Paraskevidekatriaphobia hammers travel

Except at Wally's

LUCK, Wis. -- The travel business is hit particularly hard every time the calendar shows a "13" coinciding with a Friday. This year appears to be no different. With thoughts of planes falling from the sky, hotels going up in smoke, cars skidding off of roads and tourists getting poisoned in roadside diners, commercial travel is likely to fall off precipitously.

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But where others in the travel business see a slow day, Wally Hepsnick, proprietor of Wally's Vacation Resort and Spa in this small, upper Midwestern hamlet, has had guest rooms booked up for months in advance of the fateful date. "That's because," Hepsnick told reporters, "Luck is just the kind of place that travelers look for in times of uncertainty."

Wally's Friday-the-Thirteenth Exclusive "Lucksury" Romance Weekend package includes special rates on lodging, and due to the light demand for other travel services during that period, Wally's has arranged special rates on transportation and meals as well.

For instance, a three-night stay in one of the newly remodeled suites with an oversized twin bed, in-room carpeting, free soap, complimentary toilet tissue, discount tickets to the cheddar museum, access to the town's famous collection of butter knives and shuttle service to and from the downtown bus station is only $13 per night plus resort tax.

What's more, guests with confirmed reservations at Wally's can purchase tickets from either Air Canada or United Airlines for $13 each way on a round trip ticket from Duluth. They can also rent a car from Alamo for $13 per day and they can eat at the all-you-can-hold-down buffet at the local Sizzler for just $13.

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