Travel briefs

 

Missouri

St. Louis plans big 250th birthday BASH

St. Louis is about to turn 250, and several events are planned for the big anniversary.

Organizers of a group known as stl250 announced celebration plans on Monday.

The city was founded by Pierre Laclede and Auguste Chouteau of Feb. 15, 1764. Many of the anniversary events are around the actual anniversary date, but others will occur throughout 2014. The first is New Year’s Eve, when performers at the First Night event will incorporate the anniversary into their acts.

Other highlights will include a reenactment of the founding on Feb. 15 at the Laclede’s Landing area downtown. Public “Birthday Bash” celebrations are Feb. 14, 15 and 17 at the Missouri History Museum in Forest Park. A “Burnin’ Love Festival” featuring live music and fireworks is planned for Feb. 14 on Art Hill in Forest Park.

Africa

Kenya plans major airport expansion

Only four months after a raging fire engulfed the arrivals terminal at Kenya’s main airport, Kenya’s president on Tuesday broke ground on new construction that officials hope will cement the country as East Africa’s transportation leader.

President Uhuru Kenyatta said the goal is to make Jomo Kenyatta International Airport one of the world’s leading air terminals. The revamped airport will serve 20 million passengers a year, up from 6.5 million passengers currently.

In August a small fire at the Nairobi airport swelled into a roaring inferno that destroyed the arrivals terminal. Kenyatta said the fire, which was caused by an electrical fault, “threatened our vision” of Nairobi’s airport being the gateway to Africa. Tourism fuels Kenya’s economy. The country’s safari parks and white-sand beaches beckon more than a million tourists per year, with most coming from the U.K. and the U.S.

Grand Canyon

Famed hotel

getting a facelift

The most recognizable hotel at the Grand Canyon’s South Rim will be undergoing renovations over the next two years. But the concessionaire that runs El Tovar won’t completely shut down the building as originally planned.

Xanterra Parks & Resorts will spruce up guest rooms, the roof will be replaced, and some structural problems will be fixed.

The plan was to shut down the hotel from January through mid-April for the renovations. The National Park Service asked Xanterra to reconsider.

Xanterra regional sales and marketing director Bruce Brossman says the company instead will do the renovation in two phases through 2015, leaving most of the 78 guest rooms open.

Car rentals

Drive out of Florida for a song

Every year we see cheap drive-out-of-Florida rates for spring travel because rental companies want to move their fleets after the popular winter travel season in Florida is over.

You get a low daily rate when you pick up the car in Florida and drop it off at an airport in another state. We are already seeing these deals for travel in 2014.

These deals are currently being offered by Alamo, Enterprise and National.

Miami Herald

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Miami Herald

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