Sorry I haven't been able to update for a while. I've went on vacation, worked on MLP fanfiction, and began preparing for high school (especially high school band). However, some big things have happened, and the rumour mill's just starting to crank out more stories. So without further ado, here's Cosarara's first news roundup!
Bismarck Hotel Sees Its Last Days: The Bismarck Hotel in Arlington closed its doors after 43 years of downtown operation on July 14, 2012. The hotel opened in 1969, taking the concept of "lodging on a budget" to a whole new level. The hotel underwent a renovation in 1984 following the newer Cosararan government's "plan for an improved image". As far as prices, the Bismarck wasn't one to break the bank, pretty much out-pricing the rival hotels in the same neighbourhood, therefore being a popular choice for lower-class tourists and low-profile celebrities when they visited the city. The Bismarck Hotel is also a chain, opening a hotel in the Flat earlier this year, of which all operations will be relocated to. The hotel is slated to become the site of a Doubletree hotel, set to open in December 2012 just in time for the holidays.
(The chain has been testing the waters with a site in the southern end of Arlington, which will remain open until sometime in 2015, when it will be destroyed - the building's frame is almost completely recyclable so that it can be used in other construction projects.)
Update The Bismarck was imploded on August 17, 2012.
A stunning picture of the Bismarck Hotel in its final moment.
Rumours Surround the Mercure's Fate: Anybody who's anybody in Cosarara would've paid a visit to the famous Mercure Hotel, the second-oldest hotel in the region, surpassed in age only by the Queralt down the street. The Mercure started off in 1952 as an out-of-the-way motel named the "Last Chance Motel". The Last Chance was a popular spot for conferences, club meets, parties, meetings, and things like that. In 1955, the motel fell into a teensy bit of debt, and was on the verge of closing. That same year, a wealthy businessman from Cardiff (a town in eastern Cosarara that doesn't exist on my map) decided to buy it. Immediately, he began to envision something big; literally "a palatial hub for the Vénésie District, in which workers can look on in awe and create a lifetime of memories" from the first-generation Cosararan that he was fluent in.
His hotel of the future finally became reality on January 31, 1958, the day that the new Mercure Hotel opened for business. Over the decades, the Mercure hosted a lion's share of celebrities from Cosarara as well as from around the world. The Nero Room (a restaurant, bar, and lounge area that also has a stage for performances) is still a popular destination for locals and tourists alike. Inside, celebrities from Elvis to Madonna, from Britney Spears to ALLEIN, from the Saltydogs to Sir Elton John, from the Go-Go's to Bananarama, from Gabriel Iglesias to Rosie O'Donnell, and many, many others headlined in the Nero Room, with all their pictures (mostly autographed) proudly being displayed in the "hall of fame".
When the Great Revolution rolled around, the Mercure wasn't safe from the new government's rejuvenation plans. Once renovations were completed in January 1984, the Mercure's popularity continued throughout the 80s and early 90s...
The Virgin Empire invaded from the north in April of 1993, beginning its "Silver Ring Insurrection" as it is now widely known. And even the widest reaches of Cosarara were unsafe from frequent campaigns of hate and intolerance against the Cosararan people, massive military "intervention", terrorist-like attacks, massacres, camps (forced labour, extermination, and "re-programming" camps), and hopelessness. The Mercure was part of a Silver Ring attack itself - on July 9, 1993, the Nero Room and the main lobby were both bombed, rendering the building unsafe. After the failed July 20, 1995 recoup was done and dusted, the Mercure carried out extensive repairs and renovations that fixed the bombing damage, as well as installed a fully automated lighting system to the roof, poising the old hotel for a grand re-opening in August 1995.
More and more acts headlined the Mercure into the new millenium. Unfortunately, the Mercure's owners ran into major financial troubles following the 2008 global economic downturn and the recession afterwards, which led to them being forced to put the resort up for sale. (As of June 2012, no one has made a bid on the property.)
But now, with this Cosararan legend's fate rumoured to be hanging in the balance, at least three companies have come forward with plans in store for the age-old resort.
Plan A (current owners of the Mercure): The hotel has plans to buy the Keyton, Sunaker, and the Mariner (these motels have been abandoned since 2009), raze them, and build a sleek and modern ~$2,000,000 rooms tower, complete with all-new features as well as several deluxe suites. The Mercure's 1972-built parking decks are also slated for removal, with plans for a set of spacious meeting rooms with another three floors of rooms on top, to be built in the same way as the new rooms tower (an extra ~$850,000 has been set aside to pursue this deal).
Plan B (Lucky Lizard Co., out of Vega Beach): The hotel, if Lucky Lizard's plans go through, will undergo an expansion. Essentially, this expansion will involve building a $10 million, fully furnished, and security-equipped casino, complete with 4 new restaurant and bar spaces. No new rooms will be added, but the existing rooms will be remodeled. What Lucky Lizard intends to do with the three adjoining motels is unclear.
Plan C (nicknamed "Mercure 2"): The hotel's size will be almost double, thanks to a plan for a carbon copy of the original Mercure tower (hence the nickname "Mercure 2"). The company behind this also plans to use the motel lots for restaurant space.
Plan D (Preserve Cosarara, Ltd., aided by current owners?): The Keyton, Sunaker, and Mariner will be saved and brought up to code in order to transform the old hotels into deluxe suites for the Mercure. The hotel will be spruced up inside and out, with repairs to be carried out where needed. There are also plans underway to possibly revert the top habitable floor back to its pre-Revolution look, as well as building a swimming pool on the site of either the parking decks or the Euclid Hotel.
Plan E (Buccaneer, Inc., this is the most radical): The company's plans include buying out the Mercure (and surrounding motels), the Majestic, and the Park Shelton, clearing all of the land, and build a new pirate-themed resort complex on the site, with names ranging from the "Blue and White", the "Hotel Buccaneer", and the "Rusty Dagger". The entire project is expected to carry a ~$7-10 million price tag.
European Countries Lose Cosararan Embassies, Ties Severed: For those comrades back home planning a trip overseas, you can go ahead and cancel those plans because those nations, apparently, messed with the wrong people...
On July 17, 2012, the Cosararan Socialist Party announced plans to send delegations overseas as well as a personal visit by the Great Leader and his cabinet in the summer of 2013 to improve relations with those regions. However, those plans were thwarted by late July, citing historic ties with countries like Russia and China, the EU's main opponents. Enraged, the Great Leader signed a resolution on July 27th in Jackson City that would:
Close the embassies of Austria, Switzerland, France, and Italy, the nations contacted for diplomatic regards
Send Cosararan ambassadors from those countries back home
Prohibit Cosararan tourists from visiting these countries
Approve the extradition of Cosararans from those countries
Sever trade with those countries, alternatively charging a high tariff (~15-20%)
Place a 8% tax increase on foreign goods sold within Cosarara (from 3% after April 16, 1996)
Ban delegations from those countries from entering Cosarara
France and Italy are expected to be impacted the most by this sudden change, being the two most-desired nations for Cosararan business. This multinational ban is expected to last for at least four to five years.
At the moment, the European Union is formulating a plan to salvage these crucial friendships, but no details have been released to the public as of yet due to the ongoing Eurozone crisis.
Cosarara's First "True" Tunnel: The first leg of Cosarara's planned railroad expansion is open for business. According to the Cosararan Ministry of Transportation, the rail line is expected to travel through the empty lots between Jackson City and Vega Beach. The preliminary paperwork is currently being filled out with all the appropriate ministries as well as the Party itself, with the first contracts to be advertised by April or May 2013.
Cosararan ISC Session Bid Delayed: Thanks to a cabinet re-shuffle within the Cosararan Simlympic Committee on July 30th, 2012 that reduced the Great Leader to nothing more than a minor position within, the Cosararan Socialist Party has issued an emergency order telling the Committee to immediately suspend Arlington's proposed bid to host an upcoming session of the International Simlympic Committee in Arlington, a move that angered those who believed that a group such as the ISC operating within Cosarara would be a boost to the economy, which has slowed considerably since the recession.
The bid would have centered around a ~$14 million conference center built within Arlington's northern expansion, with the delegates lodged at the Mercure Hotel. While there, the delegates would have enjoyed a series of private concerts and drinks galore, with the hotel itself receiving much-needed funds to keep the glamorous and mystical resort from closing its doors forever.
Update The Socialist Party's suspension order will be terminated sometime in late October-November 2012.
Arlington Builds New Stony Lonesome: The Arlington Police Department has recently christened a new city jail to replace the old one, which will soon be torn down to make way for the last sections of the Flat. The highway nearby stretches all the way to Cranston, Cranesville, Berryville, and Aldgate, all of which the Party is trying to arrange permits for.
Teaser for the *NEW* Timmone's Island, which is a vast improvement over the last one. As an added bonus, try to find the hidden Pinkie Pie in this picture!