Tubbs Snowshoes Adventure Center to Open at Historic Woodstock Inn & Resort This Winter

October 24, 2014

The historic Woodstock Inn & Resort, in the quintessentially New England village of Woodstock, is opening a Tubbs Snowshoes Adventure Center this winter to offer new outdoor activities for guests.

Tubbs Snowshoes is opening its first Tubbs Snowshoes Adventure Center at The historic Woodstock Inn & Resort, in the quintessentially New England village of Woodstock this winter, adding a whole new dimension of outdoor activities for guests. Woodstock Inn already offers skiing on its own Suicide Six mountain (despite the name, is very family-friendly), and cross-country skiing.

Tubbs Snowshoes has deep roots in New England from its founding in Maine in the early 1900’s and its previous World Headquarters in Vermont, before relocating to Seattle, WA, in 2003.

“Tubbs Snowshoes, with its comfortable and innovative equipment, coupled with the expertise of the Tubbs Certified Guides, is an ideal partner to offer enhanced outdoor experiences for the Woodstock guest,” said President and General Manager Gary Thulander. “From a hike up Mt. Peg to a more leisurely trek along our grounds, guests at every skill level will find a whole new way to experience and enjoy the great outdoors this winter.”

The Tubbs Snowshoes Adventure Center will feature expert-led tours, group teambuilding exercises, and family-friendly scavenger hunts. Enhanced experiences are also available, including special moonlight treks for dinner in the resort’s cozy cabin in the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park. Beginners and experts alike will find the Tubbs Snowshoes Adventure Center and 30 kilometers of trails challenging yet comfortable and relaxing against the backdrop of the Resort’s expansive grounds.

Woodstock Inn & Resort has designed a series of winter adventure-themed vacation packages built around the Tubbs Snowshoes Adventure Center. From romantic to adventurous, the value-packed getaways are designed for an exhilarating way to experience the peace and tranquility of Woodstock in winter.

New winter packages include:

Tubbs Snowshoes Romance Excursion Package

  • Luxury accommodations for two nights
  • Welcome gift basket
  • Breakfast-in-Bed one morning
  • Breakfast at the Red Rooster Restaurant
  • Four course dinner for two at the Red Rooster Restaurant
  • Guided snowshoe trek to a four course chef’s dinner at the Mt. Tom Cabin
  • Tubbs Snowshoes rental and Nordic Center trail passes for two
  • Horse-drawn sleigh ride at Billings Farm
  • Package rates start at $1,799 per couple in a Woodstock King room; two night minimum is required

Tubbs Snowshoes Total Tranquility Package

  • Luxury accommodations for one night
  • Welcome gift
  • One 50 minute massage per guest at The Spa; includes use of steam room, sauna and jacuzzi
  • Tubbs Snowshoes rental and Nordic Center trail passes for two
  • Package rates start at $588

Certified Tubbs Snowshoes instructors and guides will be onsite at the Tubbs Snowshoes Adventure Center to lead tours for beginners to advanced outdoor explorers. They will also offer snowshoe fittings for guests purchasing the latest Tubbs snowshoes from the on-site ski shop. Trail passes, rentals and lessons will also be available.

Tubbs Snowshoes Adventure Center fees include:

Trail Passes

Inn Guests: Free Sunday-Thursday; $22 Friday, Saturday & Holiday Dates

Day Visitors: Adults $22 • Junior (13-17) $15 • Child (6-12) $10 • Senior (65+) $18

Tubbs Snowshoes Rentals (includes poles)

Adults: $25 • Children (6-17): $15

Tubbs Snowshoes Lessons (per person)

Private Lesson $80 per hour

Semi-Private Lesson $50 per hour

Located in idyllic Woodstock, Vermont, The Woodstock Inn & Resort defines country sophistication in one of New England’s most charming and popular year-round vacation destinations.  The 142-room, AAA Four Diamond Resort and member of Preferred Hotels & Resorts, offers award-winning dining in two restaurants, ranked among the finest in New England.  The Woodstock Inn & Resort is owned and operated by The Woodstock Foundation, Inc.  Proceeds from Resort operations support The Woodstock Foundation and Billings Farm & Museum education and conservation programs.

For more information on the Tubbs Snowshoes Adventure Center, including detailed vacation packages, visit www.woodstockinn.com. For information on the latest collection of Tubbs Snowshoes, visit tubbssnowshoes.com.

 

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2015 Kids’ Night on Broadway to Be Held Jan. 9-15; Tix on Sale Nov. 5

October 24, 2014

The excitement of Broadway theater swirls around Times Square. The 2015 Kids' Night on Broadway will take place from Friday, January 9, 2015 to Thursday, January 15, 2015. Tickets to participating shows go on sale November 5, 2014 © 2014 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

The excitement of Broadway theater swirls around Times Square. The 2015 Kids’ Night on Broadway will take place from Friday, January 9, 2015 to Thursday, January 15, 2015. Tickets to participating shows go on sale November 5, 2014 © 2014 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

The 2015 KIDS’ NIGHT ON BROADWAY® will take place from Friday, January 9, 2015 to Thursday, January 15, 2015 in New York City. Tickets to participating shows will be available to the public on Wednesday, November 5, 2014 at 11 am E.S.T., The Broadway League announced.

KIDS’ NIGHT ON BROADWAY is an annual event when kids ages 6 to 18 can see participating Broadway shows for free when accompanied by a full-paying adult. A KIDS’ NIGHT ON BROADWAY ticket includes pre-theatre activities, restaurant discounts, parking discounts, educational programs, and more.

“Now in its 19th year, Kids’ Night on Broadway continues to enrich and develop the theatre experience for children, pre-teens and teens,” said Charlotte St. Martin, Executive Director of The Broadway League, the national trade association for the Broadway theater industry. “Kids’ Night on Broadway educates and inspires creativity that truly benefits the future of Broadway.”

Participating shows to date include (subject to change, and some shows may not be available for all performances):

Aladdin, Beautiful – The Carole King Musical, Chicago, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder, Honeymoon in Vegas, If/Then, Jersey Boys, Kinky Boots, Les Misérables, The Lion King, Mamma Mia!, Matilda The Musical, The Phantom of the Opera, On the Town, Pippin, Rock of Ages, Side Show, and Wicked.

Many Times Square area eateries will offer specials for KIDS’ NIGHT ON BROADWAY ticket-holders.

KIDS’ NIGHT ON BROADWAY will also take place in multiple cities around the country, with different shows and venues putting their own spin on the event, on numerous dates throughout the year.

Check kidsnightonbroadway.com for specific dates and locations.

For more information, visit www.BroadwayLeague.com, or follow The Broadway League on Twitter @TheBwayLeague or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/BroadwayLeague. BROADWAY.ORG is the League’s new official on-line headquarters for Broadway in NYC and on tour. Download the free Broadway.org mobile app for iOS or Android, and the free IBDB mobile app for iOS or Android.

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CardHub Picks Best Credit Cards for Winter, Holiday Travel

October 24, 2014

cardhub-credit card

CardHub.com, a leading credit card comparison website, announced its picks for Best Travel Credit Cards for winter and holiday travel.

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Ramada Hotels Celebrates 60 Years by Giving Away Six Dream Getaways

October 22, 2014

Hangzhou, China, one of the dozens of countries where Ramada has a hotel. In celebration of its 60th anniversary, the Ramada® hotel brand has launched the “Ramada’s 60 Reasons Contest,” offering travelers the chance to win one of six trips of a lifetime to one of 60 global destinations © 2014 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Hangzhou, China, one of the dozens of countries where Ramada has a hotel. In celebration of its 60th anniversary, the Ramada® hotel brand has launched the “Ramada’s 60 Reasons Contest,” offering travelers the chance to win one of six trips of a lifetime to one of 60 global destinations © 2014 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

In celebration of its 60th anniversary, the Ramada® hotel brand has launched the “Ramada’s 60 Reasons Contest,” offering travelers the chance to win one of six trips of a lifetime to one of 60 global destinations.

Ramada started in 1954 as a small 60-room motel off of Route 66 in Flagstaff, Arizona, and over the last 60 years, has grown to become one of the most well-known hotel chains in the world, with more than 820 locations throughout over 50 countries.

To enter for a chance to win, travelers should visit www.facebook.com/Ramada and click on the tab titled “60 Reasons.” Once there, they must then pick the location of their dream getaway destination using an interactive map and provide a short, written reason for why they want to travel there. Brief contact information and a Wyndham Rewards® membership number are required to complete the entry. For those not already a member, Wyndham Rewards is free to join.

When the contest ends November 16, 2014, a panel of judges will review all entries and select six winners to receive roundtrip airfare for two to any of 60 global destinations, six nights at the Ramada hotel of their choice and $2,000 U.S. in spending money, awarded in the form of a prepaid, Wyndham Rewards® Visa® Debit Card.

The Ramada’s 60 Reasons Contest is open to all residents of the U.S. and Canada age 21 years or older. For more information, including official rules or to enter, visit www.facebook.com/Ramada.
A Global Hotel Chain
Part of Wyndham Hotel Group, Ramada is a global chain with more than 820 midscale and upscale hotels. Celebrating its 60th anniversary this year, most properties in the brand’s portfolio offer a wide-array of services and amenities, including but not limited to high-speed wireless internet access, on-site restaurants, lounges, room service, concierge service, meeting and banquet facilities and business centers. Properties also offer travelers the opportunity to earn and redeem points through Wyndham Rewards®, the brand’s guest loyalty program, which can be joined for free at www.wyndhamrewards.com.

Each Ramada hotel is independently owned and operated, except for certain Ramada hotels outside of the U.S. which are managed by an affiliate. Ramada Worldwide is a subsidiary of Wyndham Hotel Group and parent company Wyndham Worldwide Corporation. Reservations and information are available by visiting www.ramada.com.

“Ours is a globally known brand with an outstanding footprint and heritage,” said Caryl Porter, Ramada brand senior vice president. “What better way to celebrate this terrific milestone than by giving six loyal fans the chance to take the trip of a lifetime.”

Wyndham Hotel Group is the world’s largest hotel company with approximately 7,440 hotels and over 638,300 rooms in 68 countries under 15 hotel brands.  Additional information is available at www.wyndhamworldwide.com.

 

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UPDATE: Getting to Colorado’s Ski Resorts Just Got Easier With More Flights to Telluride, Denver

October 22, 2014

 

Steamboat’s winter nonstop flight program will feature new nonstop service from San Francisco International Airport and Washington Dulles International Airport, expanded nonstop air service on the Los Angeles and Seattle routes and an additional weekend Houston flight directly into Steamboat/Hayden Airport (HDN) for the 2014/15 winter season.

Steamboat’s winter nonstop flight program will feature new nonstop service from San Francisco International Airport and Washington Dulles International Airport, expanded nonstop air service on the Los Angeles and Seattle routes and an additional weekend Houston flight directly into Steamboat/Hayden Airport (HDN) for the 2014/15 winter season.

This winter, new flights and expanded service from major hub airports will make Colorado Ski Country USA even more accessible to skiers and snowboarders from all over the world. New service from San Francisco (SFO) and Washington, D.C. (IAD) and expanded options from Dallas (DAL), Los Angeles (LAX) and Houston (IAH) will bring domestic and international guests directly into the heart of Colorado Ski Country more conveniently than ever before.

Whether a short drive from Denver, a direct flight from across the country, or a direct international flight from one of eight different countries, guests to Colorado resorts have easy, efficient and comfortable options available to land them at their favorite Colorado resorts.

*Updated*: Denver International Airport – The Gateway to Colorado Ski Country

Having expanded its international service with United Airlines’ nonstop flight from Tokyo in 2013, Denver International Airport (DIA) recently announced that United will commence daily service from Panama City, Panama in early December 2014. DIA is one of the busiest airports in the world, and benefits from numerous direct flights from all major cities from coast-to-coast in the US, including a brand new service from Dallas Love Field on Southwest Airlines. With the addition of flights to and from Panama City, the airport will now receive visitors directly from eight different countries – Australia, Canada, Germany, Iceland, Japan, Mexico, Panama, and the United Kingdom.

From DIA, travelers can reach seven resorts in less than a two hour drive; Eldora Mountain Resort, Loveland Ski Area, Winter Park Resort, Arapahoe Basin, Copper Mountain, Ski Cooper and Ski Granby Ranch.

Alternatively, once they arrive at DIA, visitors can easily connect to any of Colorado’s regional resort community airports, including Alamosa, Aspen, Durango, Eagle, Gunnison-Crested Butte, Grand Junction, Telluride/Montrose, and Steamboat.

*Updated*: Direct Flights to Regional Airports

In many cases, additional flight options allow guests to fly right to a resort direct from their originating city. These regional hotbeds include nonstop flights from cities such as Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Newark, Phoenix, Seattle, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. With eight regional airports in mountain and resort communities, direct flights can put travelers slope side in no time.

Telluride Ski Resort boasts non-stop flights from nine major U.S. hubs and 10 total metropolitan airports to its main airport, Telluride/Montrose (MTJ), and has announced a 20 percent increase in destination flights this winter.

New this year, United will begin non-stop service from San Francisco (SFO) and American/US Airways will start Phoenix (PHX) flights to Telluride (MTJ). American Airlines flights from Dallas (DFW) will see a 50% increase, including the addition of the daily 76-seat CRJ 900 with first class cabin. United’s Newark (EWR) flights will now run on Sundays in addition to the historic Saturday service.

Daily and multiple daily flights are also available to Telluride/Montrose on United from Denver (DEN), Chicago (ORD), Houston (IAH), and weekly from Los Angeles (LAX). Delta flies daily over the holidays and then weekly from Atlanta (ATL). One of the few resorts offering a low-cost carrier, Allegiant will continue to fly direct to Telluride/Montrose from LAX and Phoenix-Mesa (IWA/AZA). Several shuttle options are available from the airport, and to book, please visit www.tellurideskiresort.com or www.visittelluride.com.

For travelers headed to Aspen/Snowmass, approximately 150 direct and connecting flights fly weekly into Aspen/Pitkin County Airport. From the airport, it’s only six miles to Snowmass Village and three miles to Aspen.

United Airlines provides daily direct flights to Aspen/Pitkin County Airport from Houston, along with four daily direct flights from Los Angeles and 13 daily flights from Denver on peak days. This is in addition to the airport’s four daily direct flights from Chicago/O’Hare and two daily direct flights from San Francisco, bringing United’s total frequency up to 24 daily flights in and out of Aspen/Snowmass this winter.

American Airlines utilizes CRJ-700 aircraft operated by American Eagle to provide 63 seats with nonstop service from Dallas/Fort Worth and Los Angeles each with daily nonstop service to Aspen. In addition, from December 18 – March 29 Delta will provide service into Aspen/Pitkin County Airport from Atlanta and Minneapolis/St. Paul. Guests can find deals at www.StayAspenSnowmass.com and www.FlyAspenSnowmass.com.”

Gunnison/Crested Butte Regional Airport services direct flights from Denver, Dallas and Houston, and Chicago/O’Hare. Through American and United Airlines’ extensive flight networks, guests can get to Crested Butte from anywhere in the world. Upon landing, shuttles are available to transport guests to resorts in the area such as Crested Butte or Monarch Mountain. Guests can also utilize rental car services from Hertz, Avis, or Budget.

United Airlines will have two nonstop round trip flights daily between Gunnison/Crested Butte Regional Airport and Denver, while American Airlines will have one nonstop round trip flight daily between Gunnison/Crested Butte Regional Airport and Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport with an additional second service in the peak holiday period. In addition, United Airlines will provide daily service from Houston International Airport and Chicago O’Hare International Airport. For detailed information, visit http://bit.ly/2014-15-CBMR-ski-flights.

The Durango/La Plata Airport serves as Purgatory, Wolf Creek Ski Area and Silverton’s main portal for guests who are travelling lengthy distances. American Airlines offers daily nonstop jet service from the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, US Airways offers service from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, and Untied offers service from Denver International Airport. The San Luis Valley Regional Airport, which lies closest to Wolf Creek Ski Area, offers three nonstop flights to Denver International Airport.

Steamboat’s winter nonstop flight program will feature new nonstop service from San Francisco International Airport and Washington Dulles International Airport, expanded nonstop air service on the Los Angeles and Seattle routes and an additional weekend Houston flight directly into Steamboat/Hayden Airport (HDN) for the 2014/15 winter season.

New for the 2014/2015 ski and snowboard season will be Saturday nonstop service to HDN from San Francisco (SFO) and Washington-Dulles (IAD). In addition, Los Angeles (LAX) and Seattle (SEA) flights will both add an additional day of service during the winter. A new Houston (IAH) overnight flight, arriving Saturday and departing Sunday, rounds out the new offerings for the program.  The resort’s upcoming flight program provides access from 11 major airports on key U.S. carriers – Alaska, American, Delta and United Airlines. In addition to the cities mentioned above, Steamboat’s winter flight program includes service from Atlanta, Chicago O’Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth, Denver, Minneapolis/St. Paul, and New York/Newark.

The 2014/2015 winter flight schedule provides convenient connections from more than 300 airports nationwide and worldwide. Airfares and packages are currently available for purchase through Steamboat at 1-800-922-2722 or www.steamboat.com/winter-flights.

On the Western Slope of Colorado, passengers arriving into Grand Junction Regional Airport will find themselves at Powderhorn’s lifts in under an hour.

Sunlight Resort, nestled in nearby Glenwood Springs, is accessible via Aspen/Pitkin airport as well as Eagle Airport, and Grand Junction Airport. The Sunlight Shuttle runs to and from Glenwood Springs, as does the Roaring Fork Transit Authority.

Perched on Tennessee Pass just outside of historic Leadville, Ski Cooper is a hidden Gem resort that is easy to find. Eagle Country Airport is just over an hour drive from Ski Cooper.

Information about CSCUSA and its members can be found at www.ColoradoSki.com, on Twitter @ColoradoSkiUSA and on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/ColoradoSkiCountryUSA.

 

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Africa Travel Association urges ‘rational decision making’ regarding Ebola

October 22, 2014
"Now, more than ever, ATA hopes you will join our association in supporting, and standing in solidarity with Africa. ATA calls on travelers to make educated and rational decisions and cautions against the influence of sensationalized media" Africa Travel Association

“Now, more than ever, ATA hopes you will join our association in supporting, and standing in solidarity with Africa. ATA calls on travelers to make educated and rational decisions and cautions against the influence of sensationalized media”
Africa Travel Association

The Africa Travel Association (ATA) is a leading global trade association promoting travel and tourism to Africa and strengthening intra-Africa partnerships. Established in 1975, ATA serves both the public and private sectors of the international travel and tourism industry. ATA members include African governments, tourism ministers, tourism bureaus and boards, airlines, cruise lines, hotels, resorts, front-line travel agents, tour operators, and a media. ATA partners with the African Union Commission (AU) to promote the sustainable development of tourism to and across Africa.

ATA issued the following statement concerning Ebola:

ATA remains concerned about the Ebola virus and its far-reaching effects, and related perceptions, on the travel and tourism sector in Africa. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the most severely affected countries are Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, however, the Africa tourism industry has felt stark repercussions across the continent through economic losses, cancelled flights and bookings, closed borders, and negative perceptions. These impacts reach far beyond the borders of those affected countries.

ATA urges the travel industry and traveling public to remain cautious, however, to acknowledge the immense size of the continent and to continue to travel to the vast majority of the countries that remain safe. With a landmass of 30.2 million square kilometers, the African continent is larger than China, India, and the United States combined, with its 54 independent countries.

ATA does not support the cancellation of flights to Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone as this creates further isolation, impeding the delivery of critical medical supplies and travel by aid workers, which can exacerbate the situation. According to the WHO, the countries affected “have very weak health systems, lacking human and infrastructural resources, having only recently emerged from long periods of conflict and instability.”

Now, more than ever, ATA hopes you will join our association in supporting, and standing in solidarity with Africa. ATA calls on travelers to make educated and rational decisions and cautions against the influence of sensationalized media. Africa has always suffered from challenges of perception relating to ignorance and a lack of understanding of the continent by citizens from around the world.

Despite these challenges, ATA remains optimistic about travel and tourism to the African continent. In 2013, Africa welcomed over 65 million visitors, consistently increasing its share in the global travel marketplace. Africa is an exciting travel destination, one of world’s most dynamic travel destinations for tourists seeking for adventure, exceptional cultural exchange and heritage tours, diverse culinary experiences, unparalleled safari and wildlife opportunities, first-class beaches, and a wealth of investment opportunities. In pursuit of its mission, ATA believes that tourism is a powerful tool for promoting economic growth, job creation, investment and cultural exchange.

Additionally, ATA encourages travelers to find the most up-to-date information here:

World Health Organization (WHO): www.who.int/csr/disease/ebola/en

Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola

For more information on ATA, visit www.africatravelassociation.org or call 212.447.1357.

 

 

AccuWeather Winter Forecast: Cold, Snow to Seize Northeast; Wintry Blasts to Slick South

October 22, 2014
AccuWeather's winter prediction: cold, snow to seize the Northeast; wintry blasts to slick South (map from AccuWeather)

AccuWeather’s winter prediction: cold, snow to seize the Northeast; wintry blasts to slick South (map from AccuWeather)

AccuWeather is forecasting that  though parts of the Northeast and mid-Atlantic had a gradual introduction to fall, winter will arrive without delay. Cold air and high snow amounts will define the season – good for ski resorts but not so good for urban areas and Mid-Atlantic places where even the slightest amount of snow or ice wreaks havoc.

Farther south, ice storms and snow events will threaten the Tennessee Valley and parts of the southern Plains. Much of the South can prepare for a wet winter, with some severe weather encroaching on Florida.

The northern Plains will be somewhat inconsistent with variable, back-and-forth temperatures and below-normal snowfall. Meanwhile, the drought will persist in the Northwest and northern California and ease slightly farther south.

Cold Northeast, Interior Mid-Atlantic to Yield Snowy Winter Season

After record-shattering temperatures and high snow totals last winter in the Northeast, a similar theme will continue into the 2014-2015 season.

Cold air will surge into the Northeast in late November, but the brunt of the season will hold off until January and February. The polar vortex, the culprit responsible for several days of below-zero temperatures last year, will slip down into the region from time to time, delivering blasts of arctic air.

“I think, primarily, we’ll see that happening in mid-January into February but again, it’s not going to be the same type of situation as we saw last year, not as persistent,” AccuWeather.com Expert Long-Range Forecaster Paul Pastelok said.

“The cold of last season was extreme because it was so persistent. We saw readings that we haven’t seen in a long time: 15- to 20-below-zero readings.”

In addition to the cold air, a big snow season could be in the offing. Higher-than-normal snow totals are forecast west of the I-95 corridor.

“Places like Harrisburg, down to Hagerstown getting into the mountains, the Appalachians, I think that’s where you’re going to see your bigger, heavier amounts,” Pastelok said.

Philadelphia, which received a whopping 68.9 inches last season, is forecast to close this season with snow totals just above normal. New York City will likely follow suit.

The I-95 corridor and eastward could fall victim to changeover systems, which will provide a messy wintry mix at times.

Rain, Snow, Ice All Threats for Southeast, Gulf States, Tennessee Valley

“I’m very concerned about the Tennessee Valley to the Gulf Coast as far as extremes go this year,” Pastelok said.

Areas from eastern Texas all the way up to eastern Kentucky could be under the gun for ice events this season. The region will likely see this in January, but the I-10 corridor should be on guard for a sneaky late-January or early-February storm.

Overall, the region will have a very wet winter, but the timing of these storms will determine whether a flood risk exists.

“These are big storms that are going to form and put down a lot of rain, but there may be breaks in between,” Pastelok said.

“The Gulf hasn’t been disturbed from tropical activity, so the warmer waters may hang on into the middle part of the winter and give us that extra boost into some of these systems coming up the East Coast.”

The weather pattern, a weak El Nino, paired with the southern storm track and rich moisture source will set up Florida for a significant severe weather potential in mid- to late winter. Tornadoes will be possible from mid-January to February.

Dry, Less Harsh Winter in Store for Midwest, Ohio Valley, Northern and Central Plains

In a story similar to the Northeast, the winter season has several cold months planned for the Midwest, though not quite as extreme as last year.

Temperature wise, areas such as Duluth, Minnesota, and Green Bay, Wisconsin, may be 7-9 degrees warmer than last year’s three-month average.

Below-normal snowfall totals are also forecast.

Chicago could fail to reach 30 inches this year, and Minneapolis has an even greater chance of falling below normal.

Farther west, the northern and central Plains will endure roller-coaster temperatures. Fewer clipper systems than normal will reach down into the area, preventing high overall snow totals.

El Nino May Lead to High Moisture in Southern Plains, Interior Southwest

A weak El Nino pattern, which is expected to unfold, may lead to high moisture in the Southwest.

“That moisture source is needed to get above-normal snowfall for the region. I do believe there are going to be periods where moisture gets in there,” Pastelok said.

If it does, the Four Corners region, including Albuquerque, could get near- to slightly above-normal snowfall totals this year.

“Northwestern Texas, western Oklahoma, Kansas, they can also see near- to slightly above-normal snowfall this year,” Pastelok said.

Winter Precipitation Won’t Bust Northwest, Northern California Drought

As California suffers through its fourth and most extreme year of drought, the state is in dire need of precipitation this winter.

“California, the northern Sierra and Sierra Nevada are going to be below normal, although I do think that they are going to get enough snow to hold back the drought just a little bit from getting any worse than it is,” Pastelok said.

December will bring some rain to northern California, but the precipitation will ease off in the following months, making the region drier than normal by February. After a season of intense wildfires, the precipitation that reaches the Northwest will not be enough to prevent problems next year.

However, the winter isn’t all bad news for the drought-stricken region, Pastelok said.

The weather pattern will allow some Eastern Pacific moisture to be pulled in, causing some big events which will increase the snowfall rates in the mountains.

Additionally, Southern California looks to fare better than its northern counterpart with slightly above-normal precipitation this season, especially in areas farther from the coast.

 

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Arapahoe Basin, Colorado, Claims Title as First Ski Resort in Nation to Open for 2014 Season

October 17, 2014
Exultation as Arapahoe Basin, Colorado, again takes claim to the title as first ski resort in the nation to open for the 2014-15 season (Jack Dempsey).

Exultation as Arapahoe Basin, Colorado, again takes claim to the title as first ski resort in the nation to open for the 2014-15 season (Jack Dempsey).

Denver, Colo. – October 17, 2014 – Colorado’s 2014/15 ski season is underway today as a crowd of ecstatic skiers and snowboarders celebrated at Arapahoe Basin Ski Area. Atop an 18-inch base of packed powder, at 9:00 a.m. the Black Mountain Express high-speed quad chairlift began delivering eager snow riders to the top of the intermediate High Noon run for their first turns of the year.

Several resorts in Colorado have taken advantage of cold nighttime temperatures to commence their winter operations over the past several weeks. Copper Mountain began making snow on the evening of Monday, September 29, and in addition to Arapahoe Basin, Loveland Ski Area, Winter Park Resort, and Telluride Ski Resort have made snow since then as well. Ideal snowmaking conditions and recent natural snowfall at high elevation allowed Arapahoe Basin to win the friendly Race to Open for the third consecutive year.

Following a record year for skier visits in Colorado, and a summer of major upgrades and improvements at Colorado Ski Country USA (CSCUSA) member resorts, Arapahoe Basin’s opening has skiers and riders looking forward to the season ahead. “Since the first high country snowstorms several weeks ago, snowmakers and groomers have been working diligently to deliver a memorable Opening Day, and we’re thrilled to see our guests enjoy their first day of the season”, said CSCUSA President and CEO Melanie Mills.

Colorado’s ski areas are aiming to build on last year’s successful season with capital improvements, program upgrades, and new technology. “As always, Colorado resorts are focused on delivering a great guest experience”, continued Mills. “From innovative instructional programs and award-winning dining facilities to groundbreaking smartphone apps and multi-mountain pass products, our resorts’ ongoing dedication to quality, safety, and value is what keeps visitors coming back to Colorado season after season.”

The race to host Opening Day is one of the highlights of the ski season, a title often held by Colorado’s Arapahoe Basin or Loveland Ski Area. Both resorts are perched atop the Continental Divide, giving them higher elevations, earlier frosts, and colder temperatures. This also allows them to stay open long into the spring, giving Colorado one of the longest ski seasons in the country.

Here are the scheduled opening dates for CSCUSA member resorts (subject to change):

Listed By Resort Name:

Arapahoe Basin:                                  Mid-October 2014 – Early June 2015

Aspen Highlands:                               December 14, 2013 – April 13, 2014

Aspen Mountain:                                November 27, 2014 – April 19, 2015

Buttermilk:                                          December 13, 2014 – April 12, 2015

Copper Mountain:                               October 31, 2014 – April 19, 2015

Crested Butte:                                      November 26, 2014 – April 5, 2015

Eldora:                                                   Mid-November, 2014 – Mid-April, 2015

Howelsen Hill:                                     Late November 2014 – Mid March 2015

Loveland:                                              Mid-October 2014 – Early May 2015

Monarch Mountain:                           November 26, 2014 – April 12, 2015

Powderhorn:                                        December 11, 2014 – March 29, 2015

Purgatory:                                           November 28, 2014 – Late March, 2015

Silverton:                                             December 20, 2014 – April 12, 2015

Ski Cooper:                                           December 13, 2014 – April 12, 2015

Ski Granby Ranch:                            Mid-December, 2014 – Early April, 2015

Snowmass:                                           November 27, 2014 – April 12, 2015

Steamboat:                                           November 27, 2014 – April 12, 2015

Sunlight:                                               December 5, 2014 – April 5, 2015

Telluride:                                              November 27, 2014 – April 15, 2015

Winter Park:                                        November 12, 2014 – April 26, 2015

Wolf Creek:                                           November 7, 2014 – April 5, 2015

 

Listed By Open Date:

Mid October:                                         Arapahoe Basin, Loveland

October 31:                                            Copper Mountain

November 7:                                         Wolf Creek

November 12:                                       Winter Park

Mid-November:                                    Eldora

November 26:                                       Crested Butte, Monarch

November 27:                                       Aspen Mountain, Snowmass, Steamboat, Telluride

November 28:                                       Purgatory

Late November:                                    Howelsen Hill

December 5:                                         Sunlight

December 11:                                       Powderhorn

December 13                                        Buttermilk, Ski Cooper

December 14:                                       Aspen Highlands,

Mid-December:                                    Ski Granby Ranch

December 20:                                       Silverton

 

Information about CSCUSA and its members can be found at www.ColoradoSki.com, on Twitter @ColoradoSkiUSA and on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/ColoradoSkiCountryUSA.

 

For more travel features, visit:

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4th Annual Gold Coast International Film Festival Features Q&As With Major Filmmakers; Catherine Martin is Honoree

October 16, 2014
Great Gatsby Director Baz Luhrmann with Gold Coast Internatl Film Festival Director Regina Gil at the 2013 Long Island premiere. Luhrmann's wife and artistic partner, Catherine Martin is being honored with this year's GCIFF Artist of Distinction Award © 2014 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Great Gatsby Director Baz Luhrmann with Gold Coast Internatl Film Festival Director Regina Gil at the 2013 Long Island premiere. Luhrmann’s wife and artistic partner, Catherine Martin is being honored with this year’s GCIFF Artist of Distinction Award
© 2014 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Tickets have just gone on sale for the 4th Annual Gold Coast International Film Festival (GCIFF), taking place from November 3-9, 2014, organized by the Gold Coast Arts Center, in Great Neck, in conjunction with the Town of North Hempstead, Long Island.

This year, the festival is honoring four-time Academy Award-winning Production and Costume Designer (The Great Gatsby, Moulin Rouge!) Catherine Martin with the Gold Coast International Film Festival Artist of Distinction Award, at the Opening Night Gala, taking place at Leonard’s Palazzo 555 in Great Neck on Monday November 3. Also being honored is President of the Gold Coast Arts Center, Michael Glickman, who will accept the Man of the Year Award; and Marie Cecile Flageul & Jonathan Cohen (the graffiti artist known as Meres One, who was the curator of 5 Pointz in Queens) who will receive the Art & Activism Award.

Screenings and events at this year’s festival will take place at the Soundview Cinemas in Port Washington and at Bow Tie Cinemas in Great Neck/Port Washington/Manhasset/Roslyn as well as at other venues including the Gold Coast Arts Center in Great Neck. For the latest information and updates visit www.goldcoastfilmfestival.org

Highlights of this year’s festival include:

MONDAY NOVEMBER 3

Opening Night Gala – November 3, 2014

Leonard’s (On Northern Blvd in Great Neck, 6 pm)
Among the notables attending: Catherine Martin (4-time Oscar winner for production and costume design) will be accepting our Artist of Distinction Award, Meres One (famed graffiti artist) will be accepting our Arts Activism Award

TUESDAY NOVEMBER 4

Charlie Mantle
Long Island University CW Post Campus, film starts at 7pm
Q&A with the filmmaker Fred Carpenter and the stars Armand Assante, Sean Young and Robert Clohessy. 

WEDNESDAY NOVEMBER 5

Burn
Soundview Cinema in Port Washington, film starts at 7pm
An amazing documentary about firefighters from Detroit produced by Denis Leary’s company.
Q&A with one of the producers (Jim Serpico – from Long Island) and Kristin Thorne from ABC News.

 The Embrace of Aging
Soundview Cinema Port Washington, film starts at 6:30pm
A masterful, inspiring, captivating portrayal of the female aging process where great minds of medicine and science come together with touching human interest stories from Okinawa to Jackson Hole.
Q&A after the film with Keith Famie (director) and a panel of NSLIJ experts.    

THURSDAY NOVEMBER 6

Andrew & Wendy
Gold Coast Arts Center, film starts at 1:00pm
The remarkable and moving story of a professional classical guitarist, whose life was saved by music and who gives back in an unforgettable way.
Featuring a Q&A and performance by the film’s subjects. 

August Wilson: The Ground on Which I Stand
Soundview Cinema in Port Washington, film starts at 7:30pm
The world premiere of a documentary about playwright August Wilson (some call him America’s Shakespeare).  Q&A guests include: Tony winning actors Phylicia Rashad and Ruben Santiago Hudson and Sam Pollard (Film Director/Producer) and Darryl Ford-Williams (Exec. Producer)
Moderator is Julie Wilson (WNET/Thirteen, Exec. Producer, Documentaries & Development)

The Wonders – November 6, 2014
Bow Tie Great Neck, film starts at 7:30pm
This wildly original film tells the story of a bartender/artist/slacker who gets mixed up in Jerusalem’s criminal underground. A box office hit in Israel, THE WONDERS combines mystery, comedy, psychological thriller, political intrigue, and romance to create a unique and compelling movie. Official selection of the Tribeca Film Festival. Q&A with Dean Movshovitz (Director of Film & Media; Consulate General of Israel).

 FRIDAY NOVEMBER 7

Beside Still Water – November 7, 2014
Bow Tie Roslyn, 8:30pm
In this Big Chill for Generation Y, a group of childhood friends comes together for the last time a the scenic lake house where they all grew up, to comfort each other, rekindle old flames, and drunkenly stumble down memory lane. Directorial debut from award-winning actor Chris Lowell (The Help, Veronica Mars). Q&A with producer after the film.

SATURDAY NOVEMBER 8

Above and Beyond – November 8, 2014
Soundview Port Washington, film starts at 2:00pm
A fascinating, little-known tale filled with heart, heroism, and high-flying chutzpah, ABOVE AND BEYOND is the true story of Jewish-American pilots who volunteered to fight for Israel in the War of Independence. This ragtag band of brothers turned the tide of the war, preventing the annihilation of Israel at the very moment of its birth. Produced by Nancy Spielberg.

Mudbloods – November 8, 2014
Soundview Port Washington, film starts at 5:30pm
Quidditch, the sport that thrilled in the wizard world of Harry Potter, leaps off the pages and into the real world in this highly entertaining documentary of the sport’s very real life in the collegiate league. The dreamers, creators and athletes who make up this exceptional community come together to make this magical sport into something you could’ve never imagined, until now. Parents, please note there is some strong language in this film.  Q&A with members of area college Quidditch teams! (we could drop this Q&A)

Zero Motivation – November 8, 2014
Soundview Port Washington, film starts at 7:30pm
Winner of the top prize at the Tribeca Film Festival and nominated for 12 Israeli Film Academy Awards, ZERO MOTIVATION is a zany, dark comedic portrait of everyday life for a unit of young, female Israeli soldiers. Q&A with director Talya Lavie, who will be accepting the first Gold Coast International Film Festival Screenwriter’s Award and Nancy Gerstman, co-President of Zeitgeist Films.

You Must Be Joking – November 8, 2014
Soundview Port Washington, film starts at 8:00pm
Barb is an aimless, confrontational 27-year-old paralegal in this edgy comedy of reinvention. Sas Goldberg gives a frenetic, biting performance as a listless woman inspired by her childhood best friend, a ballet dancer, to pick up her long-shelved passion for standup comedy. Q&A with film’s star and co-writer Sas Goldberg

Cold Eyes – November 8, 2014
Bow Tie Manhasset, film starts at 7:00pm
In this fast-paced, adrenaline-packed thrill ride, a new recruit of an elite police unit races against time as she hunts down an organization responsible for a series of bold, explosive robberies. This smart, innovative thriller will show you why South Korean film is giving Hollywood a run for its money.
Q&A after the film with Goran Topalovic (Exec. Dir. NY Asian Film Festival) and Euny Hong (Journalist & Author of The Birth of South Korean Cool)

SUNDAY NOVEMBER 9

The Dove Flyer – November 9, 2014
Bow Tie Great Neck, film starts at 12:30pm
A coming-of-age story set amid the expulsion of Jews in Iraq in the 1950s, where a 16-year-old caught in the middle of conflicting attitudes must make a difficult decision that will change his family’s destiny. Q&A after the film with Maurice Shohet, President of the World Organization of Jews from Iraq.

When the Garden Was Eden – November 9, 2014
Bow Tie Great Neck, film starts at 4:00pm
Actor and tried-and-true New Yorker Michael Rapaport delivers an unabashed love letter to the Knicks with this fast-moving tribute to the team’s glory days. In the late ’60s, basketball was the city’s forgotten sport. Enter an unlikely band of scrappy team players, many of them future hall-of-famers, who would transform the team into one of the NBA’s most dazzling squads. Official selection of the Tribeca Film Festival. Q&A with NY Times sportswriter Harvey Araton.

Silenced – November 9, 2014
Soundview Port Washington, film starts at 3:30pm
This important documentary chronicles the incredible personal journeys of two US government whistleblowers—Thomas Drake and John Kiriakou, who first revealed waterboarding as a CIA practice—and the price they paid. Official selection of the Tribeca Film Festival. Post screening Q&A with film’s director James Spione.

Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work – November 9, 2014
Soundview Cinemas, film starts at 4:00pm
In tribute to the late, great Joan Rivers, we are delighted to bring back this excellent documentary that welcomes viewers into the legendary icon’s comedic process and private dramas, as she fights tooth and nail to keep her American dream alive. Followed by a Q&A with comedians and those who knew Joan, celebrating her comedic legacy.

Closing Night Awards Party – November 9, 2014
Gold Coast Arts Center – approx. 6pm
The Party will be at the Arts Center where the exhibit from the National Basketball Hall of Fame will be on display (including the NBA trophy!)

For more information and a complete festival line up visit www.goldcoastfilmfestival.org or follow on Twitter @goldcoastfilm for Festival updates.

See also:

Tickets on sale for Gold Coast Intl Film Festival; Catherine Martin is honoree

For more travel features, visit:

www.examiner.com/eclectic-travel-in-national/karen-rubin

www.examiner.com/international-travel-in-national/karen-rubin

travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate

goingplacesnearandfar.wordpress.com

‘Like’ us on facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures

Twitter: @TravelFeatures

New: Moral Compass: Great Places to Go Where the Going Does Good

moralcompasstravel.info

Check out our newest travel site for special deals, insiders’ tips at tidbitts.com: http://www.tidbitts.com/karen-rubin/where-in-the-world

Ski Deal Alert! Okemo Mountain’s 3&Easy Ticket Available Thru Oct 31

October 15, 2014
Okemo Mountain, Vermont. Okemo's Three-and-Easy ticket offer is back, but only through Oct. 31 © 2014 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Okemo Mountain, Vermont. Okemo’s Three-and-Easy ticket offer is back, but only through Oct. 31 © 2014 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

LUDLOW, Vt. – Ski deal alert! Okemo Mountain Resort’s Three-and-Easy ticket offer is back: the three-pack of lift tickets, good any day of the season with no restrictions, at one price for all ages, is $199 if purchased by October 31.

Tickets can be used one day at a time or all on the same day. At $199, this special offer is available only until October 31, 2014 at okemo.com.

“There’s so much excitement building for the winter season ahead,” said Okemo VP of Marketing Dave Kulis. “Since Three-and-Easy was so well received last year, we decided to bring it back to reward skiers and riders who plan their visits to Okemo early. And, Three-and-Easy tickets make great holiday gifts and stocking stuffers!”

Okemo Mountain Resort is targeting November 15 as the start of the 2014/2015 ski and ride season. Improvements this year include snowmaking upgrades, terrain park makeovers and a new, state-of-the-art, six-passenger “bubble chair” – a high-speed lift that feature retractable orange domes and heated seats.

For more information, call 802-228-1600, or visit www.okemo.com.

For more travel features, visit:

www.examiner.com/eclectic-travel-in-national/karen-rubin

www.examiner.com/international-travel-in-national/karen-rubin

travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate

goingplacesnearandfar.wordpress.com

‘Like’ us on facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures

Twitter: @TravelFeatures

New: Moral Compass: Great Places to Go Where the Going Does Good

moralcompasstravel.info

Check out our newest travel site for special deals, insiders’ tips at tidbitts.com: http://www.tidbitts.com/karen-rubin/where-in-the-world


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