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Wednesday, May 29, 2024
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OCBJ INSIDER

When it comes to airports, convenience is clearly in the eye of the beholder—and its importance when compared to flight reliability or affordability no doubt was debated by travelers during the holiday crush.

The Wall Street Journal’s recent ranking of the country’s 50 largest airports places John Wayne Airport at No. 9 among 30 midsize airports. Sacramento and San Diego took the top two spots among midsized airports, while New York’s LaGuardia came in last.

John Wayne scored well in reliability (80% on-time arrivals and departures, with an average delay of 10-12 minutes) and was middle of the pack in terms of value, but its overall rank suffered due its low marks in convenience, in which the WSJ factored in walking distance in the terminal, the number of nonstop flights, and other factors.

Given you can walk to the airport in 10 minutes from the Business Journal’s Irvine office, the convenience ranking seems low. And simply by virtue of not having to commute to LAX (surprisingly, No. 6 among larger airports, the WSJ said) to grab a flight, maybe that rank should go up a notch or two.

If you’ve been watching Thursday night NFL games on Amazon Prime’s streaming service, you could be forgiven for thinking Irvine EV maker Rivian Automotive (Nasdaq: RIVN) had worked out a deal with Amazon, one of its biggest investors, for some discounted advertising.

Alas, the frequent ads during the games—showing the automaker’s RIT truck during a camping trip and other adventures—was a promo for San Francisco-based Turo, a car-sharing platform for higher-end vehicles. Rivian’s yet to kick off its own ad campaign on TV.

According to Turo’s website, last week you could book a short-term rental of an R1T in Orange County anywhere from $184 a day (with a pickup and delivery in Irvine) to $405 a day (in Laguna Beach).

The high-end of the housing market—at least outside OC—appears to be experiencing a slowdown, and it’s having an effect on some prominent local billionaires/residential real estate investors.

In 2018, Sue Gross, philanthropist and ex-wife of bond king Bill Gross, paid a reported $35 million for a Beverly Hills estate previously owned by Ellen DeGeneres and her wife, Portia de Rossi.

Last year, the home was listed for sale at an asking price of $38 million; this year the price tag was dropped to $28.9 million, the WSJ reported, in a recent feature detailing price cuts taking place in the luxe home world.

The 5,300-square-foot Beverly Hills home recently sold for about $23.3 million, the paper reported earlier this month.

The nearly $12 million loss on the house flip shouldn’t have too much of an effect on the bottom line of Gross, whose foundation has given millions to Hoag Hospital, UCI, and Mission Hospital in recent years, and who owns multiple homes along the water in Laguna Beach’s exclusive Abalone Point community, in addition to other estates in LA. The Business Journal estimates her wealth at around $1.7 billion.

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Mark Mueller
Mark Mueller
Mark is the Editor-in-Chief of the Orange County Business Journal, one of the premier regional business newspapers in the country. He’s the fifth person to hold the editor’s position in the paper’s long history. He oversees a staff of about 15 people. The OCBJ is considered a must-read for area business executives. The print edition of the paper is the primary source of local news for most of the Business Journal’s subscribers, which includes most of OC’s major corporate and community players. Mark’s been with the paper since 2005, and long served as the real estate reporter for the paper, breaking hundreds of commercial and residential real estate stories. He took on the editor’s position in 2018.
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