How One Resort Turned a Helicopter into a Cottage

The accommodations of most hotels look more or less the same; one room can easily be confused for the next. But there’s no chance of that happening at the Winvian Resort in Litchfield Hills, Conn. Among the 18 themed cottages on its 113 acres are a treehouse, a log cabin, a lighthouse, a stable—and, awesomely, a structure that incorporates an actual helicopter. When we heard about this one, we had to ask Winvian how it was done.

The gorgeous cottages were designed by architect Malcolm Appleton, who created this especially unconventional accommodation as an homage to the Stratford, Conn.-based Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation.

If you’re looking for an aircraft that you can incorporate into the building, it’s probably best to start at the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group (AMARG) in Arizona, home of the world’s largest airplane graveyard, where 4400 aircraft sit collecting dust. There, Appleton found a 1968 Sikorsky Sea King Pelican HH-3F Coast Guard helicopter. Just 40 of these long-range, amphibious search-and-rescue craft were made for the U.S. Coast Guard; introduced in the late 1960s, the helicopters were in service for decades before they were replaced by newer aircraft (the last went out of service in 1994 [PDF]).

The helo was towed east to Canaan, Conn., where it was refurbished and modified over a period of 12 months. While the pilot and co-pilot seats, switches, and gauges are all original, the interior of the fuselage was turned into the sitting area with a flatscreen T.V. and a minibar.

When the helicopter was finished, it was towed out to Litchfield Hills and wheeled into a hangar-like cottage constructed especially to house it. The rotor blades, which had been cut short, were embedded in the ceiling; once the Pelican was in place, the back wall of the cottage was constructed. Outside of the helicopter, Appleton placed a king-sized bed, a wood-burning stove, and a bathroom. For aeronautical enthusiasts, it will definitely beat staying at the Hilton!  

All images courtesy of

Move Over, MoviePass: AMC Is Launching a $20 Per Month Subscription

Attention serial movie-watchers: There's a new subscription service vying for your attention. Nearly a year after MoviePass brought its fee down to less than $10 a month to see one movie a day, AMC Theatres is rolling out its own monthly plan as an alternative. As Variety reports, you can now see three movies per week at any AMC cinema if you pay $19.95 a month.

The new program, called AMC Stubs A-List, has some clear disadvantages compared to MoviePass. AMC's monthly fee is nearly twice as high and it's good for less than half the amount of movie tickets. And while AMC Stubs A-List only works at AMC locations, MoviePass can be used at pretty much any movie theater that accepts Mastercard.

But once you look at the fine print of both deals, AMC's selling points start to emerge. A subscription through AMC gets you access to films shown in 3D, IMAX, Dolby Cinema, and RealD—none of which are covered by MoviePass. And unlike MoviePass subscribers, people with AMC can watch multiple movies in a single day, watch the same movie more than once, and book tickets in advance online. (That means actually getting to see a big movie on opening weekend before it's been spoiled for you).

There's another reason MoviePass users may have to jump ship: Its critics say its business model is unsustainable. For every movie ticket that's purchased with MoviePass, the company has to pay the full price. That means MoviePass actually loses money as more people sign up.

This has led some people to speculate the service is on its way to collapse, but MoviePass insists it has a strategy to stay afloat. Instead of relying on money from subscriptions, it wants to use the consumer data it has collected from its millions of customers to turn a profit. It's also investing in movies through its MoviePass Ventures arm (the company helped fund the new movie Gotti, which is currently making headlines for its zero percent Rotten Tomatoes rating). But if those plans aren't enough to quiet the hesitations you have about the company, you'll have the chance to make the switch to AMC on June 26.

[h/t Variety]

Sensorwake, Kickstarter
Wake Up to the Aroma of Cappuccino With This Scent-Emitting Alarm Clock
Sensorwake, Kickstarter
Sensorwake, Kickstarter

Some people need an aggressive alarm clock to get them out of bed, like Simone Giertz's slapping robot, or the singNshock, which zaps you if you hit the snooze button. For others, a gentler wakeup call is what does the trick. That's what you get with Sensorwake, a new alarm clock on Kickstarter that gradually stimulates three of your senses to ease you into the day.

During the first minute of the alarm's three-minute wakeup process, it releases a pleasant aroma. You have your choice of scent cartridges, including cappuccino, peppermint, rose garden, chocolate factory, orange juice, and pine forest. A single cartridge lasts 30 days before it needs to be switched out.

After reviving your nose, Sensorwake activates its visual component: a soft light. For the final minute, the gadget plays sound like a traditional alarm clock, but instead of a blaring buzzer, you hear one of five upbeat melodies. If all that isn't enough to get you on your feet, you can hit snooze and wait for the cycle to start over in 10 minutes.

With more than three weeks left in its Kickstarter campaign, Sensorwake has already multiplied its original funding goal of $30,000. To reserve a clock and two scent capsules of your own, you can pledge $59 or more. Shipping is estimated for November of this year.

[h/t Mashable]


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