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DCT Abu Dhabi has Plans for “Safe Zone” Areas to Host Visitor Events

SCP’s The Growth Monitor 


Encouraged by the success of UFC Fight Island, the Department of Culture and Tourism (DCT Abu Dhabi) is planning a “safe zone” strategy for hosting visitor events.   The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) event at Yas Island was a success for Abu Dhabi, which provided for a “safe zone” that hosted approximately 2,500 people over five weeks on Yas Island.


The safe zone program may be an approach for other visitor destinations looking to revitalize their tourism industries.   Las Vegas may have some suitable properties if not areas of The Strip where this could be workable; at this time Las Vegas is seeking to recover with virtually no convention-related business.  A tall order.


A helpful overview of the tourism strategy was provided by Arabian Business in an August 31, 2020 post.

Hawaii is Adding Facial Recognition at Airports as an Additional COVID-19 Detection Measure

AEC Consumer Products Monitor


According to an August 28 report by Travel Weekly, Hawaii expects to have its facial recognition system in place and operating at five Hawaii airports, by year-end 2020.   The facial imaging will be used in conjunction with temperature screening cameras to assist in monitoring and tracking arriving passengers at the more than 130 gates at Hawaii’s airports receiving out-of-state and international flights.    Temperature screening cameras have already been installed at Hawaii’s airports.


With the screening cameras, any arriving passenger who registers a temperature above 100.4 degrees is asked to submit to a voluntary secondary screening conducted by paramedics.    The five Hawaii airports that will operate with the facial recognition technology are: Honolulu’s Daniel K. Inouye Airport; Kahului Airport; Lihue Airport; Ellison Onizuka Kona Airport at Keahole; and Hilo Airport.


There are privacy concerns about the roll-out of this technology in Hawaii.   But if deployed and effective it may make a significant contribution to Hawaii’s travel industry recovery.   The facial recognition measure is in addition to other measures going into effect in Hawaii, including geo-fencing of guests at their resorts.

Crystal Lagoons’ PAL Venues Take Over as Top MPC Amenity

AEC’s Consumer Products Monitor


Twenty+ years ago among the sought-after amenities for master-planned communities (“MPC”) was the 18-hole golf course, often enhanced with a top golf course architect.   From past Urban Land Institute (“ULI”) research we know there is a premium for a home sold in an MPC setting as compared to the same home outside of an MPC.   Golf courses, whether you played or not, were part of a developer’s calculation for the MPC’s value to home buyers.  Along with master landscaping, design controls, security, parks, and other amenities.


Crystal Lagoons, the “water tech” company, may have displaced golf in this role, at a time when golf has diminished as an interesting sport among consumers, whether to play or watch.  Crystal Lagoons has pioneered an innovative product for land-bound urban and exurban locations, which they’ve dubbed, Public Access Lagoons™.   Over the past 20 years , the company has successfully introduced their tropical lagoon and beach destinations through more than 600 projects in 60 countries worldwide (these numbers are probably far higher now than when first released by the company).    And the company is on a roll signing up new installations in the U.S.  The company’s is distinct enough as an integrated technology and business solution that they offer their intellectual property to 3rd-parties in the form of Master PAL agreements of particular exclusive regions.


The Crystal Lagoons’ product website has some terrific images and video for review, for anyone that has not enjoyed their tropical environments.

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California SB 1120 Would Allow Lot Splits and/or Duplexes on Single Family Lots

AEC’s Growth Monitor


UPDATED:  SB 1120 did not pass this session, failing to meet California Senate voting deadline on September 1.


SB 1120 is nearing approval in California that would allow existing homeowners in the state to split their lots and built duplexes on each of the resulting subdivided parcels.   Where a lot split is not possible under the law’s guidelines, that homeowner would be able to convert the existing home into a duplex or raze the house and built a new duplex.   SB 1120 is authored by Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins (D-San Diego), as part of an effort to bring more control of local land use planning to the state legislature.


State control versus local control of land use decisions is a complicated matter in California, related to the lasting protections of Proposition 13, the California Environmental Quality Act, affordable housing, community diversity and equity issues, and local municipal fiscal viability.  And overall there is the push and pull of progressive political agendas and sensibilities of suburbanites who have relied upon their local municipal general plans in shaping how their communities will develop.


Of interest to existing homeowners of course, is the open question as to how SB 1120 would affect the quality of life they’ve grown accustomed to (and relied upon), and the value of their properties now situated in eclectic neighborhoods with unpredictable futures.   It could work out well for all involved, but if SB 1120 is approved each municipality will have to do in balancing heights, sun/shade, setbacks, on-street parking, security, and the like, while local policing is likely also in some kind of reformation.


Click here to review the full bill as now drafted.


VR Mountain Bike Simulator is Way-Cool on Multiple Levels

AEC’s Consumer Products Monitor


Ride Out, a specialty bike shop located in the Netherlands, has introduced a new VR mountain biking experience based on the death-defying antics of professional Scottish trials cyclist Danny MacAskill.  VRScout has a terrific post about this virtual reality experience.   We’re hoping this product is as good as it promises!


VR Mountain Bike Simulator Has You Riding Cliffside Across Death-Defying Trails

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