Valentine’s Day – The Durham Way

Show yourself (or your special someone) a little love this Valentine’s Day with these thoughtful Durham gift ideas and holiday outings.

  1. Treat yourself to a facial or massage at The Retreat at Brightleaf. Soothe your muscles with a warm stone massage, or say goodbye to winter skin with an hour-long facial.
  2. Grab a friend and head to Beyu Caffe on February 14 to hear Gino Speight of The S.O.S. Band, the iconic 1980s R&B and electro-funk group. Tickets cost $25 and a special Valentine’s Day dinner menu will be available.
  3. Enjoy self-care on Valentine’s Day morning with an invigorating yoga class at Fullsteam Brewery. The class is suitable for both new and advanced yogis, plus you can stick around for beer and live music later in the day.
  4. Give a gift card to a cooking or mixology class at Durham Spirits Co. Learn how to prepare a traditional Korean meal, become your own personal bartender, or discover French comfort food. Nothing says “I love you” quite like a carefully prepared meal.
  5. Chocolate is always an appropriate V-day staple. Order locally made, artisan chocolates fromMiel Bon Bons – and maybe throw in a couple of macarons, too.
  6. Valentine’s Day is your excuse to splurge on new bling. Head to Hamilton Hill Jewelry or Jewelsmith for your perfect find. 

See more at Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau 


Site Selectors Survey

North Carolina ranks among the top five states for business, according to the results of a new survey published in the January edition of Site Selection magazine.

Site selection consultants put the Tar Heel State at No. 4, while corporate real estate executives ranked the state in a three-way tie for second.

Here are the consultants’ rankings:

  1. Texas
  2. South Carolina
  3. Georgia
  4. North Carolina
  5. Tennessee
  6. Florida
  7. Indiana
  8. Virginia
  9. Arizona

And the corporate real estate executives’ rankings:

  1. Texas
  2. Florida (tied for second)
  3. Georgia (tied for second)
  4. North Carolina (tied for second)
  5. South Carolina
  6. Tennessee
  7. Indiana

However, consultants and exeuctives had different priorities when asked what are the most important factors in determining whether a state is good for business.

  1. Consultants’ rankings:
  2. Taxes
  3. Incentives
  4. Infrastructure
  5. Regulatory environment
  6. Quality education system

WorkforceCorporate real estate executives’ rankings:

  1. Workforce
  2. Taxes
  3. Transportation infrastructure
  4. Utility infrastructure
  5. Land and building prices and supply
  6. Ease of permitting and regulatory procedures

Read the entire survey published in the January edition of Site Selection magazine.


WillowTree to set up shop at American Tobacco Campus

Virginia app developer WillowTree has decided where it’s bringing it’s already-pledged 98 jobs in Durham: The American Tobacco Campus.

WillowTree will move into a new office at 324 BlackWell St., and is hosting a grand opening Tuesday.

The Capitol Broadcasting Company-owned campus fits with what WillowTree CEO Tobias Dengel has said he’s looking for – a place for the company to grow. Dengel said in November his team would be looking for something in downtown Durham, comparing it to its headquarters city of Charlottesville in that it’s a “dense and growing area with lots of alternative music.”

And American Tobacco Campus could offer WillowTree flexibility as it grows. Dengel has said the plan may be to move twice “because our goal is to create at least 100 incremental jobs beyond the small office we have over the next three years.”


The Rise of Global Startup Cities

Durham is No. 4 on a new global list of venture capital funding per capita, according to a report by the Martin Prosperity Instutute and urbanist/scholar Richard Florida.

The report looks at the 20 global metros with the most total funding, a list whose top five are San Francisco, San Jose, Boston, New York and Los Angeles.

When funding is analyzed on a per-capita basis, the top five metros are San Jose ($2,146 per capita), San Francisco ($1,415), Boston ($665), Durham ($475) and San Diego ($434).

Greensboro is No. 15 on the list, with $97 per capita.

Read the full report by the Martin Prosperity Instutute and urbanist/scholar Richard Florida.


The 50 Best College Hotels

The Washington Duke Inn and Golf Club on the campus of Duke University is the No. 1 college hotel in the U.S., according to a report from college selection website College Rank.

The Carolina Inn at UNC-Chapel Hill is No. 8 on the list.

Parents, alumni and visitors of universities who don’t want a cookie-cutter hotel experience, look no further. Below is a list of 50 unique hotels with above-and-beyond services and accommodations, all in close proximity to some of the country’s best colleges and universities.

University visitors want to stay somewhere that truly embraces university culture. From on-campus hotels, to boutiques that allow pre-game tailgating in their parking lots, this list has it all. Many of these establishments offer complimentary transportation to and from university events and are within walking distance of shopping, dining and nightlife. These hotels reject the “just a place to sleep” mentality, offering a memorable experience for every visit.

Our selections were based on the following criteria:

• Ratings from AAA, Forbes Travel Guide and TripAdvisor
• The little things that make an experience great, like in-room microwaves and safes, bathrobes and complimentary newspapers
• Facilities, such as fitness and business centers, dining options and parking access
• Proximity to university campuses and activities
• Involvement with university culture

If you are looking for a fabulous hotel, then look no further than our Top 50 College Campus Hotels.

See the enire list on College Rank.


Why Durham is the Perfect Place to Plant Some Roots

For newcomers, how would you describe our current real estate market?
Inventory right now is very tight. I think a lot of people are realizing what a great place Durham is to live, and they don’t want to move away. When a house does come on the market, it gets snapped up quickly. I think it speaks volumes about what a great town we live in. … If you look at the Triangle, Durham is still the most affordable – you get the most house for your money.

What’s the average turnaround time on the market right now?
The last study I saw said 2.9 months, meaning that at the rate that people are buying, if nothing new came on the market, we’d be out of things to sell in 2.9 months. That’s very low.

How did we develop such a strong market?
You look at what Durham has gone through during the past 10 years – the revitalization of downtown, which is now the happening place in the Triangle with the Durham Performing Arts Center, the Durham Bulls Athletic Park, the American Tobacco Campus, the central district with all the restaurants and the art spaces and the hotels – it’s just a wonderful place to spend time in. We’ve got great universities, like Duke University and North Carolina Central University. … You’ve got other areas like The Streets at Southpoint – that area was nothing 12 years ago, and look at all that’s there now with restaurants, shopping and things to do. Durham has become a destination. It’s no longer this sleepy little town.


Iron Yard completes ATC move, Raleigh renovations still underway

2016 could be a banner year for code school Iron Yard Academy in the Triangle. That’s according to Dana Calder, campus director for Durham.

In addition to revamping American Underground’s downtown Raleigh space – set to be open well in time for its first classes in spring – it just completed a move at Durham’s American Tobacco Campus.

Iron Yard, named one of TBJ’s Companies to Watch in 2016, has moved into a space that Calder estimates is about one and a half times bigger than where it debuted two years ago, she says….