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Ripley's adds new sites as company expands



Published: Sat, August 20, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



Ripley's adds new sitesas company expands

NIAGARA FALLS, Ontario -- The Ripley's Believe It or Not! company opened a new attraction in Niagara Falls this summer, and has just broken ground on another site in Panama City Beach, Fla.

Ripley's opened Louis Tussaud's Wax Museum in Niagara Falls in June. (Louis was a nephew of the more famous Madame Tussaud, whose name lives on in a separate collection of wax museums not affiliated with Ripley's.) Other Louis Tussaud houses of wax can be found in Copenhagen and in Texas, in San Antonio and Grand Prairie.

The newest museum has two floors of interactive exhibits and 130 newly created figures of celebrities and politicians. Niagara Falls is also home to a Ripley's Believe It or Not! museum and Ripley's Moving Theater.

The Florida museum will be two blocks from the Gulf of Mexico and will be housed in an unusual three-story structure designed to look like a 1950s luxury cruise liner run aground on the beach. A pair of 75-foot-tall smokestacks and a 94-foot-high mast will loom overhead with three huge rotating propellers.

The museum, like other Believe It or Not! attractions, will contain hundreds of oddities including a shrunken head, an 11-foot-tall Eiffel Tower made from matchsticks and a 23-foot long Lincoln Town Car covered with 23,000 gold-plated British coins valued at $1.3 million.

For more information, visit www.ripleys.com or call (407) 345-8010.

Heading off to Paris?Buy subway pass early

PARIS -- New Yorkers flying to the City of Light can buy their Paris subway passes before leaving home.

In a trial offer through September, passengers at John F. Kennedy Airport can buy Paris transport passes at a stand in the airport's Terminal 1.

The stand offers a selection of one- to five-day passes, good on Paris' buses, metro and regional trains, a statement from Paris' transport authority said.

At $44, the five-day pass is cheaper in New York than in Paris, where it retails for about 50 percent more.

Discount cards to the Louvre, Orsay Museum, the chateau at Versailles and dozens of other museums and historic sites in the Paris area are also available.

New air pass combinesthree-destination trip

NEW YORK -- If you've ever dreamed of visiting Tahiti or Australia or New Zealand, a new air pass combining travel to all three destinations might tempt you to turn your fantasy into reality.

Air Tahiti Nui is offering the "Toru" air pass, which makes it easy to sample the tropical island, Sydney and Auckland in one trip. "Toru" means three in Tahitian.

The round-trip fare is $1,198 from New York and $998 from Los Angeles. The deal is available for travel completed by Dec. 8, and allows for a month of travel between the time you leave and the time you must return.

Travelers from New York would take Air Tahiti Nui's 12-hour nonstop Monday, Thursday or Saturday service from JFK to Papeete, Tahiti. The same plane connects to Sydney twice a week via a nine-hour flight, with continuing service to Auckland three times a week. For an additional fee, side trips can be arranged to Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane or Cairns in Australia or Wellington, Christchurch or Queenstown in New Zealand.

Air Tahiti Nui is also offering packages for three-night island stays from $35 to $55 a person, per night at the Radisson Plaza Resort Tahiti, Sofitel Maeva Beach Tahiti, Tahiti Beachcomber Intercontinental, Sheraton Hotel Tahiti or Le Meridien Tahiti.

For more information, go to www.airtahitinui-usa.com or call (866) 456-6000.

Associated Press




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