

Days on the market: 40

Days on the market year-over-year change: -16

Median listing price: $235,200

Median listing price year-over-year change: 0%

1. Colorado Springs, Colorado

Views per property year-over-year change: -2%

Days on the market: 32

Days on the market year-over-year change: 2

Median listing price: $472,500

Median listing price year-over-year change: 11%

I canceled 7 flights due to the pandemic. Here's the strategies I used that got me my money back and the ones that didn't


Grounded airliners Scandinavian Airlines

  • I was supposed to fly to Europe the night after President Donald Trump announced travel restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic. 
  • After the announcement was made, I began the long process of tearing down the trip and getting my money back, which was harder than expected and is still on-going two months later. 
  • The pandemic revealed which airlines were financially responsible and which were less than enthusiastic to assist customers in the wake of a global health crisis. 
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

In the weeks leading up to a planned trip to Spain and Morocco in March, I was constantly checking with my airlines to see if any of the 7 flights that I had booked would be canceled due to the spread of COVID-19.

With the virus marching across Europe and numerous countries including Italy and Spain helpless to stop its progression, I was all but sure that the airline would be canceling my flights. If that were the case, I'd be entitled to a refund and could be made somewhat whole. 

Nevertheless, my flights were still scheduled to operate as planned up until around 9:00 p.m. on March 11, the night before my trip when President Donald Trump began his speech from the Oval Office. In his speech, the president announced all travel between the US and Europe except for the UK and Ireland would be canceled for 30 days starting that Friday.

Having suffered through the previous few weeks of hearing about airlines canceling flights, travelers canceling bookings, and countries closing borders, Trump's decision was honestly a sigh of relief but work needed to be done as I would need to cancel other aspects of my trip.

A panic set in and I was off to the races making phone calls to tear down a trip I had spent nine months building up. Two months later, I'm still fighting to be made whole. 

Here's what it was like to cancel travel plans after coronavirus threw a wrench in my trip. 

Canceling my flights to and from Europe on Lufthansa - $548.44

FILE PHOTO: Lufthansa airplanes are seen parked on the tarmac during a strike of cabin crew union (UFO) at Frankfurt airport, Germany November 7, 2019. REUTERS/Ralph Orlowski/File Photo

It appeared that the president's travel ban had caught airlines by surprise.

Before the president could even finish his sentence announcing the historic travel ban, I was dialing customer service for the airline I had booked with, Lufthansa. The average hold time was stated as one hour with no other means of contacting them as the live chat function was down for the night.

After waiting on hold with Lufthansa for only around thirty minutes, a surprisingly low wait time considering the circumstances, I was on the line with an agent. Hurriedly explaining the situation and still clearly in shock, I was barely able to convey to her the alphanumeric booking code that I could recite by heart in the days leading up to the flight.

Nothing on Lufthansa's website had yet indicated the airline had planned for or was aware of the president's proclamation, but after explaining that the president had just restricted travel between the US and Europe, the agent put me on a brief hold and then offered to refund the ticket citing the president's decision.

Getting the actual money back would be a different story. 

Grounded planes Lufthansa

Immediately after canceling, I received a cancellation email to confirm that I'd no longer be traveling. A few weeks later, however, I checked my account to see no funds had arrived, and, having canceled flights in the past, I knew it was longer than expected.

A call to the airline and subsequent Twitter direct message yielded a response of: "Due to the sheer amount of refund requests needed to be initiated manually by my colleagues, we are unable to predict you with a time frame at the moment, unfortunately. Your patience is highly appreciated, as my colleagues will refund your ticket as soon as possible."

At the time of publishing, over two months since the initial call to Lufthansa to cancel the ticket, I've yet to receive that refund. It's not an isolated incident either as I booked two tickets, having fronted my companion the cost of the ticket by putting the fare on my card, and received nothing for either ticket. 

With the airline refusing to provide a further update on the status of the refund, I filed a dispute with my credit card and am awaiting the final outcome, a potentially 60-day-long process. What was supposed to be the easiest cancellation of the trip quickly turned out to be the most difficult, which was surprising for an airline of Lufthansa's stature until I read a report from Business Insider Deutschland citing the airline's financial woes.

Canceling my flights within Europe and North Africa on Ryanair - $57.98

FILE PHOTO: A Ryanair Boeing 737-8AS takes off before all international flights were cancelled on Monday midnight, March 16, to help to contain the spread of the coronavirus, in Riga, Latvia, March 16, 2020. REUTERS/Ints Kalnins

While I had no problem convincing Lufthansa to cancel my booking, the subsequent flights would be more difficult considering the travel ban didn't apply to them. The next flights on my list to cancel were two flights on Ryanair from Madrid to Marrakesh, Morocco, and onward to Seville, Spain after a day in the North African country. 

The flights had not been canceled and the Spanish COVID-19 lockdown had not yet been ordered so I knew it would be an uphill battle with Ryanair being a notoriously cost-minded ultra-low-cost carrier. The tickets themselves had only cost around $60 in total.

The problem with canceling a Ryanair booking from the US, however, was calling their European offices. Placing an international phone meant incurring a fee of around $.25 per minute on Google Voice and with the long hold times, I was bound to rack up some fees. 

Luckily, I didn't have to try too hard since Ryanair ultimately ended up canceling my flights and that meant I could get my money back. Instead of having to call, as is the case with most airlines, Ryanair had sent an email and text that I could easily click through to request a refund. And so I did. 

Three business days from the date of the cancellation, I received the funds back in my account. 

Canceling my flight within Spain on Iberia - $20.09

FILE PHOTO: Airbus A319-100 aircraft of Spanish airline Iberia is seen at the international airport in Munich, Germany, January 9, 2018.    REUTERS/Michaela Rehle

The final flight to cancel was a $20 flight from Seville to Madrid on Iberia, the Spanish flag carrier. Just like with Ryanair, the flights weren't yet canceled and I wouldn't be able to get a refund so I waited until the last minute to see if they would be. 

Iberia, fortunately, has a US phone number so getting a hold of them was easier than with Ryanair. The day before the flight, I noticed that Iberia was offered travel vouchers for people seeking to canceled Madrid-bound flights due to the COVID-19 situation in the capital city.

While this would have been better than forfeiting the funds, I waited until the very last minute to see if the flights would be canceled. In the event that they would be, I would collect the funds and be made whole, but that wasn't the case.

An hour before the flight's departure, it became clear the flight was still on so I took Iberia up on its request of a travel voucher. The process took two minutes using an online form. 

Learning which airlines to trust

JFK Airport

When I first booked this trip in June 2019, I thought I knew which airlines to trust when it came to this sort of thing and purposefully booked with the airline I did for the long-haul portion because I knew that I'd be covered in the event of an irregular situation.

The coronavirus pandemic taught me that a crisis can bring out the worst in businesses and that it's not enough to trust an airline to refund customers — and I should have been more proactive from the start.

SEE ALSO: 5 reasons why you should buy a plane ticket for travel later this year — and 7 reasons why you shouldn't

DON'T MISS: Don't expect an automatic refund from airlines: Here's why they don't refund customers even after a flight is canceled.

Join the conversation about this story »

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This 100-square-foot tiny cabin was designed by Cornell professors using reject trees, 3D printers, and a robot arm they found on eBay


HANNAH_Ashen Cabin_Leslie Lok_Sasa Zivkovic (01)

  • Two Cornell University architecture professors designed a cabin that is partially 3D printed.
  • The design uses ash trees infected with an invasive beetle species that are not suitable for sawmills.
  • The rest of the 10-foot by 10-foot cabin is 3D printed concrete. 
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

In Ithaca, NY, waste materials have been turned into a sustainable and futuristic tiny cabin.

Leslie Lok and Sasha Zivkovic, both assistant professors of architecture at Cornell University, are behind this project from their experimental design studio, Hannah.

The Emerald Ash Borer is an invasive beetle species that threatens ash trees in the US. The beetles make full-grown ash trees unsuitable for sawmills and construction because of the irregular shape. With this design, Hannah found a way to repurpose these trees that were previously considered waste material. The studio created a 100-square-foot prototype in rural upstate New York, and it survived its first New York winter.

Take a look at the innovative design. 

SEE ALSO: These plexiglass boxes from an Italian designer might be the way to reopen beaches safely — here's what they look like

Irregularly shaped logs, like those drawn here, were sourced for the prototype.

The studio found an old robot arm on eBay which was previously used by General Motors.

The design was based around the curved wood that characterizes infected trees.

An early prototype showed what the wood could become.

Then, using the Robotic Construction Lab at Cornell, the robot was reprogrammed to cut and shape the wood into usable shapes.

Irregularly shaped wood could be shaved into the right shape for paneling on the cabin.

"Infested ash trees are a very specific form of waste material; and our inability to contain the blight has made them so abundant that we can — and should develop strategies to use them as a material" Zivkovic said.

"Infested ash trees often either decompose or are burned for energy. Unfortunately, both scenarios release CO2 into the atmosphere," Zivkovic said.

The natural curvature of the wood is used to highlight certain points of the design, like the four windows.

Keeping elements of the wood's natural shape also nods to its origins.

Detailing on the door is rustic, while the overall design is modern.

Designers used concrete to complement the wood and complete the design.

The concrete chimney, part of a working fireplace, is the most prominent feature of the exterior.

The 3D printer, here, was used by designers for all the concrete elements.

All the concrete used in the cabin was 3D printed at the Cornell lab.

Concrete is one of the most commonly used construction materials, and concrete production is responsible for some CO2 emissions.

"By using 3D printing, we eliminate the use of wasteful formwork and can deposit concrete smartly and only where structurally necessary, reducing its use considerably while also maintaining a building's integrity" Lok said.

3D printed concrete legs elevate the cabin to adjust to a sloped landscape.

The texture legs are shown here.

Concrete floor tiles have a similar pattern.

Inside, there is a concrete table and a storage seat.

A long bench is made from the same material as the window frames and can be extended into a bed if needed.

The 21-foot-tall fireplace sits in one corner, next to some shelving and a small sink.

The wood facade is already ventilated, so it's prepared for rain and snow.

Over time, the wood will darken and turn a shade of grey, better blending with the concrete.

Designers believe that this prototype could be a look at the future of home construction and sustainability.

A photographer who spent years capturing photos of the small towns and remote destinations using Google Street View shares her tips for virtual travel during the coronavirus pandemic


Dogs and Yellow Wall_Chile

  • Back in 2016, photographer Jacqui Kenny logged into Google Street View from her home in London, and she spent the next several years traveling virtually — sometimes for 18 hours a day.
  • Kenny has agoraphobia, which is an extreme or irrational fear of entering open or crowded places or being in places from which escape is difficult. Her condition has made long-distance travel difficult.
  • Fast forward to today: Kenny has visited almost every country mapped on Google Street View and taken 40,000 screenshots along the way.
  • Kenny posts her images of remote towns and Google cars kicking up dust to her 128,000 followers on Instagram as the Agoraphobic Traveler.
  • Business Insider caught up with Kenny to learn about her virtual journeys, her favorite places to photograph, and her tips for virtual travel in the age of social distancing.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Ten years ago, photographer Jacqui Kenny was diagnosed with agoraphobia. Her condition makes traveling long distances on planes, trains, and buses difficult.

Kenny, now in her 40s, has lived with agoraphobia since her early 20s. In the years following her diagnosis, she said she found her world shrinking.

"I didn't really want to go out that much," she told Business Insider. "I found myself in the situation where I needed to find some way to stay connected with the world."

One day in 2016, she sat down at her computer in London and opened up Google Street View. That's when her world changed.

"I felt like I had so much more control in this world than I did in the real world at that point," she told Business Insider. "I could parachute into these countries with no fear of panic attacks, no fear of anxiety, no flying."

For the next two-and-half to three years, she became a full-time visual traveler. Kenny would open up Street View daily to travel to far-flung corners of the earth, sometimes for as many as 18 hours at a time.

When Jacqui found an image she liked, she took a screenshot and began posting her "Street View portraits" on Instagram under the name the Agoraphobic Traveler.

Jacqui estimates that she's traveled to almost every country mapped on Google Street View and taken 40,000 images.

Today, Kenny isn't on Street View as often as she used to be. "I got to a point where I felt I got all that I needed from the project," she told Business Insider.

Instead, she's working on a book of her work scheduled to launch early next year and has been combing through her archive of images.

Rediscovering old images has been an opportunity for Kenny to contemplate what the project meant to her.

"So many of the images I took were a reflection of what I was going through at the time," she said. "They feel quite isolated, but the colors are hopeful."

When Kenny first started traveling on Street View, everything was new and exciting, from a dog chasing to a cat to kids playing football.

Over time, she found that she was drawn to visual symbols of resilience like remote desert towns, cacti, and palm trees.

Mongolia, Senegal, Peru, Chile, Arizona, and New Mexico are among her favorite places to visit, with Mongolia topping the list.

Kenny discovered Mongolia early on her project and was drawn to how different it was from her life in London. She loves its mix of traditional and modern architecture, rolling landscapes, herds of wild horses, and light.

Over the course of her project, Kenny also realized she didn't have to travel to far-flung places to be happy and learned to appreciate her neighborhood in London more. "It was a great time to actually look around at what's close to me," she said.

Kenny used to recommend places to visit on Street View, but now encourages people to just pick a place and dive in, since everyone notices and appreciates different details.

She recommends the website mapcrunch.com, which drops users in random locations on Street View.

Kenny also stressed the importance of connecting with others during the pandemic.

"What we're going through at the moment is different from my experience with agoraphobia, but there are still similarities like the frustration of not connecting with the world in a way that you want," she said.

Kenny's followers on Instagram have helped her feel that connection, recommending places around the world for her to virtually visit and sharing their own experiences with agoraphobia and mental health. "It makes me not feel that I'm so alone with it," she said.

What superyachts will look like in a post-pandemic world


superyacht isolation

As superyachts have become the picture of safety in a pandemic world for the 1%, those who design them are stepping up their game.

The ultrawealthy are creating a new future of superyachts as they look for customized vessels well-equipped to withstand future virus outbreaks, Caroline Siona White reported for The Telegraph. And what they want all ties into crafting the ultimate quarantine experience at sea.

Some want a superyacht that marries the best of a commercial vessel and a yacht, White wrote: luxurious with the right tech and features made for expeditions and adventure that will get them very, very far away. Think an ice-breaking stern or an extensive spa to relax after a long day of heliskiing.

Jim Dixon, director of yachts and aviation at Winch Design, told White younger generations were already more interested in these qualities before the pandemic, which seems to be accelerating the trend. "Anything to do with exhilaration: experiences, adventures, [and] sports seems to be very much of the moment," he said. 

But most owners are seeking a yacht environment that focuses on privacy and self-sufficiency, White wrote, one that enables them to spend time with family and that has all they need at their disposal to remove themselves from the world. On board, that translates to more volume and comfort.

Billionaires have been self-isolating at sea

Superyachts have always been about escape, but that's taken on new meaning in the age of the coronavirus. Billionaires have been chartering superyachts for months at a time to ride out the pandemic, Business Insider's Dominic Madori-Davis reported.

In March, entertainment mogul David Geffen, posted to Instagram that he was self-isolating on his $590 million yacht Rising Sun in The Grenadines, sparking backlash in the process.

But Geffen isn't the only one floating his pandemic days away at sea. Jonathan Beckett, the CEO of yacht broker Burgess, told The Telegraph's Alan Tovey that wealthy people are looking for ways to "weather the storm" and that a yacht "in a nice climate isn't a bad place to self-isolate."

Large yachts have enough storage room to hold supplies that can last for months, Beckett noted, meaning the vessel can spend a longer amount of time at sea without docking. "Clients are arranging for their children to be schooled on board, with cooking lessons from the yacht's chef and time with the crew in the engine room learning about technology," he said.

On the other hand, Rumble Romagnoli, CEO of Relevance, a luxury digital marketing company headquartered in the superyacht hub of Monaco, told CNN that he thinks self-isolating in the middle of the sea would be unrealistic and tedious, even with luxurious amenities on hand. "It's not like a villa," he said. "It can be quite claustrophobic."

But it looks like that might not be the case for the superyacht of the future.

SEE ALSO: Hollywood billionaire David Geffen has been self-isolating on his superyacht in the Caribbean during the coronavirus pandemic. Take a look at the $590 million yacht.

DON'T MISS: 9 superyacht crew members share what it's really like working for a billionaire on board

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The 5 best dress watches for businessmen, according to an expert watch consultant


Rolex Day-Date 40

  • Andrew Hildreth is a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Clockmakers and a watch consultant to Christie's and Christie's Education.
  • He recommends these five watches that anyone can confidently wear in any situation, from a challenging 8 a.m. work meeting to a glamorous evening cocktail.
  • A dress watch should be timeless, fit with both formal and casual wear, and be both clean and elegant, he says.
  • From the original Patek Philippe Calatrava to the presidential Rolex Day-Date, these watches have adorned the wrists of greats.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

A watch is as much a part of a well-dressed man's attire as his shoes or tie. It should complete the ensemble without drawing attention to itself: always in style, with any choice of formal or casual wear, suffering none of the vagaries of fashion. It should look as appropriate now as it would have 20 years ago or two decades from now.

Dr. Andrew Hildreth, watch expert

Not surprisingly, the style and design codes of the dress watch haven't been altered to any great extent over the last few decades — or for that matter, the last century. 

I should note that in this ever-increasing informal age, the list below is very much a personal choice: I favor a clean and parsimonious approach to the dial, with only hours, minutes, and perhaps seconds, so the time of day can easily be read. The watch should slip easily below the shirt cuffs of your favorite formal shirts, but also look equally good with your less formal wear.

In short, the ideal dress watch should be timeless. And while it's not a requirement for it to be mechanical, the five selected below all are. 

1. Patek Philippe Calatrava, $22,680 recommended retail price

The Patek Philippe Calatrava (reference 5196) is arguably the quintessential dress watch. The original Calatrava, the reference or "model number" 96, was created in 1932 when the Stern family, long-time dialmakers, acquired the business. The reference 96 and its current direct descendent were always intended to be simple and elegant, right for any occasion.

Over the decades, Patek has introduced an array of Calatrava models remaining true to the same design codes since inception. It could be argued that its style is the ultimate expression of a dress watch. From its first 1930s earnest elegant form, through the teardrop lug (the term of the case element connecting the watch to the strap) and modern expression cases of the 1940s and 1950s to the futuristic ergonomics of the following two decades, the Patek Calatrava kept simple, balanced, and legible dials where you could tell the time at a glance.

The current model represents the sublimation of all its previous iterations: a slim, erudite case design, a clear and legible dial with baton markers representing the time (for the gold-cased versions), and Breguet numerals (a font named after the famed watchmaker, see below) for the platinum case. The Calatrava fulfills everything you would want to see in a dress watch.

2. Cartier Tank, $9,750 recommended retail price

First among equals would be the Cartier Tank — as avant garde today as it was a century ago. Although the design has been around for almost as long as the wristwatch itself, the number of watches actually produced has always been small, making the use of the Tank as a dress watch relatively rare.  

Using the new instrument of destruction in WWI, the tank, as his muse, Louis Cartier integrated lugs and the near ideal dimensions of the rectangular case. That, coupled with the history of one of horology's most long-lasting and celebrated designs, make the Cartier Tank an ideal dress watch.

Over the years, changes to the original design have been minimal. Recently, with Marie-Laure Cérède helming their watch design department, Cartier's classics have made a telling comeback. In the current line-up, the Tank Louis Cartier watch (ref. W1529756) stands out with its sublime elegance; the design and dimensions being almost the same as the original.

This model has never looked so good or provided better value for your money. And if it was sufficiently sartorial to grace the wrists of Rudolf Valentino and Andy Warhol among many others, I'd dare say it's good enough for yours.

3. Vacheron Constantin Patrimony, $18,100 recommended retail price

On equal footing with the Patek Philippe Calatrava is the Vacheron Constantin Patrimony (ref. 81180). Founded in 1736, Vacheron is the oldest continuous name in horology.  Although a modern design — the Patrimony was introduced in 2004 — its dimensions and aesthetics have their origin in their watches from the 1950s, proof that good design is never out of style.

A large, simple marked dial with slim baton hands — only hours and minutes — the Patrimony embodies the very definition of frugal elegance in design. 

4. Breguet Classique, $18,800 recommended retail price

Breguet is possibly the most famous name in horology. Much of what we know about watchmaking can be traced back to the Frenchman who, in the words of watch expert and author George Daniels, took horology from "the slave of science, [and] lifted it to a new dimension of visual and technical excellence."

Modern-day Montres Breguet (acquired by the Swatch Group) continues to create watches in the same instantly recognizable style. Breguet's Classique (ref. 5157) is the modern iteration of the timepiece that Abraham Louis Breguet himself championed: a round case, termed by the man himself a savonette, a patterned silver dial with lacquered Roman numerals, and thin "Breguet style" blued hands.

This aesthetic was pioneered by Breguet two and a half centuries ago; it looked good then and still looks good today. Classic, as the name suggests and as history bears witness, is timeless.

5. Rolex Day-Date, $39,250 recommended retail price

The final choice is not strictly a "dress watch" for suits and special occasions as some might argue — but hear me out: The Rolex Day-Date, otherwise known as the "Presidential Rolex," was introduced at the Basel Watch Fair in 1956. It gained that moniker because President Dwight D. Eisenhower wore one and it was thereafter spotted on the wrists of other presidents and world leaders, such as John F. Kennedy, Gerald Ford, Martin Luther King, Boris Yeltsin, and Fidel Castro. It is rumoured that even Mao Tse-Tung wore a Day-Date.

The watch does boast a complication: Both day and date simultaneously move at midnight, and the mechanism features a quick set for months that do not contain 31 days (there are only five times in the year when an adjustment is required).

This Rolex reference has never been produced in anything other than precious metal. Over the years, it did so with a variety of dial colors and materials, garnering a number of different titles along the way. The modern white gold form of the Day-Date (ref. 228239) comes with a white meteorite dial and diamond baguette markers. It's the elegant side of bling: eye catching enough while not gaudy with adornment. Not your usual dress watch, but if that's what you like, a worthy contender to consider.

Ultimately, it all depends on your style and taste. The watch you choose to wear should match and reflect your style. Elegance is very much in the eye of the beholder, and while dress codes and tailoring have changed over the decades, Honoré de Balzac's requirement still stands: "The boor covers himself, the rich man or the fool adorns himself, and the elegant man gets dressed." The watch you choose should fulfill that mandate.

Dr. Andrew Hildreth is a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Clockmakers and a watch consultant to Christie's and Christie's Education. Over the past two decades, he has contributed to a number of publications including GQ, Vanity Fair, Hodinkee, Financial Times, and The Wall Street Journal.

NOW READ: 15 bourbons that should be on your radar, according to 3 bourbon experts

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11 tips for managing your anxiety during the coronavirus pandemic, according to a therapist who specializes in anxiety


millennial stressed

If your anxiety is sky high right now, you're not alone. The coronavirus pandemic is affecting our everyday lives in multiple different ways — and things are changing at such a rapid pace that it's impossible to know what to expect next.

Whether your kids are out of school indefinitely, or you're not sure how your small business is going to survive, managing anxiety is key to making the best decisions possible for you and your family. Here are 11 strategies that can help you keep anxiety in check as you deal with the coronavirus pandemic.

SEE ALSO: 7 simple things everyone can cut out of their life right now to reduce anxiety, according to a psychotherapist

READ MORE: 6 habits of mentally strong people you can adopt today

1. Create a schedule

Your daily routine might be disrupted in a number of ways. Whether you're working from home, or can't go to the gym, the lack of structure in the face of uncertainty can cause you to feel even more anxious.

Every night, sit down and create a schedule for the following day. Identify what you can do during each hour of the day — including things like exercise, cooking meals, reaching out to friends and family, cleaning the house, and working. Incorporate healthy activities into your day, and try to keep a similar daily routine in the process.

2. Limit the time you spend consuming media

Don't leave the TV on in the background so you can stay informed, and don't flip through social media randomly. Consuming too much media will keep your anxiety sky high.

Studies show that watching the news causes a spike in anxiety (even during the best of times). Worse than this, your anxiety is likely to stay elevated for a while after you stop watching the news. So can you imagine what it does right now when you're listening to reports of "death tolls" every few minutes? It's likely to keep your anxiety stuck in a perpetual heightened state, which is never good for you.

So while it's important to stay up-to-date, consuming media all day isn't necessary (or healthy). Decide when you want to get the latest news — perhaps in the morning and again in the evening. Then, resist the urge to read articles and watch news throughout the rest of the day.

3. Choose what media you consume carefully

Research shows that the type of media you consume affects your well-being. It may even influence how likely you are to keep yourself safe. A 2009 study that examined how Australian and Swedish media outlets each reported on the H1N1 influenza pandemic found that both outlets reported accurately on the risk of contracting the illness. Swedish outlets, however, focused their reports on how viewers could reduce their risk of getting sick, while Australian media chose to report mostly on public agency missteps during the outbreak.

Prior to the outbreak, both countries had similar vaccination rates. After the outbreak, the vaccination rate was 60% in Sweden and 18% in Australia.

So be proactive about which news programs you choose to watch as well as who you follow on social media. Look for media that reports on concrete, healthy actions you can take — rather than ones that report on all the things going wrong. This may help you feel better, and it could motivate you to take more positive action.

4. Exercise

With so many gyms closed and warnings to practice social distancing, it may be harder to find time and space to work out. But physical activity can greatly reduce anxiety.

And while any type of exercise might help you feel better, some studies have found that strength training is especially effective in reducing anxiety.

If you've got some dumbbells, use them. If not, use your bodyweight or some resistance bands. Doing so can build both your physical and mental muscles.

5. Label your emotions

Putting a name to your emotions can take a lot of the sting out of them. A study conducted by researchers at UCLA found that labeling feelings reduces the intensity of them.

Take a minute to check in with yourself several times each day. How are you feeling? Anxious? Overwhelmed? Frustrated? Sad? Confused? Whatever you're feeling is OK. Acknowledging rather than fighting your feelings can help you move forward.

6. Balance your emotions with logic

It's normal to experience intense feelings right now. And these emotions lead to a lot of unhelpful and even catastrophic thoughts that can fuel your anxiety.

So it's important to balance out emotions with logic. Take a look at the facts. And when you start thinking the world is ending or you can't get through this, remind yourself that pandemics end, economies rebound, and people survive.

7. Argue the opposite

When you find yourself thinking things like, "The coronavirus is going to wipe out my business," or, "I'm never going to get through this," then argue the opposite.

Remind yourself that there's also a chance things will turn out better in the end or that you're going to emerge from this stronger than ever. The goal of arguing the opposite isn't to convince yourself that everything is perfect or that amazing things are definitely going to happen.

Instead, it's about helping you see that your catastrophic predictions aren't destined to happen. There's a chance that things might go well or turn out better than you're imagining. Develop a more realistic middle-ground outlook, rather than a doom and gloom sort of stance, so you can start to feel better.

8. Maintain social support

Fortunately, our electronic devices allow us to stay easily connected even while we're social distancing. And while video chatting doesn't provide all the same emotional benefits of face-to-face contact, electronic means of communication do allow you to maintain social support.

If you don't have close friends or family members to reach out to during this time, find people you can talk to. Look for forums, social media groups, or others who want to connect. Talking to other people about what you're going through can reduce your anxiety. Just make sure you're talking about strategies that help you feel better and not making catastrophic predictions that fuel your anxiety.

9. Focus on the things you can control

The more you focus on things you can't control — like how much the coronavirus is spreading or business closings that will affect your day-to-day life — the more anxious you'll feel.

So focus on things you can control, like steps you can take to keep yourself safe, how you'll spend your time, and how you'll manage your money. Gaining a sense of control over something can help you gain inner peace.

10. Externalize your anxiety

Narrative therapy is a common form of treatment that is a simple but effective way to get some fast relief. It involves externalizing your anxiety so you can recognize how it affects you and how you can fight it.

Rather than say, "I'm feeling awful," remind yourself, "Anxiety tries to make me feel awful." Acknowledge how your anxiety causes you to think things that aren't true like, "Anxiety tries to convince me I can't handle one more thing going wrong!" Recognize how it tries to get you to behave in a way that keeps you stuck in a perpetual state of anxiety such as, "Anxiety tries to make me pace in circles rather than get something productive done."

Viewing anxiety as an external force can help you find ways to combat it. You may decide you can best fight anxiety with sleep and exercise. Or you might decide anxiety doesn't like it when you practice yoga. You can even turn it into a game of sorts where you practice different strategies to learn what helps you best fight off the anxiety.

11. Schedule time to worry

It sounds ridiculous on the surface. If you worry a lot, why on earth would you schedule time to worry? Well, researchers have found that scheduling time to worry is a great way to limit the amount of time you spend ruminating and making catastrophic predictions.

Set aside a certain timeframe to worry, and put it in your schedule. Perhaps you decide to worry from 7:00 to 7:15 p.m. every day. If you catch yourself worrying outside of this time frame, then remind yourself that it's not time to worry right now.

Then, when your worrying time hits, sit down and worry as much as you can during this timeframe. When the time is up, move onto something else. With practice, you'll likely find it's an effective way to keep your worries contained.

The beginner's guide to investing in wine, from identifying the top auction houses to figuring out which wines are the most valuable


FILE PHOTO: Bottles of Penfolds Grange wine and other varieties, made by Australian wine maker Penfolds and owned by Australia's Treasury Wine Estates, sit on shelves for sale at a winery located in the Hunter Valley, north of Sydney, Australia, Feb. 14, 2018. REUTERS/David Gray/File Photo

  • Jonathan Ross is one of the 300 master sommeliers in the world. He is an educator for the Guild of Sommeliers, an examiner for the Court of Master Sommeliers, and sits on multiple wine investment advisory boards, as well as founded Micro Wines.
  • He says investing in wine is a lucrative business with high returns.
  • You can do it practically 24/7 on online auctions, or even go through funds or advisors.
  • On US soil, you have to grow a personal collection to invest, but that might change soon, looking at the European model of investing.
  • Click here for more BI Prime stories.

Wine is often coveted as art. The thought of commoditizing it for financial gain can make purists cringe: "Wine is for drinking! Wine is for sharing! Wine is not for making money!"

Jonathan Ross, master sommelier

But with the stability of conventional stocks and investments in constant question, the focus on alternative investments is widening.

Fine wine has quietly been generating consistent gains for decades, and its demand is growing. With rarity driving returns, the increasing focus on wine investments is only fortifying the already rock-solid market. 

Most investment occurs through auction houses, in person, and online

The majority of personal fine-wine investment and collection in the US takes place through auction houses like Zachy's, Acker Merrall & Condit, Christie's/Wally's, WineBid, and Hart Davis Hart.

In tandem with live auctions, robust online auctions happen so frequently that wine can be bought and sold 24/7. It's a great option for people looking to buy and sell by the bottle and manage their own storage facilities, whether they have rented space in a climate-controlled warehouse or a lavish in-home cellar. Working with these domestic sources makes winnings almost immediately available for drinking. 

Beware of fraud and how your wine is insured

This marketplace demands that the consumer be cognizant of fraud and insurance. Aside from the auction house's diligence, there's nothing to protect you from buying fraudulent wine. Bottle photos are often available, and sometimes shorthand comments on conditions like "1sdc 3.5cm bc bsl excellent color" are presented with varying degrees of accuracy.

Once the wine is yours, and depending on where you keep it, it may be insured under your homeowner's insurance against breakage, and there are policies available when renting or buying offsite storage facilities.

A personal collection is the only option in the US, but looking abroad is a good indication of the growing market

Growing personal collections through retail and aftermarket purchases are the only pathways to investing in wine on US soil. The largest exchanges for wine trade exist in the UK, Europe, and Asia.

One of the most popular, Liv-Ex (London International Vintners Exchange), has been operating for 20 years. Boasting over $40 million in available purchases traded between fewer than 500 active accounts, players in this market are huge.  

The format is just like a conventional stock exchange. Purchases occur directly between the buyer and seller, and transaction and account fees are collected by Liv-Ex. Wine for sale may come from a number of sources, but it must be authenticated (to the best of the exchange's ability) and in approved, bonded storage overseas before it can be offered on the exchange. This helps avoid paying value-added tax on purchases and sales taxes until wine is removed from storage. 

The majority of the wine traded never moves when it's sold, as the only reason one purchases wine this way is to one day resell it. 

Buying on release is the best way to invest, and the most likely way it becomes available in the US

Some smaller exchanges like Alti follow the bonded European storage model and offer wines for sale sourced directly from wineries upon first sale. This provides unquestionable provenance and allows for resale within their exchange and on other platforms.

The most valuable wines are those that have considerable age, so buying on release allows investors the opportunity to purchase at the first offer and ride the full appreciation of a wine. Various US startups like Vinovest have launched on this principle, taking advantage of solid returns and purchasable access to historical financial data collected by these global exchange wine markets. Their greatest ambitions almost always include creating an exchange on US soil, though that has yet to be realized.

For Vinovest, which I sit on the advisory board of, that's bringing this alternative investment to a broader audience through more comprehensible access, wine expert investment advice, and a lower portfolio minimum. Their entrance minimum is $1,000.

Returns on fine wine are high, but mind taxes

On average, fine wine has delivered an annual average return of 13% since 1988, according to wineinvestment.com. Vinovest states that fine wine has outperformed the S&P 500 by 1,000% for nearly 30 years. And with fine wine outperforming gold and continued growth in demand, there is no end in sight for the financial viability of investing in wine. 

Capital gains and income taxes on the sale of these wines may or may not be applicable. If the investment was made through a fund or investment advisor, then the taxes will likely apply.  However, as wine is considered a wasting asset thanks to its perishability, avoiding these taxes is possible with the help of your accountant. 

Do your research before investing in a particular wine

Investing in wine can seem daunting. There is a ton of historical data that can support investing in proven performers — searchable on sites like Wine Searcher— but identifying a newly released bottle as a blue-chip asset takes more than a bit of wine knowledge. 

There are other avenues for investing in wine, such as the Vineyard and Terroir Fund that buys and sells shares in operating vineyards and wineries, though the minimum buy-in would get you about 32 cases of 2010 Chateau Latour (a wine destined for at least 50 years of financial gain). 

Other options for investing in wine that take the pressure off of the client and rely on wine experts include working with various fund managers. These often come in the form of established fine-wine retailers that can source and sell sought-after wine easily. They often toggle between the large wine exchanges like Liv-Ex, auction houses, and their own client database. Three established examples include Cultwine, Berry Brothers & Rudd, and Farr Vintners.

What blue-chip wines to invest in

Like stocks, blue-chip wines have a high buy-in price, but the value will steadily rise. These wines are those made by producers considered to be the best in their region and from the best vintages or growing seasons. They are a small handful, and buying these bottles to sit on for at least a decade will undoubtedly yield well.

These are wines that have much more than a 50-year drinking window, and at the ripe age of 50 will often see a value plateau before continuing to rise. Pass these bottles on to your children, and when they hit 100 years old, they'll surely be the best investment you've ever made.

While transportive drinking experiences, opening the bottles will render them worthless.

Some examples of these wines include Domaine de la Romanee Conti from the La Tache and Romanee Conti vineyards from vintages like 2002, 2005, 2010, and 2015. And for those with a sweet tooth, there's one wine that outperforms all others: Chateau d'Yquem. As sugar can act as a preservative, these wines are good bets for the extra long haul. 

But that all comes with doing your research — from researching recent releases and stalwarts to considering which winery it comes from — and figuring out if it fits with your preferences.

With all of this potential gain, it's hard to listen to those few purists opposed to using wine for financial gain. Growth in this non-traditional investment could further attract new wine consumers or create new enthusiasts. Greater demand would only help the wine industry continue to grow, and while more fine wine may become tied up in investments, it will only create opportunities for others. 

SEE ALSO: 2 owners of beverage businesses are seeing sales skyrocket through online ordering even as their stores remain closed. Here are the no-code tools they used to get their websites up and running fast.

NOW READ: Wine businesses and smaller restaurants are getting creative to stay afloat, according to a master sommelier — but even as alcohol purchases boom the industry needs our support

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Two hairstylists in Missouri may have exposed more than 140 clients to the coronavirus, health officials say


ATLANTA, GEORGIA - MAY 15: Barber Samuel Glickman cuts a client's hair at Privado Grooming Barbershop on May 15, 2020 in Atlanta, Georgia. Georgia Governor Brian Kemp announced that certain businesses including: hair salons, bowling alleys, barbershops and nail salons could reopen on April 24, 2020. There are currently over 36,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Georgia.

A Great Clips hair salon in Springfield, Missouri, has become a potential hot spot of COVID-19 transmission after two hairstylists came into work while symptomatic, potentially exposing more than 140 people to the virus, according to local officials.

Springfield-Greene County Health Department director Clay Goddard said at a press conference Friday that a Great Clips stylist worked on eight days between May 12 and May 20, during which the stylist came into contact with 84 clients and seven coworkers while showing symptoms.

On Saturday, the health department said in a statement that a second stylist had tested positive for the coronavirus and may have exposed an additional 56 clients. The stylist experienced "very mild symptoms" over five days between May 16 and Mat 29 but was deemed "potentially infectious" by the health department. 

"The individual and their clients were wearing face coverings," the statement said.

Customers and employees who were potentially exposed will be notified and offered testing, but those who did not have close contact with the stylist are believed to be at "very low risk" of contracting the virus. 

At Friday's press conference, Springfield-Greene County Health Department director Clay Goddard said that he was "very frustrated" and "disappointed" by the new outbreak as the state begins to reopen. 

"We can't have many more of these," he said. "We can't make this a regular habit or our capability as a community will be strained and we will have to re-evaluate what things look like going forward."

Great Clips franchise owners Brittany Hager and Jennifer Small told Missouri's KY3 in a statement on Friday that the salon had closed to undergo "additional sanitizing and deep cleaning" in accordance with recommendations from the local health department and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"The well-being of Great Clips customers and stylists in the salon is our top priority and proper sanitization has always been an important cosmetology industry practice for Great Clips salons," the statement said.

In late April, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson announced that some businesses, including hair salons, would be allowed to reopen. Social distancing requirements outlined in the state's order do not apply to "personal services" like salons, according to NBC local affiliate KSDK.

All 50 states have now eased some lockdown restrictions, even though many have yet to see the 14-day downward trend in new cases that the White House has recommended states observe in order to begin reopening safely.

Public-health experts have repeatedly warned that lifting lockdowns too early could lead to more waves of coronavirus transmission, which could force states to implement new lockdowns to curb the virus' spread.

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Inside London during COVID-19 lockdown

Gucci announces plans to cut back to 2 fashion shows a year as the coronavirus pandemic ravages the luxury fashion industry



  • Gucci's creative director Alessandro Michele plotted out a new direction for the brand in a series of diary entries, which were shared on Gucci's Instagram account over the weekend. 
  • Michele said that he would abandon the traditional fashion calendar and move to a seasonless schedule.
  • The pandemic is forcing luxury brands to rethink their strategies for the future and some are making changes to move in a new direction. 
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Gucci's creative director Alessandro Michele plotted out a new plan for the brand in a series of diary entries, which were shared on Gucci's Instagram account over the weekend. 

Michele said that he would "abandon the worn-out ritual of seasonalities and shows to regain a new cadence."

"We will meet just twice a year, to share the chapters of a new story," he said. "Irregular, joyful and absolutely free chapters, which will be written blending rules and genres, feeding on new spaces, linguistic codes and communication platforms.

"I would like to leave behind the paraphernalia of leitmotifs that colonized our prior world: cruise, pre-fall, spring-summer, fall-winter. I think these are stale and underfed words."

His moves to take the brand in a new direction seem to be directly connected to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

Reflecting on this period in an earlier post, Michele said: "Now that the devastation caught us unprepared, we have to think about what we would not want to be the same as it was. Because the greatest risk, for our tomorrow, is abdicating our responsibility for a true and necessary discontinuity. Our history is littered with crises that taught us nothing."

The pandemic has had a devastating impact on the luxury fashion industry, forcing brands to close stores and cancel shows. Because of this, some brands are now rethinking their strategies for the future and shifting in a new direction. 

Saint Laurent, which is also owned by Kering, said in April that it had made the decision to opt-out of the fashion show schedule for the rest of the year and would take control of its own schedule. 

Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour commented on the impact of the pandemic in a recent interview with CNBC and said that it was giving the industry a moment to reflect.

"I think everybody is rethinking what fashion stands for, what it means, what it should be," she said. "I think it is an opportunity for everyone to slow down, produce less, and make the world fall over in love with the creativity and passion of fashion, and maybe have less of an emphasis on things moving so quickly and emphasis always on what's new.

She added: "Fashion should last, it should be emotional, it should have memories, it should be meaningful, and think that we need to reevaluate – all of us that work in this industry – how we can best present that."

These sentiments were echoed in Michele's early diary entries: 

"I am fully realizing though, that this possibility to tell cannot be constrained by the tyranny of speed," he said. "Now we know that too furious was our doing, too insidious was our ride. In this renewed awareness, I feel the need of a different time, released from other-imposed deadlines that risk to humiliate creativity.

"That is why I decided to build a new path, away from deadlines that the industry consolidated and, above all, away from an excessive performativity that today really has no raison d'être."

SEE ALSO: Inside the manual that restaurant owners across the world are using to reopen, developed by a restaurant group with 26 locations and 1,000 employees

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Why thoroughbred horse semen is the world's most expensive liquid

Want to become a billionaire? Here are the industries that produce the most ultrawealthy people


new york stock exchange

People have been able to turn lots of different ideas into billion-dollar businesses, but it's easier in some fields than others.

As a part of its 2020 Decade of Wealth report, research firm Wealth-X analyzed its database of thousands of people across the globe with net worths over $5 million to see how they made their money.

Keep reading to learn which career fields are most common among the ultrawealthy, according to research firm Wealth-X.

SEE ALSO: There are only 6 billionaires in Hollywood. Here's how these celebrities became so much richer than their peers.

DON'T MISS: More Americans are working from home than ever because of the coronavirus crisis, but slow internet speeds and expensive electricity costs don't make it easy for everyone. Here are the 10 worst states for WFH.

10. Food and beverages

A mere 3.8% of wealthy people made their fortunes in food service, according to Wealth-X. Daniel Lubetzky created the first KIND bar after trying a snack bar made with whole fruits and nuts while on a business trip in Australia and has since built a $1.2 billion fortune selling the bars and other snacks, according to Forbes.

9. Construction and engineering

James Dyson is one of only 3.9% of wealthy people who made in their fortune in construction or engineering, Wealth-X reports. Despite lacking a formal engineering degree, Dyson invented the world's first bagless vacuum cleaner in 1986 and has since branched out into other appliances, earning him a net worth of $6.1 billion, according to Forbes.

8. Hospitality and entertainment

Only 4.1% of high net worth individuals got rich working in hospitality and entertainment, Wealth-X reports. Former street performer Guy Laliberté built a $1.2 billion fortune after growing his Montreal-based circus troupe into the multibillion-dollar entertainment empire known as Cirque du Soleil, starting with only a $1 million arts grant, Business Insider previously reported.

7. Manufacturing

Just 4.1% of wealthy people made their fortunes in the manufacturing sector, according to Wealth-X.

That group includes Diane Hendricks, who made an $8.9 billion fortune running roofing, window, and siding producer ABC Supply, per Forbes.

6. Technology

Tech billionaires such as Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, and Larry Page might be some of the most famous members of the three comma club in the world, but relatively few wealthy people made their money from technology. Only 4.7% of people with net worths over $5 million made their fortunes in tech, according to Wealth-X.

5. Healthcare

Only 4.9% of wealthy people with fortunes over $5 million made their money in the healthcare industry, according to Wealth-X. The net worth of Ernesto Bertarelli, the richest person in Switzerland, is from his stake in pharmaceutical company Serono, per Forbes.

4. Real estate

According to Wealth-X, 5.4% of wealthy people made their money in real estate. With a net worth of $7.6 billion, Stephen Ross is the wealthiest real estate developer in America, The Real Deal reported in 2019.

3. Non-profit and social organizations

Over 7% of wealthy people work for nonprofits full time, according to Wealth-X. However, many of them initially made their fortunes elsewhere, like Bill and Melinda Gates.

2. Business and consumer services

More than 16% of wealthy people made their fortunes working in business and consumer services, according to Wealth-X.

David Steward founded World Wide Technology, an IT services company that has generated over $11 billion in sales, and earned himself a $3.5 billion fortune in the process, Forbes reports.

1. Banking and finance

More wealthy people work in banking and finance than any other industry, according to Wealth-X. JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon is among the 22.6% of wealthy people worth over $5 million who made their money in the financial sector.

The private jet version of the Boeing 787 can cost more than $200 million and fly over 18 hours. Take a look at some its most luxurious designs.


Boeing BBJ 787

  • The Boeing Business Jet 787 is the private jet version of Boeing's bestselling 787 Dreamliner.
  • The Dreamliner kicked off a next-generation revolution with its fuel-efficient engines and aerodynamically-friendly features. 
  • The private variant of the jet costs upwards of $200 million and fly to nearly any city on Earth non-stop.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

The 787 Dreamliner is one of Boeing's most popular twin-engine wide-bodies thanks to its fuel efficiency, lower operating costs, and passenger-friendly amenities, which have proven to be endearing qualities for airlines and private owners alike.

As with all of its bestsellers, the manufacturer also offers the aircraft as part of its Boeing Business Jet line-up, which caters to the ultra-elite that require airliner-sized private jets when they travel. Unlike its wide-body siblings, however, the 787 Dreamliner can make its flyers feel good about taking to the skies in a flying mansion thanks to fuel-efficient engines and aerodynamically-friendly features that lower overall fuel consumption.  

With a $200+ million price tag, the business jet variant of the Dreamliner can currently be found flying in the fleets of high-end charter operators, national governments, and billionaires with cash to spare. The government of Mexico currently has a 787 in its fleet, valued at around $130 million, that it is currently trying to sell as part of a government spending reform initiative under President Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

In the airline world, the Dreamliner can typically hold upwards of 200 passengers, depending on configuration, which leaves a lot of room to work with when a private owner decides to purchase the plane. Among the three Dreamliner variants on offer, the average space available is around 2,500 square feet. 

Take a look at some of the designs that firms have dreamt up just for the Dreamliner.

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: The second Boeing 777X just flew for the first time – take a look at the enormous new flagship Boeing hopes will be its redemption

The Boeing 787 Dreamliner was a game-changer for Boeing as it introduced new fuel-efficient technology combined with a slew of passenger-friendly amenities.

Read More: Boeing's revolutionary 787 Dreamliner has changed air travel forever. Here's how the company left competitors in the dust with a risky $8 billion bet.

It immediately became a favorite among airlines including launch customer All Nippon Airways, Norwegian Air, American Airlines, and United Airlines.

The first true next-generation wide-body, the program easily racked up over 1,000 orders, despite initial troubles with the aircraft.

The jet also saw success in the private realm, with the Boeing Business Jet 787 offering an unparalleled efficiency in the private jet realm for an aircraft of the Dreamliner's size.

Boasting a range of over 10,000 nautical miles for its smallest variant, nearly any city in the world is accessible with a single flight, including on city pairs like New York-Singapore, Cape Town-Los Angeles, and Dubai-Honolulu.

Here's Mexico's 787 Dreamliner, currently on sale for around $130 million.

Read More: Take a look inside the $218 million Boeing Dreamliner private jet the new president of Mexico is selling because it's 'too lavish'

Designers tasked with crafting the interiors have been able to get creative with the Dreamliner business jet. Here's a design currently implemented on Chinese aircraft operator Deer Jet's 787 Dreamliner.

The design took nearly three years for designer Jacques Pierrejean to craft and install in the jet, which can seat 40 passengers.

Deer Jet's Dreamliner is a charter, one of the few available in the world. The aircraft has been known to be charted by governments that don't have their own VIP transport planes.

The benefits of flying on a Dreamliner over other Boeing private jets is the enhanced focus on passenger-friendly amenities that make the ride more enjoyable. The cabin altitude on the Dreamliner is lowered to 6,000 feet, allowing for more humidity and less dehydration, which lessens jet lag.

And as this jet is meant to traverse multiple time zones at a time, that technology likely comes in handy often.

Other designs from Pierrejean include this one featuring a more casual living room area lined with couches and coffee tables, complete with a cove ceiling.

Even with seating for 40, the Dreamliner is also large enough for its own master bedroom, like this one envisioned by Winch Design on the first BBJ 787-9, the middle child of the Dreamliner family. As this jet can fly well beyond 18 hours, the bed comes in handy.

Like most Boeing jets, this Dreamliner comes with a full master bathroom complete with a walk-in shower and two full vanities.

Other designs include this sleek Azure concept from Greenpoint Technologies. This award-winning design takes the Dreamliner to its maximum potential with a master bedroom with two guest suites, a private office, and a spa, among other features.

Source: Aviation International News

Here's the main entryway for the jet, located at the second boarding door just ahead of the engines.

And with this oversized bed, it's hard to tell that you're still on board a plane traveling at over 500 miles per hour when you wake up.

It may not be the largest but the possibilities are endless for the plane that can efficiently fly nearly anywhere in the world without making a stop.

The US housing market has an inventory crisis three months into the coronavirus pandemic. Here's why prices aren't falling even as the economy craters.


GettyImages 526253760

  • Three months into the coronavirus pandemic, lockdowns are easing and people are starting to look at housing they could buy — but there's a problem.
  • A new report by Realtor.com analyzed data for the week ending May 16 and found that days on the market, new listing inventory, and total inventory were all down on a year-over-year basis.
  • But median listing prices were still on a slightly upward trend, and buyer interest shows early signs of improvement.
  • Amid a historic pandemic and unemployment crisis, cheap houses just aren't available right now.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

The coronavirus pandemic, which brought most of the country to a halt in mid-March, continues to have a strange impact on the housing market as we inch closer to June.

A recent report by Realtor.com analyzed how the US housing market performed for the week ending May 16 and found that days on the market, new listing inventory, and total inventory all saw year-over-year decreases, but median listing prices are still on a slightly upward trend. 

According to the report, homes sat on the market for 15 days longer than they did the same time last year, the largest such increase since 2013. In addition, new listings saw a year-over-year decrease of 28%, a slight improvement compared to the first two weeks of May. Total listings were also down, marking a 20% year-over-year decrease. 

On the other hand, housing prices are showing durability. Median listing prices saw a year-over-year increase of 1.5% for the week ending May 16, following a 1.4% increase for the week ending May 9 and a 1.6% increase for the week ending May 2. Given that the housing market faced an affordability crisis heading into 2020, and nearly 39 million people have filed for unemployment through nine weeks of crisis, houses are not getting more affordable even as the job market craters.

Even still, these growth increments are small compared to what the market was seeing prior to the start of the pandemic

"Mid-May is normally the time of year when homes sell the fastest, but today's median time on market is more like what we usually see in late February or November," Realtor.com's Chief Economist Danielle Hale explained in the report. 

The housing market was off to a strong start in the beginning of the year, before coming to a screeching halt

The US housing market was on the upswing at the start of 2020.

As it headed into March, the market showed the kind of green shoots appropriate for the start of spring. In fact, in the last quarter of 2019, million-dollar sales were up 11%, and housing prices overall were up. On an annual basis, 2019 saw the most first-time homebuyers since 1993, according to Genworth Mortgage Insurance.

Then in January, new home sales and pending homes sales both jumped, and inventory was at its lowest level since 2012. Existing-home sales hit their highest point in 13 years in February, and mortgage rates hit historic lows in March, an appropriately healthy market for a country with then-historic lows in unemployment. But the housing market reversed course as the coronavirus outbreak brought most of the country to a halt and caused inventory to drop

In the first two weeks of March, new listings saw a 5% increase, according to Realtor.com. By the last week of the month, new listings were down 36.9% from the same time last year. In April, new listings were down 44.1%, while home sales dropped 22.5%. The mid-May data from Realtor.com shows a slight improvement in new listings, with a fall of just less than 29%. 

Bloomberg reported that US home construction began a record decline in April dating back to 1959, with residential starts down 30.2% to an 891,000 annualized rate from a month earlier. Applications to build were down 20.8%, to a five-year low 1.07 million rate.

Despite a drop in inventory and buyer activity, home prices have remained sturdy

The decline in new listings seems to have put a floor under housing prices. An analysis by Curbed explained that due to supply and demand dropping at similar rates and a lack of home sales, prices have been able to remain basically where they were prior to the outbreak.

"A good way to think about the housing market at this moment is that it's on pause — buyers and sellers have left the market, transactions have dropped in response, and prices aren't moving," Curbed's Jeff Andrews wrote.

In fact, prices in some affordable housing markets actually saw year-over-year increases in April, according to a report by Redfin.

"Nine of the top 10 metro areas where home prices rose the most year over year still had median prices below the national level, led in April by Detroit, (median price $159,900, +27.9%), Memphis ($217,000 +22.0%) and Philadelphia ($250,000, +19.0%)," the report reads.

Early data shows buyer interest returning to the market, but bargains are hard to find

Realtor.com predicts that while the reopening of markets across the country will reinstill confidence in buyers, there could be a "rapid declines in total inventory for the weeks to come" without an influx of new listings.

In fact, there is already evidence of increased buyer interest. According to a report by the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), applications to purchase a home rose 6% for the week ending on May 15 compared to the week prior.

"Applications for home purchases continue to recover from April's sizeable drop and have now increased for five consecutive weeks. Purchase activity — which was 35 percent below year-ago levels six weeks ago — increased across all loan types and was only 1.5 percent lower than last year," MBA's Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting, Joel Kan, said in the report. 

Redfin found that bidding wars are ensuing among hungry homebuyers. Of all Redfin offers nationwide for the four weeks ending May 10, it found that 41.1% of offers faced competition, and the bidding war rate was above 60% in a handful of metropolitan areas.  

"Demand for homes has picked back up after hitting rock bottom in April, and that uptick paired with a lack of supply is a recipe for bidding wars," Redfin lead economist Taylor Marr said in the report.

"Homebuyers are getting back out there, searching for more space as they realize using their home as an office and school may become the norm," Marr continued. "But sellers are still holding off on listing their homes, partially due to economic uncertainty and concerns of health risks."

There is one segment of the market where you can find bargains: the higher end. Weiss Analytics found that homes priced higher than $600,000 are more likely to be discounted, with about 37% of the listings now having asking prices below their February values, with a median discount of 7.7%. But these listings are hard to find, too. As of May 3, Zillow found listings of the most expensive homes were down 46% year-over-year, compared to a 39% overall decline.

SEE ALSO: People aren't looking to buy in big cities — the 20 hottest metro housing markets in April proves it

DON'T MISS: 5 designs for the post-coronavirus office that the most cash-strapped companies can adopt

Join the conversation about this story »

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

I was a die-hard New Yorker who never imagined leaving the city. After COVID-19, I'm dying to leave and never return.


chloe jo davis

  • Chloé Jo Davis is a lifelong New Yorker, mother of three, and the founder and editor of GirlieGirlArmy.com.
  • She grew up in the wild '90s of New York, but now says that clinging to nostalgia for a bygone era is no reason to remain in the city forever, especially at the cost of her children being able to grow up around nature.
  • Today's New York is no place to stay, says Davis, as COVID-19 shutters the small businesses, restaurants, venues, and communities that give the city life. 
  • "I've paid my dues to this city with guts and glory, I've done my time — I think it's okay for me to step towards the sunshine with my babies," says Davis.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

My grandfather fled to NYC after a grand escape from the Nazis via Belgium with a few diamonds sewn in his pockets, and a dream of freedom.  Forty-three years later, I have a son named Freedom, and a dream to leave this city that gave us our family history.

I was a teenager in the '90s in NYC — wild, full of moxie, graffiti-covered train rides, and boundless privilege. We wreaked havoc on the city. NYC was a magical place full of exploration, wild coming of age exploits, and pure fantasy.

chloe jo davis photo by jeremy davis

Three children and a loving husband later, I — like many of my NYC-bred cohorts — have settled into domesticity with the same fury as my teenage angst — a deep commitment to attachment parenting, breastfeeding with the commitment of a Olympian, and a solid decision to put my children first after living through the dirty divorces of the millennium.

Let me be clear: My mom (another former NYC-born-and-bred wild child who spent her formative years in Studio 54) always says she wishes she had not raised us here. She longed for nature for us. 

For me, I found my commitment to environmentalism, to sustainability, and to the animals we share our planet with in my 20s. It was then that I understood the power of forest bathing, gardening, and wildlife rehabilitation. So from my NYC apartment, I delved into those causes with that same rapid response. Volunteering for animal rights and rescue groups, covering my living room in plants, and reading voraciously about climate change tided me over when my nature cravings hit.

When COVID-19 got real, I took our rescued dog Calypso for a final walk on the last day of school. She — sweet as pie — pulled me down on the ground in a moment of sheer panic. It came from nowhere. I fell, and my knee responded full of bloody mess. It was a sign of what was to come.

The following 50 days were me, my husband, three children, and four rescue pets learning life without sky.

We bought what I call a COVID-19 purchase and got ourselves a car, with my hubby doing online research, negotiating, and a very socially distanced purchase in an empty dealership wearing masks and gloves. This led to far-away hikes every few days after two months indoors. The trees gave me more confirmation that nature is greater than a currently diseased city. Even Central Park, our forever raison d'etre, provided no escape, with its sea of mask-less, sardine-packed people.

What is NYC without culture? What is NYC without art and camaraderie and small businesses that hold such fantastically unique purposes that they blow your mind? I realized that NYC had left me, in many ways, years ago. I'd been holding on to the NYC of my childhood. The one with the cheese shop, the hat shop, the Lower East Side full of tiny clubs and magic. That NYC had long lost its luster. My artist friends fled first to Williamsburg decades ago, and then slowly moved back home or to upstate places like Beacon, New York.

The tone-deaf commentary of NYC moms on Facebook groups asserting their forever commitment to NYC from their glass-walled palaces in the Hamptons isn't lost on this middle-class family. If you have a second home, this is a cakewalk. But we do not, and we've realized NYC just can't be our everything anymore. Our desire for New York cannot supersede our will to live.

NYC will remain a place for the exceedingly wealthy, but for the rest of us — especially with the uncertainty around schools returning in September— it now becomes a choice of do you like air or not? Can you afford a $30,000 a month summer Hampton rental or nope? Do you know your kids are now going to be home and on top of you for potentially the next six months (maybe more), and do you want them to ever feel grass under their toes? Is a constant state of reinfection possible, all living in crayon packs beside each other?

I have realized NYC won't be the same until we have a vaccine. I know plenty of folks disagree, and I hope they are right. 

In the meantime, I dream of bucolic. I want trees for my boys now. 

chloe jo davis son park bench

If this is now what the real NYC is — without the distraction of regular life, school, errands, doctor's visits — then I don't want you anymore, NYC.

I love reading the articles written by NYC writers titled things like "I've read about your urban flee, don't let the door hit you on the way out" — that's the NYC middle finger spirit that raised me. That's the spirit I hope continues. In the meantime, I'm in a two-bedroom with three kids, and the suburbs call. I've paid my dues to this city with guts and glory, I've done my time — I think it's okay for me to step towards the sunshine with my babies.

What I'll miss: Walking my kids to school and chatting with a litany of neighbors who I know everything about but have never once shared a meal with, downtown nights out with my childless girlfriends who still know the hot spots, and discovering a new dry cleaner I've never once seen in the neighborhood (how did I never realize that was there!).

Practical sorts of things remain: I don't know how to drive, we cannot afford the house we'd like to own currently, and the rentals in the top school district burbs have been obliterated during this mass exodus. I'm not alone: There are thousands of mothers like me saying enough is enough and putting their kiddos first.

I hired a genius company called "Suburban Jungle," which works with urban denizens like me to give them a crash course in suburbs. After working with my Suburban Jungle consultant Maya, I now feel I could write a dissertation on the burbs. School districts are everything (be sure to look past elementary school ratings to high school ratings if you plan to put down roots,) property taxes can vary wildly within a 20 minutes drive, and some suburbs can be both bucolic and cosmopolitan. I feel empowered, whichever way I land. The leap is frightening, but full of information — and, ready to give my kids more than this, I don't fear the flight.

Chloé Jo Davis is the founder of GirlieGirlArmy.com, the longest running site on eco-living in NYC, a conscious living expert, and a mother of many. She can found on all social media @girliegirlarmy

SEE ALSO: The coronavirus pandemic spells the end for big cities — again

READ MORE: Wealthy New Yorkers fled the city when the coronavirus outbreak started. New data shows where they went — and which neighborhoods emptied out the most.

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Why electric planes haven't taken off yet

A 171-year-old church in Connecticut that was converted into a 3-bedroom home just hit the market for the first time in 50 years. Here's a look inside.


33 Prospect Street Interior 12

  • A 19th-century church converted into a three-bedroom home in Essex, Connecticut, is on the market for $1.3 million.
  • The 8,543 square-foot building has high ceilings, a rooftop patio, another large outdoor deck, and two kitchens.
  • Take a look inside the New England home. Susan Malan at William Pitt Sotheby's International Realty has the listing.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

SEE ALSO: A historic Charleston mansion that survived over 200 years of wars, earthquakes, and hurricanes just hit the market. Take a look inside.

DON'T MISS: Look inside the luxury hotel built out of 1950s train cars that will sit atop a historic bridge in the heart of South Africa's biggest national park

In Essex, Connecticut, a church dating back to 1849 has been converted into a family home — and it's currently on the market for the first time in 50 years.

Sources: William Pitt Sotheby's International Realty, 6sqft

The house, valued at $1.3 million, is located near the Connecticut River.

Sources: William Pitt Sotheby's International Realty, 6sqft

It was completely rebuilt between 1985 and 1996.

The house has three bedrooms. Each comes with an ensuite bathroom.

Sources: William Pitt Sotheby's International Realty, 6sqft

There are also two full kitchens, one of which is oversized with three ovens and two dishwashers.

Sources: William Pitt Sotheby's International Realty, 6sqft

The dining room has a long table that can comfortably seat 20 people, according to the listing.

Sources: William Pitt Sotheby's International Realty, 6sqft

The first floor of the house has an exercise room. Listing photos also show that the home has a game room with a pool table.

Sources: William Pitt Sotheby's International Realty, 6sqft

Per the listing, the home was renovated with wood, marble, and stone fixings.

Despite its modern appliances, some parts of the home still look like a church, thanks to its high ceilings and carefully preserved details.

Sources: William Pitt Sotheby's International Realty, 6sqft

On the third floor, for example, there's wooden structural detailing on the walls and ceiling.

Sources: William Pitt Sotheby's International Realty, 6sqft

There are also several custom windows in the home, which allows for plenty of natural light to seep in.

Sources: William Pitt Sotheby's International Realty, 6sqft

The most unforgettable part of the house just might be its steeple, which has been converted into a rooftop patio.

Sources: William Pitt Sotheby's International Realty, 6sqft

The rooftop patio opens up to views of Essex and the Connecticut River.

Sources: William Pitt Sotheby's International Realty, 6sqft

Around back, there's a large outdoor terrace.

Sources: William Pitt Sotheby's International Realty, 6sqft

The property also features a heated two-car garage. Susan Malan at William Pitt Sotheby's International Realty has the listing.

Sources: William Pitt Sotheby's International Realty, 6sqft

Hotels, motels, and resorts are never going to be the same. Here's what you can expect the next time you plan a vacation.


coronavirus hotel

  • Hotels, motels, and resorts will be forever changed by the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Business Insider spoke to top travel CEOs from companies like Hilton, Club Med, and Aman Resorts about how the coronavirus will change the experience of staying in a hotel.
  • Hoteliers predict that travelers will prefer smaller, less dense hotels and outdoor amenities.
  • Breakfast buffets could become a thing of the past, and room service could come in the form of a bag dropped outside your door.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Hotels and resorts are in a state of crisis. 

As of May 20, seven out of 10 hotel rooms in the US were sitting empty and thousands of hotels are completely closed, according to the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA). Hotels have lost more than $25 billion in room revenue since the start of the pandemic, and 70% of hotel employees have been laid off or furloughed, per the AHLA. Empty hotels are desperately selling bonds for future discounted travel.

But as US states and other countries start to reopen, hotel companies are looking ahead to make travelers feel safe and to entice them into coming back to their properties.

Many major hotel brands, including Marriott — the world's biggest hotel company — Best Western, Hilton, and Hyatt Hotels, have pledged to abide by the AHLA's new Safe Stay guidelines for everything from contactless check-in to new cleaning standards and protocols.

Here's what you can expect the next time you stay at a hotel or resort.

People may seek out smaller, less dense lodging

The first major change to hotels is tied to their design.

"I think that people are going to migrate towards smaller properties, or perhaps migrate to properties that have larger open spaces and are not as high-volume," Mark Durliat, CEO and cofounder of Grace Bay Resorts in Turks and Caicos, recently told Business Insider's Madeline Stone.

Carolyne Doyon, CEO and President of Club Med North America, told Business Insider that she believes "there will be increased demand for resort options that are less dense ... resorts that are integrated in, and respectful of, their surrounding natural environments and are spread out across larger areas." Visually, she predicts a big change to the design of resorts too, with a pivot to "low-rise buildings that blend in rather than traditional concrete high-rises." 

The humble motel may even make a comeback.

Wyndham Hotels and Resorts, which has adopted AHLA's Safe Stay protocols and owns brands like Super 8 and Days Inn, is already seeing rising demand for its properties with exterior corridors— also known as motels — per The New York Times.

super 8 motel

Dave DeCecco, Wyndham's vice president of global communications, told Business Insider that motel owners are finding several benefits to the traditional motel design. For one thing, motels don't have interior hallways or large social spaces, limiting guests' exposure to other people and lowering the risk of infection. On top of that, the fact that guests can park directly outside their room further limits their exposure to strangers.

Contactless check-in and temperature screenings upon arrival

Hotels that didn't already have contactless check-in are now offering it via smartphone app to cut down on person-to-person interaction.

At Hilton, for example, guests can check in using its Digital Key system, which opens any door a guest would normally access with a key card. That includes guest rooms, elevators, side doors, and fitness centers.

hotel coronavirus temperature check

Many brands, including Club Med and Loews Hotels, have said they will screen guests' temperatures when they arrive at the hotel.

No more noisy neighbors: Some hotels will only fill 50% of their rooms

Contactless check-in isn't the ony way your next hotel experience may involve fewer people. The next time you stay in a hotel, the rooms on either side of yours may be empty. 

Some cities, counties, and hotel brands have announced they will operate at no more than 50% occupancy for the foreseeable future.

At some of its resorts that are reopening, luxury resort brand Aman Resorts will "skip a key," or only make every other room available for reservation, COO Roland Fasel told Business Insider.

California's San Luis Obispo County is limiting hotel and short-term lodging occupancy rates to no more than 50% — and only for essential travel — in an order by the county health officer that went into effect May 17 and will be reevaluated every two weeks.

And Pensacola Beach in Florida limited its hotels to half-capacity back in March, keeping them open throughout the pandemic. 

No more daily housekeeping

Your hotel room itself may look a bit different than it did before the pandemic.

The Four Seasons will place "Lead With Care" kits in each guest room that include masks, hand sanitizer, and sanitization wipes.

Best Western, which has more than 5,000 hotels worldwide, said it will remove "unnecessary items" like decorative pillows from guest rooms as part of its enhanced sanitization procedures. And Hilton is doing away with the pen, paper, and guest directory normally provided in each room unless specifically requested.

hotel coronavirus cleaning

Another major change travelers can expect to see is the frequency of housekeeping. The standard that guests have come to expect in hotels is daily housekeeping unless they request their room be skipped. That's an expectation that's about to invert.

For those hotels abiding by the AHLA's Stay Safe guidelines, housekeeping will no longer enter a guest's room during their stay unless specifically requested. Rooms will continue to be cleaned thoroughly after check-out.

The new room service: a bag outside your door, or a server in full PPE

Travelers who frequent high-end hotels may be accustomed to room service delivered straight into their room by a dapper server pushing a white tablecloth-clad cart.

But in the time of coronavirus, the AHLA recommends that traditional room service be replaced with a no-contact delivery method.

Gregg Fracassa, general manager at Snow King Resort in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, recently told Business Insider that in-room dining service will come "in the form of a market bag left at the door."

Aman Resorts said it has seen increased demand for in-room dining during the pandemic. Staff is still delivering meals into rooms — while wearing full PPE.

"All in-room dining is served with food and drinks covered, and staff wear PPE [personal protective equipment] upon delivery," Fasel said. "If guests feel comfortable with us dropping the food off in their room we do so, however we can also place it on a table in the entrance."

Say goodbye to the traditional hotel buffet 

The beloved continental breakfast buffet may be a thing of the past. Traditional buffet service should be limited and prepackaged foods and "grab and go" items should be the preferred method of food delivery, per the AHLA.

Hotel Breakfast Buffet

Best Western has said that some of its breakfast rooms could be closed to avoid unnecessary guest congregation, and some of its hotels may switch to a pre-plated breakfast to minimize guest contact.

If a hotel does choose to offer a buffet, it should be served by an attendant wearing PPP and food displays should include sneeze and cough screens. 

Expect to be wearing a mask during your spa treatments

That brings us to amenities: Hotels love to tout their amenities, from pools and saunas to gyms and restaurants. But during a pandemic, shared spaces where groups of people gather can be cause for unease.

The good news for amenity-seekers is that AHLA guidelines allow for fitness centers, pool areas, and meeting spaces to stay open — as long as they are configured for social distancing and disinfected multiple times per day.

However, some amenities will take on a different look. Luxury spa treatments will continue, but they might take place inside your hotel room rather than at the hotel spa, and your massage therapist may be wearing full PPE.

At Aman Resorts, which is known for its wellness offerings, all spa therapists will wear masks, as well as gloves if the guest requests them, Fasel told Business Insider. Therapists will change their PPE between each treatment and treatment rooms will have a minimum 30-minute turnover time to ensure proper cleaning and sanitization.

Amanyara   1 Credit   Aman

Aman recommends that guests wear masks during treatments. Aman has also expanded its in-room spa services. In the spa area, only one person is allowed at a time inside shared enclosed spaces like steam rooms and saunas.

These changes could also be accompanied by a growing demand for outdoor amenities.

"When social distancing restrictions are lifted, we foresee our guests wanting to be outside, rather than confined indoors," David Bowd, CEO of Salt Hotels and operator of The Asbury and Asbury Ocean Club in Asbury Park, New Jersey, recently told Business Insider. "Catering to this expected demand, we'll be focusing on outdoor programming, such as outdoor movies and pool events."

Asbury Ocean Club

Aman Resorts will expand its nature experiences, such as offering a new foraging trek combined with a kitchen garden tour and outdoor cooking class at its Amankila resort in Bali, Fasel said.

Ramped-up cleaning protocols and social distancing rules

Hotels have vowed to boost their cleaning procedures and train employees in proper safety protocols.

Per AHLA's Stay Safe guidelines, hotels will offer employees COVID-19 safety and protocol training and require that workers frequently wash their hands and wear proper PPE based on CDC recommendations.

Common spaces like lobbies, gym equipment, pool seating, and dining surfaces, as well as other high-touch surfaces like elevator buttons and door handles, are to be disinfected multiple times per day. Many hotels have said they're installing hand sanitizing stations throughout their properties.

hilton cleaning

Marriott is rolling out new cleaning technologies, like electrostatic sprayers that use hospital-grade disinfectant to sanitize surfaces, with the help of its new Global Cleanliness Council that was created to develop enhanced health and safety guidelines for Marriott's 7,300 properties, Business Insider's Melissa Wiley reported. 

Per the AHLA guidelines, hotels will advise guests to practice social distancing and stay at least six feet away from people not traveling with them. Hotels will make certain areas for appropriate distancing and, where possible, encourage one-way walkways. In some cases, lobby furniture and other seating areas, such as pool chairs and cabanas, will be spaced far enough apart to promote social distancing.

SEE ALSO: An empty lot on Miami's 'Billionaire Bunker' is listed for $32 million, and it shows just how valuable land is on the high-security island with its own 13-person police force

DON'T MISS: Staying in a hotel will be very different post-pandemic — here are the new safety and cleaning plans and precautions being implemented by every major hotel brand

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Take a look inside the top luxury RV resort in the US, where lots sell for up to $800,000 and come with infinity pools and private boat docks


Motorcoach Country Club

  • Motorcoach Country Club in Indio, California, was named the best luxury RV resort in USA Today's 2019 Readers' Choice rankings.
  • Buying an RV here lot costs between $56,000 and $799,000, while renting ranges from $114 to $211 a night.
  • Members pay a monthly fee that amounts to about $6,600 per year.
  • The 80-acre resort has 400 RV lots, a nine-hole golf course, a fitness center, multiple swimming pools, three tennis courts, and a clubhouse with a private restaurant and bar.
  • Travel industry experts predict that RV travel will see a surge in popularity this summer. 
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Motorcoach Country Club in Indio, California, was named the best luxury RV resort by USA Today.

The 80-acre resort is made up of 400 RV lots, a nine-hole golf course, a fitness center, multiple swimming pools, three tennis courts, and a 10,000-square-foot clubhouse with a private restaurant and bar.

Motorcoach Country Club is both an RV park and a country club. Travelers can either rent RV lots for between $114 and $211 a night, or buy their own lot for between $56,000 and $799,000. The monthly membership fee is $549, or about $6,600 per year.

Some of the most lavish RV lots come with outdoor infinity pools, casitas with full kitchens and living areas, and patios outfitted with furniture, fireplaces, and BBQ grills.

The resort stopped accepting guest reservations on March 27, but lot owners were able to stay onsite, Paul Johnson, the club's general manager, told Business Insider. The city of Indio has said the resort can reopen on June 19.

Take a look inside the swanky California RV resort that will reopen in less than a month.

SEE ALSO: How the coronavirus will change vacations forever, according to 10 travel industry leaders

DON'T MISS: An empty lot on Miami's 'Billionaire Bunker' is listed for $32 million, and it shows just how valuable land is on the high-security island with its own 13-person police force

Motorcoach Country Club is an RV resort and country club in Indio, California. It was ranked the best luxury RV resort in the country by USA Today's 2019 Readers' Choice rankings.

With elements of both a traditional RV park and a country club, Motorcoach Country Club offers RV lots for rent for between $114 and $211 a night.

For those looking for a more permanent option, RV travelers can become members by buying a lot for between $56,000 and $799,000 and paying a $549 monthly fee.

The resort stopped accepting guest reservations on March 27, but lot owners were able to stay onsite, Paul Johnson, the club's general manager, told Business Insider. Approximately 100 RVs are currently at the resort, he said.

As people start traveling again, industry experts predict that RV travel will see see a surge in popularity.

"Interest in the RV lifestyle — because it's so Americana and the desire for people to get out and explore their immediate surroundings and visit some of the iconic places in the country — it is literally off the charts now," Garry Enyart, chairman of the RV Industry Association, told Business Insider.

RV travelers are in self-contained units and can control their surroundings, Enyart said, which are clear benefits during a pandemic.

The Motorcoach Country Club is located in Indio, California, where the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival takes place.

It's about a half-hour drive from Palm Springs, a hip desert vacation spot, and 35 minutes from Joshua Tree National Park.

The resort spans 80 acres and includes 400 RV lots.

The resort's amenities include a nine-hole golf course, a fitness center, multiple swimming pools, three tennis courts, and a clubhouse with a private restaurant and bar.

There are also two miles of navigable waterways, where guests can take electric boats that are up to 18 feet long.

Club members have unlimited access to golf and tennis, as well as use of the waterways, the entertainment plaza, and the clubhouse. They also get a discount at the club's restaurant.

Guest have access to these same amenities, but the club observes owners-only hours for golf, tennis, the fitness center, and the clubhouse, according to Johnson.

The club has three types of RV lots: waterfront lots, golf course lots, and privacy lots.

Some of the lots are undeveloped, with only a concrete parking space, a landscaped lawn area, and hookups for water, sewer, and electric.

But others come with lavish extras including full indoor kitchens and living areas, swimming pools, and patios equipped with furniture, grills, and fireplaces.

Source: Motorcoach Country Club

All of the 136 waterfront lots come with private docks.

Source: Motorcoach Country Club

And the golf course lots offer immediate access to the nine-hole golf course.

The privacy lots are developed with walls, hedges, and other structures to keep the area private. 

This waterfront lot, listed for $549,900, comes with an infinity pool and a luxurious casita.

Source: Motorcoach Country Club

The casita includes a full kitchen and a living area outfitted with a glass folding door system, so it can be open-air or fully enclosed.

The air-conditioned space has a full kitchen and wine fridge, a hidden TV on an automatic riser lift, and a washer and dryer.

About 300 of the 400 lots at Motorcoach Country Club are fully developed.

Owners who buy an undeveloped lot have the option to develop it themselves by adding things like casitas and swimming pools.

Although many of the most luxurious lots have living areas, travelers are forbidden from sleeping in them.

All guests and members at the resort are required to sleep in their RVs.

Seven of the golf course's nine holes are surrounded by water.

There are also three lighted tennis courts, a lap pool, and two additional swimming pools with spas.

While the resort closed to guests on March 27 due to the coronavirus pandemic, those who owned lots were allowed to stay.

Source: Motorcoach Country Club

According to the general manager, approximately 100 RVs are currently at the resort, which plans to reopen to guests on June 19.

Source: Motorcoach Country Club

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