Almanac

News - January 28, 2009

Menlo Watch: Rosewood Hotel may cut room rates by half

Despite the meltdown in the global economy, the Stanford University/Rosewood Hotel is still on track to open this spring.

The complex, which includes a 123-room hotel, 17,000-square-foot spa and a restaurant, will receive its first guests on April 1, according to project manager Mike Casey. It is located on Sand Hill Road near Interstate 280.

Standard rooms can be booked for as low as $225 during the month of April — far lower than the $400-$450 officials had estimated before the economic crisis.

Opening a hotel in this economic climate is "uncharted territory" for Rosewood, Mr. Casey said, adding that the pricing would be "dynamic" rather than fixed.

A percentage of each reservation made in April will benefit Trees for Menlo.

Kelly Field: Major renovation proposed

At its meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 27, the Menlo Park City Council will decide whether to approve a preliminary plan for a $4.5 million renovation of Kelly Field in the Belle Haven neighborhood.

The renovation would add two tennis courts, a multipurpose court, and a three-lane track. It also calls for the replacement of the field's natural grass with artificial turf.

The council will not decide whether to appropriate the full $4.5 million at the council meeting. Instead, it will vote on whether to approve a contract worth approximately $350,000 with a landscape architect to draw up detailed construction plans.

Locals meet with high-speed rail officials

Local residents and dignitaries were treated to their first public meetings with officials from the High-Speed Rail Authority on Thursday, Jan. 22.

Rail officials answered questions at the Menlo Park Chamber of Commerce on Thursday morning. In the afternoon, over 100 San Mateo County residents packed a room in the SamTrans building in San Carlos to ask questions and provide comments to determine the scope of the rail's environmental review — a process officials estimated would take at least two years.

The stretch from San Jose to San Francisco — one of eight "segments" rail officials have identified along the 800-mile route — will cost an estimated $4 billion to construct, according to Judge Quentin Kopp, chairman of the rail authority's board.

The rail authority has not yet decided which section will be built first, but Judge Kopp acknowledged construction would likely begin in one of the state's two dense population centers — the Bay Area or the greater Los Angeles area — because trains in those places would generate revenue more quickly. Trains could be running along the first "segment" as early as 2014 or 2015, he said.

Visit TheAlmanacOnline.com for more information.

Steve Levy to speak in Menlo Park

Steve Levy, director of the Center for Continuing Study of the California Economy, will speak Wednesday, Jan. 28, in Menlo Park on the state's precarious financial situation. The talk, which will be at a meeting of the group, Sustainable Menlo Park, starts at 5:30 p.m. in the Burgess Recreation Center in the Menlo Park Civic Center.

Bike safety

A free course on bicycle safety will be held in the Burgess Recreation Center in the Menlo Park Civic Center on Saturday, Jan. 31, at 10 a.m.

The four-hour course teaches the basics of safe and enjoyable cycling, including riding in traffic, avoiding crashes, obtaining the necessary equipment, and learning the "rules of the road," according to instructor Robert Cronin. For more information, call Mr. Cronin at 323-3436.

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