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Soniat House is a quiet, charming New Orleans guest house filled with history and character, but it’s light on amenities and on-site offerings aside from a great breakfast

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Eva Fedderly/Alyssa Powell/Business Insider

  • Established on the National Register of Historic Places, The Soniat House Hotel is a peaceful 30-room guest house in the French Quarter overlooking Chartres Street.
  • The hotel offers a quiet experience in a lively neighborhood with amenities that include an honor bar, continental breakfast with excellent homemade biscuits, jam, and café au laits; and access to the French Quarter’s historic gym, the New Orleans Athletic Club.
  • An entry-level Superior room starts at $245 per night rooms and is quite small and best for a solo traveler. I stayed in the next level, a Premier room for $350. It’s pricey, but the upscale room with a decorative fireplace felt worth the cost.
  • Read all Business Insider hotel reviews here.

A note from your Insider Reviews travel editor: Coronavirus has interrupted travel on a global scale forcing travelers to cancel and reassess plans in the coming weeks and months. We understand that right now is a challenging time to plan travel. But when this time passes and things return to normal, we know you’ll be eager to explore the world again.

Whenever that happens for you, and we know it will, we hope our travel content helps you make informed, useful, and inspiring choices on the best places and hotels to book. So whether you use our reviews now, bookmark them for the future, or simply need an escape from the news, we’ll continue to share the world with you. In the meantime, we encourage all travelers to stay safe, follow guidelines from the CDC website, and take precautions.

Entranced by the mighty Mississippi River, music all day and night, beignets, tales of Vodou, and historic Spanish architecture, I’ve become a regular visitor to New Orleans. While many new and exciting hotels have sprouted in recent years, The Soniat House Hotel is quintessential New Orleans.

Soniat House made me feel like a local residing in the French Quarter, positioned near all of the excitement, while still providing a peaceful night’s stay. The only sounds I heard from outside were the tunes of soft classical music and the trickling fountain of the courtyard.

The hotel is comprised of three separate homes that form one property with 30 rooms made up of four standard room types and three levels of suites.

The entry-level room is the Superior Room, which starts at $245. At 275-square-feet with a queen bed, this room is best for a solo visitor or a single business traveler. I opted for the next level up, the Premier, which typically starts at $350. Suites offer separate seating areas in range in starting price from $495 to $795.

A continental breakfast is not included in the hotel rate, but it’s delicious, and a must. Soniat House serves café au laits, two homemade buttermilk biscuits with jam and butter, and freshly squeezed orange juice for $12.50 per person. There’s no other food service or amenities here, which may feel disappointing given the price, but staying here is an experience that feels wholly New Orleans. I felt like I was retreating to my own charming, historic apartment in the French Quarter, and I can’t wait to return.

Keep reading to see why I was so impressed by The Soniat House Hotel.


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Business Insider

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The hotel’s exterior looks like any of the other beautiful, historic homes that fill the French Quarter.
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Booking.com

The Soniat House Hotel rests on both sides of famed Chartres Street in three nineteenth-century townhomes with Spanish wrought-iron balconies. There are twenty rooms on one side of of the street, with the other 10 across the way.

If travelers aren’t paying much attention, Soniat House is easy to miss and mistakable for any of the surrounding beautiful and historic homes that fill the French Quarter.

Above the hotel’s entrance, a small, signature green sign promises that it is, indeed, Soniat House. I rang the bell – the hotel’s promise to keep non-guests out -and waited a few moments for the hotel manager to open the door (the porter was off, he explained, ostensibly because of the recent news of the novel coronavirus).


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The hotel’s vibe is elegant, peaceful, and relaxed.
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Eva Fedderly/Business Insider

The hotel felt quiet and peaceful, with the sounds of Johann Sebastian Bach and a trickling fountain echoing through the courtyard lush with flowers. The hotel manager led me through what once was a carriageway and into the cozy hotel office.

Adjacent to where I checked in, a sitting room offered comfortable couches, though the pillows were slightly askew. An honor bar was stocked with ice, soft drinks, wine and beer, and liquor.

The hotel felt elegant, yet relaxed. The hotel manager’s told me the husband-and-wife owners, Rodney and Francis Smith, have owned Soniat House since the ’80s and reside across the street.

The space immediately struck me as a quiet haven for those seeking privacy and quiet in the French Quarter, which it sweetly delivered.


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Business Insider

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My room was comfortable and well-appointed, though it did not feel modern.
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Eva Fedderly/Business Insider

Check-in was easy at Soniat House. Because the hotel only has 30 rooms, it’s almost never mobbed. The manager escorted me to my room, the Premier, which I booked at the starting rate of $350. Other rooms and suites range between $245 and $795.

My room was on the first floor, just off of the lovely, flower-filled courtyard. It had one King-sized bed (guests can also ask for two twin beds) dressed with a monogrammed bedspread, feather pillows, and Egyptian Cotton linens.

Quirky, colorful art hung on the walls and there was a fireplace, though it was purely decorative. The room was stocked with a hairdryer, ironing board and iron, two dry-cleaned robes, and a safe.

The marble bathroom was well appointed and renovated with a bathtub – which I appreciated – a shower, and Molton Brown soaps and shampoos.


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Some suites come with balconies.
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Eva Fedderly/Business Insider

My room was adequate for a one-night stay. It offered immediate access to the courtyard and a quiet night’s sleep. The window shades kept the room dark and cozy when drawn. I slept soundly.

Staff was courteous, though I left a room service tray and bag of takeout outside my room door, and they failed to take it away for hours. Staying here is like residing in a guest house, where the staff mainly leaves you alone unless you speak to them first. This can be a positive or a negative, depending on the type of hotel experience you seek.

The room did feel a tad small at 350 square feet and could afford to be modernized.

Deluxe Rooms are offered for the same price, with the same size, but come with a smaller Queen bed. The Grand Deluxe bumps you up to 400 square feet with a King bed for $450, but the extra space doesn’t make enough of a difference to warrant an extra $100.

Instead, if you have extra budget, consider the suites, which the hotel is known for. Each suite is designed to a slightly different tune, with four-poster beds, well-appointed parlors, antique furnishings, and some come with separate balconies. They range in price from $495 to $795 per night.


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Business Insider

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Continental breakfast is delicious but comes with an extra charge.
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Eva Fedderly/Business Insider

Soniat House operates primarily as a luxury guest house but does not have many amenities or venues on-site.

The only meal served at the hotel is a continental breakfast with homemade biscuits, jam, fresh-squeezed orange juice, and a pot of café au lait for $12.50 per person. I paid for the meal and found it to be quite enjoyable, and a highlight of my stay. However, I was surprised to see such a light meal not included in the room rate. Many hotels in New Orleans do include continental breakfast, so do consider that these extra will add to the overall price.


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Save time to savor the tranquil courtyard.
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Eva Fedderly/Business Insider

The hotel’s tropical courtyard is worth lingering in to appreciate the soft classical music. Quaint tables and chairs populate the courtyard where guests can read, drink, eat, and chat, while still being shaded by trees and lush bushes.

There is also a large communal balcony overlooking Chartres Street, which is where I opted to hang out for the prime vantage point over the French Quarter. Additionally back inside, bookshelves are stocked with classics and available to guests.

Although there’s no gym or pool at Soniat House, the hotel grants access to the New Orleans Athletic Club, New Orleans’s historic gym where Tennessee Williams and William Faulkner used to swim, work out, and drink (yes, there’s a bar at the gym). The gym offers a myriad of daily classes ranging from water aerobics to yoga and boxing. I didn’t use the gym this time but have worked out there in the past, and it’s well worth a visit to take advantage of four levels of gym equipment, a pool, bar, and its historic importance. The gym is a 20-minute walk from the hotel.

The hotel also offers paid private parking, dry cleaning, and a small business center.


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Business Insider

Soniat House rests right on the edge of the French Quarter and the charming Marigny neighborhood, so guests have two popular areas they may easily access by foot.

Mona Lisa, a charming red sauce Italian American neighborhood joint is nearby, as is Cane and Table, a contemporary pan-Latin restaurant, which is within three blocks walking distance from the hotel.

One block away from Soniat House is Verti Mart, a 24-hour market with drinks, snacks, po-boys, and other hot food-to-go.

Check flight prices to New Orleans on Expedia


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Business Insider

Soniat House is ranked 59 hotel out of 176 in New Orleans by Trip Advisor, with 4.5 out of 5-stars from past guests who loved its authenticity and charm. Booking.com gave Soniat House a score of 9.1 out of 10, with the hotel’s location and charm being top of the list, and losing a few points for the lack of facilities and value for money. Overall, reviewers found it was charming, luxurious, and a good spend in the French Quarter.

Many people commented on the service, with one review stating, “Outstanding service … the staff could not have been more gracious and helpful.”

Another praised, “Our three-night stay at the Soniat House was perfect. After a long day of travel, we were warmly greeted by the staff and made to feel at home.” Finally, a fellow past guest echoes my experience writing, “The staff are very professional and are there promptly if you need them but are quietly out of the way.”

Others lamented the lack of amenities and thought rooms were dark and in need of updating. “Older furniture, not of the best quality,” one wrote.

Read reviews, compare prices, and book Soniat House on Trip Advisor


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Business Insider

Who stays here: Guests who want to be in the French Quarter and close to the Marigny neighborhood, but are looking for a quiet, authentic stay in a more intimate setting than a traditional hotel.

We like: The verdant courtyards, the trickling waterfall, and the sounds of classical music outside.

We love (don’t miss this feature!): The extensive communal balcony that overlooks Chartres Street. I recommend ordering your continental breakfast to enjoy on the balcony outside while watching the street below, and the gorgeous old convent across the street.

We think you should know: Don’t stay here if you’re allergic to cats (there’s a resident cat), want a Bourbon Street party experience, or like a hotel that comes with a plethora of guest amenities.

We’d do it differently next time: Since the hotel doesn’t offer most meals on-site, I’d plan further ahead to book reservations for lunches and dinners elsewhere. I’d also love to experience a suite.


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Business Insider

Soniat House is a quiet, secluded guest house where the staff leaves guests alone to enjoy a private, peaceful stay. The hotel is small and historic and oozes New Orleans charm, especially in public spaces like a leafy courtyard gardens and a large communal balcony where guests can rest, read, and enjoy a tray of Southern breakfast delights.

Amenities are limited, with just breakfast service and an honor bar, mainly. There’s no restaurant, gym, or pool, though you’re well-positioned to find all those with ease, if you so desire.

Rooms are small and quaint and make you feel like a French Quarter local, but are pretty expensive for such limited amenities. Visit midweek to find the best price, or splurge for a suite that will likely feel more worth the price.

Book Soniat House starting at $245 per night

Photos show the 1,000-bed Navy hospital ship USNS Comfort arriving in New York to support the city in its fight against the coronavirus

The USNS Comfort sails pass lower Manhattan as it enters the New York Harbor on March 30.

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The USNS Comfort sails pass lower Manhattan as it enters the New York Harbor on March 30.
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Mike Segar/Reuters

  • US Navy hospital ship USNS Comfort docked on Pier 90 in Manhattan on the morning of March 30 to alleviate the burden that New York City hospitals have been facing amid the coronavirus pandemic.
  • The ship houses 1,000 hospital beds, 12 operating rooms, 80 intensive care units, a pharmacy, and a medical laboratory, to name a few features.
  • No coronavirus-positive patients will be treated on the ship.
  • Its sister ship – the USNS Mercy – docked in Los Angeles on March 27.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The USNS Comfort – a 1,000-bed Navy Hospital ship – docked in New York City on March 30 to alleviate the burden that New York hospitals have been facing amid the coronavirus pandemic as the state’s COVID-19 death toll nears 1,000.

While New York is now considered the US epicenter of COVID-19, no coronavirus-positive patients will be treated aboard the USNS Comfort. Instead, the ship will serve as a “referral hospital” to free up New York City’s hospital beds, intensive care units, and ventilators as local hospitals are becoming increasingly inundated with COVID-19 patients.

“This is like adding another hospital here in New York City,” New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said on NY1. “It’s such a boost to see the military arrive to help us out.”

Keep scrolling to see the ship as it sails into Pier 90 in Manhattan on March 30:


There have been at least 966 coronavirus-related deaths in New York as of March 29. About 80% of those deaths occurred in New York City.

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USNS Comfort arrives in New York on March 30.
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Mike Segar/Reuters

“New York is the epicenter,” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on March 29. “We are going to make it through this. We have made it through far greater things.”

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The USNS Comfort arrives in New York on March 30.
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Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Source: Business Insider


The USNS Comfort has provided humanitarian relief and been deployed to war zones around the world since it was first converted from a San Clemente-class super oil tanker to a Navy hospital ship in 1987, according to the US Navy.

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The USNS Comfort arrives in New York on March 30.
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Andrew Kelly/Reuters

Source: US Navy, Business Insider


The USNS Comfort was also deployed to New York waters for three weeks in September 2001 — one day following the 9/11 terror attacks — to house and treat first responders, according to the US Navy.

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The USNS Comfort passes under the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge as it arrives in New York on March 30.
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Brendan McDermid/Reuters

Source: US Navy


The ship functions as a modern hospital.

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The USNS Comfort entering the New York Harbor on March 30.
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Mike Segar/Reuters

USNS Comfort houses 12 operating rooms, a pharmacy, four radiology rooms, an isolation ward …

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The USNS Comfort sails by the Statue of Liberty as it enters the New York Harbor on March 30.
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Brendan McDermid/Reuters

… an optometry area, a CAT scan, and two “oxygen-producing plants” aboard the ship, according to the US Navy.

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The USNS Comfort sails by the Statue of Liberty as it enters the New York Harbor on March 30.
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Brendan McDermid/Reuters

Source: US Navy (1), US Navy (2)


There are also 80 intensive care unit (ICU) beds along with the 1,000 patient beds, according to the US Navy.

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The USNS Comfort sails by the Statue of Liberty as it enters the New York Harbor on March 30.
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Andrew Kelly/Reuters

Source: US Navy


There will be about 1,100 medical staffers aboard the ship, according to the US Navy.

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The crew onboard the USNS Comfort as the ship enters the New York Harbor on March 30.
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Brendan McDermid/Reuters

Source: US Navy


The USNS Comfort will begin treating patients within the next 24 hours.

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The USNS Comfort sails pass lower Manhattan as it enters the New York Harbor on March 30.
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Mike Segar/Reuters

Patients treated on the USNS Comfort will be transferred from local hospitals. Walk-on patients will not be accepted.

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USNS Comfort arrives in New York on March 30.
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Mike Segar/Reuters

The next wave of coronavirus outbreaks is threatening cities from New Orleans to Philadelphia, and it reveals the US is on pace for a national epidemic

  • New York has become the coronavirus epicenter in the US, but data shows that other cities from New Orleans to Philadelphia aren’t far off from experiencing similar outbreaks.
  • Researchers at the Center for Spatial Data Science at the University of Chicago looked at cases on the county level to find that there are significant clusters of the virus in cities across the country that are less obvious than outbreaks in New York City and Seattle.
  • In a recent forecast on the COVID-19 virus, Morgan Stanley said that cities in the “central region of the country” are exhibiting signs of new outbreaks and “there is risk that these new outbreaks will delay the US peak or cause recontamination of the coastal cities.”
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The US is headed for a nationwide coronavirus outbreak.

That’s according to recent data showing that cases of the COVID-19 virus are growing in clusters in cities across the US.

Researchers at the University of Chicago found clusters in states including Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, Georgia, and South Carolina, places that have been widely overlooked compared to epicenters like New York City or Seattle.

The scientists at the Center for Spatial Data Science at the University of Chicago (CSDS) examined cases at the county level to find that there were significant clusters of the virus in cities across the country.

Nationwide, there have been over 140,000 COVID-19 cases, and states like New York, New Jersey, and California have topped the list with the most cases. Case counts are increasing in other places, ranging from New Orleans to Philadelphia to Albany, Georgia.

The significance of county-level data

“If you only look at state-level data, a county cluster would have to be extreme to show up, and by then you’re already too late for many of these prevention measures,” Marynia Kolak, CSDS assistant director of health informatics, told UChicago News.

Data on this level also shows which areas have a high number of cases compared to their populations, which could point to areas where hospital resources may be overwhelmed. It could also provide authorities an opportunity to intervene and contain the virus, when a county with a high count is surrounded by counties with still-low numbers of cases.

Hovering a mouse over the CSDS interactive map shows areas that may soon become worse if not dealt with quickly. Counties near New Orleans, Atlanta, and Denver show clusters of cases amid areas not yet as heavily affected.

‘Second wave’ of COVID-19 in US

Morgan Stanley’s recent COVID-19 forecast released Monday said that the largest risk to the US is “a second wave of infections emanating from the central region of the country after the coasts have peaked in mid-April.”

This wave, the report continues, could delay the US “peak” and cause recontamination of the coastal cities even after they see cases decline.

Scott Gottlieb, the former US Food and Drug Administration commissioner who’s now a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, said on Twitter that the coronavirus was now a “national epidemic with multiple epicenters.”

Pointing to cities like New Orleans, Philadelphia, and Dallas, among others, Gottlieb said that cities nationwide are seeing reported cases double every three to four days.

‘Prepare like New York is preparing now’

In Philadelphia, which had 890 reported cases of COVID-19 as of Monday morning, hospitals are bracing for the worst to come as reported cases of the virus keep rising.

“We anticipate we are no more than two weeks behind New York City,” P.J. Brennan, chief medical officer of the massive University of Pennsylvania Health System, told The Philadelphia Inquirer. “Cases are doubling every two to three days. We had 46 confirmed cases last night. You do the math.”

And hospitals across the US are already facing massive pressures on hospital resources, or preparing for the possibility of it in the coming weeks.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, whose state has so far been hit the hardest by the coronavirus with over 60,000 reported cases, has resorted to suggesting that hospitals in the state split ventilators between two patients amid the current shortage of the machines.

Last week, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital started to do just that, despite the risks involved.

“No state, no metro area will be spared,” White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Deborah Birx told NBC News’ Chuck Todd on “Meet the Press” on Sunday. “We are asking every single governor and every single mayor to prepare like New York is preparing now.”

‘Tiger King’ being ‘all the rage’ has prompted a Florida sheriff to seek new information in the disappearance of Carole Baskin’s husband

Joe Exotic accused Carole Baskin of Big Cat Rescue of killing her husband Jack Don Lewis.

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Joe Exotic accused Carole Baskin of Big Cat Rescue of killing her husband Jack Don Lewis.
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Netflix

  • Jack Donald Lewis disappeared in August of 1997.
  • At the time, many people thought the eccentric big cat owner left on his own or that his wife killed him.
  • Now that the disappearance has been featured in the wildly popular Netflix docuseries ‘Tiger King,’ a local sheriff is seeking new leads in the cold case.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

“Tiger King,” a seven episode true crime docuseries exposing the eccentricities of big cat breeder culture in the US, is occupying the screens and minds of social distancers everywhere.

The show follows, among other things, Joe Exotic – a mulleted, gun-toting polygamist – and his obsessive hatred of the owner of Big Cat Animal Rescue, Carole Baskin.

Baskin’s former husband Jack Donald Lewis mysteriously disappeared in 1997 and now, citing the popularity of the series, the sheriff of the Florida County where the couple lived is seeking new leads in the cold case.

“Since Netflix and Covid19 quarantine has made ‘Tiger King’ all the rage, I figured it was a good time to ask for new leads, Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister said in a hashtag riddled tweet Monday.

In addition to running an animal sanctuary for tigers and other large cats, Carole Baskin is also an advocate for banning the trade and ownership of exotic cats.

Joe Exotic, who owned an Oklahoma zoo and was found guilty of trying to pay a hitman to kill Baskin, had made it a hobby to shed light on Lewis’ disappearance.

His daily videos and broadcasts gave voice to the longstanding rumors that Baskin had killed Lewis, including claims that she had run his body through a meat grinder on the sanctuary property and fed him to the tigers.

Joe Exotic blamed Baskin for his downfall.

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Joe Exotic blamed Baskin for his downfall.
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Netflix

Baskin recently refuted those allegations and said that the Netflix series was full of lies.

“When the directors of the Netflix documentary ‘Tiger King’ came to us five years ago they said they wanted to make the big cat version of ‘Blackfish’ (the documentary that exposed abuse at SeaWorld) that would expose the misery caused by the rampant breeding of big cat cubs for cub petting exploitation and the awful life the cats lead in roadside zoos and back yards if they survive,” she wrote on Facebook. “There are not words for how disappointing it is to see that the series not only does not do any of that, but has had the sole goal of being as salacious and sensational as possible to draw viewers.”

The series wasn’t the first time that Baskin had been eyed in the disappearance, though.

At first, many believed that Jack Don Lewis, a known eccentric and pilot, likely left on his own, according to a 1998 Tampa Bay Times story.

Then, with the surfacing of a restraining order that Lewis had taken out against his wife, that theory started to look less likely.

Lewis’ grown children told the Tampa Bay Times at the time they thought their dad had been killed.

Lynda Sanchez, Lewis’ daughter, told the Times that it was unusual for her father not to call to check-in after leaving on a trip.

“Every one of us . . . have volunteered to take a lie detector test,” Sanchez told the Times. “Carole is the only one that will not take one.”

In her Facebook comments, Baskin said that Lewis’ ex-wife and daughters had selfish motivations to lie in the documentary.

“Don was not easy to live with and like most couples, we had our moments. But I never threatened him and I certainly had nothing to do with his disappearance,” she wrote. “When he disappeared, I did everything I could to assist the police.”

200,000 people watched a weird and wonderful simulation of a boxing tournament between 8 of the most iconic heavyweights ever

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Photos by Getty Images and the World Boxing Super Series

  • Could Mike Tyson beat the crap out of Muhammad Ali?
  • That is a question which a boxing simulation has attempted to answer.
  • With sport on a coronavirus-enforced hiatus, the creative minds at the World Boxing Super Series organized eight of the planet’s most iconic heavyweights to take part in a last-man standing tournament.
  • Lennox Lewis, George Foreman, and Butterbean were three athletes to compete in the EA Sports “Fight Night Champion” video game extravaganza.
  • Tyson and Ali made the final – and you can watch Tyson win right here.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The World Boxing Super Series has catapulted many top fighters into stardom, including Oleksandr Usyk, Naoya Inoue, and Josh Taylor — all of whom are listed in Insider’s top 15 best boxers in the world right now.

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Photos by Koki Nagaham / Ronny Hartmann / Stephen Pond / Getty Images

Source: Insider.


Having created real-life boxing superstars, the WBSS turned to the video games world to create a heavyweight Ali Trophy title winner. The bracket was set at the start of the week and featured fighters from the 1960s to the 2010s.

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Photo by World Boxing Super Series/WBSS

The first quarterfinal saw Muhammad Ali defeat Evander Holyfield by knockout in the fifth round, before saying: “I’m young, I’m handsome, I’m fast. I can’t possibly be beat. If you even dream of beating me, you’d better wake up and apologise!”

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Photo by World Boxing Super Series/WBSS

In a fight where both athletes were knocked to the floor, it was Joe Frazier who was able to rise from the deck and emerge triumphant, beating Lennox Lewis in the second quarterfinal.

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Photo by World Boxing Super Series / WBSS

Mike Tyson battered Mike “Butterbean” Esch, winning as early as the second round, to advance into the semifinal.

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Photo by World Boxing Super Series / WBSS

The real-life David Haye described his quarterfinal match-up against George Foreman as “horrible” for him, and he was proved right, as the American thumped him in five rounds.

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Photo by World Boxing Super Series / WBSS

Boxing is chaos at the best of times and, even in a simulated version of the sport, there was still a random withdrawal as Sonny Liston replaced Joe Frazier. The late switch did not faze Ali in the first semifinal, though, as “The Greatest” finished Liston with an uppercut in the fifth.

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Photo by World Boxing Super Series / WBSS

In the second semifinal, Mike Tyson punished George Foreman with a right uppercut and left hook to the body combo. The knockout victory for Tyson earned “The Baddest Man on the Planet,” a dream final against Muhammad Ali.

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Photo by World Boxing Super Series / WBSS

It all made for a weird but wonderful final, one that was perhaps always destiny, as it brought together two of the most famous heavyweights boxing has ever produced — Muhammad Ali vs. Mike Tyson. If you were ever curious who would win in this mythical match-up, then you can watch a simulated version of the showdown right here.


The final between Ali and Tyson was the longest fight in the entire tournament, going 12 rounds, with both athletes appearing to deplete their energy reserves. In a close bout, the judges at this virtual ringside scored the fight for … Tyson!

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Photo by World Boxing Super Series / WBSS

The simulated fights generated almost 200,000 views on YouTube alone, and the concept was so successful that the World Boxing Super Series has organized another version of the tournament — starting this week, the most iconic middleweights in history will throw down in another simulated slobberknocker.

Read more:

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Joanna Jedrzejczyk said she hates the horrific facial injuries she’s sustained in UFC because she’s ‘still a woman’ and wants ‘to be attractive’

A UFC fighter nicknamed ‘Thug Nasty’ pushed a wild conspiracy that coronavirus was made by the US government in a lab so it could ‘take our guns’

Floyd Mayweather waved stacks of cash in an Instagram Live video, saying he’ll thrive in a pandemic-induced recession

Manny Pacquiao is in quarantine after he came into contact with a Philippines senator who tested positive for the coronavirus

Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Tony Ferguson was meant to be the ‘baddest’ fight in UFC history, but the whole thing is ‘cursed’ and might never happen

UFC boss Dana White said it’s un-American for people to ‘hide’ in their homes from coronavirus, and that he’s ready to fight COVID-19: ‘Come get me!’

Billionaires from Bill Gates to George Soros are donating millions to help alleviate the coronavirus crisis — but it may not go where it’s needed most

Bill and Melinda Gates head up the Gates Foundation.

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Bill and Melinda Gates head up the Gates Foundation.
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LUDOVIC MARIN/AFP via Getty Images

Billionaires are spending millions to fight the novel coronavirus.

However the gifts, which total $130.75 million thus far according to Business Insider’s calculations, may not be doing much to help those already suffering from the growing global health crisis. Of the portion of the donations that are designated to help those on the front lines of the coronavirus outbreak, some are going to organizations designated by the Chinese government to handle the crisis, Fortune’s Eamon Barrett reported. However, medical workers throughout Wuhan are complaining on social media of not receiving any aid from these groups, according to Fortune.

Keep reading to learn more about the coronavirus-related donations made by billionaires, in the order they were announced.


Alibaba founder Jack Ma pledged 100 million yuan ($14.5 million) to “support the development of a coronavirus vaccine” on January 30.

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Alibaba Group founder and former Executive Chairman Jack Ma.
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Bryan Thomas/Getty Images

China’s richest man announced the donation on Chinese Twitter-like platform Weibo, Business Insider reported. Two Chinese government research organizations will receive $5.8 million of the gift to work on creating a vaccine, according to Axios.

“We know that the battle between humanity and disease is a long journey,” Ma’s foundation said a post on its Weibo account. “This money will help various medical research efforts and help disease prevention.”

Ma later donated an additional $2.15 million to the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity in Australia, to help fund the development of a vaccine, Fox Business reported.


Bill and Melinda Gates pledged to donate $100 million through their foundation on February 5 to treat what he’s calling a “once-in-a-century pathogen.”

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Bill and Melinda Gates.
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Brian Ach/Getty Images for The Lasker Foundation

The Gates’ pledge will be used to support treatment efforts across the globe, build infrastructure to treat patients in Africa and Southern Asia, and fund the development of a vaccine, the couple’s foundation said in a press release. They previously pledged to donate $10 million.

Bill Gates has long warned that the world is ill-equipped to manage a pandemic, Business Insider’s Aria Bendix reported. The WHO has yet to conclusively say that the novel coronavirus has reached the level of a pandemic, but Gates disagrees. “I hope it’s not that bad, but we should assume it will be until we know otherwise,” Gates wrote in an op-ed for the New England Journal of Medicine February 28.

Gates outlined his suggestions for containing the crisis in the essay, including sending highly trained healthcare workers to low- and middle-income countries in Africa and Southern Asia, establishing an international database on information on the outbreak, and funding vaccine manufacturing facilities.


Hong Kong’s richest man, Li Ka-Shing, said he would donate HK$100 million ($13 million) to help medical workers in Wuhan on February 10.

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Li Ka-shing, chairman of CK Hutchison Holdings Ltd. and CK Asset Holdings Ltd., attends a news conference to announce the 2017 Annual Results on March 16, 2018 in Hong Kong.
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Visual China Group via Getty Images

Li’s foundation is also working to source medical supplies for health care workers in Wuhan and Hong Kong, Bloomberg reported.

Li plans to make his donation to the Red Cross Society of China, a government-organized non-government organization (GONGO) with no connection to The American Red Cross, according to Bloomberg. Fortune reported that health care workers in Wuhan, including at one of the temporary hospitals built in eight days, reported not having received any help from The Wuhan Red Cross, a subsidiary of the Red Cross of China, despite an outpouring of donations to the group.


Fashion designer Giorgio Armani gave €1.25 million ($1.43 million) to help fight the outbreak in Italy on March 8.

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Giorgio Armani.
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Photo by Lia Toby/BFC/Getty Images

The 85-year-old billionaire’s gift will go to two hospitals and a research institute in Milan and another in Rome, Women’s Wear Daily reported.

Italy has reported 366 deaths from the coronavirus, the highest number outside China, Business Insider reported. The Lombardy region in the north of the country has been placed on lockdown and public places such as schools, gyms, and museums across the country have been closed until April 3 in an attempt to contain the spread of the virus.

Armani built a $6.6 billion fortune from his eponymous fashion house, which also has accessories, cosmetics, real estate, restaurant, and hotel businesses, Forbes reported.


Former hedge fund manager George Soros pledged €1 million ($1.1 million) to his native Budapest on March 30.

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George Soros.
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Yunus Kaymaz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

The €1 million gift, which will be paid out through Soros’ Open Society Foundation, will go to helping Budapest’s municipal government provide for the Hungarian capital’s elderly and homeless populations during what Soros called an “unprecedented emergency,” according to a statement emailed to Business Insider.

“I was born in Budapest, in the middle of the Great Depression, barely a decade after the Spanish Flu left thousands of dead in Budapest,” Soros said in a statement. “I lived through World War II, the Arrow Cross rule, and the siege in the city. I remember what it is like to live in extreme circumstances.”

After leaving Budapest as a teenager, Soros built an $8.3 billion fortune running what was once the world’s largest hedge fund, Business Insider reported.

The number of US troops with the coronavirus more than quadrupled in a week

Krystal Moore, LPN, takes the temperature of a soldier at a clinic on Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Tacoma, Washington, March 24, 2020.

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Krystal Moore, LPN, takes the temperature of a soldier at a clinic on Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Tacoma, Washington, March 24, 2020.
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Photo by John Wayne Liston/Madigan Army Medical Center

  • The number of coronavirus cases among US military personnel has more than quadrupled in a week’s time, rising from 133 on March 23 to 569 on Monday, according to the Pentagon.
  • The number of hospitalized US military personnel doubled over the weekend, increasing from 12 to 26.
  • The number of cases among Department of Defense civilian employees, dependents, and contractors has also increased significantly.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The number of coronavirus cases in the US military is on the rise, the latest Department of Defense figures show.

In just a week’s time, the number of cases among US service members has more than quadrupled.

On March 23, the number of US troops that had the coronavirus was 133. A week later, the number of current cases has jumped to 569.

Across the entire Department of Defense, the number of coronavirus cases is also more than four times what it was a week ago.

Screen shot of DoD coronavirus figures from COVID-19 fact sheet

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Screen shot of DoD coronavirus figures from COVID-19 fact sheet
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DoD

In addition to the more than 500 military personnel who have the virus, the Pentagon reports that 220 civilian employees, 190 dependents, and 64 contractors have it.

As of last Monday, only 44 civilian personnel, 35 dependents, and 31 contractors had the coronavirus.

Screen shot of DoD coronavirus figures from COVID-19 fact sheet

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Screen shot of DoD coronavirus figures from COVID-19 fact sheet
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DoD

The number of military personnel who have been hospitalized has jumped from four to 26 in the past week, doubling from 12 on Friday. Hospitalizations among civilian employees, dependents, and contractors have also increased.

Among US troops, 34 service members have recovered. Across DoD, a total of 42 people have recovered from the virus. There have been no deaths among military or civilian personnel, but the coronavirus has killed a dependent and a contractor.

One of the more heavily affected service branches has been the Navy, which has suffered outbreaks not only aboard pier-side ships but also aboard a deployed ship. A coronavirus outbreak aboard the Navy aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt forced the flattop to make port in Guam, where the entire crew is being tested for the virus.

While the Department of Defense is releasing daily coronavirus figures, Military Times reported that it has opted not to further disclose granular details that the department says could potentially give adversaries an advantage.

The coronavirus that first appeared in China has spread to more than 740,000 people and killed over 35,000 people worldwide. In the US, the number of cases has exceeded 140,000 with well over 2,000 dead.

The $3,900 stimulus check for my family of 5 won’t cover even a month of expenses, so we’re spending it on home repairs instead

The author is not pictured.

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The author is not pictured.
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Michael Heffernan/Getty Images

  • When my husband and I learned we’d be getting a $3,900 stimulus check for our family of five, we talked a lot about what to do with it.
  • It won’t cover one month of expenses for our family, so we decided it’s not worth saving. It won’t do much to reduce our student-loan debt either, so we’re going to spend it to stimulate our local economy.
  • To do that, we’re going to hire local contractors to do some repairs on our house that we haven’t made the time for in the past six years of owning it.
  • Read more personal finance coverage.

When the coronavirus stimulus package officially passed last week, my husband and I immediately calculated how much money we would receive from the economic relief plan and discussed what to do with it.

During such unprecedented and uncertain times, spending any money feels risky, but not spending might be worse. Our discussions have reflected this dilemma; however, after hours of heated debate, dueling dreams, and differing outlooks on just how long COVID-19 will continue to control our lives, we’ve come to the same conclusion: The best thing we can do for our family is to think bigger than ourselves and put the money back into our community.

We are able to do this because we are both still employed – but like with many families, our financial futures are perilously insecure in the face of a global pandemic. While we have some savings, if he lost his job, we would need to file for unemployment like so many others are having to do right now.

We had different ideas about how to use the money

As I’m a work-from-home freelance writer, my financial contribution to our family is mostly in dollars saved (on things like childcare) rather than dollars earned, and it’s my husband’s job as a recruiter for a bank that serves as our main source of income.

With unemployment skyrocketing, you can imagine how secure we’re feeling in that career right about now – which explains my husband’s immediate instinct to save every penny of our stimulus check.

I, on the other hand, had the typically millennial impulse to use the money to chip away at our mountain of student-loan debt. After all, the money is as unexpected as it is helpful – why not use it to ease our burdens a little? But as my husband pointed out, in proportion to our student-loan debt, it would be very little indeed.

With two adults who have yet to file 2019 taxes and earned just under $75,000 in 2018, and three children under the age of 16, our family will receive $1,200 for each adult and $500 per child. In total, we should receive a check of $3,900. As my husband and I talked it over, we realized that while this is a tidy sum, it won’t make a meaningful dent in our debt. And as I pointed out to my husband, it isn’t much to save either.

Between our house payment, car payments, insurance, and groceries, our monthly expenditures total about $5,000. In times of severe financial strain, we may be able to trim that down to $4,000. From that perspective, saving $3,900 for an emergency feels less impactful than, say, preventing the emergency in the first place.

But how do we, a middle-class family from the middle of flyover country, keep the global economy from collapsing? We can’t. All we can do is our part, and for us, that looks like spending our stimulus money and actually stimulating the economy.

The economy as a Jenga tower

I imagine the economy a bit like a Jenga tower: The coronavirus outbreak has yanked block after block away, and now the tower is teetering. There’s a good chance the tower is about to fall.

Our family has been given a block that we can hold for safekeeping in the form of a stimulus check. As meager as it may be, the block may provide a semblance of cover when the tower falls. Or we can strategically add our block to the crumbling base and hope that others will as well, stabilizing the tower.

The challenge is to come up with a thoughtful way to add the block back into the tower so it will do the most good.

How we’re spending our stimulus money

My first reaction, having decided with my husband to spend the money, was to form a big-ticket wish list we could order off Amazon and have at our door within the week.

But we live in a small town, and many of our local businesses have already closed their doors because of COVID-19. Spending our money at Amazon – or any other behemoth corporation with streamlined delivery services and toilet-paper aisles they can’t stock fast enough – would be as effective as throwing our block in the general direction of the teetering Jenga tower.

So we discussed how to spend the money at local businesses. At first, we thought of small purchases – favorite restaurants and coffee shops we would be devastated to see close. But while spending $3,900 on takeout and restaurant gift cards sounded delightful, it also felt somewhat irresponsible. We want to invest in our community, but we would like a higher personal return on our investment beyond a summer’s worth of DoorDash.

We thought of a list assembled by a home inspector when we moved into our fixer-upper six years ago. There are several small items on the list: broken garage-door openers, landscaping, defunct outdoor faucets. While we’ve spent years renovating this house, as anyone who has fixed up a home knows, there are some projects you just never get to.

My husband and I realized we had found our answer. Our house is, without question, our largest financial asset. Increasing its value through home improvements and outsourcing the work within our community will simultaneously build our equity and support our local economy.

Our plan is to hire local contractors as soon as we receive the money, for the sake of keeping people employed and paid right now. All social-distancing-approved, of course, but most of the jobs we need done are one-guy handyman gigs.

The money isn’t here yet, and while it’s almost certainly on its way, if COVID-19 has shown us anything, it’s that life holds few guarantees. But while we may not be able to rely on a solid economy or Easter dinner at Grandma’s house, some things always hold true. And one such truth is that investing in our world is always an investment in ourselves.

9 of the best fast-food pizza chains across the US

Some pizza chains let you customize your pie.

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Some pizza chains let you customize your pie.
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Melia Robinson/Business Insider

  • The United States is home to plenty of fast-food pizza chains with different specialties.
  • Pizza Hut, Domino’s Pizza, and Little Caesars are some of the most successful and well-known chains that serve pizza.
  • Blaze Pizza and MOD Pizza both offer customizable pies that can be loaded with any toppings you’d like.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

When you’re looking for something quick, easy, and delicious to eat, nothing quite hits the spot like gooey, cheesy pizza.

Luckily for pizza lovers, there are countless chains that offer delivery, dine-in, and take-home options.

Here are some of the best fast-food pizza chains across the US.


Pizza Hut is one of the largest and most well-known pizza chains.

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Pizza Hut is a staple for many around the globe.
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Chris Urie for Insider

Founded in 1958 by brothers Dan and Frank Carney in Wichita, Kansas, Pizza Hut is now international and it was one of the first pizza chains to offer nationwide online ordering for delivery.

Its menu consists of a variety of pizzas, pasta dishes, wings, sides, desserts, and soft drinks.

Currently, there are over 16,000 franchised Pizza Huts across the globe in more than 100 countries.


Domino’s Pizza is a fast-growing, internationally franchised chain known for its unique menu items.

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The chain has a signature domino logo.
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REUTERS/Thomas Peter

Domino’s Pizza began in Michigan in 1960 when brothers Tom and James Monaghan bought a locally owned pizza restaurant called DomiNick’s for $500.

The eatery underwent a number of changes and, after franchising many locations, Domino’s became the fastest-growing pizza chain in the US in 1985.

Today, the chain has almost 14,000 locations throughout the world and it is known for its menu of pizzas, sides, desserts, soft drinks, and unique hot sandwiches, plates of pasta, and chicken dishes.


Little Caesars is a worldwide pizza chain that’s known for affordability and speed.

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The chain is known for having pizzas that are hot and ready to be picked up.
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Kim Bhasin / Business Insider

Little Caesars began in 1959 when husband and wife Mike and Marian Ilitch opened their first pizza restaurant in Garden City, Michigan.

The restaurant began to expand, eventually opening locations throughout the US and in countries all over the world.

For decades, Little Caesars has been known for its affordability and efficiency.

In 1979, the company launched its two-for-one pizza campaign, which established the tagline, “Pizza! Pizza!” that is now synonymous with the company. In 1997, Little Caesars began offering “hot-n-ready” pizzas that are available for quick pickup at any location.

The company currently has thousands of locations and has since expanded to offer delivery.


Papa John’s Pizza is the fourth-largest pizza chain in the US.

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The chain has a signature garlic dipping sauce.
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Hollis Johnson

“Papa” John Schnatter founded the first Papa John’s restaurant in 1984.

He opened the restaurant in the back of his father’s tavern and the company quickly grew to have thousands of locations, including franchised, independently owned restaurants.

Papa John’s brands itself as a pizza company focused on using “fresh, quality ingredients,” which are all listed on its website. The chain offers takeout and delivery of its menu, which consists of pizzas, sides, desserts, drinks, and its signature garlic dipping sauce.

In 2018, the company was named the fourth-largest pizza chain in America behind Domino’s, Pizza Hut, and Little Caesar’s.


At Blaze Pizza, you can customize your pie to the extreme.

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The pizzas from Blaze can be customized to your liking.
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Melia Robinson/Business Insider

Blaze Pizza was founded in 2011 by Rick and Elise Wetzel, the founders of the popular chain Wetzel’s Pretzels.

The California-based chain’s biggest draw is that it offers fresh-made dough and allows diners to customize their own pizzas.

Customers can choose from a range of crusts (including keto-friendly, vegan, and gluten-free options), plus tons of different cheeses, proteins, vegetables, and sauces. After being customized, the pies are cooked with fire at the location and are ready within minutes.

The chain also serves signature lemonades, agua frescas (fruity blended drinks), and desserts.


Hunt Brothers Pizza is a chain with locations at gas stations, schools, and convenience stores.

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You can get pizzas that are loaded with toppings.
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Nicole A/Yelp

Brothers Don, Charlie, Jim, and Lonnie Hunt established Hunt Brothers Pizza in 1991.

Based in Nashville, Tennessee, Hunt Brothers is a chain that is located in places such as gas stations, convenience stores, sports arenas, schools, and even military bases.

Hunt Brothers Pizza is focused on being available to customers whether they are at home or on the road, and it currently has thousands of locations throughout the US.


Sbarro is a quick-serve pizza chain that’s often located in malls, airports, and other locations.

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Sbarro is known for its New York-style pizza.
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Alex Wong/Getty Images

Established in 1956 by Carmela and Gennaro Sbarro in Brooklyn, New York, Sbarro set out to serve large slices of New York-style pizza to people looking for a quick meal. Today, the goal is still the same.

The company operates over 600 locations throughout 28 countries, and Sbarro eateries can be found in shopping malls, airports, service areas, schools, casinos, and even The Pentagon.

Its menu consists of the classic extra-large New York-style pizza, thick-crust pizza, stromboli, pasta, salads, and other sides.


MOD Pizza serves special create-your-own pizzas.

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The company has hundreds of locations.
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Melia Robinson/Business Insider

Founded in 2008 by husband and wife Scott and Ally Svenson in their hometown of Seattle, MOD Pizza is different from many other pizza chains.

Instead of offering customers a choice of established pizza recipes, MOD Pizza has a create-your-own model. Customers order individual pizzas and customize them with over 30 different toppings.

The pizzas are made when you order them and are then baked in a high-heat oven for mere minutes. The result is a completely personalized, fast-casual pizza experience that has MOD pizza growing in popularity.

The company has over 400 locations throughout the US and UK.


Marco’s Pizza was established by an Italian man who is committed to serving authentic pizza.

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Marco’s has been around since the late 1970s.
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Savanna Swain-Wilson

In 1978, Italy native Pasquale “Pat” Giammarco founded Marco’s Pizza in Oregon, Ohio, just outside of Toledo. His original goal was to serve high-quality, authentic Italian food featuring his family’s trademark sauce recipe.

Today, the chain seems to be achieving Giammarco’s goal around the globe – Marco’s Pizza is now a fast-growing chain with over 900 locations across 35 states and four countries. In 2019, Marco’s was also dubbed one of the best pizza chains in America.

The chain’s menu features a variety of pizzas, sub sandwiches, salads, sides, and desserts.

Read More:

General Motors and Ford are ramping up ventilator production to fight the coronavirus pandemic. Here’s where they are now.

A Ventec ventilator being manufactured.

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A Ventec ventilator being manufactured.
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GM

  • General Motors and Ford both shut down North American manufacturing about two weeks ago and also announced plans to help make critically needed ventilators to fight the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak.
  • President Donald Trump attacked GM last Friday for not moving fast enough, but the company is actually in the process of converting a facility in Indiana for Ventec Life Systems to use.
  • GM and Ventec expect to be able produce 10,000 ventilators per week when operations fully gear up.
  • Ford is looking at its supply chain to locate parts that General Electric could use to increase ventilators manufacturing.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The past two weeks have been the biggest for the US auto industry in terms of its production capability and efforts to fight a national threat since World War II.

In the span of just a few days during the week of March 16, General Motors and Ford, along with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, all shut down North American vehicle production (that spans the US, Canada, and Mexico). This had never happened before in the century-plus history of car-making.

Both GM and Ford announced that they were working with ventilator manufacturers to increase the supply of these critically-needed medical devices to fight the intensifying COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

GM is working with Ventec Life Systems, and Ford is working with General Electric

GM's Kokomo Operations facility in Indiana.

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GM’s Kokomo Operations facility in Indiana.
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GM

General Motors said it had partnered with Washington-based Ventec Life Systems, and Ford joined with GE Healthcare.

GM’s effort could help Ventec produce 10,000 ventilators per month, using a retooled GM electronics factory in Indiana.

For its part, Ford and General Electric want to greatly increase production of what GE described as a simplified ventilator.

Both carmakers are also repurposing existing manufacturing facilities to make medical face shields, respirators, and face masks.

Last Friday, the Trump administration used the Defense Production, a piece of Korean War-era legislation, to compel GM to use its facilities to make ventilators. President Donald Trump attacked the company and CEO Mary Barra on Twitter, seemingly out of frustration that a planned announcement with FEMA wasn’t happening quickly enough.

Ventilators aren’t automobiles

The conversion in underway at Kokomo Operations.

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The conversion in underway at Kokomo Operations.
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GM

Trump invoked a political battle from 2018-19 in demanding that GM reclaim an Ohio factory that it had idled in 2018 and later sold in 2019 to an electric-vehicle manufacturer, and use that plant to make ventilators.

But ventilators aren’t cars, and it’s unclear whether GM could have taken a factory full of huge industrial robots and elaborate moving assembly lines and rapidly transformed it into a facility for making intricate medical equipment. The factory that GM is converting actually looks more like an office building than a car plant.

Regardless, the actual production of the ventilators is Ventec’s area, not GM’s. The situation is similar for Ford, which has been looking at its supply chain to locate currently used parts that GE Healthcare could use in the making of its ventilators.

Ford and GE haven’t provided a timeline for when they might be able to scale up ventilator production.

On balance, Detroit has pushed into ventilator manufacturing about as fast as is plausible, especially given that GM and Ford have been simultaneously suspending all vehicle-making operations.