Winter Park & Fraser Chamber Media Newsletter – February 2015

Colorado’s Favorite Playground’ puts fun on the menu for vacationers

Have you heard the latest from the Winter Park & Fraser Chamber? Here’s information on what’s new to do, where to nosh, and which events to attend in Colorado’s Favorite Playground. To learn more and book lodging visit www.playwinterpark.com.

 

DaVinci’s is just one of three new restaurants that recently opened in Winter Park.

DaVinci’s is just one of three new restaurants that recently opened in Winter Park.

What’s New
It is always exciting to try something new on vacation, and Winter Park has lots of options.

Activities

  • Summer Tubing. Traditionally a wintertime activity, Snow Mountain Ranch has transformed snow tubing into a four-season sport by offering a Snowflex® tubing slope. This is only the third tubing hill of its kind in the U.S., and the first ever in Colorado. The experience is complete with misters that help keep visitors cool.

Lodging

  • Holiday Inn Express & Suites. Every room features breathtaking mountain views, a mini-fridge and microwave. A select few rooms offer sleeper sofas, a private bedroom with a separate living area and balconies. The hotel also features an indoor pool/spa, outdoor fire-pit and free continental breakfast.
  • Vasquez Creek Inn. Conveniently located in the heart of Winter Park, this new inn is within walking distance to shops, Hideaway Park, restaurants, entertainment and is on the shuttle line to nearby Winter Park Resort.
  • High Lonesome Lodge & Barn, Devil’s Thumb Ranch Resort & Spa. Devil’s Thumb Ranch Resort & Spa recently opened the new High Lonesome Lodge, Barn, Pavilion and Wine Grotto. The new 50,000-square-foot lodge and adjoining facilities enable the ranch to accommodate and host up to 350 guests at any one time.

Dining & Nightlife
With over 60 restaurants, Winter Park has an exceptional variety of dining establishments. From relaxing and romantic dinner to family-friendly and fast, it’s all on the menu in Winter Park. Three new restaurants have recently opened in Winter Park.

  • Volario’s is a new bistro-style restaurant that sits on the main floor of the new Vasquez Creek Inn. It offers a made-from-scratch menu of pizzas, pastas, cheeses, charcuterie and other European-influenced dishes.
  • DaVinci’s, a new restaurant serving modern European cuisine, has a beautiful patio to take advantage of the Colorado weather with alfresco dining.
  • Lunch Rock is Winter Park Resort’s new 16,000-square-foot café that sits at 11,000 feet in elevation atop the Mary Jane mountain. The restaurant serves high craft beer and food, perfect for refueling while hiking and biking.
  • Hideaway Park Brewery and Basement at Strip & Tail are two new places to grab a drink after a day exploring in Winter Park.
Winter Park is known as Mountain Bike Capital USA™ and celebrates July 11 with a weekend dedicated to all things mountain biking.

Winter Park is known as Mountain Bike Capital USA™ and celebrates July 11 with a weekend dedicated to all things mountain biking.

Summer Signature Events

Cold winter weather has vacationers dreaming of summer vacations! Summer is festival frenzy season in Winter Park, which hosts an event nearly every weekend during the warm-weather months. Here are the dates for a handful of the signature summer celebrations. Winter Park’s complete events calendar includes all events and details.

  • June 27-28 Blues from the Top: This funk fest was voted “Best Blues Festival” by the members of the Colorado Blues Society! See the music lineup at www.gradnblues.org.
  • July 4 Rendezvous Run for Independence: Five-mile fun run/walk event traces the Fraser River Trail from Winter Park Resort to Rendezvous in Fraser.
  • July 11 Mountain Bike Capital USATM Weekend & Winter Park Uncorked: This event features a Winter Park Resort cross-country mountain bike series race through Rendezvous, wine tasting, live music and a mountain bike skills camp for all abilities men and women lead by Colleen Cannon from Women’s Quest.
  • July 18 Winter Park Jazz Festival: Enjoy some of the best jazz acts in the country at this event that is in its 31st year.
  • August 1 SolShine Music Festival: Leftover Salmon returns to play at Hideaway Park, one of the most scenic mountain venues.
  • August 8 Winter Park Beer Festival: It doesn’t get much better than beer sampling, live music and crisp, Colorado air with views of the Continental Divide and ski area.
  • August 15 Winter Park Music Festival: This is a free festival that features amazing rock acts each year!

wplogoAbout Winter Park & Fraser Chamber

The Winter Park & Fraser Chamber is a non-profit Colorado corporation created to help further and maintain responsible growth in the Winter Park-Fraser Valley area, located in the Rocky Mountains just 65 miles west of Denver.

Contact Us
Need more information or photos? Want to plan a media visit to Winter Park? We can help! Contact Gaylene Ore, Ore Communications, at 970-531-2336/gaylene@orecommunications.com or Diane Ehlert, Winter Park & Fraser Chamber, at 970-283-3548/dehlert@playwinterpark.com
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Sweetwater County, Wyo., Names Top Ways to Experience the Wild West on Vacation

- Unleash the inner pioneer with Southwest Wyoming attractions, activities, events-

Sweetwater County, Wyo. – Wyoming is synonymous with the Wild West. Today, Sweetwater County Travel and Tourism in southwest Wyoming announced the top six unique ways to embrace the Wild West culture on vacation to Rock Springs or Green River.

  • See where outlaw Butch Cassidy earned his nickname.  Visit the town of Rock Springs and go to South Main Street to see a building that once housed the butcher shop where Robert LeRoy Parker – a.k.a. Butch Cassidy – worked and earned his nickname. Unable to be satisfied working an honest job, Cassidy left Rock Springs and continued drifting and outlawing.
  • Pitch a tent near Butch Cassidy’s hideout.  The Hideout Canyon Boat-in Campground is a popular camping enclave right on the stunning Flaming Gorge Reservoir. The campground gets its name from a hiding spot used by Butch Cassidy and his gang. It is accessible only by boating or hiking in, and offers all of the activities the gorge is famous for – fishing, boating, kayaking, swimming, hiking and more. The campground is surrounded by scenic cliffs and offers 18 single-family sites, each with its own cabana, picnic table and fire ring.
  • Rodeo(2)Cheer on modern day cowboys and cowgirls.  Sweetwater County hosts a number of rodeos, thanks in large part to the fine facilities at the Sweetwater County Events Complex, which draws thousands of rodeo competitors and tourists each year. This premier complex is a big part of the reason Barrel Horse News Magazine named Rock Springs one of the top 10 small town barrel racing destinations. The National Barrel Horse Association (NBHA) State Finals are in September, and in July the events complex hosts the “World’s Largest Rodeo” – the National High School Finals Rodeo. Also in July is the Red Desert Roundup, which is part of Wyoming’s Big Show and was twice voted “The Best Mountain States Circuit PRCA Rodeo.”
  • 3919739-R1-E001(1)Walk in the footsteps of the pioneers.  Sweetwater County has more miles of still-visible pioneer trails than any other area in the U.S. Discover the pioneer spirit by retracing the steps of early Americans on the miles of trails where wagon wheel ruts still remain. The longest and most famous early-American pioneer trails all pass through Sweetwater County, including the Oregon, Mormon Pioneer, Pony Express and California National Historic Trails. In fact, these trails parallel modern-day Highway 28, making them easily accessible by car. Additional trails include the Cherokee, Overland, Outlaw, and Old Emigrant.
  • wild horsesWatch wild horses run.  The Pilot Butte Wild Horse Scenic Loop Tour – commencing from either Green River or Rock Springs – is the best way to catch a glimpse of the wild horses that call Sweetwater County home. The horses are living examples of the wide-open landscape and untamed spirit that is a hallmark of southwestern Wyoming. The current herds are primarily decedents of the Spanish horses that were introduced into the area in the 1500s.
  • Visit Historic South Pass.  A cornerstone in the history of U.S. westward migration in the 19th Century, this once-thriving mining town now houses more than 20 original structures, thousands of artifacts and the Gold Mining Interpretive Center. Set to become one of the flagship historic sites in the nation, this landmark offers prospectors the chance to pan for their own gold in streams, just like the olden days.

 

sweetwater_logoAbout Sweetwater County (www.tourwyoming.com)  Sweetwater County, located halfway between Yellowstone and Canyonlands National Parks in southwest Wyoming, is home to 10,500 square miles of pure, high desert adventure. Known as “Flaming Gorge Country” the area is characterized by the 91-square-mile Flaming Gorge Lake, the famed Green River, expansive deserts and rugged mountains. Activities include camping, hiking, biking, fishing, golfing, sightseeing, wildlife viewing, hunting dinosaurs, shopping, and just plain getting away from it all. A perfect place to explore American history, Sweetwater County is also home to petroglyphs, pioneer trails and historical museums.

Contacts:
Gaylene Ore, Ore Communications, 970.812.8733, gaylene@orecommunications.com
Jenissa Bartlett, Sweetwater Travel & Tourism, 307.382.2538
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15 Ways to Explore Grand Junction in 2015

GJ logoFrom beautiful new wineries and exciting culinary happenings, to anniversary celebrations and unique events, Grand Junction, Colorado is buzzing with news and activities for the year ahead

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. - February 2015 – Located in Colorado’s Wine Country, just a few hours west of Denver, Grand Junction provides visitors a truly unique Colorado escape.  With access to more than 20 wineries, 3,000 square miles of state and federally protected public lands, outstanding recreation activities including biking, hiking and fishing,  some of the best golf in the state, unique shopping and dining experiences, and much more, Grand Junction offers a variety of memorable vacation opportunities. Here are 15 ways to explore Grand Junction in 2015:

New! Raise a glass at newly opened Red Fox Cellars. This family run winery in Palisade offers a comfortable, relaxing tasting room with a rustic and inviting feel where guests can sample a variety of their unique wines. Red Fox Cellars offers complimentary tastings as well as wine available by the glass or bottle. In addition to wine, Red Fox Cellars will soon be offering a constantly rotating selection of fruit wines/ciders from their draft system, all hand made from local fruits.

New! Take in a show at the recently renovated Avalon Theatre. The historic Avalon Theatre, located on Main Street in Grand Junction’s downtown, recently underwent a $9.65 million renovation, providing a state-of-the-art performance venue and movie screening theatre.  This year, the theatre is welcoming exciting performances from nationally acclaimed groups including Lyle Lovett & His Acoustic Group, Comedian Rodney Carrington, and the Grand Junction Symphony presenting Mozart in March, with more acts being added weekly.

 New! Celebrate 100 years of the National Parks Service at the Colorado National Monument.  The National Park Service will celebrate its Centennial in 2016 with a variety of special events and programming beginning summer 2015 and leading up to the anniversary in August 2016. Explore the Colorado National Monument and soak in one of the grand landscapes of the American West. Towering monoliths exist within a vast plateau and canyon panorama that is only a few minutes from Grand Junction. Visitors can experience sheer-walled, red rock canyons along the twists and turns of Rim Rock Drive, and view bighorn sheep and soaring eagles.

 New! Bike the Riverfront Trail from Fruita to Grand Junction.  The Riverfront Trail expansion project now allows visitors to walk, jog or bike from downtown Grand Junction to Fruita on the newly finished Monument Section of the trail. The Riverfront Trail snakes for miles along the mighty Colorado River, passing through cottonwood forests and open space. The trail has many access points, and visitors can spend an hour or a day exploring the beauty of the riverside environment from the communities of Palisade, Grand Junction and Fruita.

 New! Enjoy locally sourced food prepared by executive chef Josh Niernberg. Dine at Jodi and Josh Niernberg’s popular Bin 707 Foodbar in Downtown Grand Junction, at one of the themed West Slope Supper Club pop-up parties, or out of their new food truck at one of their many Feast in the Field events. Chef Niernberg serves seasonal American Cuisine from the Grand Valley’s best brewers, winemakers and farmers!

 Ride the train to Colorado Wine Country’s wine festival.  A not-to-be-missed opportunity is to travel by train and enjoy the scenery while getting to Colorado’s Wine Country. Buy a ticket on Amtrak’s sought after California Zephyr route, departing anywhere between San Francisco and Chicago, riding the spectacular scenic rails through the Rocky Mountains to reach Grand Junction. Once there, relax at the 22 wineries or to experience the state’s largest wine festival the third weekend of September at the annual Colorado Mountain Winefest.

 Fruita Fat Tire Festival, April 23-26, 2015, Celebrate the 20th Anniversary of a Colorado mountain bike tradition, the US Bank Fruita Fat Tire Festival. Guests can ride miles of pristine MTB Trails, meet MTB friends from around the world and support those who share their same passion and MTB lifestyle. There is a great line-up of live musical entertainment, an exciting expo and much more.

 Shop Downtown Grand Junction. Main Street in Downtown Grand Junction has been a pedestrian-friendly shopping district since the early 1960’s when visionary city leaders lined the street with trees and created its meandering design. The heart of Grand Junction has been brilliantly revitalized and expanded in the past few years to include more public art, patio dining and wonderful landscaping.  Guests won’t find big box chain stores here.  What they will find is boutique shopping, unique toy stores, charming candy stores, bookshops, cute kids’ clothing, bike shops, outdoor gear and other unique retailers.

 Follow Your Nose to Lavender Fest, July 10-12, 2015. There’s a lot more than grapes growing in Colorado’s Wine Country. Lavender farms are becoming increasingly popular in the area. Fields of the distinctively scented purple flower bloom around Grand Junction each summer before being harvested for use in culinary and medicinal applications, as well as aromatherapy. Each July, visitors can learn more about the unique plant that’s used in everything from perfume to homeopathy during the annual Lavender Festival in Palisade.

 Grind the Recently Expanded Public Trail System at The Three Sisters Park.  Mountain bikers will love the recently expanded trail system at The Three Sisters Park which includes an additional 130 acres of desert landscape, adjacent to the well-known and popular Tabeguache/Lunch Loop Trail system, located just minutes from downtown Grand Junction. It offers gentle terrain that is perfect for hiking and biking trails for all levels, including families and kids.

 Hike the Grand Mesa. This 10,000 foot Grand Mesa overlooks the town of Grand Junction and provides a year-round haven for outdoor enthusiasts. Visitors can try boating or fishing on over 300 pristine lakes or hike 100s of trails that are easily accessed from the Grand Mesa National Scenic Byway. Seek the popular and challenging Crag Crest Trail.

 Palisade Peach Festival, August 13-16, 2015. Each August, as Palisade’s peaches ripen and thousands of visitors flock to the small town just east of Grand Junction for the Palisade Peach Festival for a weekend of activities that celebrate the delicious, fuzzy fruit.  The festival offers a variety of activities from cooking demos to peach-eating contests, parades, carnival rides and more.

 Hit the Links at Grand Junction’s Top Courses. With five beautifully designed and maintained public courses, Grand Junction is one of Colorado’s top destinations for golf enthusiasts.  Due to the area’s mild, high-desert climate, golfers can enjoy a round almost any day of the year. Golfers won’t want to miss the #1 public golf course in Colorado as ranked by golf digest, The Golf Club at Redlands Mesa.

 Raft the Mighty Colorado. Visitors can conquer exciting whitewater rapids on the Green River, Gunnison River or Colorado River while starting their rafting adventure in Grand Junction.  Or, they can float tranquilly downstream while enjoying the local scenery. Multi-day trips and single-day adventures are both available seasonally with professional guides.

 Sample the Best in Colorado Produce and Artisan Products at the Farmer’s Market. Foodies can sample fresh produce and live entertainment at a variety of farmers’ markets in the Grand Valley throughout the summer and fall travel seasons. Area farmers markets are a bounty of homegrown fruits, veggies and flowers. These entertaining markets are a popular warm-weather destination for locals and visitors to mingle, peruse booths offering a variety of hand-crafted products, and tap their toes to great folksy rock bands.

 About Grand Junction (www.visitgrandjunction.com). Grand Junction is Colorado’s Wine Country featuring 22 wineries with year-round tasting rooms, and boasts more than 275 days of sunshine annually which helps produce much of the state’s peach and fruit crop. It is the largest city in Western Colorado, located near the Colorado River between Salt Lake City and Denver on Interstate 70. At an altitude of 4,586 feet, warm summers and moderate spring, fall and winter seasons allow for year-round golf, hiking and world-renown biking. Among Grand Junction’s spectacular red cliffs and winding canyons are the 11,000-foot Grand Mesa, the world’s largest flat-topped mountain, the 7,500-foot Book Cliffs including the Wild Horse Area, and the 7,000-foot Colorado National Monument. Other attractions include three national scenic byways, rafting, hunting, fishing, extensive public art displays, museums, and a vibrant downtown. Grand Junction lies in the heart of the Colorado-Utah Dinosaur Diamond and the Grand Circle.

Contacts:
Gaylene Ore, Ore Communications, gaylene@orecommunications.com, 970-887-2536
Mistalynn Meyeraan, Grand Junction Visitor & Convention Bureau, mistalm@gjcity.org , 970-244-1480
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Winter Park & Fraser Chamber Offer Lodging, Activities for Families Visiting Rocky Mountain National Park This Summer

-Winter Park is affordable, convenient hub for exploring RMNP with family members of all ages

 Winter Park, Colo. – Rocky Mountain National Park is celebrating its 100th Anniversary year through September 2015. The Winter Park & Fraser Chamber – conveniently located about 45 minutes from the less traveled west entrance of the park – invites visitors who are recreating memories with their families or experiencing the park for the very first time to add the Winter Park area to their Rocky Mountain National Park travel itinerary.

image002“For generations Rocky Mountain National Park has been a fixture of family travel,” says Catherine Ross, Winter Park & Fraser Chamber Executive Director. “We want to make sure those who are visiting the park consider booking their stay in Colorado’s Favorite Playground, Winter Park, so they can enjoy all of our activities as an add-on to their Rocky Mountain National Park experience.”

Ross says that in addition to all of the amazing things to do inside Rocky Mountain National Park – like hiking, wildlife watching, driving over the famed Trail Ridge Road and more – there are an equal amount of things to do in Winter Park. Additionally, Ross adds, whether families are looking for a rustic cabin, a guest ranch, a luxurious townhome/condominium or an economical motel, Winter Park offers a wide range of accommodations to suit families of all shapes and sizes.

©2012 ChrisWellhausen.com / All Rights ReservedMountain Biking: With more than 600 miles of marked and mapped trails, Winter Park has earned its nickname Mountain Bike Capital USA™. Check out the Official Mountain Bike and Trail Guide to Winter Park-Fraser Valley that highlights favorite routes from Winter Park to Grand Lake. It includes everything you need to know from elevation gains to detailed trail descriptions, mileage and difficulty ratings.

Hiking: The best way to experience the peacefulness and serenity of the area is on foot. Winter Park and the surrounding Fraser Valley offer countless options for hikers of all levels, whether you seek an overnight backcountry trek or an unhurried day hike. Most of the trails traverse through not only Rocky Mountain National Park, but also Arapaho and Routt National Forests and Bureau of Land Management land. The region’s four wilderness areas also offer a playground for hikers: Byers Peak, Indian Peaks, Never Summer and Vasquez Wilderness.

Fly Fishing: Winter Park and the surrounding valley are situated in the center of Colorado trout fishing country. In fact, Grand County – where Winter Park is located – is home to more fishable waters than any other county in Colorado. President Eisenhower loved fly-fishing this area so much that it earned the nickname “the Western White House.”

Water Sports: For those seeking thrills, chills and adventure choose from rafting, kayaking or the newest water sport, stand-up paddling. Whitewater adventure on the legendary Colorado River is located approximately one hour from Winter Park. Bigger waves can be found along Clear Creek, located over Berthoud Pass near Idaho Springs. Stand-up paddling is another option that will work your core like no Pilates class can!

IMG_1341Festivals & Events: Winter Park and the Fraser Valley are synonymous with fun-filled family festivals throughout the year. Annual events range from toe-tapping concerts to heart-pumping athletic events. The annual Jazz Festival is one of the most quintessential events, but there are also free music festivals like SolShine and the weekly concerts on Thursdays in Hideaway Park called High Note Thursdays. Biking events roll into town throughout the summer, as well.


About Winter Park & Fraser Chamber (
www.PlayWinterPark.com)

The Winter Park & Fraser Chamber is a non-profit Colorado corporation created to help further and maintain responsible growth in the Winter Park & Fraser Valley area, located in the Rocky Mountains just 65 miles west of Denver.

Contacts
Gaylene Ore, Ore Communications, 970-531-2336, gaylene@orecommunications.com
Diane Ehlert, Winter Park &Fraser Chamber, 970-283-3548, dehlert@playwinterpark.com
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Grand County, Colo., Announces Dates, Details for Winter Carnivals in Rocky Mountains

– Scenic mountain towns Winter Park, Grand Lake host mid-winter festivals with parades, bed races, snow sculptures and more–

 Granby, Colo., January 19, 2015 – From cross-country races to family-friendly competitions the towns of Winter Park and Grand Lake are hosting some of Colorado high country’s best winter carnivals in Grand Country, just west of Denver.

Winter Park 75th Anniversary Celebration (Jan. 24, www.playwinterpark.com) This 75th anniversary celebration invites one and all to take part in a gala at The Lodge at Sunspot at Winter Park Resort, Stagecoach Classic – a cross-country ski/snowshoe race from Tabernash to Winter Park, and a downtown Winter Park main street parade followed by fireworks in Hideaway Park.

Winter Park Resort 75th Anniversary Celebration (Feb. 7-15, www.winterparkresort.com)   Nine straight days of events and activities from ski races and freestyle competitions to snow sculptures at the lifts to special Village events, the entire resort will be a hub of activities.  Winter Park’s Ski + Ride School will be holding camps during the week, including the popular Bob’s Bump Jamboree and Bob’s Mogul Camp, both of which specialize in how to tame Mary Jane’s world-famous moguls.  The Village at Winter Park will be hopping all week long with a broomball tournament, live music, a Mardi Gras Celebration, and a much more.

bed sledGrand Lake Winter Carnival Includes Rocky Mountain National Park 100th year Celebration of Wilderness, Wildlife, Wonder (Feb. 7, www.grandlakechamber.com) – The winter carnival, in picturesque Grand Lake, features a full day – and evening – of snow- and ice-focused fun. The town, located 100 miles northwest of Denver on the shores of the largest natural lake in Colorado, becomes a snowy wonderland during the winter, with crisp, dry air, crystal-blue skies and the peaks of the Gore Range.

Local residents and visitors participate in activities that range from the traditional and classic to unusual and even wacky. This year’s carnival is a celebration of Rocky Mountain National Park’s Centennial, showcasing the wilderness, wildlife and wonder of the park. Attendees will find a wild snow-sculpture contest; parent-child sled pull; a wilderness, wildlife and wonder street parade; and the ever-popular bed-sled races. For the sports enthusiast teapot curling and human bowling (complete with both kids’ and adults’ courses) are on tap. In the evening, activities move indoors with live music, awards, crowning of the snow king and queen, and a ball. The event, which is free for all spectators, concludes outdoors with fireworks over the lake.

Check out Grand County’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/grandcountycolorado and follow @grandcountyco on Twitter or www.pinterest.com/grandcountyco/ on Pinterest.

 

GCTB logoAbout Grand County, Colo. (www.visitgrandcounty.com)

Located 67 miles west of Denver, Grand County is home to wide-open spaces, breathtaking mountain scenery and authentic old-west towns. Outdoor recreational activities include golf, boating, fishing, biking, hiking, fishing, hunting, horseback riding, skiing, cross country skiing, snowmobiling, ice fishing, sleigh rides and tubing. The area features more than 600 miles of mapped and marked trails, one national park, two national forests, two wilderness areas, two national scenic byways, two major ski resorts, five world-class dude ranches and four mountain golf courses. Grand County’s extensive water network includes Colorado’s largest natural lake, 1,000 miles of streams, 1,000 acres of high-mountain lakes and 11,000 acres of reservoirs.

Media Note:  To request photography, interviews or more information, please contact Gaylene Ore, Ore Communications, at 970-531-2336 or gaylene@orecommunications.com.

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100 Years, 10 Epic Reasons to Love the West-side of Rocky Mountain National Park

Summer tours at Holzworth Ranch

Summer tours at Holzworth Ranch

100 Years, 10 Epic Reasons to Love the West-side of Rocky Mountain National Park

 GRAND COUNTY, Colo.— –Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) is celebrating its 100th birthday on the anniversary of its inauguration date January 26, 1915. Though people have been visiting the area that the park encompasses for more than 10,000 years (there have been tools found from the Paleo-Indians there), the formal dedication took place on Sept. 4, 1915. Since then, Rocky Mountain National Park has been imparting peace, awe and adventure to its thousands of yearly visitors.

 

While there are many, many reasons to love RMNP, it’s hard to pack 100 years worth of celebrating into just one day. As a result, Rocky Mountain National Park will have a year’s worth of special events and celebratory activities. To narrow it down even more, here are the top 10 things to love about RMNP and Grand County Colorado.

 

  • Life is a Highway: Trail Ridge Road Scenic Byway (US Highway 34) is the highest continuously paved road in North America. Take a drive from Grand Lake and enjoy scenic vistas as well as sightings of some of the park’s wilder residents.
  • Climb Every Mountain: Rock climbing and mountaineering have become popular activities in recent years. Longs Peak, one of Colorado’s 14ers at 14,259 ft above sea level, is a popular challenge. Or, summit 12,007-foot Mount Craig for the best view of Grand Lake.
  • Take a Walk: The Continental Divide Trail is a 3,100-mile trail that runs from Canada to Mexico and weaves its way through the national park. Tackle just a portion of it by strolling the 30-mile segment that runs through the park.
  • Animal: RMNP is full of wildlife, but there’s nothing like being among the lucky few to see male bighorn sheep butting heads and locking horns during the fall rut season or listening to males bugle it out, particularly in the Kawuneeche Valley.
  • A Sky Full of Stars: There’s nothing like seeing the stars in the wilderness of the park; see even more through a telescope from Harbison Meadow with a ranger-led stargazing tour.
  • Cowboy Up: There are many ways to get your cowboy on in RMNP, from joining an outfitter on a horseback riding tour through the park’s western valleys to visiting a dude ranch in the shadow of the park’s peaks on the west side in Grand County.
  • Waterfalls: Powerful and awe-inspiring, waterfalls are at the pinnacle of vacation photo posing. Visit the gushing waters of Adams Falls during the height of runoff in May or see the rushing rapids of Cascade Falls, located northeast of Summerland Park.
  • Bicycle Race: It doesn’t have to be a race—there are plenty of ways to explore RMNP by two wheels. Explore the mountain bikes trails, particularly near Winter Park and Fraser or embark on an epic ride from Grand Lake to Estes Park and back again over Trail Ridge Road.
  • Gone Fishing: Cast your fly road for an unbeatable experience on Lake Granby. Whether it’s fly- fishing in the summer or ice fishing in the winter, you’ll be sure to have a tall tale to tell.
  • Soak It Up: All that adventuring can be taxing on poor tired, muscles. Take a side trip to Hot Sulphur Springs for a dip in the area’s famous thermal springs.

 

There is a massive amount to do and explore in Rocky Mountain National Park and no better time to experience than now, during the centennial celebration. For more information, visit  http://www.nps.gov/romo/planyourvisit/100th_anniversary.htm.

 

Check out Grand County’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/grandcountycolorado and follow @grandcountycom on Twitter or www.pinterest.com/grandcountyco/ on Pinterest.

 

About Grand County, Colo. (www.visitgrandcounty.com)

Located 67 miles west of Denver, Grand County is home to wide-open spaces, breathtaking mountain scenery and authentic old-west towns. Outdoor recreational activities include golf, boating, fishing, biking, hiking, fishing, hunting, horseback riding, skiing, cross country skiing, snowmobiling, ice fishing, sleigh rides and tubing. The area features more than 600 miles of mapped and marked trails, one national park, two national forests, two wilderness areas, two national scenic byways, two major ski resorts, five world-class dude ranches and four mountain golf courses. Grand County’s extensive water network includes Colorado’s largest natural lake, 1,000 miles of streams, 1,000 acres of high-mountain lakes and 11,000 acres of reservoirs.

 

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Media Note:  To request photography, interviews or more information, please contact Gaylene Ore, Ore Communications, at 970-531-2336 or gaylene@orecommunications.com.

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Granby Ranch Opens Winter Wonderland, Dec. 24-Jan. 4

Santa lift-Granby Ranch becomes a wonderland of holiday events and activities for the whole family -

Granby, Colo. – Granby Ranch, the four-season mountain getaway located less than two hours from Denver, today announced details for its Winter Wonderland holiday celebration, Dec. 24-Jan. 4. Visitors to the ranch will find plenty of ways to be jolly with seasonal events and activities including old-fashioned wagon rides, ice sculptures, s’mores by the fire, night skiing and of course, Santa Claus!

Dec. 24 – The event kicks off in big style on Christmas Eve with appearances from the big man himself! Santa will be gearing up for his world tour by hitting the slopes with the kids 9 a.m.-noon. Visitors can get some great snapshots of Santa and the kids in action as well as at the base lodge, 12:30-2:30 p.m., where he will have candy canes in hand to hear the little ones’ holiday wishes. Opening day will wrap up with a special hour-long Christmas Eve service at 5 p.m with music and service led by Pastor Patrick Lockhart.

Dec. 25 – Granby Ranch Grill, located in the base lodge, will serve a tasty holiday brunch a la carte on Christmas day. Patrons can fill up by the fire 11 a.m.-3 p.m. leaving plenty of time for toys before and after the meal.

Dec. 26-30 – Only a horse-driven wagon ride in the frosty air can stir up that certain holiday thrill, and Sombrero Stables will offer them for free, 3-6 p.m! Rides are available on a first-come, first-served basis, so families and friends will want to be bundled and ready to go. Riders can enjoy s’mores at the fire pit starting at 4 p.m. (also available Jan. 1-4), then hop on over to the slopes afterward for seasonal night skiing. Designated slopes and three terrain parks are fully-lit 5-8 p.m.

Dec. 31 – Granby Ranch offers a full evening of celebration to ring in the new year. After a full day of skiing, families can warm up at a New Year’s Eve dinner and dance party, 4-9:30 p.m. in the dining hall. The party continues on the slopes with a glow stick walking parade followed by a torchlight procession by Granby Ranch’s best ski instructors. Kids can pick up a free glow stick at the Children’s Center from 5-5:30 p.m., then meet at the top of Milestone lift to start the parade at 6 p.m. A spectacular fireworks display closes the parade, but participants can keep the celebration going back at the dining hall dance party until 9:30 p.m.

Jan. 2-3 – The Cool Hand Ice Show invites families to play in the new year. Expert ice carvers will create an amazing ice maze as well as ice games for all to enjoy.

Learn more about Granby Ranch and plan a visit at www.granbyranch.com, or take advantage of a lodging package by calling 888.850.4615. Visit the event page for more information on these and other events.

image002About Granby Ranch (www.granbyranch.com)
Located just 90 minutes from Denver and just 15 minutes from Winter Park and the western entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park, Granby Ranch is not a typical mountain getaway. It’s a peaceful mountain retreat that allows people to be closer to the mountains. After connecting with nature, guests and residents connect with one another by gathering at the Grill or around the fire pit for drinks or s’mores. Granby Ranch delivers Colorado skiing for less than other mountain resorts and strongly appeals to families and empty nesters who can stay in a privately owned slope-side condo, townhome, cabin or luxury home rental on their Colorado mountain getaway. Year-round activities range from fishing and golfing to hiking, biking and skiing.

Contacts:
Wenda Huseman, V.P. Marketing & Sales at Granby Ranch, whuseman@granbyranch.com
Gaylene Ore, Ore Communications, gaylene@orecommunications.com

 

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Grand County, Colo., Hosts Three Ice Fishing Contests This Winter

ICE FISHING web

-Reel in a big catch – and some prizes – at these winter fishing competitions in scenic Colorado mountain town-

 Grand County, Colo. – Thick ice, the lure of the “big one,” the promise of prizes, and beautiful scenery to take in while you wait out your catch. It’s all in store this winter in Grand County, Colo., which plays host to three major ice fishing contests in January and February. Here are the details ice anglers need to know to get on the hook for thousands of dollars in prizes and priceless bragging rights.

27th Annual Three Lakes Ice Fishing Contest (Jan. 23-25, Granby, Colo.) – The competition takes place over three days on three popular fishing lakes in the Granby area: Lake Granby, Shadow Mountain Reservoir and Grand Lake. Participants can fish one, two or all three days, and are eligible for daily cash prizes totaling more than $6,000 each day, as well as raffle prizes.

For Three Lakes’ Grand Slam prize, fisherman work to catch one fish from each of the following species: Kokanee, rainbow, brown, and Mackinaw. After weighing all four fish, the prize is awarded to the heaviest creel, or basket.

The Three Lakes Ice Fishing Contest is open to all fishermen, not only the serious anglers. Fees for adults range from $35 for one-day participation to $50 for all three days. Those 17 and under are free if entered before January 20th.  For more information contact the Granby Chamber of Commerce at 970-887-2311, grcoc@rkymtnhi.com or www.granbychamber.com.

18th Annual Wolford Ice Fishing Contest (Feb. 21, Kremmling, Colo.)Prizes abound at this one-day contest. There’s $10,000 for the winning tagged-fish competition, door prizes and hourly “big-fish” prizes for adults and youth. Registration cost is $35 for adults and youth 15 and under who want to compete for the cash prizes. For more information contact the Kremmling Area Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center at 877-573-6654 or 970-724-3472, or visit www.kremmlingchamber.com.

 4th Annual Grand Lake Catch and Release Ice Fishing Contest (Mar. 7-8, Grand Lake, Colo.) – Prizes are given in three categories (Lake Trout, Brown and Rainbow) for this two-day event.  Participants are eligible for cash prizes totaling more than $6,000.  In celebration of the Rocky Mountain National Park’s Centennial a $100 cash award will be offered for the 100th fish entered.  A Welcome Party, Fishermen’s Feast, and more will entertain participants off the ice.

Entry fee for adult is $40 and children 14 and under are free. For more information contact the Grand Lake Chamber at 800-531-1019, or visit www.grandlakeicefishingcontest.com

Grand County, Colo. (www.visitgrandcounty.com)

Located 67 miles west of Denver, Grand County is home to wide-open spaces, breathtaking mountain scenery and authentic old-west towns. Outdoor recreational activities include golf, boating, fishing, biking, hiking, fishing, hunting and horseback riding.

The area features more than 600 miles of mapped and marked trails, one national park, one national forest, two wilderness areas, two national scenic byways, two major ski resorts, five world-class dude ranches and four mountain golf courses. Grand County’s extensive water network includes Colorado’s largest natural lake, 1,000 miles of streams, 1,000 acres of high-mountain lakes and 11,000 acres of reservoirs.

Download Grand County’s new mobile app at  www.visitgrandcounty.com

 
Media Note:  To request photography, interviews or more information, please contact Gaylene Ore, Ore Communications, at 970-531-2336 or gaylene@orecommunications.com.

 

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Sweetwater County, Wyo., Announces Signature Winter Events

- Southwest Wyoming winter events include ice fishing -

Sweetwater County, Wyo. – Sweetwater County Travel and Tourism invites visitors to come to southwest Wyoming this January and February to put winter blues “on ice” with a trio of events that take advantage of the cold temperatures and the area’s signature body of water, Lake Flaming Gorge.

Burbot Close Up •          Jan. 23-25 – Burbot Bash

The Burbot Bash is hosted by the Flaming Gorge Chamber of Commerce and is a Burbot-only (also known as ling cod or ling) fishing tournament. The event was started in 2011 to help remove the invasive, aggressive species from the reservoir. For this year’s event teams of two to four anglers can compete for over $10,000 in cash and prizes.

Burbot Bash Fishermen•          Feb. 6-8 – Burbot Classic

In this fishing competition, hosted by Buckboard Marina, anglers win prizes in six categories for tagged Burbot, biggest Burbot, smallest Burbot, and more. New this year there will also be an auger contest. Up to 40 people will win prizes!

SWC ice sculpture •          Feb. 13-14 – Crystal Classic

Snowflakes fly and bitter temperatures blanket Wyoming, but in the midst of it all pristine sculpted ice creates a dream-like atmosphere in the City of Green River at the 2015 Crystal Classic Winter Festival. The weekend of winter fun is at Green River Expedition Island and includes lights, music, decorations, fireworks, food, professional ice sculpting and fun winter-themed competitions for all ages.

Learn more about booking a trip to Sweetwater County, Wyo., at www.tourwyoming.com.

About Sweetwater County (www.tourwyoming.com)

Sweetwater County, located halfway between Yellowstone and Canyonlands National Parks in southwest Wyoming, is home to 10,500 square miles of pure, high desert adventure. Known as “Flaming Gorge Country” the area is characterized by the 91-square-mile Flaming Gorge Lake, the famed Green River, expansive deserts and rugged mountains. Activities include camping, hiking, biking, fishing, golfing, sightseeing, wildlife viewing, hunting dinosaurs, shopping, and just plain getting away from it all. A perfect place to explore American history, Sweetwater County is also home to petroglyphs, pioneer trails and historical museums.

Contacts:
Gaylene Ore, Ore Communications, 970.812.8733, gaylene@orecommunications.com
Jenissa Bartlett, Sweetwater Travel & Tourism, 307.382.2538, jbartlett@tourwyoming.com
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Winter Park & Fraser Valley Chamber Announces 25 Winter Vacation Ideas Under $20

-Winter Park & Fraser Chamber enables families to vacation big-time in Colorado without spending big bucks –

kids with mom in snow_small(1) Winter Park, Colo. – The Winter Park & Fraser Chamber knows sticking to a budget while on winter vacation is important. The Chamber has made it easy for family vacation planners by announcing 25 vacation ideas, all under $20.

 Tubing and Sledding

1.         The Colorado Adventure Park, located just five minutes from Winter Park Ski Resort, offers activities for all ages and adventure levels. The most popular pastime is tubing ($18/hour). Snowscoots (kid-sized snowmobiles) rentals are also available for children ages six and up ($10 for 10 minutes). For kids under three there are complementary sleds and a mini-hill.

2.         YMCA of the Rockies – Snow Mountain Ranch has a tubing hill with tubes available on site. Guests play for free while all others get in with the $15 day pass. The pass also includes access to the swimming pool, climbing wall, roller skating rink, cross country skiing, ice skating and much more!

3.         The Historic Fraser Tubing Hill is groomed, lighted and complete with a lift. Descend individually, in tandem, or in group clusters. Adrenaline-seekers can cozy up in the warming house with a hot drink and a snack. Rates are $15/hour Monday-Thursday and $18/hour Friday-Sunday.

 Love Critters?

4.         Meet Winter Park Willie at Winter Park Resort, and make s’smores campfire style on Wednesdays from 4-5 p.m. This event is free, but s’mores are on a first come, first served basis.

5.         Cooper Creek Square offers free horse-drawn carriage rides through downtown Winter Park from 4-7 p.m. on Saturdays in January, February and March. There is also sledding at Hideaway Park for the little ones. Sleds are available at the Winter Park Information Center (78841 U.S. Hwy. 40). Afterward, play on the playground, shop, then dine at Cooper Creek Square.

 Skiing & Snowshoeing

6.         Rocky Mountain National Park, which is celebrating its 100 year anniversary this year, offers free ranger-led snowshoe tours during February and March. Bring your own snowshoes and ski poles and meet at the Kawuneeche Visitor Center.  Call 970-586-1206 for reservations. (Children must be eight or older.)

Girl skier on big meadow_Small7.         Winter Park & Fraser Valley’s hundreds of miles of hiking and biking trails become snowshoe and cross-country skiing routes in the wintertime. Stop by the Information Center (78841 U.S. Hwy. 40) for suggested snowshoe and cross-country trails in the Arapaho Wilderness or Experimental Forest – or even those that start right in town! Snowshoe rentals are available at most ski shops, while cross-country ski gear may be rented at Icebox Mountain Sports in Fraser, Devil’s Thumb Ranch, Ski Granby Ranch or YMCA of the Rockies-Snow Mountain Ranch.

snowshoe kids_small8.         Ski Granby Ranch’s Nordic trail system encompasses 25 kilometers of trails. Five dollars buys a single lift ticket to explore it all on snowshoes. Bring your own equipment or rent at Ski Granby Ranch. Ski Granby Ranch also has night skiing for $10 during selected nights/dates. Children five and under ski free, even during the day.

9.         Winter Park Resort offers free mountain skiing/snowboarding tours to lift ticket holders every day at 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. for intermediate skiers and boarders.

10.       Also at Winter Park Resort skiers and boarders between the ages of 6 and 12 years old can practice and show off their tricks in the mini rail park, Bounder, in the Village on Fridays, Jan. 10-March 14 (excluding Feb. 21). It’s free!

11.       With more than 100 kilometers of trails tracking through 5,200 acres of mountain meadows, YMCA of the Rockies-Snow Mountain Ranch’s Nordic Center has something for everyone. Besides cross-country skiing, guests may also enjoy ice skating, sledding, tubing and snowshoeing. Activities are complementary for Snow Mountain Ranch guests, YMCA of the Rockies members, kids five and younger and adults 70 and older. For everyone else, a single-day cross-country skiing trail pass is just $20 for adults and $10 for kids.

12.       Grand Lake Nordic Center boasts a variety of terrain within its 35 kilometers of groomed tracked and skating trails. The center is also perfect for snowshoeing, featuring a variety of routes through forests and meadows. A day pass is $14 for adults and $5 for kids 16 and under. Starting at 1:30 p.m., get a half-day pass for $12.

13.       Devil’s Thumb Ranch sits at the base of the Continental Divide and houses one of the premiere Nordic centers for Colorado cross-country skiing. Adults ski for just $20 a day; kids (under 12) and seniors (over 65) are $8.

14.       The beautiful Pole Creek Golf Club offers free Moonlight ski/snowshoe excursions complete with hot chocolate. The outings are from 5-9 p.m. on Dec. 29, Jan. 26, Feb. 23 and March 23.

 Ice Skating

15.       Stop by the ice skating rink at Cooper Creek Square for a free spin. Rent your gear at one of the local retail shops for about $10, or bring your own for even more economical entertainment.

16.       At the IceBox ice skating rink at the Fraser Valley Sports Complex adults skate for $6, while youth (4-17) and seniors (60+) are $5 and kids three and under skate free. Skate rental is $3/person and free for those under three.

17.       Village at Winter Park Resort pond offers free skating lessons Dec. 12-mid-March. Bring skates or rent them at Village Rental located nearby.

 Indoor Fun

18.       At the hip new Foundry Cinema & Bowl in Winter Park movies are $10, bowling is $12/person/hour (or only $9/person/hour from 4-6 p.m.!), and food starts at just $6.50.

19.       Periodically, Grand County Blues Society hosts concerts at various locations around Winter Park & Fraser Valley that are under $20 (and sometimes free!). Check out the Grand County Blues Society website for an updated events list.

20.       For $10/day/adult (less for kids), the Grand Park Community Recreation Center in Fraser offers an aquatic center that includes a 25-yard lap pool, hot tub, lazy river, water slide, and play structure for young children, a multi-sport gymnasium, gymnastic center, climbing wall, cardio/circuit training/free weight areas, fitness classes, whirlpool, sauna, steam room, and drop-in child care.

21.       Mountain Moon Yoga offers a variety of yoga classes for all skill levels throughout the week for just $15 per class,while Elevate Pilates & Physical Therapy has group Pilates classes for $20 each.

22.       Brewery Tours and Wine Tastings are offered at the Hideaway Park Brewery, The Library and Winter Park Winery. There are also happy hours at various locations around town. Check with the staff at the Winter Park Information Center for tour and tasting details, and a weekly list of happy hour specials.

 Museums & History

23.       Cozens Ranch Museum is the site of the first ranch and stage stop in the Fraser Valley. The original 1876 house tells the story of early life in the Fraser Valley. Admission is $5/adults, $4/seniors (62 and older), $3/students and free for children under six.

24.       Grand Lake is home to the Kauffman House Museum, which costs just $5 for adults and is free for kids 12 and under. Built as a hotel in 1892, the building is the last of the early Grand Lake log hotels in existence. The museum has been restored to its historic appearance and contains many original furnishings.

25.       The Pioneer Village Museum in Hot Sulphur Springs tools, clothing and artifacts from the old west live on. Admission is $5/adults, $4/seniors (60 and older), $3/students and free for children under five.

To learn more about planning a vacation to Winter Park visit www.playwinterpark.com. Or, check out the Winter Park Deals page for lodging packages.

 About Winter Park & Fraser Chamber (www.PlayWinterPark.com)

The Winter Park & Fraser Chamber is a non-profit Colorado corporation created to help further and maintain responsible growth in the Winter Park & Fraser Valley area, located in the Rocky Mountains just 65 miles west of Denver.

Contacts

Gaylene Ore, Ore Communications, 970-531-2336, gaylene@orecommunications.com

Diane Ehlert, Winter Park &Fraser Chamber, 970-283-3548, dehlert@playwinterpark.com

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