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Zeppelin to offer rare tourist experience  Oct 19, 2008

SAN FRANCISCO - The Airship Ventures Zeppelin, one of only three zeppelins operating worldwide, is in Santa Clara County, Calif., to offer tourist flights, organizers say.

Airship Ventures founders Brian and Alexandra Hall said when their dirigible begins taking passengers on rides above the region's wine country later this year, it will likely be a "special occasion" for everyone involved, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Sunday.

"Many of them will be doing this for a special occasion," Alexandra Hall told the newspaper. "It will be their 50th wedding anniversary. It will be their 100th birthday."

For Hall, raising $8 million to lease the 246-foot-long lighter-than-air airship for $500-a-ticket tourist rides is a risky endeavor. But she told the Chronicle the risk is worth it for having "the best seat in the house."

"You hope you don't lose money, you hope you get a dividend of return on your money, and you get amazingly cool bragging rights and the best seat in the house," she said. "You can't get a better seat than in a zeppelin."

Zeppelin to offer rare tourist experience

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