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The spectacle of incandescent lava spewing from Hawaii's Mauna Loa has drawn thousands of visitors and is turning into a tourism boon for a Big Island town near the world’s largest volcano. Some hotels in and around Hilo are becoming fully booked in what is normally a slower time of the year for business. Helicopter tours of Mauna Loa, which began erupting Sunday after being quiet for 38 years, are also in high demand by tourists and journalists. Hawaii's travel industry normally falls off this time of year between the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.

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Pandemic rebooking issues drove many air passengers to book directly with airlines instead of third-party travel sites. While ancillary fees have become a major part of airline revenue over the past 15 years, airlines have more recently ramped up efforts to drive revenue from add-on fees. Customers could end up paying more when booking directly with airlines because of the aggressive push toward extra upgrades, combined with seat selection and baggage fees. Online travel agencies such as Expedia and Kayak may help travelers save money because they offer better comparison shopping, which helps travelers choose the lowest overall cost, not just the lowest base cost.

AP
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Asian stock markets are mixed after Wall Street sank and Chinese anti-virus controls fueled concern about an economic slowdown. Shanghai and Hong Kong declined while Tokyo advanced. Oil prices gained. Wall Street declined for another day after a Federal Reserve official rattled investors last week by saying already-elevated interest rates might have to go higher than expected to stop surging inflation. Traders worry repeated rate hikes by the Fed and other central banks might tip the global economy into recession. In China, expanding restrictions on millions of people in multiple cities to fight virus outbreaks are adding to concern the world’s second-largest economy might weaken.

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The struggle for affordable housing is playing out in Vail, Colorado, where the owners of a ski resort are trying to create an affordable housing complex for the chefs, bus drivers, ski lift operators and other workers who keep the resort humming. The problem? A group of bighorn sheep live on a fraction of the land designated for the project. The years-long dispute is nowhere close to being solved, and it's leading local businesses to have a tough time recruiting workers to keep local businesses afloat.

The struggle for affordable housing is playing out in Vail, Colorado, where the owners of a ski resort are trying to create an affordable housing complex for the chefs, bus drivers, ski lift operators and other workers who keep the resort humming. The problem? A group of bighorn sheep live on a fraction of the land designated for the project. The years-long dispute is nowhere close to being solved, and it’s leading local businesses to have a tough time recruiting workers to keep local businesses afloat.

  • Updated

The effort to legalize sports betting in California ran headlong into a typical challenge for competing ballot measures as they were battered by negative advertising that doomed both to spectacular failure in the most expensive ballot race in U.S. history. With more than 5 million votes counted Wednesday, more than 80% of voters rejected an effort that would have allowed online and phone wagers and 70% opposed a measure to let gamblers place sports bets at tribal casinos and horse tracks. Supporters of both measures say they will reevaluate how to stake a claim to a potential billion dollar market in the nation’s most populous state.

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Gamblers are shrugging off inflation concerns and losing money at casinos at a record pace. Figures released Wednesday show the U.S. commercial casino industry had its best quarter ever, winning over $15 billion from gamblers in the third quarter of this year. The American Gaming Association says the gambling halls are on track to have their best year ever in 2022. Out of 33 states in which gambling was operational a year ago, 16 reported quarterly highs in overall gambling revenue, including five of the six largest markets: Indiana, Michigan, Nevada, New York and Pennsylvania.