Number of Smoke-free Hotels is Growing

smoke-free-building

More than 12,900 lodgings serving the public in the USA are now smoke-free throughout.

Hotels, motels and other lodgings are following the trend of airlines and passenger-train operators by banning smoking throughout their premises. Some are doing it voluntarily, as public awareness about the health dangers of secondhand smoke grows. Others are being forced by a growing number of state and local laws.

 

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Cities and States in Hotel Tax War with Online Travel Booking Sites

 hotel front desk

Hotel tax war between cities, states and online travel sites.

The last time you went on vacation or hit the road for work, chances are you scanned the hotel bill but barely gave the taxes that were tacked on a thought.Yet those taxes, paid for occupying a hotel room, are at the root of battles being waged in courts across the U.S. between online travel booking sites and cities and states that say they’re not getting their fair share.

 

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Transforming Albania’s 750,000 Mushroom Bunkers Into Hotels, Cottages and Bars

mushroom-hotel

Mushroom hotel room

Albania’s Enver Hoxha ruled from 1945 to 1985 and towards the end made North Korea’s Kim Jong-il look normal. Being a bit paranoid, he constructed an extraordinary three quarters of a million mushroom-shaped bunkers. That presents a lot of opportunity for creative repurposing and reuse.

 

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Amazing Tree House Hotels

Cedar Creek Treehouse

Cedar Creek Treehouse

From the Swiss Family Robinson’s massive forest hideaway to the Berenstein Bears “No Boys Allowed” backyard version, tree houses have an appeal all their own: they’re private, they get the best breezes, and you’ll see birds, bugs, plants, and animals that you’d never come across on the ground. The owners of these tree house hotels also have an unsurprising passion for the environment, using reclaimed wood, low-energy devices, and natural soaps on their properties. (Pics)

 

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Cool Jet Hotels and Houses From Around the World

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Boeing 727 House

Not everyone opts for the conventional when building structures.  People have used unusual materials such as bottles, tires, and even trash to contruct their houses.  There are even vehicles that were formerly used as means of conveyance (e.g. buses, trains, trucks) that are now fashioned into unique dwellings.  Once they are stripped of seats and equpment they present ready-made, enclosed spaces (with windows) that are easily converted into rooms. 

Recycled airplanes are being converted into homes, hotels, restaurants, etc.  Here is a collection of cool converted airplanes from around the world. (Pics)

 

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Bigelow Aerospace – First Commercial Space Company Seeks Professional Astronauts

 astronaut

Bigelow Aerospace advertising for experienced astronauts

An American space holiday firm, Bigelow Aerospace, has become the first commercial company to advertise for professional astronauts.  The firm, founded by Bob Bigelow, the head of a budget motel chain in the US, wants experienced spacemen working in orbit and on the ground.

 

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Demand for Luxury Hotels Rise as Rates Fall

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Luxury hotel suite in Hawaii

Luxury hotels are showing some signs of life, but they’re coming at a hefty price.

As of early March, the battered sector is reporting 7.2% more bookings for the upcoming second quarter in the top 25 markets vs. the April-June period in 2008, according to travel market research firm Rubicon. But rooms at Ritz-Carlton, Fairmont and Four Seasons are also dramatically cheaper. The luxury average daily rate is down 22% to $312 from $399 two years ago, Rubicon says.

 

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Optiwind: Wind Turbine For High Density, Low Wind Areas

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oZt5nUPDJbs&feature=player_embedded[/youtube] 

Traditional three-blade turbines are great if you have lots of space to play with, but the Optiwind Compact Wind Accelerating Turbine is ideal for high-density, low-wind areas. The turbine’s series of small, five bladed fans funnel in wind and accelerate it, thereby cranking up wind speeds to generate more power.

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Sony Cybershot G3 Camera Offers Direct Web Browsing

 

Sony Cybershot G3 Camera Offers Direct Web Browsing 

 Sony Cybershot G3

The Sony Cybershot G3 is a true first. It boasts direct web browsing from the camera via WiFi. The camera can upload photos and videos to Web sites through any public hotspot via its built-in Web browser. It comes with complimentary AT&T WiFi access to Sony’s Easy Upload Home Page all the way up until Jan. 31, 2012. It includes Wi-Fi access at thousands of AT&T hotspots across the United States, including participating coffee shops, some bookstores and quick-serve restaurant locations, plus hundreds of upscale hotels and airports. Some specs on the camera include a dedicated WLAN button, direct links to photo sharing sites like Shutterfly and Picasa Web Albums; video sharing sites like YouTube and Dailymotion.

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Envysion: Innovator In Web-Based Video Management

Envysion:  Innovator In Web-Based Video Management

Featured Invention at the Colorado Inventor Showcase

Envysion is an innovator in web-based video management that is redefining video surveillance. The company is driving the development of Managed Video as a Service (MVaaS), which builds on the concept of the Software as a Service (SaaS) model. With the MVaaS platform, Envysion centrally manages software upgrades and version control and addresses the scaling challenges of managing distributed video systems across multiple locations.

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