Monday, August 31, 2009

National Park Foundation Announces Half A Million Dollars in Grants to Connect Underserved Audiences to National Parks

/PRNewswire/ -- Inspired by the forthcoming Ken Burns documentary The National Parks: America's Best Idea, the National Park Foundation (NPF) has established a new grant program to connect underserved audiences, primarily people of color, to the national parks. NPF, in partnership with the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund, has awarded "America's Best Idea Grants" totaling $500,000, to 35 national parks across the country to develop outreach strategies and engagement programs for people who are traditionally underrepresented in their local national parks.

"The point of America's Best Idea - both the documentary and the grants program - is that the country is strengthened by the deep and lasting bond between people and their parks," said Neil Mulholland, president of the National Park Foundation. "Ken Burns has captured the amazing personal stories of men and women from all walks of life who helped form the parks because of their love for the natural and historical treasures they hold. We want to be sure to continue capturing those stories and building that legacy among audiences as diverse as the parks themselves."

"Universal access to the parks and engagement of diverse and underserved populations are important goals in the evolution of our national parks," said Ira Hirschfield, President of the Haas, Jr. Fund. "It is our great hope that America's Best Idea will provide people in cities and towns across the country the chance to find meaning and inspiration in the story of the parks, and a chance to make these cherished places their own."

The parks receiving grants range in location and size from Salem Maritime National Historic Park in Massachusetts, to Denali National Park in Alaska, to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park in Hawaii, and beyond.

Several of the programs, like the one in Bandelier National Monument, include targeted outreach to indigenous people - bringing native people back into the parks they inhabited initially. The projects are wide-ranging in scope and appeal, including sailing camps, wildlife education, contests and hikes with park historians. For information about the initial projects funded through this program, visit

Additional funding for the program was provided by the National Park Foundation and Popplestone Foundation.

The National Park Foundation is proud to be a core partner and funder of the new Ken Burns documentary series, The National Parks: America's Best Idea. The film chronicles a century of giving that created national parks from southern Florida to the frozen tundra of Alaska, from the rocky coast of Maine to the volcanic Hawaiian islands.

Premiering September 27th on PBS, the 12-hour, six-part documentary series traces the birth of the national park idea in the mid-1800s and follows its evolution for nearly 150 years. Told through the stories of the people who helped create them and save them from destruction, it is both a biography of compelling characters and of the American landscape.

About the National Park Foundation The National Park Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization chartered by Congress in 1967 to continue a century-long tradition of private philanthropy ensuring funding to preserve and enhance the legacy of our National Parks. As the official non-profit partner of America's National Parks, the National Park Foundation does not receive federal appropriations for their support. The National Park Foundation serves to strengthen the connection between the American people and their national parks by raising private funds, making strategic grants, creating innovative partnerships and increasing public awareness. Support of the National Park Foundation ensures that the evolving history and rich heritage of our Nation remains vital and relevant. Learn more at NPF's website,

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Six Flags Announces Back-to-School Blast National Sweepstakes and Concert Series

/PRNewswire/ -- Six Flags, Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board: SIXFQ), the world's largest regional theme park company, is celebrating Back-to-School 2009 with the Six Flags Back-to-School Blast featuring a national sweepstakes and an exciting concert series with some of today's hottest talent.

The national Six Flags Back-to-School Blast Sweepstakes runs through September 30. Entrants can register at for a chance to win one of three grand prizes:

-- Ultimate Wardrobe presented by Signature by Levi Strauss & Co.(TM)
inclusive of a new back-to-school denim wardrobe;
-- Ultimate Road Trip presented by got2b inclusive of 25 tickets to the
winner's nearest Six Flags location and got2b styling products;
-- Ultimate Study Break featuring an all-inclusive video gaming package
from Konami Digital Entertainment, featuring such titles as
DanceDanceRevolution : Hottest Party 3, Pro Evolution Soccer 2010,
Karaoke Revolution and Tornado Outbreak.

The sweepstakes is being promoted on and a variety of in-park media assets including Six Flags Television, scrolling signage, billboards and jumbotron networks.

The Back-to-School Blast concert series, sponsored by got2b is the must-see event of the season starring chart-topping recording artists like One Republic, Flo Rida, and Soulja Boy. The series will make stops at the following parks: Six Flags America in Bowie, MD; Six Flags Over Texas in Arlington, TX; Six Flags Fiesta Texas in San Antonio, TX; Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, NJ; Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo, CA; Six Flags Great America in Gurnee, Illinois; Six Flags St. Louis in Eureka, MO and Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom in Louisville, KY. The concerts are free with a Season Pass or park admission.

"We're thrilled about our first-ever Back-to-School Blast Sweepstakes and Concert Series," said David McKillips, Senior Vice President, Corporate Alliances. "With the combination of our existing in-park media assets and now, a new concert series with experiential marketing benefits and a promotional mini-site, the BTS Blast event continues to prove that Six Flags is both an exciting entertainment venue as well as a marketer's greatest untapped resource."

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Saturday, August 29, 2009

Modern Horror Films Come Alive at Universal Orlando's Halloween Horror Nights

For the First Time Ever, Universal Orlando Dedicates its Entire Event to Mega-Horror Films

SAW, The Wolfman, Chucky and More Are “Ripped from the Silver Screen” at The Country’s Best Halloween Event

A cold, lifeless hand takes your ticket. You’re left with a bone-chilling shiver as you move toward an empty theater seat. The lights dim, voices fade, the film begins. The screen starts to rip apart as the action comes straight for you. The show’s about to begin…

For the first time ever, Universal Orlando is devoting its entire Halloween Horror Nights event to bringing horror films to life. All eight haunted houses, all six scare-zones and two live shows will be directly inspired by some of today’s most popular horror films.

In another first, guests will experience three powerful mega-horror film concepts live and in-person before seeing them on-screen: “SAW,” the legendary horror series from Lionsgate® and Twisted Pictures, due in theaters with its newest release of “SAW VI” this October; “The Wolfman” from Universal Pictures, in theaters February 2010; and “Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant,” also from Universal Pictures, due in theaters October 2009. There will be two additional houses inspired by cult horror films.

“Our guests are going to feel as if their favorite horror films have left the screen and surrounded them,” said Jim Timon, senior vice president of entertainment for Universal Orlando Resort. “They will come face to face with many of the most disturbing characters in film history. When they leave Halloween Horror Nights, they’ll wish their experience was just a movie.”

The terrifying world of “SAW” – one of the most profitable horror franchises to date – will be transformed into a haunted house featuring iconic scenes from the films such as Jigsaw’s lair and the tomb-like bathroom. Guests will come face to face with Jigsaw and also watch as his victims struggle to try and win at his game.

Before guests can see the “The Wolfman” on-screen, they will be able to live its horror. In this house they will walk through scenes from the film, joining “The Wolfman’s” alter-ego Lawrence Talbot as he discovers a primal side of himself he didn’t know existed.

A world where toys go bad is brought to life in a haunted house inspired by the “Chucky” films. Guests will experience a funhouse lead by the sadistic doll where favorite children’s toys aren’t what they seem.

This year’s Halloween Horror Nights will also include dramatic new interpretations of Universal Pictures’ famed Frankenstein and Dracula. Both will be featured in their own houses and both will be more horrifying and intense than ever before.

In the Silver Screams haunted house – based on a demented movie theater run by a supernatural usher – guests will experience “Shaun of the Dead,” Universal Pictures’ “The Phantom of the Opera,” Lionsgate®’s “My Bloody Valentine 3D” and more.

Two live shows inspired by popular films return this year – the entertaining “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Halloween Adventure” and “The Rocky Horror Picture Show: A Tribute.”

Halloween Horror Nights runs September 25-26, October 1-4, 8-11, 15-18, 21-25 and 28-31.

Daily updates and exclusive details on Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights are available on the event’s official Facebook fan page: or search on Facebook for “Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights – Orlando OFFICIAL.”

Advance tickets are now on sale for $69.99 plus tax. Tickets can be purchased at or by calling 1-888-467-7677 (HORROR-7). Due to the event’s popularity, tickets for weekend nights are expected to sell out and should be purchased well in advance.

For special deals and vacation offers, visit
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Canoe Trip Scheduled at Crooked River State Park August 30

T2F Note: What a wonderful way to spend a lazy afternoon! Ok, we know. Paddling is not lazy, but our staff members have great memories of being lazy while paddling on Georgia rivers. See the natural side of Georgia as we present the coveted Fayette Front Page Day Tripper Award to paddling Georgia.

Join the staff of Up the Creek Xpeditions on Sunday, August 30th as they paddle six miles from Crooked River State Park through beautiful and lively salt marshes to Cumberland Island National Seashore. Walk across a forest wonderland to miles of empty and undisturbed beaches. Contact Up The Creek Xpeditions at (912) 882-0911 or check out their website for more details.

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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Bonjour! Hola! Guten Tag! International Cities Make Strong Comeback On Priceline List Of Top 50 Labor Day Destinations

T2F Note: We just love Atlanta made the top 50 list. We just happen to agree-- Atlanta is a great city in which to have fun whether it is the museums, theatre, or sporting activities you crave!

Who could forget our favorite Georgia city by the sea? Savannah is always a treat for the historical eye. The Fayette Front Page Day Tripper Award this week goes to both Atlanta and Savannah for Labor Day fun.

(BUSINESS WIRE)--A year ago, no international cities, save for a handful in Canada, appeared on’s (Nasdaq: PCLN) annual list of the 50 most popular destinations for the Labor Day holiday. What a difference a year makes. In 2009, no fewer than 11 international destinations, including London, Rome, Berlin, Barcelona and Paris, made’s 7th annual Labor Day list.

The list is based on more than 30,000 hotel room booking requests made on’s Name Your Own Price® hotel service for the holiday. Because the survey is based on actual booking requests, and not on consumer preference polls or votes, believes its annual survey is one of the more accurate predictors of Labor Day travel trends. also said it still has plenty of last-minute airline tickets, hotel rooms, rental cars, vacation packages, tours and attractions, and cruises available for Labor Day getaways. A sampling of deals is included below. All quoted deals were being offered today on’s PriceBreakers last-minute deals service. Hotel-only deals are offered on a Name Your Own Price® basis. Availability is subject to change at any time.

* U.S. and Hawaii flights from $88.
* Labor Day one-night hotel specials – New York, Seattle & San Francisco from $79 a night.
* 3.5 star Boston hotels from $109 a night.
* 3 star Las Vegas hotels from $79 a night.
* 3-night flight-plus-hotel Las Vegas vacation packages from $132 a night.
* 3-night New York City vacation package. Flight plus accommodations at the Waldorf Astoria from $327 a night.
* 3-night flight-plus-hotel vacation packages to San Diego from $302 a night.
* Up to 20% off on weekend rentals with Hertz.

Visit for a full list of Labor Day specials.

“International destinations are quite appealing this year,” said’s in-house travel expert and blogger Brian Ek. “Airfares are very reasonable and the dollar vs. euro exchange rate, which was as high as $1.60 last summer, is now down to a more manageable $1.43. In the U.S., major cities that may have lost convention and business travelers are offering spectacular hotel deals to lure leisure travelers for the fall.”

For the second year in a row, New York City’s Times Square/Theater District and Chelsea Area took the top two spots on the list. However, the Big Apple’s Labor Day popularity appears to have slipped a bit. After taking 11 spots last year, New York City area neighborhoods were selected eight times in 2009.

Big cities and their downtown areas, brimming with restaurants, theaters and back-to-school bargains, are popular destinations for this Labor Day. Beach attendance, which was lighter than normal last year due to late summer storms, was up again this year, led by Hawaii, San Diego, Key West, Virginia Beach and Atlantic City/Cape May.

Priceline’s Top 50 Destinations for Labor Day 2009

Rank Neighborhood

#1 New York City, Times Square/Theater District
#2 New York City, Chelsea Area
#3 Las Vegas, Strip Vicinity South
#4 Seattle, Downtown/Pike Place
#5 New York City, Empire State Building Area
#6 San Francisco, Union Square West/Nob Hill
#7 New York City, Midtown East
#8 Chicago, Millennium Park/Loop/Grant Park Area
#9 Las Vegas, Strip Vicinity North
#10 Boston, Copley Square/Theater District
#11 Vancouver, Downtown
#12 Chicago, North Michigan Ave./River North Area
#13 New York City, Madison Square Garden/Convention Area
#14 Oahu, Waikiki Beach Area
#15 New York City, Central Park South
#16 Montreal
#17 Paris, Eiffel Tower/Port De Versailles/Montparnasse
#18 St. Catharines, Niagara Falls
#19 Toronto, Downtown
#20 Memphis, Downtown
#21 San Diego, Downtown & Harbor Island
#22 Boston, Harbor Front/Aquarium
#23 New York City, Midtown West
#24 Austin, Downtown
#25 Buffalo, Niagara Falls
#26 London, Mayfair/Soho
#27 Rome, Central Area
#28 San Francisco, Union Square East
#29 Washington, DC, White House/Downtown
#30 San Diego, Coastal Area
#31 Orange County, Disneyland Area
#32 Key West
#33 St. Louis, Downtown
#34 Savannah, Historic District
#35 Virginia Beach
#36 London, Bloomsbury, Marble Arch
#37 Atlantic City/Cape May
#38 Monterey, Monterey/Pacific Grove
#39 Toronto, Markham
#40 Newark/Meadowlands/Jersey City
#41 San Diego, Point Loma/Shelter Island/Old Town
#42 New Orleans, French Quarter
#43 Barcelona, La Rambla/La Barceloneta
#44 Maui, Wailea/Makena
#45 Napa/Sonoma
#46 Berlin, East District
#47 Oahu, Waikiki Marina Area
#48 Los Angeles, Beverly Hills/West Hollywood
#49 San Antonio, Downtown/Riverwalk
#50 Atlanta, Midtown Area

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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Mini golf offers family fun for all ages

(ARA) - There is nothing easy about trying to plan a family vacation. Besides the challenge of figuring out where to go, there is the ever-present concern of finding age-appropriate activities for the entire family.

A classic activity that has stood the test of time around the country – and sometimes can be forgotten during the vacation planning process – is miniature golf. While for some it may not be the sole reason for choosing a destination, it is an activity that never fails to please once travelers arrive at their vacation spot.

Many of the country’s top miniature golf courses were originally built in tourist destination areas such as Myrtle Beach, S.C., which is considered the unofficial "Miniature Golf Capitol of the World."

There are as many as 50 courses on Myrtle Beach’s Grand Strand, which is located on the southeast coastline of sunny South Carolina, and with more than 14 million tourists visiting each year, the facilities are always busy.

”Mini golf is great no matter your age, athletic ability or golf skills,” says Bob Detwiler of the popular Hawaiian Village course in Myrtle Beach, “It’s a perfect way to spend an afternoon or evening, and may even spark some friendly competition during your family vacation.”

A versatile and diverting activity for any age, miniature golf is perfect for multi-generational travel groups, family gatherings, and even couples. Its affordability adds value to the vacation and is great entertainment for everyone.

Nearly all of the Myrtle Beach area’s mini golf courses are meticulously landscaped and adorned with tropical plants and flowers throughout warm-weather months. But it’s each course’s unique theme that sets them apart from mini golf courses found anywhere else. From man-eating dinosaurs and 40-foot tall lava-spewing volcanoes, to high seas adventures aboard pirate ships, the area’s mini golf courses offer a variety of options in ultra-thematic environments.

Some vacationers have even come to enjoy mini golf so much that they’ve taken up the activity as a competitive sport. Each year Myrtle Beach’s Hawaiian Village plays host to the Masters National ProMiniGolf Championship in October when a slew of top mini golfers compete for the green jacket of ProMiniGolf.

“People are very intrigued by mini golf; there is a clear connection between the sport and happy memories associated with it,” notes Detwiler. “More than 80 people participate in the Masters every year not only because it is competitive, but also because it’s simply enjoyable and amusing for all who play.”

For more information on the mini golf possibilities or to request a visitor's guide in Myrtle Beach, go to or call (888) Myrtle-1.

Courtesy of ARAcontent

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Friday, August 21, 2009

Turn Your August, Labor Day Weekend Road Trips Into Prize-Winning Drive Smarter Challenge Video

/PRNewswire/ -- It's the "dog days of August," one of the heaviest time frames for road trips - what with travel to universities across the country combined with the "last hurrah" of summer vacations leading into the Labor Day holiday weekend.

As you capture those road trips for posterity on your camcorder, consider turning them into a fun, two-minute video that can garner extensive exposure on the web and win a $5000 grand prize, VIP NASCAR and Indy race packages, new tires, gift cards, car care guides, and more in the Drive Smarter Challenge video contest (

The online video contest is a new feature of the award-winning Drive $marter Challenge fuel-efficiency campaign sponsored by the Alliance to Save Energy and 16 other diverse nonprofit, governmental, trade association, and for-profit partners. The contest runs through September 20.

To enter, submit a two-minute (or less) video that illustrates one or more of the Drive Smarter Challenge gas- and money-saving driving and vehicle maintenance tips ( such as the timely road trip tips below:

Planning your road trip:
-- Get a customized map with low gas prices along the route. Getting lost
while driving in unfamiliar areas could lead to an expensive waste of
gas. Print a customized vacation map that highlights low-cost gas
stations along your route using campaign website resources
ources.aspx). Or, navigate with a GPS system.
-- Choose the right vehicle. If your family has more than one vehicle,
drive the car that gets better gas mileage if possible.
-- Rise and shine! When possible, drive during off-peak hours to reduce
gas costs and stress by avoiding stop-and-go or bumper-to-bumper
traffic conditions.
-- Investigate other travel options. Consider trains, buses, or public
transportation to your destination when possible.
-- Explore new ways to get around at your destination. Find information
on biking, public transportation routes, car sharing, walking, and
renting hybrid or fuel-efficient vehicles on the Drive $marter
Challenge website resources page.

Before you leave: maintenance tips
-- Inflate your tires. Keeping your tires properly inflated improves gas
mileage by around 3%.
-- Select the right oil. Using the manufacturer's recommended grade of
motor oil improves gas mileage by 1 to 2%. Motor oil that says "Energy
Conserving" on the API performance symbol contains friction-reducing
additives. Change your oil as recommended to extend the life of your
-- Tune up. Fixing a car that is noticeably out of tune or has failed an
emissions test can improve its gas mileage by an average of 4%.

On the road: driving tips
-- Decrease your speed. Gas mileage usually decreases rapidly above 60
mph. Each five miles per hour over 60 mph is like paying an additional
20 cents or more per gallon for gas.
-- Drive sensibly. Speeding, rapid acceleration (jackrabbit starts), and
rapid braking can lower gas mileage by 33% at highway speeds.
-- Use cruise control and overdrive gear. Cruise control cuts fuel
consumption by maintaining a steady speed during highway driving.
Overdrive gear, when appropriate, reduces engine speed, saves gas, and
reduces engine wear.
-- It's a "drag." Avoid carrying items on your vehicle's roof. A loaded
roof rack or carrier increases weight and aerodynamic drag, which can
cut mileage by 5%. Place items inside the trunk when possible to
improve fuel economy.
-- Turn down the AC. Operating the air conditioner on "Max" can reduce
mpg by 5-25% compared to not using it.
-- Avoid idling, which gets 0 mpg. Cars with larger engines typically
waste even more gas while idling than cars with smaller engines.
-- Fill up before returning rental. Rental car companies charge higher
gas prices if you don't fill up the tank before returning the vehicle.

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Thursday, August 20, 2009

11th Annual Sky High Hot Air Balloon Festival at Callaway Gardens®

Are you lamenting the end of another summer? Worry not…at Callaway Gardens®, things are looking up …way up …with the return of the Callaway Gardens® Sky High Hot Air Balloon Festival for its eleventh year.

Set for September 4-6, 2009, this annual Balloon Festival has something for everyone, from the soaring, majestic, colorful balloons to Callaway Gardens’ unique mix of natural beauty, to its endless helpings of multi-generational activities and events. In fact, when it comes to family fun at Callaway Gardens, the sky is the limit!

Festivities kick off Friday night when guests flock to Robin Lake Beach for the Balloon Glow. Upbeat live music sets the mood as balloons inflate as the sun sets and show their individual colors as they glow against the gorgeous evening sky as guests shout “ready, set…glow!”

On both Saturday and Sunday mornings, it is up, up and away as the balloons head for the open skies (weather permitting) at sunrise and sunset. On the ground, the action continues as Robin Lake Beach plays host to a family festival featuring activities and events for all ages. Choose from tethered balloon rides (weather permitting, fee), a rock climbing wall (fee), bungee jump (fee), sandcastle building, swimming, miniature golf, kite building, t-shirt tie-dyeing (fee), a variety of kids’ craft activities and more.

For the second year, the Radio Control Model Boat and Seaplane Regatta will take the waters of both Robin and Martin lakes. This event, created by a resident of the Longleaf at Callaway community, will include fast-electrics, sailboats and utility boats with demonstrations, competitions and more. More than 150 boats are expected to participate in the array of activities taking place. For more information, visit the Callaway Gardens website.

Don’t miss the very popular Classic Car Show on Saturday. In 2009, more than 100 cars are expected to roll through the gates and add even more color to the already spectacular event.

Meanwhile, the athletically-inclined can enjoy their own adventures thanks to the Callaway Gardens Fitness Series, including a 5K run and Triathlon on Sunday morning. To register, visit

Want to be a part of the high flying balloon action? Sign up to be on a Balloon Chase Crew. Crew members are assigned to pilots and are able to assist the Balloon Team throughout the weekend. For more information, contact Greg Brannen at 706-663-5043 or

Festival admission is $20 per adult, $10 per child ages 6-12, and children five and under are admitted free (admission prices include tax). This price includes access to Callaway Gardens’ and its many attractions. To witness the morning launches, the U.S. Hwy. 27 Beach gate will open at 6:00 a.m. both days. As an incentive to get out early, admission is half-price both Saturday and Sunday mornings before 9:00 a.m.

Stay around and enjoy the entire weekend with friends and family. Ask about the Sky High Hot Air Balloon Weekend Package for two adults and two children 12. This offer includes admission to the Sky High Hot Air Balloon Festival, Callaway Gardens and its many attractions; a dinner plate on Friday night from one of the Beach Pavilion vendors during the Balloon Glow; four tickets to make tie-dye T-shirts at the Festival on Saturday or Sunday; two tickets for either the Bungee Jump, Rock Climbing Wall or Xcelerator Water Slide; use of the Mountain Creek Inn Fitness Center and your choice of lodging options.

Don’t delay. Call now for reservations at 1-800-CALLAWAY (225-5292) or make reservations online at

Callaway Gardens®, is in Pine Mountain, Ga., 60 minutes southwest of Atlanta and 30 minutes north of Columbus. For additional information, call 1-800-CALLAWAY (225-5292) or visit

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Georgia State Park Lodges Introduce New 'Lodge-ical' Rates

/PRNewswire/ -- Georgia State Parks invite guests to enjoy a vacation in lodges with a new, lower "Lodge-ical" rate that starts at $69 per night. Available now, guests can experience an affordable overnight escape for as little as $69 at George T. Bagby State Park on Lake Walter F. George, Little Ocmulgee State Park in McRae and Red Top Mountain State Park on Lake Allatoona. A new Lodge-ical rate of $79 is now available at Amicalola Falls State Park near Dawsonville and Unicoi State Park near Helen. Guests can call 1-800-864-PARK (7275) to book their vacations with the new Lodge-ical rate.

"Our new Lodge-ical rate allows more people to take an affordable vacation in Georgia's great outdoors with the comfort of hotel-style accommodations," said Sally Winchester, marketing manager for Georgia State Parks & Historic Sites. "A vacation at a state park lodge offers visitors a chance to slow down and reconnect with each other and nature in our parks' true beauty. It's a vacation unlike any other."

From waterfalls at Amicalola Falls State Park to water hazards on the championship golf courses at George T. Bagby and Little Ocmulgee state parks, the lodges offer a wide variety of recreation. Each destination offers fresh-air outings designed to help visitors disconnect from their daily routine and reconnect with the great outdoors. Experience nature-filled hiking trails by day and reflect under a canopy of stars at night. There is mountain biking for the more adventurous, leisurely boating and fishing on scenic lakes, and tennis and golf for those that enjoy a bit of competition in their vacation. Completing the sense of escape from the everyday, all lodges offer on-site dining so guests can stay right at the park.

The Lodge-ical rate applies to new reservations in a standard, double room booked for weekdays (Sunday -- Thursday). Overnight guests can start their mornings with a free continental breakfast for two (full breakfast at Unicoi) which is included in the new Lodge-ical rate. Rates are based on availability and cannot be combined or transferred with any other packages or promotions. To book the new Lodge-ical rate, guests can call 1-800-864-PARK (7275). More information on accommodations, amenities and meeting spaces at Georgia State Park Lodges can be found at

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Monday, August 17, 2009

Omni Hotels to Manage Mount Washington Resort

T2Fun Note: Mount Washington in New Hampshire is a great place to visit! The Mount Washington Hotel is breathtaking in its setting as is the whole area. While visiting the Mount Washington Hotel, be sure to take the train ride up to the top of Mount Washington. One of the Fayette Front Page staff members visited the area several years ago in August and needed a coat at the top of the mountain. The view is spectacular. And as we recall, the food at the Mount Washington Hotel was fantastic!

/PRNewswire/ -- Omni Hotels announces today it has partnered with CNL Lifestyle Properties, Inc., to become the long-term operator of the storied Mount Washington Resort located in Bretton Woods, NH, at the base of beautiful Mount Washington, the highest peak in the Northeast. Opened in 1902, the resort is home to 365 guest rooms in three lodging facilities -- The Mount Washington Hotel, the Bretton Arms Inn and The Lodge -- and serves as a wonderful setting for leisure guests and meeting professionals alike. Omni Hotels will begin management of the luxury New England resort, which will be flagged as the Omni Mount Washington Resort, on September 1, 2009.

"We are pleased to add this extraordinary property to the Omni Hotels' portfolio, given its fine heritage, the exceptional destination facilities and broad range of year-round leisure and outdoor activities," said Mike Deitemeyer, president of Omni Hotels. "The addition of this resort is another tremendous step in our strategic expansion."

The Mount Washington Resort serves as a natural haven for visitors, offering an array of seasonal activities. During the winter months, guests can enjoy skiing and snowboarding at nationally acclaimed Bretton Woods, as well as sleigh rides, dog-sledding, ice skating, snowshoeing and ice climbing. In the summer, guests can enjoy two championship golf courses, tennis, horseback riding, hiking, and fly fishing on the Ammonoosuc River. The resort is also home to the world-class Bretton Woods Canopy Tour, featuring a one-of-a-kind 3.5-hour zip line adventure from treetop to treetop through the beautiful ancient forest of Rosebrook Canyon.

The resort recently completed a multimillion restoration and renovation project that includes a new 25,000-square-foot state-of-the-art spa, a 20,000-square-foot conference center, an outdoor swimming pool complex and guest rooms at the Mount Washington Hotel. CNL Lifestyle Properties has committed to invest an additional $10 million in future renovations, including additional guest rooms, plus food and beverage venues and public areas. Other improvements include the restoration of the 18-hole Mount Washington Course -- owned and operated by Crosland/Celebration Associates -- based on the original 1915 Donald Ross design.

"As we complete the renovation and expansion, we are pleased to transition to Omni Hotels, a respected operator with national sales distribution channels and experience in marketing historic properties," said R. Byron Carlock, Jr., CEO and president of CNL Lifestyle Properties, Inc.

The resort is surrounded by nearly 800,000 acres of the White Mountain National Forest. It is a two-and-a-half hour drive from Boston and Portland, three hours from Montreal and Providence, six hours from New York and is within two hours of the Manchester, NH airport.

The historic resort is renowned for hosting the Bretton Woods International Monetary Conference in 1944 where delegates established the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, the gold standard was set at $35 an ounce and the American dollar became the benchmark for international exchange. Past guests include Thomas Edison, Babe Ruth and three US Presidents.

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Friday, August 14, 2009

Fall Has A Lot To Offer In The Valley Forge Area

(NAPSI)-Fall can be a lot of fun in Valley Forge and Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. The area offers a wide variety of fall festivities for the whole family. History, shopping and recreation lead the list of what not to miss, as suggested by the Valley Forge Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Colonial music, storytelling, crafts, games, and even a dog show will be featured during the Founder's Day Fall Festival at Washington Memorial Chapel in Valley Forge National Historical Park. Asher's Chocolates Retail Store, in Souderton, will hold its free Fall Festival the same day, with face painting, a moon bounce, hot dogs, and lots of chocolate.

Butler Avenue, in nearby Ambler, comes alive with activity for its Oktoberfest. Music, artists, crafters, sidewalk sales, hayrides and, of course, beer will make for a grand celebration.

Visitors can go from experiencing the German heritage to the Pennsylvania German traditions celebrated at the Apple Butter Frolic at Mennonite Heritage Center, in Harleysville. There you can sample food and see demonstrations of antique farm equipment and folk crafts.

Laerenswaert is a German phrase meaning "worth learning" and at Peter Wentz Farmstead, visitors will learn by doing the same tasks that kept the farm running back in the 18th century. The Laerenswaert Colonial Craft Fair will take place in Worcester, Pa. Along the same lines, there's the All Hallow's Eve Fall Festival at Pennypacker Mills, in nearby Schwenksville. There, guests can shuck corn or crush apples with a cider press, the way farmers did a century ago. You can get spooked listening to Haunted Stories by the Bonfire while roasting marshmallows.

Enjoy the outdoors while exploring handmade fine crafts and the artisans who created them at the Pennsylvania Guild Fine Craft Fair. The fair, at Montgomery County Community College, in Blue Bell, also features music, food and children's activities.

Hayrides to the pumpkin patch are part of Freddy's Fallfest at Freddy Hill Farms, in Lansdale. It runs every weekend in October and also offers pig races, pony rides, a farm zoo, funnel cake and more.

To learn more about these and other seasonal activities and festivals, visit or call (610) 834-7990.

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Thursday, August 13, 2009

Would You Take a Trip to Space?

/PRNewswire/ -- If you could take a trip to space, would you? Comfort Suites hotels are offering travelers the opportunity to do just that. As part of the brand's "Explore the Space Sweepstakes" three lucky online participants will get the chance to win a trip to space.*

"What better way to remind our guests how spacious our Comfort Suites rooms are then to offer them a chance to win a trip to the biggest space of all -- a trip to outer space," said Chris Malone, Chief Marketing Officer for Choice Hotels International, Inc., franchisor of the Comfort Suites brand. "Comfort Suites rooms provide plenty of space to spread out and relax, along with free amenities like a hot breakfast and Wi-Fi."

Starting August 13 through September 24, 2009, consumers can go online to to enter for their chance to win "out-of-this-world" prizes and qualify for a chance to win a trip to space. To qualify, entrants must be current members of or sign up for the Choice Privileges rewards program. Once selected, three finalists will be given $5,000 in cash and a power packed trip to Kennedy Space Center Visitors Complex where they will participate in an amazing astronaut experience program. On the last day of their visit, the finalists will play a game of chance for the ultimate grand prize -- a trip to space!

In addition to the three finalist prize winners, three second prize winners will each receive a trip for four to space camp in Huntsville, Alabama and a Comfort Suites prize pack making for the ultimate space camp family experience. And just so no one is left on the launch pad, fifty runner-ups will receive a Comfort Suites prize pack valued at $100. For more information on the Comfort Suites Explore the Space Sweepstakes, visit

* NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Legal residents of the 50 United States (D.C.) 18 years and older. Ends 9/24/09. Trip to space prize consists of $200,000 to pay for a space flight ticket. To enter and for Official Rules, including odds, and prize descriptions visit Void where prohibited.

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Book a Flight in a Flash Now With AirTran Airways' New Sale Fares

/PRNewswire/ -- AirTran Airways, a subsidiary of AirTran Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:AAI) , today launched a sale for travel to all the airline's destinations with fares starting as low as $39*. Travelers may purchase these sale fares at or via AirTran Airways' reservations system at 1-800-AIR-TRAN. For Spanish, call 1-877-581-9842.

These special fares are available for purchase through August 14, 2009, and are good for travel August 24, 2009, through October 6, 2009. Like all AirTran Airways fares, prices included in this sale are available for one-way travel and do not require a roundtrip purchase or an overnight stay.

Following is a sample of the one-way sale fares. All fares are valid in either direction:

Sample Fares:

Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton - Orlando $74
Akron/Canton - Atlanta $69
Akron/Canton - New York (LaGuardia) $69
Atlanta - Atlantic City $69
Atlanta - Charleston, S.C. $49
Atlanta - Columbus, Ohio $69
Atlanta- Tampa $69
Baltimore/Washington (BWI) - Ft. Lauderdale $79
Baltimore/Washington (BWI) - Los Angeles $129
Baltimore/Washington (BWI) - Milwaukee $69
Baltimore/Washington (BWI) - Tampa $79
Boston - Atlanta $79
Boston - Baltimore/Washington (BWI) $39
Boston - Milwaukee $74
Charleston, West Virginia - Orlando $44
Charleston, S.C. - Orlando $99
Charlotte - Boston $79
Charlotte - Orlando $69
Chicago (Midway) - Orlando $89
Columbus, Ohio - Ft. Lauderdale $74
Dallas/Ft. Worth - Boston $94
Dayton - Branson $109
Dayton - San Antonio $89
Denver - Milwaukee $89
Houston - Philadelphia $89
Indianapolis - Ft. Lauderdale $79
Jacksonville - Boston $69
Knoxville - Orlando $44
Los Angeles - Milwaukee $129
Milwaukee - Atlanta $84
Milwaukee - Seattle $133
Milwaukee - St. Louis $39
Milwaukee - Washington D.C. (Dulles or Reagan National) $79
Minneapolis/St. Paul - Atlanta $84
Minneapolis/St. Paul - Milwaukee $39
Moline/Quad Cities - Orlando $86
New York (LaGuardia) - Milwaukee $69
Philadelphia - Ft. Lauderdale $79
Phoenix - Charlotte $129
Orlando - Asheville $44
Orlando - San Juan $79
Richmond - Orlando $79
Seattle - Atlanta $139
Washington, D.C. (Dulles or Reagan National) - Ft. Myers $89
Washington, D.C. (Dulles or Reagan National) - Orlando $79

AirTran Airways, a subsidiary of AirTran Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:AAI) and a Fortune 1000 company, has been ranked the number one low cost carrier in the Airline Quality Rating study for the past two years. AirTran is the only major airline with Wi-Fi on every flight and offers coast-to-coast service on North America's newest all-Boeing fleet. Its low-cost, high-quality product also includes assigned seating, Business Class and complimentary XM Satellite Radio on every flight. To book a flight, visit

*All fares are one-way. All fares are non-refundable and a $75 fee per person applies to any change made after purchase, plus any applicable increase in airfare. Seats are limited, subject to availability, and may not be available on all flights. Tickets must be purchased by August 14, 2009. Sale fares are valid for travel August 24, 2009 through October 6, 2009. Blackout dates are as follows: September 4, 2009 and September 7, 2009. Seasonal service to Burlington, VT ends September 8, 2009. A first bag may be checked for a fee of up to $15 per person and a second bag may be checked for a fee of up to $25 per person. Reservations may be obtained or changed through an AirTran Airways Telephone Reservations Center for an additional $15 per person. Fares, routes, and schedules are subject to change without notice. Fares shown do not include Airport Passenger Facility Charges of up to $18. The September 11th security fee of up to $10 is not included. Fares do not include segment taxes of $3.60 per segment. A segment is defined as a takeoff and a landing. Fares to/from Puerto Rico do not include additional government taxes of up to $32.20. Fares to/from Cancun do not include additional government taxes of up to $100.

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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Delta Reinforces New York Commitment with Plan for Domestic Hub at LaGuardia Airport

/PRNewswire/ -- Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DAL) today announced it has reached a definitive agreement with US Airways (NYSE: LCC) to exchange certain flying rights and airport facilities at New York's LaGuardia and Washington's Reagan National airports, allowing Delta to expand its New York customer service and convenience by creating a domestic hub at LaGuardia Airport.

The agreement, which is subject to government approvals, calls for US Airways to transfer 125 operating slot pairs to Delta at LaGuardia and Delta to transfer 42 operating slot pairs to US Airways at Reagan National. The airlines also will swap gates at LaGuardia between the Marine Air Terminal and US Airways' Terminal C to consolidate all Delta operations -- including the Delta Shuttle -- into an expanded main terminal facility with 11 additional gates for Delta customers.

"Delta continues to take innovative steps to adapt our business to the changing competitive and economic environment we face," said Delta Chief Executive Officer Richard Anderson. "Increasing Delta's service in the world's most competitive and largest air service market is a key part of our long-term strategy. This transaction will provide substantial benefits to our customers, employees and shareholders in years to come."

The proposed agreement will increase competition and choice for New York customers by enabling Delta to build a hub operation at LaGuardia that will increase the number of customers served at each takeoff and landing slot without increasing congestion.

Delta expects to more than double the number of nonstop destinations it serves from LaGuardia by adding or preserving service to more than 30 small- and medium-sized communities. The airline plans to add new flights to more than a dozen cities not currently served by US Airways. In every slot where US Airways operates small turboprops today, Delta will operate larger jets. These new markets and larger aircraft would allow more than two million additional passengers to transit LaGuardia each year without increasing the total number of takeoffs and landings.

"Delta's investment at LaGuardia is good for customers because it provides new convenient service options and ensures continued access to many small communities that our competitors have not historically served," said Gail Grimmett, Delta's senior vice president - New York. "During the last 30 years, successful slot trades have helped foster a competitive environment for the airline industry. With this agreement, Delta will inject additional competition in the New York market. Many small- and medium-sized communities throughout upstate New York and New England will benefit from service upgrades where Delta will operate larger regional and mainline jets."

Once the transaction is approved, Delta plans to begin a nearly $40 million construction project at LaGuardia to connect the current Delta and US Airways main terminals; rebrand US Airways' existing main terminal gates, ticket counters and lounges to Delta's standards; and create a new dedicated check-in area for Medallion, First Class, BusinessElite and Shuttle customers. This facility transition will be completed in 2010.

In addition to the improvements at LaGuardia, Delta will continue to invest at its hub at New York's leading international airport, John F. Kennedy International (JFK), and will continue to explore long-term options to upgrade terminal facilities.

Since making a strategic decision to build New York into a hub earlier this decade, Delta has made major investments across the tri-state region, boosting its economic impact to more than $13 billion annually. Along with adding more than 30 new international routes at JFK, Delta has created more than 2,000 jobs across the state, invested heavily in New York sponsorships and advertising and completed more than $70 million in facility upgrades at JFK's Terminals 2 and 3.

As part of the transaction, Delta also will exchange a limited number of international route authorities to US Airways for service to Brazil and Japan. These transfers will not result in any material schedule changes for Delta customers.

Delta also will continue to serve Washington's Reagan Airport with numerous daily frequencies to its seven hubs, hourly shuttle service to LaGuardia and flights to select small communities.

Both Delta and US Airways will submit the transaction for review by the U.S. Department of Justice, together with applications for approval by the Federal Aviation Administration and the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Delta Air Lines is the world's No. 1 airline. From its hubs in Atlanta, Cincinnati, Detroit, Memphis, Minneapolis-St. Paul, New York-JFK, Salt Lake City, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Amsterdam and Tokyo-Narita, Delta, its Northwest subsidiary and Delta Connection carriers offer service to 376 destinations in 67 countries and serve more than 170 million passengers each year. Delta's marketing alliances allow customers to earn and redeem either SkyMiles or WorldPerks on more than 16,000 daily flights offered by SkyTeam and other partners. Delta's more than 70,000 employees worldwide are reshaping the aviation industry as the only U.S. airline to offer a full global network. Customers can check in for flights, print boarding passes, check bags and flight status at

Forward-looking statements

Statements in this news release that are not historical facts, including statements regarding our estimates, expectations, beliefs, intentions, projections or strategies for the future, may be "forward-looking statements" as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All forward-looking statements involve a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from the estimates, expectations, beliefs, intentions, projections and strategies reflected in or suggested by the forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, the cost of aircraft fuel; the effects of the global recession; the effects of the global financial crisis; the impact of posting collateral in connection with our fuel hedge contracts; the impact that our indebtedness will have on our financial and operating activities and our ability to incur additional debt; the restrictions that financial covenants in our financing agreements will have on our financial and business operations; labor issues; the ability to realize the anticipated benefits of our merger with Northwest; the integration of the Delta and Northwest workforces; interruptions or disruptions in service at one of our hub airports; our increasing dependence on technology in its operations; our ability to retain management and key employees; the ability of our credit card processors to take significant holdbacks in certain circumstances; the effects of terrorist attacks; and competitive conditions in the airline industry.

Additional information concerning risks and uncertainties that could cause differences between actual results and forward-looking statements is contained in our Securities and Exchange Commission filings, including our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2008 and our Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarterly period ended June 30, 2009. Caution should be taken not to place undue reliance on our forward-looking statements, which represent our views only as of August 12, 2009 and which we have no current intention to update.

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Monday, August 10, 2009® Gets an Upgrade, Passes It On to Guests

(BUSINESS WIRE)--Travelers have only 99 hours to book during®’s Upgrade Sale – with eye-catching deals like free room upgrades, resort and spa credits, free drinks and more – as the travel provider’s Web site comes back online after an upgrade to newer, faster servers.

Book by 11:59 p.m. EST Wednesday, Aug. 12 and save up to 70 percent off your vacation. A limited number of Upgrade deals are available in top destinations like Las Vegas, Florida, Mexico, the Caribbean, Myrtle Beach and New Orleans, among others.

“We’re excited about the upgrades to our website so we’re passing on incredible deals to our Guests, overlaying upgrades on top of our hottest vacation deals,” said Jesse Henson, Vice President of Marketing for “Everyone loves an upgrade, and there’s nothing we like more than offering our Guests a win-win vacation deal.” shut down its Web site overnight Saturday, Aug. 8 for the server upgrade. The Web site is open for business again – just in time for Guests to book travel in the final days of a summer full of outstanding vacation deals as the sluggish economy was expected to translate into 2.2 percent fewer summer leisure trips, according to the U.S. Travel Association.

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Saturday, August 08, 2009

Savannah Craft Brew Fest on September 4 and 5

The Savannah Area Convention & Visitors Bureau announces the Savannah Craft Brew Fest will be held on Friday, September 4 and Saturday, September 5 on Labor Day Weekend. The Savannah Craft Brew Fest is the area’s much-anticipated opportunity to experience a two-day festival devoted to the craft brew lover. Meet brewers from across the U.S. while tasting premium craft beer on beautiful Savannah Harbor.

On Friday, September 4 at the Craft Brew Pairings Dinner, enjoy the tastes of great Lowcountry cuisine while sampling craft brews that have been chosen to enhance the flavor. This event will feature the best of Southern cuisine and craft brews from across the U.S. with live entertainment by Junkyard Angel. The dinner will be held at the Morris Center at Trustees Garden starting at 6 p.m. Tickets are $50 in advance and $75 at the door. All proceeds will benefit Senior Citizens, Inc.

The Savannah Craft Brew Fest will take place on Saturday, September 5 from 1-7 p.m. and will feature more than 120 different craft brews, live entertainment by Jason Courtenay and The Chuck Courtenay Band, delicious food offerings and souvenir items for sale. Overlooking the Savannah River and beautiful Historic Savannah, this outdoor event will be held on the Esplanade at the Savannah International Trade & Convention Center. Tickets are $35 in advance and $40 at the door. Tickets are also $33 for a group of 20 or more in advance, $5 for a designated driver in advance and $10 for a designated driver day of the event. Tickets are $30 with a military discount.

Throughout the weekend, The Westin Savannah Harbor Golf Resort & Spa, the official hotel of the Craft Brew Fest, will not only have special room rates but a weekend filled with craft brew-centered events! On Friday night, Brews ‘n Booms will feature a fireworks extravaganza and dessert display following the Craft Brew Pairings Dinner. On Saturday, there will be a golf tournament at The Club at Savannah Harbor with an 8 a.m. shotgun and is $75 inclusive. Enjoy a day on the links with beer stations throughout and a cigar bar. Also on Saturday, the BrewMaster Speaks! Beer 101 lecture will be held from 11 a.m.- Noon before the Craft Brew Fest in the Harbor Ballroom at the Westin. Learn about some tricks of the trade and tasting techniques before embarking upon your tasting journey at the Craft Brew Fest. The lecture is free.

The Jazz Beer Brunch will take place at the Aqua Star on Sunday from 11:30 a.m.- 2 p.m. and is $38.95 per person. Enjoy “Savannah’s Best Brunch” with the “Best View of Savannah” (as voted by readers of Savannah Magazine and Connect Savannah). This weekly dining extravaganza features live jazz with Ben Tucker and Friends and this week only also features specially crafted, beer-inspired menu items created by Executive Chef Roger Michel.

The Greenbrier Spa will have Craft Brew Festival special offers, including treatment upgrades and beer-inspired craft-spa massages while you sip on our featured craft brew. Please call 912.201.2250 for more information. Be sure to book your room at the Westin today!

To date, the following are the breweries that have confirmed to participate in the 2009 Savannah Craft Brew Fest:

•Bell’s Brewery
•Brooklyn Brewery
•Dogfish Head
•Flying Dog Ales
•Fordham Brewing Company
•Full Sail
•Harpoon Brewery
•Lagunitas Brewing Company
•Lakefront Brewery, Inc.
•Left Hand Brewing Company
•Magic Hat Brewing Company
•Moon River Brewing Company
•New Belgium Brewing Company
•Old Dominion Brewing Company
•Original Sin
•Oskar Blues
•Shmaltz Brewing Company
•Sierra Nevada Brewing Company
•Southampton Publick House
•Stone Brewing Company
•Stoudt’s Brewing Company
•Sweetwater Brewery
•Terrapin Beer Company
•Thomas Creek Brewery
•Victory Brewing Company
•Widmer Brothers
•Woodchuck Draft Cider

For the second year in a row, Green Lifespace will be working with the CVB for to provide recycling services for the Savannah Craft Brew Fest. For last year’s inaugural Savannah Craft Brew Fest, Green Lifespace recycled an estimated 2,300 lbs. of glass beer bottles. Every single bottle was recycled at the City’s Recycling Center. Once again this year, Green Lifespace is helping the CVB to “go green” by not only picking up the recycling but making sure the event is low impact on the environment.

Tickets are on sale now! Tickets can be purchased at and at the Savannah Civic Center Box Office Monday-Friday from 9 a.m.- 5 p.m., by phone at 912.651.6557 Monday-Friday from 9 a.m.- 5 p.m. The Savannah Civic Center Box Office is located at 301 West Oglethorpe Avenue. Tickets will also be available for purchase on September 4 at the Trustees' Garden for the Beer and Food Pairing Dinner and on September 5 at the Savannah International Trade & Convention Center for the Savannah Craft Brew Fest. Appropriate service fees will apply.

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Friday, August 07, 2009

Potential Records, Reduced Expenses Expected To Lure Anglers To Wisconsin

(NAPSI)-While, like the rest of the nation, Wisconsin has felt the pinch of the recession, one segment of the state's economy could stand to benefit--the recreational fishing industry.

Many anglers who've traditionally gone to Canada for big-time fishing action may cut their travel expenses and opt to visit the lake-filled Midwestern state instead. Literally millions of anglers are expected to fish Wisconsin's waters, and they'll be chasing more than just dinner. They'll be trying to make history, encouraged by a recent season that included several world fly-rod records for the legendary muskellunge (musky).

And that might just have been the beginning. As a relatively new way to fish for musky, some experts believe that world fly fishing records could fall in several categories this year.

"Last year, there were several line-class fly-rod musky records broken because it is a fairly new way to fish for musky," said Emmett Brown, executive director of the National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame. "Some of these line-class records were relatively small, in the low 40-inch range, so I expect that you will see even more fly-rod line-class musky world records fall."

When the record does fall, there's a strong chance it will happen in the "Musky Capital of the World"--Hayward, Wisconsin.

Home to the National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame and the catch site for last year's fly-rod record, the Hayward area waters are the stuff of legend. The most famous is the Chippewa Flowage, where the all-tackle world-record musky (a 69-pound, 11-ounce monster) was caught some 60 years ago.

Though it's arguably the state's most high-profile fishing location, Hayward is just one of many fishing hot spots throughout Wisconsin. Home to 15,000 inland lakes, 42,000 miles of streams and rivers, plus two Great Lakes and 260 miles of the Mississippi River, Wisconsin offers anglers plenty to choose from. About 1.4 million fishing licenses are sold in Wisconsin each year, making the state second only to Florida in the number of days nonresident anglers spend fishing.

According to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service data, Wisconsin is the top fishing destination in the Midwest. Approximately 88 million fish are caught in a license year; an impressive number in and of itself, but even more so considering Wisconsin has just 5.6 million residents.

"All across the state, we have good populations of major game species such as walleye, bass, pike and trout as well as plenty of panfish like bluegills, crappies and yellow perch," said Mike Staggs, Wisconsin DNR's fisheries director. "The great thing about fishing in Wisconsin is that there are species biting somewhere on almost every day of the year."

"Musky is our Wisconsin state fish and we have over 700 lakes and 50 different rivers where anglers can find them," said Staggs. "But these days, a lot of anglers are looking for a few fish to take home for dinner and you'll find those here also."

Anglers can start with salmon, steelhead and lake trout that are plentiful in Lake Michigan and Lake Superior. Many of the state's coastal communities have large charter fishing fleets, offering visitors a "deep sea"−type fishing experience--and, potentially, a cooler full of delicious filets.

Wisconsin also boasts some of the nation's best fishing for tasty walleye, including the world-famous Winnebago chain (including lakes Winnebago, Butte des Morts and Poygan) and the Mississippi River.

"Anglers should not overlook the opportunity to harvest a few bass or trout," said Staggs. "We have some areas where trout and bass are doing so well that our fish managers would like folks to take a few home so they don't become stunted. And anglers shouldn't forget that we have abundant panfish populations in lakes all across the state. Our Fishing Report can give anglers some ideas on where to find some fish for dinner."

For more information about fishing in Wisconsin, Wisconsin travel information and travel-planning guides, visit or call the Wisconsin Department of Tourism's toll-free number, (800) 432-TRIP/8747.

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Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Experience Mardi Gras like a New Orleans Native

Dauphine Orleans Hotel Parade Package Includes Rare Opportunity to Ride in Krewe of Orpheus

The Dauphine Orleans Hotel is a prime place to stay for French Quarter fun and excitement, and the 2010 Mardi Gras festival (February 12-17, 2010) is going to be one of the most exciting events all year. Ideally situated one block from Bourbon Street and four blocks from Canal Street’s parade route, guests of the hotel will enjoy convenient access to all New Orleans Mardi Gras festivities.

The hotel is offering a special six-day Krewe of Orpheus Parade Package that includes a unique opportunity to ride in one of the most famous and prestigious parades of Carnival season.

The Dauphine Orleans Hotel’s Krewe of Orpheus Parade Package, for arrival on February 12, 2010, includes:*

-Five (5) nights accommodation in a Premium Courtyard guestroom
-Two tickets to ride in Harry Connick, Jr.’s Krewe of Orpheus Parade (Monday, February 15, 2010)
-Parade Day lunch for two
-Complimentary throws and Krewe costume, to ride in and to keep
-Complimentary refreshments during the parade ride
-Two tickets to the Orpheuscapade after-party at the New Orleans Convention Center
-Complimentary valet parking during your stay
-Complimentary daily deluxe continental breakfast
-Complimentary welcome beverage in the historic May Baily’s Lounge

*Availability is limited. The 6 day/5 night package is $5,492.65 double occupancy, $3,530.65 single occupancy, all taxes included. Package must be fully pre-paid and is non-cancelable. Rules and liability waiver are required to ride in the parade.

To check availability or reserve the Krewe of Orpheus Parade Package at the Dauphine Orleans Hotel, please use promotion code MGP and visit or call (800) 521-7111. The 6-day/5-night package may be reserved for arrival on February 12, 2010.

About the Dauphine Orleans Hotel
The Dauphine Orleans Hotel is located in the heart of the historic French Quarter at 415 Rue Dauphine, just steps from the bustle of Bourbon Street and antique shops on Royal Street. A multi-million dollar renovation of the 111-room hotel in June 2008 has created a new era of elegance in this 18th century landmark. Perfect for both business and leisure travelers, the Dauphine Orleans offers modern amenities such as wireless Internet, Tempur-Pedic™ bedding, fitness and exercise room, and a saltwater pool. For more information or to make a reservation, please call (800) 521-7111 or (504) 586-1800, or visit
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Come Out to Zoo Atlanta August 8 and 9

Zoo Expects Up to 16,000 Visitors

City of Atlanta and Fulton County Family Days at Zoo Atlanta offer free admission to residents of the City of Atlanta and Fulton County

Zoo Atlanta will host City of Atlanta and Fulton County Family Days on Saturday, August 8 and Sunday, August 9. On these two dates, guests who can demonstrate residence in or employment by the City of Atlanta or Fulton County government will enjoy free admission for one adult and up to three children per family.

Guests must present I.D. at Zoo Admissions. Recognized forms of identification include a Georgia Driver’s License; State of Georgia-issued voter identification; City of Atlanta employee identification card; Fulton County Government employee identification card; or water, gas or light utility bill.

Zoo officials expect unusually high volume on both dates. Guests are encouraged to arrive early and consider MARTA travel, as parking will be limited.

Saturday, August 8 and Sunday, August 9, 2009
9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; ticket booths close at 4:30 p.m.

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Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Putting Foot to Paper With Hiking Guide

T2F Note: This guidebook will provide you with many local options for day trips near Atlanta, therefore, it is certainly deserving of the coveted "Fayette Front Page Day Tripper Award."

Take a hike, Ren Davis ’73C tells urban explorers — and lists dozens of trails not far beyond the city limits. The Emory Healthcare employee, with his wife Helen, co-authored the Falcon Guide “Best Hikes Near Atlanta” released in May by Globe Pequot Press. Hear Davis read an excerpt from the guide.

From mountaintop vistas to historic sites and urban pathways, the guidebook describes 35 hiking destinations within an hour’s drive of Atlanta.

“We covered all four corners of the compass, from as far north as Amicalola Falls and far south as Piedmont National Wildlife Refuge,” says Davis, who hiked every trail armed with a notebook, GPS and camera.

Each hike features the Davises’ full-color photos; a brief route description; directions to the trailhead and GPS coordinates; an accurate trail map; and at-a-glance information on distance and difficulty level, hiking time, canine compatibility, fees and permits. Peppered throughout are “green tips” and sidebars on local lore, points of interest, and area wildlife.

“We’ve pulled together information about Georgia’s natural and human history to give readers a sense for, what is this area we’re going to be hiking in?” he says.

A native Atlantan, Davis is a local historian whose grandfather co-founded Emory Crawford Long Hospital, now Emory University Hospital Midtown. In 2003, Davis penned a book, “Caring for Atlanta: A History of Emory Crawford Long Hospital,” to commemorate the hospital’s redevelopment.

The avid hiker majored in history at Emory, an interest that informs much of his writing. The Davises describe themselves as “hands-on historians,” with a philosophy of preserving the past. “We feel that the best way to experience history is to walk it. Whether it’s a battleground or historic neighborhood, if you experience an area at the level of a pedestrian you’re more inclined to want to preserve it.”

And getting people out of their cars to more closely explore the world around them “is what we’re all about,” Davis says. Globe Pequot Press commissioned the Davises to write the Atlanta guidebook as part of their Falcon Guide city series based on the couple’s popular guides to hiking and walking the city: “Atlanta Walks” (1993) and “Georgia Walks” (2001). Both books are still in print with updated editions.

“Best Hikes Near Atlanta,” released in bookstores this May, was the culmination of two years of research, writing and many miles logged on foot. Complicating matters was a burglary in the Davises’ home where two computers were stolen. “I lost photographs for eight chapters! Fortunately I had backed up the manuscript to CD just the week before,” he says.

Davis, a project director in the Emory Healthcare Office of Quality, offers this advice to other aspiring authors on the Emory staff: “Find a topic that interests you, that you have some expertise in or are willing to invest time in, and then research what may already be out there,” he advises.

The Davises are already on to their next writing projects. “Best Easy Day Hikes Atlanta” to be released by Globe Pequot in 2010, features selections penned by the husband and wife team. And Davis has recently finished another manuscript, a guide to Civilian Conservation Corps sites in parks across the U.S.

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