by Michael Yessis | 02.12.09 | 10:04 AM ET
- Is slave history being “whitewashed” at some Southern plantations and museums?
- The Virginia Quarterly Review has opened its archives from 1975 through 2003. Among the stories unearthed: Richard O’Mara’s profile of “American Traveller” John Lloyd Stephens. (via Kottke)
- Here’s the story behind the shrinking of the Norman Foster-designed Harmon hotel in Las Vegas.
- Compared: Commuting in London, Delhi, Tokyo and Homer, Alaska.
- World Hum contributor Tom Bissell talks video games with Heather Chaplin.
- Several airlines are trying to take control of an upcoming emissions pact.
- Jossip is planning a cross-country tour of Bernie Madoff victims using the Madoff Map. Worst road trip ever?
- Can you imagine trying to clear customs with the Bob Marley suitcase?
by Alexander Basek | 02.04.09 | 3:49 PM ET
The New York Post’s recently released Destination Guide to Las Vegas is out, and it’s worth a read. Think of it as the first Vegas guide that addresses our new reality, both for visitors (who are now more budget-minded than ever) and for properties (who really, really want you to come to the desert, no matter what it takes).
Hotels in Las Vegas are in an interesting spot these days. Hotel companies there can make money outside of their rooms—it was their business model for many years—so properties are slashing prices left and right to get warm bodies in the beds. To anyone that can make it over there, especially during midweek, it means way more money to spend at Bill’s $3 roulette table. Yay! As for specific sleeps, the Post gives a now de rigeur nod to the Flamingo’s GO Rooms—they first discovered them, after all—as well as busting the Venetian as the hardest place to navigate on the Strip. No kidding. During my last visit I had to have a little old lady selling hotel-branded credit cards ferry me to the exit. Next time, I’m bringing a GPS.
by Pam Mandel | 01.28.09 | 4:17 PM ET
With Hawaii’s tourism-driven economy taking such a big hit this season, all kinds of ideas are being thrown around to raise money for the island state. Legalized gambling is again on the table—only Hawaii and Utah do not have legalized gambling in the United States.
Charles Memminger—writing in the Star Bulletin —has another proposal: Export Hawaii to the mainland. Vegas, to be exact, and build a Hawaii-themed casino.
by Sophia Dembling | 01.27.09 | 4:21 PM ET
Tourism and other forms of revenue are dropping off in Nevada and so the state’s brothels are offering to help out by paying their fair share of taxes, the New York Times reports. The state is not jumping to accept. Over at “The New Republic,” Michelle Cottle read the story and was intrigued to note that while prostitution is legal in some Nevada counties, “no county allows brothels to have men who sell sexual services.” She calls this discrimination and a lost business opportunity.
by Valerie Conners | 01.16.09 | 8:39 AM ET
- Yesterday’s incredible US Airways rescue in the Hudson River has yielded a medley of media coverage including eye-popping slideshows, surprising facts about bird strikes on planes and even a sprinkling of gallows humor.
- One New York City diner is taking the ultimate road trip to Alabama.
- Boston.com is featuring a series of stunning photos taken from NASA’s Earth Observatory website.
- Gorillaz frontman Damon Albarn announced plans for the band’s third album, dubbed the “Syria Sessions” and inspired by Arabic orchestral music. The band will head to Syria to record in March.
- The backlash against Slumdog Millionaire has begun, including harsh words from one critic describing the film as “poverty porn.”
- With the number of foreign tourists to Rome down more than 12 percent from last year, the dolce vita is no more for the city’s “glum” gladiators, carriage drivers and other tourism operators.
- Vegas’s iconic topless showgirl review, “Les Folies Bergere,” is closing after entertaining oglers for 49 years.
- We previously noted Australia’s call for applicants for the “best job in the world.” Now, the video applications are rolling in, and there’s no shortage of “nutters and nudies.”
by Jim Benning | 12.30.08 | 11:08 AM ET
- Is India safe for travelers? Depends who you ask.
- The Japanese man who mysteriously moved into Mexico City’s airport four months ago and became a celebrity of sorts up and left on Sunday. Go figure.
- Peruvian shamans held a ceremony to “protect the spirits” of Barack Obama and other leaders in 2009.
- Family members of the woman who disappeared off a cruise ship near Cancun say they believe she jumped, citing “previous emotional issues.”
- The Washington Post reviews “Bad Traffic, “a new novel from Welsh writer Simon Lewis, who “first gained attention as a travel writer.”
- Which helps impoverished people in developing countries more, cell phones or laptops? Good magazine debates the question. (Via Ideas Blog)
- In October, the last month for which numbers are available, gambling revenue in Las Vegas was down “an ominous 24.3% vs. the same month in 2007.” And that’s just the beginning. But hey, it’s nearly New Year’s Eve, so get out there and help the struggling city: Double down on 17.
by Michael Yessis | 12.22.08 | 8:18 AM ET
- Continental Flight 1404 crashed in Denver Saturday night. Thirty-eight passengers were injured. There were no casualties. Investigators are on the scene.
- The first news about the crash apparently came via Twitter—from a guy on board the plane. Here’s his colorful tweet.
- “60 Minutes” examines the state of TSA screening. It’s “security theater,” says one expert.
- Steve Wynn’s Encore opens today in Las Vegas. When asked if he’s worried about opening a new resort In this economic climate, Wynn said, “Are you nuts?” He added: “If I didn’t say yes, you would walk out of here thinking I was crazy.”
- Southwest may begin service to New York City in 2009.
- Matt Gross hit seven airports in four days in search of good eats. He talked a little about it on All Things Considered.
- Thomas Friedman “had no idea that many of those oil paintings that hang in hotel rooms and starter homes across America are actually produced by just one Chinese village.”
- Concierge’s It List 2009 is out.
- The Passports With Purpose fundraiser enters its final week. The raffle was organized by four travel bloggers, including World Hum contributor Pam Mandel.
- The latest in the Washington Post’s excellent Time Zones series: The boom in used car auctions in Johannesburg.
- John Flinn unleashes his “most sadistic geography quiz ever.” No matter how you score, just remember: When it comes to geography, you’re no Sarah Palin.
by Kevin Capp | 12.18.08 | 10:06 AM ET
Surrounded by the decadence of yet another nightclub opening, Kevin Capp must come to terms with the death of his grandfather
by Michael Yessis | 12.16.08 | 9:38 AM ET
- The Taj Hotel, one of the Mumbai sites stormed by terrorists last month, plans to reopen some of its rooms Sunday night.
- Joe Brancatelli writes: “Like it or not, acts of terror aimed at travelers and the places they frequent are very good business tactics indeed.”
- Rome and Milan are now connected by the high-speed Red Arrow train.
- Tony Perrottet continues his Pervert’s Grand Tour at Slate. “Sex,” he writes, “Sex has always been the unspoken inspiration for travel.”
- Delta adds WiFi to some East Coast shuttle flights. The airline says it will make its entire fleet wireless by the middle of next year.
- Robbie Knievel will jump the volcano at the Mirage in Las Vegas on his motorcycle on New Year’s Eve. I’ve been to Vegas on New Year’s Eve. This will not be the craziest thing that happens that night.
by Valerie Conners | 08.13.08 | 3:58 PM ET
After forgoing my chance at pseudo-rock stardom when I realized I was a dud at Rock Band, I’m pleased to learn all hope of exploring my inner Dylan may not be lost: The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is hitting the road—first stop, New York City.
by Michael Yessis | 08.04.08 | 11:43 AM ET
It’s giving green a shot. More than 50 million square feet of construction built to LEED standards is planned “on and around the Las Vegas Strip, not including the 8.3 million square feet of the 7-month-old, $1.9 billion Palazzo Resort Hotel Casino, which, in May, was designated the nation’s largest LEED-certified building,” according to USA Today.
by Michael Yessis | 06.09.08 | 3:23 PM ET
The money, which was earmarked in the transportation bill President Bush signed Friday, “will pay for environmental studies for the first leg of the project,” reports the AP. Gizmodo wonders if it’s just greenwashing, since $45 million is but a fraction of what it might cost to build a legitimate high-speed MagLev rail line. I think it’s a fine step forward, and likely not the last. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid hails from Nevada, and he’s on the record supporting the project. That’s a powerful ally.
by Jim Benning | 05.15.08 | 11:05 AM ET
Interesting bit of economic analysis from the AP: “The gaming business often brags that it’s recession-proof because gamblers will always like to gamble, but amusement destinations historically have seen their business get hard hit when consumers’ wallets are pinched. The upscaling of Las Vegas with its five-star hotels, restaurants and shops, and the down-pricing of Disney to more value-oriented park packages and hotels over the last decade has turned that concept on its head.” Now, if Disney would just open a Vegas casino everything would balance out nicely.
Related on World Hum:
* A Clash of Civilizations Over Disney’s ‘It’s a Small World’
by Jim Benning | 05.13.08 | 6:22 PM ET
Los Angeles Times architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne bids farewell to the Rem Koolhaas-designed Guggenheim Museum, which closed Sunday. “Like a lot of Las Vegas marriages,” he writes, “the one between the Venetian Hotel and the Guggenheim Museum was born of some seriously misplaced optimism.”
by Michael Yessis | 03.17.08 | 1:53 PM ET
Who knows what mobsters like Tony “the Ant” Spilotro really would have thought of a bus tour of Las Vegas mob history, but Robert Allen, the founder of the tour, has a pretty good idea. “I can only do this tour,” he told the Los Angeles Times, “because Tony Spilotro’s dead.”