Either we’re slipping when it comes to the good life or the Mobil Travel Guide is getting tougher.
In October, the annual guide snubbed the Valley when it didn’t give any of its resorts or restaurants the top award of five stars.
And the number of local properties that earned four stars — the second-best category — was only about a third as big as in 2002.
Recently, the guide produced its inaugural ratings for the nation’s best hotel and resort spas. The Valley fell short again.
While spas at Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale and Royal Palms Resort in east Phoenix received four stars, no fivers were given out.
"We expected to find a Mobil five-star spa, but so far we have only identified Mobil three- or four-star spas," said Larry Dustin, president of the guide. "We look forward to bestowing a Mobil Five-Star Award in the future."
Twenty-eight spas in the United States were given four stars, and 20 were given three stars — the third-highest rating— including a handful in the Valley.
Speed Channel’s three-day telecast of Scottsdale’s annual Barrett-Jackson auto auction reached 6.2 million adult viewers, according to Nielsen ratings.
The network will follow up on the success by launching a program Feb. 18 called Barrett-Jackson Car Search, a 26-episode reality show.
Auction president Craig Barrett has turned the back end of his Scottsdale Road showroom into a studio.
The program will show the ins and outs of classic car collecting by highlighting the history of a cars, what to look for and the problems with certain makes.
Scottsdale-based Loreto Bay Co. says it will develop the Villages of Loreto Bay, a housing development in Baja, Mexico.
Approximately 300 miles north of Cabo San Lucas, the 8,000-acre development features three miles of shoreline on the Sea of Cortez.
It’s five miles outside the 300-year-old historic community of Loreto, a fishing town of 12,000 residents.
Backed by First American Title Insurance Co., the company says the project will include 5,000 residences, a beach club hotel and a neighborhood center, among other amenities such as golf and tennis.
Nine phases are planned, and Loreto Bay will feature beachfront homes and singlefamily courtyard homes, as well as three- and fourbedroom homes priced from the $160,000s.
The developer held a series of receptions in January and will be unveiling a limited number of new-home plans on Valentine’s Day weekend.
Interested buyers have the opportunity to reserve their spot on a private chartered flight and spend the weekend in Loreto Bay previewing the plans.
For more information, call 443-8350 or visit
H &R Block is opening 300 new offices in the United States, including one in Mesa at 7205 E. Southern Ave.
Who says the Internal Revenue Service is the only one making money during tax time?