Archive for January 2012

Loyalty… it can be VERY rewarding   Leave a comment

There are several different properties in the Stagewest Hospitality “family”.  Each one is individually managed, and no two properties are the same.  Some of them have been in existence for over twenty years; others are much newer.  They run the gamut from multi-functional hotel and conference centre to classic Italian restaurant.

What they do share in common, though, is an unwavering commitment to customer service and first-class treatment.  I can vouch for that myself – and as a (still relatively) new part of the Stagewest team, I’m making sure I adhere to their philosophy as well.

A rhetorical and hypothetical question for you:  if you thoroughly enjoyed your stay at (oh, I don’t know…) the Medicine Hat Lodge, wouldn’t you consider staying there the next time you were in town?  Of course you would.  And believe it or not, the Medicine Hat lodge wants you to come back, too.  In fact, the staff and management will actually reward you for doing so!  Quite the concept, isn’t it?

I have attached a few links below, and I implore you to check each one out.  They will take you to the Loyalty Express page on each property’s site.  Sign up at one or all of them.  You don’t have to pay a cent, and it doesn’t matter if you’ve ever stayed there.  Your information will remain confidential, and it only takes a few minutes to complete.

Each property offers different rewards, too.  Something to consider, whether you like discounted rooms or a fun night at a casino.  So sign up – what are you waiting for?

Stage West Mississauga

Medicine Hat Lodge

Stoney Nakoda Resort & Casino

Camrose Resort Casino

Pool_snr

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Posted January 31, 2012 by JasonMacAskill in Uncategorized

Shameless self-promotion   Leave a comment

Before I talk about me, here’s a quick plug for The 39 Steps, which opened last night here at Stage West Calgary.  The new buffet was amazing, featuring both the reliable go-to items like the roast beef, and a bevy of new items in the main and dessert areas.  Insert Homer Simpsonesque drooling here.

The show itself was incredible.  The 39 Steps is a four-person show, but they play dozens of different characters… and even the occasional inanimate object.  I’m not kidding.  One of them was a mucky bog last night.  And while I readily admit I have a lot to learn about the theatre, he was the best damn mucky bog I’ve ever seen.

It was fast-paced, it was fun, and it was a real marvel to behold.  Do yourself a favor if you’re in the Calgary area – go to this show.  I’d be happy to help, so get in contact with me.

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As mentioned at the beginning, I wanted to try to improve my electronic presence.  I blog, and somewhat regularly.  If you want to read it, you can go to www.landingwithjason.com and there I’ll be.  Also, if you want to subscribe (in other words, get notified whenever I update it with a new post), you can do that, too.  Just go down to the bottom of the page and click where it says, “Subscribe via RSS“.

You can follow my Twitter feed, too, if you like – I’m usually good for a couple of tweets a day, about just about anything.  I’m at www.twitter.com/jasonmacaskill .

I also do a (monthly, when possible) newsletter.  If you want me to add to the mailing list, just send me your e-mail address.

And I’m on Facebook.  At least, until I decide I hate this new Timeline thing.

Oh, one more thing: if you want to reach me via the Stagewest route, I’m listed at the top of this page.  Note: I did not design the page, it’s obviously just a coincidence…  http://www.stagewesthospitality.com/corporatesales.html

Have a great weekend!

P.S.  I even have a Blackberry, if you want to trade pins… and I use WhatsApp, too, just in case you don’t have a Blackberry and still wanna instant message me.

Posted January 27, 2012 by JasonMacAskill in Uncategorized

Two great promotions from Stage West Mississauga   Leave a comment

Stage West Mississauga consistently puts together truly inspired promotions.  They do lots of them, and I love getting updates from their sales and marketing team.  I also feel that it’s my duty to tell you about them.

For example, I received both of the below today.  If you’re in the GTA, or traveling… well… there’s really no reason you shouldn’t check at least one of these, right?

Menu_tasting

Valentine_2012

Posted January 25, 2012 by JasonMacAskill in Uncategorized

The latest newsletter – and just for you, free of charge!   Leave a comment

Here’s the link: http://us2.campaign-archive2.com/?u=18950a801fe27a86613ea3b9d&id=e3bccad911&e=

(I’m going to try a huge cut-and-paste below… if it doesn’t work, use that link above.)

Stagewest, Belterra, BNI, tradeshows, and more! 
Is this email not displaying correctly?
View it in your browser.

MacASKILL’S MAILER

Volume 2, Issue 3

Jason MacAskill’s personal newletter…
I’m solely responsible for the content, all opinions strictly my own.
Visit my blog sometime: www.landingwithjason.com

Enjoy!

And now, a brief editorial…

Hello, all.  Thanks for opening my newsletter this month; I sincerely appreciate the opportunity to speak with you, if even for just a few minutes.  Some of you might be opening this for the first time, while others have read every Mailer I’ve produced… and again, I’m grateful.  Some of you are my friends, from far and near and long ago; some of you are friends I’ve recently met.  (And a few of you are actually related to me, so I certainly hope you continue to read this whenever I send it.)

I’ve met many more of you through networking functions, or work, or social media.  We’ve exchanged business cards, or found each other through such sites as Linkedin and Twitter.  Social media is powerful stuff.  A few weeks ago, while I was on Linkedin, one of the “people I may know” was a classmate from my high school in Nova Scotia.  Someone I hadn’t seen since grade 10… yes, that many years ago.  I have no idea how Linkedin figured it out, but darned if I wasn’t going to let the opportunity to reconnect go by… but I digress.

As these connections are created, both formally and informally, I’ve constantly added to my newsletter mailing list.  I reasoned that since contact was made, you might not mind receiving information about me and what I do.  However, my professional focus has changed somewhat, as I devote more of my time these days to Stagewest Hospitality, and I realize that though you might have been interested in getting my Mailer in 2011, the content shift might have you reconsidering.

Obviously, my preference is that you continue reading.  (In fact, you can forward this along to anybody you like and I won’t mind a bit – the “forward” button is right above the Stagewest logo on the right-hand side of the newsletter.)  But if it’s not your cup of tea anymore, and you do unsubscribe… that’s OK, too.

I will still discuss land investment, while also discussing the various Stagewest Hospitality properties and promotions, and other matters pertinent to how I ply my trade.  I hope you continue to open my e-mails, and enjoy them.  Feedback is always welcome.

And if you’re in the larger percentage of my mailing list that does not open my e-mails, well… maybe I’ll catch you next time.
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I’d like to talk to you about three specific Stagewest properties this month.  Each one offers different amenities, but all provide what can only be described as the Stagewest experience: unparalleled customer service, unique entertainment, and smart pricing.  If you’re a corporate event planner, or someone that arrange your company’s corporate travel, I invite you to check out the Medicine Hat Lodge, Camrose Resort Casino, and Stage West Mississauga.  In fact, if you want to see any of these hotels with your own two eyes, please let me know.  I’d be happy to arrange a room for you, if you’re sincerely interested in learning what we can do for you.

Here are a couple of important links for the Medicine Hat Lodge, containing information about the rooms and suites, conference space, amenities, and more:   http://www.medhatlodge.com/accommodations , and http://www.medhatlodge.com/meetings-a-events .

Here is a very informational link, giving you specific details on the Camrose Resort Casino:  http://www.camroseresortcasino.com/hotel/factsheet

And finally, here are two links to Stage West Mississauga’s room and event information:  http://www.stagewest.com/accommodations.asp , and http://www.stagewest.com/meeting_conventions.asp .

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This May, Medicine Hat is hosting the Southern Alberta Petroleum Show.  I am also working on that.  I’m looking for exhibitors: companies directly involved in the oil and gas industry, or groups that service or help those in that industry.  This will be my primary focus for the next couple of weeks, and then I’ll be alternating my time between the Petroleum Show and the Stagewest properties for the foreseeable future.  If you can help me with either – if you are or if you know someone in the industry – I’d certainly appreciate a referral.  It kicks off with a golf tournament on Monday, May 7th, then the two-day show begins on Tuesday.  Here is a link that will take you to the Medicine Hat Chamber of Commerce’s website, where you can then find all of the information you need:  http://www.medicinehatchamber.com/pages/TradeShows/ .

If you have any questions about the Southern Alberta Petroleum Show, or any of our properties – or, if you’d like to meet with me to discuss an event at any one of them – please contact me.
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My BNI Optimum team is on the recruiting prowl again.  International Networking Week is taking place next month, and on Thursday, February 9th, our chapter is putting on our Visitor Day.  All of us want to bring along a friend, a business associate, or someone looking to build their business – the more the merrier.  Would you like to attend?  Let me know!  After all, our chapter did over $630,000 in closed business in 2011.  As I mentioned in my last newsletter, that’s not total revenue we made throughout the year, that’s strictly closed business earned through our referrals.  Does that sound good to you?  I don’t mind sharing a piece of that with you; after all, the BNI motto is “Givers Gain!”
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 Last, but certainly not least… some news from Belterra Land Company.  Belterra’s Red Deer project was officially launched on April 1, 2010, a few months after the company purchased the recently-annexed raw land.  At the time of purchase, those 77.97 acres were valued at approximately 2.8 million dollars by Soderquist Appraisals, one of central Alberta’s largest appraisal firms.  Fast-forward to today.  The land remains raw and undeveloped as Belterra continues to work with the community and other engineering partners.  In layman’s terms, it’s still dirt.  Yet this dirt has gone up in value, and in a mediocre economy to boot; Soderquist’s new appraisal came in at approximately $3,675,000, an increase of $875,000 in just two years.  Its final value upon exit remains to be determined.  That could be five minutes or five years from now.  Whenever the exit occurs, though, rest assured that the Belterra team will do their utmost to increase the value of the land for its many investors.

   So keep that in mind if you’ve the inclination to invest in land… there are still some units left in this project.  Cash, RSP, LIRA, and TFSA-eligible.  If you need more information, I’d be happy to share it.

 

I graduated from Laurentian University in 1995 with an Honors Bachelor of Commerce in Sports Administration.  A lifelong baseball fan, I worked for several professional teams, including the Calgary Cannons, the Calgary Roughnecks, the Medicine Hat Blue Jays, and the Colorado Springs Sky Sox.  I worked in nearly every aspect of the industry – group sales, ticketing, marketing, and media relations were just some of the departments I worked in or coordinated.  Prior to joining Belterra on a consultant basis in 2010, I worked for a Calgary-based logistics company.  In August of 2011, I joined the Stagewest Hospitality sales team, and I also work for the Kachkar Group, a public relations and marketing company that produces several Alberta-based trade shows every year.

(W) 403-616-8916
(O) 403-243-7077

ANY material pertaining to Belterra Land Company is intended for illustration purposes and should not be used as the sole basis for making an investment decision.  It is not intended as a representation regarding the timing of sale or development of the properties referred to or the returns attainable by an investor upon exit.

CONTACT US


Jason MacAskill

Stagewest Calgary – 727 42 Avenue SE

Calgary, Alberta T2G 1Y8

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Copyright © 2012 Jason MacAskill, All rights reserved.
Thanks for your interest in Stagewest, Belterra Land Company, BNI… or me!
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Jason MacAskill

Stagewest Calgary – 727 42 Avenue SE

Calgary, Alberta T2G 1Y8

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Posted January 24, 2012 by JasonMacAskill in Uncategorized

Medicine Hat is lovely in May   Leave a comment

When I’m not selling rooms for the Stagewest properties, or tickets for the dinner theatre, or discussing land investment, I’m working on tradeshows.  Becuase it is late on a Friday night, I will be brief.

I’m looking for people in the oil and gas industry, or people that can provide services and products to that industry.  The Southern Alberta Petroleum Show is coming up in less than four months, and space is limited.  Want more information?  Let me know.

Posted January 21, 2012 by JasonMacAskill in Uncategorized

Sunday musings   Leave a comment

Winter has returned to Calgary, and I don’t feel like going outside.  In fact, I didn’t feel like going outside to shovel the driveway this morning, either, but it had to get done.  The temperature is supposed to get worse, too… I’m not a happy camper.  I’m a fragile flower.

So I figured I’d use some time this afternoon to catch up on the website.  Update you on what I’ve been doing lately, my thoughts, and some work-related stuff.  Not exactly stream-of-consciousness writing, but if I only have a word or sentence about something, I’ll move on.  If I have more, I’ll write more.

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I have a cold.  Colds suck.

The Walking Dead comes back in four weeks.  As much as I liked the first part of this season, I hope the action picks up in this new arc.  The farm was too peaceful, and aside from the occasional (and obligatory) weekly skirmish with a Walker away from Hershel’s home, I never really felt like any of them were in danger.  In the urban landscape, there was tension around every corner… on the farm, there are no corners to hide behind.

I’ll think I’ll give Alcatraz a try tomorrow night.  I hope it’s not too corny.

For the next couple of months, I’ll be selling tradeshow space for two different shows taking place in Medicine Hat, Alberta.  (I’ll still be working on the corporate sales at Stagewest Hospitality’s various properties – but I’ll be taking a week here and there to focus strictly on the shows.)  The first one starts on March 2, and runs until March 4; this is the 2012 Sunshine Home & Garden Show.  The second one is a two-day event, starting on May 8.; this is the 2012 Southern Alberta Petroleum Show.  If you’re interested in participating, or can refer anyone, let me know.  For more information on either tradeshow, check this link.

I’m quite dismayed that half of the BBWAA Hall of Fame voters out there aren’t voting for Tim Raines, but I’m encouraged by the increased support he’s getting.  He made a 11% vote jump this year, and he’s almost at the 50% mark (a player needs 75% of the total).  No, he wasn’t Willie Mays or Lou Gehrig, but he deserves a plaque alongside them.  On the other hand, Jack Morris is a lot closer to induction, gaining 66.7% of the vote total earlier this month.  I do not think he’s a Hall of Famer.  However, regardless or whether he gets into Cooperstown or not, I hope that the “anti-Morris” camp remembers that he was a very good pitcher for a very long time.

Next year’s ballot will include holdovers Raines, Morris, Lee Smith, and Jeff Bagwell (Smith and Bagwell both earned more than 50% of the BBWAA vote in 2012), as well as newcomers Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, Roger Clemens, Mike Piazza, Curt Schilling, and Craig Biggio.  And it’ll only get more stacked this decade.

I brought the elliptical machine out of storage and parked it in the mancave / playroom.  It had to be done.  My friend Heather – a far braver lass than I, as is her friend, Charlotte – is constantly updating her efforts and regimen on her Facebook page, and I’m inspired by it.  I doubt that I’ll publish my weight on Facebook anytime soon, but I’d like to think I’ll want to someday.

That said, I want to eat chicken wings in as many different establishments as possible, too, this year.

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is only playing for one more week at Stage West Dinner Theatre in Calgary.  It’s a great show.  The cast is amazing, and they work hard.  Next up is The 39 Steps, starting on January 26.

Saturday morning, I figured the Saints, Patriots, Ravens, and Packers were moving on.  Im perfect with my AFC predictions, but as of 4:42 p.m. MST on Sunday afternoon, my NFC picks are looking pretty dicey.

Wanna follow me on Twitter?  I’m easy to find, here’s a link.  I picked up a bunch of new followers over the last couple of weeks, but some of them don’t seem to be real human beings.  If you are a human being, reading this, thanks for being alive.

Belterra Land Company is still syndicating units of land (approximately 1/6 of an acre per unit) in Red Deer.  As another investment device, they are also offering first mortgages for $9,000.  If you want more information on this, feel free to contact me.

I just picked up six baseball books online for about $36.  The site is called bookcloseouts.com, and it’s not just sports books – if you’re looking for a hard-to-find book, it might not hurt to give this site a peek.  They did not pay me to endorse their site, either… but I’d listen.

Can hardly wait until the grand opening of Camrose Resort Casino next month.  My friend (and the hotel’s GM) Dawn has been working her tail off to get it ready.  And if you’re looking for the best room rate in northern Alberta, why, you better click here.  Seriously.  In fact, check out all of the promotions CRC has to offer – it really does have something for everyone.

I smell bread baking upstairs.

That means I’m done here.

Calvin_in_school

Posted January 16, 2012 by JasonMacAskill in Uncategorized

The 2012 special events calendar for Stage West Mississauga rocks. (Yeah. you heard me.)   Leave a comment

Sure, they do dinner theatre.

Sure, they have a gorgeous hotel.

Sure, they have great restaurants, an awesome pool, and a fun waterslide.

But where else can you go in the GTA area this year that features the amazing Kreskin, Ian Thomas, a tribute to the Bee Gees, and more?  Well, my good sir, you cannot.  Check out the attractions below, and call to book your reservation now.

Special_events_2012

Posted January 6, 2012 by JasonMacAskill in Uncategorized

Fun with WAR Graphs   Leave a comment

WAR (Wins Above Replacement) is a relatively new statistic that measures a baseball player’s value compared to another player – a marginally-talented, fill-in type of guy that any team could theoretically sign as a free agent – expressed as a simple number.  The higher the WAR, the better the player.  For example, Matt Kemp of the Los Angeles Dodgers led the major leagues with a 10.0 WAR; the average big leaguer is good for about a 2 WAR, depending on who calculates it.

It isn’t the perfect formula, and two of the websites I frequently visit, baseball-reference.com and fangraphs.com, calculate it differently.  For a better explanation of this, you can click here.  However, it is good for comparing players, whether they played in the same era or not.  The Fangraphs site has a tool that allows you to compare up to four hitters at a time, displaying their respective seasonal and career WAR on three different graphs.  It’s a fun feature, and I’ve used it a fair bit these last couple of years for my Hall of Fame posts.

I didn’t feel like writing any more Cooperstown blogs (unless the election results next week sufficiently upset me), so I’m simply going to show you a few graphs I made and let you figure out how relevant they are.  Again, I remind you that WAR isn’t perfect, nor is it the be-all-and-end-all baseball statistic – but as a comparative method of measurement, it does its job.  To make the WARGraphs larger, just click on them.

Ready?

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Dale Murphy hasn’t gotten a lot of HoF support after being on the ballot for 13 long years.  First-time ballotee Bernie Williams has a much larger playoff resume, and playing for the Yankees will certainly help his case, but their careers look pretty similar:

Bernie_vs_dale

Shortstop Barry Larkin is expected to get into Cooperstown this season, after three years on the ballot.  Here’s how he compares to a near-contemporary, Alan Trammell, who’s been on the ballot for ten years… and Trammell’s infield partner Lou Whitaker, who’s not being considered at all:

Bl_at_lw

Tim Raines is slowly gaining support, but still needs about 250 new voters to change their minds; Lou Brock and Tony Gwynn both got in on their first tries:

Tr_tg_lb

Ken Griffey might have broken Hank Aaron’s career home run mark, but after his age 31 season, his numbers started to flatten out.  Barry Bonds had a slightly better career WAR than Griffey by his age 31 season… but for whatever reason, he was able to play many more years, decline-free:

Kg_bb

Which one of these Yankees is a shoo-in for the Hall?  By their age 30 seasons, Andruw Jones had a 25.4 lead in WAR over Derek Jeter.  Unfortunately for Jones, I suspect voters will remember him as a hanger-on in his 30s, as opposed to the dominant young player he was.

Aj_dj

And that’s it for now.  Bedtime.

Posted January 6, 2012 by JasonMacAskill in Uncategorized

Investing in Alberta? Four cities to consider…   Leave a comment

It’s lunch time, and I’m going to cut and paste an article that was forwarded onto me by my pals at Belterra Land Company so I can get back to my regularly scheduled work.  Please read it – my opinion on their opinions isn’t really necessary, and I would expect any prospective land investor to form his or her own opinion.  OK?

This article lists REIN’s (Real Estate Investment Network) top ten Canadian cities in which to invest – any bolding or colored text, that was my doing.  Again, I would suggest that this article not be the sole reason anyone dives into the market – it’s one source of information.  Find others.  Do your homework.  However, this is a great place to start.

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Top 10 Deals in Canadian Real Estate

December 8, 2011/ Written by Kerry Gold, MSN Money

We may not have been affected by the mortgage crisis like our neighbours to the south, but not every real estate market across Canada is a low-risk investment. That’s why a group called the Real Estate Investment Network (REIN) has released a list of the best investment cities across Canada, based on a series of key criteria. The worst thing to do would be to jump into the market because you believe everything you read, or you fall in love with a property on an emotional level, says Don Campbell, author of Real Estate Investing In Canada and president of REIN. Click through to see the cities which made REIN’s top 10 list.

 

10. Waterloo

Home of Blackberry’s Research In Motion and Open Text, Waterloo is the high-tech twin to Kitchener. It naturally attracts new immigrants and students to an area that is already a draw because of its post-secondary institutions. However, a proposed rental licensing system and tighter restrictions (which would result in higher costs for some landlords) could limit investment potential, cautions REIN president, Don Campbell. For that reason, Waterloo is in tenth place, well behind Kitchener.

 

9. Red Deer

Because of its position between the growth spots of Edmonton and Calgary, it is impossible for Red Deer not to become a great place for real estate investment. The area has seen a lot of growth in the last seven years, becoming a hub of commercial and retail activity for central Alberta. Better transportation has meant job and population growth, drawing people from all over. REIN predicts growing pains, and suggests investors carefully review city plans for opportunities.

 

8. Simcoe Shores (Barrie & Orillia)

It used to be the gateway to Ontario’s cottage country, but Simcoe Shores has developed into an economic force of its own. With the expansion of post-secondary institutions in the area, the job base is growing, and so too is the need for student housing. There is also a strong new housing market and demand for condominiums as the population ages and downsizes. That means a wealth of opportunity for investors.

 

7. St. Albert

You might not have heard of St. Albert, Alta., the little area in the northwest corner of Edmonton, but it offers great investment potential. The suburban city is enjoying the spin-off of Edmonton’s current economic boom, which will only get better once the city’s Ring Road is completed. It will translate into better airport access, more jobs, more commercial and residential growth, and a flourishing economy for a town that has a generally well-educated population. The town has also developed a major retail centre for the northern region, and will continue to draw new companies.

 

6. Kitchener & Cambridge

The high-tech industry in Kitchener means jobs, which mean residents, which mean growth. Major companies like Google and Christie Digital have been the catalyst for other high-tech companies. As a result, there is a $35 million redevelopment of old downtown commer
cial property underway, with Facebook rumoured to be one of the tenants. The charm of heritage housing just adds to the appeal of a region that is ideally situated because of key transit links that include the GO train, Highway 401 and easy access to the airport. There is also a progressive economic development team in the region that helps to foster growth.

 

5. Maple Ridge & Pitt Meadows

For a place whose development was stalled by a lack of connecting highways and bridges, the pastoral suburb sure has transformed itself. Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows has secured the No. 2 position on REIN’s top 10 regions of B.C., and that’s for the next five years. Companies and residents are moving into the region because of infrastructure that includes the Golden Ears Bridge and Pitt River Bridge, and the upcoming Port Mann Bridge. The ease of access to downtown and affordable housing is a major plus for commuters. There’s also a major new mall, an indicator of growth. ‘For a district of that size, I’ve never dealt with a more professional group,’ says REIN’s Don Campbell. ‘That means they are working hard to bring companies in. The Port Mann Bridge is set to open in 2013, meaning the region will continue to have strong investment potential.

 

4. Surrey

British Columbians are well aware that Surrey is a success story. The second largest city in B.C. has totally transformed its image from mere suburb to one of the fastest growing cities in Canada. In the next few years, it’s forecast that Surrey will overtake Vancouver as the largest city in the province. It is an excellent investment region because of two border crossings to the U.S., infrastructure that includes links to five major highways, four railways, sea docks, a population boom and a strong rental market. As well, under the helm of mayor Dianne Watts, the city has dedicated itself to reducing crime and improving its overall image. The REIN report advises that investors look at neighbourhoods on a micro level, even looking at a street’s characteristics before deciding to buy.

 

3. Hamilton

This former steel town is now the No. 1 investment town in Ontario, according to REIN. The town is enjoying a bit of a renaissance thanks to forward-thinking government and an economic development team, as well as expansion by way of a major industrial park and at McMaster University, not to mention industrial, commercial, residential and recreational developments throughout the city.

 

2. Edmonton

Edmonton scores points for having a ‘perennial over-achieving market,’ as well as neighbourhoods that are affordable, central to jobs, and easily accessible by transit. Job growth is on the way, which will draw more migrants to the city, says REIN president Don Campbell. ‘We will begin to witness market norms and balance being achieved in the coming years, without the frenzy of the last boom, or the fear of the last downturn.’ Edmontonians will be pleased that the forecast is for the city to be at the top of the country’s list, in terms of economy, resale housing and rental stock. As well, infrastructure improvements, including a light rapid transit line, mean positive investor potential.

 

1. Calgary

In the aftermath of its real estate boom, Calgary has now entered a stable and more realistic correction phase. The Real Estate Investment Network sees the provincial economy about to enjoy another growth spurt, which means, coupled with this phase of affordability, Calgary is an ideal city for investment right now. And when the growth spurt does happen, it won’t be the crazy unstable boom of that recent real estate peak. It needed a correction, and it got it, which is a good thing for Calgary.

Posted January 2, 2012 by JasonMacAskill in Uncategorized

Why isn’t Albert Belle still on the HoF ballot?   Leave a comment

I know the non-qualitative answer to this one, kids: the writers couldn’t stand him.

As opposed to Kirby Puckett, the beloved (at the time) outfielder who played his entire career for one team (the Minnesota Twins), looked like a big teddy bear, always wore a smile, and was forced from the game too soon after losing the ability to see out of his right eye.

Puckett was elected into Cooperstown the first year he was eligible, earning 82.1% of the vote.  Belle received 7.7% and 3.5% the only two years he was on the ballot; if a player gets less than five per cent of the BBWAA vote, his name is taken off the ballot.  A lot of players make the annual ballot – some boast obvious qualifications, some warrant some serious thought and research, and some simply have enjoyed fine and distinguished careers.  If you’re a member of that last category, it’s a nice, final nod to your accomplishments.

These are some of Albert Belle’s final statistics, amassed over 12 seasons and 1,539 games.  He hit 381 home runs and drove in 1,239 runs.  He smashed 791 extra-base hits and totalled 3,300 total bases.  His career hitting line is .295/.369/.564; his lifetime adjusted OPS+ (143) is the same as Eddie Mathews and Harmon Killebrew, and his OPS (.9333) ties him with Edgar Martinez.

He played during an era in which a lot of guys had great numbers, so it’s worth investigating how he stacked up against his peers… for example, he made five straight All-Star games (and I have NO idea why it wasn’t six.  In 1998, he led the American League in slugging percentage, OPS, and total bases, while hitting 49 homers and 152 RBI.  Didn’t make it.)  He only finished eighth in MVP voting that year (I don’t get that one, either), but he had three consecutive top-three MVP finishes.  Five Silver Slugger awards, and one Sporting News MLB Player of the Year award.  Belle earned that award, in part, when he became the first player to ever hit 50 doubles and 50 home runs in the same season.

He also played every damn day.  In his ten full seasons, his teams played 1,552 games – and he played in 1,468 games, or 94.6% of them.  And of those games, he missed the bulk of them, about 60 games, either in his first, or his last, full season.  Belle never sat out.  Unfortunately, he had to retire after the 2000 season due to a degenerative hip condition.

Ah, now you know where I’m going with this…

Belle and Puckett played at about the same time, though Puckett played about 200 more games, earning full-time responsibilities early in his career.  He was also a Gold Glove-winning defender in centerfield, whereas Belle was most certainly not, and a better base stealer.  Their on-base percentages were similar; Belle walked much more often, and had a much higher slugging percentage, but Puckett hit for a higher average (.318 to .295).

As I implied at the very beginning, Belle received no consideration from the BBWAA because he was disliked by them.  Puckett breezed in, and it wasn’t just because of his superior defense and speed.  Courtesy of www.fangraphs.com, this is how Belle and Puckett compare using WAR (Wins Above Replacement): 

Belle_vs_puckett

After their age-33 seasons, Belle and Puckett were virtually tied in total career value (Belle at 44.2 WAR, Puckett at 43.8).  Puckett played two more good seasons before hanging them up.

Even if Belle had played two more seasons, like Puckett, padding his career totals, I doubt he would have gotten any closer to the Hall.  He wasn’t a sympathetic character like Kirby, or Roy Campanella, or Sandy Koufax.  As amazing as his short career was, Belle didn’t get any extra credit for it ending the way it did.  (And I wonder if Puckett would have been the slam-dunk inductee he was if his private life was held against him…)

On the other hand, his career was short.  I’ve argued for Larry Walker getting in, while others have stated he missed too many games.  Walker played over 450 more games, and racked up 1,400 more plate appearances.  Belle’s counting stats are very good, but lower than many other players, in the Hall or not.  He had a dominant prime, but I don’t think he was ever considered the very best outfielder, or hitter, of his time.

My conclusion?  Probably not Hall-worthy, but he definitely deserved better than two years on the ballot.

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P.S.  The bigger crime?  Lou Whitaker of the Detroit Tigers only lasted one year on the ballot.  Wanna see how he compares to three other middle infielders in or bound for Cooperstown?  See below.

Whitaker_vs

Posted January 2, 2012 by JasonMacAskill in Uncategorized