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Feb 22nd
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Colorado National Monument, one of the West's greatest landscapes, celebrated its 100th anniversary on Saturday, May 21, 2011 with more than 600 guests gathered for the occasion under a festive canopy tent adjacent to the visitor center.

Located in Mesa County, Colorado between the gateway communities of Fruita and Grand Junction, the monument preserves 32 square miles of canyons and mesas. This is a special place; contemplate glorious views, discover solitude deep in a canyon, and delight in desert bighorn and golden eagles.
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There's a new way to see Hoover Dam, and it gives visitors a bird's eye view of one of the West's most famous National Historic Landmarks.

Papillon Airways, Inc., billed by the company as the worldwide leader in "flightseeing" tours, is now offering its Hoover Dam Helicopter Tour.

Departing daily from either their Las Vegas or Boulder City terminals, the tour flies at low level over the Hoover Dam in a deluxe state of the art EC- 130 Eco-Star helicopter.
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President Bill Clinton's birthplace home in Hope, Arkansas was formally dedicated into the National Park System April 16, 2011, making it the newest addition to the National Park Service's list of historic presidential sites.

President Bill Clinton was on hand for the dedication ceremony of the President William Jefferson Clinton Birthplace Home National Historic Site, and was joined by Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis, and other dignitaries.
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Frontier Airlines on May 14, 2010 launched new nonstop service between the carrier's Denver hub and Fairbanks, Alaska (FAI); Grand Rapids, Mich. (GRR) and Long Beach, Calif. (LGB).

The carrier also launched new nonstop service between its Milwaukee hub and Seattle/Tacoma (SEA). The service is part of a 17-market expansion taking place this spring and summer, making Frontier the fastest-growing major carrier in the United States, the airline said.
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Fort Smith National Historic Site in Arkansas will commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Civil War and Confederate occupation on April 23, 2011 with a variety of programs for park visitors.

While most eyes at the start of the war were on the East Coast and the Deep South, many regions of the West experienced the Civil War first hand.

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Hawaiian Airlines welcomed the first airship of its future fleet on May 4, its first new, long-range Airbus A330-200 aircraft that will set the company's course for growth and expansion.

The wide-body, 294-seat A330 touched down at Honolulu International Airport at 10:49 a.m. after departing from Seattle, Washington. Piloted by Captain Robert Mix and Captain Mark Dawson, the 13-member flight crew was greeted by Hawaiian Airlines employees with fresh flower lei, Hawaiian music, and hula.
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After almost 17 days of being inactive, lava returned to the east rift zone of Hawaii's Kilauea Volcano March 26, but there is no immediate threat to the public, rangers at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park said.

The current lava activity is confined within the crater of Pu‘u ‘O‘o, a cinder and spatter cone, according to National Park Service and the U.S. Geological Survey's Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO).
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Who says airline food has to be bad? Not California-based Virgin America, which has unveiled a new in-flight wine and food menu for First Class passengers.

The new wine selection was designed exclusively for the airline by world-renowned wine expert Gary Vaynerchuk and will roll out over the course of 2010 - the first two starting in May.

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In addition to an expanded range of premium wine options, Virgin America has expanded its onboard menu for summer to include a number of fresh, seasonal menu items.

Gary Vaynerchuk's accessible, entertaining Wine Library TV will also make its debut this month on the airline's Red in-flight entertainment system. This summer, Virgin America is also planning an in-flight wine-tasting with Vaynerchuk in the First Class cabin.

"As the only airline based in California, we pride ourselves on our fresh approach to the in-flight menu and we're excited to partner with world-renowned wine expert Gary Vaynerchuk to take our summer food and wine menu to new heights," said Porter Gale, Vice President of Marketing at Virgin America.

"In addition to a new range of premium wines and new menu items, our flyers will also be able to stay up-to-date on the latest wine trends, with Gary's informative and accessible Wine Library TV episodes available on the Red platform," Gale added.

The very first selections by Vaynerchuk making their debut in the First Class cabin on all Virgin America flights in May are Turnbull Sauvignon Blanc 2008, and Arrowood 2002 Sonoma County Merlot.

Vaynerchuk is recognized internationally as a premier wine expert. Vaynerchuk was named "Innovator of the Year" by Wine Enthusiast magazine and also joined other industry influencers on Decanter magazine's "Power List." Vaynerchuk's Wine Library website, blog and Wine Library TV have become go-to resources for everyone - whether they are just curious about wine or are wine connoisseurs themselves.

"Virgin America has been very successful in bringing a quality dining experience back to air travel with personalized service delivered via tray and in-flight menus that focus on fresh, seasonal ingredients in keeping with the carrier's California roots," said Gary Vaynerchuk. "Wine is meant to be enjoyed in a variety of settings and I'm thrilled to be working with Virgin America to give travelers a more varied, upscale food and wine experience at 35,000 feet."

 
The highly anticipated Ritz-Carlton, Los Angeles opened April 2, 2010 as the first luxury hotel of its caliber in Downtown Los Angeles.

Located at 900 W. Olympic Boulevard, the opening of the hotel is the final piece of L.A. LIVE, the $2.5 billion sports, residential and entertainment district, inaugurated in 1999 with the opening of STAPLES Center.
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Lava has stopped flowing from Hawai‘i's Kamoamoa Fissure Eruption, and park rangers planned to reopen the upper six miles of Chain of Craters Road beginning Friday, March 11, 2011.

"The flow has abated for now," Ranger Jim Gale, chief of interpretation for Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, told OldWestNewWest.com Travel & History Magazine. "This is an active volcanoe, however, and the road could close again at any time. But right now, everything has come to an equilibrium."
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Just in time for Cheyenne Frontier Days, American Eagle Airlines, the regional affiliate of American Airlines, will offer daily nonstop jet service between Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) and Cheyenne Regional Airport (CYS), beginning July 15.

"This is great news," said Rod Hottle, Cheyenne Frontier Days general committee chairman. "This will be a good transportation option for people coming from the east who plan to go to the rodeo. The added American Eagle service is good not only for Cheyenne Frontier Days, but for all of Cheyenne."
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As lava continues to flow on the east rift of Kilauea Volcano at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, rangers March 7 closed Chain of Craters Road, all east rift and coastal trails, and Kulanaokuaiki Campground until further notice.

These closures are due to an eruption on the East Rift Zone of Kilauea, located in an inaccessible area 8 miles east of the summit, that began on Saturday, March 5, 2011.
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You won't get a ‘get out of jail free' card, and you won't collect two hundred dollars, but during National Park Week, April 17-25, you will get free admission to a national park of your choice.

"National parks preserve our heritage, promote recreational experiences, and provide places of quiet refuge," said National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis. "Most people live within a short drive of a national park so I encourage everyone to spend some time enjoying America's Great Outdoors during National Park Week."
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Delta Air Lines is increasing its Los Angeles International Airport service, operating four new daily flights between LAX and San Francisco, adding nonstop flights to three new cities, and renovating and expanding its SkyClub Terminal 5 service and security.

"Los Angeles' strategic position in the Delta network continues to gain importance as we expand opportunities for customers to connect to our trans-Pacific services from this growing, thriving gateway," Glen Hauenstein, Delta's executive vice president - Network Planning and Revenue Management, said.
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It was a surreal scene along the park's cliff faces and monoliths on New Year's Eve as Colorado National Monument held a centennial celebration to usher in 2011, a new year and a new century for the park.

People gathered together on the canyon's edge in a place where the basement rocks are two billion years old. And in the freezing darkness of the New Year's Eve night they looked skyward with awe at the bright bursts of light above the ghostly landscape as the clock struck eight.
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Hawaii's James Campbell National Wildlife Refuge, about an hour and fifteen minute drive from bustling Honolulu, is about to undergo a major expansion, adding 456 acres of some of the last existing wild coastal wetland and dune habitats which have been under private ownership.

The expansion will bring the wildlife refuge, part of the Kahuku coastline on Oahu's north shore, up to 1,100 acres. (The Fish & Wildlife Service acquired acquired 384 acres in December 2009.) The added acreage will provide more protection for rare and endangered animals and plants. 
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Destroyed during storms that ravaged the area in September 2008, the new Rio Grande Village Nature Trail boardwalk at Big Bend National Park in Southwest Texas along the Rio Grande River bordering Mexico has been reopened.

Superintendent William Wellman formally dedicated the new boardwalk across the beaver pond on the Rio Grande Village Nature Trail with a ribbon cutting ceremony.

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The Cactus League's 2010 spring training season starts March 3, and if that wasn't enough reason for MLB fans to head for Arizona, there's a great new exhibit at the Arizona Museum for Youth highlighting the state's 100 years of baseball history.

From the barnstorming days before statehood to the inauguration of the Cactus League in 1947 and right up to the present day, with 15 teams playing the 2010 spring training season, "Play Ball! The Cactus League Experience"details the state's exciting baseball story.
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It's good-bye summer, and hello winter, as Bryce Canyon National Park in southwestern Utah begins preparing for a different type of visitor, those who bring snowshoes and cross country skis to see the park's many wonders.

In winter, deep snow blankets the plateau and provides excellent recreational opportunities. Bryce Canyon's winter landscapes stagger the imagination, as dazzling white snow contrasts beautifully with crimson-colored hoodoos.
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Beginning June 10, American Eagle Airlines will offer nonstop jet service between Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and Reno-Tahoe International Airport (RNO).

The regional American Airlines affiliate also announced that starting in July it will offer first class service on all of its Bombardier CRJ-700 jets.
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