Jackson Hole’s Hotel Terra just got bigger

Today, the Hotel Terra Jackson Hole just got a hell of a lot bigger. A new addition is now open for business, increasing the property’s size by a whopping 68,000 square feet. Look for 60 new guestrooms and 4,200 square feet of meeting space. An infinity plunge pool now sits atop a rooftop terrace, and the Chill Spa now has a cutting-edge fitness facility.

The guestrooms are a mix of basic, Urban Studios, and suites of one, two and three bedrooms. The terrace surrounding the plunge pool consists of 1,700 square feet of space with outstanding views of the ski resort and mountains, and the new ballroom has floor-to-ceiling windows that open to a patio overlooking Teton Village.

Photos aren’t available yet, but you can click here to get a sense of what it will look like.

Give a little to get a little at RockResorts

Is it really goodwill if you’re getting something in return? Well, maybe we’ll call it a fair trade, then. This summer, RockResorts is offering a “Give & Getaway” package across all nine of its resorts. In exchange for an incredibly low room rate, you just have to chip in some time to help the environment. Projects include trail restoration, working with sustainable local farmers, and supporting local stream an driver ecosystems. Depending on your appetite for saving the world, you can work for a half-day, full day or even several days: there are plenty of projects available.

“The Give & Getaway package has been a successful initiative to promote conservation of the spectacular environments of our Colorado resorts and help our guests find even more value in their vacations,” said Stan Brown, President of RockResorts. “It is just one valuable extension of our company’s commitment to the environment and philosophy to preserve it in a rewarding and interactive way. We know that especially in today’s economy, guests want to feel good about the vacations they take, and this program guarantees an exceptional hotel experience with a unique opportunity to positively impact the environment. This way they can make a contribution that they can enjoy on a return visit to the destination.”

Interested in participating? The “Give & Getaway package” is available on the following dates:

The Arrabelle at Vail Square: July 11, August 15, September 12
The Lodge at Vail: July 11, August 15, September 12
The Pines Lodge: August 15
Hotel Jerome: May 30
Snake River Lodge & Spa: May 31-June 6; September 20-26
La Posada de Santa Fe Resort & Spa: May 26
The Osprey at Beaver Creek: August 15
The Pines Lodge: August 15
The Landings St Lucia: Ongoing beginning May 1
Keystone Hospitality: May 16, June 6, August 15

Rates start at an absurd $99 per person per night (for a two-night stay). Several resorts are extending the rate to before and after projects, as well.

Vail Resorts and RockResorts have raised more than $1.2 million (including matching funds) for non-profit conservation organizations in the White River National Forest in Colorado and the Lake Tahoe Basin in California and Nevada. Guests have the option to pay an extra $1 on ski season passes, lift tickets and room nights, with the National Forest Foundation kicking in an additional 50 cents per dollar.

Jackson Hole Airport to undergo runway work

Jackson Hole Airport is likely to close for around four days next month because of runway work. The closure is scheduled to begin at 5 PM on May 25, 2009 (Memorial Day), with the four-day estimate coming from the contractors hired by the airport. If the hired help can get the work done according to schedule – and when was the last time that happened? – the airport could reopen as early as May 30, though a range of up to June 2 is proffered.

The good news? The Federal Aviation Administration is going to kick in $5 million for the effort.

Of course, there’s always a critic. Major General Ed Wright, top dog in the Wyoming National Guard, gripes that he and 53 other National Guard generals, and their staffs, where planning to meet in town for a conference for the first five days of June.

He’s quoted in USA Today as saying, “I was more than surprised this week to hear thirdhand that the airport is proposing to close at exactly the time the majority of our attendees are scheduled to arrive.”

Apparently, Wright did not punctuate his concerns with, “Don’t you know who I am?” perhaps because it’s implied.

The general’s true colors are evident in his two statements: (a) generals have tight schedules (even part-time generals, apparently) and (b) “I certainly don’t believe they would purposely single out a military event at a time when our nation is at war and Wyoming is deploying the greatest number of guardsmen in our state’s history.”

Okay, so which is it? Generals are too busy to be interrupted – regardless of what the rest of the world needs? Or, is it that the airport is putting maintenance, safety and reduced scheduling impact ahead of the needs of a nation at war … a war that clearly will be won or lost by the ability of 54 generals to meet in a resort town?

Sorry, Wright. This all seems just a tad disingenuous.

In addition to the esteemed and upset part-time military official, approximately 450 passengers were scheduled to fly into Jackson Hole Airport during the closure. How much of that consists of the generals and their staffs? That information was not revealed.

Passengers inconvenienced by the closure will not be charged fees to change their flights to Salt Lake City or Idaho Falls during the closure.

“Spring Free” night at RockResorts to celebrate new season

You can get a free night on your stay RockResorts, simply by booking a stay for anytime up to April 15, 2009. The “Spring Free” deal is the resorts’ way to help you push out of the tough, gray winter months. Minimum stays vary by property, but are generally two or three nights.

“Whether you want to explore the Southwestern art and culture of Santa Fe, New Mexico or hit the slopes in Vail, Colorado, we have created the ‘Spring Free’ packages to let our guests get more value out of their spring escape,” said Stan Brown, president for RockResorts and Vail Resorts Hospitality. “These “Spring Free” packages let guests focus on spending time with the people they care about the most and not on the price of the trip.”

And, this is just the beginning.

At Colorado RockResorts, for example, you could save 30 percent on ski and snowboard rentals – not to mention 10 percent off transportation with Colorado Mountain Express.

Top ski resorts list by Outside Magazine

Now that temperatures have truly dropped, and the snow is starting to gather on some mountains, planning for a ski vacation is perhaps next on your things to do list.

Outside Magazine has released their ranking of the top ski and snowboard destinations in North America. Looking them over could help you narrow down the choices if you want a top notch place.

Although places like Vail and Aspen are the ski buff resorts that come to my mind first when I think of skiing, perhaps because I can recall shots of some famous person decked out in ski gear at one of them, there are others rank higher.

Here’s the list in order:

Alta, Utah and Snowbird, Utah are tied for first place.

Whisler Blackcomb, British Columbia

Vail, Colorado

Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Snowbasin, Utah

Fernie Alpine Resort, British Columbia,

Silverton, Colorado

Aspen, Colorado

For the rest of the list, click here.