Get Fit 2 Ski This Season

Photo Credit: Apple Vacations - Aspen

 

Unless you’ve been skiing in South America and New Zealand this summer, it’s less than 30 days until ski resorts will start opening around the world. Travelers will soon be arriving in their favorite mountain towns such as: Whistler, Park City, Aspen, Jackson Hole, Breckenridge, and Lake Tahoe. Avid skiers and snowboarders will be pulling out their gear for waxing and tuning. Hopefully, everyone has been staying active for the last 6-7 months and keeping their body in shape for the 2012-2013 ski season.

If not, then it is time to hit the mountains for some hiking or trail running. If you live in flatter regions then the elliptical machine would be the next best option. You want to make sure you are ready to be a weekend warrior from the beginning.

The best part of skiing is that it helps you exercise your entire body while having the time of your life. Building strength in certain muscle groups such as quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, inner and outer thighs, calves, abs, back and arms is very important.

So, let the countdown begin and get in the best shape you can before first tracks of opening day arrive.

Click here and Get Fit 2 Ski and save up to 35% off your 2012-2013 ski vacation!

 

Book Early, Save Big during the 2012-2013 Ski Season

When October hits I begin looking forward to the snowfall in the Wasatch Mountains surrounding my home in Salt Lake City, UT. Living and working 20 minutes from some of the best riding in the world at resorts like Solitude, Snowbird, Canyons, and Park City Mountain Resort make winter months a time to get excited about. I’ll pull out my snowboard and start collecting all of my gear and start watching for deals on new gear. This year it will be a new pair of gloves.  

I also begin planning my ski vacations. Last year was all about Colorado. I was able to hit Breckenridge, Vail, and Beaver Creek in the same weekend. I also had a chance to ride at all of the resorts in Utah and visit Lake Tahoe’s Squaw Valley Resort. This 2012-2013 ski season is about our neighbor to the north and my first trip to Whistler Blackcomb during the winter. I can’t wait to ride the Peak 2 Peak Gondola and the 16 alpine bowls that make up the 8171 acre resort the largest in North America.

 

Photo Credit Matt Walker - Peak to Peak Test Gondola Unveiling

 

I am also planning to visit Aspen Snowmass with my industry friends from around the world for some spring skiing in March. I can’t wait to try the food at the Sundeck at the summit and Ajax Tavern at the base. I’ve been hearing about the amazing mountain with over 64 miles of trails for many years and can’t wait to make my first visit this season!

Photo Credit Matt Walker - Friends enjoying Aspen Snowmass

 

Now is the perfect time to start planning your ski vacation. You want to book early so that you get the best savings and also get the best lodging options during popular travel times like Christmas, New Year’s, President’s Day Weekend, and spring break.

Click here to book during our Book Early Save Big promotion!

 

 

 

Mountain Music and MORE this Summer!

The heat has arrived and if you need to cool off, catch some fresh air, and get out of town for a minute, a mountain vacation might be just what the doctor ordered. A getaway to the mountains is not only the perfect way to escape the heat and enjoy some outdoor activities, but it is also a chance to attend various festivals, live music series, and other exciting events. Checkout some of our favorite mountain towns and best summer deals for the perfect summer getaway.

Telluride, CO.  3rd night free. – http://applev.ac/MlHs7u

Telluride Bluegrass Festival

Telluride Bluegrass Festival

This mountain town is notorious for its unique laid-back culture, beautiful scenery, and of course its Annual Bluegrass Festival from June 21-24. The Telluride Bluegrass Festival,returning for its 39th year, is one of the most popular and highly-acclaimed in the United States. Whether its camping, hiking, biking, fly-fishing, or rafting, Telluride will keep you outdoors with a non-stop grin from ear to ear.

Park City, UT. 40% off. http://applev.ac/KPjGSW

Located just a half an hour from Salt Lake City, Park City is well equipped to satisfy all your summer desires. Whether you are an adrenaline junkie or a cultural intellect, Park City will not disappoint. Not only does Park City have a variety of family-friendly activities, but it also has an amazing free concert series. From blue grass to rock to reggae, the bi-weekly live music at Canyons Resort will have you up on your feet and putting on your dancing shoes.

Keystone,CO. 25% off. http://applev.ac/MHhNp8

With two-award winning golf courses, 60 miles of mountain biking trails, and 300 days of sunshine every year, Keystone is a summer mountain paradise. After you are done exploring the beautiful scenery, you can catch a free concert as part of the River Run Rocks concert series, or attend the Wine and Jazz Festival in July.

Keystone Summer Event - Wine & Jazz Festival

 

Winter Park, CO. 4th night free. http://applev.ac/MvI8qp

From Colorado’s longest Alpine slide to mini golf, Winter Park is the ideal family getaway. The resort is also home to the Blues from the Top Music Festival. Taking place June 29-July 1, Winter Park’s Blues Festival is sure to leave you feeling anything but blue, and will definitely be full of energy, soul, and an all around good time.

Jackson Hole, WY. 50% off. http://applev.ac/LDPlTN

With such a close proximity to Yellowstone Park and Grand Teton Park, it is no wonder why Jackson Hole has become such a popular summer destination. Among the beautiful scenery and countless activities, Jackson is also well known for its free summer concerts in Teton Village.

Snowmass, CO. 35% off. http://applev.ac/MkDAkg

Snowmass is the perfect summer getaway for adventurers of all ages. Snowmass is also perfect for any free music enthusiast.  On Aspen Mountain, you can stomp your feet to some bluegrass on Sunday nights, or you can head over to Snowmass Village for free music every Thursday.

Lake Tahoe, CA. 33% off. http://applev.ac/MlHI6j

From boating to swimming to fishing to hiking, Tahoe is the perfect blend of water-based and land-based summer activities. With this wide variety of outdoor activities comes an even wider variety of free music. In Tahoe you can find free music five nights a week, and amazing adventures every single day.

It’s pretty obvious that mountain vacations are not just for skiing anymore. With so many fun outdoor activities, music festivals, and concert series, the mountains are the perfect place to spend your next summer vacation.

Breckenridge: Winter Sport Revolutionary and Artsy Haven

History lessons and ski vacations seem like an unlikely pair, but for Breckenridge Resort, it’s their 50th anniversary and that is exactly what they want people to think about: its history. On December 16, 1961 Breckenridge Resort opened with a double chairlift and a short T-Bar. Over 39 million skiers and snowboarders later, Breckenridge has hit many firsts in the winter sport industry throughout its 50 year history.

The town itself dates back to the summer of 1859 when gold was discovered along the Blue River. The discovery gave way to a bustling mining town and laid the groundwork for Breckenridge’s 350 historic structures that exist today. For years, gold and mining was the town’s pulse until the early 1940s when World War II efforts required mines to focus on melting down metals instead of drawing out metals. After World War II Breckenridge’s prospects were not looking good as it headed toward ghost town status with less than 400 residents in 1960. The hope of skiing, however, brought about Breckenridge’s renaissance when Rounds and Porter Lumber Company of Wichita, Kansas decided to take a stab at the growing popularity of winter sports.

From 1961 onward, Breckenridge has been dolling out firsts in the ski resort world. In 1981, they installed the first high-speed quad chairlift on Peak 9, which catapulted the high-speed quad chairlift revolution. Three years later, Breckenridge did another first in the state of Colorado by opening up the mountain to snowboarding. More than a decade later, Breckenridge was the most popular ski resort in the US with 1,392,242 skier/snowboarder visitors in 1999. In the same year, the resort added the country’s first six-passenger chairlift.

As the firsts continue, the past is not forgotten. The town and its history is what make a trip to Breckenridge even more memorable. The historic district, which is the largest in the state of Colorado, is Victorian-like. The authentic buildings are full of galleries, great dining options and boutique shopping. The Arts District alone is home to entertainment year round with live music, a theater and visual art exhibits from resident artists. The town is also full of massive snow sculptures during the winter, which gives the town a unique western bohemian vibe.

Breckenridge Resort pioneered the way people access the mountain. Being at the forefront of the chairlift evolution and through paving the way for snowboarders it’s clear why Breckenridge is an obvious choice for any winter sport enthusiast. Matched by a town with even more history and personality, there is no question as to why Breckenridge continues to be on the top of any vacationers list seeking the ultimate western experience. 

Want to WIN 3 nights lodging at the Village at Breckenridge for two people with 2 x 2 day lift tickets?

Click here to ENTER

Jackson Hole

Gnarley and Jackson Hole Mountain Resort are synonymous. Even though the mountain’s epicness usually refers to its out of bounds territory, with over 4,000 feet in vertical rise, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort’s terrain leaves something to desire for every type of skier and snowboarder. It’s the ultimate mountain with the ultimate terrain.

Something that many people are not familiar with is how it came to be one of North America’s greatest ski destinations. Skiers started scaling and descending the Tetons as early as 1929. From then on Jackson Hole became home to ski “circuses,” the Teton Ski Club, Olympic ski team members and officially opened as a ski resort in 1965.

Under all these years of history is a cool story about a secret society of expert local skiers – the Jackson Hole Air Force – who literally pushed the boundaries of skiing at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. Founding members Benny Wilson and Howard Henderson named this fraternity of sorts after its mission: bomb down uncharted territory, huck off cliffs to get some air, bomb down some more, get some more air and repeat. In order to achieve this cycle of ski, air, ski, air Benny and his friends skied out of bounds violating Jackson Hole Mountain Resort’s strict policy against out of bounds skiing.

After years of ducking the ropes and eluding the Jackson Hole ski patrol as well as police, the mountain decided to embrace out of bounds terrain and today offers over 5,000 acres of back-country skiing in the Bridger-Teton National Forest to its guests. Ironically, the Jackson Hole Air Force paved the way for an unprecedented guiding program in the United States. You can sign up for a Backcountry Guide experience with “European style off-piste” touring including hiking, mountaineering and downhill riding. The resort guiding program also offers Backcountry Camps for those wanting to earn their Avalanche Level 1. These programs promote the same kind of self discovery that motivated the Jackson Hole Air Force members to duck those ropes some 20 years ago.

Do not fret if backcountry and avalanche courses are not what you are looking for in a ski vacation. This history is what makes Jackson Hole what it is today, but does not define it. There is something for every type of skier and snowboarder. There are nice long groomers as well as great first time terrain. Jackson Hole Mountain Resort is all about taking what you know whether it is nothing to expert knowledge and help you to grow. That might mean following in the legendary steps of the Jackson Hole Air Force or just wanting that one successful ride up the tram and down a groomer.

Cabriolets, Gondolas, Orange Bubbles, and Food?

Variety and quality define Park City Main Street’s award-wining dining options. What happens when a ski resort tries to give Park City’s Main Street a run for its money? Canyons Resort happens.

Don’t be fooled by Canyons Resort’s new orange bubble chairlift, with over 15 restaurants at Canyons Resort you may question heading to Park City’s Main Street for your next meal or do the reverse and head 4 miles outside of town to experience the Talisker Restaurant Collection where “distinctive mountain cuisine awaits.” From on-slope grills to refined dining, there are endless options for the foodie, the family, and the fun seeker.

Traditional cafeteria-style dining options like the Red Pine Lodge (open daily from 8:30 AM to 4 PM during the winter season) have everything from chili cheese dogs, to burgers, to an outstanding meatloaf sandwich. These classics will keep any family happy with the option to take the Red Pine Gondola up to it for any non-skiers who want to meet for lunch. There is also the added bonus of the Red Pine Draft House upstairs offering local and domestic beers on draft for those who can’t wait for their après ski drink.

For those who have the patience to wait for the quintessential après ski drink head down to the resort village and check out Umbrella Bar. Located across from the Cabriolet lift you do not need a lift ticket to access this unique 360 degree glass restaurant. It’s great for a quick bite and even better for après ski. Sun or snow, Umbrella Bar is always busy and has that gastro pub feel perfect for recovering after a long day on the slopes.

Then there is The Farm. Food critics are raving about this newer establishment and its mission to use only locally grown foods that do not expand beyond a 200-mile radius of Park City. Not only does the food standout, but the wine list makes for outstanding pairings with every meal. The genius behind this force to be reckoned with is John Murcko who won Best Chef in Salt Lake Magazine’s 2011 Dining Awards. Its new American Cuisine includes Murcko’s specialty pulled pork corndogs and a grilled-to-order Summit County Beef rib-eye. The Farm partners with Summit County ranchers to raise cattle for such dishes. These practices are what make The Farm Canyon Resort’s new signature restaurant.

The above three dining options are only the tip of Canyon Resort’s food iceberg. The variety and quality can compete with any resort let alone resort town restaurant.

Interested in going on a ski vacation? Check back with Apple Vacations facebook page for a NEW Special Promotion to be announced very soon!

Girlfriend Getaway Skication

This year I decided that I needed a little more adventure in my girlfriend getaway then our standard trip to Vegas or a spa getaway, so I planned a weekend away with six of my closest girlfriends to Park City, UT. The plan was to ski all day and dance all night.

We arrived on Friday and drove 35 minutes from the Salt Lake Valley to Park City, UT. We rented a three bedroom condo at the Towne Pointe, which was about one block from Historic Main Street in Park City. Before heading out for a pub crawl on Main Street, we decided to take advantage of the beautiful full kitchen. It had everything we needed to make a perfect Mexican feast including Margaritas. We started our girls’ night out at one of my personal favorites, the No Name Saloon on Main Street and ended the night dancing at The Downstairs.

On Saturday, we headed across the street to Park City Mountain Resort for a day on the slopes. A few of the ladies had never skied or snowboarded before, so they signed up for group snowboarding lessons. The rest of us spent our day enjoying the powder. We all met up at the Cobra Dogs Stand at the base of the bunny slope and enjoyed one of the best hot dogs on the planet. After a long day on the slopes we made a great dinner and enjoyed some girl talk in our private hot tub on the balcony of our condo. It was a much needed chance to relax.

On Sunday, we could easily have made it a shopping day at either Main Street Park City or at the Tanger Outlet Mall about 15 minutes from our condo. Instead, we chose to spend our last day on the slopes again enjoying the sunshine and the fresh powder! Who needs a new pair of shoes when you can enjoy a day of snow and sun with your girlfriends?