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Colleen Kane

Special to CNBC.com

Colleen Kane is a writer for CNBC.com covering luxury and unusual real estate as well as travel and other topics. Her essays and articles have appeared in The Oxford American, Bust, Spin, the anthology Madonna and Me, and in many other publications. She created the urban exploration website Abandoned Baton Rouge and more recently set her camera sights on the ruins of Borscht Belt resorts.

Follow her on Twitter @colleenkane

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  • Luxurious Hotel Amenities Tuesday, 8 Mar 2011 | 3:01 PM ET
    The wisdom goes at upscale hotels that “for money you can get anything,” notes Jan Freitag, vice president of STR, a provider of market analysis for the hotel industry. That is, anything within reason, Freitag says. He cited a legendary example of a very wealthy guest at a five-star property in Germany who wanted to rent out the entire local fair for his child—the hotel tried, but it was a request that was not within reason. That said, we've gathered examples of amenities and experiences that ar

    Here are some flourishes that hotel brands have added to distinguish their guest experience, including a few examples provided by TripAdvisor.com.

  • Cities Where Renting Is on the Rise Thursday, 3 Mar 2011 | 3:19 PM ET
    The American Dream used to include home ownership as a given, but it has gotten shaky of late. With so much instability in the real estate market, not to mention high unemployment and tight credit, renting has seen upticks around the country. In many cases, this represents a show of caution in the face of economic distress; people are loath to buy in a weak market, or they can’t get a mortgage. provided a list of the top ten American cities with the largest increases in rentals by comparing the

    Trulia.com provided a list of the top ten American cities with the largest increases in rentals by comparing change from the third to the fourth quarters of 2010. Check out what they found!

  • American Company Towns Tuesday, 1 Mar 2011 | 4:14 PM ET
    Employers in remote areas in industries such as lumbering and mining used to build entire towns for their employees, but that era is long past. Scotia, California, the last wholly owned company town, is about to be put on the market and was recently profiled in But although most remaining company towns ceased being company towns long ago, some of the towns continue on, and sometimes the idea comes up in pop culture-- the Simpsons temporarily lived in a company town, in the Scorpio episode, “You

    Monster corporations in Silicon Valley are offering more all-inclusive employee benefits and they’re even buying up land, raising the possibility of a new version of the company town.