Hidilyn Diaz backed by Gretchen Ho in plea for weightlifting support

first_imgAllen Durham still determined to help Meralco win 1st PBA title Gretchen Ho and Hidilyn Diaz. Image: Instagram/@gretchenho, @annepascual25Champion weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz has been wisely using her unique position to lobby for more support to improve the state of weightlifting in the country. The Olympic medalist gave a frank statement last Sept. 21 about how the sport is governed in a letter to Philippine Sports Commission chairperson Butch Ramirez.ADVERTISEMENT Being outspoken =/= mayabangMinsan kailangan mo na talagang magsalita para sa ikabubuti mo at ng iba. Makinig naman kasi kayo, baka may punto. Good job @diaz_hidilyn for using your platform!!! Supporting you. #ParaSaAtleta 👊🏻 https://t.co/oIg0VSoxAT— Gretchen Ho (@gretchenho) September 28, 2018ADVERTISEMENT Japeth Aguilar embraces role, gets rewarded with Finals MVP plum RELATED STORIES:End in sight to weightlifting woesHidilyn rues sad state of Rizal sports complexGretchen Ho loses bag to thief in London, receives help from kind FilipinosSports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Angara bats for modernized PH sports facilities amid athlete’s death Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? LATEST STORIES Gov’t to employ 6,000 displaced by Taalcenter_img MOST READ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. “Minsan kailangan mo na talagang magsalita para sa ikabubuti mo at ng iba. Makinig naman kasi kayo, baka may punto,” Ho said. (Sometimes you need to speak up for yourself and others’ benefit. Listen up, maybe there’s a point.)“Good job @diaz_hidilyn [Hidilyn Diaz] for using your platform!!! Supporting you. #ParaSaAtleta,” she added.While many have expressed support for Diaz and other athletes, one netizen had some grim advice.Twitter user Louie (@louieboy4u) said, “Hidilyn stop ka na dyan. Kung ganyan lang din ang pamunuan nyan eh para saan pa ang pagod at hirap mo.” (Hidilyn stop already. If that’s how it is run then what is your hardship for?)Seemingly let down, Diaz replied with three crying emoji. “Please wag ganito baka magstop n[a] ko.” (Please don’t be like this, I might just stop.)“Don’t stop. Keep fighting. Dito kami lahat naka-support sayo (We’re all here supporting you),” replied Ho. DON’T stop. Keep fighting. Dito kami lahat naka-support sayo.— Gretchen Ho (@gretchenho) September 29, 2018It seems matters have smoothed out since the fiery exchange of words between Diaz and Puentevella. The SWP chief said he and Diaz are working hand-in-hand for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, following a talk which included him and her coach Antonio Agustin. JB Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew The 27-year-old Olympian stated that athletes suffer from having “two associations” involved in the sport, which allegedly is in the interest of those in power.She also said that she has been accused of being “mayabang” (arrogant) because of her appeals.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissIn response, Samahang Weightlifting ng Pilipinas president Monico Puentevella lambasted Diaz for her statement, reported ABS-CBN News on Sept. 26. “Sino ang nagdala sa kaniya sa Olympics? Ako naman, di ba?” (Who brought her to the Olympics? It was me, right?)To this end, TV host and volleyball player Gretchen Ho extended her support to Diaz in a tweet last Sept. 27. “Being outspoken [is not equal to being] mayabang (arrogant),” she wrote. Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college Hidilyn Diaz clinches her 1st SEA Games weightlifting gold PLAY LIST 04:16Hidilyn Diaz clinches her 1st SEA Games weightlifting gold02:26Hidilyn Diaz on pace for Tokyo 202000:58SEA Games stint long time coming for Hidilyn Diaz02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Tim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crown View commentslast_img read more

Liberia’s President Sirleaf Receives Entrepreneur Award

first_imgRepresenting four continents, they symbolize an entrepreneurship that creates both wealth and social justice. The winners of the 2013 “Entrepreneur for the World” Awards were announced last week in Singapore during the gala ceremony of the World Entrepreneurship Forum.The keynote speaker for the sixth anniversary of the World Entrepreneurship Forum was Mr. Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister of Singapore.Prizes were awarded for the six following categories:“Young Entrepreneur” Ashish Thakkar – UgandaAshish Thakkar is the Founder and Managing Director of Mara Group, which operates in 26 countries and employs over 7,000 people. He grew up in the UK and Uganda, survived the terror of the Rwandan genocide, and started his first company at the age of 15.“Educator” Daniel Epstein – United States of AmericaDaniel is the Founder and CEO of Unreasonable Group. Annually, they unite high-impact entrepreneurs from around the world and provide world-class mentorship, access to seed capital, and a global support network.“Social Entrepreneur” Dr. Jean-Baptiste Richardier – FranceDr. Richardier co-founded Handicap International in 1982 to assist Cambodian refugees mutilated by anti-personnel mines. Thirty years later, Handicap International’s work has benefitted several million people in over 60 countries and was a co-recipient of the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize.“Business Entrepreneur”: Fadi Ghandour – JordanFadi is the Founder of Aramex, a leading global logistics and transportation company with 14,000 employees in 354 different locations across 60 countries. He is also the Chairman of WAMDA.com, an entrepreneurship support platform for the MENA region and the Founder and Chairman of Ruwwad for Development, an initiative that helps disadvantaged communities.“Policy Maker” Her Excellency Mrs Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of the Republic of LiberiaShe is the first elected female Head of State in Africa, is serving her second term as President and co-received the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize. She has built strong relations with regional partners and the international community, attracting foreign investment to her country and restoring Liberia’s international reputation.“Serial Entrepreneur” Sir Richard Branson – United KingdomHe is Founder of the Virgin Group, with more than 100 companies worldwide and 60,000 employees in over 50 countries. Branson has challenged himself with many record breaking adventures and has always found entrepreneurial ways to provoke positive change in the world.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Jonah Capital Donates 2 Vehicles to Nimba Ebola Task Force

first_imgThe Britain-owned mining company, Jonah Capital, on 7th October 2014 donated two brand new vehicles to the Nimba Ebola Task Force in the ongoing fight against the deadly Ebola virus. Making the presentation to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf during her tour of Nimba on 7th October 2014 in Sanniquellie, the Geologist consultant to the company, Mr. Emmanuel O. Sherman, said the donation was the company’s own way of contributing to the fight against Ebola in Nimba.He said Jonah Capital remains committed to the people of Nimba as they go through this time of the Ebola crisis.Along with the vehicles, they also gave 100 buckets, chloride, powder soap and among others.In response, President Sirleaf thanked the company for standing by the country during this tough period.“You are a good and honest partner in this time of needs,” she said.Jonah Capital is one of those mining companies that are on several mountain ranges across Nimba.Early this year, the mining company began the rehabilitation of feeder roads around the Twah River and Buu-Yao administrative districts where their exploration had been concentrated.The donation of these vehicles will surely enhance  the fast movement of health personals across the county.The two vehicles are all Toyota Land Cruiser Jeeps, one is a pickup type that might likely be used to transport medical supplies while the other can be used to transport personnel or carryout needed support.The need for vehicles for the County Health Team in combating the spread of the Ebola virus were among the challenges the Nimba Health Officer, Dr. Collins Bowah, outlined to the President when toured the county recently. Dr. Bowah said, Nimba with 17 administrative districts has one ambulance and the task force was finding it very difficult to effectively cover all of the districts.   Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

We Na Here To Make Justice And Accountability Lazy-No More September 9 Yah!

first_imgToday is September 9, 2019. It was on this date, 29 years ago, that President Samuel Kanyon Doe was captured at the Freeport of Monrovia and later died at the hands of his captors in what would prove to be tumultuous but watershed moments in Liberian history. Time, it is said, has wings; it flies. This common saying is true now as it was yesterday and will be tomorrow.Except for a few people maybe, mainly relatives, friends and close associates, of the late Liberian President, Samuel K. Doe, not many Liberians, especially the youth, can recall that it was on this date, September 9, 1990, that President Doe was seized at the Freeport of Monrovia by self-styled Field Marshall Prince Johnson, then leader of the breakaway faction of the National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL) known as the Independent National Patriotic Front of Liberia(INPFL) and taken to his Caldwell base.History recalls that the besieged President Doe had earlier signed a cooperation pact with Prince Johnson to ward off  attacking forces of the Charles Taylor-led NPFL who had by July 30,1990 virtually encircled the city of Monrovia and was attacking on all fronts. The late President had gone to the Freeport, according to some accounts, to inquire from the Force Commander of the West African Peacekeeping force (ECOMOG) why he had not come to pay his respects.Shortly after his arrival at the Freeport in Monrovia with a host of close associates in tow, President Doe was pounced upon, seized and taken to Prince Johnson’s Caldwell base where he was tortured in the full glare of television cameras and later fatally succumbed to his wounds. Now, twenty-nine (29) years later today, only a handful of people perhaps, mainly those in Monrovia at the time, would recall this date and the momentous events of that day.President Doe was indeed a powerful ruler, backed by a 7,000-strong army with a strong composition of his ethnic kinsmen and was officered mainly by them following several purges that deprived the army of its core leadership structure, a defect which would have telling effects on its performance on the battlefield. Moreover, the army had been newly outfitted and stocked with an array of weapons, including heavy artillery, Katyusha multiple rocket launchers which had been purchased from Romania.With such an array of weapons, it was widely perceived that Doe was invincible and perhaps he did believe he was indeed invincible. That belief or perception was, however, shattered when a trussed-up Doe was captured on video, wounded and, with tears in his eyes, pleading with his nemesis, Prince Johnson, for mercy which was never forthcoming. Doe later died and was buried but his remains were later exhumed by Prince Johnson and reinterred later at an undisclosed location.The 14-year period of bloodletting which followed President Doe’s death was driven in part by longings for revenge but for the most part driven by lust for power and the spoils which come along with it. The very heavy costs (250,000 deaths) imposed on the civilian population by those opting for regime change through a violent approach should serve to remind the country’s political class of the inherent dangers involved in flirting with violence as a tool of political control.But more to that, this date, September 9, should serve to remind all Liberians of the urgent need to combat impunity through accountability. Why? It is because the possibility that such a scenario could repeat itself is not far-fetched, given rising social discontent, especially in view of the spate of mindless political violence perpetrated by CDC supporters, to which this nation has borne witness in recent times and which has gone virtually with impunity.Accountability, therefore, is not only right and just but is befitting and potentially beneficial to social stability and harmony. This was the issue highlighted by Prince Johnson in a very bizarre way in 1990 before a trussed-up and tearful President Doe begging for mercy and relief when Prince Johnson asked, “What happened to the people’s money?”But of course, answers to that question were never-forth coming but strangely, years later, it would find resonance in what was dubbed the “Bring Back Our Money” public manifestation in 2018, which followed in the wake of revelations that 16 billion Liberian dollar banknotes had gone missing from the Central Bank.Today, the country appears dangerously perched at the brink of conflict, induced by the lack of accountability that is reinforced by a culture of impunity in the government of President George M. Weah.  And public officials are conducting themselves in ways that suggest they are completely oblivious to the lessons which should have been learnt from the watershed moments of that fateful day of September 9, 1990.And 29 years later it appears as though the nation is retracing its steps as economic conditions continue to worsen in the face of profligacy and ostentatious display of grandeur by a new breed of “nouveaux riches” who pride and see themselves as the “noblesse obliges” of our times as seen by their effusive displays of false generosity.President Weah’s pronouncements reiterating his commitment to exercising strong political will in dealing with the recommendations emanating from the Economic Dialogue is commendable, though meaningless in the absence of concrete action to deal with corruption. In this regard, the current initiative undertaken to retrieve stolen assets is commendable and should be encouraged.The world is waiting, the world is watching and for the Liberian people, da it deh; we na here to make Justice and Accountability lazy. We moh na try it sef! No More September 9 yah!Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Caricom ‘deeply disturbed’ by Trump’s derogatory remarks

first_imgThe Caribbean Community (Caricom) has strongly condemned United States President Donald Trump’s use of “derogatory and repulsive” language to describe Member State, Haiti, and other developing African countries.At an Oval Office meeting with lawmakers to discuss immigration legislation on Thursday, Trump is reported to have asked, “Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?” referring to countries like Haiti, El Salvador and other African nations. He was reportedly questioning why there are so many immigrants from those countries when the US should be accepting citizens from nations like Norway.The Caricom Secretariat at Liliendaal, Greater GeorgetownAlthough the controversial President has denied making the comments attributed to him, the reports have provoked widespread global outrage.Caricom on Saturday issued a statement, saying that it is deeply disturbed by the unenlightened views reportedly expressed by the US President. The regional body added that it is further saddened that such narrative has emerged around the time of the anniversary of the devastating 2010 earthquake which took so many Haitian lives.“Of additional concern, is this pattern of denigrating Haiti and its citizens in what seems to be a concerted attempt to perpetuate a negative narrative of the country,” Caricom asserted.To this end, Caricom extended full support for the response made by the Government of the Republic of Haiti in reaction to Trump’s highly offensive reference. It went on to remind the United States that Haitians, in many spheres, continue to contribute significantly to the global community, and particularly to that North American country.“Caricom therefore views this insult to the character of the countries named and their citizens as totally unacceptable,” the statement outlined.Following reports of the statements attributed to Trump, which was confirmed by Democratic Senator Dick Durbin, who was also in the meeting, Haiti’s Government issued a strongly worded statement, condemning what it described as the “racist” view of not only Haitian immigrants but also those from African countries.“The Haitian Government condemns in the strongest terms these abhorrent and obnoxious remarks which, if proven, reflect a totally erroneous and racist view of the Haitian community and its contribution to the United States,” President Jovenel Moïse’s Administration posited.Trump tweeted on Friday that while his language was “tough”, he did not say anything derogatory about Haitians except that Haiti is obviously a very poor and troubled country. He added too in the social media post that he has a “wonderful” relationship with Haitians.Meanwhile, the controversy continues to cause widespread global fallout since at least two US diplomats around the world have being summoned to clarify the reported comments.The US chargé d’affaires in Haiti, Robin Diallo, met with President Moïse, to discuss the remarks. Additionally, the Government of Botswana summoned the US ambassador to express displeasure at what it called “highly irresponsible, reprehensible and racist” comments.Moreover, the United Nations has also issued a strongly worded statement, in which it said it was impossible to describe President Trump’s remarks as anything other than racist. At a news briefing in Geneva, UN human rights spokesman Rupert Colville said, “There is no other word one can use but racist. You cannot dismiss entire countries and continents as ‘shitholes’, whose entire populations, who are not white, are therefore not welcome.”In addition, the African Union, a group representing the continent’s 55 countries, said it was “frankly alarmed” by Trump’s statement, demanding the US President to apologise for this “racist” remarks.last_img read more

5 firms shortlisted to conduct cost oil audit – Statia

first_imgOil and gas sector– Canadian consultant to help GRA build capacityBy Jarryl BryanA total of five audit firms have been shortlisted from a pool of 14 applicants vying to conduct audits into the over US$400 million in cost oil claims submitted by oil giant Exxon Mobil to the Government.This was revealed by Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) Commissioner General Godfrey Statia during a recent press conference in which he provided updates on prior year matters and the Authority’s efforts to build capacity for the oil sector.He referenced the World Bank US$35 million Development Policy credit to Guyana, noting that money from this will enable the Government to procure the services of the accounting firm to do the cost oil analysis. Statia also revealed that Exxon has been co-operating with the Authority.“We have so far shortlisted five of those firms, out of 14,” Statia said. “It has since been sent back to the World Bank and they should send in their proposals and we should pick one of those proposals and we move ahead. In the meantime, I want to assure you that we have been getting information that we requested from Exxon on a quarterly basis.”“And we’ve been getting information going forward. They’ve been estimating their information going forward. That information will allow us to see their rate of return and whether there should be some tweaking and the emphasis we should put on some of these issues.”When it comes to developing the administrative capacity for oil and gas at GRA, Statia revealed that a Canadian expert in the area of petroleum taxation will be brought on board to assist.“I’m happy to say that we have been able to procure the services of an expert, who was in charge of the Canadian Revenue Authority oil and gas operations. He’ll be here for the next two years, for a maximum of 30 weeks every year.”“He would be in charge of building that capacity based on what we would have had to do. So basically we’re going to spin that off, from the large taxpayers unit and we’ll have a full-fledged oil and gas unit,” Statia said.Cost oilAfter its 10th discovery of oil in the Stabroek Block, ExxonMobil has estimated the recoverable resource in the block to be 5 billion oil-equivalent barrels. At US$50 a barrel, that equates to well over US$200 billion. In addition, an independent assessment, or competent persons report, had found that 2.9 billion barrels of oil existed in the Orinduik block.Exxon is expected to use revenue from its production in order to recoup its capital investment. Whatever remains of this is the “profit oil” Guyana will have to split with the oil company and its associates.According to Annex C of the Production Sharing Agreement (PSA) Guyana signed with Exxon, pre-contract cost “shall include four hundred and sixty million, two hundred and thirty-seven hundred thousand and nine hundred and eighteen United States Dollars (US$460,237,918) in respect of all such costs incurred under the 1999 Petroleum Agreement prior to the year ended 2015.”last_img read more

British police probe alleged racist attack on Sterling

first_img0Shares0000Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling scored two goals in his side’s 4-1 victory over Tottenham Hotspur at the Etihad Stadium, on December 16, 2017 © AFP/File / PAUL ELLISLONDON, United Kingdom, Dec 18 – British police are investigating an alleged racially aggravated assault on Manchester City forward Raheem Sterling before the Premier League leaders’ victory against Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday.“On Sunday 17 December 2017, police were made aware that a 23-year-old man had been subject to a racially aggravated assault,” a police spokesman said. The Sunday Telegraph newspaper reported that Sterling was apparently kicked and racially abused as he arrived at City’s Etihad Campus on Saturday morning before their 4-1 win over Tottenham, during which the attacker scored twice.The report said a man appeared to be waiting for the 23-year-old England international as he arrived at the training ground to prepare for the game.The newspaper said it is understood that Sterling got out of his car to ask what the problem was but was then kicked in the leg.City have not commented on the matter and a formal complaint has not yet been lodged but police confirmed they are treating it as “a hate crime”.“While an official report has not yet been made, enquiries will be carried out and officers are treating it as a hate crime.”Sterling has been one of the stars of City’s record-breaking season, scoring 15 goals in all competitions as Pep Guardiola’s side have romped clear at the top of the Premier League and racked up 16 straight league wins.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

Ronaldo wins fifth Ballon d’Or award

first_imgThe 32-year-old was the top-scorer in last season’s Champions League as Real successfully defended the trophy with victory over Juventus in June, and also led the Spanish giants to their first La Liga title in five years.“Of course I feel happy. This is something I look forward to every year,” Ronaldo said at the ceremony at the Eiffel Tower in Paris.“The trophies won last year helped to win this award. Thanks to my Real Madrid team-mates. And I want to thank the rest of the people who helped me reach this level.”Ronaldo, who also won the FIFA Men’s Player of the Year award in October, added the 2017 Ballon d’Or to his previous wins in 2008, 2013, 2014 and 2016.He scored 42 goals in all competitions for Real last season, and also netted 15 times in European World Cup qualifying.Ronaldo will lead Portugal at next year’s World Cup in Russia as he looks to add football’s greatest title to the 2016 European Championship win, when the Portuguese beat hosts France in the final.Messi and Ronaldo have now shared the last 10 Ballons d’Or since the latter’s first win after leading Manchester United to the 2007-08 Champions League title.“I hope to play at this level for a few more years, I hope the battle with Messi continues, things happen for a reason,” he added.“I feel good this season and we’ll see what we win at the end of the year.”When asked if he would like to finish his career at the Santiago Bernabeu, Ronaldo said: “I’m happy at Real Madrid, I want to stay there… If possible.”Real Madrid president Florentino Perez would have been pleased to hear Ronaldo’s intention to stay, and he compared his current star to Alfredo Di Stefano, the only other player to win multiple Ballons d’Or while with Real.“For me, he’s the most complete player after Alfredo Di Stefano, he’s Alfredo’s heir,” said Perez.“He embodies all the values of Real — effort, respect, teamwork and solidarity.”– Neymar settles for third again –The prestigious France Football magazine award, which was first won by Englishman Stanley Matthews in 1956, is decided upon by a journalists’ ballot, with each naming a top five from a list of 30.It was a replica first two from 2016, which was the first year after FIFA ended its association with the Ballon d’Or and restarted its own Player of the Year award.Neymar will be hoping to take over the mantle of 32-year-old Ronaldo and Messi, 30, in the coming years after coming third for the second time, having finished fifth last year.The 25-year-old left Messi’s Barcelona during the close season in a world-record transfer to Paris Saint-Germain, where he has already scored 15 goals this season.“Neymar has a lot of talent, a lot of potential, and I’m sure he’ll have some chance to win in the future,” Ronaldo said.Veteran Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon finished fourth after helping Juventus to the Champions League final, while Real’s Croatian midfielder Luka Modric rounded out the top five.Centre-back Sergio Ramos was the highest-ranked Spaniard and the third Real player in the top 10, one ahead of French rising star Kylian Mbappe in seventh.Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante was the highest Premier League representative, with Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski and England’s Harry Kane completing the top 10.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Real Madrid’s forward Cristiano Ronaldo gives a thumbs up during the UEFA Champions League football match against Borussia Dortmund December 6, 2017 © AFP/File / JAVIER SORIANOPARIS, France, Dec 7 – Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo won a record-equalling fifth Ballon d’Or award for the year’s best player on Thursday.The Real Madrid forward’s second successive win drew him level alongside Barcelona rival Lionel Messi on five Ballons d’Or, after the Argentinian took second in the vote, with Brazilian Neymar third.last_img read more

‘United got lucky!’ Liverpool fans react to Man United smash and grab win

first_img1 Louis van Gaal’s Man United may be boring, but Red Devils fans will never tire of beating Liverpool and the Dutchman has made a habit of defeating the old enemy.For the second successive season, Van Gaal’s United have won home and away Premier League matches against Liverpool, giving LVG a record of four wins out of four against the Merseysiders.Liverpool’s manager Jurgen Klopp was in charge of the club for the first time in this historic fixture and he will be licking his wounds after seeing his team boss the game for large periods, only to concede yet another goal from a corner.Here’s a selection of the reaction on social media from Liverpool fans… Liverpool lost for a fourth time in a row to Man United last_img read more

Area hotels 4.4% fuller this year

first_img Ocean Park also is building a 112-room La Quinta Inn & Suites due to open in April, and a 142-room Courtyard by Marriott is slated for this summer. Innkeepers USA Limited Partnership has proposed building a 164-room Embassy Suites at the I-5/state Route 126 junction.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! SANTA CLARITA – Santa Clarita Valley held the highest overall hotel occupancy rate in 2005 in Los Angeles County – a 4.4 percent increase compared to a year ago, according to a monthly industry survey. The valley’s average room rate also hit $108.67 last year, a 6.5 percent jump from 2004, while average occupancy and room rates countywide were the highest in six years, according to a report this week from San Francisco-based PKF Consulting, which tracks hospitality industry trends. Average Santa Clarita hotel occupancy was 82.4 percent in 2005, exceeding the county average of nearly 77 percent. The second-highest occupancy rate was the Interstate 5 corridor at Whittier at 82.36 percent, followed by the Los Angeles International Airport area and West Hollywood, the report said. Downtown Los Angeles held the lowest occupancy at 67.5 percent, but saw the largest year-to-year gain at 13.9 percent. While the rooms are filled, room rates in 2005 stayed below the county average of $126.61, the report said. Average local rates are comparable to suburbs such as Long Beach – $116.04 a night – and the San Fernando Valley at $111.40. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESanta Anita opens winter meet Saturday with loaded card The I-5 corridor held the lowest average room rate at $82.89 a night; the highest was Beverly Hills at $301.71. For December 2005, Santa Clarita hotel occupancy was nearly 76 percent – the second-highest in the county and a 9.1 percent increase from a year ago. Average room rate was $110.51 – a 10 percent increase from 2004. Both average occupancy and room rates countywide were the highest since 2000, when occupancy levels were just above 77 percent and room rates were between $120 and $125. Analysts have said the Santa Clarita Valley’s location along the I-5 at the edge of the Los Angeles Basin is key to the industry’s health. Also, the area’s industrial parks and attractions, including Six Flags California’s Magic Mountain and Hurricane Harbor, also draw visitors. The Valencia Hyatt, Hilton Garden Inn and three mid-size inns operated by Valencia-based Ocean Park Hotels are near the freeway. last_img read more