Archive for December, 2013

January is Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month in Colorado Ski Country USA

December 31, 2013
Winter Park is one of the Colorado Ski Country USA member resorts offering special learn-to-ski-or ride packages during January © 2013 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Winter Park is one of the Colorado Ski Country USA member resorts offering special learn-to-ski-or ride packages during January © 2013 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

January is Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month and Colorado Ski Country USA (CSCUSA) resorts are offering deals to entice kids and adults to come to the mountains and give skiing and snowboarding a try, sharpen their skills or pick up a new discipline. In addition to CSCUSA’s First Class program, which provides a free beginner lesson and equipment rental to qualifying fifth graders in January, resorts are offering significantly discounted lessons and Learn to Ski and Snowboard packages that include lift tickets, equipment rentals, and lessons taught by highly trained professional instructors.

Taking a lesson is a wise step in progressing as a skier or snowboarder. Safety and knowing your limits also add to a great day on the slopes according to CSCUSA Ski Instructor of the Year Ashley Sifers with Ski Granby Ranch. “This is really important. Recognize when you’re tired. Be aware of your surroundings and listen to your body,” explains Sifers. “You don’t have to eke out every minute of the day to have a successful, awesome day on the hill.”

Here are some of the Learn to Ski and Snowboard offers from CSCUSA resorts:

Arapahoe Basin

Learn to Ski/Ride Month Super Sunday Special

Good for kid or adult first timers only, the Super Sunday Special package includes a lift ticket, equipment rental, and a beginner lesson. Guests who purchase a Super Sunday lesson will be entitled to discounts on future lessons. Prices for adults are $99 for skiing and $107 for snowboarding, while prices for kids are $79 for skiing and $84 for snowboarding. The items in these packages can be purchased individually; Super Sunday lessons will be $59. Adult ski rental: $20; adult snowboard rental: $28; kid ski rental: $10; kid snowboard rental: $15; Beginner-area lift tickets are $20 for adults, $10 for kids. 2014 Super Sunday Dates are January 5, 12, 19, 26; February 2, 9, 16, 23. Valid for morning, half-day lessons only (10am-12:30pm).

Free One Run Lessons

Guests are matched up with instructors who learn the guest’s ability level and goals during a Black Mountain Express chairlift ride. During one run down the mountain on terrain accessible from the Black Mountain Express lift, instructors coach relatively minor movements that make major improvements to guests’ skiing. Sign-up is day-of, first-come, first-served from 10:00 am – noon. 2013-14 Dates: December 7, December 15, January 4, January 26, February 9, March 9. For more information, visit www.arapahoebasin.com.

Aspen/Snowmass

Beginner’s Magic For Adult Skiers And Snowboarders

Learn the basics of skiing or snowboarding from professional instructors who practice a teaching method that promotes peak performance and confidence and educates about the right equipment and mountain awareness. Available at Snowmass and Buttermilk every day, this program is best for adults who are first time beginners or who are only comfortable on beginner terrain. Lessons start at $199 inclusive of lift ticket, equipment rental, and full-day lesson when booked at least seven days in advance.

For Kids & Teens – Experienced professional instructors share their wealth of knowledge and instill an appreciation for the mountain environment. Their passion is contagious and kids enjoy perfecting their skills while they develop a love for the sport. Beginners learn in a supportive and fun environment while developing confidence and life skills. They will explore the mountain, try new skills, terrain and snow conditions based on appropriate skill development and experience the thrill of the pipe and park and/or race course with expert coaches. Available at Snowmass and Buttermilk every day, kids will be in groups with other kids or teens of similar ages. Lessons start at $111 for a full-day lesson when booked at least seven days in advance. For more information, visit www.aspensnowmass.com/schools.

Copper Mountain

Free Skiing and Riding for Beginners During Ski and Ride Month and All Winter Long

All season long beginners can access and learn for free on the Easy Rider carpet located in Center Village. Once basic skills are learned, a ticket for the Pitchfork chairlift is $15, allowing beginners to master getting on and off the lift while perfecting turning and stopping.

Woodward at Copper Barn – Great for Newbies and Beginners
This past summer the Woodward at Copper Barn underwent a half-million renovation project which opened the door far beyond snowboards and skis to now include skateboards, BMX and slopestyle mountain bike . All synthetic snow surfaces were replaced with a surface designed for wheels. Families and amateurs alike are invited to experience the renovations expanded offerings for never-evers with additions including a new beginner foam pit with two-foot and four-foot jumps, a pump track designed for the development of park skills, and new programming to bridge the gap and see results on snow. For more information, visit www.coppercolorado.com.

Crested Butte

$59 Beginner Ski or Ride Package.

For Learn to Ski Month this January 2014, Crested Butte Mountain Resort is offering a $59 beginner ski or ride package. The package is available for adults to learn how to ski or snowboard at a 63 percent discount. This package is for first-time skiers and snowboarders, age 15 and up only.  It includes an Adult First Time Beginner Adventure Ski or Snowboard lesson and a 1-day adult lift ticket valid for limited lift access on the day of the lesson.  Participants can also receive a 50% on rentals when they redeem their Liftopia voucher at the Adventure Center. Visit www.skicb.com/learn for more information and to book this package through Liftopia.com.

Loveland

Free Unrestricted Season Pass for Qualifying Kids

All children (ages 4-14) regardless of ability, who pre-purchase or complete 3 full day lesson packages, 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 lesson, lift access, rentals (ski or snowboard) and lunch.  Full day lessons are from 10am through 3:30pm daily. Phone reservations are available or register at the Loveland Valley between 8am and 9am. Pre-purchase price:  $315 for ages 6-14 skiers & snowboarders (Includes Season Pass) $345 for ages 4-5 skiers (Includes Season Pass) (4-5 yr old program includes early drop off beginning at 8:15am). For more information, visit http://www.skiloveland.com.

Monarch

First Timer Lessons

First-timer lessons at Monarch are conducted in a group setting and provide first time, basic, beginner instruction to get new skiers and snowboarders comfortable, moving and having fun on their equipment. Packages include all-day lift ticket, equipment and helmet rental, 2.5 hrs. of group instruction, and a snack.  Lesson begins promptly at 9:30 or 11:30 and are $89 for new snowriders aged 7-12 and $99 for ages 13 and older. For more information, visit www.skimonarch.com.

Powderhorn

Learn to Ski and Ride Season Pass Program

Powderhorn Mountain Resort and the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel join forces to bring back the Learn to Ski and Ride Season Pass Program for the 2013 – 2014 winter season. Designed for first time skiers or snowboarders ages eight and up, the Daily Sentinel’s Learn to Ski and Ride Season Pass program features three consecutive ski or snowboard lessons at Powderhorn Mountain Resort with the Intensive Series, which includes a full day group lesson with an hour break for lunch.

Lessons run from 10am – 12pm and 1pm – 3pm and focus on weather precautions, changing snow conditions, etiquette on the mountain and the Skier/Rider Responsibility Code. Participants emerge from the series with a great foundation in their chosen snow sport, and are able to put new skills to the test on-mountain. Upon completion of the three-lesson program, participants receive a free season pass for the remainder of the 2013 – 2014 season.

Cost for the program is $269 for youth and pre-teen participants (ages 8-17), $320 for adults (18+) and $299 for full time college students. Visit www.powderhorn.com for a list of regular season rates and details on the Learn to Ski and Ride Pass pass program.

Purgatory

Discounted Basic Beginner Packages

Purgatory at Durango Mountain Resort is pleased to announce two new low cost packages during January 2014 for children and adults who want to learn how to ski or snowboard. The program includes two new packages plus a discount card for future skiing or snowboarding.

The Basic Beginner Packages include full-day ski or snowboard lessons for adults/children, basic rental equipment, and lift tickets. Offered Jan. 6 – 31, 2014, the two-day package is $158, $100 off the regular price while the one-day package is $79, a savings of 39 percent.

Upon completion of the 1-Day or 2-Day beginner packages, participants will receive a card good for discounts on lessons, lift tickets and rentals for the remainder of the season through March 30, 2014.  These discounts are valid for use of the LSSM participant only and include lift tickets at $50 for adults, $40 for young adults, and for $30 kids; lessons are $39 for a half-day group lesson, $59 for full-day group lessons; ski or snowboard rentals are $20 for adult basic, $17 kids.  Blackout dates apply:  2/15/14 – 2/16/14 and 3/8/14 – 3/15/14. For more information, visit www.durangomountainresort.com.

Ski Granby Ranch

Get On The Snow Season Pass for Qualified Beginner Skiers and Snowboarders

For $199, complete two ski or snowboarding lesson days and graduate with a “Get On The Snow” season pass to Ski Granby Ranch, as well as a 20 percent discount coupon valid for a retail merchandise purchase. Get on the Snow is for level one, never-ever beginners ages 10 and up. This program is available from January 6 through March 6, 2014. Lessons do not have to be on consecutive days. Not valid with any other offers or promotions. No discounts offered for having equipment or passes. Black-out dates apply:  January 17 – 20, 2014 and February 14-17, 2014. Reservations required. For more information, visit http://www.granbyranch.com/.

Sunlight

Learn to Shine Program For First Time Skiers And Snowboarders

The Learn to Shine package includes three days of lessons, equipment rental and lift tickets. Plus, participants receive a free 5-Day ski pass once they’ve completed the lessons – all for $365. The three lessons can be taken on the dates chosen by the student, whether those dates are consecutive or not.

Skiers and snowboarders that participate in the Learn to Shine program are matched with top-notch instructors that will have them navigating beginner terrain by the end of their first day. For more information, visit http://www.sunlightmtn.com/.

Winter Park

Winter Park’s Family Easy Start
Learning to ski or snowboard is more fun as a family, and the Winter Park Ski + Ride School offers a great program that allows families to learn together, creating shared memories for one all-inclusive price. For $679 for a half-day or $859 for a full day a family of four gets four lift tickets, four equipment rentals, a private instructor, and access to all the amenities of the Private Lesson Center, including lockers, equipment storage, and a cozy lounge. For more information, visit www.winterparkresort.com.

Wolf Creek

First and Second Day Beginner Packages
These package is ideal for those who have never skied/snowboarded before. The First Day package ($60 for skiers, $66 for snowboarders) includes an all-day lift ticket to the Nova Lift and four hours of professional instruction (from 10am to noon, and from 1pm to 3pm) for new skiers and snowboarders ages 9 and up. The Second Day package ($70 for skiers and snowboarders) includes an all-day lift ticket to the Nova and Raven Lifts plus two hours of professional instruction. This package is designed as a follow-up to the 1st Day Beginner Package, although the 1st Day package is not a prerequisite. For skiers and snowboarders ages 13 and up. Prices quoted for the First and Second Day packages do not include equipment rental.

Children’s Camp Robber Clinic – January 11, 25; February 1, 8

This four-week program (Saturdays only) is designed to introduce 5 to 8 year olds to skiing or improve on the skills they already have, all in a fun environment. Children are grouped according to ability and ski with the same children and instructor each week to foster socialization and friendship. Activities include terrain garden, fun races, and mountain safety. Lift ticket, ski rental, four hours of instruction, lunch and snacks are all included each week. $210 for season pass holders; $240 for non-season pass holders. For more information, visit www.wolfcreekski.com/.

Colorado Ski Country USA (CSCUSA) is the not-for-profit trade association representing Colorado’s 21 ski & snowboard resorts. Information about CSCUSA and its members can be found at www.ColoradoSki.com, on Twitter @ColoradoSkiUSA and on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/ColoradoSkiCountryUSA.

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Insight Vacations Launches New Exotics Collection

December 29, 2013

Insight Vacations has just released its new Exotics Collection, featuring a range of premium escorted journeys, a majestic new destination, and a variety of authentic Signature Hotels, Dining and Experiences. For the first time, the brochure includes an augmented feature that enables you to enjoy India’s flavor using your smartphone to get a preliminary taste of what this incredible region has to offer.

The Exotics Collection offers luxury tours to India, Bhutan, Nepal, Greece, Jordan, Israel, Turkey, Egypt and Morocco.

“We are thrilled with the success of our India program since launching in 2012, and we are delighted we can continue to introduce new product to this extraordinary region,” says Marc Kazlauskas, President of Insight Vacations. “Each itinerary featured in the Exotics Collection has been chosen to showcase these culturally and historically rich destinations, and when combined with Insight’s Signature inclusions, we guarantee our guests a truly unforgettable experience.”

The Exotic Collection’s Signature Experiences include game safaris in search of the Royal Bengal Tiger, Bhutanese cooking classes, and a guided tour of Bhutan’s only commercial cheese factory. Guests stay at hand-selected Signature Hotels with highlights such as the Taj Lake Palace Hotel, Bangalore’s opulent Leela Palace, and the Divani Caravel hotel in Athens. Guests enjoy delectable Signature Dining experiences at every magnificent turn, including a cooking demonstration with a renowned chef in Olympia and a highlight luncheon at India’s Laxmi Vilas Palace.

“When traveling to these wonderful countries with Insight, you can be assured that your safety, comfort and security are our absolute priority – our ground teams are the very best in the business,” says John Boulding, President and CEO of Insight Vacations. “They will take care of you every step of the way.”

Two new itineraries have been added in India, including a sojourn from Delhi to Udaipur on the Colors of Rajasthan and a venture through Mystical South India where guests visit some of India’s oldest temples from Kochi to Chennai. Bhutan – Dragon Kingdom highlights the newest destination to feature its own itinerary, due to the rising increase in Bhutan’s popularity. Additional new 2014 features include four-day stopovers in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, extensive hotel upgrades, additional transfers and flight inclusions on some itineraries and extensive Wi-Fi availability on coaches and in hotels.

Insight Vacations is a part of a joint initiative with The TreadRight Foundation, a not-for-profit foundation established by The Travel Corporation to encourage sustainable tourism within our own family of brands and in the places we visit. To date, TreadRight has donated more than US $2 million to sustainable tourism projects around the world. To find out more about our work with TreadRight visit: www.TreadRight.org.

For more information, visit www.insightvacations.com. For reservations, contact your travel agent or call Insight Vacations at 888-680-1241.

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Bonaire Dive Resorts, Boutique Hotels Offer Package Deals During Winter Peak Season

December 29, 2013
For 20 consecutive years, Scuba Diving magazine’s annual Readers’ Choice Awards, has selected Bonaire as the number one Shore Diving destination in the Caribbean/Atlantic. (photo by AS Mullens).

For 20 consecutive years, Scuba Diving magazine’s annual Readers’ Choice Awards, has selected Bonaire as the number one Shore Diving destination in the Caribbean/Atlantic. (photo by AS Mullens).

A number of Bonaire’s dive resorts and boutique hotels are offering packages for the peak season and beyond. Many featuring discounts on dive travel will provide guests with an opportunity to experience the warmth of Bonaire and take the “burrrrrr” out of winter.

Belmar Oceanfront Apartments – Take advantage of Belmar Oceanfront Apartments’ “Drive, Dive and Stay 6 Days Shore Diving” package. The offer includes a fully equipped apartment for 7 nights (self catering), rental vehicle (double cabin pick-up truck), 6 days of unlimited air fills, free Nitrox, rum punch party, roundtrip airport transfers, government taxes and services. Weekly rates begin at $734.44 based on 4 persons sharing a classic superior two-bedroom apartment, for travel December 21, 2013 – April 25, 2014. Blackout dates include December 22, 2013 – January 2, 2014; February 1-5, 2014; February 22 – March 21, 2014. For more information visit http://www.belmar-bonaire.com, email reservations@belmar-bonaire.com, call 1-888-655-0605 or send a message on Facebook.

Buddy Dive Resort – Guests staying at Buddy Dive Resort can enjoy their “Drive & Dive Boat Dive” package. The package includes 7 nights’ accommodations, 7 days rental vehicle (double cabin pick-up truck), 6 days of unlimited air fills (plus six boat dives), free Nitrox, daily breakfast buffet, welcome drink, manager rum punch party, roundtrip airport transfers and government taxes. A weekly rate begins at $1,261.67 per person, based on 2 persons sharing a 1-bedroom apartment, and is valid for reservations for December 21, 2013 – April 21, 2014. Blackout dates include December 20, 2013 – January 4, 2014. For more information visit http://www.buddydive.com, email reservations@buddydive.com, call 1-866-GO-BUDDY, or send a message on Facebook or Twitter.

Captain Don’s Habitat – Save big with Captain Don’s Habitat winter package. The special includes 7 nights’ ocean view room accommodations, welcome rum punch, complimentary Wi-Fi, manager’s rum punch party with live music, 6 single tank boat dives, 6 days of 24 hour unlimited shore diving, government taxes, hotel service charges and energy surcharges. Rates begin at $870 per person, based on double occupancy for travel January 4 – February 1, 2014; or $965 per person, based on double occupancy for travel February 2 – March 31, 2014. For more information visit http://www.habitatbonaire.com, email info@habitatbonaire.com or call 1-800-327-6709.

Caribbean Club Bonaire – Caribbean Club Bonaire is offering their “Dive & Explore 6 Days Shore Diving” package. The offer provides 8 days/7 nights’ accommodations, 7 days rental vehicle (double cabin pick-up), 6 days unlimited air fills, free Nitrox, daily breakfast buffet, welcome drink, manager’s rum punch party, roundtrip airport transfers and government taxes. Weekly rates begin at $887.73 per person, based on 2 persons sharing a 1 bedroom cottage standard, for travel December 21, 2013 – April 25, 2014. Blackout dates include December 20, 2013 – January 4, 2014. For more information visit http://www.caribbeanclubbonaire.com, email reservations@caribbeanclubbonaire.com, call 1-800-906-7708 or send a message on Facebook.

Den Laman Condominiums – Explore Bonaire with Den Laman Condominiums “Winter Drive & Dive” package. This 7 nights’ accommodations package starts as low as $761 per person, based on 4 people sharing a two bedroom ocean view condo. The offer also includes an A/C pick-up truck, 6 days of unlimited tanks available 24/7 for shore diving on and off property and free Nitrox upgrades provided by PADI and SSI Bonaire Dive & Adventure. The package is valid for travel for December 21, 2013 – April 18, 2014. For more information visit http://www.denlaman.com, email reservations@denlaman.com or call 1-800-382-1094.

Divi Flamingo Beach Resort & Casino – Take advantage of Divi Flamingo Beach Resort & Casino’s “Shore & Explore” package. The offer consists of 7 nights’ accommodations, daily breakfast, hotel tax and service charges, 4 passenger truck and unlimited use of tanks for shore diving. Weekly rates begin at $959 per person, based on double occupancy. The package is valid for travel December 23, 2013 – March 31, 2014. For more information visit http://www.diviresorts.com, email reserve@diviresorts.com or call 1-800-367-3484.

Eden Beach Resort – Eden Beach Resort is offering their guests an unforgettable vacation with their “Stay, Drive & Dive,” package. The package consists of 7 nights’ accommodations in a studio, king studio or 2 bedroom apartment; daily breakfast at Spice Beach Club; 7 days rental of a dive truck; and 6 days of unlimited shore diving offered by Wannadive Bonaire. Weekly rates begin at $770 per person, based on 4 persons in a 2 bedroom apartment. This package is valid for travel throughout the year of 2014. For more information visit http://www.edenbeach.com, email info@edenbeach.com or call 1-786-454-2348.

Harbour Village Beach Club – Immerse yourself in romance this winter at Harbour Village Beach Club, with their “Romance” package. This package includes 7 nights’ accommodations; romantic torch-lit dinner on the beach; aromatherapy couples massage; reserved double hammock on the beach; complimentary bottle of champagne; a resort scuba experience for non-certified divers, or one day of diving for certified divers; daily full American breakfast; unlimited use of the fitness center, tennis courts and kayaks; and roundtrip airport transfers. This package is valid for travel December 21, 2013 – April 12, 2014. Blackout dates are December 22, 2013 – January 5, 2014. For more information visit http://www.harbourvillage.com, email reservations@harbourvillage.com or call 1-800-424-0004.

Lighthouse Beach Resort – Save with the Lighthouse Beach Resort’s “March Madness” special. The offer includes a 10% discount off all diving and car rentals for guests. Rates begin at $104 per person, based on double occupancy, for travel March 1 – 30, 2014. Mention “March Madness” when making reservations. For more information visit http://www.bonairevilla.com, email info@bonairevilla.com or call 1-781-784-2070.

Oasis Guesthouse Bonaire – Oasis Guesthouse Bonaire is offering their “Dive & Save” package this winter. The offer includes 7 nights’ accommodations, welcome drink, daily breakfast buffet, 7 days regular pick-up or SUV stick shift, 6 days unlimited independent shore-diving (tanks, regular air and weights), Bonaire Marine Park introduction, marine park fee, roundtrip airport transfers, one BBQ dinner, tax and service charges. Weekly rates begin at $849 per person, based on double occupancy. The package is valid for travel now through January 6, 2014. For more information visit http://www.oasisguesthousebonaire.com, email info@oasisguesthousebonaire.com, call +599-796-0408 or send a message on Facebook.

Plaza Resort Bonaire – Plaza Resort Bonaire is offering their All Inclusive Experience Dive Package, with rates beginning at $1,175 per person, based on double occupancy. The package includes 7 nights’ accommodations, daily breakfast, lunch and dinner (incl. BBQ), all drinks (no premium brands), 6 days of unlimited shore diving, Nitrox, roundtrip airport transfers, service charge and energy surcharge. Book now through December 14, 2013, and receive additional 10% off. This package is valid for travel January 3, 2014 – April 20, 2014. Blackout dates include January 12 – 17, 2014. For more information visit http://www.plazaresortbonaire.com, email usa@plazaresortbonaire.com or call 1-800-766-6016.

Sand Dollar Condominiums – Save with Sand Dollar Condominiums “Ride to the Reef” package this winter season. The package includes 7 nights’ accommodations, 6 days of unlimited tanks for shore diving provided by Dive Friends Bonaire, free Nitrox upgrades, truck rental and government room tax. Weekly rates begin at $688 per diver, based on 4 people sharing a two bedroom/two bathroom condominium. This offer is valid for travel for December 21, 2013 – May 3, 2014. For more information visit http://www.sanddollarbonaire.com, email res@sanddollarbonaire.com or call 1-800-288-4773.

Windsock Beach Resort – Windsock Beach Resort is offering their “7 = 6 Discount” package. For every 7 nights stay, guests only pay for 6 nights. Weekly rates begin at $1,156.25 per person, based on double occupancy. This discount is valid for travel now through April 15, 2014. For more information visit http://www.gowindsockbonaire.com, email windsockbonaire@gmail.com or call +599-795-3791.

Getting to Bonaire

United Airlines operates weekly non-stop flights to Bonaire from Houston, TX and from Newark, NJ (the Newark flight is seasonal). Starting January 1, 2014, the Houston flight departs on Friday afternoon, arriving Friday evening. The return flight departs on Saturday morning, arriving later that same day. The Newark flight departs on Saturday morning, arriving Saturday afternoon. The return flight departs on Saturday afternoon, arriving later that same day.

Delta operates a weekly non-stop flight to/from Atlanta on Saturdays. Other flights from North America generally arrive in Curacao or Aruba; Insel Air flies from Charlotte, NC and Miami to Bonaire via Curacao. Flights between Bonaire, Aruba and Curacao are available on Insel Air and Tiara Air. Divi Divi Air flies between Bonaire and Curacao.

Located eighty-six miles east of Aruba, the Dutch Caribbean island of Bonaire offers year-round sunshine, low annual rainfall, pristine coral formations and the most abundant fish population in the Caribbean. World renowned for scuba diving and snorkeling, it is also ideal for adventurers and explorers,  offering a myriad of eco-adventure activities from sea and mangrove kayaking to windsurfing or kite boarding and more. For those who want to kick back and relax, not having traffic lights on the island makes it easy to stroll into town or hop on a scooter or bike to peruse the island at their own pace.  Accommodations range from full-service oceanfront resorts and condominiums to intimate guesthouses, small inns and private villas.

For 20 consecutive years, Scuba Diving magazine’s annual Readers’ Choice Awards, has selected Bonaire as the number one Shore Diving destination in the Caribbean/Atlantic. This year, it received 17 awards, more than any other Caribbean destination. It was also voted number one for Beginner Diving, Advanced Diving, Macro Diving and Underwater Photography in the Reader’s Choice Awards.  Most recently, Bonaire’s Marine Park was named one of the Caribbean’s Best Places for Snorkeling by Frommer’s.

For more information on Bonaire, contact the Tourism Corporation Bonaire at 1-800 BONAIRE, email usa@tourismbonaire.com or visit Bonaire’s official web site at http://www.tourismbonaire.com. Follow Bonaire on Twitter and Facebook.

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PGA Golf Club New ‘Stay-and-Play’ Special Package Offers 50% Savings

December 24, 2013

PGA Golf Club at PGA Village – the premier public-access resort with 54 championship holes by legendary architects Tom Fazio and Pete Dye; the 35-acre PGA Center for Golf Learning and Performance; and the iconic PGA Museum of Golf – is introducing a new Winter Escape Stay-and-Play special offer for golf enthusiasts at a 50 percent savings.

Three-night, four-day escapes start at $600 per person. Valued at more than $1,200, this special package features:

·         Three rounds of golf at PGA Golf Club
·         Three nights of full-scale accommodations at Perfect Drive Villas
·         One 60-minute Trackman club analysis at the PGA Center for Golf Learning and Performance
·         A $25 food and beverage coupon for each golfer
·         All visitors to PGA Golf Club enjoy year-round complimentary admission to the PGA Museum of Golf

Available dates are Jan. 1–April 30, 2014. Rates per golfer are based on four people sharing a two-bedroom villa. Prices are subject to availability and do not include taxes.

Some of the best weather in the country occurs in South Florida during the winter, with average high temperatures in the 70s during January and February.

“PGA Golf Club is one of America’s premier destinations for golfers from around the world,” said PGA Golf Club General Manager Jimmy Terry. “Our fun and affordable Winter Escape Stay-and-Play packages are a perfect opportunity to travel to South Florida during what most people consider the best time of the year for weather and course conditions.”

Located an hour north of West Palm Beach, Fla., PGA Golf Club features an array of exceptionally conditioned and challenging layouts.

The Wanamaker Course by Fazio provides a stunning backdrop against breathtaking palm trees and palmettos. His distinct Carolina touch is also evident on the Ryder Course with rolling hills, majestic pines and challenging water hazards. Weaving through 100 acres of wetlands, the Dye Course is a links-style layout with pine straw rough, vast coquina waste bunkers and grass-based bunkers.

The nearby PGA Center for Golf Learning & Performance, a golf instruction, practice,  technology and fitness park provides the ultimate learning environment for players of all levels. With 100 swing stations and nine bunker types simulating play from around the world, the highly acclaimed training facility is an ideal destination to tune up for the 2014 season.

The on-site PGA Museum of Golf features the game’s four major Championship trophies and the Vardon Trophy on display; Donald Ross’ workbench from 1900; vast Ryder Cup and PGA Championship memorabilia, including a full-scale replica of 2012 PGA Champion Rory McIllroy’s outfit; and a tribute to 2013 PGA Champion Jason Dufner.

For reservations, call 888-247-8959 and reference “PSL-PUREW” or visit http://www.GolfPacPGAVillage.com.

For more information on PGA Golf Club and The PGA of America, visit http://www.pgamediacenter.com.

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CruisesOnly® Adds Free Hotel Stay Option to its Loyalty Club Offerings

December 24, 2013

CruisesOnly®, one of the largest cruise agencies and the flagship brand in the World Travel Holdings portfolio, has announced that it is adding a “free hotel stay” option to its already robust Loyalty Club, the exclusive benefits program that rewards customers who have booked with CruisesOnly in the past.

Membership in CruisesOnly’s Loyalty Club is free of charge and free of bother. Customers who have booked with the agency at least once are automatically enrolled and there are no membership cards, numbers or renewals to keep track of.

“It’s important to us as an agency that we recognize and reward our loyal customers,” said Jeff Sherota, senior vice president of CruisesOnly. “Offering a choice between a free hotel stay or an opportunity to earn back unlimited onboard spending provides our customers with options to suit their travel needs.”

Here are the benefits of membership in CruisesOnly’s Loyalty Club:

Book Now, Pay Later: No Deposit Required at Time of Booking
CruisesOnly will defer the deposit, up to $500 (or up to $1,500 on select luxury bookings), when eligible sailings of three nights or longer are reserved at least 110 days prior to departure.

A Free Hotel Stay OR the Chance to Earn Back an Unlimited Amount of Cruise Cash
Past customers can decide which benefit best suits their travel needs: a free hotel stay (up to a $500 value, based on total price of cruise booking before taxes and port charges) or the chance to earn back an unlimited amount of onboard spending after they’ve cruised to recoup expenses not included in their fare such as spa treatments and specialty dining.

A 10 Percent Discount on All Shore Excursions
Valid on any shore excursion booked on CruisesOnly’s website at least four days prior to departure. Travelers can choose from a wide array of adventures in ports of call located throughout Alaska, the Caribbean and other destinations.

A Discount of Up To 25 Percent, Plus Bonus Offers, On Car Rentals
Club members enjoy discounts of up to 25 percent, plus special extras like free days or free upgrades, on top-brand car rentals reserved on CheapRentalCar.com.

Advance Notice of All CruisesOnly Sales
Club members are always among the first to be contacted (via email) whenever CruisesOnly is about to launch an exclusive/special sale.

Combinability with Existing CruisesOnly/Cruise-Line Offers
Loyalty Club benefits are often combinable with other deals on the CruisesOnly website and in its emails, as well as any perks the customer may be receiving as part of a specific cruise line’s loyalty/rewards program.

Benefits Extended to First-Time Guests Traveling with a Club Member
CruisesOnly rewards loyal customers by rewarding the people that they’re traveling with too – even if they’ve never booked with CruisesOnly before. All of the Loyalty Club benefits are available to first-time guests, just as long as they’re traveling on the same sailing as a Club member and staying in an additional stateroom.

Learn more about CruisesOnly’s Loyalty Club and visit CruisesOnly.com or call 1-800-CRUISES to make a reservation.

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Tickets are now on sale for The 2014 New York Times Travel Show in NYC

December 24, 2013
Each year, the New York Times Travel Show lets you to get a taste of exotic locales © 2013 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Each year, the New York Times Travel Show lets you to get a taste of exotic locales © 2013 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Tickets are now on sale for The 2014 New York Times Travel Show at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City on Saturday, March 1, and Sunday, March 2.  The Travel Show is the largest consumer travel event in North America, featuring nearly 500 exhibitors from Africa, Asia, Australia/South Pacific, Canada, the Caribbean, Europe, Latin America, Mexico and the United States.  The show will offer discounts, educational seminars and live entertainment for families, individuals, couples and seniors.

Consumer seminar topics, which have just been announced, will cover budget and luxury travel, cruising, travel blogging, LGBT travel, country- and region-specific destinations, travel photography and many other topics.  Speakers include leading voices in the industry, including among others:

  • Arthur and Pauline Frommer, authors and radio hosts
  • Peter Greenberg, CBS travel editor;  host of Peter Greenberg Worldwide Radio
  • Julia Dimon, adventure travel writer and TV host
  • Patricia Schultz, travel writer and author of “1,000 Places to See Before You Die”
  • Brian Kelly, founder of ThePointsGuy.com
  • Mark Murphy, founder,  president and CEO of TravAllianceMedia
  • Andrew Evans, Digital Nomad writer for NationalGeographic.com
  • Richard Wiese, TV host and author of Born to Explore

Event Details

The New York Times Travel Show will open to consumers on Saturday, March 1, from 10am until 6pm, and on Sunday, March 2, from 11am until 5pm.  The show will be held in Hall 3D & E located on 11th Avenue at the 34th Street entrance to the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City.  Admission is $17.  For a complete schedule of seminars and exhibitors, and to register online, visit www.NYTimes.com/TravelShow.

Exhibition Floor Attractions

  • Exclusive On-Site Only Travel Discounts
  • Meet the Experts area. Meet one-on-one with travel experts who will be available to answer questions covering specific regions, countries, types of travel, activities and destinations.
  • The Family Fun Zone will include an interactive area with opportunities to climb a 24-foot rock-climbing wall, bungee jump on a giant trampoline, and meet animal ambassadors from Sea World Parks & Entertainment.
  • Taste of the World culinary stage will offer exciting food and wine samples from around the globe.

Event Sponsors

American Express is the founding sponsor of The New York Times Travel Show. Supporting sponsors include: South Africa and Visit Florida. Contributing sponsor is The Florida Keys and Key West.  Industry sponsors include: Adventure Travel Trade Association, Africa Travel Association, American Society of Travel Agents, Association for the Promotion of Tourism to Africa, Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association, Caribbean Tourism Organization, Cruise Lines International Association, Cruise Planners International Association of Culinary Professionals, Europe Express, International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association, National Association of Railroad Passengers, Pacific Asia Travel Association, Professional Travel Bloggers Association, Society of American Travel Writers, The International Eco-Tourism Society, U.S. Tour Operators Association and Well-Being Travel.  Media sponsors include: Agent@Home, Family Travel Forum, GoNomad, Global Traveler, IN New York and Where Magazines, OffMetro.com, Passport, Travel Agent Academy, TravAllainceMedia, Travel Market Report, Travel Pulse, Travel Tribe, Travel Weekly News, Travel World and Vacation Agent.

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January is Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month in Colorado Ski Country USA

December 24, 2013
A children's ski lesson at Winter Park, Colorado. January is Learn to Ski & Ride month at Colorado Ski Country resorts which are offering special deals to get newbies to the slopes © 2013 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

A children’s ski lesson at Winter Park, Colorado. January is Learn to Ski & Ride month at Colorado Ski Country resorts which are offering special deals to get newbies to the slopes © 2013 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

January is Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month and Colorado Ski Country USA (CSCUSA) resorts are offering deals to entice kids and adults to come to the mountains and give skiing and snowboarding a try, sharpen their skills or pick up a new discipline. In addition to CSCUSA’s First Class program, which provides a free beginner lesson and equipment rental to qualifying fifth graders in January, resorts are offering significantly discounted lessons and Learn to Ski and Snowboard packages that include lift tickets, equipment rentals, and lessons taught by highly trained professional instructors.

Taking a lesson is a wise step in progressing as a skier or snowboarder. Safety and knowing your limits also add to a great day on the slopes according to CSCUSA Ski Instructor of the Year Ashley Sifers with Ski Granby Ranch. “This is really important. Recognize when you’re tired. Be aware of your surroundings and listen to your body,” explains Sifers. “You don’t have to eke out every minute of the day to have a successful, awesome day on the hill.”

Here are some of the Learn to Ski and Snowboard offers from CSCUSA resorts:

Arapahoe Basin

Learn to Ski/Ride Month Super Sunday Special

Good for kid or adult first timers only, the Super Sunday Special package includes a lift ticket, equipment rental, and a beginner lesson. Guests who purchase a Super Sunday lesson will be entitled to discounts on future lessons. Prices for adults are $99 for skiing and $107 for snowboarding, while prices for kids are $79 for skiing and $84 for snowboarding. The items in these packages can be purchased individually; Super Sunday lessons will be $59. Adult ski rental: $20; adult snowboard rental: $28; kid ski rental: $10; kid snowboard rental: $15; Beginner-area lift tickets are $20 for adults, $10 for kids. 2014 Super Sunday Dates are January 5, 12, 19, 26; February 2, 9, 16, 23. Valid for morning, half-day lessons only (10am-12:30pm).

Free One Run Lessons

Guests are matched up with instructors who learn the guest’s ability level and goals during a Black Mountain Express chairlift ride. During one run down the mountain on terrain accessible from the Black Mountain Express lift, instructors coach relatively minor movements that make major improvements to guests’ skiing. Sign-up is day-of, first-come, first-served from 10:00 am – noon. 2013-14 Dates: December 7, December 15, January 4, January 26, February 9, March 9. For more information, visit www.arapahoebasin.com.

Aspen/Snowmass

Beginner’s Magic For Adult Skiers And Snowboarders

Learn the basics of skiing or snowboarding from professional instructors who practice a teaching method that promotes peak performance and confidence and educates about the right equipment and mountain awareness. Available at Snowmass and Buttermilk every day, this program is best for adults who are first time beginners or who are only comfortable on beginner terrain. Lessons start at $199 inclusive of lift ticket, equipment rental, and full-day lesson when booked at least seven days in advance.

For Kids & Teens – Experienced professional instructors share their wealth of knowledge and instill an appreciation for the mountain environment. Their passion is contagious and kids enjoy perfecting their skills while they develop a love for the sport. Beginners learn in a supportive and fun environment while developing confidence and life skills. They will explore the mountain, try new skills, terrain and snow conditions based on appropriate skill development and experience the thrill of the pipe and park and/or race course with expert coaches. Available at Snowmass and Buttermilk every day, kids will be in groups with other kids or teens of similar ages. Lessons start at $111 for a full-day lesson when booked at least seven days in advance. For more information, visit www.aspensnowmass.com/schools.

Copper Mountain

Free Skiing and Riding for Beginners During Ski and Ride Month and All Winter Long
All season long beginners can access and learn for free on the Easy Rider carpet located in Center Village. Once basic skills are learned, a ticket for the Pitchfork chairlift is $15, allowing beginners to master getting on and off the lift while perfecting turning and stopping.

Woodward at Copper Barn – Great for Newbies and Beginners
This past summer the Woodward at Copper Barn underwent a half-million renovation project which opened the door far beyond snowboards and skis to now include skateboards, BMX and slopestyle mountain bike . All synthetic snow surfaces were replaced with a surface designed for wheels. Families and amateurs alike are invited to experience the renovations expanded offerings for never-evers with additions including a new beginner foam pit with two-foot and four-foot jumps, a pump track designed for the development of park skills, and new programming to bridge the gap and see results on snow. For more information, visit www.coppercolorado.com.

Crested Butte

$59 Beginner Ski or Ride Package.

For Learn to Ski Month this January 2014, Crested Butte Mountain Resort is offering a $59 beginner ski or ride package. The package is available for adults to learn how to ski or snowboard at a 63 percent discount. This package is for first-time skiers and snowboarders, age 15 and up only.  It includes an Adult First Time Beginner Adventure Ski or Snowboard lesson and a 1-day adult lift ticket valid for limited lift access on the day of the lesson.  Participants can also receive a 50% on rentals when they redeem their Liftopia voucher at the Adventure Center. Visit www.skicb.com/learn for more information and to book this package through Liftopia.com.

Loveland

Free Unrestricted Season Pass for Qualifying Kids

All children (ages 4-14) regardless of ability, who pre-purchase or complete 3 full day lesson packages, 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 lesson, lift access, rentals (ski or snowboard) and lunch.  Full day lessons are from 10am through 3:30pm daily. Phone reservations are available or register at the Loveland Valley between 8am and 9am. Pre-purchase price:  $315 for ages 6-14 skiers & snowboarders (Includes Season Pass) $345 for ages 4-5 skiers (Includes Season Pass) (4-5 yr old program includes early drop off beginning at 8:15am). For more information, visit http://www.skiloveland.com.

Monarch

First Timer Lessons

First-timer lessons at Monarch are conducted in a group setting and provide first time, basic, beginner instruction to get new skiers and snowboarders comfortable, moving and having fun on their equipment. Packages include all-day lift ticket, equipment and helmet rental, 2.5 hrs. of group instruction, and a snack.  Lesson begins promptly at 9:30 or 11:30 and are $89 for new snowriders aged 7-12 and $99 for ages 13 and older. For more information, visit www.skimonarch.com.

Powderhorn

Learn to Ski and Ride Season Pass Program

Powderhorn Mountain Resort and the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel join forces to bring back the Learn to Ski and Ride Season Pass Program for the 2013 – 2014 winter season. Designed for first time skiers or snowboarders ages eight and up, the Daily Sentinel’s Learn to Ski and Ride Season Pass program features three consecutive ski or snowboard lessons at Powderhorn Mountain Resort with the Intensive Series, which includes a full day group lesson with an hour break for lunch.

Lessons run from 10am – 12pm and 1pm – 3pm and focus on weather precautions, changing snow conditions, etiquette on the mountain and the Skier/Rider Responsibility Code. Participants emerge from the series with a great foundation in their chosen snow sport, and are able to put new skills to the test on-mountain. Upon completion of the three-lesson program, participants receive a free season pass for the remainder of the 2013 – 2014 season.

Cost for the program is $269 for youth and pre-teen participants (ages 8-17), $320 for adults (18+) and $299 for full time college students. Visit www.powderhorn.com for a list of regular season rates and details on the Learn to Ski and Ride Pass pass program.

Purgatory

Discounted Basic Beginner Packages

Purgatory at Durango Mountain Resort is pleased to announce two new low cost packages during January 2014 for children and adults who want to learn how to ski or snowboard. The program includes two new packages plus a discount card for future skiing or snowboarding.

The Basic Beginner Packages include full-day ski or snowboard lessons for adults/children, basic rental equipment, and lift tickets. Offered Jan. 6 – 31, 2014, the two-day package is $158, $100 off the regular price while the one-day package is $79, a savings of 39 percent.

Upon completion of the 1-Day or 2-Day beginner packages, participants will receive a card good for discounts on lessons, lift tickets and rentals for the remainder of the season through March 30, 2014.  These discounts are valid for use of the LSSM participant only and include lift tickets at $50 for adults, $40 for young adults, and for $30 kids; lessons are $39 for a half-day group lesson, $59 for full-day group lessons; ski or snowboard rentals are $20 for adult basic, $17 kids.  Blackout dates apply:  2/15/14 – 2/16/14 and 3/8/14 – 3/15/14. For more information, visit www.durangomountainresort.com.

Ski Granby Ranch

Get On The Snow Season Pass for Qualified Beginner Skiers and Snowboarders

For $199, complete two ski or snowboarding lesson days and graduate with a “Get On The Snow” season pass to Ski Granby Ranch, as well as a 20 percent discount coupon valid for a retail merchandise purchase. Get on the Snow is for level one, never-ever beginners ages 10 and up. This program is available from January 6 through March 6, 2014. Lessons do not have to be on consecutive days. Not valid with any other offers or promotions. No discounts offered for having equipment or passes. Black-out dates apply:  January 17 – 20, 2014 and February 14-17, 2014. Reservations required. For more information, visit www.granbyranch.com.

Sunlight

Learn to Shine Program For First Time Skiers And Snowboarders

The Learn to Shine package includes three days of lessons, equipment rental and lift tickets. Plus, participants receive a free 5-Day ski pass once they’ve completed the lessons – all for $365. The three lessons can be taken on the dates chosen by the student, whether those dates are consecutive or not.

Skiers and snowboarders that participate in the Learn to Shine program are matched with top-notch instructors that will have them navigating beginner terrain by the end of their first day. For more information, visit www.sunlightmtn.com.

Winter Park

Winter Park’s Family Easy Start
Learning to ski or snowboard is more fun as a family, and the Winter Park Ski + Ride School offers a great program that allows families to learn together, creating shared memories for one all-inclusive price. For $679 for a half-day or $859 for a full day a family of four gets four lift tickets, four equipment rentals, a private instructor, and access to all the amenities of the Private Lesson Center, including lockers, equipment storage, and a cozy lounge. For more information, visit www.winterparkresort.com.

Wolf Creek

First and Second Day Beginner Packages
These package is ideal for those who have never skied/snowboarded before. The First Day package ($60 for skiers, $66 for snowboarders) includes an all-day lift ticket to the Nova Lift and four hours of professional instruction (from 10am to noon, and from 1pm to 3pm) for new skiers and snowboarders ages 9 and up. The Second Day package ($70 for skiers and snowboarders) includes an all-day lift ticket to the Nova and Raven Lifts plus two hours of professional instruction. This package is designed as a follow-up to the 1st Day Beginner Package, although the 1st Day package is not a prerequisite. For skiers and snowboarders ages 13 and up. Prices quoted for the First and Second Day packages do not include equipment rental.

Children’s Camp Robber Clinic – January 11, 25; February 1, 8

This four-week program (Saturdays only) is designed to introduce 5 to 8 year olds to skiing or improve on the skills they already have, all in a fun environment. Children are grouped according to ability and ski with the same children and instructor each week to foster socialization and friendship. Activities include terrain garden, fun races, and mountain safety. Lift ticket, ski rental, four hours of instruction, lunch and snacks are all included each week. $210 for season pass holders; $240 for non-season pass holders. For more information, visit www.wolfcreekski.com.

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

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New Hampshire Ski Areas Celebrate January Learn to Ski & Snowboard Month; Free Week Jan. 11-17

December 23, 2013
Snowboarding at Waterville Valley. Ski New Hampshire resorts are celebrating January as Learn to Ski & Snowboard Month © 2013 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Snowboarding at Waterville Valley. Ski New Hampshire resorts are celebrating January as Learn to Ski & Snowboard Month © 2013 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

During the month of January, Ski New Hampshire (Ski NH) and its 33 member resorts will participate in a national program to introduce guests to the sports of skiing and snowboarding.  Learn to Ski & Snowboard Month is a program taking place across the United States that features special offers making it easy and affordable for people to learn to ski, snowboard, cross country ski or snowshoe, and for current skiers & snowboarders to enhance their skills by taking lessons from professional instructors.

Among the special offers being featured in New Hampshire is Learn to Ski & Snowboard Free Week from January 11-17. 2014.  During this week, participating NH ski areas will be offering a limited number of free learn to ski or snowboard packages.  These packages include a free beginner lesson, free equipment rentals, and a free beginner lift ticket or trail pass to those who register in advance.  Participants must visit www.SkiNH.com to register and download a Learn to Ski or Ride Free Coupon; they then contact one of the participating areas to make a reservation for a specific day that week.  Registration opens January 2, 2014 at SkiNH.com.  Participating alpine areas include Loon Mountain, Bretton Woods, Cannon Mountain, Waterville Valley, Gunstock Mountain Resort, Cranmore Mountain Resort, Pats Peak, King Pine, Dartmouth Skiway and Granite Gorge; participating cross country areas include Jackson XC, Great Glen Trails, Gunstock Mountain Resort XC, Purity Spring XC, Waterville Valley XC, Pine Hill Ski Club and Bretton Woods XC.

Every day of the ski season, New Hampshire’s ski areas already offer specially-designed learn to ski and snowboard programs to introduce new people to the sport. In addition to these learn to ski and snowboard packages, there will be many other special programs offered during January that normally are not available.  Among these offerings, guests will find free & discounted lift tickets for those who bring a friend to try the sport, special pricing on learn to ski or snowboard packages, and follow-up rewards for first timers who choose to hit the downhill slopes or cross country trails again.  Guests can visit the January Learn to Ski & Snowboard Month section on SkiNH.com for full details & offers.

Nationally the program is being promoted by a consortium of ski industry organizations & media outlets, as well as three well-known national ambassadors: ski icon Glen Plake, New Hampshire’s own Olympic & World Cup champion Bode Miller, and World Cup champion Darren Rahlves.

“Skiing, snowboarding, cross country skiing & snowshoeing offer a fun & healthy way to get outside and enjoy winter with family and friends,” said Alice Pearce, president of Ski NH.  “As the national slogan says, ‘Humans Were Never Meant to Hibernate.'”

To learn more about Ski NH’s January Learn to Ski & Snowboard Month events and New Hampshire’s 33 downhill and cross country resorts, visit www.SkiNH.com

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Ski Vermont’s ‘Check In to Win’ Program Offers Prizes for Using Mobile Tracking System

December 22, 2013
Smugglers Notch, Vermont © 2013 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Smugglers Notch, Vermont © 2013 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Ski Vermont’s Check In to Win program is returning the 2013-14 season and will be hosted by the ski and snowboard tracking application, Alpine Replay  and co-sponsored by Verizon Wireless. Check In to Win rewards skiers and riders for exploring Vermont resorts and tracking vertical, speed, jumps and more. This season the first skier to visit all 19 alpine resorts will win a pair of Rossignol skis and the first snowboarder to visit 18 resorts will win a snowboard from Burton.

Ski Vermont enjoyed a successful launch of the program during the 2012-13 season, winning the Governor’s SMART Biz Award for Marketing Excellence and a Travel + Leisure SMITTY award. It was the first statewide tourism program of its kind, promoting frequency and variety of visits to Vermont ski resorts via prize incentives.

Partnering with Alpine Replay and Verizon Wireless for the 2013-14 season allows Ski Vermont to expand the already successful Check In to Win program and make it even easier. Skiers and riders need only download the free Alpine Replay application, get to the mountain and press “play” to track the days skiing and snowboarding stats. At the end of the day, users download stats and share with friends on social media. The more Vermont resorts explored equates to more chances to win bigger and better prizes. Participants can also earn Vermont specific medals and participate in competitions like the Vertical Challenge to win a ski and stay package in Vermont.

“We are excited to expand the already popular Check In to Win program by partnering with Verizon Wireless and Alpine Replay,” said Ski Vermont’s Director of Marketing, Kyle Lewis. Our goals are to reward skiers and riders for visiting a variety of Vermont’s resorts and create an online community where you earn your bragging rights. We think of the program like a punch card at your favorite deli, except we reward you with the chance to win free lift tickets, Cabot Cheese and Green Mountain Coffee and more.”

Using the Alpine Replay application at multiple resorts in Vermont will automatically enter participants for the chance to win prizes from Ski Vermont partners such as free lift tickets from Vermont resorts, swag from Burton Snowboards, Rossignol, anon, Darn Tough and Kombi, and treats from Green Mountain Coffee and Cabot Cheese.

For more information and to download the application, visit skivermont.com/checkin

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Winter Storms Likely to Delay Christmas Travel for More than Half the US, Accuweather Forecasts

December 19, 2013

accuweather-xmas 121813

AccuWeather.com is forecasting that winter storms are likely to delay Christmas travel for more than half the US.

Multiple storms will produce areas of rain, ice and snow with areas of dense fog which can cause trouble for travelers over the Central, Eastern and Northwestern states over the next several days, according to Alex Sosnowski, Expert Senior Meteorologist  for AccuWeather.com.

The largest storm of the bunch will hit this weekend and will affect nearly 30 states and over 100 million people.

The atmosphere will quickly change gears the next few days to a pattern that will briefly send warmer air into the eastern third of the nation. Temperatures may challenge with record highs.

The warmth will mean no snow or ice problems for millions of people in the South, Ohio Valley, mid-Atlantic and southeastern New England. However, that warmth will also be accompanied by episodes of rain and fog that can still lead to travel delays.

According to Chief Meteorologist Elliot Abrams, “Conditions will be favorable for extensive fog to form with the warmup, even in the absence of heavy rain.”

The fog could settle over long stretches of highways and delay flights for hours at some major airports.

On Friday, one storm will spread some rain and drizzle from the Ohio Valley to the central Appalachians and southern New England. Because of a cold ground, fog may form with or without snow cover and affect the cities of the cities of Pittsburgh, New York and Boston.

Farther north, from that same Friday storm, some snow and a wintry mix will reach eastward across from parts of Michigan to upstate New York and northern New England. While snowfall with this system will be considered to be minor, enough can fall to cause slippery roads.

Showers and patchy fog will also reach from the central Gulf Coast to the southern Appalachians with that system Friday and Saturday.

A storm will affect the Northwest Friday into Saturday. Enough cold air will be present with the storm to bring some snow to near sea level in western Washington, including around Seattle, Friday morning. Snow will fall over the passes in the Cascades Friday before a change to rain. Periods of snow and slippery travel is likely Friday and Saturday over portions of the northern Rockies.

Yet another storm is forecast to take shape over the South Central states Saturday and quickly expand northward and eastward Sunday. The storm will become the major weather maker prior to Christmas over the eastern half of the nation. Major travel disruptions are likely from this storm.

The weekend storm will bring rain and not snow to areas from much of Texas to northern Florida to coastal Maine, thanks to a surge of warmer air.

The rain can become heavy enough to cause urban flooding. Cities that have a chance of heavy rain include Dallas, Memphis, Atlanta, Cincinnati and Boston. With the rain will come with the potential for episodes of dense fog and low ceilings, which could add to flight delays and cause cancellations.

A zone of ice and snow is expected to develop on the northwestern fringe of the rain area. Metro areas that could be hit with travel delays include Oklahoma City, Kansas City, Mo., Chicago and Detroit.

The storm will also have major impact on neighboring Canada. There is the risk of heavy ice affecting a large part of southern Ontario, including the greater Toronto area. A heavy wintry mix is possible for Ottawa and Montreal.

There is also a risk of severe thunderstorms in part of the South from the second storm.

AccuWeather.com Severe Weather Expert Henry Margusity said, “We could be looking at a severe weather outbreak including a few tornadoes beginning from central and eastern Texas to the lower Mississippi Valley with this second storm Saturday into Sunday.”

In the wake of the second storm with its rain, fog, ice and snow will follow a push of chilly air that will last into Christmas Day. While this is not likely to be as cold as some prior Arctic outbreaks thus far, it may get cold enough to cause wet areas to freeze.

The weekend storm will bring rain and not snow to areas from much of Texas to northern Florida to coastal Maine, thanks to a surge of warmer air.

The rain can become heavy enough to cause urban flooding. Cities that have a chance of heavy rain include Dallas, Memphis, Atlanta, Cincinnati and Boston. With the rain will come with the potential for episodes of dense fog and low ceilings, which could add to flight delays and cause cancellations.

A zone of ice and snow is expected to develop on the northwestern fringe of the rain area. Metro areas that could be hit with travel delays include Oklahoma City, Kansas City, Mo., Chicago and Detroit.

The storm will also have major impact on neighboring Canada. There is the risk of heavy ice affecting a large part of southern Ontario, including the greater Toronto area. A heavy wintry mix is possible for Ottawa and Montreal.

There is also a risk of severe thunderstorms in part of the South from the second storm.

AccuWeather.com Severe Weather Expert Henry Margusity  said, “We could be looking at a severe weather outbreak including a few tornadoes beginning from central and eastern Texas to the lower Mississippi Valley with this second storm Saturday into Sunday.”

In the wake of the second storm with its rain, fog, ice and snow will follow a push of chilly air that will last into Christmas Day. While this is not likely to be as cold as some prior Arctic outbreaks thus far, it may get cold enough to cause wet areas to freeze.

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