Disneyland announces plans to expand in California

The Walt Disney Co. is calling the main location of a planned expansion an “immersive theme park,” but rather than being a park in itself, the plan looks to potentially expand existing theme parks Disneyland and California Adventure. According to plans, DisneylandForward would surround the existing Disneyland Hotel and the Paradise Pier Hotel and provide additional dining, shopping and other forms of entertainment. Read the CinemaBlend

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Virgin Hotels opens after $200M makeover

The former Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas has had a $200 million makeover and is ready for its beauty shot as Virgin Hotels Las Vegas. The hotel and casino, under the control of the Mohegan Tribe, will open when it gets the go-ahead from the Nevada Gaming Control Board. Read the Las Vegas Review-Journal story here

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Jose Andres’ ThinkFoodGroup to open eateries in NYC, Chicago

As empty storefronts continue to dominate many neighborhoods around New York, one of the world’s highest-profile chefs is doubling down on his commitment to the city. This fall, José Andrés will open an outpost of the beloved Mediterranean restaurant Zaytinya in the new Ritz-Carlton New York, NoMad. Read the BNN Bloomberg story here

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How Capriotti’s plans to help Wing Zone take flight

Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop‘s acquisition last year of Wing Zone, which has 30 US units and another 30 in international markets, came as a result of the sandwich chain’s search for a fast-casual concept with significant off-premises sales. Read the Restaurant Business online story here

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Core States Group New Dedicated Energy Division

Core States Group has formed a new division, Core States Energy, to specifically address the needs of our energy and sustainability clients from design phase through construction. The new division will provide turn-key engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) services for zero emission vehicle and energy generation systems.

“Our team is incredibly excited about our new division,” says Brian Baird, Director of Energy and Sustainability. “We know already that our EPC delivery method best serves our energy customers by delivering a continuous customer experience while driving down the cost of deployment.”

Core States Energy will focus on applying their energy services to public, commercial, and industrial projects in North America while moving clients and agencies toward their sustainability and resiliency goals.

As leading brands and communities explore energy options for their facilities, sites, and business models, Core States’ in-house specialists for power and zero emission vehicle projects will provide a seamless design and engineering partner across North America.

The full spectrum of Core States Energy’s solutions includes delivering due diligence, engineering, permitting, procurement and construction and management services for hundreds of zero emission vehicle (ZEV) Infrastructure and utility and distributed generation (DG) systems. Technologies include battery storage, fuel cells, solar, combined heat and power, electric vehicle charging, NG generators, hydrogen fueling, and other cutting edge distributed energy and ZEV technologies.

“We pride ourselves staying on the frontier of new ZEV and DG technologies” said Baird. “The future is electric. The future is distributed. There’s a multitude of new to market technologies that will change the way we produce and use electricity. From ultra-high fast DC chargers for electric vehicles, to high efficiency onsite generators we excel at solving our customers challenges in deploying their technologies at scale.”

While Core States Energy is already working in a number of markets, Baird is eager to see how the new division can expand its services even further. “It is our job to guide and educate clients on ways they can not just achieve their goals but far exceed them,” Baird says.

About Core States Group

Core States Group is a professional architecture, engineering, and construction services firm that provides turnkey engineering, procurement, and construction services to the energy market. With 17 offices throughout the U.S. and Canada, Core States Group design-builds energy infrastructure for electric vehicle charging, battery storage systems (BESS), combined heat and power (CHP), solar, fuel cells, and natural gas generator projects. For more information about Core States Group, visit www.core-states.com

Posted in Vendor News |
Proactive Bird Mgmt Tips for Building Environments

Project managers and construction supervisors have an endless list of protocols and regulations to keep up with. Dealing with bird infestations is one hurdle that can quickly become an expensive and hazardous issue if there is no treatment plan in place.

By implementing integrated bird management solutions during the early stages of the construction process, project managers and construction supervisors can save a great deal of time and stress. Project managers can use these key factors to help implement and improve bird management procedures:

Understand Varying Species:

Before approaching any bird management project, construction managers should have a good understanding of what type of birds are common in their specific environment. Different areas and climates attract various types of birds, and each species of bird has unique behaviors and preferences that influence where they are likely to become problematic on a property. Some common invasive bird species include:


Also known as city doves or street pigeons, are descended from wild rock doves. These birds thrive in an urban environment and only require the smallest amount of shelter on buildings.

Pigeons feed on seeds, grains, domestic scraps in and around cities and nest on ledges and steeples. Their droppings are corrosive, can cause humans to slip and fall can carry a variety of diseases such as salmonella and food poisoning.

Canada Goose 

Canadian geese are the most common goose in North America. Unlike other members of this family that are primarily aquatic, this species is mainly terrestrial. They can be found near park ponds, open fields, and commercial businesses with spacious exterior landscaping.

Canadian geese feed on submerged vegetation, grasses, clover, winter wheat and corn. While many people enjoy feeding these birds, it is extremely important for property managers to keep these birds away from highly populated areas as this species can carry harmful diseases such as E. coli, listeria and salmonella, which can be spread through feces and biting.


Though commonly referred to as “seagulls,” these birds are properly named “gulls.” They are often found in coastal towns and cities and only a small number are recognized as being pest birds, such as the Herring gull.

Seagulls often perch near food sources and commonly nest on flat rooftops. These birds feed on fish, crustaceans, eggs, and insects. Gull droppings and feathers can also carry a variety of diseases such as salmonella, fungal infections and more.

Identify “high-risk” areas:

Once the environmental factors have been taken into consideration, project managers can get ahead of bird issues by identifying expected “high-risk” perch areas and implementing proactive steps to deter birds from these areas. High-risk areas for many building sites includes:


Rooftops offer sheltered nesting areas, ability to scout for food, and a place to hide from predators. Flat rooftops also collect water, which birds use to bathe and drink. Feathers, droppings, and nesting material clog drains and gutters, leading to water back-ups inside buildings. Birds can also damage rooftop membranes, and droppings may fall onto surfaces, equipment, and vehicles.

HVAC units

HVAC units provide a source of shelter and warmth. Birds often congregate and build nests on units. Droppings, nests, and feathers can clog systems, which lead to expensive cleaning. Building air quality can also be compromised.

Parking garages

Tiered parking garages offer ledges, pipes, and cabling that create protected structures birds find appealing. Birds deposit droppings on vehicles, which leads to customer complaints and potential repair bills. Droppings can accumulate to create a mess and potential air quality hazards.

Signs, ornate architecture, awnings, canopy overhangs, balconies, lighting fixtures, shutters, and louvered exhaust vents

These items provide ideal protected spots for birds to perch, look for food, or nest. The compact spaces that these areas create make perfect nesting places for small birds. Birds can cause noise issues as they chatter or fly around in highly-trafficked areas. Droppings can damage structures and supports, as well as interrupt aesthetic appearances. Fire is also a risk when birds nest near lighted signs, lighting fixtures, and exhaust vents.

Surface parking lot and poolside lighting

Exterior lighting poles are a favorite perching spot for many birds, especially seagulls. Droppings can build up on the lights, ground, and vehicles below. At the poolside, birds may bother guests as they swoop in for food.

Water features

Water features, such as pools and fountains, provide drinking and bathing sources for birds. On-property water bodies may be attractive to larger species, including geese. Geese leave behind large droppings that make a mess of landscaped areas. They can also be aggressive if they feel threatened.

Outdoor dining areas

Food of any sort will attract birds to an area. Birds may perch on high points around outdoor dining areas or walk around on the ground. Birds in these areas are disruptive. Some more aggressive species may steal food from tables or people.

Trash areas

Trash receptacles and dumpsters, especially those without well-fitting lids, are full of items that provide food and nesting material for birds. Depending on the location of the trash receptacle, bird activity can be noisy and lead to guest complaints.

Trust the professionals:

There are a number of steps that property managers can take right now to discourage birds from their property at little to no cost.

  • Use signs to encourage people not to feed the birds.
  • Prohibit the use of bird feeders on balconies.
  • Keep dumpster and trash collection areas away from structures. Use dumpsters with lids.
  • In green spaces, keep grasses higher.
  • Keep shrubbery open and well-maintained and areas under shrubs free of vegetation and debris to eliminate potential geese nesting areas.
  • For bodies of water, install a fence, barrier, or perimeter fence. Geese do not like to move through obstacles to access water.
  • Use screening to protect HVAC systems and keep birds from nesting near them.

Although these are some quick, cost-effective ways to take immediate action towards bird infestations, any situation dealing with birds is a delicate matter. To most people, birds are friendly and any measures taken to restrict their access or curtail their behavior can be concerning to passersby.

Many people do not realize that the majority of bird species are protected under federal or state laws. It is a criminal offense to intentionally interfere with their nesting, kill, injure or harm birds. To undertake bird management activities, it is necessary to have the proper licenses and permits.

It is important for properties to hire professionals with experience in resolving bird issues that understand not only federal, state, and local legislation laws and ordinances, but also the proper steps to take to obtain permits needed. An experienced bird management provider can help implement permanent solutions, reduce long-term costs, and ensure all measures taken will protect the general public and follow all legal guidelines.

To learn more about integrated bird management solutions please visit, https://www.rentokil.com/us/bird-control


Posted in Vendor News |
LATICRETE Creates Customer Experience Department

LATICRETE, a leading manufacturer of globally proven construction solutions for the building industry, has created a Customer Experience Department to reinforce and elevate its dedication to be the industry leader in customer-centricity. This new department, which unites the Technical Services, Customer Service, Quality Assurance and LATICRETE University departments, will be led by Art Mintie, who has been promoted to Vice President of Customer Experience.

“For more than 65 years, LATICRETE has earned the enduring loyalty and trust of our many long-time customers through an unwavering dedication to serving them in ways that help their businesses before, during and after they’ve specified and installed our products and by treating them like members of our family,” said Mintie. “By pulling together all of the best parts of our customer service, technical services, quality assurance and LATICRETE University training programs, we will be able to create a seamless, transparent customer journey that makes interacting with our company easy and positive.”

The Customer Experience department will integrate systems and structures from the company’s four customer-facing areas to streamline resource sharing and enhance communications between LATICRETE and its customers.

“For example, aligning LATICRETE University with the Customer Experience department enables us to broaden our training to include insightful tutorials, as well as deepen our understanding of our customers’ desires and expectations,” added Mintie. “Leveraging digital technology, while maintaining our intense focus on serving our customers in a unified approach across all of our service departments, will allow us to provide cutting-edge support demanded from an innovative, modern manufacturing partner.”

“To better serve our customers, we are unifying all LATICRETE North America customer-facing internal resources under one leader. We are extremely fortunate to have Art Mintie, with his exemplary record of service to our industry, to step in as that leader,” said Ed Metcalf, President and COO of LATICRETE North America.

Mintie joined LATICRETE in 1995 as a member of the Technical Services department. Over the past 26 years, he has moved up the ranks within the company’s Technical Services department, most recently serving as Senior Director.


LATICRETE is a leading manufacturer of globally proven construction solutions for the building industry. LATICRETE offers a broad range of products and systems covering tile & stone installation and care, masonry installation and care, resinous and decorative floor finishes, concrete construction chemicals, and concrete restoration and care including the SUPERCAP® System. For over 65 years, LATICRETE has been committed to research and development of innovative installation products, building a reputation for superior quality, performance and customer service. LATICRETE methods, materials, and technology have been field and laboratory proven by Architects, Engineers, Contractors and Owners. Offering an array of low VOC and sustainable products, LATICRETE® products contribute to LEED certification, exceed commercial/residential VOC building requirements, and are backed by the most comprehensive warranties in the industry. For more information, visit laticrete.com.

Posted in Vendor News |
Want A Home Lift? Here Are 6 Things To Consider

A home lift is a great investment for any home. As age creeps up, most retirees will begin to look for ways to aid movement and make accessibility easier.

A home lift has some key benefits that make the idea more appealing. Some of which are;

  • Increase in property value: Real estate researchers say that a home lift will increase the value of a home by at least 25%.
  • Style and Aesthetic: It will enhance the polish and sophistication of a house, making it much more fashionable.
  • Functionality: A home lift will improve the accessibility of individuals living in it. It allows children, elderly folks, and physically challenged individuals to travel safely up and down the house and between rooms without the risk of tripping on the stairs.

Types of Home Lifts

There are 3 types of lifts ideally used in a home. They take into consideration the space available as well as costs. They are:

  1. Pneumatic Vacuum Lifts: This type of lift is ideal when you have only very little space available to you. It is built to accommodate only one individual at a time and is built close to an existing staircase. It is affordable and usually takes a short period for installation.
  2. Hydraulic Lifts: This type of lift operates by using the force created by pressure in a liquid to move the piston upwards. Elevators of this sort from the Stiltz Duo+ compact home lift require a lot of space for installation and additional space for a machine room that will double as the control center. The hydraulic lift is designed to move heavy loads efficiently, hence it can carry at least three grown adults. It takes a long time to install because of the technicalities involved.
  3. Shaftless Lifts: These types of elevators have simple designs and are ideally built for residential uses. They are small and compact. They can be accommodated even in tight spaces. The installation is simple, takes little time, and causes only a little disruption in your home.
  4. Traction Lifts: Traction lifts operate in the same manner as those designed for commercial use but on a much smaller scale. It is a box that operates on steel ropes wrapped around sheaves. Traction elevators save space as they do not require another machine room. They are most notably known for their smooth and quiet operation.

From the benefits and types of home lifts above, you’re ready to install your home lift. Read on and learn about six (6) things you need before installing a home lift and while installation.

Six (6) Things You Need to Consider

When installing a home lift, you have to ensure that you have certain things in place. These requirements are slightly similar but somewhat different depending on the type of lift (Traction elevators, Hydraulic elevators).

  1. Space: This is without a doubt the first thing you need. This determines the type of elevators you’ll be chosen for installation. If it is a new home, then there is no worry, your home builders can incorporate it into the plan. For an already existing home, it may be more difficult but some builders plan it in the initial building by creating stack closets with basic electrical needs from floor to floor.
  2. Electrical Needs: A licensed electrician should be invited to ensure that all electrical installations are up to the standard and handled professionally and safely. A home lift may need an additional power supply, so it should be connected to the main house supply with a single-phase circuit.
  3. Machine Room: A machine room that will serve as the control center for the elevator needs to be created. This machine room is ideally created on the ground floor, but it can also be located remotely but there will be a need for additional pipes and connections.
  4. Hoistway and Layout: A hoistway, also known as an elevator shaft that allows a lift to move up and down smoothly. A hoistway must be built according to state and local codes to ensure safety standards in the home while using a home lift.
  5. Installation: Installation of a home lift depends on the type of lift. It can take a few days or several weeks to install a home lift and leave some areas in your house out of bound. You will need a contingency plan to cope with these temporary changes while construction takes place.
  6. Maintenance: All equipment and appliances require regular maintenance, a home lift is not exempt from this. No matter how good a home lift is, it is bound to run into some faults such as power failure, worn sheaves, etc. It is principal to note that your home elevator should be scheduled for a maintenance check regularly to reduce safety hazards. You can check maintenance plans with your installation companies.

The bottom line, a home lift increases the value of your property and makes functionality much easier. Whatever your reasons for wanting to create a home elevator, you will enjoy reading this guide of what you need to gather information on the installation process and prepare your mind accordingly.


Posted in Vendor News |
Survey lists nation’s fastest-growing chains

Big names make up the bulk of Technomic‘s list of the fastest-growing restaurant chains of 2020, when pandemic-era shifts toward off-premises dining favored concepts with significant takeout, delivery and drive-thru programs in place. Wingstop led the Top 10 list, which also includes Sonic Drive-In, Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen and Jersey Mike’s. Read the Restaurant Business online story here

Posted in News |
McDonald’s to exit many Walmart locations

McDonald’s is shuttering hundreds of units located inside Walmart stores amid steep declines in in-store shopping and on-premises dining during the pandemic. At one time there were more than 1,000 McDonald’s restaurants in Walmart stores, a number that will be down to about 150 after another round of closures this summer. Read the CNBC story here

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