Park City’s Grand Summit Hotel to Undergo $15 Million Renovation and Join RockResorts

March 27, 2017
Park City UT_20170324_421e2 (c) Karen Rubin

A view of Park City’s Canyons Village in spring. Vail Resorts, which owns Park City resort plans a $15 million renovation of the Grand Summit Hotel at Canyons Village and to flag it as a RockResorts property © 2017 Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Grand Summit Hotel at Canyons Village in Vail Resorts’ Park City mountain resort in Utah, will undergo an extensive $15 million renovation this spring and subsequent flagging as a RockResorts property. The renovations will bring the hotel up to par with both its unrivaled location at the base of the largest ski resort in the United States and the modern luxury its guests expect in a travel experience. The property will temporarily close from April 17, 2017 – in conjunction with the close of Park City Mountain’s ski and snowboard season – through mid-summer.

“We couldn’t be more excited to bring the interior of the Grand Summit Hotel up to the same caliber as the world-class resort that’s just steps away from the property,” said Jim Dullanty, president of the Grand Summit Homeowner’s Association. “This transformation will undoubtedly elevate the experience for all of Grand Summit Hotel’s guests as well as the unit owners themselves.”

The renovation will include a complete overhaul of all 212 suites, including new interior finishes, furnishings, soft goods, appliances, artwork and technology. The property’s communal spaces will also be incorporated into the renovation, including the lobby and front desk, full remodel of the on-site spa, café and general store, and refresh of the conference and meeting spaces.

The interior design work will be conducted by Boulder, Colo.-based TRH Interior Design, which has also designed and transformed other Vail Resorts properties such as Crystal Peak Lodge in Breckenridge, Colo., as well as other luxury mountain properties such as the Westin Snowmass Resort and the Lumiere Hotel in Telluride.

Following the extensive renovation, the Grand Summit Hotel will be flagged as a RockResort.

RockResorts, a division of Vail Resorts, owns and operates a collection of premium properties, lavish RockResorts Spas and distinctive dining options in iconic mountain locations.

“We are thrilled to add Grand Summit to the RockResorts collection,” said Ron Neville, Vail Resorts’ vice president of hospitality. “The RockResorts brand represents the hallmark of casually elegant properties with exceptional service in our mountain resort locations. We’re looking forward to continuing to deliver extraordinary service and experiences to our guests at the Grand Summit.”

The Grand Summit Hotel sits majestically in the heart of Canyons Village at Park City. Its 212 lock-off suites provide guests with more than 290 lodging options, including hotel rooms, studios, one-, two- and three-bedroom suites and expansive luxury penthouses. Many rooms have balconies, fireplaces, double showers and full kitchens with service for eight guests. The Grand Summit’s heated outdoor swimming pool is an ideal place to relax after an adventurous day of exploring the outdoors year round. More information about Grand Summit Hotel can be found here.

RockResorts, a wholly owned subsidiary of Vail Resorts, owns and operates luxury resorts that offer casually elegant accommodations, lavish RockResorts Spas, renowned golf courses, award-winning dining and a variety of exciting outdoor adventures. The RockResorts collection includes The Arrabelle at Vail Square and The Lodge at Vail in Vail, Colo.; The Osprey at Beaver Creek and The Pines Lodge in Beaver Creek, Colo.; and One Ski Hill Place in Breckenridge, Colo.

Vail Resorts, Inc subsidiaries operate 10 world-class mountain resorts and three urban ski areas, including Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone in Colorado; Park City in Utah; Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood in the Lake Tahoe area of California and Nevada; Perisher in Australia; Whistler Blackcomb in Canada; Afton Alps in Minnesota, Mt. Brighton in Michigan and Wilmot Mountain in Wisconsin. The Company owns and/or manages a collection of casually elegant hotels under the RockResorts brand, as well as the Grand Teton Lodge Company in Jackson Hole, Wyo. Vail Resorts Development Company is the real estate planning and development 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.
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Vail Resorts to Acquire Stowe Mountain Resort Vermont, Add to Epic Pass

March 27, 2017

Stowe Mountain Resort Vt

Vail Resorts is moving to complete the acquisition of Stowe Mountain Resort, Vermont, which would be the company’s first resort on the East Coast, and would give East Coast skiers more of a reason to buy the Epic Pass.

Vail Resorts, Inc. in February entered an agreement to acquire Stowe Mountain Resort from Mt. Mansfield Company, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of American International Group, Inc. (AIG), for a purchase price of $50 million, subject to certain adjustments. Stowe Mountain Resort will be Vail Resorts’ first mountain resort on the East Coast and complements the Company’s network of 10 world-class mountain resorts and three urban ski areas.

This acquisition brings together Vail Resorts, a leading mountain resort operator, with AIG Global Real Estate (AIGGRE), a major real estate developer, which share a common vision for the long-term success of Stowe Mountain Resort as a premier, high-end resort for skiers and snowboarders on the East Coast. Vail Resorts is acquiring all of the assets related to the mountain operations of the resort, including base area skier services (food and beverage, retail and rental, lift ticket offices and ski and snowboard school facilities) at Mount Mansfield and Spruce Peak. Other facilities such as the Stowe Mountain Lodge, Stowe Mountain Club, Stowe Country Club and certain real estate owned and held for potential future development will be retained by MMC.

“We’re thrilled to add Stowe Mountain Resort to our family of world-class mountain resorts. With the investments in both mountain infrastructure and base area facilities that AIG has made over the years, Stowe Mountain Resort has become the premier, high-end resort for East Coast skiers and snowboarders. We look forward to working with AIG to continue enhancing the guest experience and to ensure the resort’s long-term success,” said Rob Katz, chairman and chief executive officer of Vail Resorts.

Douglas Tymins, president and chief executive officer of AIG Global Real Estate, said, “Under Vail Resorts’ management, Stowe’s reputation as a premier ski destination with a commitment to excellent service will continue to grow. AIGGRE is looking forward to combining Vail Resorts’ tremendous mountain operations capabilities with our continued commitment to the development of the Spruce Peak community.”

Stowe Mountain Resort in Stowe, Vt., has undergone major capital and facilities improvements including the Spruce Peak Adventure Center, the new Meadows Quad on Spruce Peak, Evolution Stowe’s RFID tickets, passes and gates and the new Shops at Spruce Peak. Spruce Peak also has new high-speed lifts, new base facilities and gourmet restaurants. MMC will retain ownership of the renowned Stowe Mountain Lodge at Stowe Mountain Resort, a 312-room hotel and spa that has already been recognized as one of the greenest and most luxurious mountainside hotels in the world, and additional slopeside real estate opportunities.

This transaction is subject to Vermont administrative review. At closing, the purchase price will be adjusted for certain agreed upon terms, including a reduction (or increase) in the price by the amount that the resort’s EBITDA exceeds capital expenditures for the period from Nov. 1, 2016, through closing. Stowe Mountain Resort is expected to generate incremental annual EBITDA in excess of $5 million in Vail Resorts’ fiscal year ending July 31, 2018.

Vail Resorts plans to integrate Stowe Mountain Resort into its Epic Pass and other season pass products for the 2017-18 winter season, subject to the acquisition closing. With the Epic Pass, Vermont skiers and snowboarders will have unlimited access locally at Stowe at an attractive price as well as the best of the West at Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone in Colorado; Park City in Utah; Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood in Tahoe; and Whistler Blackcomb in British Columbia, Canada.

See: Vail Resorts Plans to Add Stowe Vermont to 2017-18 Epic Pass Giving Northeastern Skiers New Reason to Buy

Vail Resorts, Inc subsidiaries operate 10 world-class mountain resorts and three urban ski areas, including Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone in Colorado; Park City in Utah; Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood in the Lake Tahoe area of California and Nevada; Perisher in Australia; Whistler Blackcomb in Canada; Afton Alps in Minnesota, Mt. Brighton in Michigan and Wilmot Mountain in Wisconsin. The Company owns and/or manages a collection of casually elegant hotels under the RockResorts brand, as well as the Grand Teton Lodge Company in Jackson Hole, Wyo. Vail Resorts Development Company is the real estate planning and development 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.
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Vail Resorts Plans to Add Stowe Vermont to 2017-18 Epic Pass Giving Northeastern Skiers New Reason to Buy

March 27, 2017

 

 

Park City, Utah, which now encompasses The Canyons making it the largest ski resort in the United States, is one of 10 world-class Western resorts that are part of the Vail Resorts collection, all included on the Epic Pass. Now, the pending acquisition of Stowe, Vermont, gives Northeastern skiers added reason to purchase the pass © 2017 Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Vail Resorts just announced that the Epic Pass plans to offer unlimited, unrestricted access to Stowe Mountain Resort for the 2017-2018 winter season, subject to the closing of the acquisition. Purchasing the 2017-2018 Epic Pass now through Sunday, April 9 ensures that skiers and snowboarders will lock in the lowest price, combined with the most benefits, such as six discounted lift tickets (“Buddy Tickets”) for family and friends.  Stowe will be the newest resort among 45 of the world’s most iconic mountain destinations to be offered with the Epic Pass (subject to the closing of the acquisition) – which includes 10 world-class Western destination resorts, among them Vail, Breckenridge, Park City, and Whistler Blackcomb.

The addition of Stowe, for the first time gives Northeastern skiers an even better incentive to purchase the Epic pass, which pays for itself after just five days of skiing, especially if they take advantage of the early bird discounted rates.

Available for $639, the Epic Local Pass offers unprecedented value to guests who are willing to plan around a few restrictions. Skiers and snowboarders would receive a total of 10 days at Stowe (subject to the acquisition closing), Vail, Beaver Creek, and Whistler Blackcomb with holiday restrictions; unlimited, unrestricted skiing or riding at Breckenridge, Keystone and Arapahoe Basin; and access with limited restrictions at Park City, Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood.

Available at $859 for adults, the 2017-2018 Epic Pass offers access to 45 of the world’s best mountain resorts – including Stowe Mountain Resort in Vermont, subject to the acquisition closing; Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone and Arapahoe Basin in Colorado; Whistler Blackcomb in Canada; Park City in Utah; Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood at Lake Tahoe; Perisher in Australia; Afton Alps in Minnesota; Mt. Brighton in Michigan and Wilmot Mountain in Wisconsin. Epic Pass holders will again enjoy limited access to 30 European ski resorts including Verbier and Les 4 Vallées in Switzerland, Les 3 Vallées in France; Arlberg in Austria; and Skirama Dolomiti Adamello Brenta in Italy. Each resort delivers an iconic experience, unique alpine traditions and impeccable service. Purchasing the 2017-2018 Epic Pass this spring ensures skiers and snowboarders the lowest price, combined with the most benefits, such as six discounted lift tickets (“Buddy Tickets”) for family and friends.

For guests interested in skiing Stowe exclusively, Vail Resorts anticipates offering limited Stowe-specific season pass options.  Details about pricing, access and benefits will be announced after the close of the acquisition.

“We look forward to welcoming Stowe to our family of world-class resorts, to continue providing our guests with exceptional experiences, and to build upon the unprecedented value of the Epic Pass,” said Kirsten Lynch, chief marketing officer of Vail Resorts. “With the addition of Stowe, the Epic Pass would provide guests access to the East Coast’s most iconic skiing, as well as unlimited, unrestricted access to the best of the West – including Vail, Breckenridge, Park City and Whistler Blackcomb, among many additional world-renowned destination resorts throughout North America.”

You can purchase season passes and start planning their next winter vacations at EpicPass.com.

2017-2018 Ski and Snowboard Season Pass Options

Epic Pass™: Ski unlimited and unrestricted from opening day to closing day for only $859. The Epic Pass pays for itself in just over four days of skiing or snowboarding. Enjoy unlimited, unrestricted access to Stowe (subject to the closing of the acquisition); Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone and Arapahoe Basin in Colorado; Whistler Blackcomb in Canada Park City in Utah; Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood at Lake Tahoe; Perisher in Australia; Afton Alps in Minnesota; Mt. Brighton in Michigan, and Wilmot Mountain in Wisconsin for the 2017-2018 season. The Epic Pass grants limited access to Arlberg in Austria; Les 3 Vallées, Paradiski and Tignes-Val D’Isere in France; Skirama Dolomiti in Italy and 4 Vallées in Switzerland. No restricted dates. A child pass (ages five to 12) is $449.

Epic Local Pass™: For $639, receive 10 days at Stowe (subject to the closing of the acquisition), Vail, Beaver Creek and Whistler Blackcomb with holiday restrictions; unlimited and unrestricted skiing and snowboarding at Breckenridge, Keystone and Arapahoe Basin; and skiing and snowboarding at Park City, Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood with limited restrictions. The Epic Local Pass pays for itself in just over three days. A child pass (ages five to 12) is $339.

Epic 7-Day™: Perfect for skiers in search of a week of skiing. The pass pays for itself in just over three days and includes a total of seven unrestricted days valid at Stowe (subject to the closing of the acquisition), Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone, Whistler Blackcomb, Park City, Heavenly, Northstar, Kirkwood and Arapahoe Basin, plus seven free days at Afton Alps, Mt. Brighton or Wilmot Mountain. The Epic 7-Day Pass is $639 for adults and $339 for children (ages five to 12).

Epic 4-Day™: A convenient option for a short ski trip. The pass pays for itself in just over two days and includes a total of four unrestricted days valid at Stowe (subject to the closing of the acquisition), Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone, Whistler Blackcomb, Park City, Heavenly, Northstar, Kirkwood and Arapahoe Basin, plus four free days at Afton Alps, Mt. Brighton or Wilmot Mountain. The Epic 4-Day Pass is $419 for adults and $229 for children (ages five to 12).

Those who purchase the Epic Pass or Epic Local Pass prior to April 9 will receive six Buddy Tickets that are automatically loaded onto your Epic Pass or Epic Local Pass – the best discounted rate for lift tickets that pass holders can give to friends or family to use.

Season Pass Insurance: Vail Resorts encourages guests to purchase pass insurance. All of the Company’s season pass products are non-refundable and non-transferable; however, pass insurance covers pass holders in the event of unexpected circumstances including sickness, injury and job loss. Find out more at EpicPass.com.

For those who want to ski Stowe exclusively, Vail Resorts anticipates offering limited Stowe-specific season pass options.  Details about pricing, access and benefits will be announced after the official close of acquisition.

Vail Resorts, Inc subsidiaries operate 10 world-class mountain resorts and three urban ski areas, including Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone in Colorado; Park City in Utah; Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood in the Lake Tahoe area of California and Nevada; Perisher in Australia; Whistler Blackcomb in Canada; Afton Alps in Minnesota, Mt. Brighton in Michigan and Wilmot Mountain in Wisconsin. The Company owns and/or manages a collection of casually elegant hotels under the RockResorts brand, as well as the Grand Teton Lodge Company in Jackson Hole, Wyo. Vail Resorts Development Company is the real estate planning and development subsidiary of Vail Resorts, Inc.

Visit www.snow.com for more information.
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Hayden, Ray, Van Hoff Advance in Gold Coast Arts Center’s ‘Your Big Break’ Talent Competition Finals, April 1

March 12, 2017

Paris Ray, Julia Hayden and Lydia Van Hof, winners of the second-round of Gold Coast Arts Center’s ‘Your Big Break’ Talent Competition, with judges. © 2017 Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

By Karen Rubin, Travel Features Syndicate, goingplacesfarandnear.com

A trio of singer-songwriters, Julia Hayden, Paris Ray and Lydia Van Hof, were winners of the second-round of Gold Coast Arts Center’s ‘Your Big Break’ Talent Competition, and will go on to the finals, April 1.

With the first-round winners, singer-songwriters Julia Lambert, Jaclyn Manfredi, and Alex Mendes, this seals the line up for the finals, on April 1, taking place at the Gold Coast Arts Center, 113 Middle Neck Road, Great Neck, Long Island.

Julia Hayden performing at the Gold Coast Arts Center’s ‘Your Big Break’ Talent Competition, Great Neck, Long Island© 2017 Karen Rubin/ goingplacesfarandnear.com

Julia Hayden brought presence and style to her performance of “Moana” (“I’m a huge Disney person.”); Paris Ray, whose original song, “Astronomy” had marvelous lyrics (“I became an astronaut to give you space”); Lydia Van Hof, who has performed at Carnegie Hall and the Metropolitan Opera, brought her rich vocal talent to an excellent rendition of Adele’s “When We Were Young” and Nina Simone’s “Feeling Good.”

Paris Ray will perform in the finals of the Gold Coast Arts Center’s ‘Your Big Break’ Talent Competition, Great Neck, April 1 © 2017 Karen Rubin/ goingplacesfarandnear.com

The other five performers also impressed the judges and audience with their original music as well as covers and live musical accompaniment:  Tessa Field (whose original song, dedicated to her mother who passed away, featured this line, “don’t know what to do when I see my smile in pictures of you,”), Taylor Hogan (her original song was “Sane Wonderland”, and two bands, City Alley and Times Like These.

The “Big Break” is not just a clever title. The young performers are competing for prizes that could well launch their career.

Lydia Van Hof brought a sassy, sultry style to her winning performance at the Gold Coast Arts Center’s ‘Your Big Break’ Talent Competition and moves on to the finals April 1 © 2017 Karen Rubin/ goingplacesfarandnear.com

Winners are up for prizes including the chance to open for national acts at major venues like The Paramount, recording time at DCITY Studios and Online TV streaming opportunities, a feature on Reverbnation.com, musical equipment from All Music Inc. and ZOOM North America, a PR and social media campaign including management, booking and label services consultation with Rick Eberle Agency. In addition, Rick Eberle has also invited all the contestants to appear on his radio and TV shows.

Mentors assigned to the finalists also work to help them hone their craft before performing at the finals. 2017 mentors are still to be announced but last year’s included singer/songwriter Ryan Star, John Hampson of Nine Days, and songwriter/producer Ido Zmishlany.

Judges are major players in the music industry including: ReverbNation.com’s Lou Plaia, All Music Inc.’s Guy Brogna, Label Executives Stephen Marcuccio, Jerry Lembo, Mark Ambrosino.

Contestants and judges at the second semi-finals of Gold Coast Arts Center’s ‘Your Big Break’ Talent Competition, Great Neck, Long Island © 2017 Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

The evening was capped with a headlining performance by singer-songwriter Matt Grabowski who was last year’s winner.

Your Big Break is hosted by the Gold Coast Arts Center’s Acoustic Café and LoveRevolution.org.

The contestants for Your Big Break were selected from 1000 submissions in response to an open call for musicians age 15 to 25 who do not currently have a recording or publishing contract. The artists have to perform with a band or solo with an acoustic guitar or band or sing to a backing music track. There is no fee to submit.

Matt Grabowski, last season’s winner of the “Your Big Break” Talent competition, headlines and also helped judge the competition © 2017 Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

The Arts Center is transformed into the Gold Coast Acoustic Café once a month, a music venue that showcases local up-and-coming talent as well as established music acts. With its black box theater performance space and a lounge in the art gallery, the Gold Coast Acoustic Café is one of the few small music venues around which makes for a special and intimate atmosphere for artists and audience alike, especially during Your Big Break.

Doors open at 7:30 pm for general seating and the first act will perform starting at 8:00pm each night. Tickets are $10 for students and $15 for adults. Snacks are available for purchase.

Gold Coast Arts Center, 113 Middle Neck Road, Great Neck NY. Call 516-829-2570 or go to www.goldcoastarts.org.

See also:

Lambert, Manfredi Advance in Gold Coast Arts Center’s ‘Your Big Break’ Talent Competition

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Lambert, Manfredi Advance in Gold Coast Arts Center’s ‘Your Big Break’ Talent Competition

February 12, 2017
gcac-yrbigbreak1_021117_055e2-c-karen-rubin-julia-lambert

Julia Lambert is a finalist in the 5th Annual Gold Coast Arts Center’s Your Big Break Talent Competition © 2017 Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

By Karen Rubin, Travel Features Syndicate, goingplacesfarandnear.com

Singer-songwriters Julia Lambert, Jaclyn Manfredi and the band Barely Know Her were winners of Knockout Round of the Gold Coast Arts Center’s 5th annual Your Big Break talent competition. Lambert and Manfredi, who won the judges’ tally, and Barely Know Her who won the audience vote, will go on to the finals on Saturday April 1.

The next round will take place on Saturday, March 11 at the Gold Coast Arts Center, 113 Middle Neck Road, Great Neck, Long Island.

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Jaclyn Manfredi advances to the finals of the Your Big Break Talent competition April 1 © 2017 Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Jaclyn Manfredi, 17, brings a sultry style reflecting jazz, blues and R&B influences, and has performed at the Apollo Theater. She was a finalist at the 2016 Your Big Break. Julia Lambert who used to perform with the band Nexus, is now solo and performed an original song, “Closer.”

gcac-yrbigbreak1_021117_186e2c-karen-rubin-barely-know-her

The band Barely Know Her was the audience favorite at the first round of Gold Coast Arts Center’s Your Big Break Talent Competition © 2017 Karen Rubin/ goingplacesfarandnear.com

Barely Knew Her is a five-piece band from the South Shore with a solid horn section and an amazing drummer.

The other performers included Kayla Muro, a 17-year old who describes her music as “Alt Pop”; Sabrina Ali, 22, who has performed at the Bitter End and was a contestant at 16 years old on American Idol and The Voice (her grandfather was a Bollywood legend and her mother is an actress); Sydney Perruzza who did a cover of Lady Gaga’s “Speechless,” E.J. Carey who is a powerhouse who packs punch; Samantha Daniels, who has been performing since she was 16; Alex Mendes, who brings her classical training in opera and musical theater to a rich and impassioned performance that evoked in my mind Tina Turner.

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EJ Carey performs at Gold Coast Arts Center’s Your Big Break Talent Competition© 2017 Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

The “Big Break” is not just a clever title. The young performers are competing for prizes that could well launch their career.

Winners are up for prizes including the chance to open for national acts at major venues like The Paramount, recording time at DCITY Studios and Online TV streaming opportunities, a feature on Reverbnation.com, musical equipment from All Music Inc. and ZOOM North America, a PR and social media campaign including management, booking and label services consultation with Rick Eberle Agency.

gcac-yrbigbreak1_021117_144e2c-karen-rubin-alex-mendes

Alex Mendes performs at Gold Coast Arts Center’s Your Big Break Talent Competition© 2017 Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Mentors assigned to the finalists also work to help them hone their craft before performing at the finals. 2017 mentors are still to be announced but last year’s included singer/songwriter Ryan Star, John Hampson of Nine Days, and songwriter/producer Ido Zmishlany.

gcac-yrbigbreak1_021117_029e2c-karen-rubin-sabrina-ali

Sabrina Ali performs at Gold Coast Arts Center’s Your Big Break Talent Competition© 2017 Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Judges are major players in the music industry including: ReverbNation.com’s Lou Plaia, All Music Inc.’s Guy Brogna, Songwriter Tara Eberle Drouin and Label Executives Stephen Marcuccio, Jerry Lembo, Linda Ingrisano, Mark Ambrosino.

gcac-yrbigbreak1_021117_258e2c-karen-rubin-katie-lennon

Headline duo of Katie & Lennon were both contestants in earlier editions of Your Big Break Talent Competition. Lennon still performs with his band, Youth Be Told, and Katie Zimmer performing on her own © 2017 Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

The evening was capped with a headlining performance by Lennon & Katie, a duo formed from past finalists, Lennon from the band Youth Be Told and Katie Zimmer who is now the lead singer in Youth Be Told.

Your Big Break is hosted by the Gold Coast Arts Center’s Acoustic Café and Love Revolution Org.

The contestants for Your Big Break were selected out of 1000 submissions in response to an open call for musicians age 15 to 25 who do not currently have a recording or publishing contract. The artists have to perform with a band or solo with an acoustic guitar or sing to a backing music track. There is no fee to submit.

gcac-yrbigbreak1_021117_102e2-c-karen-rubin-judges

Judges for the 5th Annual Gold Coast Arts Center Your Big Break Talent Competition © 2017 Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

The Arts Center is transformed into the Gold Coast Acoustic Cafe once a month, a music venue that showcases local up-and-coming talent as well as established music acts. With its black box theater performance space and a lounge in the art gallery, the Gold Coast Acoustic Cafe is one of the few small music venues around which makes for a special and intimate atmosphere for artists and audience alike, especially during Your Big Break. Other past artists who have performed in the headline slots have included: Iridesense, John Hampson of Nine Days, The Brady Brothers, and Sir Cadian Rhythm – all of whom are local musicians who have had major success in the industry, with hopes to further inspire the next generation of New York stars presented each year.

The next round takes place Saturday March 11 at the Gold Coast Arts Center. On deck to perform are Alex Norwood, Julia Hayden, Monique Thompson, Tessa field, Paris Ray, Taylor Hogan, Lydia Von Hof and Pocketphuzz. The headliner is Lem Payne Jr.

gcac-yrbigbreak1_021117_286e2c-karen-rubin

Judges and performers at the 5th Annual Gold Coast Arts Center Your Big Break Talent Competition © 2017 Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Doors open at 7:30pm for general seating and the first act will perform starting at 8:00pm each night. Tickets are $10 for students and $15 for adults. Snacks are available for purchase.

Gold Coast Arts Center, 113 Middle Neck Road, Great Neck NY. Call 516-829-2570 or go to www.goldcoastarts.org.

 

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Regent Seven Seas Cruises Opens Reservations on 2018-19 Voyages

February 10, 2017
regent7seas_fil9455e2

Regent Seven Seas Cruises has just announced its summer 2018 through spring 2019 voyage collection, with 113 alluring itineraries aboard Seven Seas Voyager, Seven Seas Mariner, Seven Seas Navigator, and the newly launched Seven Seas Explorer.

MIAMI – Regent Seven Seas Cruises has just announced its summer 2018 through spring 2019 voyage collection, with 113 alluring itineraries aboard Seven Seas Voyager, Seven Seas Mariner, Seven Seas Navigator, and the newly launched Seven Seas Explorer. These four luxury ships will call at some of the most fascinating destinations in the world, among which are 28 maiden ports and 23 breathtaking UNESCO World Heritage sites. Guests will immerse themselves in cultures, cuisines and traditions with the line’s free unlimited shore excursions on all voyages and through included three-night, pre- or post-cruise land programs on Asia and Africa sailings. Throughout, each staff and crew member delivers exceptional, personalized service to every guest, for which Regent Seven Seas Cruises is renowned.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ summer 2018 through spring 2019 voyages are now open for reservations.

“We’ve created a highly impressive array of voyages worldwide that will delight and awe our guests,” said Jason Montague, president and CEO of Regent Seven Seas Cruises. “For the intrepid traveler, we also introduced a new Grand Voyage that delves into the Northern Atlantic and Arctic Circle, as well as our 13th annual World Cruise. There is no better inclusive-luxury experience than Regent and we look forward to sharing the world with our guests.”

Seven Seas Explorer Inaugurates Africa Voyages

Launched in July 2016 and recognized as the most luxurious ship ever built, Seven Seas Explorer returns to Europe for a second consecutive summer season in May 2018. The ship will sail throughout the Mediterranean, North and Baltic seas on seven- to 12-night voyages and make maiden calls at Portimao, Portugal; Lysekil, Sweden; and Bodo and Haugesund, Norway.

Seven Seas Explorer then commences its maiden Africa season on two epic voyages that showcase the continent’s west coast, a 24-night, Lisbon (Portugal)-to-Cape Town (South Africa) itinerary, followed by a 15-night, round-trip New Years voyage. The ship then heads west to South America for its vibrant rhythms, colors and cultures as it rounds the horn to Los Angeles via the western coast.

Chic Mediterranean and Authentic Caribbean

Seven Seas Voyager also will sail the Mediterranean in summer 2018, with many seven-night itineraries that include calls at some of the region’s most chic destinations, as well as maiden calls at Korcula and Hvar, Croatia; Saint-Raphael, France; Lipari, Sicily, Italy. The ship will winter in the Caribbean, alternating seven- to 12-night, Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries, which travelers can combine to immerse themselves in the region. New Caribbean ports-of-call for the line are picturesque Port Antonio, Jamaica, as well as Charlestown, Nevis, the birthplace of U.S. Founding Father Alexander Hamilton.

Remote Wonders of the Pacific and Australia

Seven Seas Mariner will offer a variety of adventures throughout the Pacific, starting with Alaska in summer 2018. The ship then charts the South Pacific in the autumn to Asia and Australia, presenting the grand cities and historic, cultural landmarks of the Pacific Rim and Southeast Asia, and calling at Broome, Australia, and Oarai, Japan, for the first time. From Sydney, travelers can join Seven Seas Mariner on the Grand Aussie Adventure, a new 36-night circumnavigation of the continent, sailing Dec. 15, 2018. 

Grand Arctic, Canada and New England, and the World

Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ most intimate ship, Seven Seas Navigator, will offer three very distinct programs, starting with an 89-night, Grand Arctic Splendor voyage that begins and ends in New York. The Grand Artic Splendor voyage is comprised of six sailings that call at 63 non-repeating destinations in Canada and New England, Greenland and Iceland, North and Baltic Seas, as well as into the Arctic Circle to reach the White Sea. On this adventure, Martha’s Vineyard, Mass., and Archangel, Russia, will be maiden ports.

The ship will then sail a range of unforgettable Canada and New England cruises between New York and Montréal to showcase the autumn foliage and exciting cities of Quebec and the Northeast U.S.

To kick off 2019, Seven Seas Navigator will embark on Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ 13th World Cruise, an epic 131-night adventure that calls at 62 unique ports across the Hawaii Islands, French Polynesia, Australia, Asia and the Mediterranean. Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ 2019 World Cruise is comprised of seven distinct itineraries, calling at 23 UNESCO World Heritage Sites and making maiden calls at Kingfisher Bay (Fraser Island), Australia; Makassar (Sulawesi), Indonesia; and Puerto Princesa, Philippines.

Celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2017, Regent Seven Seas Cruises is one of the world’s most inclusive luxury cruiselines with a four-ship fleet that visits more than 425 destinations around the globe. Regent Seven Seas Cruises is currently undergoing a $125 million fleetwide refurbishment that will elevate the level of elegance found throughout the fleet to the standard set by Seven Seas Explorer, which entered service on July 20, 2016, and has since been recognized as the most luxurious ship ever built. A leader in luxury cruising, the line’s fares include all-suite accommodations, round-trip air, highly personalized service, exquisite cuisine, fine wines and spirits, unlimited internet access, sightseeing excursions in every port, gratuities, ground transfers and a pre-cruise hotel package for guests staying in concierge-level suites and higher. Beginning in summer 2017, Regent Seven Seas Cruises also will include Business Class air for all intercontinental flights.

For more information about Regent Seven Seas Cruises or specific itineraries, contact a professional travel agent; visit www.rssc.com; or call 1-844-4REGENT (1-844-473-4368).

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Jade Mountain Club Named One of World’s Most Romantic Destinations

February 10, 2017
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Jade Mountain Club, Saint Lucia

The new National Geographic Society book, The World’s Most Romantic Destinations, names Jade Mountain as the recommended hotel for the island of Saint Lucia, one of the 50 featured locales.

“We are thrilled to be part of this definitive new travel guide,” said co-owner Karolin Troubetzkoy of the gorgeous coffee-table book, an inspirational planner for romantic trips such as weddings, honeymoons and anniversaries. “The very essence of Jade Mountain is the celebration of life and love, and our goal has always been to provide the utmost level in service and privacy for special occasions such as weddings, honeymoons and anniversaries.”

The resort is known for its intimate weddings, and its Celestial Terrace, one of the most popular locations, was used twice as the Final Red Rose Proposal in ABC’s The Bachelor. The hotel even employs a Romance Concierge to help with proposals, surprise gifts and other memorable moments during honeymoons and anniversaries.

Jade Mountain is set on a lush, scenic 600-acre estate overlooking the Gros and Petit Pitons, 2,500-foot twin volcanoes that have come to symbolize St. Lucia and are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The resort’s cuisine, which the book deemed “exquisite,” is overseen by the highly acclaimed chef Allen Susser, who conceived the groundbreaking Miami restaurant Chef Allen’s and has won the James Beard Foundation’s Best Southeast Chef award.

Architect and owner Nick Troubetzkoy’s story began in the 1970s, when he opened Anse Chastanet, Jade Mountain’s sister property, as a pioneering eco-conscious hotel. In 2007, after many years of planning and construction, Troubetzkoy opened his labor of love: Jade Mountain, an intimate, luxurious resort at the top half of the property.

Troubetzkoy’s bold architectural vision helped bring to life extraordinary details like dramatically suspended bridge walkways (instead of hallways) and extravagant suites called “sanctuaries,” each missing a fourth wall. The book specifically called out the “aptly” named sanctuaries saying, “there’s nothing between you and your Pitons panorama … Marvel at the scene from the sumptuous, mosquito-netted bed, elegant sun loungers or private infinity pool.”

With their incredible panoramas, massive infinity pools that seem to float over the Caribbean and handcrafted furnishings sourced from local materials, each room is a majestic, sweeping space that’s a true work of art. These sanctuaries provide an unforgettable stage set for the wedding, honeymoon or anniversary of a lifetime.

Jade Mountain has received numerous other accolades, including several Conde Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards and placement on Travel + Leisure’s T+L 500 and World’s Best Awards lists, the Conde Nast Traveler Gold List, American Express Travel’s Top 25 List and BRIDES magazine’s rundown, “The 10 Best Honeymoon Resorts in the Caribbean.”

For reservations, call 800-223-1108 or contact Jade Mountain at 1-758-459-7000, e-mail jademountain@ansechastanet.com, www.jademountain.com.

 

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Valentine’s Gift of Travel: 10 Romantic Adventures for Lovers

February 10, 2017

 

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What could be more romantic than experiencing the Northern Lights in Iceland together? Big Chill Adventures offers that trip (photo by Mindy Cambiar)

With Valentine’s Day around the corner, many have romance on the mind. If you are looking to rekindle old flames or charm your significant other with something extraordinary, consider these romantic retreats. From “glamping” in Wyoming to touring France by bike, here are 10 adventures that will make capture your hearts. Consider gifting the romantic trip for a future date, with so much to look forward to.

Bike Across France – Ride & Seek has introduced a romantic cycling tour in the Provence region of France highlighting some of the most beautiful villages as ordained by the group Les Plus Beaux Villages de France. Guests will visit a number of classic destinations such as St Remy de Provence and the Vaucluse. From Venasque to Les Alpilles to Glanum, this is a dreamy tour of Provence.

Rocky Mountain Glamping – Hike, ride horses, fly fish, snowmobile, x-country ski, and play cowboy at the 25,000 acre Red Reflet Ranch in Wyoming. The ranch is both working ranch and luxury resort.  Gourmet dining offers ingredients from the ranch’s butcher shop, organic greenhouse and gardens.  From cattle drives to branding, the true western lifestyle thrives at Red Reflet.

Robinson Caruso Island Retreat – Retreat to the mystical Chilean island where marooned explorer Robinson Crusoe once lived. Hear the legends of pirates and treasure as you hike through deep forested ravines, cascading streams, and along jagged coastlines in this World Heritage Biosphere Reserve. Enjoy active excursions such as snorkeling, hiking, diving, horseback riding, and fishing, by day. Return to the comfort of your Robinson Crusoe Island resort by night.

New Zealand Food & Wine Adventure – On this exclusive luxury food and wine tour hosted by Frontiers International Travel President, Mike Fitzgerald, guests will experience New Zealand’s charming mixture of refined lifestyle and adventure. Discerning travelers will visit some of the most scenic coastal and inland areas of New Zealand, while enjoying a variety of outdoor activities, fine dining, and world-class wine.

Trek with Gorillas in Rwanda – Encounter some of the last remaining mountain gorillas in the world on a Gondwana EcoTours trek into the lush forests of Rwanda. Intrepid travelers will also track chimpanzees and the golden monkey, and likely come across elephants and African buffalo.

Escape to Romantic St. Petersburg – Forget Paris or Rome. Join MIR Corporation in St. Petersburg where you and your lover can peruse Fabergé eggs, attend world-class ballet and opera performances, walk the halls of luxurious palaces of the czars, and stand before “The Dance,” a joyous painting by Henri Matisse.

Après-Ski Retreat in Montana – Rent a luxurious cabin at the Moonlight Basin community in Big Sky, Montana and find active pursuits paired with food and drinks. Ski beautiful terrain that isn’t open to the public, sample hors d’oeuvres and après-ski drinks by a campfire, snowshoe to the clubhouse by starlight, and then sit down for an exquisite wine-paired dinner.

Wine Cruise on the Douro River –  On this romantic cruise with Adventure Life, guests will visit a fairytale castle from Portugal’s Romantic period, dine with breathtaking views from a 14th century monastery, take in art from the 12th century to modern times, and taste plenty of wine – including at a family-run estate and a terraced vineyard.

See the Northern Lights in Iceland – Big Chill Adventures offers an opportunity to explore the southern part of Iceland, known for its glaciers, icebergs and black sand beaches. Highlights include dogsledding, trekking glaciers, snowmobiling, spelunking, and soaking in geothermal hot springs.

Discover the Silk Road and Tibet – Explore the Tibetan Plateau on a splendid circular route that embraces the sacred cities of Tsetang, Lhasa, Gyantse and Shigatse. Ride the high-altitude train from Lhasa down to Lanzhou, and onto Western China and the Kashgar Animal Market. Along the way, visit Dunhuang’s UNESCO-listed Mogao Caves and Turpan’s lush Grape Valley.

 

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Romantic Getaways: Fall in Love Around the World with Red Carnation Hotels

February 9, 2017

DELRAY BEACH, Fla.– The Red Carnation Hotel Collection offers the perfect romantic rendezvous for lovers around the world. Rekindle passion in London, discover the true meaning of romance in Dorset, create unforgettable memories in Guernsey or Geneva. Florida’s tropical Palm Beach is ideal for a beachside escape, while South Africa’s stunning scenery boasts a multitude of indulgent activities.

Every Red Carnation hotel sets the scene for tender romance – rose petals and candles, Champagne, chocolate-covered strawberries, delectable dining and exquisite turndown surprises – each capturing a unique Valentine’s Day experience.

  • London, UK: Hotel ‘41’ overlooks the Royal Mews and grounds of the Buckingham Palace – A Night under the Stars
  • Dorset, UK: Summer Lodge Country House Hotel, Restaurant and Spa is located within the glorious countryside in the picturesque village of Evershot – Valentine’s Hideaway
  • Guernsey, The Channel Islands: The Old Government House Hotel and Spa is in the heart of St. Peter Port sitting proudly just up the hill from the main shopping street and a five-minute walk from the picturesque quayside  – A Valentine’s Break
  • Geneva, Switzerland: Hotel d’Angleterre has unrivalled views of Lake Geneva’s Jet d’Eau – Romantic City Escape
  • Palm Beach, Florida: The Chesterfield Palm Beach is located in the heart of Palm Beach, just two blocks away from the world famous Worth Avenue and moments from the beaches – Sweetheart Package
  • Cape Town, South Africa: The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa is situated above the Atlantic Ocean and flanked by the majestic Table Mountain National Park and the Twelve Apostles Mountain Range – The Perfect Proposal

The Red Carnation Hotel Collection has additional luxurious packages to ensure your Valentine’s Day getaway is one to remember.

Red Carnation Hotels are a collection of family-run, award-winning boutique hotels in the UK, Ireland, South Africa, Switzerland and the USA.

Each hotel is a landmark of history and tradition; from the recently restored Ashford Castle in Ireland, to the Milestone, a historic mansion hotel in the heart of London, to the truly iconic Oyster Box in South Africa – our hotels are unique and characterful with a personal approach to hospitality.

With a peerless reputation for exquisite fine dining, leading spas and sumptuous surroundings, we pride ourselves on delivering warm, thoughtful and highly personalized service.

For more information about The Red Carnation Hotel Collection, visit www.redcarnation.com.

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What Could Be More Romantic Than Surprise Getaway to New England Inns

February 9, 2017
Red Lion Inn, Stockbridge, MA

Red Lion Inn, Stockbridge, MA has a Date Night Package © 2017 Karen Rubin/ goingplacesfarandnear.com

From the mountains of Vermont and cultural hub of Massachusetts to the canals of Amsterdam, what could be more romantic than surprising your special someone with a last-minute Valentine’s Day escape?

The Inn at Manchester, Vermont 

For couples still looking for a special Valentine’s Day getaway, the Inn at Manchester’s Fireside Romance package helps set the mood for a romantic winter escape. Lovebirds can sip on cocktails in the Inn’s cozy living room-style pub, discover the peaceful charm of Southern Vermont, and relax by their own private fireplace.

Available through March 31, 2017 based on availability, the Fireside Romance package includes: two nights’ accommodations in a room with a fireplace;  full breakfast daily; Vermont chocolate and a bottle of wine upon arrival. Prices start at $255 per night in a suite, based on double occupancy. Valid on new reservations only. Call 802-362-1793 to book.

The Inn at Manchester is located at 3967 Main Street, Manchester, VT. For more information, visit www.innatmanchester.com.

 Romance in The Berkshires

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, the Berkshires transforms into a picturesque New England destination for travelers looking for a romantic winter getaway. Two renowned Berkshires properties – Red Lion Inn in Stockbridge, and  Porches at MASS MoCA in North Adams – invite guests to rekindle the romance with value-added Date Night packages:

Red Lion Inn, Stockbridge, MA: Red Lion Inn’s warm lobby fireplace has been welcoming travelers since 1773, and this winter will welcome couples looking to rekindle the romance. The inn’s Date Night package includes overnight accommodations, a $50 dining voucher, a bottle of wine and a box of locally-made chocolates.  Rates start at $210 Monday-Sunday and $280 Friday and Saturday based on double occupancy. Available until May 25, 2017.  To book, visit www.redlioninn.com.

Porches Inn at MASS MoCA, North Adam, MA: Guests can discover of the art of romance at the Porches Inn at MASS MoCA. The Date Night Package includes accommodations, two tickets to MASS MoCA, and a three-course dinner for two at the Gramercy Bistro, Pera Mediterranean Bistro or The Williams Inn restaurant. Rates start at $287 per night Sunday – Thursday and $337 per night on Friday and Saturday based on double occupancy. Available through May 18, 2017. To book, visit www.porches.com.

 The Dylan – Amsterdam 

For couples looking to take their romance international, The Dylan, the refined luxury boutique hotel centrally located in Amsterdam’s trendy “nine streets” shopping area, welcomes couples with sweet poetry.  On February 14, Amsterdam’s Poetry Pusher will create personalized poems for couples on an old fashioned typewriter based on each couples interests and likes.

Available February 11-19, 2017, The Dylan’s Valentine Package features, one overnight stay; Dylan buffet breakfast; the hotel’s signature High Wine experience; a special Valentine gift and poem created by the “Poetry Pusher” (customized poem for guests staying on February 14 only, guests visiting other nights will receive special Dylan Poem crafted by the Poetry Pusher). Rates start at €405 (approximately $431 USD) per package, based on a double room for two people. Additional nights are available starting at €400 per night including breakfast.  Package is subject to available and excludes 5% city tax. To book, visit www.dylanamsterdam.com.

The Date Night packages are available throughout the winter, blackout dates may apply; taxes and gratuities additional.

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