Blackstone will buy Bethesda’s LaSalle Hotel Properties in $4.8B deal

Bethesda-based LaSalle Hotel Properties, which owns dozens of upscale hotels, including several Kimpton properties in the D.C. area, will be acquired by New York investment group Blackstone Group LP in a deal worth $4.8 billion. It thwarts Bethesda-based Pebblebrook Hotel Trust’s offer to buy LaSalle for $3.7 billion. The news comes three days after Blackstone said it would sell the last of its Hilton Worldwide Holdings shares, worth $1.3 billion. (WTOP)

Read Full Article

Legislation to rezone City Dock fails after five hour meeting

Mayor Gavin Buckley’s legislation that would rezone City Dock to make way for further development failed Monday night after two and a half hours of negative public testimony. The City Council did not second a motion to vote on the legislation, which would have rezoned areas identified in the 2013 City Dock Master Plan. Because the second motion failed, the legislation failed. (Capital)

Read Full Article

Maryland Commerce Department's Preakness guest list includes Amazon, Marriott execs

More than 134,000 people braved soggy conditions at Pimlico Race Course on Saturday for the 143rd running of the Preakness, watching Justify continue to his quest to become horse racing's next Triple Crown winner. While party-goers reveled in the infield, the corporate village continued to serve as a hub hobnobbing and rubbing elbows. The state's Department of Commerce again hosted a hospitality chalet, where invited guests included leaders from tech behemoths, defense contractors, hotel giants and cyber security firms. (Balt. Bus. Journal)

Read Full Article

Berlin claims ‘Best Small Town for Shopping’ honor in online poll

The town added yet another honor to its growing list of accolades with a national designation last week. On May 18 Berlin was named “America’s Best Small Town for Shopping in 2018” by USA Today. The recognition was the result of an online poll. “What a special honor this year as our town celebrates our 150th anniversary,” Mayor Gee Williams said. (Dispatch)

Read Full Article

AAA projects record number of Marylanders to travel for Memorial Day

A record number of Marylanders are expected to travel over Memorial Day weekend, boosted by a strong economy and increasing consumer confidence. AAA Mid-Atlantic projects nearly 890,000 state residents will hit the road between May 24 to May 28, up 4.7 percent from last year and the highest number for Memorial Day since 2001 when the auto agency began tracking holiday travel. (Balt. Bus. Journal)

Read Full Article

Repair businesses slammed as storm recovery continues

 

David Belan gave his workers Sunday off, after nearly a week of working 12- to 15-hour days. Belan is the owner of AdvantaClean, a Frederick business that specializes in mold removal and water damage. He said his phone rang with the first call at 7:30 p.m. last Tuesday, as a heavy storm that brought winds, heavy rain and hail swept through Frederick County, and he and his crews worked nonstop until Saturday evening. (News-Post)

Read Full Article

May 21 // Maryland unemployment stays at 4.3 percent in April

Maryland’s unemployment rate held steady at 4.3 percent in April as the state lost 4,300 jobs, the U.S. Labor Department said Friday. The state’s jobless rate had ticked up to 4.3 percent in March, from 4.2 percent. Unemployment in the U.S. was 3.9 percent last month. Maryland’s unemployment rate may be higher than that of the U.S. because the state is seeing more people looking for work and they may not be finding jobs quickly, said Richard Kaglic, a senior regional economist for the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. Companies looking to hire are sometimes struggling to find qualified employees, he said. (Balt. Sun)

Read Full Article

Maryland program to stabilize Obamacare hits snag over dispute about payments to insurers

As a federal deadline looms, a state effort to stabilize Obamacare by creating a fund to help insurers cover the most expensive claims may have hit a snag. The two insurers who sell plans in the state under Obamacare, CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield and Kaiser Permanente of the Mid-Atlantic States, disagree about whether the state plan favors CareFirst. The state is proposing to establish a $462 million reinsurance fund with money raised by a state levy on insurance companies plus some federal funds. The program would allow CareFirst and Kaiser to offer lower premiums and prevent Obamacare in Maryland from failing. (Balt. Sun)

Read Full Article