Travel

Travel briefs

FLORIDA

FALCON’S FURY FINALLY OPENS

Four months behind schedule, Falcon’s Fury opened Tuesday at Busch Gardens in Tampa. The 335-foot drop tower had been in a “soft” opening since Aug. 17, when members of the public were allowed to ride at unscheduled times.

Falcon’s Fury was originally scheduled to debut May 1, but its opening was postponed while the ride was in the early phases of testing. Busch Gardens blamed the delay on the ride being the first of its kind with “groundbreaking design elements that have never been attempted on a thrill ride” and “several technical challenges impacting the ride’s operating efficiency,” but would not elaborate.

The thrill ride takes guests straight up and down. It has a ring of seats facing outward that climb slowly up the tower, then pivot so the riders are facing the ground before they plunge down at 60 miles per hour.

UTAH

SKI RESORT

PLANS ZIP LINE

Utah’s Sundance Mountain Resort has announced plans to add one of the longest zip line tours in the country.

Resort officials say the 2-mile zip line tour will offer a vertical drop of over 2,100 feet, the nation’s largest such drop. They say when opened to the public in 2015, it will be the longest zip line tour in Utah and the third longest zip line tour in the country.

Sundance ZipTour will offer four individual zip line spans. Each span of the zip line will highlight details about the native wildlife, vegetation and landscape around the Wasatch Range resort, located 13 miles northeast of Provo.

WYOMING

ELK RUT BEGINS

IN YELLOWSTONE

Visitors are being asked to be cautious as the elk rut begins in Yellowstone National Park. Park spokesman Al Nash says bull elk are much more aggressive toward people and vehicles this time of year, and visitors should keep a safe distance from the animals and look around corners before exiting buildings or walking around blind spots.

Several vehicles are damaged by elk every year, and people are occasionally charged and injured.

Nash says park staff and volunteers are patrolling areas like Mammoth Hot Springs when elk are present.

AIR TRAVEL

ONE WINNER IN LEGROOM FIGHTS

The device that prevents an airline seat from reclining — and sparked an in-flight squabble that forced a United Airlines flight from Newark to Denver to divert to Chicago — is driving sales of the Knee Defender.

The inventor, Ira Goldman, said the quarrel was the first he has heard of since he created the device 11 years ago.

While most major carriers prohibit using the device on flights, the publicity has generated so much traffic to Goldman’s website that it temporarily froze last week.

“It was like a nightclub that people couldn’t get into,” he said. Sales of his $21.95 device have jumped, Goldman said, declining to provide numbers.

He blames airlines for creating the demand for his invention by continuing to reduce legroom.

“When the airlines solve the problem, I’ll go out of business,” he said.

Miami Herald

wire services

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