JODY VICTOR®

Let's go on an adventure with Jody Victor!


Recently the unfinished Hard Rock Hotel in New Orleans’ French Quarter partially collapsed. This event unfortunately took the lives of three people and injured dozens more. The city has now announced the entire structure which is 18 stories tall will be imploded.

The building owners’ engineers pointed out it will take 9 weeks to demolish the complex and another 3 months to remove and clear debris. This process will have the Hard Rock missing many busy tourist times including Mardi Gras, New Years and the Sugar Bowl.

New Orleans’ Fire Chief commented that the planned controlled demolition is the only safe way to handle the damaged building. The building owners will pay all costs for the demolition, but the city will be in control of the process. Additionally, the city will not allow demolition to interrupt any tourist season activity.

The top floors of the hotel are what unexpectedly collapsed. The cause is still under investigation by multiple city departments including the police and the Occupational Health and Safety Administration.

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All the right elements for a classic, European winter vacation—winter sports, sustainable practices, and Danish coziness—came together to create a fascinating new travel destination which opened to the public in early October.

Amager Bakke, or CopenHill, is the name of the new destination. Though you might be surprised to learn it is a heat and waste-to-energy power plant in Copenhagen. But it is also a man-made ski and snowboard slope.

The building itself burns waste instead of fossil fuels and is part of Copenhagen’s initiative to be the first carbon-neutral capital by 2025. The plant works by burning waste and then using the heat for, well, heat–and also uses some of that energy to create electricity. These two resources support tens of thousands of homes in Copenhagen.

As for the ski area, it is 400 meters long and includes four slopes of varied skill level. There is also a freestyle park and slalom course. The slopes do not rely on either natural or man-made snow, thus promoting green tourism all year in Denmark.

The park also includes running trails, climbing walls, and a café.

Denmark winters are cold, but there are no mountains, so this facility adds some diversity to what the country has to offer tourists.

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If you’ve booked a hotel recently you may have noticed the quoted price goes up when it is time to pay the bill. It isn’t just you, many travelers have been having this experience. These are commonly known as resort fees—though hotels call them anything, including: guest service fees; hotel fees; destination fees etc.

The fees often include things customers come to expect for free but these so-called bundles often include “free” WiFi, pool access and sometimes in destination cities things like a free drink or discounted breakfast.

A new bill to address this issue has been proposed in the House of Representatives. It would require by law that hotels and resorts more accurately display the real price of hotel rooms. How, specifically? They would need to include any mandatory fees before taxes in hotel room’s advertised price.

As one can imagine everyone from big name hotel brands to consumer representatives are weight in on the debate.

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A British daredevil has just earned the reputation as the first pilot to travel the globe on a gyrocopter. The 6 month trip came to a harrowing conclusion as he scarcely escaped a lighting strike.

The pilot who outran lightening is James Ketchell. He traveled 24,000 nautical miles on his tiny aircraft. And if you aren’t familiar with gyroscopes you should know the cockpit is exposed to the elements.

After his narrow lightening dodge he landed at an airport in Hampshire, England to a crowd of cheering fans.

Ketchell’s aircraft is only capable of a 700 nautical mile range and its speed is rated at just 70 knots, so his trip had to be completed in several parts. His path took him first to Europe’s mainland and through Russia before he fly through Canada and the United States. He then proceeded to Greenland and Iceland. Ketchell’s final stop as in the Faroe Islands which is just north of Scotland.

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A Delta employee, Quincy Thorpe, was arrested at JFK International Airport after he was spotted taking a bag away from the loading area of the plane. The bag contained a quarter million dollars in cash. Authorities have surveillance video but have not released it to the public.

Eight bags were supposed to be loaded onto the plane headed to Miami—only seven of those bags were scanned and thereby registered to the flight. Thorpe’s identification was tagged to all seven scans.

Flight 1225 arrived in Miami one bag short, the security company handling the bags noticed one was missing at that time.
Thorpe called in sick on the two days after the theft. While being interviewed by the FBI in his home Thorpe admitted he had loaded the bags and that he knew they contained valuables. Delta has acknowledged that one of their employees was being investigated for the crime.

JFK International as seen heists before, most infamous was the Lufthansa heist in 1978 where criminals took one million in jewels and five million in cash by gunpoint from a cargo terminal.

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