MASON, Ohio -- A $100 million family resort and entertainment complex will be built on a 39-acre campground at Paramount's Kings Island, the Cincinnati-area amusement park.
The complex, expected to open in late 2006, will be called Great Wolf Lodge and will be run by Great Wolf Resorts of Madison, Wis., the Dayton Daily News reports.
The year-round resort will include 404 suites, an indoor water park, a conference center, family restaurants, an arcade, a gift shop, a spa, a fitness center, and an outdoor recreation area. Shuttles and trams will transport vacationers from the lodge to the park.
Great Wolf already has lodges in Sandusky, as well as in Michigan, Kansas, and Virginia.
Paramount's Kings Island drew approximately 3.5 million guests in 2004, ranking it as the 15th most popular amusement park in North America, according to the industry trade publication Amusement Business.
Natural attractions losing popularity
CONCORD, N.H. -- New Hampshire lost a prominent symbol and popular tourist attraction when the Old Man of the Mountain fell from its Franconia Notch cliffside two years ago.
But tourism officials say they saw reduced interest in the Old Man and other natural attractions well before the granite face collapsed.
''Nationwide, we're seeing a decline in the historical type attractions, like Williamsburg and Old Sturbridge Village and Portsmouth's Strawbery Banke Museum. It's a national trend, and this is part of that," Dick Hamilton, a member of the board of directors of the Old Man of the Mountain Legacy Fund, told the New Hampshire Sunday News.
Hamilton and Jane O'Connor, president of the White Mountains Attractions Association, said today's tourists are pressed for time and pressed for money and always want to do something new.
Amusement and theme parks have the edge, they said, because they can always add a new ride or a new show.
''It's experiential tourism," O'Connor said. ''People want to get in and try things themselves. They don't want to just look anymore." The challenge for natural wonders is to display them ''so people can experience it on different levels," she said.
Hong Kong Disney rail line a first
HONG KONG -- A new rail line for Hong Kong Disneyland claims to be the world's first train route specifically dedicated for a theme park.
The 2-mile train line will shuttle about 10,000 passengers per hour to the park, set to open Sept. 12.
The line will be a branch off the subway line from central Hong Kong to outlying Lantau Island, where Disneyland is being built.
The trains' windows and the straps hanging from overhead poles for passengers to grab are shaped like Mickey Mouse.
Magazine lists 'best' of Caribbean
WINTER PARK, Fla. -- Aruba is the friendliest place in the Caribbean, Jamaica has the best local food, St. John is your best bet for snorkeling, and Grand Cayman's Seven Mile Beach is the nicest beach, according to the ''Best of the Caribbean" list in the May issue of Caribbean Travel & Life.
The Florida-based magazine's annual list is based on thousands of responses from readers.
They chose the Amsterdam Manor Beach Resort in Aruba as the best small hotel, the Bucuti Beach Resort in Aruba as the best midsize hotel, the Westin Resort in St. John as the best large hotel, and the Atlantis on Paradise Island as the best mega-resort. St. Thomas was tops for shopping, while Aruba won for nightlife.
For a complete list of winners, go to www.caribbeantravelmag.com/bestofwinners.
Brothel museum to shut its doors
BUTTE, Mont. -- The historic Dumas Brothel Museum, once one of this city's longest-operating houses of ill repute, is closing permanently because the building is falling down and the owner is ill.
Rudy Giecek says the building he has owned for 15 years won't open for this year's tourist season.
The brothel closed in 1981. It was turned into a museum to preserve the bawdy history of the city's busy red-light district.