Win A Lifetime Ski Pass For Colorado’s Winter Park

The 2012-2013 ski season gets underway on November 14 at Colorado’s Winter Park Resort, where the snow has already been falling. To celebrate, the resort is giving away a host of prizes including skis, snowboards and other gear. But the prize that will be the most coveted amongst ski bums everywhere will no doubt be the ski pass that is good for an entire lifetime.

To be eligible to win, entrants must simply “like” Winter Park on Facebook and then fill out a simple online form. The contest runs through January 10, 2013, after which one winner will be selected to receive the pass that is good for unlimited skiing or snowboarding for the rest of his or her life.

Located one hour outside of Denver, Winter Park features 2762 skiable acres spread out across three different mountain peaks. The resort, which averages nearly 350 inches of snow per year, has more than 130 individual runs, most geared for intermediate and advanced skiers or riders. Adrenaline junkies can get their fix in one of six different terrain parks or by taking a run through the resort’s massive Superpipe.

Imagine having this winter outdoor playground at your disposal for the rest of your life. That is the potential for whoever wins this contest and earns themselves a lifetime pass. I’m sure more than a few of you skiers and snowboarders could appreciate winning this particular contest.

[Photo credit: Jameschipmunk via WikiMedia]

Winter Park offers free lift tickets for early ski season

The calendar may say that winter is still two months off, but the snow is already falling at Winter Park Resort, located an hours drive northwest of Denver, Colorado. Last week, the resort received more than 10 inches of snow on the mountain, and they are already gearing up for a great ski season ahead.

A few days back Winter Park announced their “Ski and Ride FREE” promotion, which gives visitors the opportunity to earn free lift tickets for the early ski season. The deal includes one free lift ticket for each nights stay booked at the lodge between November 17 and December 25 of this year, with a minimum of two nights required. This means that skiers and snowboarders who visit Winter Park during that period can not only take advantage of their already affordable room rates, they’ll also get to hit the slopes on the cheap as well.

Winter Park Resort offers access to three mountain peaks – Mary Jane, Vasquez Ridge, and Winter Park, under a single lift ticket, and with 134 total runs, a Superpipe, and 25 different lifts, the snow park has something to offer everyone. While the slopes are geared more for the intermediate and advanced skiers, beginners will find plenty of great trails as well. The more adventurous and experienced skiers will want to try the guided backcountry skiing option, which offers pristine snow that is only accessible by Snowcat. So, whether you’re just learning to shred or you’re an old ski bum, you’ll find plenty love in Winter Park.

The 2010 ski season at Winter Park Resort opens November 17th and season passes can be purchased now by clicking here.

Five things to do in Orlando (except … that)

This is the only time you’ll see the expression “theme park” in this post. Orlando has a lot to offer outside that. So, if you’re headed down there for a convention or a family trip, keep these other attractions in mind, and explore the depth this city has to offer. Plan ahead, and you can avoid the “Mouse” trap!

  1. Make a glass, buy some art: Go to Keila Glassworks, and look for the guy with the dredlocks down to his ass. Check out his art: it’s stunning. Charley Keila, the genius behind the place, offers glassblowing classes, so ou can get a taste of the act of creation.
  2. Stay in an “art” hotel: Pass on the major chains, and stay at the EO Inn. Don’t sweat the fact that it doesn’t have a restaurant; that’ll force you to get out and find a place.
  3. Drink at a bookstore: Urban Think! has a bar in the bookstore. Grab a book (I suggest Home Game: An Accidental Guide to Fatherhood, the latest by Michael Lewis), and chill for a bit at the bar.
  4. Try to fly: Strap on a harness, climb a ladder and let the wind whip through your hair. Grand Lakes Orlando has zip lines that stretch for tk meters.
  5. Leave: Get out to Winter Park, and see the upscale side of the Orlando area. Cruise the lakes on the Winter Park Scenic Boat Tour, and then wander along tk-street. Stop for a glass of wine at one of the wine bars that dot the sidewalk.



Florida’s Winter Park: Orlando for adults

Winter Park is often described as Orlando‘s answer to the Hamptons on Long Island. There are large houses, upscale shops, wine bars and experiences that you generally wouldn’t associate with Orlando. Only about 15 minutes from downtown Orlando, it’s a great day trip for families that are worn out by the breakneck pace of the theme parks.

The main attraction is Park Avenue, the heart of the local action. Sip a cabernet at any of the many wine bars or restaurants that stretch onto the sidewalk, soak in the unhurried activity around you and feel the anxiety of waiting in Disney World lines melt away. Stop by the farmer’s market for locally grown produce, tasty soups and samples of culinary craftsmanship. I’d probably make this the last stop before leaving Winter Park, that way you won’t have to worry about leaving what you purchase in the car for a few hours.

While you’re in Winter Park, get out on the water. The Scenic Boat Tour will carry you through several, where you can ogle the homes of the wealthy. Don’t ask who lives there now: your guide believes in discretion, and you’ll be met only with a silent smile. The crisp breeze counteracts the hot Florida sun, and the leisurely pace sits in stark contrast to the normal Orlando excursion. Along with the stunning homes, you’ll be treated to Florida Cyprus trees growing in the lakes themselves. One even has a remnant of Christmas past, a small ornament that continues to adorn it.

When you return to land, head back to Park Avenue for the museums. The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art is a must (especially if you’re staying at one of Orlando’s art-themed hotels). And, the sculpture gardens at the Albin Polasek Museum are a sight to behold.

It’ll be hard to peel the kids away from the theme parks, but if you find yourself in Orlando for a convention this year, add a day to your trip and visit Winter Park. Unwind after several days of sales meetings and business dinners before you go home. Your perception of Orlando will never be the same.