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PHOTOPLUS, the Photo Expo at Javits Center Oct. 24-26, Will Present New Show Features

October 8, 2019
PhotoPlus18_102518_94e2(c) Karen Rubin-photojournalists

A highlight of PHOTOPLUS is the opportunity to hear from professional photographers. Here, a panel of renowned photojournalists © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

NEW YORK— Photography enthusiasts and professionals will enjoy several new initiatives to enhance the experience at PHOTOPLUS this year, which returns to the Jacob Javits Center in New York City  on October 24-26. Interactive photo, video and education spaces will allow attendees to gain invaluable insights that can heighten their photo and video skills, hear from inspiring professionals, and test new gear in a real-world setting.

Pet Portrait Studio, presented by Tamron, invites attendees to learn how to perfect their pet photography in a fun environment, while also supporting a worthwhile cause. Attendees will have the opportunity to see live demonstrations with Tamron ambassadors who specialize in animal photography, as well as try out new lenses. PHOTOPLUS is partnering with Best Friends Animal Society who will provide dogs for guests to photograph and even adopt.

PDN’s 30 Creator’s Lounge celebrates the anniversary of PDN’s 30: New and Emerging Photographers to Watch. The Lounge will host photographers from the past 20 years of PDN’s 30 to share how they honed their styles and their best advice on how to establish and sustain a successful photo career. This dynamic event features panel discussions, creative meet-and-greets, book signings, and a DJ’d happy hour. Guests will include Shawn Theodore, Miranda Barnes, Janelle Jones, Kareem Black and more.

PHOTOPLUS Image Reviews offers all attendees the opportunity to receive a free one-on-one review with a notable photographer. They can also discuss visual trends, technique, and post-production.

The Adobe Show Floor Theatre will present free, 20-minute educational seminars from industry leaders in photography and filmmaking during all three days of the show.

VIDEO+, sponsored by Videomaker, will feature leading brands in the video and film space. Additionally, attendees can stop by the VIDEO+ stage to hear speakers discuss topics for cinematographers or photographers looking to expand their craft.

The 2019 show will also include a series of exhibitions right on the show floor. The Icon Gallery, sponsored by Chromaluxe and printed by Blazing Editions, will feature images by Stephen Wilkes, creator of the renowned “Day to Night” project. In the PDN’s 30 Creator’s Lounge, guests can tour an exhibition by PDN’s 30 2019. PDN and Professional Women Photographers have teamed up to curate and produce an exhibition highlighting talented women working in a variety of photographic genres and styles. FUJIFILM will present their Legacy Project showcasing talented visual storytellers whose photography has had a profound impact on their personal journeys of self-discovery and on the lives of the communities they have photographed. Finally, PHOTOPLUS teams up with United Photo Industries to bring a selection of the smaller emerge-cube exhibitions that were on display at this year’s Photoville.

Designed for professionals in the photographic and imaging industries as well as enthusiasts, PHOTOPLUS — http://www.photoplusexpo.com/ — showcases the latest advances in photography, digital imaging and filmmaking. Held annually at the Javits Convention Center, attendees have the opportunity to explore an inspiring array of photography and imaging products and services – all from the industry’s leading manufacturers and brands.

Advanced registration for PHOTOPLUS is free for all attendees until October 23, 2019. A fee of $25 will be charged to anyone who registers onsite, October 24-26. Attendees can register now at photoplusexpo.com.

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New Luxury Adventure Company Rebrands as Atlas Ocean Voyages, Opens HQ in Fort Lauderdale

September 28, 2019
Atlas-World Explorer2 e2

Atlas Ocean Voyages is focusing on authentic, active and adventurous experiences in some of the world’s most captivating destinations, such as Antarctica, Baltic, Mediterranean, and Central and South America. The line’s luxurious and intimate small ships will bring inspired travelers on exciting itineraries for invigorating, at-sea and shoreside adventures, while employing the latest sustainability technology to help preserve the waters they ply for future generations to enjoy.

Fort Lauderdale, Fla.– Mystic Invest Holding’s Chairman Mário Ferreira announced that the company’s U.S.-based subsidiary cruise line is changing its name to Atlas Ocean Voyages and establishing its headquarters in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Mystic Invest Holding is a leading international travel and hospitality company, which owns and operates the world’s third largest river cruise fleet, as well as hotels, attractions, helicopter tours, consumer space travel, and now, ocean cruise ships. The cruise line was previously Mystic Cruises USA.

Atlas Ocean Voyages is focusing on authentic, active and adventurous experiences in some of the world’s most captivating destinations, such as Antarctica, Baltic, Mediterranean, and Central and South America.  The line’s luxurious and intimate small ships will bring inspired travelers on exciting itineraries for invigorating, at-sea and shoreside adventures, while employing the latest sustainability technology to help preserve the waters they ply for future generations to enjoy. Atlas Ocean Voyages’ World Navigator is currently under construction at WestSea Viana shipyard in Portugal and scheduled to launch in mid-2021.

“Atlas Ocean Voyages will bring inspired travelers on authentic and luxurious adventures around the world,” said Ferreira. “We adjusted our brand name to better reflect the distinctive and luxurious global experiences that North American guests will enjoy. And to bring our unique adventure-cruising vision to life, we’ve assembled a highly skilled team of experienced industry professionals to lead our operations in Fort Lauderdale. I am confident that travelers will delight in exploring the world in the new immersive and active way that only Atlas Ocean Voyages can deliver.”

Ferreira has appointed Alberto Aliberti as President of Atlas Ocean Voyages. He will lead the new company’s U.S. expansion. Alberto led strategic development and commercial operations at Mystic Invest and its subsidiary river-cruise company DouroAzul for nearly 15 years. He had also been a part of the shoreside management teams at Seabourn and Cunard. Prior, Alberto served aboard cruise ships for various lines, and started 27 years ago as a receptionist aboard Sun Lines’ Stella Solaris. Alberto is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy.

“It’s an honor to lead Mystic Invest’s latest venture and we are excited to open Atlas Ocean Voyages new office in Fort Lauderdale,” said Aliberti. “We have an amazing team of industry professionals who will apply their breadth and depth of experience to bring new adventure travel options to U.S. travelers. We continue to build our Sales and Reservations teams and look forward to open bookings for World Navigator later this year.”

Lisa Auguste is the Vice President of Operations and responsible for establishing the adventure cruise line’s Fort Lauderdale headquarters and ensuring its ongoing office and call center operations. Lisa’s entire professional career has been in the cruise industry. She knows many areas of the industry and worked in nearly every corporate role, most recently as Vice President of Oceania and Regent Seven Seas’ International division. Her immense experience is pivotal as the cruise line continues to establish itself.

Atlas Ocean Voyages’ Vice President of Sales and Trade Partnerships is Brandon Townsley. Brandon’s tenured career in the cruise industry includes sales and revenue positions at Royal Caribbean, Norwegian Cruise Line, MSC Cruises, and Virgin Voyages. He fully appreciates the indispensable service that the travel advisor community provides to both suppliers and travelers and will lead the cruise line’s Sales strategy to build loyal and mutually rewarding relationships with travel trade partners and industry leaders.

“Brandon is a commercial leader who understands the invaluable role that travel advisers play,” added Aliberti. “He will leverage his extensive industry experience and unwavering advocacy to excite and educate travel advisors about our new travel product and help them create unforgettable Atlas Ocean Voyages adventures for their clients.”

Additionally, Marie Fernandez-Abou is named Vice President of Marketing, and brings her extensive experience in branding, design and promotions to advancing the adventure cruise line and inspiring travelers. She previously served as Managing Partner at Miami-based Imagery Creative for 15 years and has been a recipient of the Hispanic Woman of Distinction and numerous outstanding business woman awards. Marie also brings extensive experience in leading strategic marketing initiatives for Seabourn Cruise Line and other travel and tourism clients. She currently also serves as Executive Director of the non-profit Pack of Dogs Volunteer Task Force and is a former Chapter President of the American Advertising Federation.

For the latest news and more information about Atlas Ocean Voyages, please visit www.AtlasOceanVoyages.com and follow @AtlasCruises on social media at Facebook and Twitter, and @AtlasOceanVoyages on Instagram.

 

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SkiCom Looks to Hire 12 For Ultimate Mountain Dream Job: Get Paid for VIP Resort Experience

September 18, 2019
SkiCom-AspenSnowmass e2

Be one of the 12 Ski.Com hires to have a VIP experience at top ski resorts like Aspen Snowmass.

Aspen, Colo. – For the second year in a row, Ski.com, one of the largest providers of ski vacations in North America, is once again searching for candidates to document what it’s like to experience the hottest ski destinations around the world. Starting today through October, 29 2019, Ski.com will be accepting applications for the ultimate on-mountain gig: The Ski.com Dream Job. Twelve applicants will be selected—two per destination—and assigned to travel to and document the “ski-boots-on-the-ground” experience at one of the following six destinations during the 2020 winter: Aspen Snowmass, Colo.; Jackson Hole, Wyo.; Big Sky, Mont.; Banff and Lake Louise, Alberta; Chamonix, France; Niseko, Japan.

Ski.com’s Dream Job hires will be compensated with an all-expenses paid VIP resort experience, flights on United Airlines, gear from Stio, Black Crows, Giro and GoPro, custom forecasts from OpenSnow, a paycheck of $2,000 per person and the opportunity to save our snow with Protect Our Winters.

“Last fall, for Ski.com’s Epic Dream Job, we received nearly 1,200 video entries and a very passionate community formed online in support of the applicants,” said Dan Sherman Ski.com chief marketing officer. “This year, instead of hiring one person, we are now looking for candidates to fill 12 open positions who will visit six incredible destinations around the word while receiving products and services from an all-star group of partners.”

The ideal candidates must have a serious desire to travel to some of the most amazing mountain destinations on the planet, they must be able to ski and/or snowboard at at least an advanced intermediate level and they must love après, mingling with locals and documenting their travel experiences.

To apply, interested job seekers must first choose the destination to which they would like to apply and then submit an application video between September 17, 2019 and October 29, 2019 explaining in 90 seconds or less why they should be hired and what drew them to the destination. Ski.com encourages applications from individuals or two-person teams. Each applicant can choose one resort or apply to multiple destinations.

For more information and to apply, applicants should visit www.ski.com/dreamjob. Ski.com will announce the 12 people who have been selected for the job on November 19, 2019. 

Founded in 1971 in the heart of Colorado ski country, Aspen-headquartered Ski.com is one of North America’s largest providers of mountain vacation packages and an industry leader in online travel technology. The company specializes in booking custom ski vacations at more than 120 of the most popular ski resorts and heli- and cat-skiing destinations in North America, Europe, Japan and South America and offers the largest collection of mountain lodging and ski-vacation components, including discounted lift tickets, flights, equipment rental, ski school, activities and more. Providing unsurpassed mountain-travel expertise, Ski.com’s 70 Mountain Travel Experts average 26 years of experience in the ski travel industry.

 

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Yosemite Photos Can Win a Stay at Tenaya Lodge

August 8, 2019
Yosemite National Park, Calif.

Views of purple mountain majesty from The John Muir Trail, Yosemite National Park © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

You can win a stay in one of Tenaya Lodge’s new two-bedroom Explorer Cabins. Tenaya, located right at the doorstep to Yosemite National Park, California, is running a fun photo contest on Instagram and Twitter — all you need to do to enter is share a photo of a Yosemite adventure using #mytenaya and tag Tenaya Lodge.

The grand prize winner will receive a three night stay in the all-new Explorer Cabins at Tenaya Lodge in addition to:

  • Full-Day Yosemite Tour for four
  • Two 90-minute Spa Treatments
  • Two on-site resort activities for four
  • $300 dining credit
  • One tandem jump at Skydive Yosemite

Plus, weekly prize winners receive Tenaya Lodge swag.

For more information, follow this link: https://bit.ly/2YUgdJL.

Tenaya Lodge, 1122 Highway 41, Fish Camp, CA 93623, 800-722-8584, tenayalodge.com.

To see more about Tenaya Lodge, see:

Tenaya Lodge Provides Luxury Lodging Resort Experience at Gateway to Yosemite National Park 

Yosemite National Park: Best Valley Hikes for First Timers 

Yosemite National Park: Surprising Diversity, Dramatic Scenes Hiking Chilnualna Falls Trail, Wawona

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Hotel PACAI in Vilnius Old Town, First Member of Design Hotels in the Baltics, Celebrates First Anniversary

August 8, 2019
Hotel Pacai Vilnius

The award-winning Hotel PACAI, located in the Vilnius’s old city, Lithuania, celebrated its first anniversary. A former palace for the noble family of Pacai, the hotel is now becoming increasingly popular among travelers seeking to unwind in comfort and style and explore the city’s vibrant social scene.

Situated in the heart of the historic Vilnius Old Town of the Lithuanian capital Vilnius, Hotel PACAI celebrated its first anniversary since it opened. The stylish hotel realized its promise to mesmerize guests seeking authentic experiences, offering a blend of history and sophisticated high-end design which so far has delighted nearly 25,000 guests from around the globe.

Former residence of the noble Lithuanian Pacai family, the building that hosts the hotel is a Baroque palace dating back to 1677. The historic palace outlived the Lithuanian-Polish Commonwealth, the reign of Russian tsars, as well as Napoleon and his armies. Throughout history, countless historic personalities frequently visited the Pacai mansion during their travels in Vilnius.

PACAI is currently the only hotel in the Baltic states that holds a Design Hotels membership. In order for a hotel to become a part of Design Hotels, it must meet the rigorous admittance criteria. Most importantly, a hotel must harmoniously blend into local surroundings and preserve local traditions.

Guests looking to capture the spirit of stylish and sensory Vilnius visit from nearly every corner of the world – with travelers from the USA, Israel, France, Australia, and the United Kingdom being the most frequent visitors. As a testament to its authenticity, Hotel PACAI is also appreciated by locals wanting to reconnect with their history, as well as people from neighboring countries looking to try out the best of internationally acknowledged Lithuanian hospitality.

During its first year of operation, the hotel has been awarded a 1st place in the design category at the International Hospitality Awards. Furthermore, it was also included among the best new design hotels ranked by the Surface magazine. PACAI has also been noticed in a variety of regional awards for the effort to revive historic buildings, sustainable attitude, and the quality of services.

“We are a unique hotel in Vilnius and the Baltic states in that we offer the most integrated experience. The music, the plants and the decor are all matched with our theme of un-fussed sophistication. We integrate works by local artists and blend modern aesthetics with authenticity. The 25 thousand guests that have visited us in the past year is the best testament to our creativity and effort to make staying at PACAI an extraordinary experience,” says Rūta Pulkauninkaitė-Macikė, General Manager of Hotel PACAI.

It is not only the historic appeal of the opulent Baroque palace that makes staying at PACAI a unique experience. The guests can also indulge in authentic experiences at the hotel’s restaurants and SPA.

Restaurant Nineteen18, featured in The White Guide as 2nd best restaurant in the Nordics, is located on the premises of the hotel. It invites to indulge in its tasting menus of the New Nordic Cuisine that uses Lithuanian ingredients and local food traditions. The chefs source the food from local farms located within a 100-kilometer radius around Vilnius, ensuring locally inspired gastronomical experience.

Brasserie 14 HORSES, also sourcing seasonal products from local suppliers and infused with Lithuanian and Baltic traditions, is a perfect place for breakfast, lunch or a laid-back dinner. Evenings at PACAI usually end up in SOFIJA bar, where guests can unwind in comfort and style while enjoying classic and modern cocktails, local craft beers, artisanal spirits, champagne and wine from around the globe.

One of the most unique aspects of PACAI SPA is that it’s located in the historical Hotel PACAI and is surrounded by exposed antique brick walls and artifacts.

Member of the Design HotelsPACAI is a 104 room hotel situated in a 17th century Baroque Palace in Vilnius, Lithuania. Opened in May 2018, the 5 star hotel was designed to preserve as many architectural details as possible, showcasing elegant simplicity through local aesthetics. Breaking creative boundaries, the PACAI complex is now a meeting point with local artists and entrepreneurs, and home to the Nineteen18 restaurant, a brasserie and a cocktail bar as well as a SPA, specializing in uniquely tailored treatments and beauty packages.

 

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Love ACKtually: Top Reasons to Visit Nantucket This Summer

August 8, 2019
Nantucket-White Elephant e2

The famous White Elephant waterfront hotel on Nantucket.

Located 30 miles off the coast of Cape Cod, Nantucket is the former whaling capital of the world. Today, it’s home to 82 miles of public beaches, untouched moors and dunes, dramatic cliffs, and quiet harbors. With the summer travel season in full swing, there will never be a better time to escape to the “Grey Lady.”

What’s New on Nantucket: Nantucket is booming and its hydrangeas are blooming. New restaurants complement island favorites, and accommodations are opening due to demand. Despite the development, conservation remains king, with almost half the island under preservation. As the island carefully expands its offerings, here’s a look at what is new this season.

The Wauwinet, located on the northeast end of the island and sandwiched between two private beaches, re-opened in April following a multi-million-dollar restoration of its 32 guest rooms and cottages. As part of the renovation, the hotel collaborated with Serena & Lily to re-design the property’s three-bedroom Anchorage House. The interior now features the brand’s signature coastal prints and beachy furniture.

New dining options on the island include Pizzeria Gemelle, which offers Neapolitan pies using ingredients from the nearby Bartlett Farm; Or The Whale, an American bistro whose name was inspired by Herman Melville’s Moby Dick; and Saltbox Tavern & Table, which serves comfort food favorites like fried pickles and truffle honey risotto.  Also new to the island is Gwyneth Paltrow’s goop MRKT pop-up. The general store/beach house hybrid offers curated summer items like Sperry boat shoes, Alo Yoga activewear, and Vintner’s Daughter Skincare. In other retail news, Veronica Beard partnered with local Perch boutique to feature their signature jackets; and ACK4170’s first brick and mortar outpost has goods like tote bags printed with hand-drawn Nantucket maps from the early 1900s.

JetBlue has new direct flights to Nantucket from LaGuardia Airport in New York City and Westchester County Airport in White Plains, New York. The service began last month. The new routes supplement existing service to Nantucket from JFK, Boston, and Washington D.C. Southern Airways Express has also launched service from three New England-based airports: Norwood, Massachusetts; New Haven, Connecticut; and Warwick, Rhode Island.

“Pet Set” to ACK: The Woof Cottages at Nantucket Boat Basin are designed especially for guests traveling with pets. Pups are welcomed with Draper Canine beds, a basket of treats and toys, food and water bowls, dog-walking services, and personalized pet tags. For tips on the best dog-friendly activities on Nantucket, guests can contact Bailey, the Cottages’ resident golden retriever and new pet concierge at petconcierage@niresorts.com.

“Summer for Less” means 25% off at the Residences at the White Elephant if you stay at least three consecutive nights on select dates through September. For guests seeking an early week getaway, the “Hot Dates, Cool Rates” promotion offers savings up to 20% when booking directly with any of the Nantucket Island Resorts properties for Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday. Added perk: Stay in one of the top three-bedroom suites at the White Elephant or The Wauwinet and receive the keys to a 2019 BMW SUV vehicle for your entire trip. The amenity equals a savings of up to $450 per day by forgoing a jeep rental.

COVER Swim X White Elephant: The waterfront hotel partnered with Cover Swim to create a children’s sun shirt, which is now available online and at the hotel’s boutique. The blue and white shirt is dotted with White Elephant’s “trunket” mascot and blocks 98% of UV rays in and around water. Sizes vary, for children ages 2-9 years old. Cost: $85

 

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Summer at Alta, Utah’s Wildcat Basecamp Will Be Different This year

July 3, 2019
Alta-summer e2

Summer in Alta, Utah

Summer at Alta will look a bit differently this year. First, there is plentiful snow covering many beloved hiking trails and second, construction will close the Albion parking lot and Sunnyside lift this summer. The summer road into the Albion Basin is scheduled to open July 16th (conditions permitting). With limited parking in the Albion Basin, an amenity fee per vehicle will be charged. Your best bet for free parking and base area trailhead access can be found at the Wildcat base or as we call it, Wildcat Basecamp.

Wildcat Basecamp Provisions

Wildcat Basecamp provides all the essentials snacks, beverages, restrooms, parking and more. Enjoy food and beverages at the Wildcat Basecamp concession area after hiking among the wildflowers. The concession stand will be open from June 29th through September 2nd, weekdays 10-7 pm and on holidays/weekends 8:30-7 pm.

Hiking

Beginning July 20th hikers can load a shuttle from Wildcat Basecamp for a fee of $5 per person into Albion Basin. The shuttle will operate on weekends and holidays July 20th through September 2nd from 9-6 pm. We highly encourage hikers to start from Wildcat Basecamp to get the full breath Alta has to offer and due to limited parking in the basin. There will be knowledgeable mountain hosts to answer questions at the Wildcat Basecamp on weekends and holidays. All hikers are encouraged to stay on designated trails.

Lunch and Brunch

Let Alta Lodge do the cooking on the weekend. Savor, Saturday lunch from 12-2 pm or Sunday Brunch served from 9:30-2 pm. Check out the new Snowpine Lodge restaurant Swen’s, open on Saturdays and Sundays from 8-2 pm or the Gulch Pub is open daily from 3-9 pm.

Stewardship Programs

The Alta Environmental Center and community partners host sustainability events and educational events throughout the summer. Escape the heat and join us for one of our monthly volunteer days or other stewardship days. For more information on summer stewardship or educational events: GET INVOLVED.

Friday HawkWatch Bird of Prey Show and Hike

Town of Alta Restoration Day

Wasatch Wildflower Festival

Volunteer Day

With the bees buzzing, and blooming flowers, we are excited for summer at Alta. For more information on all things summer at Alta visit: Events and Summer at Alta.

See also: Alta, Utah: If You Can See It You Can Ski It!

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The Equinox to Open First Hotel in NYC’s Hudson Yards With Exclusive Offers for Virtuoso Travelers

June 29, 2019
NYC-TheShed_20190410_124347e2 (c) Karen Rubin

The Shed, the newest cultural/performance venue in New York City, is one of the attractions in the city’s newest neighborhood, the Hudson Yards, where the Equinox is opening its first hotel. © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

NEW YORK, NY Equinox Hotel, New York City, the first property by the celebrated fitness brand debuts July 15, 2019. Based on the same philosophy as its clubs, Equinox Hotels will inspire people pursuing their maximum potential. With only weeks until its opening, Equinox Hotel, New York City is giving guests a multitude of enticements to reserve their stay through a Virtuoso® travel advisor, including complimentary advantages available only through Virtuoso’s Preview Program:

  • Upgrade at time of booking, if available
  • Early check-in and late checkout, if available
  • Continental breakfast daily for two
  • US$100 hotel credit, once per stay
  • Wi-Fi
  • Airport transfer for Suite reservations of two nights or longer
  • Private helicopter airport transfer for Equinox Suite reservations of two nights or longer

Virtuoso guests also receive one of these exclusive extras available from June 15 – December 31, 2019:

  • Additional US$100 spa credit, per stay
  • Complimentary personal training session
  • Two complimentary SoulCycle classes with swag

Equinox Hotel, New York City will open in the luxurious new Hudson Yards neighborhood on Manhattan’s West Side, where guests will also find The Shed, the city’s newest cultural and performance venue, the Highline, an elevated urban park which has become one of the most popular attractions in New York State, and the intriguing Nest.

Over 25 years, Equinox has developed a brand representing service, quality, expertise, leadership and results. Equinox Hotels, where the science of fitness meets the art of travel, will continue this commitment to excellence.

“Equinox Hotel, New York City is reinventing luxury lifestyle travel for people who play as hard as they train and work,” says Albert Herrera, Virtuoso’s senior vice president of Global Product Partnerships. “The distinction in its holistic approach to everything from sleep to dining to spa treatments is evident in the innovative details. Hudson Yards will add to this this next-level lifestyle movement, offering world-class shopping and dining in thoroughly upscale surroundings.”

The 212 rooms, including 48 suites, will be the ultimate slumber chambers featuring soundproofing and blackout blinds. Beds use natural-fiber mattresses that adapt to any form and employ a Scandinavian technique of two duvets for temperature regulation. An Equinox Sleep Coach will be available to optimize a restful night.

Guests, who automatically become Equinox Fitness Club members during their stay, will have 24-hour access to the largest-ever 60,000-square-foot flagship Equinox Fitness Club. Group fitness classes, private Pilates, personal training, 25-yard indoor salt-water pool, hot and cold plunge pools, outdoor pool and terrace as well as a next-generation SoulCycle studio will also be offered. Equinox’s digital experience connects the club and hotel, streamlining needs from check-in to room service to booking sessions and amenities.

Crafted by experts and backed by Equinox’s Health Advisory Board, the Spa will emphasize recovery-based treatments, science-grounded technology, regeneration and relaxation. It will offer inter-modal experiences including cryotherapy, infrared sauna, quantum harmonics, massage, bodywork and skin therapies.

The hotel will feature Stephen Starr’s new signature restaurant and bar, Electric Lemon, boasting an 8,000 square-foot terrace providing views over Manhattan and the Hudson River from the 24th floor. Menus balancing flavor and fuel will be offered in the restaurant, guestrooms, and social spaces. Other in-room dining options will include high-performance breakfasts, nourishing dinners, nutritious performance kits, sleep-promoting items and next-level mini-bar snacks. Guests will even have access to in-room IV vitamin drips for energy or hydration.

Equinox Hotel, New York City is the latest property to premiere with a boost from the renowned Virtuoso Preview program, which provides advantages exclusively through the network’s 20,000 travel advisors. Preview is part of Virtuoso’s industry-leading Hotels & Resorts Program, with over 1,300 properties in more than 100 countries.

These complimentary benefits at Equinox Hotel, New York City are offered only through booking with a Virtuoso travel advisor or at www.virtuoso.com, where guests will be paired with an advisor to facilitate the reservation and other trip elements. To find Virtuoso’s roster of advisors, visit https://www.virtuoso.com/advisors#.

 

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New Helping Hands Program Offers Opportunity to Live, Work in Yellowstone National Park

June 18, 2019
Yosemite National Park, Calif.

Imagine living and working in Yellowstone National Park © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

by Veronica Stoddart

YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK – “I don’t know too many people who get to spend five weeks in Yellowstone,” gushes Bernd Linzbach of his experience with the park’s Helping Hands program. “It was a great opportunity to explore the park,” says the retiree from Prescott Valley, Ariz.

He’s referring to the year-old Helping Hands program run by the Xanterra Travel Collection, which manages the Yellowstone National Park Lodges. It offers part-time, short-term jobs to people who want to immerse themselves more deeply in the nation’s first national park by living and working there while offering a “helping hand.”

“It’s a chance to spend real time in Yellowstone and explore the park when you’re not working,” observes Linzbach, who first experienced the program with his wife Debra in the fall of 2018. They enjoyed it so much that they repeated it in the spring of 2019. The Lizbachs worked in the housekeeping department at the Lake Yellowstone Hotel and the Old Faithful Snow Lodge and the Old Faithful Inn, tidying up, re-stocking, and getting the rooms ready for the housekeepers to turn them over for incoming guests.

Helping Hands requires participants to work 20 hours per week, between four and eight hours per day. They live in the park in dorm accommodations, which Linzbach says are basic with no TVs and slow WiFi. Some rooms have private baths; others are shared. Meals are cafeteria style, which at the Lake Hotel means having the same cooks as the guests have, who turn out food “of a very high standard,” he says.

Highlights for the Linzbachs were viewing wildlife and meeting people, including other participants in the program. “It’s not like a vacation where you have to try to see everything in a few days,” says Linzbach. “(When you live there), if you don’t see an animal one day, you’ll see it another. We were able to see grizzlies, bison, elk, deer, coyotes, moose, and even a wolf. It’s very special and fantastic to see all those animals.”

What advice does Linzbach have for others? “I would highly recommend this program for anybody interested in nature,” he says. “It was so inspiring,” he adds, that he and Debra are already preparing to apply for the fall season.

How to Participate

Submit your application now for the fall season. Arrival is on Sept. 5 and 12, 2019, and departure is on Oct. 15, 2019.

You could be assigned to the lodging or food and beverage department. Jobs include housekeeper, dishwasher, busser, or host. Training will be provided for each one. Housekeepers do light cleaning and prepare guest rooms for the full-time housekeeping staff; kitchen crew workers do prep, set up, service, and clean up; and hosts provide guest services in the restaurants.

You will be assigned to work in one of the following locations: Old FaithfulCanyon Village, Mammoth, Grant Village, and Lake Yellowstone.

Program perks include employee discounts in and around Yellowstone.

For more travel experiences available from the Xanterra Travel Collection and its affiliated properties, visit xanterra.com/explore.

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Fine Arts & Festivals in the Great Northern Catskills

May 30, 2019
Olana National Historic Site

Hudson River Skywalk, a walking path on the Rip Van Winkle bridge, is viewed from artist Frederic Edwin Church’s Olana, and connects to the Thomas Cole historic site, on the Hudson River School Art Trail © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Where can you see Keith Urban, Rascal Flatts, Little Big Town, and Brooks & Dunn all in one place? At the Taste of Country Music Festival at Hunter Mountain, June 7-9! One of the Catskill’s premier summer festivals, country music fans flock to this three-day event each year. Camp out for the complete experience and you’ll be rewarded with special concerts, great food, and craft beer from a wide variety of amazing vendors.

If you prefer banjos and stand-up basses, the Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival is for you. Held at Walsh Farm from July 18-21, Grey Fox’s who’s who of bluegrass line-up boasts 40 bands playing on six outdoor stages over four days. It’s non-stop, family-friendly, toe-tapping fun. Combine your bluegrass experience with a visit to the Annual Catskills Irish Arts Week, held concurrently from July 14-20 in East Durham. It’s a week-long celebration of Irish culture that includes live music, traditional Irish dancers, workshops, lectures, art, and more.

A festival on two wheels, the 12th Annual Tour of the Catskills Pro-Am Bicycle Road Race will be held in Tannersville on August 3. One of the nation’s top cycling events, this Pro-Am race draws over 250 racers each year from throughout the world. Considered one of the toughest cycling courses in the country for amateurs and professionals alike, racers will give their all just to get through the ‘Devil’s Kitchen Climb,’ a grueling uphill portion of the course. Cheer the athletes on, or register and see if you have what it takes!

Rev up the fun and watch daring riders kick up the dirt and reach serious speeds at Diamondback Motocross of East Durham. With three Sunday race days this summer – June 16, July 7, and July 28 – there’s no excuse for missing this thrilling event. Landing big-air jumps and racing around tight corners, it’s an adrenaline junkie’s dream come true for riders, and a heartpounding spectacle for those on the sidelines!

The Catskill Region has long been a place where poets, painters, writers, and photographers have found artistic inspiration. The stunning natural surroundings and ample opportunities for reflective solitude make it a haven for creative minds. As a result, it also holds incredible appeal for those who appreciate the fine arts.

There is no better place to begin your Catskills arts and culture exploration than at the Thomas Cole National Historic Site. There, the former home and studio of Hudson River School of Art founder Thomas Cole still stands, now serving as a museum of Catskills art history and a working gallery and studio.

Exchange traditional for contemporary when you visit the LUMBERYARD Center for Film and Performing Arts. This modern-day studio and performance center is a wonderful place for audiences to enjoy unique theater, dance, and film productions, and a place for budding artists to hone their craft and blaze their own artistic path. Browse their upcoming events or learn more about their leading-edge artist-in-residence programs.

With so many incredible performance spaces and galleries to choose from, it’s easy to make the arts part of any visit to the Great Northern Catskills. Check the performance schedules of the Bridge Street Theatre in Catskill and the Orpheum Film and Performing Arts Center in Tannersville to find world class concerts, theater productions, and one-of-a-kind shows, or stop by a local art gallery to see breathtaking works by talented local artists.

What is it about the Great Northern Catskills that is so inspiring to artistic minds? Take a walk along the new Hudson River Skywalk to see for yourself! Hundreds of feet in the air, the mile-long Skywalk connects the homes of two famed Hudson River School painters, Thomas Cole and Frederic Church. Spanning a picturesque portion of the Hudson River, several outlooks along the path provide panoramic views of the water below and the surrounding mountains. It is a view that has inspired countless photographs, paintings, and written works, including the famous fable of Rip Van Winkle. While pets are not allowed, sketch books, cameras, and easels are encouraged!

Greene County Tourism, 800-355-CATS, 518-943-3223, www.greatnortherncatskills.com..

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