Eye on Travel – Hotel Du Pont in Wilmington, Delaware – June 19, 2021
This week’s show of Eye on the journey comes from the historic Hotel Du Pont in Wilmington, Delaware. Peter has a global update on all the latest travel news – and there is a lot of it. Air Canada is fined $ 25 million by the US Department of Transportation for failing to reimburse passengers – and that’s just the start. Charlie Leocha, chairman of Travelers United, talks about the persistent problems customers face trying to get a refund or use the vouchers provided for flights canceled amid the pandemic. Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki talks about the impact of COVID-19 on Wilmington and what has changed in the city since Amtrak Joe became president. We’ll talk with Stephanie Lampkin, director of the Jane and Littleton Mitchell Center for African American Heritage, the Centre’s project, “Journey to Freedom,” and the often-hidden history of the civil rights movement in Delaware. And a close look at Winterthur, and one of the most amazing Americana collections in the world. And then Jake Kheel, author of Awakening the Sleeping Giant: Unleashing the Hidden Power of Businesses to Save the Planet, talks about the natural relationship between ecosystems and the travel industry and why the role of the private sector in conservation could – and should – be a huge game changer. There’s all this and more on this week Eye on the journey.
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Mike Purzycki, The Mayor of Wilmington, talks about the impact of COVID-19 on Wilmington and how it has accelerated change and forced everyone to re-evaluate their lives and upset social norms. He also talks about his recent call with his former roommate, current US President Joseph Biden Jr. He notes that President Biden’s victory has added credibility to Wilmington. The mayor then evokes the unique role that trains play in the city compared to the rest of the country. He also suggests some of his favorite must-see places and restaurants, including a riverside walk. And he concludes by explaining how the influx of “crazy kids” started to transform and change the city.
Stephanie M. Lampkin, PhD, director of the Jane and Littleton Mitchell Center for African American Heritage, discusses the Centre’s project, “Journey to Freedom,” which tells the African-American history of the state from 1639 to the present day. As part of the project, visitors can learn about the National Guard’s nine-month occupation of Wilmington, which was prompted by the passionate reaction of the residents of Wilmington after the death of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968. You can also learn more about the city’s connection to Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad as well as some facts that might surprise you. Lampkin hopes people will walk away with the opportunity to see themselves in the history of the city and also inspires people to always consider who is writing the story and how the story is presented and shared.
Charlie leocha, Chairman of Travelers United, talks about the problems customers have had when trying to get a refund or use the vouchers provided for flights canceled amid the pandemic due to the lack of enforceable consequences that airlines face. He is currently working with the Department of Transportation to extend these flight credits indefinitely and make them transferable to another person. He notes that many of these changes can be made by the leaders of the Department of Transportation. He also reminds travelers to stay alert as scams are on the rise and to work with people they know who have good reputations and experience in the travel industry.
Ed fuller, President of Laguna Strategic Advisors and Former President of Marriott International Lodging, joins the show to talk about the number one concern of travelers: safety. He talks about increasing hotel cleaning and safety standards after the pandemic. He also discusses the struggle to maintain a full hotel staff of qualified people and warns people to be wary of an understaffed hotel, especially in the kitchen and restaurants. And the days of trusting a brochure are over! Call the hotel before staying there and speak with a manager to make sure you feel safe when you arrive.
Chris Strand, The Executive Director of the Winterthur Museum Garden & Library, shares unique facts and hidden gems about Winterthur and shows us that it is more than just a museum. It is the former home of antiques collector Henry Francis du Pont and his extensive collection of over 90,000 unique American products ranging from textiles, ceramics, furniture and more. Situated on 1.5 square miles of property, you will also find 77 acres of gardens to explore and even cows. He also explains that the estate not only has its own volunteer firefighting business, but also produces its own water – about a million gallons per day.
John looney, Fire Chief with the Wilmington Fire Department, discusses the changes he has seen in Wilmington over his 28 years in the service. It has seen the development of the now flourishing waterfront, the construction of high-rise offices and an increase in the number of new apartments as more and more people begin to settle in the city. Looney further explains Wilmington’s strict fire codes and how businesses should keep their standards up to the most recent code before sharing some of the best places to have breakfast, lunch and dinner in this 70,000 city. inhabitants.
Jake kheel, Author of Awakening the Sleeping Giant: Unleashing the Hidden Power of Businesses to Save the Planet, discusses the natural relationship between ecosystems and the travel industry and explains why the role of the private sector in conservation could be a game-changer. Kheel teaches a lesson in the evolutionary design of coral reefs and how they are grown in terrestrial labs and nurseries because they are more efficient. Next, Kheel has some information on the negative effects of fishing on our oceans and conservation in general.
Tyler Akin, Chef-Partner of the Cavalier in the Green Room of the Hotel Du Pont, immersed in the process of launching the first major renovation and change of menu of the Cavalier since its opening in 1913. He discusses the decision to do away with the white linen tablecloths and waiters in costume to create a more relaxed French brasserie dining experience and help bring the restaurant into the 21st century. He also reveals some of the dishes he thought he did better than them and the dishes he says he can never take off the menu because people love them too much.
By Amanda Morris For PeterGreenberg.com