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Kauai resort is more than a pretty face; new power plant makes it a green travel champ
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Kauai resort is more than a pretty face; new power plant makes it a green travel champ

A resort on Kauai’s North Shore is going greener -- something travelers like -- and cutting its electric bill by as much as half, thanks to a co-generation plant.

To reduce its carbon footprint and save money, the Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas has completed construction of a power plant that features co-generation. It still requires fuel, but this plant captures and uses the thermal energy that typical power stations waste.

Nearly two-thirds of travelers consider "greenness" when they're choosing accommodations, transportation and meals, according to a 2013 TripAdvisor survey reported in Forbes. TripAdvisor's Green Leaders program helps consumers find environmentally conscious hotels, Forbes said.

The Westin Princeville's new system provides about 90% of the resort’s electrical needs. It’s also producing the hot water needed for all eight buildings as well as four swimming pools and three whirlpools.

The Westin’s co-gen system is capable of producing up to 100% of a resort’s energy...

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After setbacks, Universal Studios Hollywood embarks on ambitious expansion plan

As its 50th anniversary nears, Universal Studios Hollywood is undergoing a level of construction unlike anything the movie theme park has seen in the last half-century.

Virtually every corner of Universal -- the parking structures, the main entrance, the theme park, the studio backlot -- is under construction, all in anticipation of a certain boy wizard.

“There's more construction going on now than ever before, probably in the history of the park,” said Jon Primrose, editor of the Studio Tour, a Universal Studios fan site. “But how will the park cope when the Wizarding World of Harry Potter opens its gates? It's already full of people.”

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The nearly constant dust and din of the massive expansion marks quite a turnaround for a park that was down on its heels at the beginning of this decade. If the last five years or so have proved immensely successful for Universal, the five years before that were a total disaster -- both figuratively and...

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