Irvine News and Notes: October 2018
Compiled by Irvine City News staff
Irvine is the second-best city in which to raise a family in the United States, according to rankings released by WalletHub. The financial website compared more than 182 of the largest U.S. cities based on 46 key metrics that consider essential family dynamics, such as the cost of housing, the quality of local school and health-care systems, and the opportunities for fun and recreation. The rankings include five key dimensions: 1) Family Fun, 2) Health & Safety, 3) Education & Child Care, 4) Affordability and 5) Socio-economics. Irvine ranked third for overall health and safety, and third for Education and Child Care. The city came in 28th for fun and 49th for affordability. The city that ranked above Irvine overall, Overland Park, Kansas, was No. 2 for affordability, likely keeping Irvine from the top spot. Irvine ranked first for lowest violent crime rate, and also had the third-lowest divorce rate. The top 10 most family-friendly cities were Overland Park, Kansas; Irvine; Fremont, Calif.; South Burlington, Vermont; Bismarck, North Dakota; Plano, Texas; Fargo, North Dakota; Sioux Falls, South Dakota; Huntington Beach; and Gilbert, Ariz. The three worst were Miami, Detroit and Newark, N.J.
In a prior WalletHub study ranking the most fun cities in the country, Irvine didn’t do as well. One of the key categories was Nightlife & Parties, so perhaps it’s no surprise Irvine came in at 106. But honestly, wouldn’t we rather rank high on best place to raise a family rather than best place to party? Still, we’re happy to know that one of Irvine’s coolest (and tiniest) nightlife spots, YNK at the Irvine Marriott, that was scheduled to close this month will extend through the end of the year. YNK stands for «You Never Know,” and one of the things that would change at the 12-seat speakeasy is the drink menu. The recent Tiki cocktail menu was a huge success. The last iteration at YNK is an homage to its California home. The California Dreaming design vibe will be reminiscent of a Beach Boys music video, complete with surfboards, skateboards, and flat screens featuring beach movies from the 1960s. Upon arrival, each guest will receive a printed menu and be able to customize their cocktail depending on their choice of liquor, preferred flavor profile, and more. YNK will offer cocktails made with ingredients including freshly squeezed juices, kombucha, and pistachio milk through the end of 2018 for one last hurrah. So if you haven’t been to YNK, now you know. ynk-irvine.com/about
Montage in Big Sky Country
Something that is definitely fun (and financially rewarding) about Irvine is the city’s concentration of hospitality, travel and tourism companies, including Montage Hotels & Resorts and its parent company Montage International. Irvine-based Montage just announced the groundbreaking for construction of the $400 million Montage Big Sky resort in Montana, set to open in 2021. In development as a partnership with CrossHarbor Capital Partners LLC based in Boston, the Montage-managed resort will be 150 rooms and will include 39 Montage-branded residences, and a Spa Montage. The resort will offer ski-in, ski-out access to Big Sky Resort’s 5,800 skiable acres, the second largest ski resort in the United States by acreage. Other outdoor amenities include access to Spanish Peaks Mountain Club’s 18-hole Tom Weiskopf-designed golf course located just steps from the resort, hiking, biking, Nordic skiing and snowshoeing trails, plus three world-renowned fly-fishing rivers. Founded by Alan Fuerstman in 2002, the company’s first property was Montage Laguna Beach. It now has about a dozen properties in various stages of development and operation, including the recently opened Montage Los Cabos and Montage Healdsburg in Sonoma County, scheduled to open in 2020.