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THE RITZ-CARLTON YACHT COLLECTION CELEBRATES FLOAT OUT OF MUCH-ANTICIPATED SECOND YACHT, ILMA

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The latest ultra-luxury superyacht enters the water for the first time at the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France, moving one step closer to its debut in 2024

SAINT-NAZAIRE, France /PRNewswire/ — The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection marked a significant construction milestone with the successful float out of its next superyacht, Ilma, at Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France. This traditional maritime celebration brought together senior leadership and shipbuilders in anticipation of Ilma touching water for the first time, signifying the commencement of its next phase of construction in preparation for its maiden voyage in 2024.


The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection Celebrates Float Out of Much-Anticipated Second Yacht, Ilma

The float out event was attended by company leadership from The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection including Jim Murren, Executive Chairman and CEO, and Ernesto Fara, President and CFO. Also present were representatives from Chantiers de l’Atlantique, including Laurent Castaing, General Manager, and Arnaud Le Joncour, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing. 

As part of the float out, the yacht’s dry dock was filled with water overnight, then moved to an outfitting dock where it will remain for the rest of its build leading to sea trials in April and the start of its first season. Now afloat, final-stage construction will focus on completing interiors, fixtures, and fittings for suites, restaurants, and other public spaces that will welcome guests to experience a new journey of discovery at sea in less than a year.

“As we celebrate this remarkable milestone, we are immensely proud of the dedication and craftsmanship by all those involved in the construction of Ilma,” remarked Jim Murren. “We are thrilled to have partnered with the team at Chantiers de l’Atlantique and are excited to enter the next stage of construction and outfitting in anticipation of the yacht’s inaugural journey next year, expanding our fleet and vision within the ultra-luxury space.”

Ilma, meaning “water” in Maltese, will be the second newbuild superyacht from The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection. Measuring 790-feet, the yacht will feature 224 airy, light-filled suites, all with private terraces, and will accommodate up to 448 passengers.  Paving the way for a new era of cruising, this brand extension introduces an entirely unique experience at sea, illustrating the ongoing commitment to innovative luxury travel experiences from The Ritz-Carlton. Ilma will offer expansive public spaces and will have one of the highest space ratios at sea, ensuring an exceptional journey.

The onboard experience will reflect the unparalleled lifestyle and legendary service for which The Ritz-Carlton brand is recognized, including state-of-the-art technology, five distinct dining venues, and a Ritz-Carlton Spa®. Delivering thoughtfully curated itineraries and unforgettable journeys for guests, Ilma will join the company’s first yacht Evrima in visiting the most coveted destinations in the Mediterranean and Caribbean, with select ports of call in Central America and South America, depending on the season.

The yacht’s sleek and graceful exterior design, expertly crafted by Helsinki-based design studio Aivan, draws inspiration from the elegant aesthetics of private yacht design. Interiors will seamlessly blend warmth and sophistication with a relaxed atmosphere, showcasing modern craftsmanship and interior finishes imagined by AD Associates, a renowned London-based architectural and design firm, and award-winning lighting designer, DPA.

“We are thrilled to witness Ilma‘s float out. Ilma embodies Chantiers de l’Atlantique’s dedication to ultra-luxury,” expressed Arnaud Le Joncour. “This milestone marks the beginning of the next construction phase of outfitting. Drawing inspiration from Ilma‘s elegance, clean lines, and unique features, our teams are united in the pursuit of meeting the expectations of today’s most discerning luxury travelers.”

Reservations for Ilma and Evrima are currently open, and the superyachts are also available for private charter. For more information, please visit www.ritzcarltonyachtcollection.com. For reservations, contact a Reservations Services Agent at (833) 999-7292 (U.S. & Canada) or contact your travel professional.

ILMA FAST FACTS
BuiltSaint-Nazaire, France (2024)
Length790 Feet (241 Meters)
Gross Tonnage46,750 GT
Decks11
Suites224
Guests448
Crew374
Crew-to-Guest Ratio1 to 1.2
Guest-to-Space Ratio1 to 104.3
ItinerariesMediterranean & Caribbean

About The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection
Designed to combine the luxury lifestyle of The Ritz-Carlton® with the casual freedom of a yachting vacation, The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection offers bespoke voyages in the Mediterranean, Caribbean, and Central America. Calling on unique and distinguished destinations, voyages typically span five to ten nights with more overnight calls, an all-inclusive onboard journey, and curated excursions ashore.

Its inaugural yacht, Evrima, embarked on its maiden voyage in October 2022. Measuring 624 feet in length, Evrima features 149 airy suites across various categories, each with a private terrace, creating a relaxed, casually elegant ambiance for up to 298 guests. Continuing the fleet’s expansion, two new superyachts boasting among the highest space ratios per guest at sea, Ilma and Luminara, are slated to set sail in 2024 and 2025, respectively. Spanning 790 feet, Ilma will offer 224 spacious, light-filled suites of varying categories, accommodating up to 448 guests. Slated to make its 2025 debut, Luminara will join Ilma and Evrima on voyages to secluded harbors and iconic cities. Reflective of The Ritz-Carlton on land, each yacht features personalized service, elevated dining experiences, and exclusive amenities.

Private charter options are also available, allowing guests to craft a truly tailored journey. For more information, visit http://www.ritzcarltonyachtcollection.com.

About Chantiers de l’Atlantique
Thanks to the expertise of its teams and its network of subcontractors, combined with top industrial technology, Chantiers de l’Atlantique is a key leader in the design, integration, testing and precise delivery of cruise ships, naval vessels, electrical substations for offshore wind farms and fleet services. The company is a pioneer in the challenges of tomorrow. Through research and development, Chantiers de l’Atlantique offers ships the highest environmental performance as well as equipment for offshore wind farms, making it a major player in global energy transition. For more information, visit chantiers-atlantique.com.

SOURCE Marriott International Inc.

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Asteroid Apophis: An Exciting Encounter with Earth

Get ready for an exciting and safe encounter with asteroid Apophis as it zooms past Earth in 2029! Don’t miss this celestial event! #Apophis2029

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In just five years, on April 13, 2029, the world will witness the close encounter of a rather infamous asteroid named Apophis. This grand event, visible to the naked eye, has sparked curiosity among astronomers and captured the attention of the public. However, rest assured, there is no reason for alarm. Let’s delve into the fascinating story of the asteroid Apophis and shed light on its journey through the cosmos.

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Asteroid Apophis: An Exciting Encounter with Earth https://stmdailynews.com/category/science/

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Asteroid Apophis: An Exciting Encounter with Earth

Location, Location, Location:
Apophis is an asteroid measuring about 1,100 feet (340 meters) in diameter. Extensive calculations have revealed that it will safely pass by Earth both in 2029 and 2036. During the 2029 flyby, Apophis will come within a nominal distance of 19,662 miles (31,643 km) from our planet’s surface, closer than the moon and many satellites in Earth’s orbit. As it traverses through Earth’s gravitational field, the passage of Apophis might even cause subtle asteroid-quakes and slightly alter its orbit.

Spectacular Viewing Opportunities:
Although not observable from everywhere, lucky viewers in Australia, southern Asia, southern Europe, and Africa will have a front-row seat to witness Apophis at its brightest in 2029. As the asteroid gradually moves away from Earth and dims, it will become visible in eastern South America. Furthermore, as evening falls along the east coast of North America, telescopes will reveal Apophis located approximately 15 degrees north of the Pleiades. An ephemeris for the asteroid can be found on our website to help astronomers and enthusiasts track its celestial journey.

The Discovery of Apophis:
On the remarkable evening of June 19, 2004, astronomers at Kitt Peak National Observatory in Arizona made a thrilling discovery. Dave Tholen, Fabrizio Bernardi, and the late Roy Tucker stumbled upon an asteroid, later designated as 2004 MN4. What made this discovery even more extraordinary was the fact that the asteroid was unusually close to the sun, only 57 degrees away. Further observations revealed that Apophis had an orbit different from most asteroids, resembling that of an Aten-class asteroid.

Narrowing the Probability of Collision:
Initially, calculations showed that Apophis had a 2.7% chance of colliding with Earth on April 13, 2029, a date marked with superstition. This resulted in a media frenzy surrounding the potentially hazardous asteroid. However, over several years, astronomers meticulously observed Apophis, taking into account the influence of other celestial bodies and the Yarkovsky effect caused by sunlight. By 2006, these studies dispelled the notion of a collision in 2029, relieving the world of any imminent danger.

No More Worries for the Future:
Many eagerly awaited the subsequent close approach of Apophis in 2036. However, in 2013, after conducting radar observations using the Goldstone Deep Space Communications Complex and the Green Bank Observatory, NASA definitively ruled out any potential impact in 2036 and for the next 100 years. Apophis is now no longer on the Sentry Impact Risk Table, which lists potentially dangerous objects near Earth.

Unlocking the Scientific Opportunities:
With the new knowledge that Apophis poses no threat, astronomers can fully embrace the upcoming close encounter as a fantastic scientific opportunity. The OSIRIS-REx spacecraft, known for its historic mission to bring samples from asteroid Bennu back to Earth, is now en route to rendezvous with Apophis in April 2029. Renamed OSIRIS-APEX (Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, and Security – Apophis Explorer), this mission will unlock further insights into the asteroid’s composition and characteristics.


As we eagerly anticipate the visit of the asteroid Apophis in 2029, let us celebrate the wonders of our universe. Apophis serves as a reminder of the dynamic nature of our cosmic neighborhood and the continuously advancing knowledge of our exceptional astronomers. So mark your calendars and join the world in witnessing this extraordinary celestial event, which promises to be a captivating spectacle for all.

https://earthsky.org/space/asteroid-99942-apophis-encounters-2029-2036-2068/?mc_cid=52a3b9aa14&mc_eid=3304aabd10

https://stmdailynews.com/category/science/

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pickleball and sports exclusive

Life Time Opens its First Ground-Up Pickleball Destination Featuring 8 Indoor and 7 Outdoor Courts on April 8

Chanhassen, Minn-based development offers 15 courts, viewing areas, bar and lounge, and luxurious dressing rooms all surrounded in a luxurious experience and adjacent to full-amenity club

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CHANHASSEN, Minn. /PRNewswire/ — Life Time (NYSE: LTH) is celebrating National Pickleball Month with the opening of its first dedicated, ground-up pickleball development on April 8, 2024.

Life Time Chanhassen Pickleball is located adjacent to the Life Time Chanhassen, Minn., athletic country club and the Company’s headquarters. Spanning a total of nearly 46,000 square feet, the club features eight indoor and seven outdoor courts with accompanying viewing areas, a bar and lounge, dressing rooms, retail and more.

In 2021, Life Time committed to quickly become the premier destination for pickleball in the United States.
Life Time Chanhassen Pickleball is located adjacent to the Life Time Chanhassen, Minn., athletic country club and the Company’s headquarters. Spanning a total of nearly 46,000 square feet, the club features eight indoor and seven outdoor courts with accompanying viewing areas, a bar and lounge, dressing rooms, retail and more.

In 2021, Life Time committed to quickly become the premier destination for pickleball in the United States. Since that time, the company has grown as the largest owner and operator of pickleball courts, with more than 630 across more than 130 athletic country clubs. Life Time saw staggering growth in members embracing the sport from 2021 through 2023, and the popularity of pickleball continues to grow exponentially nationwide with more than 36.5 million pickleball players today. 

To continue Life Time’s efforts to elevate the profile, programming, leagues and community of tennis and pickleball, the Company created the Life Time Pickleball and Tennis Board in February 2024. Led by tennis legend and pickleball enthusiast, Andre Agassi, and Bahram Akradi, Life Time Founder, Chairman and CEO, the board will serve to further advance a vibrant racquet sports community within Life Time clubs and across the country by fostering awareness, excitement, and support for the sports among people of all ages and skill levels. Life Time already boasts lessons, leagues, clinics, tournaments and more for kids and adults.

Life Time members with a Premier membership will have the opportunity to experience the new destination’s pickleball open play, leagues, tournaments, skill building and much more. A limited number of memberships are available.

In Minnesota, Life Time operates more than 84 pickleball courts across 15 locations. For more information, including membership details, visit the Life Time Pickleball website.

Pictures of Life Time Chanhassen Pickleball can be found linked here.

About Life Time®
Life Time (NYSE: LTH) empowers people to live healthy, happy lives through its portfolio of more than 170 athletic country clubs across the United States and Canada. The Company’s healthy way of life communities and ecosystem address all aspects of healthy living, healthy aging and healthy entertainment for people 90 days to 90+ years old. Supported by a team of more than 37,000 dedicated professionals, Life Time is committed to providing the best programs and experiences through its clubs, iconic athletic events and comprehensive digital platform.

SOURCE Life Time, Inc.

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Putting Jobs First: California High-Speed Rail Crosses 13,000 Construction Jobs Milestone

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California High-Speed Rail construction site with workers in hardhats.
Artistic rendering of a CAHSR high-speed train running in the Central Valley. California High-Speed Rail.

In a significant milestone for the nation’s first high-speed rail project, the California High-Speed Rail Authority (Authority) announced that it has successfully created over 13,000 construction jobs since 2015. This accomplishment not only signifies progress for the ambitious high-speed rail system but also highlights the positive impact it has had on the local Californian workforce.

California High-Speed Rail Crosses 13,000 Construction Jobs Milestone

Central Valley Takes the Lead:
With over 70 percent of these jobs going to residents of California’s Central Valley, the project has played a vital role in providing employment opportunities for individuals in the region. It is worth acknowledging the efforts of nearly 1,400 workers dispatched each day to various high-speed rail construction sites. These jobs have injected economic vitality and growth into communities across the Central Valley.

Regional Breakdown:

  1. Fresno County: 4,222 jobs
  2. Kern County: 2,538 jobs
  3. Tulare County: 1,282 jobs
  4. Madera County: 580 jobs
  5. Kings County: 462 jobs
  6. Merced County: 189 jobs
  7. Remaining California Counties: 3,387 jobs
  8. Out-of-State: 369 jobs

A Decade of Strong Partnerships:
The Authority has had a longstanding partnership with the California State Building Trades, which has facilitated the creation of thousands of good-paying union jobs. Notably, during the past five years alone, over 10,000 construction positions have been generated through these collaborative efforts. Moreover, a significant focus has been placed on directing employment opportunities towards individuals from disadvantaged communities, further promoting inclusivity and economic upliftment.

California Jobs First Council:
To bolster job creation even further and ensure economic prosperity for all Californians, the California Jobs First Council was established. This council aims to align economic resources, expedite job creation, and enhance opportunities throughout the state. With particular focus on the Central San Joaquin Valley, this initiative serves as an impetus for creating more jobs, rapidly, in every community.

Future Expansion and Construction Progress:
Looking ahead, the Authority is resolute in extending the current 119-mile high-speed rail network to span 171 miles, reaching from Merced to Bakersfield. The construction has already commenced on this expansion project. Presently, more than 25 dynamic construction sites are active within the Central Valley. As a testament to its commitment to environmental stewardship, the Authority has obtained full environmental clearance for 422 miles of the high-speed rail program, stretching from the Bay Area to Los Angeles County.

Stay Updated:
For the latest developments and information about the high-speed rail construction, interested individuals are encouraged to visit the official website: www.buildhsr.com. On the website, visitors can access recent videos, animations, photographs, press center resources, and the latest renderings of the project. All files are available for free use, courtesy of the California High-Speed Rail Authority.

The California High-Speed Rail Authority’s achievement of surpassing 13,000 construction jobs is undoubtedly a cause for celebration. By focusing on job creation and prioritizing the local workforce, this landmark project is making a positive difference in the lives of Californians, particularly those in the Central Valley. With continued progress and future expansions, the California High-Speed Rail project not only brings efficient transportation but also provides a substantial economic boost that benefits communities and individuals alike.

https://hsr.ca.gov/2024/03/19/putting-jobs-first-california-high-speed-rail-crosses-13000-construction-jobs-milestone/

Source: California High-Speed Rail Authority

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13k+ jobs created! 🚄 California High-Speed Rail breaking records and boosting the economy! jobs infrastructure https://stmdailynews.com/category/the-bridge/urbanism/

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What is California High-Speed Rail?

The California High-Speed Rail (CAHSR) is a state-funded project led by the California High-Speed Rail Authority. Currently under construction, Phase 1 is planned to cover 494 miles from San Francisco to Los Angeles, passing through the Central Valley. There are plans for Phase 2, which would extend the system to Sacramento and San Diego, totaling 776 miles. Authorized by a 2008 ballot, this ambitious project aims to connect major urban areas, significantly reducing travel times. The goal for Phase 1 is to achieve a travel time of 2 hours and 40 minutes between San Francisco and Los Angeles, a vast improvement from the existing Amtrak service, which takes around nine hours.

Construction of Phase 1 began in the Central Valley back in 2015. The project is being built in sections due to limited funding. The state aims to complete a 171-mile (275 km) long Initial Operating Segment (IOS) connecting Merced and Bakersfield by 2024. The IOS is expected to begin its revenue service as a self-contained high-speed rail system between 2030-2033, at an estimated cost of $28–35 billion. CAHSR trains running along this section would be the fastest in the Americas, with a top speed of 220 mph (350 km/h).

Between January 2015 and December 2023, a whopping amount of $11.2 billion was spent on the IOS project, which includes 119 miles (192 km) currently under construction, alongside upgrades to the existing rail lines in the San Francisco Bay Area and Greater Los Angeles. The plan is that Phase 1 will share tracks with conventional passenger trains. However, the Authority has not yet secured funding to connect the Central Valley section with either the Bay Area or Los Angeles, which involves crossing several major mountain passes. As of 2024, it is estimated that Phase 1 will cost a total of $106.2 billion.n.

Supporters of the California High-Speed Rail project emphasize the potential benefits it offers, including the reduction of air traffic and highway congestion, decreased pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, and the promotion of economic growth by connecting inland regions to coastal cities. However, opponents argue that the project is too expensive and advocate for directing funds to other transportation or infrastructure initiatives. The choice of route and the decision to initiate construction in the Central Valley, rather than more densely populated areas, have been points of contention. The project has encountered notable challenges such as delays and cost overruns due to management issues, legal disputes, and a lack of complete funding commitment.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_High-Speed_Rail#

https://stmdailynews.com/category/the-bridge/urbanism/

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