18 Jan

Vox Lumiere’s Phantom of the Opera Announces New York Premiere

first_img You’ve never seen the masked man like this. The international sensation Vox Lumiere’s Phantom of the Opera will have its New York premiere at off-Broadway’s Daryl Roth Theatre on January 16, 2017. Created, composed and directed by Kevin Saunders Hayes, this steampunk take on a timeless classic is scheduled to officially open on February 2, 2017.An explosive mashup of new rock music, breathtaking live performances and classic silent film, Vox Lumiere’s Phantom of the Opera is a completely original immersive experience. Part epic concert, part interactive movie, part cutting-edge theater, Vox Lumiere’s singers and dancers serve up a fun and outrageous new twist on Phantom as they perform a fusion of original rock, pop, and EDM music, as multimedia and the 1925 silent film The Phantom of the Opera propel audiences into the action of the story. Vox Lumiere has captured the imaginations of audiences throughout the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Europe, with their five touring productions: Metropolis, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Peter Pan, Silents You Can Hear and The Phantom of the Opera.In addition to Vox Lumiere and Hayes, Victoria Levy, Tom Smedes and Peter R. Stern will produce; casting will be announced at a later date. In the meantime, let your punk fantasies unwind with the promo below! View Comments ‘Vox Lumiere’s Phantom of the Opera'(Photo: Johanna Siegmann)last_img read more

18 Jan

Buried Child’s Amy Madigan on Working with Hubby Ed Harris, Making Her London Stage Debut & More

first_img Star Files Chicago-born actress and 1985 Oscar nominee (Twice in a Lifetime) Amy Madigan has done TV, film and stage and is now about to make her London theater debut in Sam Shepard’s 1978 play Buried Child, opposite her husband, Ed Harris, with whom Madigan recently performed the play in New York. With previews at Trafalgar Studios about to begin November 14, Madigan took some time to discuss crossing the Atlantic, acting opposite your partner, and the introduction into the profession of a third acting member of the family—namely, the couple’s daughter Lily.How did it come to be that you are doing Buried Child in London?Our director Scott [Elliott] did The Spoils over there and they kind of said to him, we would love to continue a relationship with you. For us to get to reattack the play and work with all these wonderful British actors is really a dream come true. I’ve worked in films and TV but never in the West End. I am so excited, and I hope other people will be.What’s it like working once again with your husband, Ed Harris?Well, you want to work with really great actors, and Ed’s a great actor. People ask whether we take the work home with us, but the point is, we just really like doing it. It works for us. We kind of have a shorthand with one another as you might imagine.Didn’t you meet doing a play?Yes, many years ago—a play by Edward Allen Baker [in 1981 at the Melrose Theatre in Los Angeles]. We discovered then that we really, really like working together, in which case why wouldn’t you want to do that?Do you and Ed find yourselves consciously looking for things you can do together?We do, yes. And when this came up, I just remember Scott Elliott calling almost two years ago and saying, “I love this play; would you guys like to do it?” That was an easy one. It’s how you sometimes hope things will turn out.Do you have any sense of how Buried Child might play in London?Sam Shepard, of course, lived in London for a while many years ago, and I get the feeling that theater people love the language in his plays. I also think by now that there’s a general appreciation of the play itself. We’re working on this with some very young actors and actresses and they all know Buried Child as this iconic American play.Do you think it might seem an especially American piece of writing when seen in London?That’s an interesting question. You know, I think [the play] really changed people’s ideas of what a family drama can be in America: it was as if Sam had reinvented it in some way. There’s love in this family, as well as secrets and betrayal and a lot else, but whatever else these characters are, they are a family. They are in this house.How would you describe your character, Halie?She’s the family matriarch—the sort of glue in this house. She’s the one in the end who knows what’s going to happen and that somehow or other they will continue. But what’s funny is that I’ve now worked on the play a lot, and I still don’t entirely know what it is. There’s something bottomless about it.What about getting the British and American accents all to sound alike?Except for a few stray vowel sounds here and there, these guys are great. I’ve got no worries about that. [The supporting cast includes Jeremy Irvine from the film War Horse and Game of Thrones’ Charlotte Hope.]Is it difficult for you to both to uproot, however temporarily, to London?It’s pretty easy. Our daughter Lily just graduated from Reed College in Oregon, so she’s away from home, and, as actors, being able to pack up and go is part and parcel of who we are: you just do it.Is she following in her parents’ footsteps?She is in fact!  She’s a really great stage performer. She was an English major and her expertise is Middle English: she loves language. She did the Sarah Kane play 4:48 Psychosis and we saw her do Mark Antony in Julius Caesar. At the moment, she’s trying to figure out where she wants to be—she might end up in London or Ireland.When you’re not on stage, do you like to go to the theater?Very much so. Ed was working in New York over the summer and I came out to visit and that is all we did. We went to the theater every night. We saw Jessica Lange in Long Day’s Journey into Night, and I was thrilled she got the Tony, and we saw Hamilton and were knocked out. I also loved The Humans—that was my favorite play of last year.Was it especially interesting seeing Jessica in that part, since you were Stella to her Blanche on Broadway in 1992? We have stayed in touch since doing Streetcar and we’re friends, and I was aware that she had done [Long Day’s Journey] before in London. But what was so amazing was that she was doing it again, and talk about a family drama! I love that play and I was so excited to see Jessica, who was exquisite. I love listening to the language in that piece and being part of it.Do you have other stuff coming up that we should mention?I did an independent film musical; called Stuck, which I hope gets to play somewhere, and that was a lot of fun, and Ed has always got a million things he’s doing, including Westworld on HBO.A film musical? Tell us more!I was a musician for a long time; I love it, and I miss it a lot. That was back during the time in Chicago, where there were people like John Malkovich and Gary Sinise doing theater and music was my fulltime pursuit. But I don’t have the voice of a Broadway musical theater person or anything like that. No one is knocking down the door to get me into a musical.Really—not even a different kind of musical?I think I’d need someone like Lin-Manuel Miranda to find something for me. Oh my God, wouldn’t that be a nice thing? View Comments Ed Harris Amy Madigan & Ed Harris(Photo: Theo Wargo/Getty Images)last_img read more

30 Dec

Wintergreen Lift Passes Week 2

first_imgWeek 1 is now over, which means here is week 2! For the next 8 weeks we will be giving away lift passes to Wintergreen Resort!Each week we will give away 2 weekday lift passes (valid Monday-Thursday) to one lucky individual, so 16 in total over 8 weeks.This week is now over, but week three of lift passes and free goggles  just went live!Rules and Regulations: Package must be redeemed within 1 year of winning  date. Entries must be received by mail or through the www.blueridgeoutdoors.com contest sign-up page by 12:00 noon EST on January 18th, 2013. One entry per person. One winner per household.  Sweepstakes open only to legal residents of the 48 contiguous United  States and the District of Columbia, who are 18 years of age or older.  Void wherever prohibited by law. Families and employees of Blue Ridge  Outdoors Magazine and participating sponsors are not eligible. No  liability is assumed for lost, late, incomplete, inaccurate,  non-delivered or misdirected mail, or misdirected e-mail, garbled,  mistranscribed, faulty or incomplete telephone transmissions, for  technical hardware or software failures of any kind, lost or unavailable  network connection, or failed, incomplete or delayed computer  transmission or any human error which may occur in the receipt of  processing of the entries in this Sweepstakes. By entering the  sweepstakes, entrants agree that Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine and Wintergreen Resort reserve  the right to contact entrants multiple times with special information  and offers. Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine reserves the right, at their  sole discretion, to disqualify any individual who tampers with the entry  process and to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the Sweepstakes.  Winners agree that Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine and participating  sponsors, their subsidiaries, affiliates, agents and promotion agencies  shall not be liable for injuries or losses of any kind resulting from  acceptance of or use of prizes. No substitutions or redemption of cash,  or transfer of prize permitted. Any taxes associated with winning any of  the prizes detailed below will be paid by the winner. Winners agree to  allow sponsors to use their name and pictures for purposes of promotion.  Sponsors reserve the right to substitute a prize of equal or greater  value. All Federal, State and local laws and regulations apply.  Selection of winner will be chosen at random at the Blue Ridge Outdoors  office on or before March 1st, 6:00 PM EST 2013. Winners will be contacted by  the information they provided in the contest sign-up field and have 7  days to claim their prize before another winner will be picked. Odds of  winning will be determined by the total number of eligible entries received.last_img read more

19 Dec

Art. V Tech Board sets plans for permanent court computer panel

first_imgArt. V Tech Board sets plans for permanent court computer panel October 1, 2005 Senior Editor Regular News Art. V Tech Board sets plans for permanent court computer panel Jan Pudlow Senior Editor The Florida Bar should have a voice on the 11-member governance board of the permanent statewide group charged to oversee an integrated court computer system, and the Florida Supreme Court chief justice should appoint its chair.Those were among the recommendations of the Article V Technology Board, chaired by Second Judicial Circuit Chief Judge Charlie Francis, when the legislative-appointed committee met recently.Made up of a cross-section of the tech-savvy from a variety of court users, the board has a January 2006 deadline for its final report to the legislature. The proposed permanent board, if approved by the legislature, would pick up where they leave off.The permanent board’s mission is to advise the legislature, governor, and chief justice about security, access, and compliance issues involving a court computer system that talks to state computers. The integrated system would allow judges and other officers of the court to access information from state attorneys, public defenders, clerks, sheriffs, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Department of Children and Families, and Department of Juvenile Justice.Board member Doug Mannheimer, a Tallahassee lawyer in private practice, noted that “The Florida Bar comes unbiased and doesn’t have an interagency bias.”Judge Francis added his support for a Florida Bar appointee.“They are the only ones looking at the civil aspect, which is 60 to 70 percent of the data in the courts, with family law, civil, and probate,” Francis said.“You need someone to raise issues of the practitioners in the civil division. What about child and family workers and attorneys that work in different agencies that are not law enforcement? How does this fit into their practices? Bar members have to speak up. If I am in private practice and not court-appointed to a case, should I have the same access?”The recommended members of the permanent statewide board are appointees by the following:• Florida Supreme Court• The Florida Bar• Florida Association of Counties• Florida Association of Court Clerks and Comptroller• Florida Prosecuting Attorneys Association• Florida Public Defender Association• Florida Sheriffs Association• Speaker of the House• Senate President• Governor• Criminal Justice Information System Council.“The statewide board makeup was the most significant step we made,” Judge Francis said of the August meeting that also included an intriguing presentation on a security solution called “digital birth certificates” from Ken Aull, of the Northrup Grumman Group. And Jon Mills recapped the highlights of a final report of the Florida Supreme Court Committee on Privacy and Court Records that he chaired. (See September 1 News for story on that committee’s final report.)A video of the complete August 19 meeting is available to watch online at www.articlevtechboard.state.fl.us.Noting that consensus was easily reached on the governance board, generally reflecting the makeup of the current Article V Tech Board, Francis added: “I think it acknowledges that the group felt comfortable with the people we have worked with.”Other suggestions include staggered terms for board members to keep continuity of institutional knowledge, quarterly reports, and a permanent paid staff.The board recommended that there be 20 circuit boards that would report to the statewide board.The big — and potentially contentious — issue of how to fund the statewide board and an integrated court computer system will be tops on the agenda when the Article V Tech Board was set to meet in Tallahassee on September 23, after this News went to press.last_img read more

17 Dec

Alexa, how fast will voice recognition impact credit unions?

first_imgOne of the coolest new technologies to hit the marketplace is voice recognition software. The popularity of voice-activated digital assistants, such as Amazon’s Alexa, have hit a new high as consumers are buying into the convenience of this new technology. Interactive speakers in conjunction with Bluetooth technology allow these devices to perform certain tasks, or “skills,” with the issue of a simple voice command. These digital assistants are becoming more mainstream as consumers have begun incorporating them into their daily household routines, enjoying the ability to do everything from ordering groceries, playing music and dimming the lights, all from a voice command. We are left to wonder what other ‘magic’ will these devices soon be able to perform? Is it reasonable to expect to see these capabilities extend into the financial services arena with voice recognition for credit unions? The answer is yes, and its already happening, as a handful of credit unions have recently begun to explore these capabilities.Development in the area of the voice-commanded technology is still emerging, and Amazon predicts rapid growth of its own Alexa products to continue through 2025, selling more than 70 million smart speakers alone. In keeping up with this popularity, new skills are continually being added to Alexa’s repertoire, with 15,000 skills being available as of July 2017. However, of those 15,000, only a handful are financial services in nature, proving that while managing your accounts using voice recognition software has its potential benefits and conveniences, the popularity of it has still yet to catch on. Even the most savvy and early adopters of technology pause at yelling out their PIN number across the room. With the risk of compromising vital financial information or opening themselves up to fraud or identity theft, it will most likely be a while before many fully embrace this technology. However as tech advancements continue and voice recognition software is perfected, the potential for credit unions to venture down this path is undoubtedly there. 28SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr continue reading »last_img read more

17 Dec

Helping student loan borrowers builds lifelong relationships

first_imgAs fall arrives and students prepare to return to school, many are looking at how to finance their education. Based on a survey completed by LendKey and YouGov Plc., 75% of borrowers said that getting approved for a student loan was very easy. However, the same study showed that more than half of the borrowers were not given sufficient information about their loan repayments.Many of these borrowers were presented limited to no additional financing options beyond federal student loans. Students turn to their university for advice, but nearly 43% were presented with just one option, and more than 23% couldn’t recall what information was provided. Credit unions are poised to help fill this educational gap for young borrowers. As trusted financial advisers and community leaders, credit unions are ideally positioned to educate their existing and potential members about their financing options and the terms of student loans. Furthermore, credit unions are able to provide private student loans to young borrowers and their parents to help fund education responsibly. ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr continue reading »last_img read more

18 Nov

Studies support flu vaccination in children, adults

first_imgDec 14, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – Two studies reported in today’s issue of the New England Journal of Medicine provide additional support for seasonal influenza immunization while shedding some light on questions about vaccination strategies and the efficacy of the vaccines.Both studies were conducted in the 2004-05 flu season, when the vaccine was not optimally matched to the circulating virus strains. One study suggested that school-based flu vaccination programs in four states reduced flu-like illnesses in schoolchildren’s households. The other indicated that inactivated flu vaccine showed good effectiveness in adults despite the imperfect match with circulating viruses.Multistate school-based studyIn the school-based study, researchers grouped 28 elementary schools from 4 states into 11 demographically similar clusters, each of which included one intervention school that offered the vaccine plus 1or 2 schools that served as controls.In the intervention schools the intranasal formulation of the live attenuated influenza vaccine (FluMist) was offered free of charge at school to all healthy children age 5 or older during the fall of 2004. The study was supported by MedImmune, maker of FluMist.Researchers sent questionnaires to the intervention and control groups’ homes after the predicted week of peak flu activity for each state, asking families about flu-like symptoms, medical visits, medications, and absences from school and work.At the intervention schools, 2,717 (47%) of 5,840 students received the vaccine. Ninety-five percent of 1,535 children who were eligible to receive a second dose received it. The average age of the vaccinated students was 7.9 years (range, 5 to 14).Researchers predicted the peak influenza week correctly at two sites and were within 2 to 4 weeks at the remaining sites.The results revealed that intervention-school households reported fewer flu-like symptoms during the peak illness week than control-school households. The use of medications and humidifiers was lower in the intervention households.The number of visits to doctors or medical clinics was also lower, but the two groups did not differ in the rate of emergency department visits. Hospitalization rates in the intervention-school households were significantly higher, however.School absenteeism rates in the peak flu activity week were significantly lower for elementary and high school students in the intervention schools, though not for middle school students. At intervention schools, unvaccinated students had higher absenteeism rates than their vaccinated counterparts. Also, parents of children in the intervention schools reported fewer work days missed because of flu-like illness.Safety results in this study were consistent with previous results with the live attenuated vaccine, the authors noted. Four serious events were noted in four students within 42 days after receiving the vaccine. Only one was judged to be possibly related to the vaccine. None of the students were hospitalized, and all events resolved completely.The authors concluded that the study shows the benefits of a population intervention. “Even though fewer than half of the children were vaccinated, important benefits were observed,” they write.Kristine Moore, MD, MPH, a coauthor of the study, said, “We’ve known from a number of studies that children are one of the main amplifiers for influenza.” She said the study shows that vaccinating children in schools can dampen the amplification process by reducing flu-like illness in their households.The researchers found that the intranasal vaccine was simple to administer in the schools, said Moore, who is medical director of the University of Minnesota Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, publisher of the CIDRAP Web site. “This wasn’t a feasibility study, but it showed that school based vaccination can work,” she said.Moore said the study findings add to ongoing public health discussions about vaccination strategies, which are complex and range from targeting high-risk populations to universal vaccination.In an accompanying editorial, two flu vaccine experts from the World Health Organization (WHO), Keiji Fukuda and Marie Paule Kieny, comment, “The findings strongly suggest, but do not conclusively demonstrate, that the vaccination of these children reduced the spread of influenza to their households and to other student populations.”Michigan study of vaccine effectivenessIn the second study, authors hoped to answer questions about how current vaccines perform when circulating virus strains differ from the strains used in the vaccine. The study group included 1,247 healthy adult Michigan residents. Participants were randomly assigned to receive the inactivated vaccine or a placebo by intramuscular injection or the live attenuated vaccine or a placebo by intranasal spray between October and December 2004.Researchers monitored subjects by phone or e-mail until April 2005, instructing them to contact the study staff whenever they had an illness with at least two respiratory or systemic signs or symptoms. Throat swabs were collected from participants during the surveillance period to identify flu cases and define the period of flu activity. Serum samples of patients with symptoms were also collected and tested against the circulating viruses. Flu cases were identified by three methods: cell culture, polymerase chain reaction (PCR), and serologic (antibody) studies.As the flu season progressed, researchers found that the type A(H3N2) virus had drifted from the strain included in seasonal vaccines and that an unanticipated strain of type B virus was circulating, in addition to the one included in the vaccines.The authors found that the absolute efficacy of the inactivated vaccine against both types of virus was 77% on the basis of cell-culture confirmation of cases, 75% on the basis of cell culture or real-time PCR case confirmation, and 67% with cell-culture or serologic confirmation of cases. Using the same assessment measures, the absolute efficacy values for the live attenuated vaccine were 57%, 48%, and 30%, respectively.The researchers say the efficacy differences between the two vaccines appeared to be related to reduced effectiveness of the live attenuated vaccine against type B viruses.Four serious adverse events occurred among the participants within 30 days of receiving the virus, but only one was considered possibly linked to the vaccine.The performance of the inactivated vaccine was surprising, the researchers write. “This result was somewhat unexpected, given problems reported in past years when antigenically drifted viruses were circulating,” they state, adding that the consistent results of all of the confirmation methods were reassuring.Also unexpected were the indications of reduced efficacy of the live attenuated vaccine, they write, because previous studies showed it to be effective in years when drifted strains circulated.Using antibody titers to confirm infection with influenza may overestimate the efficacy of the inactivated vaccine and underestimate the efficacy of the live attenuated vaccine, the authors propose. They observe that live attenuated vaccines have shown efficacy in children, even against drifted strains, but in adults the live vaccine may not provoke an adequate response because of past influenza infections.Even if the intranasal vaccine is less effective in adults, the authors write that it would still be useful as the United States moves toward universal vaccination strategies.”The live attenuated vaccine could also be useful in a pandemic, given that the population would have no preexisting antibodies for the virus, and one dose of the vaccine would be expected to protect against it,” they write.Fukuda and Kieny, in their editorial, say the findings indicate that the two types of vaccines confer similar protection against influenza A in healthy adults, but more research is needed to determine if the vaccines are similarly effective in other age-groups and to assess the effectiveness of the live vaccine against influenza B.The WHO experts note that some observers question whether the substantial efforts to produce and deliver flu vaccine each year are justified. “The answer is, unambiguously, yes,” they write. “Indeed, the critical public health question is not whether influenza vaccines should be used, but how they can be used to advantage.”King JC, Stoddard JJ, Gaglani MJ, et al. Effectiveness of school-based influenza vaccination. N Engl J Med 2006;355(24):2523-32 [Full text]Ohmit SE, Victor JC, Rotthoff JR, et al. Prevention of antigenically drifted influenza by inactivated and live attenuated vaccines. N Engl J Med 2006;355(24):2513-22 [Full text]Fukuda K, Kieny MP. Different approaches to influenza vaccination. (Editorial) N Engl J Med 2006;355(24):2586-7 [Full text]last_img read more

19 Oct

UK eyes billion pound boost from Australia, New Zealand trade deals

first_imgBritain said its exports could increase by a billion pounds as a result of the trade deals it is seeking from Australia and New Zealand, setting out its negotiating objectives on Wednesday ahead of the start of formal talks.Australia and New Zealand are among Britain’s top priorities for trade talks, alongside the United States, the European Union and Japan, as it looks to define an independent trade policy after leaving the EU in January.”Ambitious, wide-ranging free trade agreements with old friends like Australia and New Zealand are a powerful way for us … to make good on the promise of Brexit,” trade minister Liz Truss said in a statement. Topics : The government’s aims for each deal were largely similar and broadly focused on increasing goods and services trade and cross-border investment. They included chapters on digital trade and ways to help small businesses export more.The aims for an Australian deal included a focus on technology, innovation and research and development, while the objectives for the New Zealand talks made reference to the need to protect both countries’ climate change commitments.The first round of talks is expected to take place by videoconference in the coming weeks. last_img read more

18 Oct

Unai Emery gave no hint of Arsenal sacking in message to players after Eintracht Frankfurt defeat

first_imgUnai Emery told his players to ‘forget’ about their defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt (Getty)But according to The Athletic, Emery was seemingly confident of keeping his job despite the club being on their worst run of form since February 1992.AdvertisementAdvertisementThe report claims that in the dressing room after the defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt, Emery urged his players to ‘forget’ about the loss because the Premier League fixture away to Norwich City on Sunday has ‘greater importance’.Arsenal remain top of Group F despite their defeat in the Europa League and beating Standard Liege in their final match on December 12 will ensure that they will progress as group winners.But in the Premier League, Arsenal have gone five games without a win and are eight points behind fourth-placed Chelsea. Advertisement Metro Sport ReporterFriday 29 Nov 2019 10:00 amShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link Unai Emery gave no hint of Arsenal sacking in message to players after Eintracht Frankfurt defeat Freddie Ljungberg is being lined up to replace Emery (Getty)Speaking after his side’s latest defeat on Thursday evening, Emery acknowledged the criticism of Arsenal’s recent performances but remained focused on preparing for the game against Norwich on Sunday.‘I am thinking about the next match and analysing that match and the Europa League, and thinking about Sunday and how we can improve and achieve that confidence with the players,’ said the Spaniard.‘The players now are a little down in their feelings, but if we continue and can achieve a performance like the first half, I think that is the way.‘I am thinking first about analysing the game over 90 minutes. Today we improved some things, but it wasn’t enough.‘Yes, I can understand the criticism about the team, about me. We are not in a good moment and also as a coach, I had that moment also in my career.’More: Arsenal FCArsenal flop Denis Suarez delivers verdict on Thomas Partey and Lucas Torreira movesThomas Partey debut? Ian Wright picks his Arsenal starting XI vs Manchester CityArsene Wenger explains why Mikel Arteta is ‘lucky’ to be managing Arsenalcenter_img Advertisement Comment Unai Emery is on the brink of being sacked by Arsenal (Getty Images)Unai Emery gave no indication to Arsenal’s players that he was on the verge of being sacked following his side’s defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt in the Europa League on Thursday evening.Arsenal’s hierarchy have taken the decision to dismiss Emery after the 2-1 loss at home to Frankfurt made it seven games without a victory for the Gunners.In a statement released on Friday morning, Arsenal said: ‘The decision has been taken due to results and performances not being at the level required.’Freddie Ljungberg, who was already part of Arsenal’s first-team coaching staff, has been named Emery’s replacement on an interim basis.ADVERTISEMENTlast_img read more

6 Oct

Virtual tours launch at Haven

first_imgHaven have launched virtual tours at their display village using virtual headsets, Meredith Sweeney, Ellis Marketing and Sales coordinator demonstrates. Picture: Shae Beplate.PEOPLE building their dream home at Haven will be able to view their house before the first sod is turned with the launch of virtual tours.Haven have launched a Virtual Display Village at their sales and information office in Garbutt which will transport clients into realistic and scaled version of homes.Prospective buyers put on a virtual reality headset or navigate with a computer to “walk” around one of five different homes on offer.Ellis Development director Stephen Ellis said the virtual experience was unique to the Townsville new construction market.“When we first launched Haven, we had plans to build a couple of show homes,” Mr Ellis said. “However, the response from the Townsville market was overwhelming and we found ourselves needing to devote ourselves full-time to building homes for our new clients.“Virtual tours are important for clients as they help to mitigate some of the perceived risk involved with committing to a purchase of a home that does not exist yet.“They can really start to see themselves living in the home more so than with just a two-dimensional floor plan or drawing.”The virtual tours showcase the wide range of homes on offer at Haven which offers everything from a one-bedroom executive loft priced at $249,000 to large custom homes.More from news01:21Buyer demand explodes in Townsville’s 2019 flood-affected suburbs12 Sep 202001:21‘Giant surge’ in new home sales lifts Townsville property market10 Sep 2020There are five models available for virtual tours with another three models in the works.Potential buyer Nell Petraello said virtual tours were a great time saver.“It was something very different, but I was able to see exactly what I wanted in the houses,” she said.“Because I own my own business, time is very valuable and I don’t have four hours to spend walking around a bunch of display homes.“This was great because I got to tour multiple homes and take note of what features I liked in a new build.”Haven marketing and sales co-ordinator Meredith Sweeney said there was a range of virtual tours to suit a variety of budgets.“It’s all well and good to walk through a gorgeous display home with all the bells and whistles, however, often people fall in love with a home that is out of their financial reach,” she said.“That is why we wanted to create a variety of virtual tours to meet everyone’s budget. “If we know a potential client has a limited budget, we are able to show them exactly what they can achieve.”last_img read more