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Utah Travel Headlines

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Congressmen Urge BLM To Ban OHV Use On Southern Utah Land

93 members of the US House of Representatives signed a letter sent Tuesday to the BLM, urging the federal government to block off-highway vehicle use in some of Utah's most remote lands, citing the cultural and archaeological treasures that might be damaged.

The Salt Lake Tribune has this article about the letter. Here are excerpts:

The letter comes from New York Democratic Rep. Maurice Hinchey and Illinois GOP Reps. Timothy Johnson and Mark Kirk. All but four of the 93 signatories are Democrats, 27 come from Western states, and 14 of them are on the House Natural Resources Committee, which has oversight over the BLM.

"I don't presume to set transportation policy for Chicago or New York," said Rep. Chris Cannon, R-Utah. "So I would appreciate my colleagues - none of whom are from Utah - not trying to protect Utah from Utahns."

"It is a national treasure, not just a Utah treasure," said Phil Bloomer, spokesman for Johnson. "It is not a provincial issue."

Read the complete article.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Kick Off Utah's Ski Season at the 2007 Fat Flake Festival

Ski Utah and Utah's ski resorts invite you to participate in a season kickoff party, the 2007 Fat Flake Festival, on November 3rd from 4 to 10 p.m. at the Gallivan Center in Salt Lake City.

Put on your favorite ‘80s ski-outfit and join the celebration. The best outfit will win a brand new ski package including gear from Eider, Rossignol, Burton and Smith.

Join us as we get ready for the winter ski season with live music by the Spazmatics and DJ Knucklz. Top athletes will battle-it-out in the Monster Rail Jam and be available for autographs in the Powder Lounge. Favorite athletes including Sage Cattabriga-Alosa, Nate Roberts, Heidi Voelker, Cooper Hoffmeister, Julian Carr, Jamey Parks and more will be there.

Exciting videos will pump you up for your first tracks while resorts will hand out passes and prizes. The event also features Ski Utah‘s annual photo contest winners, food, beer garden and more! Best of all, it‘s FREE!!

Schedule4 to 4:30 p.m. – DJ Knucklz
4:30 to 6 p.m. – Monster Rail Jam
5 to 10 p.m. – Ski and Snowboard Videos
6 to 9 p.m. – Athlete Poster Signing in Powder Lounge
6 to 6:45 p.m. – The Spazmatics
6:45 p.m. – Photos of the Year Contest
8:15 p.m. – ‘80s Costume Contest Winner Announced
8:45 to 9:30 p.m. – The Spazmatics
9:30 to 10 p.m. – DJ Knucklz

More details.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Conde Nast Ranks Sundance No 2 Among US Resorts

Sundance Ski Resort is ranked number two on this year's prestigious Conde Nast Traveler's Readers Choice list. The Daily Herald has this new article on the award. Here are excerpts:

The 6,000-acre full-service mountain resort, which sits at the base of the 12,000-foot Mount Timpanogos, ranked second in a worldwide readers poll of the top 50 U.S. resort destinations in 2007, up from sixth place in 2005. The Lodge on Little St. Simons Island in Georgia finished ahead of Sundance at first place this year.

The Readers Choice awards, one of the most anticipated stories of the globally distributed Conde Nast travel magazine, lists globe-trotting travelers' favorite hotels, cruises, airlines, islands and cities on the planet.

Conde Nast Traveler's annual poll asked its readers to evaluate resorts on a combination of factors including ambience, activities, staff friendliness, restaurants, lodging, shopping, overall design, rooms and service. More than 28,000 travelers were surveyed, with Sundance receiving a rating of 94.6 out of 100.

Read the complete article.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Annual Moab Folk Music Festival

This popular event will be Nov 2-4 in Moab. It is an exciting gathering of accomplished artists from the national, regional and local contemporary folk music community. From Utah to Texas, to Virginia and New York - the Moab Folk Music Festival brings some of the finest singer/songwriter musicians in the country.

All venues are located in historic downtown Moab. Outdoor performances will be held in the Moab Ball Field, which is within walking distance from Main Street and has panoramic views of red rock and the La Sal Mountains. Evening performances will be held at Grand County High School.

Bruce Cockburn, Catie Curtis, Peter Rowan, Laurie Lewis & Tom Rozum, Mollie O'Brien & Rich Moore, JohnSmith, Kenny White, Chris Proctor, Wishing Chair, Sand Sheff and more!

Phone: 435-260-2488
Web Address:
Accessible to those with Disabilities

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Deseret Morning News Offers Ski, Snowboard School

The Deseret Morning News is again offering skiing and snowboarding classes at a very affordable price. This aricle has details. Here are excerpts:

It was 60 years ago that the late Alf Engen came up with the idea of linking friendly classes and professional instructors and founded the Deseret Morning News Ski School.

For a fee of $35, students will receive three two-hour lessons from professional ski or snowboard instructors. They will begin with the basics — learning to walk with the long extensions on their feet — and finish up by making linked turns on a gentle slope.

The three lessons will be Nov. 17, Dec. 1 and Dec. 8. Skiers will go to Alta and snowboarders to Snowbird.

Read the article.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The Canyons Is Park City's Best-Kept Secret

Skies are clear and sunny right now, but Utah's ski resorts are gearing up for an early opening. And the media is singing their songs.

Here's a new article from, talking up The Canyons Ski Resort. Below are excerpts:

"Sherri Williams from Atlanta, on the last day of her vacation, noticed The Canyons' people-friendly design -- a terraced layout that separates cars on the lower level from the Resort Village at midlevel, a pedestrian zone with the ticket office, rental shops, restaurants and the Grand Summit Hotel."

"The Canyons, its 3,700 acres open and uncrowded, is a bona fide best-kept secret. Spread over adjacent ridges, the resort's 152 trails flow and turn, challenging and entertaining in turn."

"Plenty of expert-only chutes, most rated double-black-diamond, plunge into Murdock Bowl and off Apex Ridge. But the Canyons really seems to be a bonanza for intermediate recreational skiers, people who are happiest carving turns on groomed trails."

Read the entire article.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Fly Into Salt Lake City and Ski Free

Park City ski resorts are again participating in a "Quick Start" program that lets you ski for free on the day you fly into the area.

The program lets you convert your airline boarding pass into a same-day lift ticket to the Park City resort of your choice. It’s your chance to get a free same-day lift ticket at Park City Mountain Resort, Deer Valley Resort or The Canyons Resort.

Here are details about the program.

Mike Doyle publishes this ski blog on He says this about the program: "The hook here is that you really can hop a morning flight from almost anywhere into Salt Lake City and be skiing the same afternoon."

He continues: "The Quick START promotional offer is valid from each resort's opening day through December 24, 2007, then January 2 through February 14, 2008 and March 24 through the respective resort closing date."

Monday, October 22, 2007

Ski Resorts Plan To Open In Mid-November

Enthusiasts are already hiking to the top of runs and skiing or boarding down, after two storms dumped snow on Utah's mountains last week. Conditions look favorable and several Utah Ski resorts are panning to open in mid-November.

Ski Utah reports the following schedule for resort openings:
Nov 15 - Alta
Nov 16 - Park City Mtn
Nov 16 - Solitude
Nov 17 - The Canyons
Nov 17 - Snowbird
Nov 22 - Snowbasin
Nov 22 - Wolf Mtn
Nov 22 - Brian Head
Dec 7 - Sundance
Dec 8 - Deer Valley
TBA - Brighton
TBA - Beaver Mtn
TBA - Powder Mtn

Thursday, October 18, 2007 Suggests Goblin Valley for Halloween has come up with a list of the "10 Best Places to Celebrate Halloween." Utah's Goblin Valley State Park comes in at number 8.

This is an international list featuring attractions like the Catacombs in Paris, the Witch Market in La Paz, and the Salem Witch Museum. Quite an honor for a little Utah park to be ranked with the best of the ghoulish.

This news release has their complete list.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Red Rock Film Festival

The Red Rock Film Festival and Horror Fest runs Oct 19-20 in St George and Nov 1-4 in Springdale.

This year nine film festivals and events combine into one big motion picture arts festival with over 50 films.

St. George section
October 19 at the St. George Opera House, Aquatic Center and Stadium 8 Theaters.
October 20 at the St. George Opera House and The Electric Theater.

Springdale section
November 1 at the Canyon Community Center
November 2 & 3 at the Canyon Community Center and Flanigans Inn
November 4 at the Canyon Community Center

The nine festival programs include:
• Zion Feature Films: Full-length feature film competition.
• Horror Fest: a tribute to classic horror feature films presented by
The St. George Film Society.
• Red Rock Special Screenings: Feature movie premieres of new films.
• Senior Screen: Feature films catered to the senior audience or show
seniors in a positive light.
• Zion Flix: Short film competition presented by Z-Arts
• Zion Independent Film Festival & Movie Camp: Young Filmmaker shorts
made by local and international High School students.
• Guerrilla Film Competition: Films made over a weekend presented by
The St. George Film Society.
• Dive-in Movie: a special screening where the audience is in the
swimming pool; presented by the city of St. George.
• Butch Cassidy Film Run: a special screening in conjunction with the
Butch Cassidy 10K Run.

Phone: 888-602-0009
Contact: Marketing Director

Web Site:

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Grand Canyon North Rim Closes For Season

Visitor services and facilities on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon are now closed for the season. The road into the area may be open for a few more days, until closed by snowfall.

Visitor services are open from mid-May through mid-October. Today was the final day for that scheduled period. If people venture down the highway to the rim after today they go at their own risk - there will be no services or facilities available.

The North Rim is located in remote country. Travelers need to be well prepared when traveling there any time of the year.

Toroweap can often be accessed during the fall and winter via a long drive on dirt and gravel. It is a spectacular vista on the north side of the canyon.

The South Rim of the Grand Canyon remains open through the winter. It is located at a lower elevation and so it receives less snowfall than the North Rim.

Grand Canyon West, operated by the Hualapai Indian Tribe, is also open year-round. It is located on the southwest side of the canyon. The best access is out of Kingman,AZ, near Las Vegas. Grand Canyon West includes the recently open Skywalk, which is a horseshoe-shaped steel frame with glass floor and sides. It extends about 70 feet out over the canyon., 4,000 feet above the canyon floor. See the Hualapai website for details.

No matter where in Grand Canyon you want to go, now is the time to book reservations for trips next summer.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Utah's Dino Destinations

With Dinosaur National Monument and other sites, Utah is well-known as a great place to learn about dinosaurs. In some places you can see fossils embedded in native rock, in its natural environment. We also offer museums and study area where you can see dozens of fossils, replicas and displays.

The Salt Lake Tribune has this new article on Utah's dinosaur sites. Coincidentally, I am just finishing this Travel Tips newsletter on Utah's sites. There is some overlap between the two features, but each also offers some unique information and insights.

Here are excerpts from the Tribune article:

The state is home to at least 33 different dinosaur species, with more species being discovered on a regular basis at active dig sites. In recent weeks alone, scientists announced the discovery of a 30-foot-tall dinosaur with a snout full of teeth in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.

Museums from Ogden to St. George and from Vernal to Blanding offer all sorts of interesting ways to bone up on dinosaurs, including a chance to see actual tracks and fossilized dinosaur skin - and robotic dinosaurs that move and talk.

Read the entire article.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Hike the Navajo Loop at Bryce Canyon National Park

The Deseret Morning News has this new article about the Navajo Loop Trail at Bryce Canyon National Park. The trail was recently reopened after being closed for 14 months because of a massive rockslide.

Here are excerpts:

"Navajo is our most popular trail, our flagship trail," Brent McGinn, spokesman for Bryce Canyon National Park, said, explaining that's why the park worked long and hard to reopen it.

During the trail's closure, the Wall Street section of the trail was blocked off and there was only access along the north section of the trail to Thor's Hammer and Two Bridges. Hikers completed a loop then by connecting with the Queen's Garden trail through Sunrise Point.

McGinn also said Bryce has 1.5 million visitors a year, and he estimates that half of those walk at least some portion of the Navajo Trail. He also said overall park visitation during 2007 is definitely up, though no exact figures are available yet to declare it is a record season at Bryce.

Read the complete article.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

South Temple Named One of America's Great Streets

The American Planning Association has selected South Temple Street (in Salt Lake City) as one of 10 Great Streets in America for its historical residential design and craftsmanship, diversity of land uses, and the integration of multiple forms of transportation throughout history — as well as commitment on the part of the community to preserve its legacy.

Here’s their write-up about the street.

Here are excerpts:

"First envisioned in Joseph Smith's Plat of Zion of 1833 and later employed by Brigham Young in 1847, South Temple Street was meant to be the finest and most prominent avenue in Salt Lake City, as well as a model for other cities and towns in the west. Much of South Temple's success today is a direct reflection of this original bold vision."

"Originally a dirt road, South Temple or Brigham Boulevard developed as a stately residential street as Brigham Young and other church leaders began building homes on the street. As mining became an economic powerhouse in Utah, the wealthiest families built their mansions along South Temple. Today, it is home to the world's richest compendium of religious and non religious buildings: Mormon and Masonic temples, Presbyterian and Catholic churches, historic fraternal clubs, and stately homes of a bygone era, including the Keams Mansion, currently home to the Utah governor."

Read the complete article.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Delta Offers a Portrait of Salt Lake City

The new issue of Delta Airlines Sky magazine includes this extensive portrait of Salt Lake City.

This tidbit shows the tone of the articles: "Salt Lake City is characterized by breathtaking views, a gorgeously rugged landscape and a naturally laid-back atmosphere. The city’s restaurants are no different. From cozy mountainside hideaways that serve warm, elegant homemade fare to happily rowdy and casual sports bars, there are plenty of ways to admire and savor this city’s dining options."

Each article is illustrated with beautiful photos. The table of contents is given below. Links go to pdfs created from magazine pages.

Snapshots: Three Salt Lakers making an impact.

Past, Present, Future: The future is brighter when it draws on the past.

Rings of Glory: After the Olympics, things just got better.

Landscape: A local photographer captures the beauty of Wasatch Mountain State Park

Growing Forward: Conditions are right for business.

Alpine Access: The mountains are right there. Grab your skis and get a taste of powder.

Absorb and Appreciate: There are plenty of ways to admire and savor this city¹s dining options.

Grace Notes: It's the small things that make staying in Salt Lake City relaxing and alluring.

Gallery: A local artist interprets downtown Salt Lake City.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Free Class on the Archeology of Utah

How long have humans lived in Utah?

When did people start farming and growing corn?

Why did the Anasazi abandon their homes in southern Utah?

These are some of the questions to be explored in a free one-day class on the archaeology of Utah, offered on October 20 from 10 am to 4 pm at the Rio Grande Depot. The class will introduce the concept of archaeology and the prehistoric cultures of Utah.

It is free and is open to the public. Participants must pre-register by sending an e-mail to with “October Class” in the subject line, or by calling Assistant State Archaeologist Ron Rood at 801/533-3564. The class is sponsored by State History’s Antiquities Section and the Utah Statewide Archaeological Society.

More details about the class.

Friday, October 05, 2007

LDS Conference Brings Crowds to Downtown Salt Lake City

Downtown Salt Lake city will be busy this weekend as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints gather for the faith's 177th Semiannual General Conference.

The Mormon Church is headquartered in Salt Lake City. It holds General Conference meetings in April and October. Thousands of members will attend meetings, held Saturday and Sunday in the Conference Center adjacent to Temple Square.

Salt Lake's TRAX mass transit system will help shuttle people into and out of the city. The area around Temple Square will be crowded, as will nearby restaurants and hotels.

Non-Mormons are welcome to attend most Conference meetings. Admission into the Conference Center is difficult because far more people gather than will fit into the building. Sessions are broadcast over loudspeakers at Temple Square. Many members and visitors listen while touring the grounds.

Sessions are also broadcast on local TV and radio stations and carried via cable and satellite TV to audiences around the world. Video streams from the conference can be seen on the church's website, with audio translated into many languages.

The Church has posted this preview of the conference.

Public interest in this conference is high for several reasons. First, officials are expected to name a new member of the governing First Presidency, to replace James Faust who passed away recently. They will probably also name new member of the Quorum of 12 Apostles, again to replace Faust.

In addition, the Mitt Romney presidential campaign has focuses media attention on the Church.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

New Ski Resort Proposed Near Salt Lake City

Utah may soon have a new ski resort, this one on land owned by Kennecott in the Oquirrh Mountains, in the southwest area of Salt Lake Valley.

The Salt Lake Tribune describes the proposal in this new article. Here are excerpts:

While the copper company and land developer has set no timetable for the project, officials say the snow conditions and slopes are promising for Deer Valley-like terrain just seven miles west of Highway 111 in a region known as Soldier Flats.

It's not a matter of if, says Jim Schulte, Kennecott's vice president of long-range planning, but when.
"It's certainly skiable terrain," Schulte said, "and a lot of it."

The resort is part of Kennecott's grander vision for the west bench. South Jordan's Daybreak was just the beginning. The company plans to develop 41,000 acres of hillside neighborhoods and businesses. That's enough to cover the valley's east side from 1100 North to 14600 South, stretching from 900 East to the east bench.

"They could easily do it," said Nathan Rafferty, president and chief executive officer of Ski Utah, a marketing association representing Utah's ski and snowboard industry. "I don't know that it's the kind of resort that would compete with the Snowbirds, Altas and Deer Valleys of the world, but it would be something that would benefit Salt Lake."

Read the entire article.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Discovering Southern Utah's Canyonlands

MSN Travel has this new article about exploring the national parks and other scenic areas in Utah's canyon country. Here are excerpts:

Here, surrounded by the naked eons of Earth's history, it's impossible not to be reminded of your insignificance, but the silent, overwhelming beauty of the landscape invites you to feel intimately part of it.

The low gray sky unloads an unseasonable rain, slicking the trail and making it seem even more dangerous, but as I reach the top, a break in the clouds provides a stunning denouement. I look down from a fin of vertical red rock and see a full rainbow spread out, not above but beneath me, arching across the green valley and serpentine river far below. It feels like the scenery, so epic and vivid in the sudden sunlight, is drawing the air from my chest. So this is what they mean by breathtaking.

After the solitude of the desert, the bustle of bandanna-clad tourists in Moab is a shock. On the banks of the Colorado River, the town's slickrock mountain biking trails, raftable white water and ample desert for off-roading all make for an outdoorsy action theme park. Surrounded by T-shirt shops, real estate offices and healing-crystal emporia, I feel like I'm in a Gen-X Jackson Hole.

Not for the first time in the past few days, I'm in a world unlike any I've ever seen. And as the current wafts us toward the next bend, I steep in that oddly enjoyable, revelatory state so common in the Canyonlands: of wondering what grand marvel, what strange mystery will greet my eyes next.

Read the entire article.

Monday, October 01, 2007

ABC's Weekend Window: Cedar Breaks National Monument

ABC News opened its Weekend Window on Cedar Breaks National Monument, in southwestern Utah. Here's the feature, which includes text, photos and a video clip providing an overview of the scenic area.

With fall colors peaking in the southern Utah high country, this is an excellent time to visit Cedar Breaks. Here are excerpts from the ABC report:
"All the oranges, yellows and reds you see are a byproduct of iron oxide," Boles said. "When you see white, it's pure limestone. And when you see purple, it's actually manganese oxide."
"Hoodoo is simply something that charms or enchants or casts a spell," Boles said. "And if you're out here long enough, and you see the way the light reflects off the rocks do just that, they charm you, they enchant you, and you have a spell cast upon you."

"Here in the park," Herbert said, "we have bristle cone pines that are over 1,600 years [old]. Actually, our oldest is 1,671 years old this year. They are amazing trees. They have to be really hearty, durable plants."

See the full report.
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