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Need To Know

September 07, 2008|Chris Erskine; Hugo Martin; Mary Forgione; Jane Engle

Back into gear after Gustav

New Orleans was struggling to prepare for today's Saints football game in the Superdome, as the hospitality industry -- and power -- trickled back late last week after Hurricane Gustav. As of Friday afternoon (the Travel section's deadline), power had been restored to about two-thirds of Orleans Parish. Many of downtown's major hotels -- including the Sheraton and Hilton Riverside -- still faced staffing shortages and were not planning to reopen until Monday. Visitors heading to New Orleans were urged to check with their individual hotels before traveling. Meanwhile, the French Quarter's Royal Sonesta and Ritz-Carlton had reopened, with limited food services. The W New Orleans, also in the French Quarter, reopened Friday. The Convention & Visitors Bureau was compiling a list of hotel and restaurant reopenings, which will be posted at www.neworleanscvb.com. Gustav, which struck Monday, knocked out all 14 transmission lines between Baton Rouge and New Orleans. Outages may linger for days, authorities said. Meanwhile, Louis Armstrong International Airport reopened and by Friday was nearly back to full schedule.

-- Chris Erskine

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Lighting the way

It looks like a medical device, but don't get squeamish. This little cylindrical item is actually the Mighty Mouse of camping lights. It's called the Orbit by Salt Lake City-based Black Diamond Equipment, makers of high-end climbing and skiing gear. The Orbit weighs only about 3 ounces (without four triple-A rechargeable batteries) and telescopes down to 4 inches tall -- a fraction of the size and weight of many battery-powered camp lanterns. It also has an adjustable LED light that you can brighten to find your way around the tent at night or dim to read in your sleeping bag. The Orbit, which retails for $29.95, will be available in October. Info: www.bdel.com/gear.

For The Record
Los Angeles Times Friday, September 12, 2008 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 1 inches; 31 words Type of Material: Correction
Spa deals reporter: In the Need to Know column in Sunday's Travel section, an item about spa deals was incorrectly credited to Jane Engle. The item was written by Jen Leo.
For The Record
Los Angeles Times Sunday, September 14, 2008 Home Edition Travel Part L Page 3 Features Desk 1 inches; 28 words Type of Material: Correction
Spa deals reporter: An item about spa deals in the Sept. 7 Need to Know was incorrectly credited to Jane Engle. The item was written by Jen Leo.

-- Hugo Martin

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Happy trails

The Civilian Conservation Corps, a work-relief program created by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, helped build trails, campgrounds and more at the Grand Canyon from 1933 to 1942. The program flourished nationwide and provided jobs for 3 million workers during the Depression. National Public Lands Day on Sept. 27 salutes the 75th anniversary of the CCC by gathering volunteers nationwide to plant trees, lend a hand with cleanups and maintain trails. In honor of this day, national parks that usually charge entrance fees -- including the North and South Rim of the Grand Canyon and Yosemite -- are free. Info: www.publiclandsday.org.

-- Mary Forgione

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Big spa savings

If you love spa treatments and haven't taken advantage of Spa Week, you're in for a treat. Massages and facials can easily cost more than $100 per service, but from Sept. 15 to 21, participating spas in California, Arizona and Washington lower their rates to $50 a treatment. More than 40 spas in Los Angeles will participate, including the Spa at Equinox, Skin Haven Spa Studio, Spa Xanadu, Spa at Le Merigot, Being in L.A. and more. Book now; reservations fill up fast. Here's the best way to book: Go to the website and search day spa markets in your area by state, region or ZIP Code. (There's even a help-you-find-it Google Map once you've selected a treatment.) Then, when you get a list of spas that fit your search, call the spa directly to make a reservation. And if you miss out, Spa Week shifts to the Midwest and East Coast from Oct. 13 to 19. Info: www.spaweek.org.

-- Jane Engle

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For more travel news, go to latimes.com/travelblog.

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