Zip line to zing tourists through Las Vegas
Tourists soon will have a new way to see the lights of Las Vegas: by being spit out of the mouth of an 11-story slot machine and zinged down a five-block zip line past some of the city's oldest casinos.
Officials have unveiled plans for a permanent zip line, dubbed "SlotZilla," on the downtown Las Vegas promenade known as the Fremont Street Experience.
The zip line will cost $11 million to build and $20 to $30 to ride. Construction is expected to start in January and wrap up in June. The attraction will be an expansion of a much smaller, temporary zip line that has proved to be a crowd-pleaser.
-- Associated Press
Warning on Honduras issued to travelers
Increasing violence in Honduras has prompted the State Department to issue a warning for that country that urges tourists to "exercise caution" when traveling anywhere in the country.
Areas highlighted for special vigilance include Copan (where the Mayan ruins are), Francisco Morazan (where Tegucigalpa, the capital, is) and Cortes (where San Pedro Sula, the city with the world's highest murder rate, is located).
Associated Press reporters Katherine Corcoran and Alberto Arce have estimated that 84 percent of cocaine on its way to the United States crosses
The State Department warning notes that "U.S. citizens do not appear to be targeted based on their nationality," adding that tourist destinations and resorts generally are safer. But, it goes on to say, "Of the 24 murders committed against U.S. citizens since January 2010, police have closed none."
-- Los Angeles Times
New visa-free program for Taiwanese visitors
Americans have long been able to fly to Taiwan without a visa. But until recently, Taiwanese had to apply for a visa to visit the United States.
That changed when Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced Taiwan's membership in the U.S. Visa Waiver Program. The first wave of visa-free Taiwanese to the Bay Area arrived last month aboard Taiwan-based carrier EVA Air.
The Taiwanese who follow are expected to bring more tourist revenue to the U.S. Last year, about 450,000 Taiwanese visited this country; that number is predicted to jump to 600,000 in 2013 because of the waiver, officials in Taiwan say.
-- John Boudreau, Staff
RV industry's recovery gains speed in 2012
The RV industry's recovery from the Great Recession has picked up speed, with recreational vehicle makers churning out higher numbers of travel trailers bound for dealers' lots and, ultimately, campgrounds.
Overall shipments from manufacturers to dealers -- a key measure of consumer demand -- are expected to rise 10 percent in 2012 and could gain an additional 4.5 percent next year, the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association announced.
-- Associated Press