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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Winter Park & Fraser Chamber Launches 12 Giveaways for the Holidays Contest

WP.ContestAd.300x250

–Win activities, lodging, more in ‘Colorado’s Favorite Playground’–

 Winter Park, Colo. – The Winter Park & Fraser Chamber today announced the launch of its 12 Giveaways for the Holidays contest, just in time for the holiday gift-giving season. The contest starts on Dec. 5, with the first prize being awarded on Dec. 8 and 11 additional prizes being given every weekday through Dec. 23.

Contestants may enter every day online (at www.playwinterpark.com/12GiveawaysforWinter.htm) for a winter wonderland of prizes, including four lift tickets to Winter snowshoe kidsPark Resort and Ski Granby Ranch, hot air balloon rides, snowmobile tours and a shopping spree, just to name a few. The grand prize, which will be given away on Dec. 23, is a two night getaway at Devil’s Thumb Ranch Resort & Spa in a lodge room, complete with dinner for two at Heck’s on-site restaurant and Nordic ski passes.

Family_kids_Tubing“Each of our prizes reflect the many ways to play this winter in our playground,” says Winter Park & Fraser Chamber Executive Director Catherine Ross. “From the Winter Park Ski Resort, which is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year, to off-slope activities, festivals, restaurants and more – there’s enough to keep visitors entertained all winter long!”

Ross adds that Winter Park is only 90 minutes from Denver, making it one of the most convenient ski resort getaways for Front Range residents. “Winter Park is a winter destination that is not only stunningly beautiful but also convenient and an excellent value. We’re excited to welcome kids of all ages to our giant playground!”

In addition to this contest, Winter Park offers a number of winter lodging packages to make vacation planning simple. Visit the Winter Lodging Deals page for details.

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 Junction Announces Seven Holiday Gift Ideas

-Visitors enjoy holiday shopping in Colorado’s Wine Country with easy and unique gifts-

 Grand Junction, Colo. – The Grand Junction Visitor and Convention Bureau (GJVCB) invites visitors to enjoy some holiday shopping in Colorado’s Wine Country with seven great gift ideas to make this year’s holiday gift-giving simple and sweet.

Downtown Grand Junction offers locally-produced merchandise such as clothing, jewelry and art from over 100 independent businesses. The largest indoor mall in western Colorado, Mesa Mall, lies just down the road next to other big name-brand stores for additional merchandise. Whatever the shopping style, Grand Junction combines exploration and gift-giving for one fun experience. For a ready-made shopping list, check out these seven gift ideas:

Explore: Loki’s

Loki is the maker of the first outerwear with built-in mitts and face shields. These convenient features are unnoticeable when not deployed but are at the ready when hard winter weather hits. Fun fact: The President, first lady and girls were given Loki jackets when they toured Grand Junction.

Give: Grand Junction-made winter jackets, mitts and hats.

Enstroms Explore: Enstrom

The world-famous almond toffee of Enstrom Candies is a hand-crafted confection. From its humble beginnings in a small-town Colorado candymaker’s kitchen, Enstrom’s toffee has become a world-class, internationally-known confection. Still made from the traditional recipe which was lovingly handed down from generation to generation, this luxurious toffee has evolved into the go-to gift for candy connoisseurs.

Give: Enstrom’s world-famous almond toffee – milk or dark chocolate – turtles and truffles.

Explore: Colorado’s Wine Country

The Grand Valley is home to more than 20 wineries and vineyards that offer some of Colorado’s best wines as well as wine tasting and tours – and a singular holiday shopping experience.

Give: A private labeled bottle of your favorite Colorado wine as offered through Grande River Winery. Or, give the gift of a wine club! For example, members of Two Rivers Winery receive two bottles of selected wines every quarter.

Explore: Downtown Grand Junction

Retail therapy is a gift in and of itself with a Grand Junction Downtown Gift Card! Cards are valid at 100+ downtown businesses, from spas, entertainment, retail, restaurants and beyond. They can be purchased in person at the Downtown Grand Junction office at 437 Colorado Ave or online.

Give: Grand Junction Downtown Gift Cards

Explore: Sprigs & Sprouts Lavender Farm

Sprigs and Sprouts of Western Colorado is the local source for one of the newest and fastest growing industries in western Colorado – lavender. The Grand Valley’s high altitude and dry climate provide ideal conditions to grow the highest quality lavender possible. A unique gift shop on Sprigs & Sprouts lavender farm is filled with gift-ready lavender products, in addition to local pottery, artwork, candles, flavor-infused vinegar and olive oil, gourmet cheese and butter, jams and jellies, honey and much more!

Give: Grand Junction-grown medicinal and culinary lavender

Explore: Colorado National Monument

Give the gift of exploration! Colorado National Monument preserves one of the grand landscapes of the American West. Sheer-walled canyons, towering monoliths and colorful formations reflect the environment and history of the plateau and canyon country. The monument is a playground for year-round activities such as backpacking, bicycling, camping, hiking, rock climbing and wildlife viewing. This pass can be purchased for $25 at either park entrance and is good for one year from purchase.

Give: Colorado National Monument season pass

 Explore: Grand Junction orchards

Delicious locally grown produce is available from orchards all around Grand Junction. Many of these orchards specialize in packaged fruit products including canned apples and peaches, peach jams, salsas, syrups, apple sauces, ice cream toppings, pie fillings and dried fruit assortments – all tasty stocking stuffers or holiday party fare!

Give: Homemade Peach Jalapeño Jam made from High Country Orchard’s famous peaches

Shoppers can take a break from the stores for rejuvenation at one of the area’s spas and salons and follow up with a meal at one of many local dining spots. For more information on these and other activities, as well as lodging and events, visit www.visitgrandjunction.com.

GJ logoAbout Grand Junction (www.visitgrandjunction.com)
Nestled near 11,000-foot Grand Mesa and the 7,500-foot Book Cliffs, Grand Junction is the largest city in western Colorado. At an altitude of 4,586 feet, warm summers and moderate spring, fall and winter seasons allow for year-round golf, hiking and biking. Boasting more than 275 days of sunshine annually, Grand Junction recently was named one of the eight sunniest cities in the United States by TourismReview.com. Among Grand Junction’s spectacular red cliffs and winding canyons are the Grand Mesa, the world’s largest flat-topped mountain, the Colorado National Monument, Bookcliff Wild Horse Area, two national scenic byways and five golf courses. Grand Junction lies in the heart of the Colorado-Utah Dinosaur Diamond. The area also is home to Colorado’s wine country, with nearly 30 vineyards and wineries.

Contacts:
Gaylene Ore, Ore Communications, gaylene@orecommunications.com, 970-531.2336
Mistalynn Meyeraan, Grand Junction Visitor & Convention Bureau, mistalm@gjcity.org , 970-256-4063
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Grand County Tourism Board Announces Grand Holiday Events Line-up

-Grand County boasts a bounty of seasonal events to fill up on holiday cheer-

GCTB logoGranby, Colo. – Grand County, Colo., offers the perfect holiday getaway to visitors looking for seasonal festivities. Just 60 miles from Denver, Grand County is a quiet wonderland of indoor and outdoor holiday events from horse-drawn carriage rides to s’mores by the fire. With regular winter fun on hand – including cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, dog sled rides, snowmobiling and more – there are plenty of activities and events to fill a day, a weekend or multiple visits!

Grand Chorale Christmas Concert (Dec. 6) – The singers of the Grand Chorale will spread holiday cheer through song at the Grand Lake Community House. Come join in the tradition, 7-9p.m.

Santa Carriage Rides (Dec. 6, 13, 20, 21, 22, 23) Who better to dash through the snow with than the man himself? Santa offers free rides in his holiday carriage around Cooper Creek Square, 3-6p.m.

Santa Visits The Village (Dec. 6, 13, 20, 21, 24) – Winter Park Resort hosts Santa Claus at their festive holiday village. Shop and dine – even schedule a massage – before or after your visit with Saint Nick.

Holiday Family Night (Dec. 12) – The Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre will host a special holiday event, 6-8p.m., of family-style drama sure to include song and dance. This is a free event!

Holiday Beer Pairing Dinner (Dec. 12) – Devil’s Thumb Ranch presents a beer and food celebration in its hexagonal-shaped dining room, Heck’s, 6-9p.m. Chef Evan will expertly pair a three course meal to feature and highlight three beers. Cost is $39/person; call 970-726-7013 for reservations.

Holiday Gift Market (Dec. 13) – Do some festive shopping Heck’s Loft at Devil’s Thumb Ranch, 10a.m.-6p.m., for one-of-a-kind gifts from jewelry to ski gear. Call 970-726-1054 for more info.

S’mores in The Village (Dec. 17) Grab family and friends for delicious s’mores creating in The Village at Winter Park Resort. This is a free event!

Home for the Holidays (Dec. 19-21) – Join the Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre alums as they present a festive holiday tribute and Grand Lake’s favorite holiday tradition. Friday night is a free family night including a holiday movie and a visit from Santa!

Saturday S’mores (Dec. 20, 27) Get more s’mores at Granby Ranch!

Christmas Eve Torchlight Parade (Dec. 24) Winter Park Resort hosts a free one-of-a-kind Christmas Eve event. Festivities kick off with Santa visits, 1-4p.m, followed by caroling around the bonfire. Then, Santa and his helpers follow a spectacular procession of torch-bearing skiers and riders down the mountain, and the show is topped off with a holiday fireworks display. Spectators are invited to stay for Christmas Eve dinner at The Lodge at Sunspot as well as interdenominational Christmas Eve services.

Winter Wonderland (Dec. 24-Jan. 4) Granby Ranch presents a winter wonderland with music, old-fashioned wagon rides, holiday parties and more from Christmas Eve through Jan. 4. Catch Santa Claus on the day before Christmas, 12:45-2:45p.m., as he takes a break from the slopes. Stick around for the Christmas Eve Service, 5-6p.m., including music and a service led by Pastor Patrick Lockhart. Come back in the morning for Christmas Day brunch at Granby Ranch Grill; call 970-887-5200 for reservations.

Christmas Dinner  (Dec. 25) Sit back and enjoy a chef-prepared Christmas dinner at the Ranch House Restaurant at Devil’s Thumb Ranch, 4-9p.m. Cost is $59/person; Call 970-726-5633 for reservations.

Historical Holiday Celebration (Dec. 26) – The Kauffman House Museum invites visitor to attend their Historical Holiday celebration, 6-9p.m. Fabulous food, adult beverages and old-time music are included in the ticket price. Reserve tickets ahead of time for $20, or purchase at the door for $25; 970-627-9644. All proceeds benefit the Cottage Camp.

Night Skiing (Dec. 26-30) – There’s nothing like swooping down slopes under the night sky at Granby Ranch. Purchase tickets after 4 pm and ski 5-8p.m. Tickets are $14 all ages and complimentary for season pass holders.

Horse-Drawn Carriage Rides (Dec. 26-30) The free carriage rides continue at Cooper Creek Square and Granby Ranch. 3-6p.m.!

Melodrama Evenings (Dec. 26-31) – The Grand Lake Community House beckons all to join in the laughter and fun of this annual tradition with a twist to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Rocky Mountain National Park!

New Year’s Eve Fireworks over Grand Lake (Dec. 31) – Midnight fireworks over Grand Lake are a fantastic way to ring in the new year in Grand County!

For more information about Grand County’s winter activities and special holiday events, visit www.visitgrandcounty.com and www.facebook.com/grandcountycolorado. Follow @grandcountyco on Twitter and 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.

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

 

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Granby Ranch Announces Opening Day, Special Events for 2014-15 Ski Season

familyskiing

Ski Granby Ranch now offers the only night skiing in Grand County

 GRANBY, Colo.— Ski Granby Ranch, located 90 miles west of Denver and 20 miles west of Winter Park, announced that Dec. 11 will be opening day for the 2014-15 ski season – a season that holds a lot of events and excitement.

To kick off the start of the skiing and riding season, Granby Ranch is hosting a “Carve Away Hunger” event in conjunction with the Mountain Family Center, a local nonprofit dedicated to helping those in need. On Dec. 11, 12 and 14, snow enthusiasts can bring food items for the “Food Totes Program” and receive a discount lift ticket ($45/adult and $29/junior). Those who bring a full bag of non-perishable food on Dec. 13 receive a free lift ticket.

“We know that we’re fortunate to live and play where we do,” says Wenda Huseman, V.P of Marketing and Sales at Granby Ranch. “This is our way of giving back not only to the community, but also to those people who love to ski and ride here at Ski Granby Ranch. It’s a win-win for everyone.”

Granby Ranch will begin offering the only night skiing in Grand County. Starting December 26 through December 30 for the holiday season and then continuing January 2 through March 28, night skiing will be offered on Fridays and Saturdays from 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. Plus extra night skiing on January 18 and February 15. Night skiing tickets are $14 per night and are complimentary for season pass holders.

Ski Granby Ranch is full of special events for the family this winter, starting with the holiday season and continuing through spring. Here are just a few of the events taking place during the 2014-15 ski season:

  • Winter Wonderland: December 24– January 4. Hit the slopes with Santa on Dec. 24, then on Christmas Day ski down for a special holiday brunch in the Granby Ranch Grill. From Dec. 26 -29, Families can experience pure winter magic on a wagon ride and warm up with s’mores around the fire pit from 4:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. daily. Ring in 2015 with the Granby Ranch New Year’s Eve Party, Torchlight Parade and fireworks display on December 31. The festivities begin with a glow-stick walking parade that’s open to all followed by a special torchlight procession. The New Year will be greeted a fireworks display and party.
  • Fireside Acoustics: Saturdays, January 3 – February 28. Enjoy après specials along with live music by the fire at Granby Ranch Grill from 2 p.m. – 5 p.m.
  • S’mores Nights: Friday nights from January 9-March 6. Receive one free s’mores kit with each paid night ski lift ticket.
  • #granbyglow: Saturday nights from January 10-March 7. Receive glow sticks with each paid night ski lift ticket and Instagram and tweet your favorite pictures for a chance to win free lift tickets.
  • Family Movie Nights: January 10, January 24, February 7 and 21, March 7 and 21. Pull up a chair or bring a blanket to the children’s center at 6:30 p.m. and snuggle up while enjoying a free movie and popcorn. Parents can enjoy dinner at the Grill or grab a pizza for the whole family.
  • Insane Winter Blast: February 14. This family friendly festival includes music, a photo booth and activities for the entire family followed by night skiing.
  • Rock the Ranch: March and April. New this year, celebrate spring with live music on the patio, outdoor BBQs, Night Skiing Scavenger Hunts, the Beach Bash & Pond Skim and the Easter celebration.

granby-ranch-logoLearn more about Granby Ranch and plan a visit at www.granbyranch.com or take advantage of a lodging package by calling 888.850.4615.

About 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. At Granby Ranch it’s all about Colorado’s great outdoors. After connecting with nature, guests and residents connect with one another by gathering at the Grill and 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 biking and skiing.

Contacts:
Wenda Houseman, V.P. Marketing & Sales at Granby Ranch, 970.887.5149 | whuseman@granbyranch.com
Gaylene Ore, Ore Communications, 970.531.2336 | gaylene@orecommunications.com
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Drosts chocolates2 - Western Colorado vacation destination offers artisan gifts, small-batch wines, hands-on experiences -

Delta County, Colo. – The Delta County Tourism Cabinet today announced the top products “Our Side of the Divide” has to offer holiday shoppers looking for a unique gift idea this shopping season. From handmade chocolates to hands-on artisan experiences, Delta County has something for even the hard-to-buy-for person on the list. To learn more about planning a trip to Delta County visit www.deltacountycolorado.com.


Tasty Treats

  • Drost’s Chocolates (www.drostchocolates.com)
    From handmade fudge to truffles, toffee, fudge, caramels, and plenty of other options on the sweet spectrum, Drost’s Chocolates in Eckert has the perfect holiday gift for the sweet-tooth on your list. Drost’s online order form makes it easy to purchase. 
  • Orchard Valley Farms (www.orchardvalleyfarms.com)
    Orchard Valley Farms is all about eating and drinking in a local and sustainable way. The Orchard Valley Farms & Market and Black Ridge Winery are located near Paonia, but thanks to the online market – shopping can be done right from home!  Infused olive oils, flavored balsamic vinegars and Colorado-made jams, honeys and syrup are some of the favorites. Black Ridge Winery wines may also be purchased (shipping restrictions may apply, based on individual state regulations).. 
  • The Apple Shed (www.theappleshed.net)
    The Polished Apple is a gourmet food and home accessories shop in Cedaredge that carries a wide selection of gourmet food items, including salsa, jellies, sauces and more. There are also a number of accessories for kitchen and home, cookbooks, and lots of other items. Jewelry and fine art from local artists is also available, as well as Williams Cellars wines and cider. Shipping on some items is available. Call the Apple Shed for details at 970-856-7007


Make It/Take It

  • The Living Farm (thelivingfarm.org)
    The Living Farm in Paonia offers private felting classes for the budding craftsperson. Classes will be held by appointment from January to March 15. Gift certificates may be purchased by calling 970-270-3338. There are a number of other workshops, as well as products hand-made with locally raised sheep, including socks, felted mittens, felted slippers and felted Fedoras. 
  • Creamery Arts Center (creameryartscenter.org)
    The Creamery Arts Center offers classes and workshops for the person who loves a hands-on experience. Silk scarf dying is one option, and another is pottery making. Call 970-872-4848 for gift certificates.

Make a Trip of It!
Whether you want to come to Delta County for a holiday shopping spree, or are keen to give a holiday getaway to a special family member or friend, consider Alexander Lake Lodge. Breakfast at the lodge is included with your cabin rental. Snowmobile rentals are available to enable visitors to explore the Grand Mesa, the world’s largest flat-topped mountain. As an added bonus, Santa will be in the lodge on Christmas Day to pay a visit to the littlest guests. Reserve your cabin at the historic Alexander Lake Lodge.

Logo_Christy(2)About Delta County (www.deltacountycolorado.com)
Delta County, Colo., is located on Colorado’s western slope at the base of Grand Mesa, one of the largest flat top mountains in the world. An agricultural and heritage hotbed, this region is home to the communities of Cedaredge, Crawford, Delta, Eckert, Hotchkiss, Orchard City and Paonia.

Contacts: Gaylene Ore, Ore Communications, 970-531-2336, gaylene@orecommunications.com
Kelli Hepler, Delta County Tourism Board, 970-874-9532, kelli@deltacountycolorado.com

 

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Winter Park & Fraser Chamber Announces Winter Events

 

–Winter lineup in ‘Colorado’s Favorite Playground’ includes Winter Park Resort’s 75th Anniversary Gala–

Winter Park, Colo. – The Winter Park & Fraser Chamber today announced its winter events lineup, including the 75th year anniversary bash for Winter Park Resort. Here is a look at the fun that’s in store for winter visitors to Colorado’s Favorite Playground. For a complete list of events in Winter Park please visit the Winter Park Events Calendar.

Dec. 13 – Tommelfest at Devil’s Thumb Ranch Resort & Spa
Fun for all ages, this season kick-off celebration includes free lessons, team sprints, grog & beer garden, keg toss, BBQ, retail specials and prizes.

 

Dec. 24 – Christmas Eve Torchlight Parade
The Christmas Eve Torchlight Parade is one of the most beloved Winter Park traditions. The event begins with Christmas carols around the bonfire at the base of Winter Park Resort, next to the Zephyr Lift at 4 p.m. At 5:30 p.m., a procession of torch-bearing skiers and riders begin their way down Lower Hughes trail, followed by Santa Claus and his merry helpers. A spectacular fireworks display and snowcats adorned with holiday colors light up the slopes in a Christmas tree formation to conclude the festivities. Immediately following the show at 6 p.m., visitors are welcome to attend Christmas Eve interdenominational services located in the lower level of the Balcony House and Catholic Church services located in West Portal Level 4. Services are scheduled to last about an hour.

 

Dec. 31 – New Year’s Eve Celebration at Hideaway Park
Come enjoy the amazing fireworks display at Hideaway Park in Downtown Winter Park at 9 p.m. Bring the entire family for free sledding.

 

Dec. 31 – New Year’s Eve Torchlight Parade and Fireworks at Ski Granby Ranch
Ski Granby Ranch invites families to participate in a glow stick walking parade followed by a torchlight procession of the ski and ride instructors. Kids can pick up their free glow stick in ski school from 5-5:30 p.m. then head up to the top of the Milestone lift where the parade begins at 6 p.m. Stick around to ring in the New Year with a spectacular fireworks display.

 

Jan. 23-24 – 75th Anniversary Weekend Celebration at Winter Park Resort
The two-day celebration invites one and all to take part in music, cross-country ski race, fireworks, a main street parade, the Stagecoach Classic followed b y the 75th Anniversary Gala, and much more.

 

Jan. 24 – Winter Park Resort 75th Anniversary Gala
Join Winter Park Resort guests, locals and fanatics, along with the National Sports Center for the Disabled (NSCD), as they celebrate the 75th Anniversary of ski industry greatness at Winter Park Resort. Enjoy a scenic, moonlit gondola ride to a delicious, gourmet dinner served at the Lodge at Sunspot, 10,700 feet above sea level. Guests can also take part in the silent auction to benefit the NSCD while dancing the night away to live music.

 

Jan. 24 – 2nd Annual Stagecoach Classic
This “off the map” 30km/15km classic cross-country ski race and tour will start at Devil’s Thumb Ranch Resort & Spa, traverse through the former iconic Idlewild Ski Area and finish with a post-race party in Winter Park. A portion of the race and tour proceeds will go toward the Colorado Headwaters Chapter of Trout Unlimited to protect and preserve the endangered Fraser River. Post-race events will include lunch, a beer garden and live music in Hideaway Park.

 

Feb. 7-15 – Winter Carnival
Activities every day including DU & CU alumni days, Mardi Gras celebration, GoPro Night, live music, kid and adult activities, Subaru WinterFest, and much more. Activities and events take place in the town of Winter Park and at Winter Park Resort.

 

Feb. 15 – Cupid’s Revenge Snowshoe Race
This new event utilizes the new Yankee Doodle Trail by Hideaway Park in the old Idlewild Ski Area. The loop starts by climbing the trail to loop down on Meadow Trail on the way back. Fun for the entire family!

 

Feb. 20-22 – 40th Annual Wells Fargo Ski Cup at Winter Park Resort
This event brings together world-class disabled ski racers, Denver celebrities, Denver Broncos alumni, along with amateur skiers and snowboarders of all abilities for a weekend of activities to benefit the National Sports Center for the Disabled (NSCD). Competitors in the Governor’s Cup, a Pro Am race, assemble a team of five friends, family members or co-workers to compete for cash prizes and bragging rights. The highlight of the weekend is the World Disabled Invitational, when disabled skiers compete head-to-head on parallel courses. The Celebrity Challenge is one of the most entertaining events of the weekend as celebrities and former football stars make their way down a race course. A giant silent auction attracts frivolous and frugal shoppers alike!

 

March & April – Rock the Ranch at Granby Ranch
During March and April celebrate spring in the Rocky Mountains with live music on the patio (Saturdays March 7-April 4), outdoor BBQs and beach parties. There’s also a Night Ski Scavenger Hunt on Fridays and Saturdays in March, as well as the Beach Bash and Pond Skim on March 28. The Granby Ranch Easter Celebration is on April 5.

 

wipeout kids2 Wipeout kids(2)March 28 – Winter Park Wipe Out
Competitors will experience a series of incredible challenges on a mystery course that takes them all around the town of Winter Park, including the Wipe Out Zone, where things WILL get messy snowmobile-tubing, food challenges, hammerschlagen and many other wild winter activities.

 

April 26 – Coca-Cola® Spring Splash at Winter Park Resort
Competitors in both the ski and snowboard divisions start the course by coming out of the gate backwards and struggle through a hilarious obstacle course before skimming like a Jedi across the icy pond. Live music in the Plaza to follow.

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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