Travel Roundup: Southwest Tire Fire, MGM Mirage Raising Billions, $400M Lakeside Development Planned and More

Southwest tire fire forces emergency evacuation -- Southwest Airlines Flight 519 landed at Houston's William P. Hobby Airport Tuesday evening when one of its tires caught fire, causing the flight crew to evacuate everyone using inflatable emergency chutes. Fire crews arriving at the tarmac put out the blaze which didn't spread to any other part of the plane. A Southwest spokesman said the flight from New Orleans caught fire around 7:50 p.m. Tuesday as it landed. The plane had 47 passengers and five crew members on board. No one was seriously injured, according to reports. [Source: Houston Chronicle]

MGM Mirage looks to raise $2.5 billion -- MGM Mirage reported today that it plans to drum up $2.5 billion through stock and bond offerings to pay down some of its $14 billion in debt. The casino operator also is trying to modify its loans to loosen up liquidity. The company plans to use $1 billion in proceeds from a public stock offering to pay off about $1 billion in debt. However, the announcement didn't seem to shore up investor confidence, its stock fell $1.40 on the news. [Source: Associated Press]

Lakeside hotels, aquarium and more planned for Dallas suburb-- More than a million square feet of lakeside development, including an aquarium, hotels and retail shopping, are planned for Lewisville, Texas, a suburb of Dallas. The city is now looking for a master developer to create the project on the south bank of Lake Lewisville. While there isn't a pricetag on the project, at least one developer saw the large project reaching $400 million. [Source: Dallas Business Journal]

Orbitz lobbies Obama to open Cuba travel -- Orbitz unveiled its "Open Cuba" campaign, a Web site asking Americans to sign an online petition to open travel to Cuba to all Americans. The Web site, complete with photos of the island country, says it will send the petition to Congress, as well as President Barack Obama and Vice President Joseph Biden. [Source: Los Angeles Times]