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UPI NewsTrack Quirks in the News

Jan. 11, 2013 at 5:00 PM   |   Comments

$40-$160 to enjoy London's best view

LONDON, Jan. 11 (UPI) -- The head of the public viewing gallery atop London's tallest building, The Shard, said he believes people will happily pay the $40 to $160 price of admission.

Andy Nyberg, chief executive officer of The View from The Shard, said he believes visitors will be happy to pay the steep adult ticket prices when the viewing gallery atop the tallest building in Western Europe opens to the public Feb. 1, NBC News reported Friday.

Nyberg said the panoramic views from the gallery will provide a "tapestry of history."

"This is the only place you can see the whole of London at once and, as such, is a natural starting point for exploring the U.K.'s capital," he said. "If we've got the room and if you've got more money than sense -- or time -- for 100 pounds ($160) you can turn up at the box office and go up immediately. But that's just a pressure valve for people who bang on the desk."

A pre-booked, timed-entry ticket to the gallery will cost a much lower $40.


Swedish students irked by housing comments

STOCKHOLM, Sweden, Jan. 11 (UPI) -- Erik Pederson, vice chairman of Sweden's Student Unions, sharply criticized Ulf Perbo, an official who suggested students don't need kitchens or common rooms.

Perbo, a top aide to Sweden's housing minister, was quoted by a construction trade magazine as saying students don't need those facilities in their university-provided housing, The Local.se reported Friday.

"If you want to simplify building rules, student housing is the first place to start," Perbo said. "It's not a life-threatening catastrophe."

The comments angered Pederson.

"This shows the attitude that students are second-class citizens," he said. "We are not lab rats,"

Housing Minister Stefan Attefall said his aide's comments were misunderstood.

"The quotes are exaggerated and not presented in context," he said.


Website lists odd hotel amenities

BOSTON, Jan. 11 (UPI) -- A Boston website said the most extravagant hotel amenities include one in Oman where visitors have the option of arriving by Jeep, speedboat or paraglider.

Tingo released its list of "nine of the most over-the-top hotel amenities" on its website, including the Six Senses Zighy Bay in Oman's unique three-pronged approach to hotel arrival.

The website's picks included the Beverly Wilshire hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif., which offers complimentary trips in its chauffeured Rolls-Royce Phantom.

The Loews Coronado Bay hotel in San Diego includes a "Su'Ruff Camp," teaching dogs to surf and serving the canines salmon and beef tenderloin during their stay.

Montreal's Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth takes advantage of its famous past with a "Bed-In for Peace Package" -- customers with $810 to burn can stay in the room where John Lennon and Yoko Ono held their "Bed-In for Peace." The package includes breakfast in bed and a Lennon CD.

"Some of these amenities are truly useful, but most of them are dreamed up purely to put 'heads in beds.' I'm still waiting for more hotels to add what I consider the ultimate perk: offering minibar items at 'street' prices rather than the exorbitant charges that most hotels charge," travel watchdog George Hobica said.


Church bought for $2,500, lists for $79K

DETROIT, Jan. 11 (UPI) -- The investor who purchased Detroit's St. Stanislaus Catholic Church for $2,500 is now listing the property for sale with an asking price of $79,000.

Majid Shaukat of Rochester Hills, Mich., purchased the dual-towered church, located just east of downtown, Sept. 19, the Detroit Free Press reported Friday. .

Wayne County Register of Deeds records show the church was most recently occupied by the Promise Land Missionary Baptist Church, which lost the facility last year through foreclosure.

"It was auctioned and an investor bought it and contacted me and asked me to market the property," said Kevin Messier of Real Estate Professional Services. "The reason it's for $79,000 is that it's being sold as-is."

"The pews are gone. The chandeliers are gone," Messier said. "My goal is to find another church to restore that building. That would be the best scenario."

The Free Press said it was unable to reach Shaukat for comment.

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