Archive for Sunday, January 4, 2004

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January 4, 2004

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Book opens access to Big Easy hot spots

New Orleans -- Neighborhood by neighborhood, street by street, the new "Access New Orleans" will help you enjoy the Big Easy whether you're there to celebrate Mardi Gras or just dropping in to sample gumbo and jazz.

The $19.95 paperback is one of a series of Access travel guides from HarperCollins. Written by local travel writers, the books include many "locals-only" haunts. The books are organized geographically, so when you find an attraction and turn the page, you'll also see what's around the corner.

Minnesota considers rest-stop sponsorships

St. Paul, Minn. -- Forget sports stadiums and fire trucks. In Minnesota, corporations may soon be able to attach their names to rest stops.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation is proposing the sponsorship after a particularly tough year of budget cuts for many state agencies. During the last session, lawmakers considered shuttering dozens of the state's rest areas to save $4 million as part of a $4.23 billion budget fix.

Ultimately, the state delayed any closings, but officials have started two phases of market research on the sponsorship issue -- one gauging the public's sentiment; the other assessing business support.

Sponsorship could come in the form of on-site signs, recognition at events like the State Fair or a mention on a state transportation Web site.

Minnesota has about 53 full-service rest areas, the total operation and maintenance of which cost up to $100,000 each annually. Those that open seasonally range in cost from $4,000 to $15,000 per year.

Tahiti can help visitors forget winter chill

Papeete, Tahiti -- When it's winter in North America, it's summer in Tahiti, with temperatures in the mid- to upper 70s every day.

If that revelation gets you dreaming of a beach on a blue lagoon, get a free copy of the Tahiti 2004 Holiday Planner by calling the Tahitian tourism bureau at (800) 365-4949, or by visiting www.tahiti-tourisme.com.

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