tourism

(Editor's note: The audio introduction to this story incorrectly states that developers want to build a casino on the eastern edge of the Grand Canyon as part of a new development project. In fact, a casino is not part of the project.)

About 100 miles north of Flagstaff, Ariz., a long dirt road ends at a precipice. Thirty-five-hundred feet below, the Colorado and Little Colorado rivers meet at the floor of the Grand Canyon.

Sitting in a dentist's chair hardly rates as a vacation. But every year, tens of thousands of people go to a tiny border town near Yuma, Ariz., that has proclaimed itself the dental capital of Mexico.

Los Algodones is a virtual dental factory. Some 350 dentists work within a few blocks of downtown. Because of the low prices and fast service, most patients come for major work.

KUOW Photo/Patricia Murphy

Kyle Griffith’s family owns the Great Wheel on Pier 57. The Griffiths have been in business on the Seattle waterfront since the 1960s.

Now the family is hoping to build a gondola that would run along Union Street from the Washington State Convention and Trade Center to the waterfront with a stop at Pike Place Market.

Flickr Photo/Cannabis Culture

Ross Reynolds talks with Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes about his ideas for encouraging pot tourism in the city.

New Chapter Weddings/Malcolm Smith

Before gay marriage was legalized in Washington state, wedding planner Jenny Harding organized about two same-sex weddings a year.

Last year? Sixteen. Three were out of state, from California, Oregon and Vermont (where same-sex marriage is also legal).

KUOW Photo/Deborah Wang

Construction begins this month on the long-anticipated plan to replace Seattle’s crumbling downtown seawall.

Waterfront businesses are bracing for what is likely to be three years of disruptions from the $290 million project, which was approved by voters last year.

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

In Colorado, people are gearing up for the winter tourism season and there's excitement building for a new attraction - recreational marijuana stores. Yes, some believe pot could be a boon for the tourism industry. The first such stores in the country will open in Colorado in January.

Here's Bente Birkeland from Rocky Mountain Community Radio.

BENTE BIRKELAND, BYLINE: This past spring, 27-year-old Zay Copa, from Miami, Florida, came to Colorado for one reason - marijuana.

Elizabeth Becker's book "Overbooked."

 Tourism is a $6.5 trillion industry globally. But vacationing in places like Paris and Venice and Cambodia leaves a mark. In her new book "Overbooked," journalist Elizabeth Becker explores the dark side of tourism: the environmental impact, damage to cultural sites and employees who work long hours for low wages. She spoke at Seattle’s Town Hall May 15, 2013.

Elizabeth Becker Talks Big-Business Of Travel And Tourism

May 15, 2013

Tourism is fast becoming the world’s largest global business, producing $6.5 trillion of the world’s economy. Elizabeth Becker is the author of "Overbooked: The Exploding Business of Travel and Tourism." In it she looks at how this business impacts countries, the environment and culture. Ross Reynolds chats with Elizabeth Becker.

Orlando Perez / U.S. Marine Corps/Wikipedia

The star of the 1960s TV show Gomer Pyle, USMC, married his longtime male partner at Seattle’s Fairmont Olympic Hotel this month.