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Nov 23rd
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The Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) on Dec. 12, 2012 took steps to enhance motorcoach safety by updating its safety plan and by making it easier for consumers to file complaints about unsafe companies and drivers.

The updated Motorcoach Safety Action Plan (MSAP) reflects the integrated activities of several of the department's agencies and their collaborative efforts to improve the safety of the motorcoach industry.
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The historic El Tovar Hotel at the Grand Canyon in Arizona is offering a 30 percent lodging discount for the first time in many years during the hotel's "Raise the Roof" sale Jan. 4 through March 6, 2014, except Feb. 14-16, 2014.

Due to a change in the 2014 historic renovation schedule, hotel rooms that would normally be sold out by this time of the year are now available.
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The fourth annual Deadwood Cowboy Christmas Ball will be held on Dec. 14, 2013, at the Deadwood Mountain Grand in Deadwood, South Dakota.

This old-fashioned cowboy concert and dance features some of the Black Hills' best performers playing everyone's favorite holiday songs. Matinée tickets are $10
per person; evening performance tickets are $30 per person or $200 for a table of eight.
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Princess Cruises, known for offering longer itineraries, has announced a new series of Princess Cruises Getaway voyages along the West Coast for those guests wanting a quick break from the hustle and bustle of workday pressures.

Passengers can choose from three- and four-day sailings, perfect for sampling the line's onboard experience, as well as visiting a variety of Southern California destinations. Departing roundtrip from Los Angeles (San Pedro) aboard Golden Princess and Sapphire Princess, the Princess Getaway sailings take place throughout fall 2013 and into the spring 2014 season.
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Construction is underway for a second Westin hotel in Austin, Texas, with the hotel scheduled to open in Spring 2015 on the northeast corner of East Fifth Street and San Jacinto Boulevard.

The 366-room hotel will be the 24th White Lodging-managed hotel in the Austin area. Groundbreaking took place on Aug. 5, 2013. The 20-story Westin hotel is a joint venture between White Lodging Services Corporation, the Harry Whittington family and REI Real Estate Services, LLC.
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Designated the "Host of the Coast" upon opening on Oct. 1, 1923 and the grandest hotel west of Chicago, the legendary Millennium Biltmore Hotel Los Angeles is celebrating a major milestone with its 90th anniversary.

One of the most architecturally stunning and historical hotels in the Biltmore Hotel boasts a storied history and has played a role in some of the most important events of our time.
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Two Bureau of Land Management (BLM) contract workers were bitten by a grizzly bear Aug. 15, 2013 west of Idaho's Island Park Reservoir, about 25 miles from Yellowstone National Park.

In a separate incident, two persons were treated for injuries after a backcountry bear encounter Thursday morning, Aug. 15, 2013, in Yellowstone National Park.
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Just it time to help travelers get back into the swing of things, Delta Airlines said it will begin hourly, nonstop Delta Shuttle service between Los Angeles International (LAX) and San Francisco International (SFO) airports.

Starting on Sept. 3, 2013, Delta will introduce 14 daily flights and a product tailored to business travelers while adding additional service to markets in the West. The new hourly LAX-SFO shuttle service will also offer shorter check-in windows, and unique snack offerings by LYFE Kitchen.
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The Wizarding World of Harry Potter will be coming to Universal Studios Hollywood.

The announcement was made Dec. 6, 2011 by Warner Bros. Entertainment and Universal Parks and Resorts. The two companies are partnering to bring the enormously popular themed entertainment experience to Southern California.

No date was announced for the start of the new Harry Potter project at Universal Studios Hollywood.
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Virgin America, the airline that is reinventing domestic travel, has launched its new nonstop seasonal flights to Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport (ANC) from San Francisco International Airport (SFO), offering six nonstop roundtrip flights a week between SFO and ANC from June 6, 2013, through Sept. 9, 2013.

Virgin America's SFO to ANC service provides fresh competition in the market that will help stimulate travel demand, job growth and airline fare competition, the company said.
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United Airlines said it expects its first 15 gates at the new Terminal B south concourse at George Bush Intercontinental Airport at Houston, Texas to be fully operational by May 1, 2013, and the airline will add 15 more gates by the end of the year.

The new facility has been open to limited flight operations since April 15 when United Airline officials previewed the concourse to Houston Mayor Annise Parker and other area civic and business leaders.
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With more than 25 years of guiding experience, 12 years in the Sedona area, Stephen Ritson has been named as the new hiking guide for El Portal Sedona Hotel in Sedona, Arizona.

"We wanted to offer our guests a complete Sedona experience at El Portal; to hike Sedona and give them an opportunity to see places that the regular visitor doesn't get to see," said Steve Segner, owner of El Portal, on April 26, 2013. "That's why we teamed up with Stephen Ritson."
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Another season of Silver Dollar City's World Fest got underway April 7, 2011 at the Branson,Mo.-theme park with guests to the 1880s theme park enjoying performers from all around the globe who bring their music, dance, culture and foods to middle America.

"World-Fest literally brings the world within reach of so many people. The camaraderie among performers, and the interaction with guests, especially kids, really opens your eyes to how important it is to bring authentic cultures to America's heartland," said Janet Oller, Director of Marketing for Silver Dollar City Attractions.
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California-based Virgin America airlines launched new daily nonstop flight service from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) to Las Vegas McCarran International Airport (LAS) with a red carpet welcome for guests onboard its inaugural flight on April 22, 2013.

The three daily roundtrip flights will add to the airline's existing service from San Francisco International Airport (SFO) to LAS and from New York's Kennedy International Airport (JFK) to LAS.

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Delta Air Lines has announced plans to increase service at Los Angeles International Airport with daily year-round and seasonal service to 14 destinations, several of then Western destinations including expanded service to New Orleans, and service to eight new markets.
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With the goal of broadening awareness of Kauai's Wailua to Kapaa corridor as an attractive and historic destination in Hawaii, a group of nine dedicated property managers on Kauai's east side have recently put their resources together to unite and organize as the Royal Coconut Coast Association (RCCA).

The organization is pointing to convenience, centrality and moderate lodging rates as a key attraction to potential travelers. A recent supportive effort by Kauai County's Office of Economic Development and the Kauai Visitors Bureau has spurred its formation.
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In a Texas-sized welcome, the Houston Airport System (HAS) served the needs of hundreds of Carnival Cruise Line passengers who flew into George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) Feb. 15, 2013 on chartered flights operated by Delta Air Lines.

The flight operations were managed by a team of aviation professionals who created a plan on February 14 to offer a warm and seamless arrival to ease the processing.
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The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) on Friday, Feb. 8, 2013, ordered Scapadas Magicas LLC, a passenger carrier operating in the United States, to immediately cease operations, and declared the carrier to be an imminent hazard to public safety.
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Delta Air Lines will add three daily flights between Los Angeles and Seattle, beginning April 8, 2013, operated by its Delta Connection carrier SkyWest Airlines.

Delta is rapidly growing Seattle as an Asian gateway and recently received approval for new service to Shanghai for summer 2013. The airline currently offers international service to Beijing and Osaka, Japan.
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As another year draws to a close, the San Francisco Travel Association has assembled a list of fun events focusing on the last few days of 2012, setting stage for some fresh starts and some favorite places for a New Year's Eve toast.

Public transit is highly recommended when traveling around San Francisco. For bus schedules and information on San Francisco's cable cars, historic streetcars and light rail system, visit
www.sfmta.org or call 511 (www.511.org) or (510) 893-8729 if calling from outside area code 415. And remember, Muni rides are free from 8 p.m. on Dec. 31, 2012 until 6 a.m. on Jan. 1, 2013.
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