Daily Business Report-April 4, 2014
Balboa Park Coup
Natural History Museum to Debut
King Tut Exhibit on West Coast
The San Diego Natural History Museum announced it will host the West Coast debut of the exhibition “The Discovery of King Tut” beginning in October.
The show, which recreates one of the most important archeological finds of the 20th century, will open in San Diego Oct. 11 and carry over into the first four months of next year, during which it will serve as one of the major attractions for the centennial celebration of the Panama-California Exposition at Balboa Park.
The exhibition, which displays more than 1,000 reproductions of treasures discovered in the tomb of Tutankhamun, recently completed a tour of Europe and opens in Kansas City this weekend.
The objects, reproduced by Egyptian artisans, provide the opportunity to experience the splendor of King Tutankhamun’s tomb without compromising the fragile originals, most of which are no longer permitted to be toured, according to officials at the museum, informally called theNAT.
“Egyptian artifacts are no longer permitted to travel outside Egypt, therefore this exhibition will give museum guests an unprecedented look into the discovery of King Tutankhamun’s tomb,” said Michael Hager, president and CEO of the museum. “The exhibition will be making its West Coast debut at theNAT, and we couldn’t be more excited. ‘The Discovery of King Tut’ has visited Munich, Dublin, Seoul, Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin, Prague and Geneva. We are in amazing company.”
The exhibition will present Howard Carter’s experience of entering the burial chamber for the first time and provide the history of the 18th dynasty in Egypt. The British archeologist spent decades exploring the Luxor section of Egypt before finding Tutankhamun’s tomb in November 1922. It had been undisturbed for about 3,000 years.
The Natural History Museum plans two other major exhibitions in conjunction with Balboa Park’s 100th anniversary. “Coast to Cactus in Southern California,” which will open in January, explores the region’s varied and unique habitats. “Maya: Hidden Secrets Revealed,” which will come to San Diego in June 2015, is the largest collection of ancient Mayan artifacts on display in the U.S.
— City News Service
Harrah’s Resort Southern California Debuts
Today marks the official debut of Harrah’s Resort Southern California, the Indian gaming complex formerly known as Harrah’s Rincon Casino & Resort, which has undergone a $160 million renovation.
The Valley Center property has added a 403-room hotel tower to join two existing towers, bringing the total room count to 1,065. That’s the fourth largest hotel property in San Diego County. The new tower has 52 suites with views of the valley, bringing the resort’s suites inventory to 147. Overall, the resort features 891 non-smoking guest rooms and suites and more than 10,703 square feet of non-smoking gaming space.
“The grand opening of the new tower is a very proud moment for the entire team,” said Janet Beronio, the general manager. “The past several months have been full of strategizing, designing and launching our all-new resort experience. We have aimed to not only provide a product that today’s traveler expects, but one that they desire.”
Harrah’s Resort is owned by the Rincon Band of Luiseno Indians who govern a 6,000-acre reservation.
The expansion broke ground in October 2012 with the first phase unveiled in July 2013 — a trifecta of pools with swim-up bar. The second phase debuted in December 2013 with the opening of The Events Center, a 53,221-square-foot convention and entertainment venue. Following the new tower’s launch is the April opening of Spiked, an all-new craft cocktail ultra-lounge. Also opening this month are grab-and-go food options at Earl of Sandwich and the return of the legendary Pink’s Hot Dogs.
Judge To Decide If Barrio Logan
Plan Goes to Court or Ballot Box
When the Barrio Logan Community Plan was passed with a 5-4 vote by the San Diego City Council last year, the Port of San Diego Ship Repair Association fought back with a referendum. That referendum is slated to be voted on by the city in a June 3 election. The ship repairers claimed that the updated zoning plan would sound the death knell for the San Diego maritime industry.
The Environmental Health Coalition, an activist group that supports the Barrio Logan community plan, has accused the association of directing their paid signature gatherers to lie to voters about the effects of the plan. EHC is trying to get an injunction on the referendum, which would remove it from the ballot until they can take the case to trial. “We feel we’ve obtained enough evidence to show that the association and all the way down the line to signature gatherers were lying to voters,” said Livia Borak, the lawyer representing EHC. “That’s illegal under the elections code.”
The Superior Court will hear the case on April 4, because that is the last day for the San Diego city clerk to set the ballot for the June election. The judge will need to rule immediately as to whether there is enough credible evidence to issue an injunction.
In the case of an injunction, the suit will go to trail. If the judge rules against EHC, Barrio Logan’s new zoning will go before voters in June.
— Reported by KPBS
Academy of Neuroscience for Architecture
President To Give Keynote Address
Thomas Albright, president of the Academy of Neuroscience for Architecture, will deliver the keynote address at the NewSchool of Architecture and Design’s 29th annual commencement ceremony June 14.
Albright advocates the promotion and advancement of knowledge that links neuroscience research to a growing understanding of human responses to the built environment. Albright’s scientific research has placed him at the forefront of his field and it has direct application to the work of architects and designers.
Albright is the inaugural holder of the Conrad T. Prebys Endowed Chair in Vision Research at the Salk Institute.
NSAD’s commencement will take place, as is traditionally done each year, at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla.
VPs Named at i.d.e.a. Agency
The public relations agency i.d.e.a. has appointed two company vice presidents — Michaela Krams and Julie Messing-Paea — to oversee its media, public relations and social media disciplines.
Vice president of media Michaela Krams comes to i.d.e.a. with 18 years of experience in media strategy, most recently working at Horizon Media for 11 years as vice president, brand group director. Prior to that, she was at Carat and ICG for seven years working on accounts in the retail, travel and entertainment industries.
Julie Messing-Paea, i.d.e.a.’s vice president of reputation, has practiced her passion for media and public relations for more than 15 years. Prior to joining the i.d.e.a. team she served as director of public relations for Advanstar Communications.
Open House to Focus on Home Buying
San Diego-based nonprofit Community HousingWorks will host an open house Thursday, April 10, from 4 to 7 p.m. at its City Heights center located at 4010 Fairmount Ave., San Diego. The free event includes short presentations, question and answer sessions with Realtors, loan officers and financial coaches.
The evening includes four ipresentations:
4:30 p.m.: Down payment and specialty mortgage loans. Learn about unique down payment and specialty loans that could in buying a home with a lower down payment.
5 p.m.: How to raise your credit score. Credit-building strategies to improve credit scores.
5:30 p.m.: Market trends: San Diego Hot Spots. Find out which San Diego neighborhoods have the best deals.
6 p.m.: Homebuyers Q&A. Experts answer questions.
Admission is free. Learn more at www.chworks.org.
North Torrey Pines Bridge Rehab Completed
DEL MAR — The city of Del Mar is celebrating the completed rehabilitation of the historic North Torrey Pines Bridge. Reconstruction of the nationally recognized historic structure, originally built in 1933, began in November 2010, and is now essentially complete. The bridge, which handles an average of 20,000 vehicles each day, was reconstructed to maintain its historic architecture while retrofitting it to better withstand earthquakes due to age and salt air from the nearby ocean which had corroded the original pillars that support the bridge span. The improvements strengthen the bridge to last at least 50 years, while preserving and restoring its aesthetic charm, character, and historical features.
The construction cost for this project was $21 million, primarily funded with a combination of federal and state funding. The entire upper deck of the bridge was replaced, the columns were seismically strengthened, and the deteriorated concrete was repaired. The city contracted with Simon Wong Engineering (now Kleinfelder | Simon Wong Engineering) for engineering.
Construction of the original bridge, called the “Sorrento Overhead,” was completed in 1933, with its main purpose as an overhead railroad crossing. It is more than 550 feet long and 49 feet wide; equal to the size of two football fields and as tall as a six-story building. In 1996, the city officially renamed the bridge the North Torrey Pines Bridge.
The city will host a ribbon cutting ceremony on Tuesday, April 15, at 11a.m
Commission Wants to Raise Pay for Mayor, Council
San Diego’s Salary Setting Commission met Wednesday to craft an amendment to the city charter that would raise the pay for the mayor and City Council, with some panel members believing the politicians’ wages have been stagnant for too long. The current pay is so low that it means a lack of high-quality talent runs for public office, said Bob Ottilie, an attorney and the salary commission chairman. “You’ll increase the talent pool once you increase the amount you’re paying, and people will have more choices. We had one council district last cycle where nobody ran except the guy who won,” Ottilie said.
Council members currently make about $75,000 annually and the mayor is paid $100,000. Ottilie said those salaries are unchanged from 2003 because the council is unwilling to approve a raise. To remedy that, he wants to take salary setting out of the City Council’s hands by changing the charter. Ottilie said giving the elected officials higher wages is a no-brainer.