Archive for the AUSTERITY Category


Posted in AUSTERITY, NEWS on May 22, 2009 by transracial


Great Exuma is one of the Bahamas’ most remote — and hence serene — islands, which is why it is particularly dependent on tourism, especially American tourism.

But the downturn up north has slashed the cash of potential travelers forcing Great Exuma’s swanky Four Seasons resort to shut its doors in May 26th.

With a Greg Norman-designed golf course, 500 acres of resort fun and recent plug from Olympic swimmer-mama Dara Torres, the hotel had a lot going for it.

Yet with no direct flights to the East Coast and not really a lot to do there, the Four Seasons couldn’t survive — resulting in the dismissal of 500 staffers!


Bahamas Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham is particularly concerned about Great Exuma and is working hard to get the resort back in operation with new backing and a new hotel management firm.

Good luck.



Posted in AUSTERITY, NEWS on May 19, 2009 by transracial


The bad news machine continues to hum along at full throttle over in the desert emirate of Dubai. As we reported some two months back, Dubai is both suffering from a lack of liquidity and clamping down on media outlets trying to report on its economic crisis.

Now it appears as if the government is taking steps to thwart full-scale economic meltdown. A new law has just been passed allowing Dubai’s developers to cancel housing projects if they do not begin construction within in six months of their official approval.

The move already sees some 27 high-profile developments at risk of default status. Overall, local real estate watches say the law could see a full 25 per cent of Dubai’s literally hundreds of developments ultimately scrapped.


Free Viagra for the Unemployed!

Posted in AUSTERITY, NEWS on May 15, 2009 by transracial


Finally some good news for the hard-up: Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer is now offering free Viagra (along with 70 other medications) for folks who have lost their jobs.

To qualify, folks must have been laid-off in 2009 and have been prescribed a Pfizer medication for the previous three months.

Pfizer hopes the generosity will help keep loyal customers loyal even in these austere times.

TREND ALERT: Yurt-Cations

Posted in AUSTERITY, ESCAPE, NEWS on March 12, 2009 by transracial


Our inbox just received details about a truly novel vacation option in Baja California — beachfront vacation yurts.


Set on the azure Sea of Cortez, the Tibetan-styled tents are part of the Las Animas Wilderness Retreat — an uber-remote eco-sanctuary on the Northwest Baja coast.

How remote? Well, no-roads and private airplane required remote.

But don’t worry if you’ve cancelled your NetJets membership. Las Animas has its own plane that takes guests from their San Diego base to a slim airstrip close to the resort where they clear customs and get ready to relax in one of eight beachfront yurts.

Not quite luxe — but far from roughing it — each yurt has a private bathroom, solar shower, twin and king-size beds and patios with hammocks. Guests mix and mingle around a central palapa — which serves as a kitchen, central dining area, cantina bar, and lounge.

When not yurting, visitors are mostly getting communal with nature — including 50 different bird species and 10 kinds of whales accessed via small boat excursions to isolated islands and coves.

Also on the marine life menu: Dolphins, sea lions, sea turtles and manta rays.

Sounds fun.

Baja AirVentures: or call 1-800-221-9283.

Make it a “Madoff” Special!

Posted in AUSTERITY, ESCAPE, NEWS on March 9, 2009 by transracial


Finally some good news is emerging from the whole Bernie Madoff mess.

At least in the Caribbean.

Our travel spies on the posh island of Anguilla report that Kamique — a boutique sea-front development — is now offering a “Madoff” discount on their four- to six-bedroom villas.

Investors who’ve lost cash with Madoff can tan away their sorrows thanks to 20 to 30 percent price cuts at Kamique (above) if they can prove their losses. Only one person needs to have been swindled for the entire booking party to enjoy!

Reserve up to seven nights and rates are reduced by 20 percent; over a week at they’re cut by 30 percent. The deal comes on top of Kamique’s already existing “economy-appropriate” prices: Eight person/four-bedroom villas start at $2,450 per night; 12 person/six-bedrooms villas from $2,940 per night.

Add in Kamique’s “Madoff” price break and this is a vacation even those on post-Madoff budgets can afford.

Despite Kamique’s wallet-friendly prices, the new villas are pure high style. Each comes with a private pool, azure-tiled outdoor showers, marble floors, deep soaking tubs and airy patios with prime St. Martin views.

There are concierges and butlers and private chefs (the latter two for a premium). Powdery beaches, cerulean seas and technicolor coral reefs.

As for food; Anguilla is known as one of the Caribbean’s top culinary destinations.

And for hard-core Bernie types, Kamique has a specially-designed program with a rabbi in nearby San Juan to deliver Kosher cooking or even Kosherize the entire kitchen.


The Six Billion Dollar Company

Posted in AUSTERITY, NEWS, WHO KNEW? on March 8, 2009 by transracial


In this era of economic bailouts and $50 billion Ponzi schemes, $6 billion might seem like a lot of money. But it’s a stratospheric $271 billion LESS than the worth of Citigroup barely two years ago. Back then, the financial services giant (HQ, pictured above) saw its stock trading at $56/share and a market cap of $277 billion — making it then the world’s most valuable financial institution.

Now, the company is worth barely $6 billion and as for that stock price — it is struggling to stay above $1 per share.


Recreo’s Layoff Special

Posted in AUSTERITY, ESCAPE, NEWS on March 3, 2009 by transracial


Things are looking so bad for the hard-hit travel industry and American workers that one tropical resort has cleverly figured out a way to bring some relief to them both.

And it means there is finally some good news for the employment-challenged.

Costa Rica’s year-old Recreo Resort is offering free night stays for travelers recently laid-off.

The all-villa property — with its complex of 25 modernist, luxury digs spread over 70 acres — offers one night free for every four-night stay; two nights free for every five-night stay. The deal is on top of Recreo’s already reduced rate of $149 per person/per night.

Just what we like to hear!

Located on the Pacific-front Guanacaste Peninsula, each Recreo villa houses between six and 12 vacationers — only ONE of whom must be recently laid-off for the ENTIRE villa to qualify for the free night. Recreo is close to fancy five-stars like the Four Seasons — but far lower-key and cooler.

Every villa comes with alfresco dining salon, a private pool, and even personal chefs and housekeepers— along with Wi-Fi, flat-panel TVs, and iPod docks. Price includes food and drinks — along with vaca essentials such as gym, horseback riding, mountain biking, kayaking and tennis.


Guanacaste’s Liberia Airport is easily reached by non-stops from NYC, Chicago, Charlotte, Atlanta, Miami and Los Angeles. And a quick spin around the Web found round-trip ticket from NYC starting at just $349!

We suggest you go now — before that unemployment runs out.