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💸 The rich win again, apartment edition

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The Hustle

In today’s edition of “We wish we were kidding,” Crocs released a Shrek-themed clog. A collaboration with DreamWorks, the shoes are lime-green with fuzzy brown straps and charms resembling the ogre’s facial features.

In today’s email:

  • Hotels in 2030: What to expect when you check in next decade.
  • Built up and let down: An apartment boom solves next to nothing.
  • Digits: SpaceX gets 63 slaps, a crypto criminal gets a 11k+ year prison sentence, and more wild numbers.
  • Around the web: Cool bird pics, a “Shark Tank” podcast, a Parisian mustache strike, and more.

👇 Listen: A special guest thinks the hotel of the future may be… motels?

podcast media player
The big idea
The Atlantis hotel on a blue background with five gold stars.

Check into the future: Hotels are getting an upgrade

When we hear the words “futuristic hotel,” it conjures up images of valets bringing our space luggage to our rooms via hoverboard.

It’s not quite that, but it’s cool nonetheless: McKinsey travel experts have predictions for how the hotel experience will transform in the 2030s.

Who needs hoverboards?

Forecasted changes include:

  • Automation: Instead of waiting in line to check in, you’ll receive a room assignment via your smartphone, and hotel apps will translate important information into a variety of languages.
  • Customization: Everything in your hotel room — from the intensity of the lighting to the type of coffee to the shower — will be customized and data-backed.
  • Differentiation: Hotels will reflect their surroundings and offer more unique experiences based on geography, moving away from standardization.

“The big change that I anticipate… is that every single pain point will be removed,” writes Caroline Tufft, a senior partner at McKinsey.

And future hotels will do more good

Experts predict that guests will increasingly choose hotels that prioritize sustainability, putting pressure on corporations even before regulators do.

Tech will help as well: Hotel room sensors will monitor who is in a room and what they’re doing, adjusting the temperature accordingly to limit energy use (HVAC systems are responsible for most of the energy consumption in hotels).

Beyond prioritizing sustainability, hotels will become more responsible employers, giving workers more role flexibility and better pay and training.

Now back to snazzy new tech…

While hotels today focus on spas and amenities, the future might revolve around customizable restaurant menu items or the technology and lighting used in rooms.

VR and 3D glasses could allow customers to look into different room options before booking, and the rooms themselves could be automated to transform furniture into various configurations based on the guest’s needs.

That’s all pretty cool, but we’ll be holding off on our excitement until there’s a voice-automated french fry dispenser on the bedside table.

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eyeball wearing a hat

It pays to be a tennis star, as 19-year-old Coco Gauff is finding out. The teen sensation won the US Open (and $3m) Saturday, upping her career on-court earnings to $11.1m. Endorsements and appearance fees have added another ~$12m over the last year, a haul bound to swell after her first major tourney win.


Today in AI: This November, Google will require political ads to disclose if AI has generated “synthetic content that makes it appear as if a person is saying or doing something they didn’t say or do.”

Related: Amazon updated its Kindle Direct Publishing policies to require authors to disclose AI-generated content to Amazon, but not yet to the public.

Apple’sWonderlust” event tomorrow will feature the new iPhone 15 (likely with USB-C charging), Apple Watch and AirPods updates, and possibly iOS 17.

Kroger and Albertsons are selling ~400 stores to Piggly Wiggly parent C&S Wholesale Grocers for $1.9B in a bid to gain antitrust regulators’ approval for the pair’s $25B merger.

Meanwhile… Kroger agreed to pay $1.2B+, on top of the $68m it agreed to pay West Virginia, to settle claims that it contributed to the US opioid crisis.

By Chef Ramsay, the debut frozen food line from celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay, is now available at Walmart. Can’t blame him for trading in Michelin stars for frozen entrees — the industry notched $72.2B in US sales last year.

Disney Parks hyped upcoming theme park attractions tied to Encanto, Indiana Jones, Moana, and Zootopia — but if you were counting on them announcing price reductions, sorry, that definitely didn’t happen.

Cleanup on aisle 911: An Atlanta Walmart will reopen next year with a designated workspace for law enforcement officers. This comes months after shoplifters set the store ablaze to distract from thieving.

Elon Musk’s X Corp. is suing the state of California over a bill that requires social media platforms to report their speech moderation tactics semiannually to the state attorney general.

Be strategic: Want to turn your lofty dream into a reality? Then you’ll need to learn how to think strategically. Here’s everything you need to know.

new apartment construction by year
Olivia Heller

Apartments are getting built at a record clip — it’s too bad they aren’t the right kind

Maybe we read too much news (we definitely read too much news), but every single day we’re confronted with a certain intractable housing crisis.

One common conclusion: There is no panacea, but building more affordable apartments for working-class people sure would help.

Now Americans are building more apartments than ever before — just mostly for the wealthy.

First, the good numbers

In the US, a record 460k+ new apartments will go on the market this year.

Another 1m newly built rentals are expected through 2025 (though high interest rates and rising construction costs may ultimately lower that number).

Overall, since covid, America has experienced a construction boom “not seen since the 1970s,” per RentCafe.

… But there’s a problem

To start, ~89% of new builds in the 2020s are high-end units. Those most affected by the current market — low-income renters — remain short on options.

It’s not even a win for all high-income Americans: Nearly two-thirds of construction is concentrated in 20 metro areas, comprising just 41% of US renters.

Builders are flooding the market with the new supply it theoretically needs, just not where it’s needed most.

This mess, as told through NYC

On the surface, this year’s numbers look good for New Yorkers — the city’s ~33k new units will top the US.

But even if the city maintains this scorching pace, it’d only gain ~231k units by 2030. Last year, officials projected the city would need ~560k units by 2030 to keep pace with demand.

If you’re one of the city’s 2m+ renters, assume rent relief isn’t coming anytime soon. Which… oof: In July, the median price of a Manhattan apartment hit a record $4.4k/month.

All that for just 740 square feet on average? No wonder the city never sleeps.

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By the Numbers
A collage includes a pair of silver handcuffs, planet earth as seen from space, and a tied-up stack of newspapers looming above an overhead shot of Miami’s Star Island.

An insurance bill that’ll make you sweat, a steep crypto punishment, and more

$622k: How much you’d pay in annual homeowners insurance if you lived on Miami’s tony Star Island, a man-made island home to the ultrarich — but also under threat from hurricanes. In 2022, that same policy cost $200k; more broadly, insurance rates across Florida have tripled due to mounting climate change-related risks.

11,196: Years in prison a Turkish court handed to Faruk Fatih Özer, founder of the now-defunct crypto exchange Thodex, and his siblings Serap and Guven Özer. In April 2021, Thodex vanished, leaving its 400k+ members without access to their funds while Faruk Özer fled to Albania. Investors lost, well, no one knows — but it’s estimated to be between $13m and $2.6B.

$500m: A pledge from 20+ philanthropy organizations, including the MacArthur Foundation, to address news deserts, or areas with a lack of local news. Since 2005, 2.5k US newspapers have shuttered while voter participation has declined. The Knight Foundation, Meta, and Google have also previously invested in local news efforts.

63: Number of corrective actions the FAA has ordered SpaceX to make following its tumultuous April launch of Starship, NASA’s intended vessel for its lunar Artemis missions. The fixes Elon Musk’s team must address include hardware redesign, changes to the launchpad, increased analysis and testing, and other safety updates.

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🚆 On this day: In 1972, San Francisco’s BART opened its first 28-mile segment for passenger service.

🐦 That’s cool: Please enjoy the winners of the Bird Photographer of the Year competition.

🎧 Podcast: On Another Bite, hosts Jorie, Ariel, and Jon share business insights on “Shark Tank” products, why it’s crucial to nail down marketing, and how to position your brand for your target audience’s pain points.

🧔 That’s interesting: In 1907, waiters in Paris went on strike for the right to wear mustaches.

🐱 Aww: Excuse me, this is my spot.

showing up late to a meeting work meme

The audacity… (Link)


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