Snow Resorts are Magical Places for Winter Holidays

December 8, 2017
Whistler-Blackcomb-Mitchell-Winton e2

Whistler-Blackcomb, British Columbia, Canada (© Mitchell Winton)

Snow-covered mountain resorts are particularly magical at the holidays, and they go all out.

“The quintessential holiday vacation is a ski trip in the mountains,” says CMO at Ski.com and industry veteran, Dan Sherman. “From elaborate light displays in quaint mountain villages and Santa races to holiday markets and torchlight parades, mountain destinations offer the epitome of an idyllic holiday atmosphere.”

Here are just a few examples:

Stowe, Vermont An idyllic New England town, Stowe is a winter wonderland. The streets of historic downtown come to life during the holidays with a local artisan market. From candy cane-making demos to the annual winter-themed ice carving, there is plenty to do off the mountain. Catch a holiday concert at the Spruce Peak Performing Arts Center or take the kids to a community screening of It’s a Wonderful Life. Ring in the New Year with Stowe’s on-mountain Torchlight Parade and Fireworks Show over Spruce Peak.

Vail, Colorado: Vail’s Holidays are held from November 29th through December 31st. The festivities kick off with the annual Kris Kringle Market, an outdoor market featuring 34 local and regional Colorado vendors, where travelers can pick up unique last minute gifts. On the evening of December 17th, join the Mayor and take in the Town of Vail Tree Lighting by the Covered Bridge, while the Vail Children’s Choir sings. On December 22nd, Vail Winterfest Ice Theater hosts their Grand Opening Celebration. Ice Sculptor Paul Wertin creates oversized ice chairs where travelers can kick back and relax while enjoying film projects, such as How the Grinch Stole Christmas. On New Year’s Eve, ski instructors and locals form a glowing train down the mountain, while fireworks bring in the new year, lighting up Vail’s iconic setting. Other activities include ice skating, lantern making, holiday sweater runs to burn off some extra calories and children’s cookies and tea parties.

Whistler Blackcomb, Canada Dress like Santa and Ms. Claus and ski for free on the annual Santa Ski Day, this December in Whistler. The first 75 guests to arrive at the Garibaldi Lift Company dressed in holiday garb will be awarded a free lift ticket. The iconic Fire & Ice shows light up the town every Sunday evening as skiers and snowboarders hit a big air jump through a ring of fire. The 34th annual Christmas Eve Carol Service takes place at the Westin Resort and Spa, bringing to life the story of the birth of Christ along with traditional carols and music. In addition, children can ice skate with Santa throughout the holiday season at the Whistler Olympic Plaza.

Vorderstadt Kitzb¸hel

Kitzbühel, Austria (© Markus Mitterer)

Kitzbuhel, Austria An ultimate holiday destination for skiing and festivities, the town of Kitzbuhel transforms into a Christmas market and winter wonderland from November 30th through December 26th. Featuring traditional Tyrolean crafts, food and traditions, the market celebrates the holidays with a variety of musical acts featuring local choirs and musicians, Christmas readings, petting zoos and pony rides for the children. On January 1st, thousands of locals and visitors ring in the New Year with a torch skiing and flame jumping show, complete with the 64th annual fireworks show put on by fireworks champion, Armin Lukasser.

Squaw Valley, California: The holidays kick off in Squaw and Alpine Meadows on December 16th with the Opening Ceremonies. The Ceremonies include a glow stick parade, lead by the one and only Santa. The parade meanders through Squaw’s “Ye Olde Christmas Village” and the “Merry Wonderland” (a transformed Olympic Village Lodge). Check out the Ice Garden and performances by the Truckee Tahoe Community Chorus. Participants will also enjoy the “Taste of Squaw,” where local dining establishments provide free bites of signature items. Santa continues his visits throughout the week, stopping at the Merry Wonderland, the Ice Garden, Village at Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows. On December 21st, visitors can enjoy a concert put on by the Squaw Valley Institute featuring blues-infused covers of classics by likes of BB King, Kat King Cole, Otis Redding, Eric Clapton and more. Other festivities include Ugly Sweater parties, brunch with Santa and skiing with Santa on December 25th.

Innsbruck, Austria: From mid-November through early January, the capitol of Tyrol is awash with Christmas festivities. The neighborhood of Alstadt features popular Medieval houses on the narrow Kiebachgasse street. Brothers Grimm characters peer down from the widows and tickle the imagination of children and the young at heart. Vendor booths are laden with festive goods like gingerbread, wooden toys and hand-blown ornaments. Every day at dusk, trumpeters perform traditional carols on the 500-year-old Golden Roof. Don’t miss Kiachln, a traditional Advent doughnut served with hot cranberry sauce. Take a ride up the funicular to Hafelekar, located just outside of Innsbruck to enjoy the twinkling city below.

Sun Valley-Kevin-Syms e2

Sun Valley, Idaho (© Kevin Syms)

Sun Valley, Idaho The birthplace of skiing in the U.S., Sun Valley, Idaho is a small town with five-star amenities, but without the crowds. Christmas festivities start early with the annual Tree Lighting Ceremony on December 16th. Santa will be present, as well as the Sun Valley Carolers, an ice carving demo and free cookies and hot chocolate. Carolers perform daily performances throughout the Sun Valley Village and at various Sun Valley restaurants through the holidays. A European-style open-air market on the Sun Valley Lawn features vendors and holiday goodies. On Christmas Eve, enjoy the Winter Wonderland Ice Show while warming up with free hot chocolate and fresh-baked cookies at the Lodge. Don’t miss Christmas Eve fireworks and a sky-illuminating torchlight parade down Dollar Mountain. Take sleigh rides to Trail Creek Cabin for dinner or amble down Main Street in Ketchum, lit up with a festive holiday gallery walk and festive decorations on all of the beautiful lodges.

Aspen, Colorado: The 12 Days of Aspen usher in the holidays in Aspen, Colorado. On December 20th, kids can make their parents a special gift at the St. Regis, while LeAnn Rimes will perform at the Belly Up that evening. The following day, Santa will be at the Winer Wonderland with his live reindeer. Come meet St. Nick and enjoy free hot cocoa and cookies while getting your picture taken. Santa will also be conducting sleigh rides throughout the 12 Days through town with Mrs. Claus; visitors can reserve spots in advance to take a ride. During the afternoons the spirited Hotel Jerome will be hosting carolers for visitors and locals alike. On the 23rd, everyone’s favorite characters from Peanuts come to life at the Wheeler Opera House with a presentation of A Charlie Brown Christmas. And finally, on the 31st, ring in the New Year with an astounding fireworks show over Aspen Mountain. The Infamous Stringdusters will cap off the evening with a performance at the Wheeler Opera House.

For assistance making travel arrangements, visit Ski.com (you can do an on-line chat with a specialist) or call 800-908-5000 or 970-429-3099.

 

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What a Stocking Stuffer! Kids’ Night on Broadway Tickets Now on Sale

December 6, 2017
NYC-Bdway_20160216_213153915e2 (c) Karen Rubin

Tickets are now on sale for Kids’ Night on Broadway®. Kids’ Night on Broadway will take place in New York City on Tuesday, February 27, 2018. © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

New York, NY – What a stocking stuffer! Tickets are now on sale for Kids’ Night on Broadway®. Kids’ Night on Broadway will take place in New York City on Tuesday, February 27, 2018.

Participating shows include: AladdinAnastasiaThe Band’s VisitBeautiful: The Carole King MusicalA Bronx TaleCome From AwayChicagoFarinelli and the KingKinky BootsThe Lion KingOnce On This IslandThe Phantom of the OperaSchool of RockSpongeBob SquarePants, and Wicked. Shows are subject to change.

Kids’ Night on Broadway is an annual event where kids 18 and under can attend participating Broadway shows for free when accompanied by a full-paying adult (all guests must have a ticket to attend shows; offer is applied as 50% off each ticket; no additional ‘free’ tickets are added to orders).

A Kids’ Night on Broadway ticket includes restaurant discounts, parking discounts, activities, and more. On Tuesday, February 27, 2018, select shows will offer in-theatre activities for kids including talkbacks, Kids’ Night on Broadway activity books, and more events still to be announced! Restaurants and parking discounts will be announced in January.

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

Kids’ Night on Broadway is a program of The Broadway League. It is generously presented by The New York Times and is sponsored by WABC-TV with additional support from Turnstyle and Westchester Family.

 

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Gaylord National Resort Announces More Thrills and Chills This Holiday Season

December 5, 2017
Opryland's ICE!

The thrill of coming down the ice slide at Gaylord National’s ice sculpture attraction, ICE! during the resort’s fabulous Christmas on the Potomac festival © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

(National Harbor, Md)– The holiday festivities are already underway at Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center, just outside of the nation’s capital. Christmas on the Potomac, presented by FUJIFILM INSTAX® features its famous ice sculpture attraction, an indoor Christmas village, ice skating experience and more.

No holiday season would be complete without the resort’s famous ice sculpture attraction, ICE!, presented by Pepsi, featuring a brand new theme. Families and friends can relive the beloved 1964 TV classic, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, as they walk through 13 scenes of more than two million pounds of colorful ice sculptures that tell the story of how Rudolph’s red-nose first helped Santa guide his sleigh.  Kept at a chilly nine degrees, visitors also can enjoy four thrilling ice slides and a crystal clear, breathtaking Nativity scene.

ICE! opens daily from November 18, 2017 through January 1, 2018. Discounted ticket pricing is available now through October 1 on select days starting at $28 for adults ages 12 and older and $20 for children ages 4 to 11. Tickets after October 1 start at $32 for adults and $24 for children on value days; $38 for adults and $31 for children on general admission days; and $39 for adult and $32 for children on peak days. Kids 3 and younger are free. Military and group ticket pricing is available. Hours vary and can be found at www.ChristmasOnThePotomac.com.

If a winter wonderland of ice sculptures wasn’t enough, the resort also is introducing a new Glacier Glide Ice Skating experience. The young and young at heart will delight in this timeless holiday tradition in the resort’s ornate Christmas Village. Ice Skating costs $16.99 for all ages.

The Christmas Village also is home to a variety of warmer, family-friendly entertainment including Cookies with Mrs. Claus, a carousel, miniature train ride, photos with Santa and Gingerbread Decorating Corner presented by Hallmark Channel’s Countdown to Christmas.

The resort also is bringing back its Build-A-Bear Workshop® experience where guests make their very own furry winter friend – a cuddly, cute polar bear plush, designed exclusively for Gaylord Hotels that can be personalized with cozy winter clothing and accessories. For even more fun, families can work together to solve the Build-A-Bear Workshop® Scavenger Hunt to gain a “beary” special prize.

To enjoy multiple experiences at a reduced price, the resort has bundled several attractions in its Play and Save packages. The packages include a gingerbread man decorating kit, scavenger hunt, unlimited rides on the train and carousel and the option to add-on an ICE! ticket. Without ICE!, the package starts at $29.45 for all ages. With an ICE! ticket, the prices vary depending on the day of visit.

The Christmas Village isn’t the only area to experience holiday cheer within the resort. New this year, Gaylord National is introducing a live entertainment show, JOY – A Holiday Spectacular, set within its stunning 19-story atrium. Visitors can enjoy the rich harmonies of classic and modern songs that celebrate the joy of the holiday season performed by Gaylord National singers. The show is immediately followed by a spectacular Tree Lighting Show that includes laser lights, a dancing water fountain, indoor snowfall and holiday music – all centered on the resort’s suspended Starlight Christmas Tree. To reserve VIP seating for JOY, tickets costs $19.99 for all ages.

Gaylord National also will offer a new family breakfast experience featuring the star of ICE!, Rudolph! Rudolph’s Holly Jolly™ Breakfast is a one-of-a-kind interactive character breakfast experience featuring Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Bumble the Abominable Snow Monster and Clarice. Children of all ages will enjoy a delicious breakfast buffet, play reindeer games and sing-a-long to favorite music from the beloved television special. Rudolph’s Holly Jolly Breakfast is offered on select days and costs $39.99 for adults ages 12 and older and $26.99 for children ages 4 to 11. Kids 3 and younger are free.

To experience the best of Christmas in the Capital Region, the resort offers overnight packages that offer unlimited priority entry to ICE! Packages include:

ICE! Is Nice Package

  • One night room accommodations
  • Unlimited, priority entry tickets to experience ICE!featuring Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

Package starts at $219 for two people.

Christmas on the Potomac Package

  • One night room accommodations
  • Unlimited, priority entry tickets to experience ICE!featuring Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
  • $100 resort credit per night for hotel dining and Relâche Spa services
  • One (1) complimentary souvenir ICE!photo

Package starts at $279 for two people.

For more information on Christmas on the Potomac at Gaylord National Resort and to book a package or tickets to ICE!, visit www.ChristmasOnThePotomac.com or call 301-965-4000.

 

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Capital Christmas: A December Vacation in Washington, DC Checks Every Box on a Holiday Wish List

December 5, 2017
Capitol Building at Night, Washington DC

December is an enchanting time to visit Washington DC. Destination DC can help plan a visit © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

(Washington, DC) –- Destination DC (DDC), the official marketing organization for Washington, DC is primed to help travelers plan unforgettable December holidays in the nation’s capital. Washington.org is packed with seasonal inspiration on a holiday landing page including hotel packages and deals, festive menus, ice skating rinks, Christmas markets, can’t-miss events and more. Scroll instant inspiration on DDC’s Instagram and Facebook accounts or speak with a travel concierge (1-800-422-8644), Monday-Friday, 8:30am-5pm EST.

“Whether your ideal December getaway includes a family photo with the National Christmas tree and A Christmas Carol at Ford’s Theatre or a morning at the MLK Memorial, an afternoon of ice skating at the National Gallery of Art’s rink and a Michelin-star dinner, we can help you plan an unforgettable holiday in Washington, DC,” said Elliott L. Ferguson II, president and CEO of DDC.

Among special packages and events:

SEASONAL HOTEL PACKAGES

Between Nov. 28-Dec. 20, the Four Seasons Hotel Washington, DC displays lavish holiday décor from 20 area designers. The luxury Georgetown hotel treats travelers with 30% off suites, Dec. 4-31, 2017.
The Ritz-Carlton Georgetown’s Deck the Halls offer includes Santa’s milk and cookies at turn-down and an in-suite holiday tree. The Ritz-Carlton Washington, DC welcomes guests to Savor the Season with a 30-foot gingerbread Washington Monument and a $50 food and beverage credit.
Winter packages at the Willard InterContinental include a delicious welcome amenity and the official 2017 White House Christmas ornament thru Dec. 31.

ICE SKATING RINKS

Twirl around the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden’s rink thru March 11, 2018. Warm up inside the Pavilion Café and visit Vermeer and the Masters of Genre Painting: Inspiration and Rivalry in the West Building thru Jan. 21, 2018. FREE
New: The Potomac-side rink at The Wharf in SW DC joins the party of neighborhood rinks in Georgetown and Capitol Riverfront.
New: Glide on iceless”rinks at the Fairmont Washington, D.C. Georgetown and the Watergate Hotel.

HOLIDAY LIGHTS AND TOURS

ZooLights animates the National Zoo with more than 500,000 LED lights, snowless tubing and concerts between 5-9pm until Jan. 1 (closed Dec. 24, 25, 31). FREE

George Washington’s Mount Vernon offers character-guided candlelit tours, 18th century dancing and fireside caroling, Dec. 1-2, 8-9, 17.
Holiday in the Park illuminates Six Flags America with lights, rides and s’mores Dec. 2-3, 9-10, 16-17, 22-23, 26- Jan. 1.
Tour America’s roadside attractions in miniature at Seasons Greenings: National Parks and Historic Parks at the U.S. Botanic Gardens thru Jan. 2. FREE
The National Christmas tree in President’s Park on the Ellipse is attended by 56 decorated trees, Santa’s Workshop and musical performances thru Dec. 31. FREE
The National Menorah will be lit on the Ellipse throughout Hanukah. On Dec. 12 at 4pm, the American Friends of Lubavitch celebrates with dreidels and donuts. FREE

SHOPPING

Find only-in-DC gifts at Made in DC, a new store in Dupont Circle and Steadfast Supply in Capitol Riverfront. Pop-up Christmas markets: Downtown Holiday Market in Penn Quarter and Union Market’s Brief Assembly run thru Dec. 23.
CityCenterDC, the Penn Quarter’s luxury shopping and restaurant destination, dresses up with a giant reindeer, a sky-high tree for the season. Between Dec. 1-3, a 12-foot-high igloo adds to the Instagram fun.
Georgetown Glow, an outdoor exhibition of light-art installations dots the historic shopping district between 5-10pm, Dec. 8, 2017-Jan. 7, 2018. FREE

PERFORMANCES AND ATTRACTIONS

New: Digital gallery Artechouse welcomes The Imaginary World of the Nutcracker, Dec. 7, 2017-Jan. 7, 2018.
The Kennedy Center hosts seasonal shows including Merry Tubachristmas! (Dec. 11, FREE), Second City’s Twist Your Dickens (Dec. 5-31) and the National Symphony Orchestra’s Handel’s Messiah (Dec. 14-17).
The Washington Ballet’s version of The Nutcracker (thru Dec. 24) swaps George Washington for the Nutcracker Prince at Warner Theatre.
A richly dressed A Christmas Carol (thru Dec. 31) takes over Ford’s Theatre.
New: Christmas Illuminated is one of many exhibits at the Museum of the Bible.

DINING AND NIGHTLIFE

Toasts the season at Drink Company’s Miracle on Seventh Street, a trio of over-the-top pop-up bars thru Dec. 31.
Find lavish holiday teas in the Lounge at the Mandarin Oriental Washington, DC and Tea Cellar at the Park Hyatt Washington DC. The St. Regis Washington D.C. celebrates 12 days of Champagne (Dec. 12-24).
Among the city’s New Year’s Eve delights, Michelin-starred chef José Andrés offers tasting menus at China Chilcano, Jaleo and Oyamel.

Destination DC, the official destination marketing organization for the nation’s capital, is a private, non-profit membership organization of 1,000 businesses committed to marketing the area as a premier global convention, tourism and special events destination with a special emphasis on the arts, cultural and historic communities.

Visit washington.org.
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easyHotel Black Friday Sale Puts 3,000 Rooms in Europe in Reach From £9.99

November 22, 2017
easyHotel Room e2

easyHotel is the owner, developer, operator and franchisor of branded hotels, geared to the “super budget” segment of the hotel industry with “clean, comfortable and safe” hotel rooms.

This Friday, easyHotel, the super-budget international Hotel chain launches its Black Friday extravaganza, offering customers the chance to grab a great hotel stay in one of its city center destinations, from just £9.99 a night.

Beginning at 0.01AM on Friday November 24 through December 4, easyHotel will be offering 3,000 rooms from across its network of hotels for a mere £9.99 night, available for guests looking to book a bargain break between December 1, 2017 and 28 February 2018.

Whether you’re planning a pre-Christmas shopping trip, or a New Year’s Eve Party in one of Europe’s top tourist destinations, with room prices slashed by up to 70%, travelers will have plenty of cash left in their purses and wallets to spend on gifts and holiday season festivities.

Jorge Rodriguez, Head of Christmas Deal Wrapping and Festive Development at easyHotel, said: “With Europe’s cities just bursting with festive fun to be had by all, at these bargain prices our customers’ cash can stay in their wallets, preserving those all-important present budgets and prioritising the festive frolics.”

easyHotel is the owner, developer, operator and franchisor of branded hotels, geared to the “super budget” segment of the hotel industry with “clean, comfortable and safe” hotel rooms.

Operating hotels

easyHotel’s six owned hotels currently comprise 598 rooms, and it has a further 20 franchised hotels with 1,750 rooms. These are: Old Street (London), Glasgow, Croydon, Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool.

In addition, easyHotel has franchise locations in Belgium (Brussels), Bulgaria (Sofia), Germany (Berlin, Frankfurt), Hungary (Budapest), The Netherlands (Amsterdam: City, Arena & Zaandam, Rotterdam, The Hague), Switzerland (Basel, Zurich), UAE (Dubai), United Kingdom (Edinburgh, London Heathrow, Central London, Luton).

easyHotels under development include:  Owned hotels in United Kingdom (Ipswich, Sheffield, Leeds), Spain (Barcelona) Subject to planning consent: United Kingdom (Cardiff, Newcastle and Oxford; franchise hotels in UAE (Dubai), Germany (Bernkastel-Kues), Portugal (Lisbon), Turkey (Istanbul), UK (Belfast, Reading), Iran, Sri Lanka, Netherlands (The Hague Scheveningen Beach, Maastricht).

To take advantage of the easyHotel Black Friday sale, November 24-December 4, for stays between December 1, 2017 and February 28, 2018, go online to www.easyHotel.com.

Twitter: @easyHotels  Facebook: easyHotel;  You Tube: www.easyHotel.com.

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Accuweather Thanksgiving Travel Forecast: Rain to Hug US East Coast; Lake-effect Snow to Slick Roads Near Great Lakes

November 21, 2017

accuweather 112117

By Alex Sosnowski, Senior Meteorologist for AccuWeather.com

AccuWeather Global Headquarters – November 21, 2017 – AccuWeather reports rain may slow travel for a time in part of the east coast of the United States, while significant travel delays are likely in the Northwest and near the Great Lakes leading up to Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, Wednesday and Thanksgiving Day represent some of the busiest travel days of the year for all means of transportation, according to the American Automobile Association (AAA).

While the weather will cooperate for a large portion of the nation, there will be some areas of concern for holiday travel.

Rain to hug Atlantic coast

In lieu of a major storm, a weak storm is likely to brush part of the Atlantic Seaboard prior to Thanksgiving Day.

Wet weather is in store over much of Florida into Tuesday night. Rain is forecast to brush the coastal areas of the Carolinas and the mid-Atlantic coast late Tuesday night and then coastal New England on Wednesday.

The greatest impact will be to motorists.

Wet road surfaces and blowing spray may require lower speeds.

“The combination of rain and a low cloud ceiling may also be enough to lead to airline delays in Boston and perhaps New York City for a time on Wednesday,” according to AccuWeather Chief Meteorologist Elliot Abrams.

How far west the rain extends will depend on how close to the coast the storm tracks. At this time any long-duration rain is not likely to occur west of Interstate 95 in the mid-Atlantic region. Areas right along the mid-Atlantic coast may get a few hours of light rain.

Drenching rain is mostly likely to occur in southeastern New England and eastern Long Island

A brief period of rain and snow may occur on the back side of the storm over the central and northern Appalachians and eastern Great Lakes from Tuesday night to early Wednesday.

“Regardless of the amount of rain and/or snow showers, gusty winds are likely to herald the return of the cold air on Wednesday,” Abrams said. “Winds may pose a problem as the massive balloons are inflated ahead of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City.”

Another storm is forecast to bring more rain to parts of Florida on Thanksgiving Day, according to AccuWeather Meteorologist Fait Eherts.

Snowy, windy episodes to pester Upper Midwest

A new burst of cold air and a weak storm are forecast to produce spotty snow for the northern tier of the Midwest into Thanksgiving Day.

The fresh batch of cold air will be accompanied by gusty winds over much of the North Central states. Winds may be strong enough to lead to airline delays even in the absence of any snow showers into Wednesday.

As a pocket of arctic air races southeastward, it will briefly renew lake-effect snow from northern Michigan to northern and western New York, western Pennsylvania and northeastern West Virginia into midweek.

Motorists should be prepared for sudden snow showers and rapidly changing road conditions on their travels in these areas.

From late Wednesday to early Thanksgiving Day, a brief period of snow and/or freezing drizzle will develop over the northern Plains and slice southeastward across the Great Lakes.

While only a small amount of wintry precipitation is anticipated, even a thin coating of snow or ice can cause great difficulty for motorists on crowded highways.

Throughout the Midwest, there will be a couple of episodes of gusty winds that may lead to minor airline delays and tricky crosswinds on the highways.

Storms to harass travelers in northwestern US

By far, poor travel conditions will be the most consistent in coastal areas of Washington and Oregon through Thanksgiving Day.

Motorists venturing along the Interstate 5 corridor in the Northwest can expect rounds of drenching rain and periods of fog, according to AccuWeather Meteorologist Kyle Elliot.

Lesser rain is forecast east of the Cascades.

Snow levels are forecast to rise slowly into Thanksgiving Day.

Motorists may encounter slushy and slippery conditions into Tuesday over Snoqualmie Pass along I-90 in Washington. Milder conditions will allow plain rain to fall from Tuesday night to Thursday. However, fog may accompany the milder air over the mountains, where snow remains on the ground.

The milder air will allow rain to fall or a mixture of rain and snow to occur at most intermediate elevations of the northern Rockies, including many of the major passes.

Major weather-related travel disruptions unlikely over rest of US

It is possible that flights originating from the Northwest, coastal Northeast and Upper Midwest may cause minor delays elsewhere across the nation into Thanksgiving Day.

However, a large portion of the Southwest, South-Central and interior Southeast can expect good travel conditions.

Showers are forecast to retreat to the Gulf of Mexico along the Texas and Louisiana coasts beyond Tuesday night.

 

Airline-Style Variable Pricing Comes to Bromley, Cranmore, Jiminy Peak; Save 30-50% With Advance Purchase

November 16, 2017
Bromley

Bromley Mountain, Vermont, one of the Fairbank Group ski resorts in New England.

HANCOCK, Mass. – As the start of the 2017-18 ski season has begun, the Fairbank Group of New England ski resorts – Bromley Mountain, Cranmore Mountain Resort and Jiminy Peak Mountain Resort – officially launched airline-style variable lift ticket pricing for skiers and riders able to plan ahead and purchase tickets online before they arrive.

Discounts of 30 to 50 percent off the walk-up ticket window price represent the resorts’ largest lift ticket savings ever offered and provide substantial savings in exchange for a non-refundable/non-transferrable advance sale ticket purchased online.

Visitors access the resort website, click the pricing calendar, then select their age group, number of tickets required, and specific days between now and April 2018. After approving the itinerary, they check out and receive email confirmation to present to the ticket window upon arrival. The percentage savings on holidays and weekends are slightly less than midweek rates.

Similar to airfares, lift ticket rates may expire, sell out or be priced higher the closer you get to your visit, and advance tickets are limited, according to Michael Van Eyck, assistant general manager of Bromley Mountain in southern Vermont.

“We want to reward skiers and riders for planning ahead and committing early. Advance sales also provide us with a projection of how busy we will be on any given day,” said Van Eyck, who reminds skiers and riders to check the websites of each resort for specific restrictions.

Sample lift ticket prices reveal substantial savings:

*            At New Hampshire’s Cranmore Mountain Resort, as of today, purchase an adult ticket for New Year’s Day 2018, and the advance purchase price is $49, a $26 savings off the walk-up $75 window rate that day (35 percent discount). The same price is available most midweeks in March unless it sells out early. (cranmore.com)

*            On the Bromley Mountain website, skiers can pre-purchase Dec. 15 lift tickets for $42, a $38 savings (48 percent off) the walk-up rate of $80. Buy Jan. 3 or 4 for $49 per day, and the savings is as high as $31 per ticket, or 39 percent off the $80 same day ticket window rate, assuming it’s still available at the time of purchase. (bromley.com)

*            Plan in advance to ski Jiminy Peak Mountain Resort in western Massachusetts during the first week of March and the $43 advance ticket represents a 43 percent savings compared to the walk-up rate of $76, provided the ticket is purchased soon enough and doesn’t sell out, which skiers will know at the time of purchase. (jiminypeak.com)

Famed American poet Ralph Waldo Emerson, a native Bostonian, once said, “The future belongs to those who prepare for it.”

In this case, the earlier you plan the more you save.

The Fairbank Group, LLC, based at Jiminy Peak and co-owned by the father-son team of Brian Fairbank and Tyler Fairbank, manages and oversees a group of businesses that include the ski resorts Jiminy Peak Mountain Resort, Cranmore Mountain Resort and Bromley Mountain, as well as SnowGun Technologies, EOS Ventures, Bullwheel Productions and other endeavors. For more information visit Fairbankgrp.com.

 

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Liftopia’s Cyber Monday Sale

November 16, 2017
Pico Mountain, Central Vermont

Pico Mountain, Vermont. Liftopia is offering a Cyber Monday sale Nov. 21-28 © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

With snow beginning to fall in many parts of the country just as the Cyber Monday shopping frenzy begins, resorts are gearing up for the start of ski season. To celebrate, Liftopia is launching a Cyber Monday Sale, featuring up to an additional 25% savings on gift cards, on top of already amazing deals (up to 80% off!) at more than 250 ski areas in North America.

Liftopia Gift Cards make a great stocking stuffer and are the ultimate gift for any skier or snowboarder – especially those who already have all the gear they need (or who want to buy all their gear themselves!). No fees or expiration dates, choose any amount from $5 to $1,000, send digitally or print out.

Details of Liftopia’s Cyber Monday Gift Card Sale include:

  • Spend $100 on a Liftopia Gift Card, get $115 (15% more!)
  • Spend $150 on a Liftopia Gift Card, get $175 (17% more!)
  • Spend $200 on a Liftopia Gift Card, get $250 (25% more!)

The sale starts at 12:00 am on Tuesday, Nov. 21 and ends at 11:59 pm on Tuesday, Nov. 28. Visit https://cyber.liftopia.com/ for more details and to purchase. Click here if you would like images of skiing/snowboarding, or an image of the Liftopia gift card.

Liftopia is one of the largest online and mobile marketplaces for lift tickets, equipment rentals, meal vouchers and other mountain activities at more than 250 ski areas in North America, with savings of up to 80% off walk-up window rates when purchased in advance.

The fine print: Only one Cyber Monday gift card can be used per Liftopia account. You may not stack, combine or otherwise redeem more than one Cyber Monday gift card, regardless of amount, to any single Liftopia account.

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Colorado Ski Country USA Resorts Offer Kids Ski Free Programs

November 16, 2017
Winter Park, Colorad

Colorado Ski Country USA resorts across the state are offering various programs geared to families. At Winter Park Resort, kids five and under qualify for beginner lift tickets for $10 a day or $30 for the season with no black-out dates © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Colorado Ski Country USA (CSCUSA) member resorts are offering Kids Ski Free programs across the state. Parents and families can take advantage of free and discounted lift tickets for children, specialized lessons and rental discounts to plan a ski vacation experience that won’t break the bank.

For example, Colorado Ski Country USA has a 5th and 6th Grade Passport Program which offers fifth graders the chance to ski or ride three days at 22 participating member resorts across the state absolutely free. That’s up to 66 free days on the slopes. Fifth graders who have never skied or snowboarded are eligible for the First-Class program which provides never-ever skiers and riders one free full-day beginner lesson and equipment rental at the resort of their choice. All Passport holders also receive one complimentary junior rental from Christy Sports. The corresponding 6th Grade Passport Program offers four days of skiing at the same 22 resorts for only $105 before November 30, or $125 through the end of the season. To register for the Passport Program visit:www.coloradoski.com/passport.

Resorts have their own programs as well:

Arapahoe Basin

Kids Free 2 Ski Pass: Children five and under ski free every day at Arapahoe Basin with a free Five & Under lift ticket from the ticket window. Children ages six to 12 can ski or snowboard for free any two days of the 2017-18 season with no blackout dates through the Kids Free 2 Ski Pass. Register online, at a Front Range ski show or at the mountain by December 18, 2017. For more information, visit www.arapahoebasin.com.

Aspen Snowmass

Kids Ski Free: Children six and under always ski free at Aspen Snowmass. For children ages seven to 12 years old, Aspen Snowmass allows kids to ski free when booking two or more nights of lodging through Stay Aspen Snowmass or renting children’s ski or snowboard equipment from Four Mountain Sports. There is no limit on the number of days children can receive free lift tickets when renting from Four Mountain Sports. The offer is valid January 1 – April 15, 2018. Mention kids ski free when you call 800-290-1326 or visit www.aspensnowmass.com for more information.

Cooper

Kids Ski Free: Children five & under always ski free at Cooper, and children six to 14 receive a discount on their daily lift tickets. Cooper also offers children’s group lessons, with several levels of instruction for age and ability, that include rentals for affordable rates. For more information, visit www.skicooper.com.

Copper Mountain

One, Two, Free! With Copper Mountain’s One, Two, Free! Package, kids 12 and younger ski free with the purchase of an adult two-day lift ticket. The deal also includes additional perks like a third night of lodging free, a third day of rentals free, a free half-day ticket on the day of arrival or departure, and free upgrade to the Secret! Pass for early access and shorter lift lines. Children five and under always ski/ride free at Copper Mountain. For more information, visit www.coppercolorado.com.

Crested Butte

Kids 12 and Under Ski Free: Children six and under always ski free at Crested Butte. All kids ages 12 and under visiting Crested Butte Mountain Resort Nov. 23 – Dec. 15, 2017 and Apr. 1 – 8, 2018 ski or ride free. No strings attached, no parent ticket required, no lodging stay required, no advance reservations, just a free ticket for kids. For more information, visit www.skicb.com.

Echo Mountain

Kids Ski Free: Kids five and under ski and ride free at Echo Mountain. The ski area also offers ski or snowboard package rentals for only $29 for kids, plus specialized private and group lessons for kids through Utivity. For more information, visit www.echomountainresort.com.

Eldora

Season Pass Deals: At Eldora, kids age five and under can purchase an alpine season pass for only $29. For more information,visit www.eldora.com.

Granby Ranch

Kids Ski Free: Kids five and under ski free. Granby Ranch also offers child’s ski or snowboard rental packages for only $15 per day. For more information, visit www.granbyranch.com.

Hesperus

Kids Ski Free Every Day Deal: Guests seven years old and younger get a free lift ticket every day, with no blackout dates. Just ask for the Ski Free Every Day deal at the ticket window.

4th Graders Ski Free: 4th graders (with report card) get a free lift ticket every day, with no blackout dates. Just ask for the Ski Free Every Day deal at the ticket window.

First Time; Free Lessons: Hesperus offers first-timers ages seven and older up to three free lessons with the purchase of one full-day, full-price lift ticket for $39. Available every day. For more information, visit www.ski-hesperus.com.

Loveland

Kids Ski Free: Children five and under ski free every day at Loveland. Children five and under can also purchase a ski or snowboard package equipment rental for $12.

3-Class Pass for Kids  is for all children, ages four to 14, of all ability levels. When guests pre-purchase or complete three full-day lesson packages, they receive a free unrestricted season pass to keep practicing their skiing or snowboarding skills for the rest of the season. Children’s full day lesson packages include a lesson, lift access, equipment rentals (ski or snowboard), helmet and lunch. For more information, visit www.skiloveland.com.

Monarch

Kids Ski Free and Free Lessons: Children six and under ski free at Monarch. Children between the ages of seven and 12 get a free lesson with the purchase of a lift ticket and a rental package. For more information, visit www.skimonarch.com.

Powderhorn

Season Pass and Lift Ticket Deals: Children six and under can purchase a season pass for only $94 during early-season promotions or $119 all season long. Or, kids six and under can go to the lift ticket window and pay only $18 for a full-day pass. Children 12 and under can purchase an EZ Rider pass for access to the beginner lift for only $12. For more information, visit www.powderhorn.com.

Purgatory

Kids and 4th Graders Ski Free: Kids seven years old and younger ski free every day at Purgatory Resort. Fourth grade students also ski free at Purgatory with proof of grade. For more information, visit www.skipurg.com.

Silverton

Silverton Winter Sports Club: A local youth program, the Silverton Winter Sports Club provides a season-long introduction to big mountain skiing and backcountry snow safety protocols. While there is a small participation fee for families, the Silverton Winter Sports Club is funded almost entirely by donations, including the support of Silverton Mountain and the Brill Family. For more information, visit www.silvertonmountain.com.

Steamboat

Kids & Grandkids Ski Free programs enable children 12 years of age and under to ski free the same number of days as their parent, grandparent, or legal guardian when the parent, grandparent, or legal guardian purchase a five-or-more day adult lift ticket. For season passes, one child (12 and under) is eligible to receive a free season pass with parent, grandparent, or legal guardian purchase of an adult Steamboat Season Pass. For more information, visit www.steamboat.com.

Sunlight

Carefree Skier Season Pass: Children age five and younger can receive a free Season Pass to Sunlight Mountain Resort. Children five and younger can also ski free every day by visiting the ticket window for a complimentary daily lift ticket.

Ski, Swim, Stay: With Sunlight’s Ski, Swim and Stay package, kids 12 and under ski free. Enjoy a full day on the slopes of Sunlight, a rejuvenating soak in natural hot springs, and a relaxing night’s stay at one of nine participating lodging properties. Packages start at just $99/night. For more information, visit www.sunlightmtn.com.

Telluride

Kids Ski Free: Free lift tickets are available at the Telluride ticket window for children ages five years old and under. Child lift tickets for children ages six to 12 are available online at discounted rates for two or more days of skiing when you purchase at least 48 hours in advance. Telluride also offers children’s ski school lessons divided into programs that offer age and skill specific learning experiences. For more information, visitwww.tellurideskiresort.com.

Winter Park

Kids and Beginners Ski for Less: At Winter Park Resort, kids five and under qualify for beginner lift tickets for $10 a day or $30 for the season with no black-out dates. These lift tickets are intended for beginners only and grant access to the Galloping Goose chairlift at Mary Jane. For more information, visit www.winterparkresort.com.

Wolf Creek

Tots and Children Discounts: At Wolf Creek Ski Area, the unrestricted season pass for Tots (children five and under) is only $54, while children ages six to 12 can purchase an unrestricted season pass for $385. For families looking for daily lift tickets, children ages five and younger can purchase a lift ticket for only $6. For more information, visit www.wolfcreekski.com.

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Accuweather: Blinding Lake-effect Snow, Bitterly Cold Winds to cause Thanksgiving Travel Delays

November 15, 2017

accuweather 111517

By Alex Sosnowski, Senior Meteorologist for AccuWeather.com

AccuWeather Global Headquarters – Nov. 15, 2017 – AccuWeather reports  that following the mild, wet weather ending this week, progressively colder air will unleash rounds of lake-effect snow from the Upper Midwest to the interior Northeast for travel during the week of Thanksgiving.

Travel delays related to wind and/or snow are likely in parts of the midwestern and eastern United States.

“We expect two major pushes of cold air into the eastern half of the U.S. during the week of Thanksgiving,” according to AccuWeather Long-Range Meteorologist Evan Duffey.

The weather pattern is giving mixed signals as to whether or not a storm will bring rain and snow to the East during the transition to the cold weather.

However, there will be a consequence as reinforcing waves of cold air pass over the Great Lakes.

As cold air passes over the relatively warm waters, streets of towering clouds form and deposit heavy snow along the downwind shoreline and dozens of miles inland.

accuweather 111517-2

Where the bands of heavy snow persist, up to a foot of snow can fall. As many as two rounds of lake-effect snow are anticipated from Sunday through the Thanksgiving weekend.

The details of which communities will be hit the hardest on particular days has yet to be determined. A small variance in the wind direction can vary the bands of heavy snow by a dozen miles or more.

For example, a west-southwest wind off Lake Ontario would blast Watertown, New York, with intense snow, but a due west wind would potentially bury communities such as Barnes Corners and Sandy Creek, New York, several miles to the south.

“Motorists with plans on utilizing Interstate 90 from northern Indiana to western New York, I-81 in northern New York state and other highways immediately downwind of all of the Great Lakes should be prepared for travel delays and rapid changes in roadway visibility next week,” according to AccuWeather Meteorologist Steve Travis.

One round of lake-effect snow associated with the first cold blast will erupt later this weekend into early next week.

Another round of lake-effect snow may begin during the middle of next week. There is still uncertainty as to the extent or intensity of that round of lake-effect snow.

Travel conditions will range from blinding snow and the potential for temporary road closures to sunny over a span of a few miles.

Accuweather 111517-3

At times, the bands of lake-effect snow may extend 200 miles or more to the central Appalachians. Motorists traveling through the higher terrain in West Virginia, western Maryland and western and northern Pennsylvania should expect locally blinding snow squalls and a quick accumulation on roads. This includes stretches of I-79 and I-80.

At times, wind gusts may be strong enough to lead to difficulty for high-profile vehicles. Strong crosswinds at airports from the Midwest to the mid-Atlantic coast can lead to airline delays in lieu of any snow or a major storm.

Gusty winds to add to the pain of the cold air

“Blasts of cold air like this are not uncommon during the middle and latter part of November,” Duffey said. “However, following the warmth during most weeks of this autumn season, heating demand will be high.”

Temperatures are projected to average 5-10 degrees Fahrenheit below normal during multiple days during the week of Thanksgiving from the Midwest to the Northeast, as well as much of the Southeast.

The anticipated weather pattern will translate to highs in the 20s over the northern tier to the 40s over the interior South on the coldest days. AccuWeather RealFeel® temperatures can dip to 20 degrees lower than the actual temperature at times.

Battling the wind on the highway may reduce fuel efficiency.

Regardless of wind, motorists can expect to pay much more at the pump for their Thanksgiving road trip. Strong consumer demand and lowering national inventory have pushed gasoline prices to nearly 40 cents a gallon higher than last year at this time, according to the American Automobile Association.

One positive of the cold weather pattern will be plenty of opportunities for ski resorts to make snow in the days leading up to Thanksgiving.

What about the storm potential?

In terms of large-scale storms that may increase commute time, one storm projected to affect much of the eastern U.S. this weekend will likely be warm enough for rain in most areas and even gusty thunderstorms in part of the Midwest.

However, it is the same storm that will set into motion the first blast of cold air for next week.

“A second storm during the middle of next week has the potential to bring a period of rain along the Atlantic coast and snow over the Appalachians spanning Wednesday to Thanksgiving Day,” according to AccuWeather Chief Meteorologist Elliot Abrams. “Another scenario is the second storm may be so overwhelmed by cold, dry air that it is forced out to sea.”

Regardless of the nature of the storms, gone are the warm and tranquil conditions that graced much of the Midwest and East during October.

Motorists and airline passengers should anticipate delays and be ready to adjust their travel plans during the week of Thanksgiving.