San Francisco’s Arts & Culture Scene is Bustling

April 16, 2015
The Palace of Fine Arts is one of the unexpected cultural treasures of San Francisco © 2015 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

The Palace of Fine Arts is one of the unexpected cultural treasures of San Francisco © 2015 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Creative people have always been attracted to San Francisco, from the inventor of Levi’s blue jeans to the wizards of the latest tech startups to the creators of Burning Man.  Artists find the city’s atmosphere of innovation and freedom of expression irresistible, resulting in a diverse collection of remarkable museums, exhibitions and events that are equally irresistible to those who love the arts.

Here are some recent and upcoming developments in San Francisco’s arts and culture scene.

@Large: Ai Weiwei on Alcatraz

Art lovers (anyone interested in human rights) have only seven weeks left to see the works of world renowned artist Ai Weiwei at Alcatraz, the notorious prison turned national park in San Francisco Bay. @Large: Ai Weiwei on  Alcatraz, a site-specific exhibition of works, is on view through April 26, 2015.

The Chinese artist is internationally recognized both as a maker of potent and provocative art and as a passionate advocate for human rights and freedom of expression. His art and ideas find a compelling new context in this exhibition of large-scale sculpture, sound and mixed media created specifically for Alcatraz.

Ai’s sculpture, sound and mixed-media works occupy four locations in the former prison: the New Industries Building, A Block, the Hospital and the Dining Hall. With the exception of the Dining Hall, these spaces are usually off limits to the public, but all will be open throughout the run of this unprecedented exhibition.

The exhibition is included in the regular Alcatraz ticket prices.  Special guided @Large Night Tours will be offered on Thursday through Monday nights.  Tickets can be purchased at http://www.alcatrazcruises.com/website/ai-weiwei.aspx. In anticipation of high demand for @Large: Ai Weiwei on Alcatraz tickets, a limited number of seats on the Early Bird boat (departing Pier 33 at 8:45 a.m. seven days a week) will be set aside each day to accommodate exhibition visitors. These Early Bird tickets and tours may be reserved by contacting the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy at 415-561-3021 or aiweiweialcatraz@parksconservancy.org,

For more information on ticket options, see http://www.parksconservancy.org/events/park-interp/ai-weiwei-alcatraz.html.

@Large: Ai Weiwei on Alcatraz is organized by the FOR-SITE Foundation in partnership with the National Park Service and the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy.

Art Along the Waterfront

San Francisco has long been a city committed to accessible art.  After experiencing Ai Weiwei’s work on Alcatraz, people will be ready to discover more public art and they will be in exactly the right place.  The Embarcadero is home to more than a dozen public art installations.  It’s hard to miss Cupid’s Span, the gigantic bow and arrow by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen in Rincon Park.

On the south side of the Bay Bridge, on the Embarcadero at Second and Townsend streets, is Mark DiSuvero’s Sea Change.   Seventy feet tall and weighing 10 tons, this elegant and kinetic sculpture serves as a gateway to the newly refurbished South Waterfront.

Some installations blend history and culture.  Between Piers 35 and 39, Roger Barr’s Skygate, a 26-foot-high mirror-polished stainless steel sculpture, is dedicated to the memory of Eric Hoffer (1903-1983), a longshoreman, poet and philosopher.

Many of the public art installations along the waterfront and throughout the city are part of the city’s civic art collection.  For a map of public art, visit www.sfartscommission.org/pubartcollection/pubart-projects/2008/10/21/public-art-projects-map.

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) More Than Doubling in Size

A major expansion is underway at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA), which has embodied bold vision and innovation from its founding in 1935 to the 1995 opening of its Mario Botta-designed building.

With more than 30,000 works, SFMOMA has built definitive collections in painting and  sculpture, photography, architecture and design, and media arts, including significant examples of the art of the Bay Area and California. The SFMOMA collection is internationally recognized and continues to grow.

In 2016, SFMOMA will reinvent itself yet again by more than doubling its current capacity for the presentation of art, providing almost six times as much public space as the current building.

The centerpiece of SFMOMA’s expansion is the remarkable building design developed in collaboration with the architectural firm Snøhetta. The approximately 235,000-square-foot expansion will seamlessly join the existing building.

One of the catalysts for the expansion is the addition of the Doris and Donald Fisher Collection, one of the greatest private collections of contemporary art in the world.  Learn more at www.sfmoma.org.

Museum of the African Diaspora Reopens after $1.3 Million Renovation

The Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD) is one of the few museums in the world focused on African Diaspora culture and on presenting the rich cultural art works of the people of Africa and of African descendant cultures around the world.  The Museum is currently featuring “The Art of Elizabeth Catlett” through April 5, 2015.

MoAD reopened in December, 2014, after a $1.3 million renovation with added gallery space, a more open layout for the ground floor and lobby, a redesigned Museum store, and an upgrade to all of its technology including interactive iPad kiosks in the lobby and a new website.

MoAD recently was chosen as a Smithsonian Affiliate and now has access to the Smithsonian Institution’s collection of 136 million artifacts for research, exhibits and programming.

Situated in the heart of the Yerba Buena Arts District, home of the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, MoAD is actively engaged in building a community that inspires, educates and connects people of all ages and backgrounds. MoAD seeks to build a deeper understanding of the African Diaspora through art, programs and events that cultivate wonder and excitement about the ways in which personal histories are connected. As a nonprofit organization, the museum’s operations and programs are supported by grants and contributions from public and private sources.  To learn more, visit www.moadsf.org.

SFMOMA Partners with MoAD and the Oakland Museum of California

As part of SFMOMA’s On the Go series showcasing the museum’s collection at other cultural venues in the region, the Oakland Museum of California features “Fertile Ground: Art and Community in California” through April 12, 2015 and MoAD presents Portraits and Other Likenesses from SFMOMA, opening May 8.

Organized in partnership with the Museum of the African Diaspora, “Portraits and Other Likenesses from SFMOMA” considers how artists from the early 20th century to the present have negotiated a vast array of European, African and American visual-cultural forms to redefine what it means to make a portrait. Together, the works suggest that as people move between geographies, meanings drift, too.

“Fertile Ground” illuminates local histories and social forces that changed the face of art in — and beyond — the Golden State. Weaving together art and ephemera from the collections of the Oakland Museum of California and SFMOMA, the exhibition tells the stories of four creative communities at decisive moments in the history of California art: the circle of artists and influences from Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo in San Francisco in the 1930s to the streetwise, uncompromisingly idealistic artists at the center of a vibrant new Mission scene that took root in the 1990s through the present.

For more information, visit http://www.sfmoma.org/exhib_events

The Bay Lights to Become Permanent in Time for Super Bowl 50 in 2016

San Francisco has become a national leader in light art.  No recent development underscores this more strongly than the news that The Bay Lights, the world’s largest LED light sculpture, will become a permanent icon on the city’s landscape.   Illuminate the Arts has successfully raised $4 million in private funds to pay for new equipment and re-installation.

Since its debut on March 5, 2013, the vertical cables of the Bay Bridge’s western span (also known as the Willie L. Brown Jr. Bridge) have come to life nightly with 25,000 LED lights “performing” in patterns created by light artist Leo Villareal.

The originally planned two-year installation of The Bay Lights by artist Leo Villareal will end on March 6, 2015 and the sculpture will be removed to allow Caltrans to perform maintenance on the bridge cables.

The Bay Lights will be re-installed in time to shine for Super Bowl 50 in February 2016.   Learn more at http://thebaylights.org/about/.

San Francisco Illuminated by Light Art

Two other temporary light art installations are drawing crowds:

Soma by the Flaming Lotus Girls at Pier 14 on the Embarcadero debuted at Burning Man in 2009 and has been organized by the Black Rock Arts Foundation.   It will be illuminated at 10 minutes after sunset until 2 a.m. nightly through July 2015.

On Treasure Island, Bliss Dance by Marco Cochrane (2011) is on display on the Avenue of the Palms at the Great Lawn.  Though no end date has been announced, the installation is considered “temporary, until further notice.”  The 40-foot-tall sculpture’s lighting effects are on from 8:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. nightly.

Permanent light art pieces within the city’s 49 square miles include:

  •  Three Gems, by James Turrell (2005), de Young Museum, Osher Sculpture Garden, Golden Gate Park
  •  Skygarden, by James Turrell (2007), San Francisco Federal Building, 90 Seventh St. at Mission Street
  •  Ocean Mirror with Fragments, by Jim Campbell (2007), Saunders Court, University of California, San Francisco, Koret Way
  •  Constellation, by Nayland W. Blake (1996), San Francisco Main Library, 100 Larkin St., Civic Center
  •  Firefly, by Ned Kahn (2012), 525 Golden Gate Ave. at Polk Street, Civic Center
  •  Language of the Birds, by Brian Goggin and Dorka Keehn (2008), Intersection of Broadway and Columbus Avenues, North Beach
  •  …and my room still rocks like a boat on the sea…(Caruso’s Dream), by Brian Gogginwith Dorka Keehn  (2014), 55 Ninth St., south of Market Street
  •  Bayview Rise, by Haddad-Drugan (2014), Pier 92, Bayview near Third Street and Cargo Way

At San Francisco International Airport, permanent light art installations include:

  •  Wind Portal, by Ned Kahn (2000), International Terminal between BART Station and AirTrain
  •  Four Sculptural Light Reflectors, by James Carpenter (2000), International Terminal, Main Hall, Level 3, Pre-Security
  •  Spirogyrate, by Eric Staller (2014), Terminal 3, Boarding Area E, Level 2, Post-Security
  •  Sky, by Merge Conceptual Design (2014), Terminal 3, Boarding Area E, Level 2, Post-Security
  •  Light Beams for the Sky of a Transfer Corridor, by Vito Acconci (2000), International Terminal, A-G, Level 2, Pre-Security
  •  Ceiling Flood, by Keith Sonnier (1999), International Terminal, Boarding Area G, Level 2, Post-Security

Light-centric events and tours are currently being scheduled around the summer solstice, on June 21, 2015.  San Francisco Travel,  the city’s tourism marketing organization, is also planning the third annual IlluminateSF festival to celebrate these eclectic, electric installations in December 2015 and January 2016.

For more information on the light art installations and related events, visit www.illuminatesf.com

San Francisco International Airport (SFO) offers non-stop flights to more than 34 international cities on 29 international carriers. The Bay Area’s largest airport connects non-stop with 78 cities in the U.S. on 15 domestic airlines. SFO offers upgraded free Wi-Fi with no advertising. For up-to-the-minute departure and arrival information, airport maps and details on shopping, dining, cultural exhibitions, ground transportation and more, visit www.flysfo.com. Follow on www.twitter.com/flysfo and  www.facebook.com/flysfo.

The San Francisco Travel Association is the official tourism marketing organization for the City and County of San Francisco. For information on reservations, activities and more, visit www.sanfrancisco.travel or call 415-391-2000.  The Visitor Information Center is located at 900 Market St. in Hallidie Plaza, lower level, near the Powell Street cable car turnaround. 

 

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 York State Pays Homage on 150th Anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s Death

April 15, 2015
An 1889 map illustrates the journey of Lincoln's funeral cortege; the National Park Service is replicating the "Lincoln Journey Home," starting April 18 in Washington DC and ending May 3 in Springfield, Illinois (National Park Service).

An 1889 map illustrates the journey of Lincoln’s funeral cortege; the National Park Service is replicating the “Lincoln Journey Home,” starting April 18 in Washington DC and ending May 3 in Springfield, Illinois (National Park Service).

by Karen Rubin

New York State is commemorating the 150th anniversary of the death of President Abraham Lincoln starting this month with numerous special events statewide, including a full day of free activities on Saturday, April 25 at the New York State Capitol. This is the date the Lincoln Funeral Train arrived in Albany in 1865 carrying the slain President’s body that then laid in state at the old Capitol on April 26.

But before the funeral cortege arrives in Albany, it will come to New York City, on Friday, April 24, where programs will be held at Federal Hall National Memorial11 a.m. & 1 pm

(Federal Hall National Memorial is at 26 Wall Street, near the corner of Wall Street and Nassau Street. (Called the Birthplace of American Government, it was here on Wall Street, where George Washington took the oath of office as the first President, and this site was home to the first Congress, Supreme Court, and Executive Branch offices. The current structure, a Customs House, later served as part of the US Sub-Treasury. Now, the building serves as a museum and memorial to the first President and the beginnings of the United States of America.)

A mask of Abraham Lincoln's visage was made just before his death © 2015 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

A mask of Abraham Lincoln’s visage was made just before his death © 2015 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

President Lincoln guided our nation through one of its darkest times, and his commitment to unity and equality continues to inspire,” Governor Andrew Cuomo said. “As we recognize the 150th anniversary of his death, I encourage all New Yorkers to learn more about his life, his enduring legacy and his profound impact on our nation.”

The next day, the funeral train will come into Albany.

The East Gallery of the Capitol will feature an exhibit dedicated to Lincoln’s memory and the contributions New York made to the Union effort in the Civil War. Central to the exhibit is the flag that laid on the President’s coffin. In addition, numerous Lincoln-themed activities will take place at the Capitol including re-enactors, period music and more. To cap off the day, the National Parks Service is sponsoring a presentation by a noted actor who will portray Lincoln in the War Room of the Capitol at 3:30 and 6:30 p.m. All events are free and open to the public. However, because of limited seating, reservations are required for the Lincoln portrayal and can be made at www.governor.ny.gov/lincolntribute.

Saturday, April 25 1 pm – 7 pm, New York State Capitol

1 p.m. – Civil War reenactors representing the 123rd New York Volunteers, the 125th New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment, the 26th USCT, the 7th New York Heavy Artillery, and several other recreated Civil War units will gather in West Capitol Park near Swan Street and begin a ceremonial march down Washington Avenue to East Capitol Park where they will conduct a memorial service honoring President Lincoln.

Following the service, reenactors will remain outside taking questions, and conduct marching drills and Civil War military demonstrations. A period 12-pound Mountain Howitzer replica cannon that is part of the 7 th New York Heavy Artillery will also be on display throughout the day in East Capitol Park.

Hourly, from 2-6 p.m. – Free Capitol tours start at the base of the Senate staircase on the first floor.

Lincoln impersonator at the Smithsonian's Museum of American History The National Park Service program features accomplished Lincoln actor, Fritz Klein who will give voice Abraham Lincoln's commitment to the idea that the United States was "conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal." © 2015 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Lincoln impersonator at the Smithsonian’s Museum of American History The National Park Service program features accomplished Lincoln actor, Fritz Klein who will give voice Abraham Lincoln’s commitment to the idea that the United States was “conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.” © 2015 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

3:30 pm and 6:30 p.m. (Online reservations required) – Musicians Anne and Ridley Enslow, dressed in 1860s costumes, will recapture the drama and pathos of the great American Civil War through songs and tunes. This will be followed by a first person interpretative program presented by noted Lincoln impersonator Fritz Klein that focuses on Lincoln’s hopes and dreams for the country during his tenure as president. Seating is limited. The presentation will be approximately 90 minutes. Reservations can be made at www.governor.ny.gov/lincolntribute .

The train then continues on to Buffalo, and programs will be held on Sunday, April 26, at the Buffalo History Museum at 3 p.m. and then Monday, April 27, at the Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site, at 9:30 a.m. and at the Central Library Auditorium12 p.m.

Visitors will be able to experience the Lincoln exhibit at the Capitol throughout the summer. In addition, New York’s Path Through History program will feature sites and events statewide that explore President Lincoln, the Civil War and their connection to the Empire State. Information is available at www.iloveny.com/Lincoln. More information on the National Parks Funeral Train events can be found here.

“Over the last four years, the National Park Service has commemorated the 150th anniversary of this country’s greatest national crisis, while exploring its enduring relevance in the 21st century using the guiding theme of Civil War to Civil Rights,” National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis said. “As the sesquicentennial events come to a close, our commemorations of Abraham Lincoln’s funeral train highlight the major cities, including three in New York State, that held funeral ceremonies along the route to Springfield, Illinois. These events in New York, Albany and Buffalo recognize the Empire State’s significant role in the Union war effort, both on the battlefields and on the home front.”

Harold Holzer, Senior Vice President for Public Affairs at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, said, “No state contributed more soldiers, more money, or more innovation to Lincoln’s war to preserve the Union and destroy slavery than did New York. And no state grieved at his assassination more publicly and more passionately. Lincoln earned unforgettably grand farewells in Manhattan, Albany, and Buffalo. But as this exhibit reveals, small tributes occurred in many towns and villages in between, from the Hudson Valley to the Southern Tier—and all along the tracks where his funeral train rode in its journey back to Springfield, Illinois. This is an amazing, virtually untold story of which all New Yorkers should be proud. And they should be equally proud of the successful effort to preserve the flag that once covered his coffin in Albany—and was supplied in 1865 by the Albany woman who helped our state obtain the priceless Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation in Lincoln’s hand. As chair of the Lincoln Bicentennial Foundation, I’m proud to have supported the flag preservation effort. As a Lincoln historian, I’m honored to have worked with Mark Schaming and the New York State Museum on its interpretation. And as a New Yorker, I’m grateful to Governor Cuomo for all he has done to encourage history education and exhibitions in the Capitol and throughout the state.”

For example, New York helped propel Abraham Lincoln onto the national stage, and his presidency and legacy have deep ties to the state. His speech at New York City’s Cooper Union transformed him into a compelling candidate for president. New Yorkers were leaders in America’s anti-slavery movement that set the stage for the Civil War, and the state provided more money and soldiers to the war than any other, including Lincoln’s General-in-Chief. The 1865 funeral train carrying Lincoln’s slain body brought out tens of thousands of mourners both for public viewings in New York City, Albany and Buffalo, and all along the train route as well.

150 years later, New York’s Path Through History takes visitors to sites pivotal to Lincoln and his times:

In addition, The New York-Historical Society has opened a new exhibit, Lincoln and the Jews, on view through June 7, 2015 (170 Central Park West (77th Street), New York, NY 10024, 212-873-3400, nyhistory.org).

A Flag for the Ages Exhibit Highlights

President Abraham Lincoln's stovepipe hat © 2015 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

President Abraham Lincoln’s stovepipe hat © 2015 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

The Lincoln funeral train and Civil War exhibition will showcase the national flag placed around the bier, or platform, upon which the slain president’s casket rested as he laid in state in the Capitol in Albany, New York, on April 26, 1865. It also features additional funeral-related artifacts, chronicles Lincoln’s last day, tragic death, and the many ceremonies honoring Lincoln along the funeral train route that carried his body from Washington, D.C., through New York, to Springfield, Illinois. The exhibit will also highlight New York State’s contribution to the Civil War and related historical figures and artifacts.

The flag that draped the coffin was reportedly presented in 1861 by William H. Seward, Secretary of State and former New York State Governor and United States Senator, to Emily Weed Barnes, daughter of Thurlow Weed, a political adviser and close friend to Seward. When the casket bearing Lincoln’s body arrived at the Capitol, Mrs. Barnes wrapped the flag around the bier. The flag remained in the Barnes family and was donated to New York State Battle Flag Collection and accepted by Governor Franklin Roosevelt in 1930.

Office of General Services Commissioner RoAnn M. Destito said, “As the caretaker of the New York State Capitol, OGS is pleased that Governor Cuomo has transformed this building into a place where citizens can not only see government at work, but also learn about our state. The Lincoln exhibit is a wonderful opportunity to go back in time and experience the rich history associated with Lincoln and his legacy.”

Empire State Development Division of Tourism Executive Director Gavin Landry said, “New York State helped propel Abraham Lincoln onto the national stage, and his presidency and legacy have deep ties to the Empire State. From the homes and final resting places of New Yorkers key to the Civil War and its lead up, like Underground Railroad conductor Harriet Tubman; abolitionist John Brown; Lincoln’s Secretary of State and confidant William H. Seward; and Union Army General Ulysses S. Grant, to sites whose industry and technology played a vital role in the Civil War, like the Burden Iron Works, Brooklyn Navy Yard and West Point Foundry, New York’s Path Through History is ready to take visitors one hundred and fifty years back in time.”

State Parks Commissioner Rose Harvey said, “Lincoln’s contribution to our country’s history and his connection to our great state will come to life this month as we commemorate the anniversary of his death. Through the numerous presentations and exhibits, New Yorkers will get a true sense of the Civil War era and understand better the events that framed our state’s storied past and how New York impacted the times. Lincoln was a monumental figure of his time and we look forward to seeing his legacy shared with thousands across our state.”

Path Through History highlights historically and culturally significant sites and events throughout New York State. The program, introduced by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, builds on New York’s already robust heritage tourism attractions. The initiative, which is overseen by Empire State Development’s Division of Tourism/I LOVE NEW YORK, is currently focused on 13 themes including: Arts & Culture, Natural History, U.S. Presidents, Women’s Rights, Canals & Transportation, Civil Rights, Colonial History, Immigration, Innovation & Commerce, The Revolutionary War, Native American Heritage, Sports History and the War of 1812. Important heritage sites and events across the state were selected with input from leading historians. For more information, visit www.iloveny.com/paththroughhistory .

In an effort to raise the profile of historic destinations, New York State hosts Path Through History Weekends, utilizing live events to celebrate New York’s history and highlight the tremendous efforts of the people and organizations committed to its preservation and promotion. In 2014, 383 events were held in 55 of New York State’s 62 counties, a 43 percent increase from the prior year. This year, Path Through History Weekend will take place June 20 – 21, 2015.

Follow I LOVE NEW YORK on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram or use #LoveNYHistory to join us on the journey down New York’s Path Through History.
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

 

Vail Resorts Receives Approvals for $50 Million Plan to Connect Park City with Canyons Resort

April 10, 2015
Park City Mountain Resort, Utah. Vail Resorts' $50 million capital plan will connect Park City with Canyons Resort, creating the largest mountain resort in the US.

Park City Mountain Resort, Utah. Vail Resorts’ $50 million capital plan will connect Park City with Canyons Resort, creating the largest mountain resort in the US.

PARK CITY, Utah – Vail Resorts, Inc. has received unanimous approval from the Park City Planning Commission to implement one of the most ambitious and impactful capital plans in the history of the U.S. ski industry for the 2015-16 season. The plan would connect Park City Mountain Resort and Canyons Resort, creating the largest single ski area in the country with more than 7,300 acres of skiable terrain, and complete a number of critical upgrades to the infrastructure of both resorts.

Park City’s approvals follow approvals from Summit County, Utah’s Synderville Basin Planning Commission in February.

“This plan for Park City and Canyons will completely transform the experience at both resorts and throughout this world-class community,” said Bill Rock, Park City Mountain Resorts chief operating officer.

Components of the $50-million capital plan include:

  • The Interconnect Gondola. An eight-passenger, high-speed two-way gondola from the base of the existing Silverlode Lift at Park City to the Flatiron Lift at Canyons. The gondola will also have an unload at the top of Pine Cone Ridge to allow skiers and riders the opportunity to ski into Thaynes Canyons at Park City via gated ski access or to the Iron Mountain area at Canyons through new trails that will be created from Pine Cone Ridge. This will mark the first gondola at Park City Mountain Resort since “The Gondola” was dismantled in 1997.
  • Upgrade of King Con and Motherlode Lifts at Park City. The King Con Lift will be upgraded from a four-person to a six-person, high-speed detachable chairlift and will increase lift capacity to this very popular ski pod. The Motherlode Lift will be upgraded from a fixed-grip triple to a four-person, high-speed detachable chairlift, also increasing lift capacity. Both upgrades will reduce crowding, lift lines and improve the guest experience.
  • New Snow Hut Restaurant, upgrades to Summit House Restaurant at Park City and expansion of Red Pine Lodge Restaurant at Canyons. The plan calls for building a completely new Snow Hut restaurant at the base of the Silverlode Lift and next to the Park City terminal for the Interconnect Gondola, with 500 indoor seats and a top-of-the-line kitchen and culinary experience. The plan also includes an upgrade to the “scramble” area inside the Summit House restaurant to improve the flow of diners and increase seats. At Canyons, the Red Pine Restaurant will be renovated to accommodate an additional 250 indoor seats. This upgrade follows the recent renovation and increase of 150 seats to the Cloud Dine restaurant at Canyons.
  • Snowmaking and other improvements. The plan features additional snowmaking on two trails in the Iron Mountain area of Canyons which will become increasingly central ski terrain given its proximity to the Interconnect Gondola. The plan also includes almost $5 million of “catch up” maintenance and upgrades at Park City, given the lack of spending at the resort over the past few years. This “catch up” maintenance spending is in addition to the normal annual maintenance capital for the two resorts of $5 million, which will be undertaken this year as well.

Vail Resorts, Inc., through its subsidiaries, operate the mountain resorts of Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone in Colorado; Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood in the Lake Tahoe area of California and Nevada; Park City and Canyons in Utah; Afton Alps in Minnesota and Mt. Brighton in Michigan; and the Grand Teton Lodge Company in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The Company’s subsidiary, RockResorts, a luxury resort hotel company, manages casually elegant properties. Vail Resorts Development Company is the real estate planning, development and construction subsidiary of Vail Resorts, Inc. Vail Resorts is a publicly held company traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: MTN). The Vail Resorts company website is www.vailresorts.com and consumer website is www.snow.com.

 

For more travel features, visit:

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

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

goingplacesfarandnear.com

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

Norwegian Air Moves to Institute New Cockpit Policy, in Wake of Germanwings Tragedy

April 2, 2015

In the wake of the Germanwings tragedy, Norwegian has decided to change its cockpit procedures so that two crew members always are present in the cockpit.

“Norwegian has been looking into changing its cockpit procedures for a while,” the company said. “However, in light of the tragic Germanwings accident, we are speeding up the process so that two crew members always are present in the cockpit. This means that if one of the pilots leaves the cockpit, one crew member must replace him/her during this time. Our passengers’ and crew’s safety always comes first, which is why we have decided to change our procedures, in line with US regulations.”
Today, there are no European regulatory requirements stating that two crew members must be in the cockpit at all times.

The new procedures will be implemented as soon as Norwegian has received an approval from the Norwegian Civil Aviation Authority.

Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA, commercially branded “Norwegian”, is a low-cost airline listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange. Norwegian is the second largest airline in Scandinavia and third largest low cost carrier in Europe. The company reported its highest ever passenger figures in a single year with almost 24 million passengers in 2014.

Norwegian has a route portfolio that stretches across Europe into North Africa and the Middle East, as well as long-haul flights to the US and Southeast Asia. The company has a total of 424 routes to 130 destinations and employs approximately 4,500 people in Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Estonia, UK, Spain and Thailand.

The company has 258 undelivered aircraft on firm order. Norwegian was founded in 1993 and its headquarter is in Fornebu, Norway.

Norwegian offers better leg room than most competitors, in-flight WiFi on short haul, world-class punctuality and a fleet of 96 aircraft with an average age of only four years. In 2013 and 2014, Norwegian was voted Europe’s best low-cost carrier of the year by the renowned SkyTrax World Airline Awards. In 2014, Norwegian also won three prizes at the prestigious Passenger Choice Awards for Best Airline in Europe, Best Inflight Connectivity & Communications and Best Single Achievement in Passenger Experience for its moving map on the 787 Dreamliners. In addition, Norwegian was awarded Europe’s best low-cost airline by AirlineRatings.com for the second year running.

 

For more travel features, visit:

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

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

goingplacesfarandnear.com

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

 

JetBlue to Offer ‘Mint Experience’ Flying from JFK to Barbados

March 19, 2015

Beginning November 7, JetBlue will offer its popular “Mint experience” from New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) to Barbados (BGI), one of the top Caribbean routes for the airline. Travelers from the Eastern region of the U.S. will have a premium travel option at an affordable fare with Mint, giving jetsetters a new reason to head to the sun-drenched island.

Between November 7, 2015 and April 30, 2016, JetBlue will operate one roundtrip on Saturdays to Bridgetown, Barbados. And between December 19, 2015 and January 4, 2016 the airline will operate one roundtrip flight daily for the busy holiday travel season.

“This is an amazing win for the island of Barbados,” said Petra Roach BTMI, Director, USA. “Barbados has a long history with luxury airline offerings.  We were the only leisure destination to host Concorde service from London for many years and now to be the first home of JetBlue’s Mint service outside of the US is a reflection of the strength of our burgeoning partnership and JetBlue’s continued support of Barbados as a destination. We are thrilled to be a part of this new way to fly with JetBlue where the customers’ premium vacation experience starts the moment they step onto the plane.

Available for booking on JetBlue.com today, roundtrip flights from JFK to Bridgetown are:

 

JFK-BGI                                9:20 a.m. departure, 3:02 p.m. arrival

BGI-JFK                                4:15 p.m. departure, 8:30 p.m. arrival

Since launching on transcontinental routes in June 2014, Mint has quickly become recognized for its whole new take on flying, which includes private suites, the widest seat and longest fully-flat bed in the U.S. domestic market, tapas-style dining, custom amenity kits and 15-inch flat screen televisions with free entertainment. With Mint service to the Caribbean, JetBlue will become the only U.S. carrier to operate regularly scheduled service with lie-flat seating to the region.

Barbados is one of the most popular Caribbean travel routes on JetBlue’s growing route map, and one of more than 80 destinations throughout the U.S., Caribbean, and Latin America. With incredible on-island musical performances, epicurean driven festivals, and motor sport tournaments, 2015 marks the perfect year to travel to Barbados immerse oneself in the distinctive culture and one-of-a-kind events the island has to offer.

JetBlue’s Mint experience to the islands will add a Caribbean twist to some customer favorites, including the tapas-style menu curated by New York City restaurant Saxon+Parole, organic desserts by Blue Marble Ice Cream, a sweet treat from Mah-ze-Dahr Bakery, and customized amenity kits from Birchbox.

“Ever since we launched Mint, customers have been asking us where we will take it next,” said Marty St George, executive vice president commercial and planning, JetBlue. “We re-invented transcontinental flying with Mint, and we anticipate demand for an enhanced product will be equally strong for these Caribbean destinations.”

The A321 Customer Experience

JetBlue offers Mint on its new Airbus A321 aircraft, which features a completely redesigned onboard experience throughout the entire cabin.

“Mint is a remarkable new way to fly, but true to our mission of inspiring humanity, we’ve also taken the same thoughtful approach throughout the aircraft,” said Joanna Geraghty, executive vice president customer experience, JetBlue. “Our completely redesigned A321 interior offers the best experience to Caribbean-bound customers no matter where you’re seated.”

While the Mint experience has set new premium standards, the core experience leads other airlines’ offerings as well. Features of the A321 core interior include 10-inch television screens offering free entertainment, comfortable seats with the most legroom in coach** and power outlets accessible to all customers. JetBlue’s popular marketplace, a self-serve station full of snacks, sodas and water for customers to enjoy at their convenience, is also available throughout the flight.

Extend the Experience With a JetBlue Getaways Vacation Package: Customers looking for the complete package can book Mint seats in conjunction with hotel, car rental and other amenities and activities through JetBlue Getaways. JetBlue Getaways packages to both Barbados  offer access to the very best resorts and island experiences with the convenience of one booking process. Call 1-800-JETBLUE to book.

Barbados, an Authentic Caribbean Experience

The island of Barbados an authentic Caribbean experience with its exceptionally rich culture and history rooted in remarkable landscapes.  Rated as one of the world’s sexiest beaches in 2008 by Concierge.com; Barbados’ Crane Beach in St. Philip stands as a premier destination for travelers.  Barbados is also the first Zagat-rated Caribbean island and is known as the culinary capital of the Caribbean.

Accommodations range from picturesque plantation houses and villas, to quaint bed and breakfasts and award-winning, five-star resorts. Grantley Adams International Airport offers even more non-stop and direct service from a growing number of U.S., making Barbados the true gateway to the Eastern Caribbean.

Barbados was voted eighth in the World by Trip Advisor’s “2008 Travelers’ Choice Destination Awards” in its Top 100 Destinations category.

For more information on travel to Barbados, visit http://www.visitbarbados.org, follow on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/VisitBarbados, via Twitter @Barbados.

Jetblue: New York’s Hometown Airline

JetBlue is New York’s “Hometown Airline” and a leading carrier in Boston, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood, Los Angeles (Long Beach), Orlando, and San Juan. JetBlue carries more than 30 million customers a year to 87 cities in the U.S., Caribbean, and Latin America with an average of 825 daily flights. Upcoming destinations include: Cleveland on April 30; Reno-Tahoe, Nev. on May 28; and Grenada on June 11, 2015 (subject to receipt of government operating authority). For more information visit JetBlue.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

Ski into Spring at Vail Resorts

March 19, 2015
Tubing at Keystone Resort. Spring is a wonderful time to be on the mountain © 2015 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Tubing at Keystone Resort. Spring is a wonderful time to be on the mountain © 2015 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Warmer weather and longer sunlight hours offer snow enthusiasts prime opportunity for enjoying spring skiing and snowboarding across Vail Resorts. Reap the benefits of exceptional snow conditions and high-energy events and activities at Vail Mountain, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge Ski Resort and Keystone Resort in Colorado; Park City Mountain and Canyons Resort in Utah; and Heavenly Mountain Resort, Northstar California Resort and Kirkwood Mountain Resort in Lake Tahoe.

Soak-Up the Sun: Vail Resorts Top Five Decks

Perched at the summit of Vail Mountain, overlooking Sun Up Bowl and Blue Sky Basin, Hawks Nest Deck at Vail offers a great spot for a mountaintop picnic this spring. Centrally located and easily accessed by three chair lifts this spot is often packed with skiers and snowboarders enjoying the spring weather and afternoon sun while making use of the complimentary gas grill. And, new this spring enjoy a taste of the tropics at The Beach at Vail, featuring an outdoor tiki bar and tropical drink specials at Mid-Vail, plus music from DJ Ramona every Saturday afternoon.

Luxurious and family-friendly Beaver Creek Resort in Colorado offers skiers and snowboarders a respite from stellar spring skiing conditions at Mamies Mountain Grill, an on-mountain, outdoor restaurant featuring a large sundeck, purchase and grill your own lunch and Umbrella Bar. Take in stunning views of McCoy Park and the surrounding mountains while listening to the live music on Thursdays and Sundays.

Why wait until après to join in on the party? New this season, Heavenly Mountain Resort rolled out a mid-day party on the deck at East Peak Lodge on Saturdays from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. The mid-day party features on-snow activities, like corn hole, a live DJ, an outdoor grill, and the lovely Heavenly Angels. Bask in the California sun with friends as you enjoy a notorious spring skiing day at Heavenly.

Enjoy lunch in the historic Mid-Mountain Lodge at Park City Mountain resort which once serviced over one thousand miners a day. Now the carefully renovated venue offers delicious lunch options from the 10th Mountain outdoor grill serving a wide array of savory, barbequed favorites for guests to enjoy from its expansive outdoor deck, framed by picturesque mountain views.

Lookout Cabin is just one of several on-mountain dining destinations at Canyons Resort, known for its table-served Rocky Mountain cuisine. Skiers and snowboarders relax in the open air taking-in incredible views of Wasatch Range from the deck in between runs, with their favorite cocktail in hand from the full-service bar.

Springtime Events and Activities

Guests heading to Vail Mountain can Spring Back to Vail April 17-19 at the biggest end-of-season party featuring free live concerts by Portugal. The Man, Trampled by Turtles and The Greyboy Allstars. Closing day also brings the annual World Pond Skimming Championships, a spectacle entailing floatable (and sometimes sinkable) athletes launching themselves off an on-snow jump into an icy pond, in attempt to exit the pond on both feet.

Beaver Creek celebrates spring with SpringFest enchanting Beaver Creek Village daily through April 11. Activities for all ages include parades, comedy shows, glow stick ski-downs, fireworks, American Jukebox ice skate nights, complimentary snowshoe tours, teens trampoline  tricks class, scavenger hunts, daily 3 p.m. Cookie Time, Family FunFest carnivals, science tents, Easter Egg Hunt and more. Save up to 35 percent off on spring lodging with Beaver Creek’s Spring Break Escape offer.

Breck Spring Fever at Breckenridge Ski Resort is back, bringing with it the biggest spring party in the Rocky Mountains from March 21 through closing day, April 19. On-mountain and in-town signature events include the Throwback Throwdown snowboard event to celebrate the resort’s 30th anniversary of snowboarding; and the FREE Bud Light Concert Series with four days of big-name acts on the mountain including Third Eye Blind, Eric Paslay, American Authors and the Infamous Stringdusters.

Offering whimsical daily programming for families, Keystone Resort’s Kidtopia offers indoor and outdoor activities including Kidtopia Fireworks, Pajama Family Brunch, and the world’s largest snow fort perched at 11,640 feet on Dercum Mountain. Parents can treat their kids age 2 – 14 to Kids Night Out which includes movies, games, arts & crafts, snow tubing and dinner for $85 per child. The Slush Cup pond skimming event will round out the 2014-15 season on April 12 showcasing crazy costumes, impressive falls, great commentary and a chance to have one last hoorah at Keystone.

The Unbuckle Après Party at the Tamarack Lodge at Heavenly Mountain Resort, rated as the No. 1 après ski party in North America by Forbes, is Lake Tahoe’s highest elevation après ski party featuring music, drinking, dancing and the lovely Heavenly Angels – ripping skiers by day and go-go dancers when the sun dips below the Sierra. Unbuckle those ski boots and snowboard bindings, and take your après game to the next level each Friday and Saturday from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., enjoying half-priced drinks, food specials, a guest DJ, the Heavenly Angels, giveaways and lots of dancing.

Northstar California Resort will host the final Mountain Table Dinner of the series on March 27. Epicureans are invited to discover the essence of Northstar’s laid-back California luxury as they savor a gourmet, five-course menu of California-sourced ingredients. Guests are whisked up the mountain on a twilight gondola ride to the signature Zephyr Lodge where they will enjoy a feast for the senses as each course is masterfully created to highlight the flavor notes of each wine varietal from the prestigious Frog’s Leap Winery.

Visitors of 100-percent-open Kirkwood Mountain Resort will ski to their heart’s delight in signature Lake Tahoe weather where top-to-bottom, spring snow conditions are offered to skiers and snowboarders on all of its 86 trails.

With warmer temperatures come outdoor events including Park City Mountain‘s Spring Concert Series every Saturday as well as Snowasis, an unforgettable weeklong winter family festival in the Resort plaza filled with on-snow and après entertainment for everyone in the family including scavenger hunts, live music, racing, carnival activities, movie nights and much more. The Kids Après Party features a wide array of activities for the mountain’s youngest snow enthusiasts to partake in.

Celebrate the 2014-15 season at Canyons Resort in Utah during their 10-day free concert series in the Resort Village, and cap off a stellar winter season at the Pond Skim on March 21 when costumed daredevils will attempt to successfully cross a 100-foot pond on skis or a snowboard.

Springtime Deals

With so much going on in the spring season, the best way to access Vail Resorts is through EpicDay Express Tickets, a newly implemented mobile ticket platform giving guests the ability to purchase daily lift tickets online and on their mobile devices, in advance or up-to-the-minute before enjoying the mountain at the guaranteed lowest price. Bypass the normal ticket windows to get on the mountain faster at as much as 25 percent off the lead rate. Existing hard card lift passes may be instantly reloaded, allowing skiers and snowboarders to head right to the lift. For guests who need a new hard card, an express lane will be available at ticket windows for added convenience.

Guests can take their mountain experience to a new level by securing Lodging at Vail Resorts managed hotels and vacation rentals across Colorado, Utah and Lake Tahoe resorts where vacation packages and deals of up to 35 percent off are available to guests booking spring travel through the end of the season. To book, visit www.snow.com or call (866) 486-3420.

Spring is also the optimal time to Turn in Your Ticket in order to secure the lowest price and most benefits for 2015-16 season passes. Turn in today’s lift ticket toward your new 2015-16 season pass when you pay in full. Tickets must be turned in for pass credit, at the end of the ski day and in-person only. This promotion is valid for new pass holders only, and only one ticket may be applied per pass.

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

Mount Snow Offers Savings for 2015-16 Season Pass with Added Value, and Payment Plan Benefits

March 17, 2015

Mount Snow, VT– On the heels of record snowfall and over 100 days on snow, Mount Snow, Vermont’s closest big mountain resort, invites skiers and riders to celebrate spring and get a jump on the season-to-come with deals on 2015/2016 winter season passes. Available now at early season rates, passholders will enjoy benefits like payment plan options, buddy tickets and complimentary spring turns in addition to great savings when they purchase by April 30, 2015.

New this year, the resort is offering a Payment Plan, inviting new skiers and riders to reserve their passes with just a $99 down payment. Those opting to take advantage of the Payment Plan will enjoy spring turns for the rest of the 2014/15 season, and pay the remainder of the pass balance in five monthly installments beginning in May.

Free tubing tickets, discounted bring-a-friend tickets, lodging and retail discounts are among season passholder benefits.

Aside from a season of turns on Mount Snow’s 589 skiable acres, several of the resort’s pass options come loaded with multi-mountain access. The Nor’Easter Pass, Mount Snow’s signature unlimited access offering, provides unlimited days at Wildcat, Attitash and Crotched in New Hampshire, as well as Jack Frost/Big Boulder in Pennsylvania in addition to zero blackout dates to the Vermont resort’s home terrain. Adults can purchase early for $1,029, and new for this season, youth and senior skiers and riders will pay only $699 – the same rates as 2010/11.

Additional specialty passes include the 1826 Pass, available for anyone ages 18 to 26 and offering access to Mount Snow and Crotched with a zero blackout dates for just $349.  In addition, the Double Down Pass offers the 18 to 26 year old crowd unlimited turns at both Mount Snow and Stratton Mountain with no blackout dates for $379.

Other season pass options include the Classic Pass, Midweek Pass and Sunday Pass, inviting skiers and riders to save money while accessing their preferred days on snow.

For more information about Mount Snow’s season pass products, visit www.mountsnow.com/seasonpass.

 

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

Vail Resorts Opens Sales on 2015-16 Epic Pass at Sale Price of $769 thru April 12

March 10, 2015
Keystone, Colorado is one of the 11 iconic Vail Resorts where you have unlimited skiing and riding privileges for the season with the Epic Pass © 2015 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Keystone, Colorado is one of the 11 iconic Vail Resorts where you have unlimited skiing and riding privileges for the season with the Epic Pass © 2015 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
© Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

BROOMFIELD, Colo. – Vail Resorts has just put the 2015-16 Epic Pass on sale, affording unlimited access to 11 U.S. resorts that collectively offer more than 32,000 acres of terrain. Until April 12, the Pass can be purchased for just $769 for adults and $399 for children, with $49 downpayment to lock in the rate. What is more, you can use lift ticket purchased after March 10 toward the purchase price.

The Epic Pass allows skiers and snowboarders to experience iconic resorts including Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Park City all season long. With Park City merging with Canyons Resort over the summer and becoming the largest U.S ski resort, plus the benefit of $85 million in resort improvements for guests last season, $492 million since 2010 and more improvements to come over the summer of 2015, the Epic Pass offers unrivaled services, skiing and snowboarding under one pass.

Skiers and snowboarders can put just $49 down by Sunday, April 12, to lock in the lowest guaranteed pass price for next season, with the balance due in September. The Epic Pass pays for itself in less than five days of skiing and offers a 35 percent savings compared to lift ticket purchases at the lift ticket window. For guests planning on just one ski vacation, the Epic 4-Day offers four unrestricted days of skiing or snowboarding, valid all season long. At $389 for adults, the Epic 4-Day pays for itself in just over two days with a 35 percent savings from the lift ticket window.

“The Epic Pass continues to offer the best deal in the ski industry with access to legendary resorts across the country and some of the best skiing and riding in the world,” said Kirsten Lynch, chief marketing officer of Vail Resorts. “This is the best time to lock in the lowest price for yourself, friends and family, and experience the benefits of owning a season pass for next ski season. The prices will only go up, but we’ll continue to offer unparalleled guest offerings at all of our resorts.””

Starting March 10, guests can benefit from the Turn in Your Ticket program this spring, which allows skiers and snowboarders to apply the cost of their day lift ticket towards the price of an Epic season pass for the 2015-16 ski season. Guests can bring their day ticket to a season pass office at any of the Vail Resorts owned mountains and let the staff know they’d like to put the money towards any season pass product.

Epic Pass, Epic 7-Day and Epic 4-Day Pass

The Epic Pass™ delivers unlimited skiing and snowboarding all season long at 11 U.S. resorts. With unlimited and unrestricted access, skiers and snowboarders can ski as much as they want at Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone and Arapahoe Basin in Colorado; Park City in Utah; Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood in Tahoe; Afton Alps in Minnesota and Mt. Brighton in Michigan. The Epic Pass is $769 for adults and $399 for children (ages 5-12). The Epic Pass pays for itself in less than five days of skiing or riding and offers a 35 percent discount compared to lift ticket window purchases. With more than 32,000 acres of skiing and snowboarding terrain, this pass affords the best value in the ski industry.

Epic 7-Day ™ pass is great for guests who don’t plan to ski more than seven days next winter. The pass features seven unrestricted days of skiing and riding at Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone and Arapahoe Basin in Colorado; Park City in Utah; and Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood in Tahoe. The Epic 7-day is $579 for adults and $299 for children (ages 5-12). In addition, pass holders will receive seven free days of skiing at Mt. Brighton or Afton Alps. The Epic 7-Day pays for itself in under four days of skiing and riding and provides more than 45 percent savings compared to lift tickets purchased at the lift ticket window next season.

Epic 4-Day ™ pass is optimal for skiers and riders planning on one ski trip next year, but want to save on lift tickets. The Epic 4-Day provides four unrestricted tickets, valid at Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone and Arapahoe Basin in Colorado; Park City in Utah; and Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood in Tahoe. The Epic 4-Day is $389 for adults and $219 for children (ages 5-12). Epic 4-Day pass holders also receive four free days of skiing at Mt. Brighton or Afton Alps. For just more than $1,200, a family of four can ski four days of their choosing. The Epic 4-Day pays for itself in over two days of skiing or riding with a 35 percent savings compared to lift tickets purchased at the lift ticket window next year.

Season Pass Benefits
Epic Pass and all Vail Resorts season pass holders will receive exclusive offers on lodging, dining, ski rentals, equipment, ski school and special events for the 2015-16 ski and snowboard season at Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone, Park City, Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood, as well as Mt. Brighton, Afton Alps and Arapahoe Basin. Season pass holders also automatically receive six discounted Ski-With-a-Friend Tickets, on most passes. All season pass products are non-transferable and non-refundable. Additional season pass benefit information can be found at www.epicpass.com.

Season Pass Insurance Option
Vail Resorts encourages guests to purchase pass insurance. All of the Company’s season pass products are non-refundable and non-transferrable; however, pass insurance covers pass holders in the event of unexpected circumstances including sickness, injury and job loss. Coverage applies for all Epic season passes, valid for the 2015-16 ski season.

Current benefits and prices on Epic season passes are only guaranteed through Sunday, April 12, 2015. To purchase a season pass online or to find out more information, visit www.epicpass.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

 

Film Festivals Flourish in San Diego

March 7, 2015

With more than a dozen specialty film festivals screening everything from horror to fashion, and from LGBT- to Hispanic-themed films, San Diego is emerging as a leading destination for film lovers.

Here is just a sampling of the many film festivals that can be found in San Diego throughout the year:

  • The 22nd annual San Diego Latino Film Festival takes place at the AMC Fashion Valley 18 in San Diego’s Mission Valley during March 12-22, 2015. The festival features screenings of short and feature length films from across Latin America and the U.S. by Latinos and about the Latino experience.
  • During May 20-23, 2015, visitors to San Diego can enjoy more than 25 international films, filmmaker presentations, surfboard shaping demos, live music, panels with surf legends and more at the San Diego Surf Film Festival. The festival takes place at Bird’s Surf Shed, a unique surf shop and surf-art gallery, located in San Diego’s North County.
  • FILMOUT San Diego returns May 29-31, 2015, to celebrate the year’s best LGBT films. In addition to film screenings, the festival features special appearances by filmmakers and actors. Screenings are held at the Observatory North Park, a historic theater in the heart of one of San Diego’s trendiest neighborhoods.
  • The 6th annual La Jolla International Fashion Film Festival will be held on July 24, 2015, in the luxurious coastal community of La Jolla. Hundreds of fashion fans will attend to view films highlighting the world’s top fashion houses, designers and stylists.
  • The San Diego International Film Festival takes place Sept. 30-Oct. 4, 2015 in downtown San Diego. The largest of San Diego’s film events, this festival showcases the best in American and international full-length films, documentaries and short films, and features Q&A sessions with directors and guest appearances by well-known actors and film artists.
  • Just in time for Halloween, the Horrible Imaginings Film Festival celebrates horror and its various sub-genres by showcasing new and independent artists, as well as reviving classic horror films. Held at the Media Arts Center San Diego’s Digital Gym in North Park, the October festival features films ranging from psychological thrillers to supernatural horror to slashers and even related genres like noir. October 2015 dates are still to be announced.
  • In September, the San Diego International Kids’ Film Festival supports entertainment and education industries by showcasing international films, screening more than 60 films from 38 countries at the AMN Healthcare Theater in Carmel Valley. The festival provides aspiring young filmmakers with an opportunity to communicate to an international community. Dates for 2015 are still to be announced.
  • In November, the California Indian Culture and Sovereignty Center (CICSC) at the California State University San Marcos presents the San Diego American Indian Film Festival. The festival highlights the best of current films from American Indian filmmakers, producers, directors and actors working through Indian Country. In addition to film viewings, the event includes three days of interactive dialogues with film industry professionals, selected panel discussions and opportunity for Q&A sessions after each screening. Dates for 2015 are still to be announced.
  • Presented by the Pacific Arts Movement, the San Diego Asian Film Festival in November celebrates motion pictures, shorts and animation from Asian artists from around the world. The 10-day festival takes place at various venues around San Diego; dates for 2015 are still to be announced.
  • The annual San Diego Italian Film Festival showcases the best new Italian films ranging from engaging dramas and entertaining comedies to documentaries telling unique stories. The 2015 festival will take place at the historic La Paloma Theater in San Diego’s North County; dates are still to be announced.
  • The San Diego Black Film Festival spotlights African-American and African diaspora cinema. At the annual festival held in January, the San Diego Black Film Festival presents more than 100 films ranging from comedy and drama to documentaries, animation, shorts and more at downtown San Diego’s Reading Theater. Dates for 2016 are still to be announced.
  • The San Diego Jewish Film Festival showcases American and international feature films, documentaries and short films that explore the Jewish experience.  The festival celebrated its 25th anniversary in February 2015 with nearly 50 films screened at venues around the county. Dates for 2016 are still to be announced.

For more information on San Diego’s offerings, including vacation packages and valuable coupons for attractions, restaurants and more, visit the San Diego Tourism Authority’s website at www.sandiego.org or call 619-236-1212.

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

 

Pacific Delight Launches First South America Tours Starting with Peru

March 6, 2015
Eric Oborski, president of Pacific Delight Tours, was first brought on as an executive consultant in 2013 to lead the luxury operator's expansion efforts. He hinted that further expansion into South America is in the pipeline with more itineraries to appear throughout 2015.

Eric Oborski, president of Pacific Delight Tours, was first brought on as an executive consultant in 2013 to lead the luxury operator’s expansion efforts. He hinted that further expansion into South America is in the pipeline with more itineraries to appear throughout 2015.

NEW YORK, NY – Pacific Delight Tours is expanding into South America, beginning with the launch of a seven day itinerary to Peru where travelers will have the opportunity to view some of the most famed sights in the Western Hemisphere, including Machu Picchu.  Tours to Peru start at $2,559 per person, based on double occupancy.

“Peru is a fabulous landscape where exotic culture and ancient ruins combine with well-preserved colonial architecture to create a multi-faceted window into the past, present and future with ultra-modern cities like Lima, ancient Incan cities like Cusco and the incredibly mysterious Machu Picchu, all within one vast landscape,” said Eric Oborski, president of Pacific Delight Tours, who was first brought on as an executive consultant in 2013 to lead the luxury operator’s expansion efforts.

“We are very excited to have Peru as our first South America destination, as I’ve been involved in promoting tourism to and from South America since 1972 and am extremely familiar with Peru, having lived there,” noted Oborski, hinting that further expansion into South America is in the pipeline with more itineraries to appear throughout 2015.

Pacific Delight’s 7-Day Peru Program takes travelers to Lima, the Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu and Cusco along with a full-day tour of different Incan communities and antique salt mines.

Machu Picchu, known as the “Lost City of the Incas” is not only one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, but also the biggest cultural treasure of Peru’s past and the empire of the Incas.  Undiscovered by Spaniards and forgotten for centuries, it was not until 1911 that the American scientist Hiram Bingham came upon this phenomenon accidentally.  The ruins still leave scientists with numerous questions and riddles as to how it was built and for what purpose.  Travelers will reach Machu Picchu by shuttle bus and enjoy lunch at the Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge.

Travelers will get to visit Cusco, home to many important Inca sites, where explorers will not only find Incan walls and temples, but also colonial mansions and Catholic churches.  In addition to Cusco, other stops include the Salt Mines of Mara, an excursion to the small Andean community Moray, known for its embedded amphitheater, and a trip to Chinchero where travelers will explore the town’s Sunday market, originally dedicated to the people of the valley to barter their products with a variety of handicrafts and textiles made in true pre-Columbian style.  Explorers will also get to visit Awankancha where they will learn about the traditional weaving techniques typical for the area.

Peru also offers travelers the unique opportunity to experience nearly 98% of the world’s climates, from Rainforests in the North, to coastal cities like Lima in the West and sprawling mountain ranges in the East.  This varied climate, along with a merging of cultures, has given Peruvians the ability to create some of the most unique culinary experiences including Chifa, a fusion of Peruvian and Chinese food, and Ceviche, Peru’s take on sushi.

Pacific Delight Tours is offering the 7-Day Peru Program in Silver and Gold packages.  The Silver package starts at $2,559 with a $600 single supplement and provides travelers with first-class accommodations.  The Gold program starts at $2,999 with a $926 single supplement and features Pacific Delight’s signature FiveStarPlus® luxury accommodations.  All rates quoted are per person, based on double occupancy and do not include international airfare or initial arrival and departure transfers, which are only included when airfare is purchased from Pacific Delight Tours.

Meals are included as per the itineraries along with English-speaking guides and the USTOA $1 Million Travelers Assistance Program. International airfare is not included, but can be purchased from Pacific Delight Tours at competitive rates from all major U.S. gateways.

Pacific Delight Tours’ expansion into South America will include itineraries in Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Peru in 2015, with more destinations to be announced.

For more information or to book, consult your local travel agent or contact Pacific Delight Tours at 800-221-7179.  Browse Pacific Delight’s China and Asia offerings at www.PacificDelightTours.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


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 153 other followers