Ski Resorts Fight Global Warming

04.12.2009 In: Vacation rental news

Ski resorts across the country used the Thanksgiving weekend to jump start their winter seasons, but with every passing year comes a frightening realization: If global temperatures continue to rise, fewer and fewer resorts will be able to open for the traditional beginning of ski season.

Warmer temperatures at night are making it more difficult to make snow and the snow that falls naturally is melting earlier in the spring.

In few places is this a bigger concern than the American West, where skiing is one of the most lucrative segments of the tourism industry and often the only reason many people visit cash-strapped states like Utah during winter.

But even as world leaders descend on Copenhagen next month to figure out a way to reduce carbon emissions blamed in global warming, the industry is still grappling with leaders in some of their own ski-crazy states who refuse to concede that humans have any impact on climate change.

Chief among them is Republican Utah Gov. Gary Herbert, who says he will host what he calls the first "legitimate debate" about man's role in climate change in the spring.

While the world's leading scientific organizations agree the debate was settled long ago, the former realtor who took office when Jon Huntsman resigned to become U.S. ambassador to China maintains that it wasn't.

"He's said to me that the jury is out in his mind whether it's man-caused and he thinks and believes that the public jury is still out," said Herbert's environmental adviser, Democrat Ted Wilson.

Herbert's reluctance to acknowledge that greenhouse gases contribute to global warming quietly frustrates Utah ski resorts that depend on state marketing money, but it openly infuriates industry officials elsewhere who liken it to having a debate about whether the world is flat.

"That's just kind of raging ignorance," said Auden Schendler, executive director of sustainability for Aspen (Colo.) Skiing Co. "We're not environmentalists, we're business people. We have studied the hell out of the climate science. To have a neighboring governor not believe it ... It's absurd."

A climate study by the Aspen Global Change Institute is forecasting that if global emissions continue to rise, Aspen will warm 14 degrees by the end of this century, giving it a similar climate to that of Amarillo, Texas.

Many ski companies and the mountain towns they've created have been working to reduce their carbon footprints and advocating for significant policy changes for years. In California, the ski industry was one of the first groups to support legislation requiring the state to reduce greenhouse gases to 1990 emission levels by 2020.

Aspen Skiing Co. is widely recognized as a national leader, but Schendler readily acknowledges that the nation's ski resorts can do little on their own to affect climate change.

He said company resorts like Aspen and Snowmass are at their best when they educate their highly affluent — and politically connected — guests about global warming's effects.

"You need federal legislation in the U.S.," he said. "You need it to help drive an international agreement."

Herbert and Utah's senior U.S. Senator, Orrin Hatch, recently teamed up to oppose federal cap and trade legislation that many in the ski industry support, saying it could cost jobs in a state that's heavily dependent on coal for energy.

In the posh ski resort town of Park City, a former mining town that played host to the 2002 Winter Olympics, Mayor Dana Williams says some state leaders don't seem to grasp how important the ski industry is to the state and what a threat global warming is.

Tourism is a growing $7 billion a year industry in Utah and the state's 13 ski resorts are directly responsible for roughly $1 billion of that. Williams says the very future of the city that hosts the Sundance Film Festival each winter is at stake with rising temperatures.

A consultant's report released by the nonprofit community Park City Foundation this fall warned that by 2030 the decrease in snowpack caused by global warming could lead to the loss of more than 1,100 jobs and a $120 million economic loss in that community alone. By 2050, the report says those figures could jump to more than 3,700 lost jobs and a $392 million economic loss as fewer and fewer slopes in the area are able to open and lure visitors from around the world.

Basic Winter Travel Safety Tips

04.12.2009 In: Travel tips

If you choose to travel by air in the wintertime, you may find yourself worrying about whether the plane will take off on time or, in some cases, at all. Maybe a storm is coming, or is snow on the way? This type of weather tends to have a big effect on air travel. Some of the low cost air carriers may actually cancel flights in winter due to lack of passengers. Always check your flight status before you leave for the airport, just to play it safe.

How about train travel though? Aren't there problems associated with it? If you are taking the train to your destination, you need not worry too much, as the rail lines in the United States and in most of Europe are quite well maintained and modern. Things like weather delays rarely happen in train travel. So, train travel tends to be an...

Trip Planner: Choosing the Perfect Vacation Rental for a Winter Vacation

04.12.2009 In: Travel tips

For the coming holidays, why not spend it on a winter vacation for the entire family? The season is packed with exciting options for a terrific trip. Aside from ski resorts, there are several other travel destinations in the country, or the world, that offers winter delights. And what better way to spend your trip than to book a vacation rental? Here are some tips to help you plan your exciting getaway.

Book early

Winter is probably the most sough-after season for a vacation, so booking a vacation rental early is a must. Instead of risking shortage of travel accommodation and booking options, look for the right rental months before the planned getaway. There are several available rental listings online but remember to choose the most commendable to guarantee security.

Call a...

Best Bets for Winter Travel

04.12.2009 In: Travel destinations

If you've got the itch to travel this winter, here are 12 ways to do it and save at the same time.

Buenos Aires: Beautiful and cosmopolitan, Buenos Aires has just about everything a traveler could possibly want in a city, and it's still a relative bargain. Even though the Argentine peso has gained in strength (prices there have gone up), the exchange rate has been fairly constant with the U.S. dollar for the past year, even as the dollar has lost value against many other currencies.

Bargains abound in restaurants and hotels. Travelers can stay in a five-star hotel like the Marriott for roughly $200 per night. A more modest hotel, like the Bel Air Hotel in Recoleta, is around $128, and there are many other cheaper hotels. And it's quite possible to find dinner for two in a nice...

How to Avoid Crimes While Travelling - Traveler's Do Not Fear Exotic Destinations

05.11.2009 In: Travel tips

Sad to say, a lot of American travelers as per observation have the tendency avoiding certain countries. There fear is unfounded because of some irrational stories. Hearing negative stories or anecdote of crimes in some countries made them avoid these places. Of course, there is indeed handful of places that should really be avoided. But countries like these are not really promoted by travel agents, so destination that is advertised should be considered even if there are few stories going around.

Places like Paris or Tokyo are not hundred percent safe. Travelers are still advice to take all precautionary measure. The key to a safe and enjoyable travel is to be always aware of your surroundings. Third countries or other exotic places should be consider, who knows, you might be amazed...

Safari Tour - A Vibrant Way to Experience "Jewel of Africa"

05.11.2009 In: Travel tips

Among all the passions cherished by modern people, traveling is the most common. Enthusiasm of traveling gets ultimate with an exotic yet exciting destination, such a destination where travel enthusiasts will find all the rudiments that they desire, they can spend holidays in the most vibrant manner and get the maximum experience of holidaying. In this regard, Africa, especially Kenya would be an ideal choice.

Exhilarating sceneries, optimum beaches, splendid wildlife, and outstandingly urbane tourism environment – these are the factors expected by a travel aficionado and the 'jewel of Africa' Kenya offers all of them in the most efficient manner. Along with these, safari is another attraction of the country. Kenya safari tour, along with all the other factors, will definitely create...

Easter Island eclipse 2010

05.11.2009 In: Vacation rental news

Easter Island, located in the South Pacific and governed by Chile, will be in the spotlight in 2010 – July 11th to be exact – when the next solar eclipse occurs.

Totality will be shorter than the recent eclipse seen in India and China, at about 5 minutes in length. Combine the spectacle of the sun’s disappearance itself with the islands unique flora and fauna and iconic statues, and many will be flying south to witness this amazing event.

Chile's LAN Airlines flies there from Santiago with wide body 767's, serving as the only link to Easter Island from South America; the flight continues to Tahiti.

Exotic Travel & Tours - Asia Takes the Spotlight as Cradle of Ancient Civilizations

05.11.2009 In: Travel destinations

For people bent on enjoying exotic travel & tours, Asia beckons. Secret or unfamiliar destinations in Asia can make most travelers feel giddy with excitement.

Some of the amazing and beautiful places in Asia that keep travelers hankering for more are the awe-inspiring cradles of culture in China, Cambodia, Indonesia, and Vietnam, to name some. Try to include some or all of these countries when planning your exotic travel & tours. Asia offers cities which may have transformed its heritage into chic & trendy tourist spots, but the way modernity melds with the old has commanded attention and lured people in droves.

One such destination which fuses dynamism with antiquity and is recognized as many people as among the best destinations in Asia is Beijing, China. When the city played...

An Exotic Travel Guide for your Next Vacation

05.11.2009 In: Travel destinations

From time to time everybody needs to get away from it all, to forget about their day-to-day work and to recharge their physical and emotional batteries. And what could be more refreshing and alluring than engaging in some exotic travels and visiting the holiday destinations of your dreams? Here’s an exotic travel guide for your next vacation and I am sure that no matter which destination you’ll choose, you’ll come back reenergized and revitalized, with a lot of unique memories.

If you have never traveled abroad, I’m sure that there are countless exotic travels that you would like to make. Choosing only one could be a tough decision, but fortunately now you can find on the Internet a lot of information about every possible destination in the world. This exotic travel guide will...

Family Florida Vacation - Frequently Asked Questions

16.10.2009 In: Travel tips

Considering taking a family Florida vacation? I thought it'd be great if I could answer some of your frequently asked questions about Florida vacations:

What's the deal with all-inclusive vacations?

An all-inclusive vacation is when you are paying a set price to get a "package" deal for your vacation. This means that things like meals are included in the purchase price. Is this a savings? Well sometimes it can be but truthfully it usually isn't. I have found that you can get stuck paying for a lot that you will not even have time to do on your vacation. I would suggest looking at what you want to do on the vacation, and pricing those things separately before going the all-inclusive route.

Is Disneyworld the only family place to vacation in Florida?

Of course not! Disney is...

Walt Disney World Vacations

16.10.2009 In: Travel destinations

Your great Florida vacation wouldn't be complete without talking about Walt Disney World vacations. Where else can both grown-ups and kids (call them kids of all ages) go to have a really good time?

You can get a Walt Disney World vacation that includes everything from soup to nuts -- plane tickets, hotel stay, car rental and theme park tickets, and even some with food. Or, you can get a more basic package of just a hotel stay and theme park tickets. Or anywhere in between!

Cinderella's Castle, Walt Disney World VacationsIf you're thinking about a Disney vacation, you have several options. First, Walt Disney World is very diverse. It's primarily composed of:

* The Magic Kingdom
* Disney Hollywood Studios
* Animal Kingdom
* Blizzard Beach

Best Florida Beaches

16.10.2009 In: Travel destinations

Why choose a beach vacation in Florida? One good reason is because wherever you go in Florida, you're never more than 60 miles from the beach!

Florida is also easy to get to, the temperature is pleasurable year round, it offers good value for your money and that’s just for starters. So whether you are looking for a family vacation, a romantic vacation, a relaxing vacation or getting in some golf time, there is a Florida beach vacation area for you.

Best Florida Beach Areas for Families

Siesta Public Beach Siesta Public Beach in Sarasota makes a great family beach because of its gradual slopes, shallow waters, lifeguards on duty, fine white sand and tranquil waters. It has won awards for best beach based on sand, water quality and facilities. The beach facilities include picnic...