A lifesize sculpture of local legend Rip Van Winkle is finally finished, and will be unveiled in a mountaintop ceremony at the summit of Hunter Mountain, N.Y., the sculpture's new home. It's taken artist Kevin VanHentenryck over 14 years to complete—only seven fewer than the fictitious Rip himself allegedly slept atop a Catskills mountain in the years leading up to the Revolutionary War.
Here’s a new angle on marital bonding. Carry your wife through an obstacle course and win her weight in beer and five times her weight in cash at the 10th annual North American Wife Carrying Championships this weekend. The annual event attracts 2,000 or more spectators to Maine’s Sunday River ski resort.
In an attempt to boost the state of marriage in America—or just get some media attention—Vail Resorts is offering soon-to-be-wedded couples the opportunity to celebrate with a ceremony on Keystone Mountain in exchange for a 2010-2011 season pass. The wedding can go off anytime between Nov. 30 2009 and Nov. 30 2010, and the his-and-her season passes are good at Keystone, as well as at Breckenridge and Arapahoe Basin. You gotta admit: A season pass puts your china settings to shame.
The luxe Spring Creek Ranch, set on a wildlife preserve 1,000 feet above the town of Jackson, Wyo., is offering an appealing season-long promotion. Included is lodging in a hotel room with a wood-burning fireplace, daily breakfast for two at the ranch's Granary Restaurant, three days of lift tickets to either Jackson Hole or Grand Targhee mountain resorts, and complimentary shuttles to the mountains and into town. Rates start at $87.50 per person, per night. Good to know: There's a four-night minimum, and the offer is good from Nov. 29 through April 5. Holidays rates will be higher.
The Westin Riverfront Resort & Spa, connected to the slopes of Beaver Creek by the Riverfront Express gondola, has an impressive new notch in its belt: Silver LEED status, which has been awarded to only nine hotels in the U.S. It requires a property to achieve a high level of environmental sustainability in both their building practices and operating procedures.
Looks like holiday travel will be getting even more painful. The folks at FareCompare.com, an airfare shopping site that helps people find the best deals, have noticed that a $10 charge is showing up on tickets booked right around the holidays, i.e. the days just before and after Christmas and New Year's. A quick way for airlines to make a few extra bucks, the travel pundits speculate. What can you do?
To celebrate the upcoming ski season, Vermont's Killington is offering up to four $50 lift tickets per person when purchased online by October 15. (Regular season tix run $82 on Saturdays and holidays and $77 on Sundays and weekdays.) Beware of blackout dates: Nov. 27–28; Dec. 26–31; Jan. 16–17; and Feb. 13–19. Buy here.
If area homeowners get their way, their neighborhood slopes will be cranking the lifts this season, after all. The resort, which boasts a vertical drop of 2,700 feet served by five lifts, opened in 2004 and closed at the end of last season after filing for Chapter 11 in early 2008. The homeowners have reportedly wrangled financing in the sum of $8 million from Mexican investors. They'll have their day in court on October 19. Stay tuned.
A recent report pegs the cost of a rail from the Denver International Airport to Vail's Eagle County Airport at a hefty $15 billion. The proposed route would also stop at Keystone and Frisco. Via: USA Today
In the doldrums between family-vacation season and ski season, there's still plenty of reason to get outside. If you're a golfer, the times couldn't be better: The sun still shines late into the day, and it's warm enough to hang out in shorts. And if you're a skier, ski-resort golf courses offer a lovely way to ease into the season.