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

February 9, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

February 9, 2017
Red Lion Inn, Stockbridge, MA

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

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

The Inn at Manchester, Vermont 

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

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

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

 Romance in The Berkshires

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

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

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

 The Dylan – Amsterdam 

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

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

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

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Cupid Cooks Up Romance in Maine for the Kennebunks ‘Paint the Town Red’ February Festivities

February 9, 2017

kennebunk

KENNEBUNKPORT, ME – This February, the Kennebunks transform into a romantic retreat for lovebirds. “New England’s Most Romantic Town” will once again roll out the red carpet inviting couples to rendezvous during the month-long Paint the Town Red festivities.

Dock Square in downtown Kennebunkport will be decked out in red twinkly lights, while restaurants, hotels, galleries and shops in the area welcome sweethearts with a calendar of special events, romance hotel packages, red plate dining specials, and red tag sales from retailers.

Paint the Town Red celebrations continue all month long with special dinners and culinary experiences, mixology classes, wine tastings and more. A full list of events can be found at www.lovethekennebunks.com.

Red Romance Lodging Packages

         Kennebunkport Resort Collection: The “Love KPT” lodging package includes a two-night stay for two people at The Boathouse Waterfront Hotel (starting at $373) or the Kennebunkport Inn (starting at $405), arrival goodies of red wine and chocolate-covered strawberries, a three course dinner for two, and a late check-out at noon. The package is available from now through March 30, 2017. To book, visit the individual property’s website.  To help curate the perfect romantic getaway, couples can call upon Kennebunkport Resort Collection’s (KRC) Cupid Concierge, Tasha Harper.  Services include creating customized music playlists for the room, delivering flowers, scheduling couple’s massages and arranging late check-out, dessert in bed, and much more. The Cupid Concierge can be reached at cupid@lovekpt.com or 207-967-1517.

         Captain Fairfield Inn: the Romance Package includes an artisan cheese and meat board, a bottle of wine, and a single red rose; the package can be added to bookings for $75; rates start at $159 per night.

         Breakwater Inn & Spa:  Romance Package includes hand-made sweet treat from the property’s chef, sparkling water, and seasonal flower bouquet. Available February 1-28, 2017, rates start at$204 per night, plus 9% occupancy. Blackout dates may apply, based on availability. To book call 207-967-5333.

         The Kennebunk Inn: the full service inn and restaurant located in the heart of Kennebunk is offering a discounted weekend package rate on February 10 and 11, 2017 for two-nights (price excludes tax).  Rooms:  Adams $160, Jefferson $180, and Madison Suite $200.

         King’s Port Inn: mention LoveKPT when making the hotel reservation and receive a free gift upon arrival. To book, call 207-967-4340.

         Captain Lord Mansion: the “February is for Lovers” package includes reduced mid-week rates, romantic third night free package, split of sparkling wine, chocolate-covered popcorn and frequent visitor credits.  The third night free package is not valid February 17 through 20, 2017 and cannot be combined with any other coupon, discount or third party gift certificate. Rates start at $199 per night.

Local restaurants will feature Red Plate Specials ranging from specially priced bottles of champagne and three-course dinners with wine, to pizza making. Red Tag Savings will also be offered throughout the month at participating shops, attractions and spas, ranging from 50% off all items to complimentary admission.  For full details and list of participating restaurants, shops, spas and attractions, visit: www.lovethekennebunks.com.

Paint the Town Red deals and events are available from January 27 through February 28, 2017. All details, restrictions, and booking instructions – as well as a complete list of events and specials – can be found at www.lovethekennebunks.com. Consumers can follow the love on social media using #lovethekennebunks.

 

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Romantic Getaways: Iconic Santorini Boutique ‘Cave’ Hideaway Offers Early Booking Discounts

February 9, 2017
greece-iconic-santorini-e2

Iconic Santorini is a multi-level hideaway carved into traditional caves on the volcanic cliffs, perched 1,000 feet above the sparkling blue bay of the caldera.

(Santorini, Greece) If sitting in the sun, gazing at a sweeping view of the Aegean Sea or bathing in your own plunge pool while sipping a glass of local Greek wine, is your ideal for a romantic getaway, you might plot a stay at the Iconic Santorini and taking advantage of early booking discounts for vacations between April 28 and June 18.

Iconic Santorini is an extraordinary multi-level hideaway carved into traditional caves on the volcanic cliffs, perched 1,000 feet above the sparkling blue bay of the caldera.  Its 19 residences and rooftop decks feature balconies and terraces so that guests can dine, relax, cool off and cast off the cares of the everyday life enveloped by awesome panoramic views.

The serene retreat has been voted “Greece’s Leading Boutique Hotel” at the World Travel Awards 3 years in a row.

The individually designed suites, re-imagined from traditional Santorini homes and craft shops, reflect the island’s famous white-vaulted style and colorful fabrics, adapted for today’s demanding travelers.  Guests live the authentic Greek experience while still enjoying luxury amenities like individual air-conditioning, flat-screen televisions with international channels, private routers for hi-speed Wi-Fi, JBL sound systems and sumptuous 4-layer COCO-MAT bedding.

In addition, discerning travelers, honeymooners and lovers rave about Iconic’s serene fitness and massage suite with its own grotto pool, the outdoor swimming pool with a jetted seating area and the hotel’s modern take on a traditional taverna serving Greek cuisine of the highest quality.

Regular double rates at “Greece’s Leading Boutique Hotel” include breakfast, mineral water, roundtrip airport transfers and complimentary high-speed Internet access begin at $621 a night .  For details of the specific Early Booking Offers for each individual suite, email info@iconicsantorini.com and include booking code ICO-10.

Special Romance Packages that include sightseeing, Moet & Chandon Champagne, dinners and other extras at great value-added rates are available at

www.iconicsantorini.com/iconic-santorini-romance-packages

Visit www.iconicsantorini.com  for full details of each residence with photographs.

 

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NY Times Travel Show is Place to Go for Family Travel Ideas; Admission Free for Kids

January 26, 2017
2014 New York Times Travel Show

Culture of the world comes to New York’s Javits Center for the New York Times Travel Show, Jan. 28 & 29 © 2017 Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

The 2017 New York Times Travel Show will feature numerous presentations for attendees interested in activities for younger travelers. On Saturday (1/28) and Sunday (1/29), admission for children (18 and under) is free.

In its 14th year, the Travel Show doors open to the public on Saturday and Sunday (Jan. 28-29) for two days of on-site deals and offers, travel seminars, tips from professionals at Meet the Experts programs, stage performances, and other features.

The Travel Show is also presenting a new feature, the Family Travel Pavilion, a dedicated area divided into exhibit booth space, a Presentation stage and a Kids demonstration area, where kids can experience culinary classes, arts & crafts projects, face painting and travel-related activities. The pavilion will also showcase leading players in the Family travel space, including lodges, resorts, destinations, cruise lines and dude ranches.

Some of presentations of the Family Travel Pavilion include:

  • Ross Levi, Vice President of I LOVE NY, who will share top destinations for families to travel within the state of New York.
  • Learn about the hidden gems and can’t-miss experiences of Southcentral Alaska.
  • Lebanese cuisine culinary star and PBS personality Julie Taboulie takes kids on a creative, colorful and culinary exploration of fresh flavors from the Finger Lakes region, presented by Visit Syracuse. Book signing to follow.
  • Taste the Dumplings Before You Travel: Travel to Ukraine welcomes participants and their families to discover varenyky — a Ukrainian traditional dish — presented by Veselka restaurant located in N.Y.C.’s East Village. Book signing to follow.
  • Sally Black, acclaimed author and owner of Vacation Kids Travel Agency, will provide insights on how travel agents can really help parents plan the ultimate family getaway.
  • How to plan an Amazon Family Adventure: From upscale river cruises to rustic lodges, International Expeditions’ experts discuss options to reconnect with nature in the Amazon rain forest.
  • Ranjana Armstrong, Founder of nugget.travel, a community of family explorers making aspirational trips achievable and ordinary trips more enjoyable, will provide hacks on how to successfully travel with children.
  • “Getting Around Family Travel Roadblocks: Top Challenges Keeping Families from Traveling — and How to Overcome Them.” Experts will share personal insights and tips about how to overcome those challenges for families with diverse interests, budgets, desires and needs.
  • Fresh From Florida: Chef Justin Timineri provides culinary travel tips for families that want to make better food choices while vacationing in the Sunshine State — and invites participants to enjoy a fun, fresh and kid-centric demonstration and tasting.
  • Georgia Aquarium: Over 10 Years of Awe-Inspiring Wonder: Learn about Georgia Aquarium, their programs, events and exhibits and receive giveaways.
  • Kitchen Talk on L.G.B.T. Family Travel: Join celebrity chef Art Smith and his daughter, Zuky Francis Smith Salgueiro in the kitchen for tips on baking their favorite family chocolate cake — along with tips on L.G.B.T. family travel from Karen L. Christensen, the deputy assistant secretary for Overseas Citizens Services at the U.S. Department of State.

Some additional highlights at this year’s Show include a “Selfie Station” hosted by the Georgia Aquarium, where children can snap a picture under the sea; a LEGO®-building contest for kids under twelve, hosted by MSC Cruises; and the “Discover Costa Rica Challenge,” where participants can download an online program for activities and games throughout the Travel Show’s Kids Activity Zone, hosted by Il Viaggio Travel.

The New York Times Travel Show is proud to announce the Family Travel Association is an Industry Sponsor of the inaugural Family Travel Pavilion at the 2017 Show.

The Travel Show is the largest and longest-running trade and consumer travel show in North America, featuring the Travel Industry Conference, Consumer Seminars, and an interactive Exhibition including more than 500 exhibitors from Africa, Asia, Australia/South Pacific, Canada, the Caribbean, Europe, Latin America, Mexico and the United States.  In addition to discounts and special offers, the show provides educational seminars and live entertainment for families, individuals, couples and seniors.  Join the conversation and follow @NYTTravelShow for the latest Travel Show news.

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NYS To Spend $20 Million on Major Upgrades at Gore, Whiteface Mountains

January 26, 2017
Whiteface Mountain, Lake Placid, NY is so have millions of dollars in upgrades © 2017 Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Whiteface Mountain, Lake Placid, NY is so have millions of dollars in upgrades © 2017 Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

New York State will invest up to $20 million for major upgrades at Whiteface and Gore Mountains to attract more visitors and build on the North Country’s bourgeoning winter tourism industry. The investments will enhance the current facilities at Gore and Whiteface Mountains and create state-of-the art skiing, lodging, dining and retail opportunities as well as year-round activities. The project will be the first major upgrade at both Whiteface and Gore in 30 years and will develop opportunities to increase off-season revenue, while making these facilities more competitive with other resorts around the world.

“Winter tourism is a key driver of the North Country economy and we have made it a top priority to leverage natural assets in the region to increase visitors, create jobs and spur economic growth,” Governor Andrew Cuomo said. “New York State has Olympic-caliber assets and world-class skiing, but the facilities at Gore and Whiteface are outdated and sub-par. This investment will transform these resorts into year-round, world-class skiing destinations, and attract new skiers and snowboarders from around the globe.”

The investment will build on the current facilities at the mountains and create an unparalleled tourism destination for visitors in the North Country. In addition, it will help expand opportunities for local small businesses in the surrounding areas and help promote the state’s vast winter recreational opportunities. This investment will leverage up to $80 million in private funding to add additional amenities and retail options for guests. The $20 million for the upgrades at Whiteface and Gore is in addition to $10 million the state is providing to the Olympic Regional Development Authority as part of the 2017-18 FY budget.

Modern day ski resorts are shifting their primary functions from just purely ski and snowboarding based facilities to ones that provide upscale amenities, conveniences and year round attractions. Substantial improvements to the day lodge facilities at both Gore and Whiteface Mountains will make them competitive with other world resorts and able to meet ever-changing resort needs.

Improvements to the Whiteface Mountain Ski facility would encourage growth and investment in nearby Wilmington and other surrounding areas thereby increasing year-round visitation.

The upgrades at Whiteface include:

  • Expanding the Bear Den Lodge and adding a state-of-the-art learning center, bar and restaurant;
  • Expanding and renovating the Adirondack Base Lodge and parking lot;
  • Installing a line connecting the Bear Den Learning Center area to the Mid Station;
  • Building one of the longest zip lines in North America; and
  • Building the longest mountain coaster in the United States.

Improvements to Gore facilities would significantly increase revenue opportunities and growth internally and for private investors. Enhancing this market reach will make Gore to a more competitive experience.

Snowboarding at Gore Mountain. Improvements include restoring the original 1967 gondola unloading station into a Gore summit warming facility and overlook © 2017 Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Snowboarding at Gore Mountain. Improvements include restoring the original 1967 gondola unloading station into a Gore summit warming facility and overlook © 2017 Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

The upgrades at Gore include:

  • Expanding seating capacity and modernizing the Saddle Lodge’s facilities and infrastructure;
  • Adding a third story to the Base Lodge – building corporate meeting room space, additional seating and customer amenities, and expanding the rental shop in the Northwoods Lodge; and
  • Restoring the original 1967 gondola unloading station into a Gore summit warming facility and overlook.

When comparing Whiteface and Gore to other competitive North American ski resorts including Killington, both facilities fall short in providing world-class amenities and year-round activities. Making improvements at these mountains will drive increased revenue for the facilities and the surrounding communities and will ultimately expand economic growth and investment opportunities. It will also make unparalleled skiing and winter recreation opportunities more accessible to visitors from New York City and downstate regions closer than other skiing locations throughout the northeast.

Economic Impact of Tourism in New York
Tourism is an economic driver for New York State, and especially important in Upstate. In 2015, the tourism industry generated a total economic impact of $102 billion – an all-time high for the state. Winter tourism at Whiteface and Gore Mountains accounts for more than $100 million in economic impact each year in the North Country.

Last week, the Governor also unveiled a new marketing campaign designed to increase visitors and generate interest in New York State’s top winter tourism attractions and destinations. New York will host its annual Free Snowmobiling Weekend for all out-of-state and Canadian snowmobilers from Friday, February 3, through Sunday, February 5, 2017. The state’s snowmobiling community generates a total economic impact of approximately $868 million, according to a 2011 study by the State University at Potsdam.
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Learn to Ski or Ride at Liftopia’s Top-Rated Beginner-Friendly Ski Areas

January 6, 2017
vt-ski-smuggs-122610_58e2-c-karen-rubin

Smugglers Notch, Vermont, came in #7 for Best Family resorts and #10 for Top Beginner Friendly in the Northeast on Liftopia’s Best in Snow Awards list © 2017 Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

January is Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month, and Liftopia, which claims to be the largest online and mobile marketplace for lift tickets and other mountain activities, has compiled a list of the top beginner-friendly and family-friendly ski areas across North America that are ideal for those looking to learn one of winter’s signature sports.

This list is part of Liftopia’s Best in Snow Awards, honoring North America’s most beloved ski areas. The awards, unveiled last week, feature winners across five regions and seven categories (including Beginner-Friendly and Family-Friendly) that Liftopia customers said would be most useful in helping them make the most informed decisions when choosing where to ski or snowboard, regardless of ski area size. You can find the complete list of winners along with methodology here: https://bestinsnow.liftopia.com/#/.

Some highlights:

West Coast:  California has the most beginner-friendly and family-friendly ski areas in the West, including Tahoe Donner (first place in the family-friendly category), June, Boreal, Bear Valley, Snow Valley, Homewood, Donner Ski Ranch, Mammoth, Squaw Valley-Alpine Meadows and Sierra-At-Tahoe. Anthony Lakes (OR) is the #1 beginner-friendly ski area in the region.

Northeast: Bretton Woods is the #1 beginner-friendly and family-friendly ski area in the region. In addition to Bretton Woods, New Hampshire has the most beginner-friendly and family-friendly ski areas in the Northeast, including King Pine, Cranmore, Black Mountain, Pats Peak, Ragged and Attitash.

High West: Utah is home to the most beginner-friendly and family-friendly ski areas in the High West, including Eagle Point (#1 Beginner-Friendly Ski Area), Sundance, Brighton, Powder, Alta, Solitude and Brian Head. In the Family Friendly category, Sipapu, NM came in #1 in the region.

Midwest: Michigan ski areas reign supreme in the Midwest, with the most beginner-friendly and family-friendly ski areas including Crystal Mountain (first place in both categories), Shanty Creek, Boyne Highlands, Caberfae, Nubs Nob and Boyne Mountain.

Southeast: West Virginia has the most beginner-friendly and family-friendly ski areas in the Southeast, with Canaan Valley the number one Beginner Friendly and Family Friendly Ski Area in the region. Other winners include Snowshoe, Timberline Four Seasons and Winterplace.

Liftopia operates the largest online and mobile marketplace and resort technology platform serving the ski and mountain activity industry. Skiers and riders can purchase lift tickets, equipment rentals, meal vouchers and more from more than 250 ski areas in North America on Liftopia.com and via the Liftopia mobile app, with savings of up to 85% off walk-up window rates when purchased in advance. Founded in 2005, Liftopia is headquartered in San Francisco and backed by leading institutional and angel investors. Visit the Liftopia blog or follow the company on Facebook and Twitter.

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Magic Mountain, Crystal Mountain, Mad River Glen Get Top Spots in Liftopia’s First-Ever ‘Best in Snow’ Awards

January 6, 2017

SAN FRANCISCO– Liftopia, the largest online and mobile marketplace for lift tickets and other mountain activities, unveiled its first-ever 2016-17 Best in Snow Awards honoring the most beloved ski areas in North America. Unlike other awards, the 2016-17 Best in Snow Awards, is the only ranking that incorporates the largest dataset in the industry combined with feedback from thousands of skiers and snowboarders to determine ski areas they are most passionate about in North America.

The 2016-17 Best in Snow Awards, Powered By Liftopia, features winners across seven categories that Liftopia customers identified as most useful for choosing where to ski or snowboard, regardless of ski area size. These categories include Beginner-Friendly, Most Challenging, Family-Friendly, Best Snow Consistency and Quality, Least Crowded, and Best Value in addition to overall Best in Snow. Winners were compiled in five different regions: Northeast, West Coast, High West, Southeast and Midwest.

Magic Mountain in Vermont took the top spot as Overall Best in Snow winner in North America, with customers saying it’s “the best kept secret in the Northeast” and “a true skier’s mountain” that is “steeped in tradition” and “never overcrowded” with “awesome terrain,” “challenging runs,” and “the best staff in the business.” Crystal Mountain in Michigan, coming in second, received raves for their “great atmosphere,” “lifts and runs are fun and varied,” “people are very friendly” and “they’re always doing improvements at the resort.” Liftopia customers love the terrain at third place Mad River Glen in Vermont, saying “Nothing compares to the challenge of Northeast skiing and Mad River Glen. It is simply the best if you are up for it.”

The remaining Overall Best in Snow winners include Alta, Utah (#4); Jay Peak, Vt. (#5); Bretton Woods, N.H. (#6); Wildcat Mountain, N.H. (#7); Powder Mountain, Utah (#8); Snowbird, Utah (#9); and Sugarloaf, Maine (#10). Bretton Woods and Crystal Mountain took top spots as Beginner- and Family-Friendly Ski Areas as well as Ski Areas With the Best Snow Consistency and Quality in their respective regions (Northeast and Midwest); Magic Mountain is the Most Challenging Ski Area in the Northeast; Alta has the Best Snow Consistency and Quality in the High West; and Powder Mountain offers the Best Value in the High West.

“For years people have told us they wanted a ranking system that wasn’t based simply on which resorts were the biggest or relied on a handful of ‘expert’ opinions or advertising dollars. They want to find their next favorite ski area and to know which resorts are most beloved by other skiers and boarders,” said Evan Reece, co-founder and CEO of Liftopia. “We crafted the Best in Snow Awards with details from a consumer survey and combined the results with our proprietary data to uncover the ski areas people love most. We are excited that the findings show what we already believed to be true: consumers do have amazing passion for ski areas of all sizes.”

Methodology

To compile the 2016-17 Best in Snow Awards, Liftopia surveyed their customers to measure their enthusiasm on specific aspects of their favorite resorts such as family friendliness, challenging terrain, crowds, and snow consistency and quality. Respondents took into consideration criteria such as snow quality and conditions, grooming, accessibility, terrain variety and difficulty, vertical drop, learn to ski and snowboard programs, staff and instructors, resort size, crowds and lift lines, accessibility of lifts and beginner terrain, off-slope activities, the surrounding community, and cost of lift tickets, rentals and programs, among others. More than 10,000 responses were then weighted with a proprietary algorithm based on Liftopia’s exclusive dataset that includes skier and snowboarder visits annually, acreage, uphill capacity and average true cost of skiing to surface the best ski areas overall, across seven categories and five regions, based on what matters most to skiers and snowboarders.

Winners for the Overall Best in Snow, Beginner Friendly Ski Areas, Most Challenging Ski Areas, Family Friendly Ski Areas and Ski Areas with the Best Snow Consistency and Quality categories were determined by the total number of votes from survey participants for their favorite resorts in each category, normalized by skier and snowboarder visits annually. Winners for the Least Crowded Ski Areas category were determined by total number of skier and snowboarder visits annually divided by skiable acreage as well as participant feedback and votes on the least crowded ski area. Winners for the Ski Areas with the Best Value category were determined by total number of votes for ski area with the best value, normalized by skier and snowboarder visits annually and the average true cost of skiing based on effective ticket prices per resort, including ticket window, advance purchase and season pass data.

Complete List of 2016-17 Best in Snow Awards, Powered By Liftopia: The winning ski areas in each category and region can be found by visiting http://bestinsnow.liftopia.com/

About Liftopia

Liftopia operates the largest online and mobile marketplace and resort technology platform serving the ski and mountain activity industry. Skiers and riders can purchase lift tickets, equipment rentals, meal vouchers and more from more than 250 ski areas in North America on Liftopia.com and via the Liftopia mobile app, with savings of up to 85% off walk-up window rates when purchased in advance. Founded in 2005, Liftopia is headquartered in San Francisco and backed by leading institutional and angel investors. Visit the Liftopia blog or follow the company on Facebook and Twitter.

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Ski Vermont’s Specialty Food Days Tour Returns to the Mountains for 2017

December 31, 2016
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Ski Vermont’s Specialty Food Tour comes to Okemo Mountain Resort on Friday, February 24, 2017. At Okemo, ride to the mountain top in comfort of the bubble chair © 2016 Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

From Vermont’s highly recognizable brands like Cabot Cheese, Ben & Jerry’s and Vermont maple syrup to local goodies like Kimball Brook Farm chocolate milk and Gringo Jack’s chips and salsa, enjoy all the flavors of Vermont during the Ski Vermont 2017 Specialty Food Day Tour. This season Ski Vermont’s marketing partners Long Trail Brewery, Woodchuck Cider, Silo Vodka, Mad River Distillers and Caledonia Spirits will bring an added element to the tour with beer, cider and spirits tasting.

“The Specialty Food Days Tour is such an exciting program to oversee,” said Adam Rowe, Marketing Manager at Ski Vermont. “We have some great new spirit sponsors lined up for the 2016-17 season, and some of the best local food producers in Vermont. I can’t wait to watch the skiers and riders enjoy this year’s offerings and tell others about it online through our #SnackSkiVT contest.”

Specialty Food Days for 2017 are scheduled for:

  • Saturday, January 14, 2017: Quechee Ski Area
  • Friday, January 27, 2017: Jay Peak Resort
  • Saturday, January 28, 2017: Burke Mountain Resort
  • Tuesday, January 31, 2017: Mad River Glen
  • Saturday, February 11, 2017: Bromley Mountain
  • Saturday, February 18, 2017: Middlebury College Snow Bowl
  • Tuesday, February 21, 2017: Smugglers’ Notch Resort
  • Friday, February 24, 2017: Okemo Mountain Resort
  • Saturday, March 4, 2017: Pico Mountain
  • Sunday, March 5, 2017: Magic Mountain
  • Saturday, March 11, 2017: Killington Resort
  • Saturday, March 18, 2017: Sugarbush Resort
  • Sunday, March 19, 2017: Bolton Valley
  • Saturday, March 25, 2017: Stratton Mountain Resort
  • Saturday, April 8, 2017: Stowe Mountain Resort

Skiers and riders can participate in a contest this year during Ski Vermont’s Specialty Food Day tour. Samplers will be encouraged to take photos of their food and beverage experiences and tag them #SnackSkiVT on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Ski Vermont will choose one winner at the end of the season and send them a prize bag full of swag from Ski Vermont partners and two lift tickets for the 2017-18 season.

Returning Vermont food vendors include: Cabot Cheese, Vermont maple syrup makers, Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, Kimball Brook Farms chocolate milk, Gringo Jack’s chips and salsa, Karen’s Artisan Popcorn, It’s Arthur’s Fault sauces, and Ambrosia Confections. New vendors include Vermont Peanut Butter Company, Caledonia Spirits, Mad River Distillers and Silo Vodka. 

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Ski Vermont Welcomes 2017 with New Ways to Hit the Slopes, Save and Win Big

December 31, 2016
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Skiing at Pico Mountain Resort, Vermont. Vermont ski resorts are welcoming 2017 with a host of special programs and events © 2016 Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Montpelier, VT – Ski Vermont pairs with partners in Vermont and across the country to provide great programs and incentives to get on the slopes this season. Long time skiers and riders, as well as those looking to learn a snowsport for the first time can win great prizes like lift tickets to Vermont resorts, skis from Rossignol and snowboards from Burton, among many other prizes this season.

Longtime participants in the national Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month initiative, Vermont resorts offer $49 beginner packages during the month of January. Ski Vermont also offers the Take 3 Pass this season, which includes 3 beginner lessons for just $129. Ten participants in this program are eligible to receive a pair of Rossignol skis or a Burton snowboard at the end of the season.

Ski Vermont aims to reward already established Vermont-loving skiers and snowboarders this season with the new Bring-a-Friend program and the 2016-17 Season Scavenger Hunt. For those that want to introduce a friend or family member to skiing or snowboarding, they simply need to refer them (or gift them) a Ski Vermont Take 3 Pass and help get them to the slopes and into their first lesson. The first 100 participants will receive 2 lift tickets to a resort in Vermont.

Social-savvy skiers and riders can participate in the inaugural Ski Vermont Scavenger Hunt this season. Each week, starting on Thursday, December 29th, Ski Vermont will announce the resort, product and prize of the week on Instagram and Facebook. Participants post photos of the resorts and/or product that week to be entered to win prizes from Ski Vermont partners like Darn Tough socks, Skida headwear, Vermont maple syrup and more. Two lucky participants will walk away with a Burton Process Flying V snowboard or a pair of Rossignol Soul 7 HD skis at the close of the season.

“We are extremely excited to launch new initiatives for both beginners and established skiers and riders this season,” said Ski Vermont’s Director of Marketing and Communications Sarah Wojcik. “With great incentives provided by our partners and Vermont resorts, Ski Vermont aims to reward those visiting our Green Mountains and reveling in the state’s official winter sports – whether for the first time or hundredth.”

For the 17th year in a row, Ski Vermont is offering the Fifth Grade Passport, allowing fifth graders to ski virtually for free up to 88 days at Vermont alpine and Nordic resorts. For more information on Ski Vermont’s programs and incentives to slide, visit skivermont.com.

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