Las Vegas Is Getting A Sports Stadium

Pedestrian mall rendering courtesy MGM Resorts International.

Las Vegas has long been talking about building an arena to host sporting events and big-name concerts, and now that idea seems one step closer to reality. On Tuesday, MGM Resorts International and entertainment company AEG announced the two entities will join forces to build a 20,000-set indoor venue just off the Las Vegas Strip.

The $350 million arena will be the centerpiece to a new pedestrian mall being developed on a piece of MGM-owned land between the New York-New York and Monte Carlo resorts. Ground will be broken next summer, and the arena is expected to be completed by spring 2016. Design firm Populous, the powerhouse behind London’s O2 arena and Kansas City’s Sprint Center, will draw up plans for the arena.

Although there is no sports franchise lined up for the stadium, Associated Press reports former Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman had previously tried to attract a developer to build a stadium fit for a pro hockey or basketball franchise. Developers are just hoping the event capital of the world will be able to attract high-profile acts and sporting matches to fill the stadium to capacity.

[via Skift]

Everest Climbers Also Face Dangerous Runway

AP Photo/Niranjan Shrestha

This year marks the 60th anniversary of the first summit of Mount Everest, a feat that’s been attempted by thousands of climbers since. Although we all understand ascending the world’s highest peak is one of the most grueling challenges on the planet, few people also know that summiting the mountain is only one risk climbers take; they also often fly in via one of the most nail-biting runways in the world.

Associated Press reports that Tenzing-Hillary Airport is really just a small airstrip carved out of the side of the mountain. There’s just a single, narrow runway – and if the pilot misses it by just a few feet, the plane will hit a mountain. To further complicate things, the airport is surrounded by mountains, meaning once a pilot passes a certain point, there is no choice but to land.

The airstrip was built in 1965 by Sir Edmund Hillary, one of the first two men to conquer Everest, and it is named for him and his climbing partner, Tenzing Norgay. Hillary created the airport to help Sherpas spur development in the area, and ever since many climbers choose to fly into the airport in order to avoid a daylong bus trip from the capital of Nepal, Kathmandu, and five days of trekking.

Since its inception, the airport has claimed about 50 deaths – far fewer than Everest itself, which has seen about 240 deaths. But still, with a track record like that, the runway can definitely be considered high risk. For more on the world’s most dangerous runways, check out this slideshow.

[via Skift]

Spirit Airlines Cuts Corners With Canned Wine

Jelson25, Wikimedia Commons

Spirit Airlines will soon begin pouring wine out of aluminum cans, one again lowering the bar for in-flight beverages.

Associated Press broke the story about the airline’s new cost-saving move, which will have flight attendants serving white moscato and strawberry moscato wine from Aventura, Fla.-based Friends Fun Wine. The cans are 6 percent alcohol by volume, putting the vino in the category of wine coolers (typically 4-7 percent). Spirit told the news outlet they prefer the cans because they’re easy to stack and store on airplanes, but we’re willing to bet it has something to do with the fact that the cans weigh less and will help the airline save on fuel.

Spirit is famous for tacking on a variety of extra fees, including $35 to place a bag in the overhead bin. We suggest you stick with the Sutter Home wine the airline will continue to offer. Although it’s served in a smaller container, the wine is 13 percent alcohol by volume – and it won’t leave a metallic taste in your mouth.

[via Consumerist.com]

Danger At Disney: ‘Bomb’ Found In Trash Can, Loaded Gun Found On Ride

SteamFan, Wikimedia Commons

Disney faced two security scares this week, first when Disneyland’s Toontown was evacuated after dry ice caused an “explosion” in a trash can, and later when a grandmother on a ride in Disney World’s Animal Kingdom found a loaded gun on her seat.

On Tuesday at Anaheim, California’s Disneyland, it seems someone put a sealed plastic bottle containing dry ice in a trash can that ended up making a loud noise (described by one visitor as sounding “louder than a gunshot”) and releasing water vapor, the Associated Press reports. The area where the trash can was located was evacuated for approximately two hours, and USA Today writes an employee has since been arrested on suspicion of being the culprit.

In the second incident, which happened on Wednesday in Disney World’s Animal Kingdom in Orlando, Florida, a woman on the Dinosaur ride with her grandson found a loaded Cobra .380-caliber semiautomatic pistol on her seat and turned it over to a park attendant, according to the Orlando Sentinel. Moments later, the patron who brought the gun in realized it was missing and apologetically explained he “didn’t know Disney World patrons weren’t allowed to bring guns,” Associated Press reports.

Although the visitor in the last instance has a concealed weapons permit, Disney prohibits patrons from bringing weapons of any kind on its property. Park security does check bags, but patrons do not walk through metal detectors and are not subject to pat-downs – at least for now, that is. These two incidents will surely raise questions about what park security does to keep patrons safe in Disney’s parks.

United Relaunches 787 Today With Houston To Chicago Service

George Bush Intercontinental Airport

After four months of testing, the Boeing 787 “Dreamliner” will once again take to the skies in North America today. United Airlines is the first to kick off service, sending the Dreamliner skyward on a flight from Houston to Chicago scheduled for 11 a.m. this morning.

Earlier this year, the federal government grounded all 787 flights due to overheating concerns on the aircraft’s lithium-ion batteries. The grounding hit both Boeing and the airlines hard, causing snags in proposed routes and forcing some airlines to lease planes. According to Associated Press, the grounding hurt United’s first-quarter earnings by as much as $11 million – which is why we questioned whether or not the 787 is ready for flight, or whether the billions of dollars that have already been invested in the planes have caused things to be pushed along a little too quickly.

But according to several sources, passengers don’t seem too worried. United spokeswoman Christen David told Associated Press the company “saw strong demand for the flight from the first weekend it opened for sale.” United is starting slowly with domestic flights, and will then move into international flights in June with a new Denver-to-Tokyo service.