Charleston’s newest tour offering has waterfront views

The Wando Welch Terminal is one of the stops on the newly offered public tours of the Port of Charleston.

The State Ports Authority is ready for its close-up.

The maritime agency is now offering the public a firsthand look at operations at the three terminals that make up the Port of Charleston.

The two-hour tours will be held starting at 10 a.m. on May 14 and June 11 — the SPA is accepting registrations for both dates at Registration closes two weeks before the tour date or once the tour is full. Each tour can accommodate up to 13 people.

Tour attendees must be at least 18 years old and photography is not allowed. The tours will leave by bus from the SPA’s headquarters at 176 Concord St., near the City Market. Tour attendees can park at a garage on the corner of Concord and Cumberland streets.

The stops include visits to: Union Pier Terminal, home of the cruise ship facility; the Columbus Street Terminal, a breakbulk and rolling cargo facility where thousands of South Carolina-made BMWs are exported every year; and the Wando Welch Terminal, the port’s workhorse container terminal in Mount Pleasant.

For admittance on the tour, participants must submit the following information for security clearance: full name, date of birth, driver’s license number and state of issuance.

Which entrepreneur will bark loudest in the Bulldog Business Bowl at The Citadel and walk away with $7,500 in startup capital?

The military college’s School of Business has narrowed the field to five teams who will compete Friday in Bond Hall. The teams include all segments of the student population, from cadets to veteran students to grad students to active-duty students. In addition to the money, the winner will get incubator office space and consulting from executives. The second-place winner will also get an office and $2,500 in seed money.

The teams are: the South Carolina Hemp Growers Association, which wants to establish the product as a cash crop in the state; Moving Mountains, an effort to use the latest technology to teach underdeveloped countries to become more self-reliant; Charleston Import Foods, a business specializing in the delivery of high-quality pet food to customers along the Southeastern seaboard; Team RRAID, which offers a “Smart Armor” technology for police that sends out distress signals when a bullet-proof vest is fired upon; and EPS Innovations, a food concessions mobile app that allows fans at sporting events to place an order and have it delivered.

A Charleston-based apartment investment and management company has topped the nation’s list of top managers for the fifth consecutive year, according to the National Multifamily Housing Council.

Greystar Real Estate Partners LLC manages 393,079 units.

Multifamily housing hit record highs in 2014 as demand outstripped supply, and the trade group sees growth continuing through 2015.

The number of apartments in the portfolios of the group’s Top 50 managers rose to an all-time high, just short of 3 million. The industry saw $112 billion in transactions last year, up 9 percent. The number of renters hit a record 8 million over the past decade.

Locally, Greystar is a partner with The Post and Courier’s parent company in the first phase of Courier Square, a large mixed-used development at Meeting and Columbus streets on the Charleston peninsula.

Your smartphone is now your room key — at least at one local hotel.

Starwood Hotels and Resorts is now offering customers keyless entry to its Aloft Charleston Airport-branded hotel in North Charleston as the only lodging in South Carolina with the new technology. Guests, using the SPG Keyless app, can bypass the front desk and use a smartphone to check in and access their rooms.

It’s available at Aloft, Element and W hotels around the world.

SPG Keyless is the hospitality industry’s first mobile, keyless entry system.

Here’s how it works: Members of SPG, or Starwood Preferred Guest loyalty program, must register their phone once through the SPG app and allow push notifications. After booking a reservation at a keyless hotel and approximately 24 hours before arrival, SPG members are invited to opt-in to SPG Keyless.

Guests will receive a push notification noting that they are checked in and the SPG app will update with the room number and Bluetooth key when the room is ready. After ensuring Bluetooth is enabled, the guest simply opens the SPG app, holds the smartphone to the door lock, waits for the solid green light and enters the room.