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by Evelyn Chen
Between the busloads of tourists and the history buffs that flock to this Bund landmark to experience a piece of Shanghai’s history, the public spaces at the Fairmont Peace Hotel might not quite embody its name. But what the property lacks in tranquility, it more than makes up for in iconic status, given its storied past as the Cathay Hotel, built in 1929 and then owned by one of the city’s most notable businessmen, Sir Victor Sassoon.
Old School is the New Cool
Park City hasn’t always been the winter and summer sports mecca it is today. The city’s fame originally developed through the discovery of gold, silver and lead and the establishment of silver mines in the 1860s. To provide for the influx of migrating miners and their families, three schools were built — Washington, Lincoln and Jefferson (Washington School House is the only remaining today). After a series of tragic events — World War I, the Great Depression, a fire that almost destroyed the city and an explosion that killed 34 miners — the local mining industry collapsed. Luckily, the city was able to capitalize on something that would prove to be more profitable and long-term: ski tourism. Its first ski resort opened in 1963, and today, Park City houses more tourists than residents. That explains the metamorphosis undergone by the Washington School House in its 120-year history, from school to bed-and-breakfast and now ultra-luxe boutique hotel.