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Associated Press / June 20, 2004

FAIRBANKS, Alaska -- The frozen martini glasses are disappearing, ice chandeliers are falling from the ceiling and the walls of the Aurora Ice Hotel are shrinking.

Sunshine and high temperatures have assaulted the ice hotel at Chena Hot Springs Resort, and the owners have abandoned plans to keep it open.

The structure was completed in late December, but its creators underestimated the power of Fairbanks's spring sunshine, said spokeswoman Brenda Hewitt.

"With any luck, we'll be able to start over again next year," she said. "We learned a lot."

The resort stopped accepting guests for Ice Hotel rooms at the end of March.

Doggie beaches

NEW YORK -- Looking to spend the dog days of summer with your dog? Most beaches ban dogs during the summer, or permit them only in the early morning and evening, but some municipalities have strips of sand set aside as dog runs.

At www.hikewithyourdog.com/ParksoftheMonth/BeachArticle.html, you'll find information on dog beaches for nearly every state bordering the Atlantic, Gulf Coast, Pacific and Great Lakes. Among the East Coast dog-friendly beaches recommended by the Web site: Island Beach State Park at the Jersey Shore; Gin Beach on the Block Island Sound of Montauk, Long Island, in New York; Hunting Island State Park in South Carolina; and the Bonita Beach Dog Park north of Naples, Fla.

Animal Fair magazine's summer issue, available beginning tomorrow, also includes a list of top dog-friendly beaches.

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