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December 9, 2011 10:03 pm
Fort Worth As if to underline that business continues as usual despite the company filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, American Airlines introduces its first fully-flat seats in business class. The seats will be fitted on 10 new Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, which are due for delivery over the next two years. The planes will also offer “mood lighting” and a walk-up bar. www.aa.com
Salt Lake City Two Utah ski resorts could be linked together by a new gondola as part of a controversial plan before Congress. The “SkiLink” gondola would take 11 minutes to carry skiers over a ridge of the Wasatch mountains between the resorts of the Canyons and Solitude. The lift would pass though protected national forest land but, under legislation introduced to Congress, a corridor of public land beneath the lift line would be sold off to the owners of the Canyons resort. Backers say the lift will be a “game changer” that will allow the area to compete with other major skiing regions; critics argue it will damage the pristine mountain environment. www.skilink.com
Santiago Tierra Patagonia, a luxurious 40-room wilderness hotel close to the entrance of Chile’s Torres del Paine National Park, is due to open on December 20. The hotel is designed to blend into the landscape, while ensuring all rooms have views over Lake Sarmiento on to the famous Paine Massif. A team of guides will offer riding, hiking and condor-spotting trips, and there is a spa with indoor pool and outdoor Jacuzzi. Rates start at $1,950 per person for three nights, full-board. www.tierrapatagonia.com
Paris The Hilton Arc de Triomphe has opened a Narnia-inspired “bubble bar”, a 16ft-tall clear plastic sphere that can accommodate 35 guests. Conceived by artist Jean-Hughes de Chatillon, it is designed to make visitors feel as if they are inside a snow globe. It will be open until New Year’s eve. www.hiltonarcdetriomphe.com
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