Fairmont Hotels offer spring skiing specials

With winter winding down, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts invites guests to enjoy the final winter weekends in style. :

FAMILY SKI EXPERIENCE IN MONT TREMBLANT

Skiing with the family in Mont Tremblant, Quebec, is as easy as renting equipment on-site and skiing down to the high-speed chair lift at the doorstep of Fairmont Tremblant, the only ski-in, ski-out resort on the mountain. The Family Ski Experience includes luxurious accommodations with an in-unit kitchen; one ski lift ticket per person; and complimentary valet parking. Available until April 11, 2015, rates start from $394 CAD ($316 USD) per night with a two-night minimum.

THE FRANZ KLAMMER FAMILY SKI EXPERIENCE

Spend this Spring Break on the slopes of the Telluride Ski resort, where lift lines are non-existent and the terrain is varied and unparalleled. The Family Ski Experience at Fairmont Heritage Place, Franz Klammer Lodge includes accommodations in a two or three bedroom residence (with a four night minimum); two adult lift tickets per day; a children’s amenity; complimentary airport transfers from Telluride or Montrose Airports; complimentary ski valet; and complimentary valet parking. Available untilApril 5, 2015, package rates start at $475 USD ($598 CAD) per night.

CHARLEVOIX FAMILY SKI EXPERIENCE

Quebec’s famed Charlevoix region is one of the best places to enjoy spring skiing, and the majestic Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu offers unrivaled activities for the whole family. The Charlevoix Family Ski Package includes accommodations in a Fairmont Room; ski lift tickets at Mont Grand-Fonds for two adults and two children per day; cookies and milk delivered to each guestroom per night; and one complimentary in-room movie rental per night. Available until March 22, 2015, rates start from $289 CAD ($232 USD) per room, per night for two adults and two children.

SAVE 25% WITH WHISTLER SPRING SKI EXPERIENCE

Nestled at the base of Whistler Blackcomb, Fairmont Chateau Whistler is North America’s best ski resort, and the best destination for Spring Break skiing. Save 25% with the Spring Ski Experience package, which includes a minimum of four nights of luxury accommodations; one Whistler Blackcomb dual-mountain lift pass per adult, per day (excluding arrival day); and use of resort amenities including the Health Club, pools and fitness center, and the Village Shuttle. Rates for the Spring Ski Experience start at $502 CAD ($403 USD) per night for stays through April 19, 2015.

 FAMILY SKI EXPERIENCE IN JASPER

Jasper National Park is the perfect place for a family ski vacation, with Marmot Basin offering short lift lines, vast terrain, high-speed quad chairs and beautiful vistas of the Canadian Rocky Mountains. Family, friends and fellow snow bunnies who hit the slopes with Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge’s Family Ski Experience will enjoy luxury accommodations for a minimum of two nights; transportation to and from the ski hill; and family ski lift tickets for two adults and one child (under 17) at Marmot Basin (one day of skiing for a two night package; two days of skiing for a three night package; three days of skiing for a four night package). Available until May 3, 2015, rates start from $359 CAD ($288 USD) per night based on triple occupancy in a Deluxe Room.

LAKE LOUISE FAMILY SKI EXPERIENCE PACKAGE

Ski and stay at Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, one of the top resorts in Canada, and indulge in après-ski activities for the whole family, including a memorable skate through the ice castle on the lake or relaxing next to a blazing bonfire on the lake shore. The Family Ski Experience Package includes luxury accommodations in a Deluxe Room or higher; two lift tickets; one in-room movie; a $25 Chateau Deli credit for treats; and complimentary ski shuttle to the Lake Louise Ski Resort. Available until April 20, 2015, package rates start at $369 CAD ($296 USD) per night based on double occupancy.

LUXURY SKI THE CANADIAN ROCKIES PACKAGE

Skiers in the Canadian Rockies will marvel at the natural beauty and the unspoiled wilderness of Banff National Park. The ski package at Fairmont Banff Springs includes luxury accommodations in a Fairmont Room; self-parking for one vehicle; two tri-area ski passes per room, per night, valid at Sunshine Village, Lake Louise Mountain Resort and Ski Banff at Norquay; shuttle service between the ski hill and the hotel; daily à la carte or buffet breakfast; daily access pass to the Willow Stream Spa; and complimentary ski and snowboard storage. Available until April 30, 2015, package rates start at $539 CAD ($427 USD) per night.

SKI & SPA PACKAGE

Discover ideal snow conditions and the legendary Fairmont Le Château Frontenac, only 20 minutes from the ski hills. The Ski & Spa Package includes accommodations for one night; full buffet breakfast for two adults; one-day ski lift ticket per person at Mont Sainte-Anne or Stoneham; and one 50-minute massage for two at the Spa du Château. Available until April 30, 2015, package rates start at $575 CAD ($456 USD) per night.

Additional ski experience packages across Canada can be found here. All packages unless noted otherwise are subject to availability, priced per room, per night, exclude taxes and are based on double occupancy. Rates are subject to availability and cannot be combined with any other offers. For more information and reservations, travelers can visitfairmont.com/promo/skipackages/ or call 1-800-441-1414, or contact their local travel consultant.

Sun Valley Resort joins The Mountain Collective

The Mountain Collective™ has added another premier ski destination in North America to its roster of mountain resorts for the 2015-16 winter season. Sun Valley Resort joins AltaSnowbird, Aspen Snowmass, Ski Banff-Lake Louise-Sunshine Village, Jackson Hole, Mammoth Mountain, Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows and Whistler Blackcomb in this alliance of classic destinations.

Open since 1936, Sun Valley is America’s first destination ski resort and was named the #3 Overall Resort by SKI Magazine in 2014. As the newest member of the Mountain Collective, Sun Valley offers pass holders over 2,000 acres of skiing across Bald and Dollar Mountains and an iconic experience that is as unpretentious and pristine as the mountains and rivers that surround the resort.

A limited number of Mountain Collective passes are on sale for only $369 US. The Mountain Collective™ Pass includes two days of skiing or riding at each of the eight destinations (AltaSnowbird, Aspen Snowmass, Jackson Hole, Mammoth Mountain, Ski Banff-Lake Louise-Sunshine, Sun Valley, Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows and Whistler Blackcomb), plus a 50 percent discount on all additional days with no blackout dates. Pricing for the kids pass (ages 12 and under) is just $99 for the 2015-16 season, offering an incredible deal for families.

In addition, spring pass purchasers will receive one bonus day at the destination of their choice* and two free days at Valle Nevado, Chile this summer. Valle Nevado is one of the premiere resorts in the Southern Hemisphere, offering unequaled skiing and riding, a thriving village and exciting activities and events.

The Mountain Collective™ Pass grants access to 15 mountains with more than 40,500 acres of terrain and 225 lifts and an unmatched reputation for snow quality, quantity and steeps. Passes are available online through an exclusive technology, distribution and marketing partnership with Liftopia at www.MountainCollective.com. A limited quantity of passes are now available at this lowest guaranteed price.

“We are thrilled that Sun Valley is joining the seven world-class ski resorts that have made the Mountain Collective so successful,” said Tim Silva, Vice President and General Manager, Sun Valley Resort.

“Sun Valley, with its unique combination of history, ski lore and innovation, will be a great addition to the roster. Recognized for its commitment to outstanding guest service, Sun Valley offers uncrowded slopes, exceptional off-mountain adventures for the whole family, and, this summer, a newly renovated Lodge with a 20,000 square foot spa and fitness facility.  We look forward to welcoming Mountain Collective pass holders to Sun Valley, for an authentic small town-big mountain experience.”

“It doesn’t get more iconic than Sun Valley and they’re the perfect complement to the most incredible lineup of destinations on one pass ever assembled. With more mountains, the same low price and a bonus third day this spring, there’s never been a better time to join the Mountain Collective,” said Christian Knapp, vice president of marketing, Aspen Skiing Company.

In addition to being able to ski or ride at eight leading destinations, extra benefits available to Mountain Collective pass holders include exclusive lodging deals and a complimentary, one-year Protect Our Winters (protectourwinters.org) membership.

The Mountain Collective is committed to being in business forever and proudly partners with Protect Our Winters with the mission of uniting the winter sports community on the important issue of climate change. The partnership also offers a 50 percent discount on lift tickets to premier season pass holders at the participating resorts throughout the season.

Visit www.MountainCollective.com or call (800) 705-6286 for more information.

Snowboarders flock to Air+Style at Rose Bowl

Snow boarders practice on the Big Air ramp prior to the start of the Shaun White's Air + Style: Los Angeles.

Snow boarders practice on the Big Air ramp prior to the start of the Shaun White’s Air + Style: Los Angeles.

By Brian Day, Staff Writer

The North American debut of Shaun White’s Air+Style extreme sports and music festival at the Rose Bowl on Saturday offered an eclectic mix of activities and attractions to delight the senses of guests.

In between the main attractions of a 150-foot-tall snow-covered ramp which snowboarders lunched from to perform high-flying acrobatics and two stages providing a full day of concerts, there was no shortage of ways to keep busy.

For the first time in its 22-year history, the event took a festival format, rather than assigned seating, organizers said. Guests were invited to peruse the grounds outside of the Rose Bowl as they watched their favorite athletes and listened to their favorite bands.

“I really like the set up,” said Rebecca Velasco, 21, of Santa Barbara. “You can turn this way and see the state, and you can turn that way and see the ramp.”

She and two friends sat in the grass with friends between the massive snow ramp and the venue’s main stage, where the band Bad Things performed. Olympian snowboarder Shaun White, who runs the event, plays guitar with the band.

While she was enjoying the snowboarding, Velasco and her friends said it was primarily the music that attracted them to Air+Style. In particular, the group was looking forward to performances by Phantogram and Diplo.

“I like the roaming atmosphere,” 21-year-old Brandon Pineda of Santa Barbara added. “There’s a lot to explore.”

In addition to sampling the wares of a host of food trucks and booths, guests watched artists work, tried their hand and carnival games, relaxed in a tented arcade and had free custom T-shirts made. More adventurous guests were invited to jump from a tall platform onto a giant airbag.

Read more in Brian Day’s story SNOW

Looking for a good time in Quebec City and its Winter Carnival

Looking for a good time? No, we don’t mean that KIND of good time! Join us as we travel to historic Quebec City for the fabulous Winter Carnival. We’re thinking French food, French wine and joi de vivre.

Maybe we’ll join the parade through the streets tonight, or jump in a canoe for the race across the frozen St. Lawrence. Come check out the ice hotel with its famous ice bar, maybe share a little ice wine.

Of course, we’ll be skiing in the local mountains. Have you ever skied Mount St. Anne’s? We’ll even throw in a little history and cultural background.

 

 

FIS Alpine World Ski Championships list concerts

2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships Organizing Committee added four more headlining names to its free concert lineup for the Championships, including CeeLo Green, KC and the Sunshine Band, Craig Wayne Boyd and Andreas Gabalier.

Scheduled from February 2-15, the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in Vail and Beaver Creek are expected to showcase athletes from more than 70 nations, with an estimated 750 million-plus worldwide television viewers and an onsite media and broadcast entourage of approximately 1,800 members.

The concerts, scheduled in conjunction with the nightly Medals Presentation at Vail’s Championships Plaza, located at Solaris, will be free to the public with the live show kicking off each evening at 6:30 pm. It is recommended that guests arrive early to ensure a prime viewing spot.

“Each of these four artists are an amazing addition on their own, and we are over the moon with excitement for our nine total free concerts now confirmed during the World Championships,” said Ceil Folz, president of the Vail Valley Foundation and 2015 World Championships Organizing Committee.

“In addition to watching the world’s best alpine ski racers for two weeks here in Vail and Beaver Creek, our guests from near and far will be able to enjoy some of the greatest musical acts on the stage today, all for free. We are proud to deliver this experience and hope that it adds to the growing excitement as we approach February 2,” Folz said.

Five-time Grammy Award Winning singer-songwriter-producer, television personality, actor, entrepreneur, and pop culture and fashion icon CeeLo Green will take the stage on Valentine’s Day (February 14). Known best for his worldwide hit “Forget You,” which received five Grammy nominations and won the category for “Best Urban/Alternative Performance,” he’ll also perform top hits like “Crazy,” “Bright Lights Bigger City” and more.

KC and the Sunshine band have been entertaining audiences around the world for forty years and are slated for a free performance on the evening of Tuesday, February 10. Topping the charts with seven No. 1 singles and three triple platinum albums, including hits like “Get Down Tonight,” “That’s The Way (I Like It),” “Boogie Shoes,” and “Rock Your Baby,” KC and The Sunshine Band defined disco music and forever influenced music with its timeless sound and mission of getting people out of their seats and onto the dance floor to celebrate.

Harry Wayne Casey, named “Founder of the Dance Revolution,” and his band will get the crowd dancing with their greatest hits as well as new music from their soon-to-be-released album, Feeling You! The 60s, which is slated for national release on Tuesday, March 10, 2015.

To compliment this legendary band, the 2015 World Championships will also feature a fresh new artist just coming onto the scene – recent winner of “The Voice,” Craig Wayne Boyd on Sunday, February 8. The Texas-born country singer and multi-instrumentalist will most certainly bring a flare to the Championships, with his easy musical versatility, sure to appeal to everyone’s tastes.

Rounding out this list of heavy hitters will be international sensation Andreas Gabalier, who will take to the free concert stage on Wednesday, February 4. Not only was Gabalier the artist behind the 2013 World Championships’ Official Song in Schladming, Austria, he is also a celebrated folk singer throughout Europe and recipient of both the ECHO music award in folk music category and the Amadeus Austrian Music Award in 2012.

Five headliners were previously confirmed for the 2015 World Championships lineup, including Michael Franti & Spearhead on February 3, Mix Master Mike on February 5, American Authors on February 6, O.A.R. on February 7 and Phillip Phillips on February 12. The 2015 Organizing Committee intends to book concerts every night during the two weeks of the Championships.

Lack of snow closes small Sierra ski resorts

By Bob Goligoski, Correspondent

Melting snow and warm 50-degree temperatures in the Northern Sierra have forced three smaller ski resorts, and one large cross country ski area, to shut down this week. The four resorts plan to re-open as soon as the next decent-sized snow storm hits.

The alpine resorts – Dodge Ridge, Badger Pass in Yosemite Park and Donner Ski Ranch near Truckee – are all lower elevation resorts with limited or no snow making systems. Tahoe Donner cross country ski area, also on Donner Pass, turned off the lights on December 20.

Skiers returning this week from larger Lake Tahoe area alpine resorts with snow-making systems reported good snow cover at places such as Northstar and Sierra Tahoe with about two-thirds of the runs open.

Sean Waterman, a Dodge Ridge spokesman, said, “We probably could have limped along with some of our learning terrain open. But it’s not quite the experience that we want people to have.”

A spokeswoman for the Tahoe Donnar cross country area said, “We regret to inform you that after doing our best to keep trails open for skiing and snowshoeing, we are closing due to limited snow. When more snowpack allows, the facility will reopen and all programs, clinics and events will resume as scheduled.”

The nordic area is among the largest in the Sierra with 50 plus trails spread over more than 100 kilometers of terrain. The downhill ski area at Tahoe Donner has better snow and remains open.

Forecasters say that the high-pressure system that is blocking storms from reaching the Sierra appears to be weakening and more snow is a possibility for late January and early February.

Forest Service OKs sale of Bear Valley ski area

By Bob Goligoski

The U.S. Forest Service has approved the sale of Bear Valley ski area to Skyline International Development Inc., a large, Toronto-based operator and developer of hospitality resorts and destination communities. The sale price was not disclosed.

Skyline intends to press ahead with an ambitious, approved master plan for Bear Valley that includes additional chair lifts, construction of 350 residential units, a new 40,000 square foot village center and a 54-unit lodge. Skyline did not disclose its timeline for making the improvements.

Bear Valley was sold by the Bear Valley Mountain Cooperative, a group of community leaders who acquired the resort in 2013. Skyline owns one other ski area, Horseshoe Resort located near Toronto.

Skyline CEO Michael Sneyd said, “We are delighted to add Bear Valley to our growing portfolio of hotels and resorts. Given Bear Valley’s spectacular beauty, excellent terrain and potential for improvement, we believe it is a great fit.”

In its approval action, the Forest Service on December 19 issued a permit to Skyline to operate the resort.

Bear Valley, which opened in the Sierra in 1947 between Lake Tahoe and Yosemite Park, has eight chairlifts and one surface lift. With a vertical drop of 1,900 feet spread across 1,680 skiable acres, the resort has 75 runs.

For this season, Bear Valley has increased its staff with a goal of “ensuring more employees per guest than other destinations.”

Liftopia offers lift tickets up to 72 percent off

We can’t think of merrier way to spend Christmas Day or a happier way to kick off the New Year than on the slopes. Liftopia, the largest online and mobile marketplace for lift tickets and other mountain activities, is kicking off their annual Christmas & New Year’s Day Promotion featuring savings up to 72% off lift tickets when purchased in advance compared to walk-up window rates. 

Christmas Day and New Year’s Day are ideal times to go skiing and boarding – fewer crowds, shorter lift lines, wide-open runs and more powder time! But purchase your lift tickets now – the further in advance you book, the more you will save. Here are some examples of the savings that can be found on Liftopia for Dec. 25 and Jan. 1:

  • Caberfae Peaks, MI: one-day lift tickets starting at $9.99 (72% off)
  • Bolton Valley, VT: one-day lift tickets starting at $19.99 (59% off)
  • Ragged Mountain, NH: one-day lift tickets starting at $34.99 (56% off)
  • Anthony Lakes, OR: one-day lift tickets starting at $17.99 (49% off)
  • Snowbasin, UT: one-day lift tickets starting at $48.99 (45% off)
  • Smuggler’s Notch, VT: one-day lift tickets starting at $39.99 (44% off)
  • Arapahoe Basin, CO: one-day lift tickets starting at $50.99 (43% off)
  • Jay Peak, VT: one-day lift tickets starting at $41.99 (42% off)
  • Mt. Abram, ME: one-day lift tickets starting at $14.99 (40% off)
  • Hoodoo, OR: one-day lift tickets starting at $28.99 (40% off)
  • Whiteface, NY: one-day lift tickets starting at $57.99 (35% off)
  • Snowshoe, WV: two-day lift tickets starting at $114.47 (35% of)
  • Homewood, CA: one-day lift tickets starting at $57.99 (34% off)
  • Mt. Hood, OR: one-day lift tickets starting at $49.99 (32% off)
  • Crystal Mountain, MI: one-day lift tickets starting at $45.99 (31% off)

Need a last minute holiday gift? Liftopia Gift Cards are great gifts and stocking stuffers. Liftopia gift cards are available in any dollar amount (up to $1,000) and are good for lift tickets, rentals, lessons, meals and more at any of Liftopia’s 250+ resort partners. What’s more: no extra fees, no expiration date, and they can be sent electronically or printed so the gift can be given in person or via regular mail.