April 30, 2013 |
With a sonic boom that resounded above the Mojave Desert, a rocket plane belonging to British billionaire Richard Branson's commercial space venture Virgin Galactic got one step closer to carrying tourists into space. On Monday the company's SpaceShipTwo ignited its rocket motor in mid-flight for the first time and sped to Mach 1.2, faster than sound, reaching about 56,000 feet in altitude. The test flight is the biggest milestone in Virgin Galactic's 81/2-year endeavor to be the world's first commercial space liner, which would make several trips a day carrying scores of paying customers into space for a brief journey.
April 21, 2013 |
LAS VEGAS - For nearly five years, the steel-and-concrete skeleton of the abandoned resort project has taunted this city, a glaring reminder that casino operators here can't win every economic wager they place. The stalled Echelon project sits on hallowed gambling ground: It's where the old Stardust casino was imploded. Construction on the new $4-billion resort began in 2007 and froze a year later - a failure so embarrassing that city officials later ordered owner Boyd Gaming Corp.
March 25, 2013 |
Are you in summer vacation planning mode? Every state and many cities in America publish their own tourism guides, vacation planners, whatever you want to call them -- and they're usually free for the asking. Sure, the glossy, color magazines are out to lure you to visit, but they're also packed with good information and maps. The deal: You can find guides by searching online for state or local tourism offices. For example, the 108-page Official State of Alaska Vacation Planner is offered in hard copy (it takes three weeks by mail)
March 13, 2013 |
MEXICO CITY - Scientists who take the annual measure of Mexican forestland famously occupied by migrating monarch butterflies said Wednesday that the butterfly population is the smallest they have seen in two decades. The likely cause is unseasonably warm weather recently in the United States, as well as a dramatic loss of habitat in the U.S. Corn Belt, the scientists said. In a survey carried out in December and January, researchers found nine monarch colonies wintering in central Mexico, occupying a total of 1.19 hectares, or 2.94 acres, a 59% decrease compared with the previous year's study.
March 12, 2013 |
A bright spot in the local economy - tourism - continues to generate big numbers for Los Angeles County's hotels, restaurants and other hospitality businesses. Tourists spent $16.4 billion in 2012, most of it on lodging, food and drinks, according to a study commissioned by the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board. By comparison, the group said, tourists spent $15.4 billion in 2011. Tourism last year also generated more than $2 billion in state and local taxes, according to the study by Los Angeles economics research firm Micronomics.
March 11, 2013 |
MEXICO CITY -- Just days into his job, the top tourism official in the western state of Jalisco was chased and gunned down in a weekend attack that police promptly blamed on the official's previous business-related activities and not on his government post. Jose de Jesus Gallegos was shot to death in his vehicle on Saturday afternoon after a short car chase near a major intersection in Zapopan, a suburb of the state capital of Guadalajara. According to early reports , Gallegos' driver attempted to outrun the gunmen shooting from a luxury vehicle before another car cut off the official's path, causing a collision.