Ski Free In Aspen With Killer Hotel Deals

aspenThink you can’t afford Aspen? Think again. Two of the most elite hotels in town are offering can’t-miss winter season packages that include free ski passes.

Did I stutter? Nope. It’s part of a “ski free” promotion designed to draw visitors back to the Rockies after last year’s notoriously dry winter. Happily, this year looks good, as I can attest from an Aspen visit earlier in the week, and the town is buzzing with holiday festivities.

Local favorite The Little Nell is offering two separate packages for skiers. “Ski Free” gives guests who stay three nights or longer up to two free lift tickets (by comparison, a two-day, seven-day advance purchase adult pass will run you $202, high season) per day. The “Ultimate Ski Free” package: Stay four nights, and ski gratis at all four mountains of Aspen/Snowmass (Aspen, Aspen Highlands, Snowmass, and Buttermilk), on top-of-the-line demo equipment. A full-day private lesson is also included.

The newly revamped, groovilicious Limelight Hotel is doing its own “Ski Free” special, in addition to offering complimentary snowshoes to all guests. The ski package includes up to two free lift tickets per day (good at all four mountains), with a three-night minimum stay, based upon availability; some blackout dates apply.

[Photo credit: Aspen/Snowmass]

Photo Gallery: Colorado Wildflowers

Colorado may be burning, but it’s also blooming. July kicks off wildflower season in the Rockies; in a place of perpetual photo opps, it’s one of the most beautiful times to visit.

Crested Butte’s annual Wildflower Festival is July 9-12, and includes over 80 hikes, 4×4 backcountry tours, and photography, gardening and cooking classes. If you can’t make a trip out, enjoy these photos of Colorado wildflowers at their most photogenic.

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Food & Wine Classic in Aspen celebrates 29th year; get discount tickets until March 15th

food and wine AspenBetter put your cardiologist on speed-dial; it’s almost time for the 29th annual Food & Wine Classic in Aspen. The nation’s most-lauded culinary festival will be held June 17-19, featuring food, wine, and cocktail seminars, cooking demos and competitions, grand tastings, and book signings by celebrity chefs like Tom Colicchio, José Andrés, and Michael Symon. Get your tickets before March 15th, and you’ll save $100 off the $1,185 ticket price. Hey, no one said gastronomic blowouts in Colorado’s ski town Shangri-la come cheap.

The price includes attendance at five Grand Tastings, where you can sample the goods from over 300 vineyards, breweries, and distilleries, as well as charcuterie, cheese, olive oil, and chocolate.

Think it sounds a little too high-falutin’? Take note of a few of this year’s witty new seminars: “Sauce on the Side: Wine, Wieners & the Works,” with restaurateur Danny Meyer; “Global Street Food” with chef/one of half of Two Hot Tamales’ Susan Feniger, and “One Pot Meals” with Ming Tsai. Also sure to be popular: “Sophisticated Sipping Rums,” “Top Chef: Salty and Sweet,” with Gail Simmons and Tom Colicchio, and “Cheeses and Wine from Spain.”

FOOD & WINE donates two percent of the net proceeds from all Classic tickets sold to Grow for Good, benefiting Wholesome Wave Foundation. Grow for Good is FOOD & WINE’s national initiative dedicated to supporting local farms and encouraging sustainable agriculture. To purchase, call 877-900-WINE or click here.

Five Places To See Before Climate Change Ruins Them Forever

CNN.com has an interesting article naming the five places that everyone should see before they are forever altered by climate change, which is already having an indelible effect on our planet.

This list was compiled by Bob Henson, the author of The Rough Guide To Climate Change, who wants to give travelers a heads up on the best places to visit in the near future, as they are also the most likely to see the most drastic changes in the near future.

The list includes The Great Barrier Reef, whose coral reefs are now threatened by warming waters, causing them to die at an alarming rate. The GBR is a popular tourist destination and is considered one of the best places to SCUBA dive and snorkel in the world, which has hastened some of the damage. With so many people visiting, and the environment already fragile, the likelihood of causing harm is increased.

New Orleans, Louisiana also finds its way onto Bob’s list for obvious reasons. Hurricane Katrina made us all painfully aware that the city sits below sea level and is precariously protected by a series of walls and levies. As the planet warms up however, and the polar icecaps melt, the sea levels are going to rise, endangering New Orleans further. It’s possible that the city may not even exist at all in the future.

Of course, the ongoing debate is, should we rush off to visit these places, as well as the other three on the list, thereby increasing the chances of those places being altered forever. Or should we stay home, and limit our footprint? That is a question that all travelers will be wrestling with for years to come.

Watch the World Series Aboard a Frontier Airlines Flight?

If you can’t stand missing the World Series, but you absolutely must travel during one of the games, don’t fret just yet. If Frontier Airlines is flying to your destination, you may just be in luck — and you might want to book your ticket now. The Denver-based airline is negotiating with DirectTV for permission to show the series on its flights if the Rockies are playing. The airline, which shows the Super Bowl every year in-flight, is making sure it has rights to air live TV.

JetBlue will also be showing the World Series (no matter who’s playing — go Sox!).

[via USA Today]