Tag Archives: Tourism

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Visiting energy sites on your travels

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From water wheels to solar power, we are constantly adapting our energy sources in today’s world. Traveling allows you to see where the energy you use every day is produced and where scientists and engineers are studying new methods to produce energy.

Even the old methods of energy production are fascinating. Many areas have museums or tours available to see energy production behind the scenes.

Water wheel at Spring Mill State Park, Indiana. The gristmill for grinding grains is inside!

Hydroelectric Plants

Probably the oldest version of energy comes from the power of water running down a river. You can see their importance in history with many water wheels that powered sawmills or gristmills. These are located throughout the United States.

Water is still an important source of energy. Dams and hydroelectric plants are also located around the country. Some of the bigger plants have tours.

The best tours and museums include the Hoover Dam, the Glen Canyon Dam, and the Niagara Power Project Visitors Center. I found it interesting that electricity is just considered a byproduct of a dam. The main purpose of these dams is to control water flow.

Coal, Natural Gas, and Nuclear Power

Coal mining tours taking you underground can be found in several states, including Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Some of them include guides that used to work the mines.

Before starting our tour at Pioneer Tunnel Coal Mine in Pennysylvania.

Power plants using coal, natural gas or nuclear can be found all over the country. Unfortunately, only a few have tours available and these seem to be by appointment only.

Included in these limited tours are a nuclear plant at Duke Energy in North Carolina and the Comanche Peak Nuclear Power Plant Visitor Center in Texas. You may want to check with the local power plant near where you are camping.

Oil

Oil wells are seen along the road in many places throughout the United States. From the beaches of Texas and Louisiana you can see offshore oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico.

Some towns like Odessa, Texas, are all about oil. There are machinery shops, pipe companies, and stores devoted to oil well parts. Interestingly, the town has a lot of chiropractors, physical therapy businesses, and injury law firms. I assume it is a tough business.

Texas, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, and California have several oil museums. These museums can give the local history of the oil business along with explaining the geology that leads to oil formations.

Construction of the parabolic trough system in Gila Bend, Arizona.

Solar

While states like Arizona, New Mexico, and Florida have the greatest concentration of solar radiation, solar panels can be seen all over the United States on houses, various buildings, fields, and even RVs!

While solar panels are widespread, other types of solar energy plants exist. Concentrated solar power using parabolic troughs are used in several large plants, including the largest in the US located in Gila Bend, Arizona.

Other large trough types are in Martin County, Florida, the Mojave Desert, and near Las Vegas. Ivanpah Solar Power Facility is a large farm in California where mirrors focus on three central towers and can be seen from the road.

Old English-style windmill at the American Wind Power Museum in Texas.

Wind

We like to watch for wind farms wherever we go. Texas is known for oil, but the state is also home a great many wind turbines. Texas tops the country in wind power capacity followed by Iowa, Oklahoma, California, and Kansas. Wind power tends to be located in the central plains, near oceans, hills, and in other windy locations.

The American Wind Power Museum in Lubbock, Texas is an incredible museum showing both historical windmills used by farmers to pump water and different modern types of wind turbines for power. The Mid-America Windmill Museum in Indiana displays more of the older windmill types.

The Wild Horse Renewable Energy Center in Washington has an excellent museum explaining current wind turbine technology and the operation of a wind farm. The tour even brings you inside the base of a wind turbine. Wear a jacket if you visit. It is windy!

Watch as you drive the United States to see how our energy sources change with geography and over time.

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Travel2020: Travel trends downward as worldwide visits decline, per new surveys

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Annual international visitation to the U.S. began to decline in 2015 — and has yet to stop that trajectory. Concurrently, Americans are traveling less frequently and are returning to attractions less and less, possibly often in search of something new and welcoming.

The results of PGAV Destinations’ fourth annual “Voice of the Visitor: Outlook on the Attractions Industry,which tracks Americans’ travel behavior and forecasts future plans, revealed a dramatic shift in the demographics of attraction visitors, and a deep desire to visit places that make them feel welcome and relaxed.

In the first ever report of its kind, “Welcome! 2019 Profile of International Visitors to America”revealed how travelers from Canada, Mexico, China, the United Kingdom, and Japanplan their trips to America, where they want to visit and what motivates them to do so, and why many have considered a visit to the States but are now holding off until later, possibly for political reasons.

Of the panelists, 68 percent had visited the United States before; but with the exception of Canada, in the other four countries it was noted that more than a third of those populations have never visited the U.S., but are strongly considering it.

Over 85 percent of international guests noted their key priority when visiting America is finding a safe and welcoming place that has a variety of activities and attractions, visiting more than two towns on average with each visit.

“Over the last several years, from the US Council of Mayors to the American Alliance of Museums to the Southeast Tourism Society and beyond, we’ve heard impassioned requests for insights into what international visitors think and what they’re doing when they enter The Melting Pot; and to date, we couldn’t find a precedent,” said PGAV Principal and Chair, Mike Konzen.

“These visitors represent an immense contribution to our economy and share of the tourism industry — and in turn represent America when they return home through their stories and photographs — and it’s imperative we strive to better understand — and welcome — these guests.”

Top 5 Motivators for International Travelers

  • 42%: Shopping
  • 27%: Theme Parks
  • 18%: Historic Landmarks
  • 10%: Museums
  • 10%: Sightseeing Tours

Visting Mickey has remained very popular among international visitors to the U.S.

Top 10 Places Likely to Inspire a Visit to America

  • 36%: Walt Disney World
  • 26%: Disneyland
  • 24%: The Grand Canyon
  • 21%: Statue of Liberty
  • 21%: New York City
  • 20%: Niagara Falls
  • 19%: Las Vegas
  • 19%: Universal Studios
  • 16%: Hollywood
  • 14%: The Northern Lights

When Americans travel, trends suggest that they are seeking more peaceful time with friends and family to relax. Compared to five years ago, Americans say they are “relaxing and chilling out” 27 percent more, playing video games 10 percent less, spending time outdoors 16 percent more, and hanging out with friends 5 percent less.

With more options for entertainment, consumers’ tolerance for bad service and low-fidelity experiences continue to decline, fueling dissatisfaction with the staff and offerings at many attractions.

Top 10 Attraction Types Visited in 2018

  • 38%: Historic Landmarks
  • 33%: Zoos/Animal Attractions
  • 30%: Theaters
  • 30%: Theme Parks
  • 28%: History Museums
  • 27%: National/State Parks
  • 24%: Aquariums
  • 22%: Family Entertainment Centers
  • 21%: Art Museums
  • 21%: Sightseeing Tours

Top 5 Most Important Factors for American Tourists

  • 79%: It’s a good value for the money
  • 78%: It’s a clean place to visit
  • 71%: It has friendly staff members
  • 70%: It provides a safe and wholesome environment
  • 69%: It’s a diverse experience with a lot of different things to see and do

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Airbnb acquires HotelTonight amid transition to a travel enterprise

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Airbnb made headlines again last week. The company is set to acquire HotelTonight, an online travel agent (OTA) that focuses on last-minute bookings through its website or a mobile app for hotel stays.

Why is HotelTonight good for Airbnb?

Even though Airbnb is commonly known for its dominant position in the room-sharing market, the company has been aiming to become a massive travel enterprise. Besides hotels, Airbnb also competes directly with OTAs.

For example, Airbnb has begun selling hotel rooms. At the time Airbnb celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2018, there were over 24,000 boutique hotels listed on Airbnb, a growth of 520 percent over the previous year.

According to The Wall Street Journal, adding more hotels to Airbnb listings has become a key strategy to boost growth before the company’s initial public offering (IPO). Through the acquisition of an existing business — HotelTonight, Airbnb can gain immediate market penetration in the OTA market. This will likely allow Airbnb to add more hotel listings to its platform.

How much is the deal?

Started in 2010, HotelTonight has already raised about $117 million in venture capital and made the Forbes Next Billion-Dollar Startup list in 2016. In 2017, HotelTonight had a valuation of $463 million with estimated revenue of around $60 million the year before.

According to Skift, this acquisition closed at a value of a little bit over $400 million, with about half in cash and the other half in stock. Because half of the acquisition cost is made up of Airbnb’s stock, HotelTonight could have “a nice little exit” under the condition that Airbnb’s stock price will increase when it goes public, as most people expect, even though Airbnb has not yet committed to doing so in 2019.

Last year, Airbnb had a value ranging from $22 billion to $50 billion, as estimated by Skift Research. Airbnb’s estimated revenue in 2017 was at $2.6 billion.

What’s next for HotelTonight and Airbnb?

While HotelTonight and Airbnb will maintain their operations as two separate entities, Airbnb suggested it would include some HotelTonight listings as part of the company’s larger platform in the future.

Therefore, it won’t be surprising to see more hotel listings added to Airbnb’s website soon. Likewise, it is also possible for HotelTonight to add Airbnb listings as part of its offerings, similar to what Expedia and Booking.com have been doing.

Where is the competition among Airbnb, hotels, and OTAs heading?

The battle among these three key players in the lodging industry is only going to heat up even more, especially when they are all selling the same products now. For example:

  • Airbnb will soon add more hotels to its listings with the acquisition of HotelTonight, in addition to its recent inductions of Airbnb Plus and Beyond by Airbnb, its certified product types that provide similar hotel amenities.
  • Hotels, such as Marriott and Hyatt, have also entered the room-sharing market; they are selling residential rentals, too, as Airbnb does.
  • Also, through acquisitions (e.g., Expedia acquired HomeAway.com for $3.9 billion in 2015), many OTAs invested big in room-sharing business. Travelers can now book residential homes on OTA websites. Coincidentally, Booking.com and Airbnb were fighting for the title of the website with the most room-sharing listings last week.

Is acquiring HotelTonight a good deal for Airbnb? Why or why not? What will be Airbnb’s next move towards a travel enterprise?

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10 US dark-sky parks worth a visit

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Since the dawn of time, the mysteries and splendors of a starry night sky have been filling us with wonder. As Vincent van Gogh once said, “I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of the stars makes me dream.”

Today, however, when we look up into our galaxy from most areas of the country, we are lucky to see but a handful of stars.

Light pollution — the rampant and careless spread of artificial light — is laying ruin to one of nature’s most profound spectacles — a star-filled nighttime sky.

Fortunately, there’s a group of dedicated conservationists who are trying to preserve our view of the heavens and protect this natural resource for present and future generations. Founded in 1988 by a pair of astronomers, the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) is a U.S.-based nonprofit organization that is doing all it can to limit light pollution worldwide.

IDA’s principal approach is to raise awareness about the value of dark, star-filled night skies and encourage their protection and restoration through education about the problems and solutions, including outdoor lighting practices that create less light pollution.

The main thrust of IDA’s efforts is their International Dark Sky Program, through which they provide a certified designation to communities, parks and public lands “possessing exceptional starry skies and natural nocturnal habitat where light pollution is mitigated and natural darkness is valuable as an important educational, cultural, scenic and natural resource.” There are currently 109 such certified sites worldwide — 69 of them in the United States. Arizona and Utah host the world’s highest concentration of dark sky parks.

To mark IDA’s International Dark Sky Week — March 31-April 7 — here are 10 of the nation’s finest stargazing spots:

Death Valley is one of the nation’s most famous national parks and is a dark-sky park as well.

Death Valley National Park, California

Death Valley’s natural darkness, along with National Park Service actions to reduce excessive outdoor lighting, led the IDA to designate the park as an International Dark Sky Park in 2013.

Covering 3,336,000 acres, it is the largest park in the worldwide network. Choice spots for stargazing include Harmony Borax Works, Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes and Badwater Basin. During winter and spring seasons, park rangers offer night sky programs. www.nps.gov/deva.

Oracle State Park, Arizona

A 4,000-acre state park and wildlife refuge situated in the northern foothills of the Catalina Mountains, Oracle was designated a Dark Sky Park in 2014. It hosts occasional stargazing events as part of Arizona State Park’s popular Star Night Party Program. www.azstateparks.com/oracle.

Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

No doubt America’s most famous Dark Sky Park, Grand Canyon is notable for the beauty of its dark night skies and clean air — but it took a dedicated effort on the part of the National Park Service and its concessionaires to cut down on light pollution, particularly from the formerly brightly lit Grand Canyon Village.

That was accomplished through the installation of dark-sky-friendly lighting throughout the village. Most viewpoints along both the North and South Rim offer great stargazing opportunities.

Serious astrotourists should plan to visit the park during the 2019 Grand Canyon Star Party, June 22-29. This event brings in volunteer astronomers who offer free nightly astronomy programs and telescope viewing. www.nps.gov/grca.

Dead Horse Point State Park, Utah

This tiny state park, not far from Moab, perches 2,000 feet above a remote gooseneck in the Colorado River, where it affords dramatic views of the southern skies. It was certified as a Dark Sky Park in 2016.

Kayenta Campground provides a peaceful respite from the surrounding desert, and hiking trails lead directly from the campground to the park’s favorite stargazing points on the East and West Rim. Park staff members routinely offer programs celebrating the night sky, from star parties to ranger-led full-moon hikes. www.stateparks.utah.gov/parks/dead-horse.

The dark sky viewed through a picturesque rock formation at Canyonlands National Park.

Canyonlands National Park, Utah

Practically next door to Dead Horse Point State Park is dramatic Mesa Arch, an iconic landmark of Canyonlands National Park and a popular backdrop for astrophotographers. Canyonlands’ relative isolation from the artificial light of urban areas makes it an ideal place for viewing the night sky.

Here, even the naked eye is sufficient to witness a wealth of stars and, under the right conditions, common binoculars may reveal the rings of Saturn. Rangers often set up telescopes for the public at Grand View Point in the Island in the Sky area, as well as at the Needles Visitor Center in the southern sector of the park. www.nps.gov/cany.

Craters of the Moon National Monument, Idaho

Craters of the Moon, a vast and remote area of volcanic formations and lava flows in southwest Idaho, was designated a Dark Sky Park in 2017. This was logical in a sense because it is the only national park or monument named after a celestial body.

The Idaho Falls Astronomical Society hosts star parties each spring and fall, setting up telescopes in the Cave Area parking lot. The park also offers ranger-led full moon hikes. www.nps.gov/crmo.

Norwood, Colorado

Following three years of hard work on the part of a small team of volunteer amateur astronomers in Norwood, the IDA designated their wee town of 580 residents as the nation’s newest Dark Sky Community on Feb. 21, 2019.

It is the first community on the Western Slope of Colorado to be so designated and only the second in the state. The town’s remote location and sparse population produce very little light pollution and its clear high desert skies combine to make Norwood a perfect stargazing location. The local team, Norwood Dark Sky Advocates, is planning dark-sky events aimed at attracting astro-enthusiasts. www.colorado.edu/norwood-stars/.

Image: Headlands International Dark Sky Park

Headlands International Dark Sky Park, Michigan

This 600-acre parcel of old-growth forest sits on more than two miles of undeveloped Lake Michigan shoreline at the northwest tip of Michigan’s lower peninsula. Developed and operated by Emmet County, the park features a newly built waterfront event and observation center where free, monthly dark sky programs and other astronomy-related special events are staged. www.midarkskypark.org

Cherry Springs State Park, Pennsylvania

The densely populated eastern United Sates may not be known for wide-open spaces and dark skies, but this Pennsylvania park is an exception and it stands out as one of the country’s most popular Dark Sky Parks.

Surrounded by 262,000-acre Susquehannock State Forest, the 82-acre Cherry Springs preserve boasts a dedicated astronomy observation field that offers unobstructed views of the heavens and is open to the public all night. Privately organized stargazing events and photography workshops are available, and a big star party is set for May 30-June 2, 2019. www.cherryspringsstatepark.com

Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park, Florida

Part of the Everglades headwaters, Kissimmee Prairie is a vast 54,000-acre expanse of grassland — the largest remaining tract of Florida dry prairie.

Located about 100 miles south of light-polluted Orlando and its gaggle of theme parks, this remote preserve is internationally acclaimed for its inky black night sky. The park features purpose-built astronomy pads dedicated to observing the night sky at nine different viewing locations. www.floridastateparks.org.

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The joy of getting lost

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Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to get lost. I bring a trail map with me when hiking. I always have my phone in my back pocket ready to take pictures but also to use the map function if I need to find my way.

However, I have gotten lost several times from my initial planned trek. I must have made a wrong turn or the trails weren’t well-maintained. I have found that getting a bit lost can be good.

The Challenge

When I realize I am lost, my first response is bewilderment and a bit of fear. What if I can’t find my way back to the campsite? What if I’m lost for days without food or water?

The reality is that I tend to hike in state parks or areas where I only need to travel a few miles in any direction to find a road. Plus, there is always the option of back tracking the trail. ‘

Many times I have a general idea of my location and the best direction to go so I continue onward (sometimes bushwhacking to go the right direction). When I do get back to the campsite, I find a sense of accomplishment of overcoming the challenge of finding my way.

On one hike, I swear the path took me to the edge of a slight cliff overlooking a river. I could see where others had climbed down the banks of river and moved upriver. Soon, I was climbing over large boulders along the river when I realized that this was NOT part of the trail.

At several points I figured (wrongly) going back was more difficult than going forward. When the cliff moved closer to the river, I ended up taking off my shoes and socks to walk through the riverbed and then climbed small waterfalls to return to the real trail. When I eventually returned to the campsite, I had an interesting story to tell and a sense of accomplishment I wouldn’t have had with the planned 0.6-mile trail.

The Unexpected Find

Trails can take you to great places, but getting turned around can allow you to find the unexpected. At one park, I made a wrong turn and suddenly found a cave coming out of the mist. The cave showed on the trail map, but it didn’t show as being connected to the trail I was hiking. The find was more magical when it was unexpected.

Donaldson Cave at Spring Mill State Park in Indiana.

On other hikes I’ve seen animals like opossum or deer on the “alternative route” that I might not have seen had I followed the standard path. On a hike wandering trails near Tucson, I found a small old mining site that wasn’t on the maps.

Live in the Moment

I know that many times when I’ve lost the trail, it’s because I’ve been thinking about other things rather than watching the trail.

It’s good to contemplate the meaning of life or just to plan what I want to do that day, but as Yoda would say, “Never his mind on where he was. Hmm? What he was doing.” There is nothing like getting lost to totally focus on where I am and just maybe notice the sun and light of the area (so I at least know where east is!).

Morning hike somewhere in Coopers Rock State Forest, West Virginia.

At Patagonia Lake State Park, I combined all these benefits when hiking the area. The trails in this particular park are limited. Given that cattle graze throughout the park, I figured hiking off the trail was acceptable.

I wasn’t exactly lost bushwhacking around the area, but there were times I just hoped that I was going in the right direction. Hiking was challenging with trying to get around or through brambles in places or to find a way to cross a water-filled canyon.

The unexpected was when I saw a coatimundi. I had never heard of this animal before so I was very surprised. I lived in the moment, making sure I didn’t step in cow pies that were everywhere. I especially lived in the moment when I climbed a large hill. The view from that hill is outstanding and one of my favorite views of all-time.

Hilltop view in Patagonia Lake State Park in Arizona.

The U.S. Forest Service recommends that you pack food, water, a compass, maps, a foil blanket, flashlight, matches, and an extra pair of socks even when hiking just a few hours. Follow the STOP plan by:

  • Stop — Stop and stay calm.
  • Think — Consider how you got here and what landmarks you might see to determine your location
  • Observe — Look around. Use your compass, paper or phone map, or walking short distances to determine where you are.
  • Plan — Plan your next steps. This can include a route out or just staying in place if you are totally lost, injured, or near exhaustion.

I still don’t want to get lost, but I’ve embraced the challenge when I lose my way during a hike. Perhaps getting lost is a metaphor for life in an RV. Things don’t always go right but we can accept the unexpected and live in the moment of all the challenges of life on the road.

Do you have a story to tell about getting lost?

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Travel2020: Love Las Vegas-style with daring I do’s

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Las Vegas and weddings go together like neon signage and beehive hairdos. That may be because Las Vegas pronounces more marriages per capita than any other city in the world.

In 2017 alone, 78,187 marriage licenses were issued in Las Vegas — which makes for roughly 214 per day or nine marriage licenses an hour on a 24/7 clock. And 2017 was a down year for Las Vegas, which has seen as many as 128,000 weddings in a year, as happened in 2004. Based on the most current data available from the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA), 4 percent of Las Vegas visitors, or 1.7 million people a year, come to Las Vegas to celebrate their own wedding or someone else’s.

That said, if Las Vegas is anything, it is unconventional. It’s a city built on dreams of what can be rather than what is. If it happens in Vegas, it automatically captures attention, collects ears, and stops the conversation. And the same can be said for weddings in Las Vegas.

While weddings in Las Vegas can be as conventional as Kansas corn stalks, they can also be anything but that. Consider the legendary drive-thru window at A Little White Chapel on Las Vegas Boulevard. Couples pull up, order from a short menu of options, roll down the driver-side window and let the vows begin. It all takes less than 15 minutes.

You can get married on a golf course, on a mini-golf range, in a pod on the High Roller, in a museum dedicated to mobsters, in a Cirque du Soleil set, in an aquarium with or without sharks, in a pool by a floating wedding cake and mermaids, even on a thrill ride called “Insanity” that will have couples dangling 900 feet over Las Vega Boulevard.

As Valentine’s Day approaches, which, along with New Year’s Day, Presidents’ Day and weirdly numbered days (1/9/19, 02/22/20, etc.) brings lines around the block for licenses at the county clerk’s office, Las Vegas offers a menu of imaginative ways couples can take the plunge.

Stratosphere Leap

To the extent that tying the knot is taking a plunge, couples can put it all together with a nuptial jump off the Stratosphere tower. Billed as the Skyjump Proposal Package, couples can combine it with a wedding option, taking the plunge from 829 feet before or after the sealing kiss.

The Stratosphere’s Chapel in the Clouds can accommodate up to 240 guests and give them commanding views from the 104th and 112th floors.

Big Apple Plunge

Other adrenaline-focused couples can careen through a 144-foot-drop followed by dizzying corkscrew turns to seal their marriage on the Big Apple Roller Coaster at New York-New York Hotel & Casino. Brave family and friends can join them on this ride of a lifetime.

Big Night in Neon

Lovers dazzled by the glittering lights of the Las Vegas Strip can surround themselves in the flash and bling of restored vintage neon signs at the Neon Museum in Downtown Las Vegas. The signs offer a true Vegas backdrop and make a stunning and compelling backdrop for photos.

Married with the Mob

Nearby, the Mob Museum, housed in the historic former federal courthouse and U.S. Post Office, offers ceremonies and receptions amid lifelike exhibits of some of America’s most notorious crime bosses. Weddings here are as fun as they sound with the possibility of the wedding couple and guests dressing in period costumes and partying like the peak days of Prohibition.

Linqing Hearts

Couples who want to link their fates to the heavens can do on the High Roller at the LINQ Promenade. The largest observation wheel in the world allows the couple and up to 38 guests to take the spin over Las Vegas and say their I do’s above the Strip.

Sensual Drama

More sensual affairs can be arranged with the “Mistress of Sensuality, Edie,” of Cirque du Soleil’s Zumanity show. She performs marriage ceremonies in the dramatic lobby set-up of the Zumanity Theater at New York-New York as two additional artists from the show escort the couple down the aisle and celebrate their union in full regalia, or the lack thereof.

The couple then gets to enjoy the show afterwards in one of the special “Love Seat” sofas reserved for such occasions, as acrobats, soaring aerialists, and zany clowns move into motion. A photo and video package can be added.

Celebrity Witness

Las Vegas makes many things possible — among them is getting married with Barack Obama or Barbra Streisand or J-Lo as an official witness to an intimate ceremony. Plus, at Madame Tussaud’s Las Vegas, there is no chance these figures will steal the show.

The legendary wax museum attached to The Venetian offers several packages to get the show rolling, though. “Hangover Experience” packages start at $5,500 and include an Elvis minister (because you have to have Elvis!), hors d’oeuvres, and spirits and furnishings for 30 guests and plenty of other extras.

Elvis and Friends

Having Elvis officiate a wedding is not new in Las Vegas but the Viva Las Vegas wedding chapel extends that concept into a variety of themes, from beach parties to gladiator get-togethers and graveyard bashes for rates that start at $199.

Zipline Love

To add a topping to those nuptials or any wedding in Downtown Las Vegas, couples can seal their vows in a couple’s flight through Fremont Street Experience on SlotZilla. The zipline attraction offers two takeoff options: the lower zip line, which is 77 feet high and straps riders in a traditional harness, and the upper zoom line, which is 114 feet high and requires riders to fly face-down like a superhero — possibly a challenge for those in gowns and tuxes but still a fun way to mark the day.

Wedding note: All couples getting married in Las Vegas must present a current government-issued license from the Clark County Clerk’s office, which charges a fee of $77. Information can be found online: www.clarkcountynv.gov.

All photos courtesy of the author or LVCVA.

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