Rocky Mountain International
Welcome to the RMI e-Newsletter, we hope you like the format. Find e-Newsletter archives here.
By Kim Birrell
The Roundup was held in Boise from April 10 – 12. The host hotel was the Red Lion Downtowner where all marketplace events were held. Tour operators from the UK, France, Switzerland, Germany, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands, Norway, Finland and Australia attended, as well as about 73 suppliers from our four state region. To introduce the tour operators to the area, the Boise CVB made arrangements for a fun fam tour around the area, including stops at Ste Chapelle Winery and Bitner Vineyards, a lunch stop at Indian Creek Restaurant where everyone enjoyed delicious steaks, and an afternoon stop at the World Center for Birds of Prey. Later that evening the group enjoyed a site visit and dinner with entertainment at the Riverside Hotel.
The following two days of Marketplaces kept both tour operators and the region’s suppliers very busy with meetings and the Main Banquet. This Banquet was held at The Basque Center in downtown Boise and entertainment by Basque dancers was provided, including a chance for Roundup participants to learn the traditional dance moves demonstrated by the performers.
After Roundup a group of ten tour operators participated in a post fam in Idaho led by Nancy RIchardson. Highlights on this tour were visits to Riggins, Orofino, Wallace, the Cataldo Mission, Sandpoint, and biking and kayaking in Farragut State Park.
A special thanks goes to the Boise community, the Red Lion Downtowner and the many sponsors who helped our visiting tour operators get a sense of the tremendous hospitality of Boise! Melissa Cleland and Terry Kopp deserve recognition for their exceptional organizational skills in pulling all the components together to make this such a success.
Many thanks to our region’s suppliers, some of whom trekked through difficult weather conditions to reach Boise, and to the tour operators who traveled even further, for making this event a great success. We couldn’t do it without you!
Bids for the 2014 Roundup to be held in Montana will go out soon. Please contact Kim Birrell at RMI or Marlee Iverson, your Montana Tourism representative, if you are interested in bidding or in learning more about hosting this event. We hope to see all of you there in 2014!
A Special Thank You goes to Alaska Airlines and Catherine Vaurillon, Account Manager for Alaska Airlines in Paris, for providing complimentary tickets between Seattle and Boise for the French Roundup tour operator participants.
By Mathias Jung
|Mathias Jung, Marlee Iverson, Nancy Richardson, Janine Wolski, Rita Green Bellard, Maureen Droz, Gary Schluter|
Taking place in Berlin, Germany every year, ITB is one of the world’s leading trade shows for international travel. The RMI delegation had a strong presence in the Brand USA Pavilion during the event March 5-10, 2013. International marketing representatives from state tourism departments of South Dakota, Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming were joined by RMI partner Jackson Hole Chamber of Commerce and official RMI receptive operators America 4 You and RMHTours.
According to the ITB Berlin 2013 Closing Report, there were some 110,000 trade visitors who came to obtain information about all sectors of the international travel industry. Nearly 10,100 exhibitors from 189 countries representing the entire spectrum of the international travel industry and 60,000 members of the general public came during the weekend to find out about holiday destinations and new travel ideas. For the RMI states, this is a key venue and market to reach and build relationships with the travel trade, media and end client.
The Real America booth was busy throughout the first three days of the show. 37 pre-scheduled appointments were scheduled with key travel trade and media from around the globe. The meetings ranged from freelance journalists and travel publications looking to write a travel story about the region to wholesale tour operators, online marketing groups and exhibit providers looking to build or market the Real America region travel product. Overall, 10 meetings were devoted to media while 27 to trade. We also accommodated many walk-up meetings while distributing state and region travel literature and answering questions.
Throughout the week, discussions were creative and productive providing tremendous follow up potential. 11 meetings were with first-time contacts. The remaining contacts were with operators, trade marketing companies and media, many of which have long-standing relationships with the region. RMI has extensive notes of past discussions and ongoing plans to be coordinated keeping the communication lines open throughout the year. It is nice to reconnect face-to-face and build a business relationship with those companies and people that continue to sell and write about the region. Demand was definitely high.
It was notable that many German, Austrian and Swiss operators that we met with were looking to promote existing product. We received proposals covering all points on the marketing spectrum, from Newsletter and social media sponsorship to product content enhancement and hi-tech vacation builders. We also entertained several appointments that focused on travel agent e-learning programs to build region travel product knowledge. There is no shortage of opportunities and proposals in hand to support those that sell the region to the end client and drive visitors to the region.
New in 2013 and for the first time ever, ITB Berlin allowed direct sales of travel packages during consumer days. Taking advantage of this fact, we invited several tour operators who offer RMI region product to participate in our booth over the weekend. Argus Reisen, who is a specialist operator for USA & Canada focusing on skiing, horseback riding and ranch vacations, was a partner with the RMI region over the weekend. Managing Director, Mr. Dirk Büttner, will be attending the RMI Roundup in April. This strategy worked out extremely well as Argus staff was able to communicate with the general public, selling their offerings, while promoting our region states with material distribution.
The significance of the German market for inbound visitation to the U.S., volume of business conducted at the 5-day event, the marketing opportunities presented and the networking possibilities, make ITB Berlin an imperative component of the RMI states’ annual marketing plan. As one of the world’s largest meeting places for international tourism, this venue provides access to not only the German-speaking market, but also trade, media and consumers across all RMI target markets, making it a great use of staff time and budget allocations.
Having Official RMI Receptive Operators America 4 You and RMHTours attend creates an impact for the entire region. These region trade specialists can book the product and drive sales and are a key factor in what ultimately brings the visitors to the region. Moreover, Official RMI Partner Jackson Hole Chamber of Commerce added significant knowledge and insider expertise to one of the most popular areas in the entire region.
2013 provided a good sign that tourism to the region from the German-speaking market is stable and showing signs of increase for the 2013/14 year. Plans are in motion for a completely redesigned booth with a new region brand, visuals, technology, layout and functionality. It is recommended that the region keep and build on its strong presence at ITB in 2014, while exploring opportunities to partner with Brand USA and other travel marketers when it strategically makes sense.
By Kim Birrell
|Rita Greene Bellard, Nancy Richardson, Maureen Droz, Hervé Duxin, Kim Birrell, Marlee Iverson|
The French Mission was held in Toulouse and Paris from March 10 through 14. The four states were represented by Maureen Droz of South Dakota, Rita Greene Bellardo of Wyoming, Marlee Iverson of Montana, Nancy Richardson of Idaho and Kim Birrell of RMI-US. We were led by Hervé Duxin of RMI-France. Visiting Toulouse first, we were greeted by tour operators at each office who recognized and appreciated that the states had made a great effort to travel to see them. This was the first time the states visited this city to promote our region. These tour operators have offices in Paris or larger cities, so most are familiar with the region because they already sell it, but it was worth the effort to meet with product managers personally to assist them with additional information about our region and to provide itinerary ideas and updates.
After a busy day of meetings in Toulouse, we traveled to Paris for the VIP Dinner and the remaining days of the Mission which were very busy. Overall we had 21 leads. Most meetings were with companies who carry our region’s product already, meeting with product managers who needed updates from the states or assistance with particular itineraries or alternate lodging ideas. We also trained staff who sell our region, such as Compagnies du Monde and La Maison des Etats-Unis.
Many companies report very strong interest in our region. Directours is getting more and more requests and because of their staff’s participation in Megafam for several years, they are better able to sell our region. Jetset says the season is going really well and they continue to get an increased number of requests for our region. Comptoir reports all is going extremely well for sales to our region. They want to develop winter product to Yellowstone. Le Cercle des Vacances reports that the direct flight to Salt Lake City helps them sell more of our region and they have good expectations for this summer’s bookings. Thomas Cook has increased product in our region with several tours and they are considering doing a special fly drive for ranches in 2014. Visiteurs reports a big increase in business and finds it easier to fly into Jackson from Salt Lake City, which means more bookings. This company has only been selling our region for about three years.
Indicators from these French tour operators reveal continued optimism about travel to our four states. They continue to add product from our region. Despite serious ongoing economic concerns in France, the French react by focusing on more pleasant things, such as their vacations. They don’t want to cut vacations from their budgets. Operators must find new locations and activities to lure clients on trips. As our region is getting more well known, they genuinely view it as a destination to strongly promote because of its diversity.
The French Mission is an essential part of our marketing efforts in France each year. It is important to connect with tour operators who know our region and want to expand here, and with companies who are new to offering our region in their programs, such as City Discovery and EFH Group (Barbara Livney’s new company). They appreciate the personal advice of the states and this continues to be a very effective way for the states to promote the region.
The French are enamored with the Western way of life, authentic experiences and the wide variety of activities our region offers. Interest in ranches continues to grow. We are grateful to the dedication and interest of these tour operators and to Hervé for organizing such an effective event.
By Barbara Stafford
Barbara Stafford, Mathias Jung, Gary Schluter, Jayne Buck, Fred Walker
Swanson Travel Event (Osby, Sweden)
March 1 & 2, 2013
Mathias Jung, Barbara Stafford (RMI), Jayne Buck (Denver CVB) and Fred Walker (North Dakota Tourism) represented the Real America consortium.
Over 1400 US Product buyers attended the annual one-day travel fair at Fort Swanson’s this year. The Real America presentation was offered twice (45 minutes each sessions) to standing room only crowds. Tours and fly-drives featuring our region were very popular.
Discover America Denmark: Copenhagen Event
Mathias Jung, Barbara Stafford (RMI), Jayne Buck (Denver CVB), Gary Schluter (RMHTours) and Fred Walker (North Dakota Tourism) represented the Real America consortium.
- Morning was spent doing staff trainings at NYHAVN, one of Denmark’s largest tour operators and US specialists. Help develop and revise a Real America Tour being offered.
- Pver 175 travel trade attended the workshop and the B2B attracted 48 Danish Tour Operators and Travel media.
USA voted as the world's best travel destination at Norway’s Grand Travel Awards 2012!
At the annual Grand Travel Awards Gala Monday night it was announced that the Norwegian travel trade had voted the United States as their favorite in the category “Best Tourism Destination.” Accepting the award, a proud U.S. Ambassador to NorwayBarry B White said; “ We are honored to accept this award on behalf of the U.S., particularly since the question asked in this open category was: Which country do you think will take best care of your clients?” With reference to President Obama’s National Travel and Tourism Strategy, The Travel Promotion Act and the Brand USA initiatives, we assure you that the U.S. is constantly working to improve every aspect of travel to and within the U.S.”
Said Widar Jensen, Chair of Discover America in Norway, “A well deserved recognition of the world’s best destination, - the Norwegian’s love of the U.S. is no secret to us, with double digit percentage increase every year for the last 6 years, and more than 250.000 visitors last year. Norway is the second largest market in the Nordic countries, and the Nordic market the fourth largest in Europe, with more than 1.1 million visitors last year.”
Huge numbers of travel agents attended every Expo
By Barbara Stafford
James Scoon –Wyoming Travel and Tourism
Fred Walker -North Dakota Division of Tourism
Mitch Knothe–Idaho Division of Tourism
Marlee Iverson - Montana Division of Tourism
Maureen Droz – South Dakota Tourism
Barbara Stafford – Rocky Mountain International
The United States is now the #1 destination for the Australian traveler. In 2012 one out of every 22 Australians traveled to US for holiday. Over one million Australians now travel yearly to the US. Their average stay is 26 days and they visit an average 2.5 states per visit (this represents the highest average for ALL countries visiting US). This is proving to be an amazingly strong market for us.
Another successful mission to Australia & New Zealand. Interest in our region continues to grow and we are now featured in several of the major Australian tour operator catalogs and websites. We received an unprecedented amount of media coverage from the travel trade, much of it centered around the new Real America website and the new Australian edition of the Real America Guide.
The new website www.rmi-realamerica.com.au generated a lot of interest from the travel trade industry as we invited them to link their websites (those portions featuring our product) to ours. We promoted it to the travel agents at the Expos as a “tool” created specifically for them to assist them in customizing itineraries to our region for their clients. We promoted it to the media as their “one stop site” for up to date info, photos, video or to request a fam.
The new 5 State videos (which were designed to tie each individual states’ video into a seamless 5 state presentation) proved popular. In addition we have created 12 minute and 18 minute versions and we used them as needed during our various trainings and business presentations.
- Adventure World: (meeting and training for new WA Director)
- Perth Expo: (over 200 travel agents)
- Adventure World: (2 staff trainings/ 13 staff total)
- Media Marketplace: Over 100 travel writers and journalists
- B2B: Eighteen tour companies were represented
- RMI Media/Trade Event: Thirty three media and trade attended
- Sydney Expo: Over 550 Travel Agents
- Brisbane Expo: Over 200 Travel Agents
- Media reception: met with 4 Travel media
- Melbourne Expo: Over 320 travel Agents
- Media reception: met with 9 travel media
- Auckland Expo: Over 250 Travel Agents
- B2B: Over a dozen tour companies were represented
By Barbara Stafford
The “Real America” group at MATKA. Over 75,000 visitors in 4 days including 7980 travel trade representatives.
The FY13 Scandinavian Mission was held in January. Reps from each of the RMI States: James Scoon from Wyoming, Mitch Knothe from Idaho, Vicky Engelhaupt from South Dakota, Fred Walker from North Dakota, Marlee Iverson from Montana along with Jayne Buck from Visit Denver CVB joined Barbara Stafford from Rocky Mountain International on a hectic schedule that brought them to Oslo and Bergen, Norway and Helsinki, Finland. Over a hundred quality leads were generated during the business events.
The new Scandinavian version of the Real America Guide was The “Real America” group at MATKA. Over 75,000 visitors in 4 days including 7980 travel trade representatives. very well received by both trade and consumers. We distributed over 3,000 copies during Reiseliv and MATKA.
RMI launched four new websites Scandinavia (which are featured on the cover of the new magazine and throughout. The four new language specific Real America websites:
generated a great deal of interest from the tour operators who are enthusiastic about linking their catalog pages (which feature product in our region) to their country specific site.
The new “wrap design” for the Show booths worked well and allowed us to feature the language specific website at both the show in Norway and in Finland.
Please visit the RMI website for a full report of the mission and our activities.
Itinerary for January Mission: January 10-20, 2013
- Meeting with Icelandair
- Staff Trainings (2) USA Spesialisten
- RMI Trade and Media Event
- Discover America Norway B2B
- Reiseliv Travel Trade Show
- Staff Training Nordmann-Reiser
- USA Showcase Event
- Staff Training Kaleva Travel
- Staff Training Suomi-Seuron Matkattomisto
- Discover America Committee Finland B2B
- MATKA (Scandinavia’s largest travel trade fair)
By Mathias Jung
While the oldest and best regional tourism partnership in the country has continued to be strong and effective, we at Rocky Mountain International recognize that future growth and innovation require a full-time and energetic executive.
With that in mind and after 22 years as the visionary president and co-owner of RMI, Chuck Box has stepped down to pursue his “second job” as a successful novelist. In turn, he has handed the reins to a new leader.
Effective January 1, 2013, Mathias Jung is the new co-owner of the company with Laurie Box and will serve as RMI’s Executive Director. We at RMI are all excited about the new structure and direction that Mathias’ leadership will provide while building off of the strong foundation and results that Chuck has developed in promoting the Rocky Mountain states of Idaho, Montana, South Dakota and Wyoming internationally.
“Founding and being the executive for the regional effort all these years has been my distinct privilege and honor. I believe in the concept as much as I ever did, and that there is no better job than promoting the tourism opportunities in South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana and Idaho. I know Mathias feels the same way and he’ll bring enthusiasm, dedication, and experience to this greatest of regional international tourism programs.” - Chuck Box
Mathias comes with seven years of experience at RMI, progressing throughout his young career from coordinator to manager and now director. Mathias brings ambition, forward thinking, and long-term commitment to the four-state program. He wants to create and implement state tourism goals and initiatives in the coming years to take this special regional partnership to new levels of international marketing growth and prestige.
“Everything I’ve learned in the international tourism industry and the success I’ve achieved at this point in my career can be attributed to RMI and the opportunities Chuck and Laurie Box have provided. I admire and respect what the Box’s have accomplished with the regional consortium and am humbled that I was considered as an option to continue the success. I am geared up in my new role and thrilled at the potential these Rocky Mountain states have in promoting internationally.” - Mathias Jung
Update on the French Market
By Hervé Duxin
Howdy from France!
Definitively, France is an interesting country that is packed with contrasts. On one hand, European countries and France are facing a major economic crisis that impacts massively daily life as well as business.
On the other hand, perspectives for tourism to the USA are very optimistic! With five weeks paid vacation per year, the French are very motivated to escape the daily concerns, traveling to destinations that will provide an enjoyable moment with their families. Amongst other destinations, the United States of America appear to be the most attractive to the French with so many different types of states that each represent a different experience. Our RMI region is offering a large panel of experiences that fulfill all kinds of wishes.
These last years of economic crisis impact seriously the way of work for the ‘Deciders of the Tourism Industry’ who are all working under major stress. Their companies are adding on them more work while decreasing the number of work forces they can optimize (not to say save) budgets. We have in France three kinds of companies:
1) Most of the Major Companies (Thomas Cook, Nouvelles Frontieres and many others) are struggling with budget. The main reason of their massive loss is because they had been betting for years on easy to sell and mass tourism destinations. They didn’t anticipate the revolutions in the Arabic Countries where they were sending charters of French Tourists. They didn’t anticipate either the Internet syndrome that now allows most of the connected travelers to book online their flights and hotels for easy destinations. Who in France is now buying a trip to New York or Orlando with a Tour Operator?
2) At the same time, Mid-size companies (Voyageurs, Comptoir, Jetset, Cercle des Vacances, etc) are reporting increase of bookings for the season to come for the RMI region. These companies are working, since many years now, on the “a la carte” travels that need expertise.
3) The best surprise is coming from the Niche Tour operating companies (Always on Wheels, AMT, Destination Poudreuse, etc) that are optimizing a maximum of their resources and benefits as they sell top customized packages to a clientele who is traveling for a passion for horse riders, for skiers, for motorcyclists, for golfers, for cultural trips amongst other passions.
For these three categories of tour operating companies, the future is to study and to customize as much as possible their products in order to match the new travelers needs. We see major companies are now developing their offer for customized and original packages that would be closer to what is offered by the two other categories. The condition for success is a come back to the essence of their job; bringing added value to their clients with knowledge of the hotels, activities and the region in general and this is very important - service to their clients.
The Real America Region arrived on the French Market at a perfect time 14 years ago. Starting from scratch, we paved the French Road of Tourism to bring awareness on Idaho, Montana, South Dakota and Wyoming as well as our Gateway Cities. The beauty of the Rocky Mountain International program is that we are promoting ourselves as a region with specifics to each state. This marketing is based on a long-term action that reassures the main Deciders of the Tourism Industry on the fact they can count on your French Office to help them face their stress and lack of time to build together packages that will bring tourists to the beautiful RMI region, therefore bring success for their companies and for our region!
As a matter of fact, our region is now very successful in France with more tourists every year. We just finished the French Mission in Paris and Toulouse where the four States of the region had great success this year again!
I feel proud and privileged to be part of a program that is contributing tremendously to bringing visibility, therefore success to our wonderful destination. I will keep on “Whipping and Spurring” to bring more in the future!
See the complete calendar here.
May 6-9: - Idaho Governor's Conference, Idaho Falls, ID
June 8-12: -8-12 Pow Wow Las Vegas, NV
Savor Idaho - June 9th
In its fifth year, the Idaho Grape Growers and Wine Producers Commission will be hosting Savor Idaho, Idaho’s Premier Wine and Food Event. The event will be held on June 9, 2013 at the Idaho Botanical Garden in Boise, ID, featuring 30 Idaho wineries and 20 Idaho restaurants. Savor Idaho gives consumers a unique opportunity to savor the best Idaho has to offer in wine and food. The tasting will begin promptly at 2pm and run till 6pm welcoming 900 guests. Each guest will be greeted with a commemorative wine glass as they taste and sip their way through Idaho’s best.
Ride Sun Valley, June 28 - July 7, 2013
USA CYCLING MARATHON MOUNTAIN BIKE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS – one of the many featured events at the festival.
The top marathon racers from all over the United States descend on Sun Valley for the glory of the stars and bars. A challenging course will take riders from downtown Ketchum through Sun Valley Resort, over Dollar Mountain and out to tackle two loops of Cold Springs Trail - Warm Springs Trail â€” Warm Springs Traverse â€”River Run Trail before finishing at the River Run Base area. Fast flowy and buff singletrack with an ideal singlespeed gradient make this course one for the ages. Approx distance: 50 miles; 7,000’ climbing.
Sandpoint Music Festival, August 1 – 11. 2013
The Festival at Sandpoint celebrates its 31st annual summer concert series, August 1 -11, with eight nights of eclectic music under the stars, on the shores of Lake Pend Oreille, in Sandpoint, Idaho.
Since 1983, the non-profit Festival at Sandpoint has hosted its internationally renowned summer concert series in a casual and relaxed atmosphere at Memorial Field, in Sandpoint, Idaho. The Festival is audience friendly. It is a customized concert experience without equal. You can feast on fabulous food and beverages on "Festival Street," or bring your own picnic basket and cooler from home. You can stretch out on a blanket, cruise in a lawn chair (bring your own or rent ours), sit in the grandstands or let loose in our dancing areas.
The Festival is affordable. A limited number of Early Bird Season Passes are available for all eight nights of music for only $199. Our popular Family concert is always only $5 per person, and individual concert ticket prices are less than what you would pay at a big city venue.
Best of all, The Festival is intimate. It feels as though the artists are playing in your back yard, a private concert just for you and yours. In this day and age of huge arenas and skyrocketing ticket prices, we invite you to get back to your musical roots by treating yourself to a concert experience that is rare and precious. We bet you will become a member of our "Festival Family," making the musical pilgrimage to The Festival at Sandpoint year after year, to join the stars, under the stars.
Experience great music...Naturally!
Montana Airport Updates
BIL Runway Reconstruction for Summer 2013
During the Summer of 2013, the Billings Logan International Airport will be rehabilitating Runway 10L/28R, the main runway used by commercial service airlines to transport both passengers and freight.
The construction program for this runway rehabilitation project will result in the closure of this main runway for six consecutive weekends in July and August of 2013. It will be closed Friday’s – Sunday’s, July 12 – August 18, 2013. This construction option will allow some air service to continue during the workweek and heavier travel days, as opposed to an extended 2-3 week continual closure.
To stay current, check back at: www.flybillings.com
Billings, Montana’s largest city, serves as a gateway to eastern Montana, with nearby attractions including the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument, the Beartooth All-American Road and Yellowstone National Park.
BZN Announces Expanded Summer 2013 New York Service
Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport (BZN) announced a fifty percent increase in non-stop flights to New York/Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) for the summer season 2013 compared to summer 2012. Located just 14 miles from Manhattan, EWR serves the entire New York-New Jersey metropolitan area. The flights will be operated by United Airlines.
Flights will operate twice weekly; Saturday flights will operate June 22, 2013 through August 31, 2013. Sunday flights will operate June 30, 2013 through August 25, 2013. Flights are scheduled to depart EWR at 8:25 a.m. and arrive BZN at 11:07a.m. The return flights are scheduled to depart BZN at 12:00 p.m. and arrive EWR at 6:00 p.m. United also operates year-round service between BZN and Denver, with seasonal service to Los Angeles, Chicago and San Francisco.
Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport serves as a year-round gateway to Yellowstone National Park. BZN also serves the recreation areas of Big Sky Resort, Moonlight Basin and the Bridger Bowl Ski Area as well as the business centers of Bozeman, Belgrade and Livingston and higher education at Montana State University. For more information about Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport go to www.bozemanairport.com
MSO Announces Summer Non-stop Atlanta, GA Service
Delta Air Lines has added a new nonstop destination, Atlanta, Georgia, to their service to Missoula International Airport (MSo). Delta currently offers direct flights to Minneapolis (MSP), and Salt Lake City (SLC). The Atlanta (ATL) service will fly into Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.
The new Saturday-only service is available for booking now online at www.delta.com or by calling 1.800.221.1212. The mainline two-class service provides customers access to more than 900 daily departures to more than 200 destinations.
Missoula International Airport provides year-round access to northwest Montana, with nearby attractions and recreation opportunities of Glacier National Park, Flathead Lake and Seeley Lake, and the higher education at the University of Montana. For more information on the airport, check out www.flymissoula.com.
Glacier Park Lodge Turns 100
The stately Glacier Park Lodge celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2013. Located just outside Glacier National Parks eastern border, the Lodge, named “Big Tree Lodge” by the nearby Blackfeet Indians, remains an architectural wonder with the 60 massive timbers that make its lobby unique. Outside, the views of Glacier’s peaks inspire guests who may be relaxing on the verandah, arriving by a Red Bus or stepping off the Amtrak train at the East Glacier Park station. Today, 161 guest rooms can accommodate over 500 people. Besides relaxing rooms, dining, gift shops featuring local Blackfeet crafts, Red Bus tours, outdoor swimming pool and golfing are available for visitors to enjoy. For more information on the lodge, celebrations or reservations, check out www.GlacierParkInc.com.
Travel ideas from Montana’s website www.visitmt.com
For travelers interested in Motorcycle touring across Big Sky Country finding trip ideas just got easier. You can find information on tour routes both paved and unpaved, as well as a list of calendar of events that focus on the motorized two wheel variety. One of which is based in the hometown of Evil Knievel, Butte MT with an event of the same name.
For the non-motorized two wheeler you will find a long list of trails that will keep you busy all summer long at: http://visitmt.com/experiences/outdoor_activities/biking/
Finally if you want to just grab a cup of coffee and enjoy some spectacular scenery check out our guest photography page and explore places in Montana many have never heard of from our page titled “Montana Through the Photographers eye.” http://visitmt.com/experiences/montana_extras/montana_photography/
9 NEW HOTELS OPEN ACROSS MONTANA
Billings – Northern Hotel – Opening Spring 2013, this renovated historic landmark hotel in downtown
Billings, will offer 160 high-style rooms, from classic rooms to suites offering high speed WiFi, triple sheet “Goldilocks Sleep System” beds all decorated with a touch-of-the-West detail. Amenities include
complimentary airport shuttle, covered parking, business center, and flat-screen TVs. (406) 867-6771 or
Bozeman – My Place Hotel – Opening in March 2013, the newest in extended stay accommodation for the
economy traveler, enjoy clean, modern rooms perfectly suited for short or long term stays. Amenities
include a plush bed, premium recliner, and fully-furnished ‘My Kitchen.’ 855-200-5685 or
Great Falls – Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites – Features 85 wonderfully appointed guestrooms and
suites. Amenities include a 140 foot indoor water slide and pools, fitness and business center and free
breakfast. (406) 453-4000 or www.hiexpress.com
Helena – Comfort Suites Helena – Features 90 deluxe sleeping rooms with a full array of amenities
included, a free hot breakfast, indoor pool, hot tub, exercise room, business center shuttle service and free wireless high speed internet. (406) 495-0505 or www.comfortsuiteshelena.com
– Residence Inn by Marriott – Features 91, all-suite extended stay rooms offer kitchen, great
room, bedroom and master bath. Amenities include complimentary breakfast and evening socials, aquatic
center, outdoor deck and stunning mountain views. (406) 443-8010 or www.residenceinnhelena.com
Missoula – Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites – Features 82 beautiful rooms including 7 Kids Suites,
with bunk beds and Xbox 360 consoles. Amenities include free breakfast, indoor pool and spa, WI FI and
Xbox Kincect game room. (406) 830-3100 or www.hiexpress.com/missoulanw
Shelby – Best Western Shelby Inn & Suites – Opening February 2013, located off I-15, this new hotel
features 74 guest rooms, with refrigerator and microwave set, complimentary high speed Internet access,
flat screen TV, and fluffy white bedding. Amenities include indoor pool and spa, fitness center and a
complimentary hot breakfast. (406) 424-4560 or www.bestwesternmontana.com
Sidney – Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Sidney – Features 75 room ranging from King Suites to
standard Queens. Amenities include free hot breakfast, indoor pool, hot tub and business center. (406)
433-2300 or www.hiexpress.com/sidneymt.
– Best Western Golden Prairie Inn & Suites – Features 72 rooms, each containing a refrigerator
and microwave set, complimentary high speed internet access, iron/ironing board, flat screen TV and fluffy white bedding. Amenities also include a guest laundry, an indoor pool and spa, fitness center and a
complimentary hot breakfast. (406) 433-4560 or www.bestwesternmontana.com
Notable Montana Events:
North American Indian Days – July 7 – 14, 2013
North American Indian Days, an annual celebration and the largest and most impressive of Blackfeet tribal events, hosts Native Americans from every region of the United States and Canada. Featured events include traditional drumming and dancing contests, the crowning of Miss Blackfeet, a parade, fun run, PRCA Rodeo events and more. Once you hear and feel the mystery of the drum, see the traditional and fancy dancing, and the many proud Native people, then you will begin to understand the Blackfeet. Click here for more information.
Montana Folk Festival – July 12 – 14, 2013
Celebrating the unique music, culture and cuisine that is found throughout the United States, the Montana Folk Festival is the largest free outdoor music festival in the northwest. Butte’s unique and cultural diverse landscape provides a historic backdrop with mountain views for a grand time. This free 3-day Festival includes seven performance stages, as well as themed festival areas such as the Montana Folklife Area, the Family Area, two Festival Markeplaces and the Festival Food Courts. As always, it will incorporate but is not limited, to the traditional music, culture and cuisine of the American West. This year’s theme focuses on the influence of river’s influence on Montana’s lifeways. This free Festival’s celebration in Butte, Montana is July 12 – 14, 2013. For a listing of the artists and actives, explore www.montanafolkfestival.com
Springtime in South Dakota greets visitors with cooler temperatures and vibrant foliage. The Black Hills of western South Dakota offer spectacular opportunities for your clients to drive through some of the country’s most beautiful landscapes while also witnessing signs of the spring renewal. In Custer State Park, travel on the Wildlife Loop Road to watch newborn buffalo calves and baby pronghorn antelope (pictured) take their first steps. Take a relaxing drive through Spearfish Canyon to experience vibrant green color, roaring waterfalls and stunning hiking trails. Your clients can also enjoy visiting South Dakota’s iconic landmarks like Mount Rushmore National Memorial and Crazy Horse Memorial without the rush of summer crowds.
After a long winter, your clients may be interested in getting out and doing some hiking. In addition to the numerous hiking trails in the Black Hills, South Dakota visitors can journey a short distance east to the colorful, fossil-laden Badlands National Park, which features more than 17 miles of designated hiking areas.
Located in the center of the state, 30 miles north of I-90, is the capital city of Pierre, a small community with big-time recreation – your clients can walk along the banks of the Missouri River, celebrate family gatherings at Farm Island or Oahe Downstream State Recreation Areas, or enjoy world-renowned fishing on Lake Oahe, the nation’s fourth-largest reservoir.
In eastern South Dakota, a short distance from Yankton, the Lewis and Clark Recreation Area is the second most-visited state park in South Dakota and offers fun on both water and land. Northeast of Sioux Falls is beautiful Palisades State Park. Here, visitors can walk along the Big Sioux River where 1.2 billion-year-old Sioux quartzite formations tower overhead. At nearby Devil’s Gulch, cross the 20-foot bridge spanning the legendary leap made by Jesse James on horseback while fleeing the law.
South Dakota has a number of other state parks and recreation areas sure to delight families and independent travelers. When it comes to welcoming the warmer weather of spring, South Dakota cannot be beat!
South Dakota is proud of its cultural heritage. An important component of South Dakota’s heritage is rooted in ranching and farming. Evidence of this prideful culture is exhibited at the Casey Tibbs South Dakota Rodeo Center in the Pierre/Fort Pierre area and at various events throughout the state. Rodeo, South Dakota’s state sport, is a widely popular tradition. As the seasons change and warmer weather arrives, rodeo season also begins to heat up. The South Dakota Rodeo Association Foothills Rodeo takes place over Memorial Day weekend (May 25-26, 2013) in Wessington Springs and features a number of exciting competitions, including Bareback Riding, Saddlebronc Riding, Tie Down Roping, Steer Wrestling, Team Roping, Ladies Barrel Racing and Bull Riding.
Located in the northeastern corner of the state, Fort Sisseton Historic State Park offers an annual event honoring the South Dakota state sport. This 1864 frontier army outpost, turned state park, has 14 of the original buildings still intact. The park offers camping, cabins and special events such as the Fort Sisseton Historical Festival (June 7-9, 2013). Held annually, the festival features a ranch rodeo, black powder shooting, a flag raising ceremony, cavalry and infantry drills, a grand march and several demonstrations.
The following weekend (June 14-16, 2013) features another exciting South Dakota event, this time in the southwestern corner of the state in the legendary Black Hills. The Crazy Horse Stampede Rodeo & Gift from Mother Earth Celebration takes place on the grounds of Crazy Horse Memorial which, when completed, will be the world’s largest mountain carving.
July in South Dakota also features a number of exciting rodeos. The community of Mitchell, known for the World’s Only Corn Palace, is home to the Corn Palace Stampede Rodeo which takes place July 18-21. This summer marks the 43rd annual celebration and offers a number of events including a golf tournament, chili cook-off, cowboy country showdown, parade and, of course, a rodeo. The Wild West town of Deadwood brings another wonderful celebration in July with its Days of ’76 Rodeo, which honors the town’s rough-and-tumble past. The Days of ’76 was recently voted best Midsize Outdoor Rodeo of the Year by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association for the 9th consecutive year. This marks the 13th overall Rodeo of the Year award for the Days of ’76. The 90-year-old rodeo captured Small Outdoor Rodeo of the Year honors four years in a row before moving to the medium class.
There are a number of other rodeos that take place throughout South Dakota, year-round. Each celebration displays the prideful heritage inherent in South Dakota culture and illustrates why South Dakota is a beautiful place to visit.
South Dakota is home to wide-open spaces, rolling prairies, roaring rivers and lush, pine-covered mountains. The 17th-largest state in the union also features five scenic byways that highlight some of the most dynamic landscapes in South Dakota. South Dakota’s scenic byways showcase some of the state’s most spectacular sites. However, there are many more Great Faces and Great Places for your clients to experience in beautiful South Dakota.
The geological history of the Black Hills of South Dakota is very unique and has yielded some of America’s most prized treasures, all of which can be enjoyed during your clients’ next South Dakota vacation. The geography of the Black Hills is laid out like a target, as it is an oval dome, with rings of different rock types dipping away from the center. The bull’s eye of this target consists of dense metamorphic granite. On top of the layers of metamorphic granite are thick layers of sandstone. This sandstone layer is known as the Deadwood Formation and was the source of much of the gold found in the 1800s.
In 1874, General George Armstrong Custer and his 7th Cavalry embarked on an expedition from Fort Abraham Lincoln near modern day Bismarck, North Dakota. The purpose of Custer’s expedition was to explore the Black Hills region in hopes of finding a suitable location for a fort and to investigate the possibility of gold mining. In the summer of 1874, Custer’s men set up camp near the present-day town of Custer and found gold in nearby French Creek.
In the northern reaches of the Black Hills lies Deadwood, a cozy mountain town with a wild history. In the late 1800s, Deadwood was the home of numerous gold miners, gunslingers and gamblers. Today, South Dakota visitors can stroll among the cobblestone streets once roamed by legends like Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane. Remnants of Deadwood’s gold mining days can be found at the Broken Boot Gold Mine, an abandoned mine shaft that now offers educational tours. The Days of ‘76 Historic Museum in Deadwood showcases a number of relics from this time period, including a vast collection of Old West stagecoaches. Also located in Deadwood is the Homestake Adams Research and Cultural Center (HARCC), a 10,000 cubic foot museum that provides a comprehensive 126-year history of the Homestake Mining Company. Visitors to the Deadwood area can also drive a short distance to Lead to view the old Homestake Mine. At the time of its closing in 2002, the Homestake Mine was the largest open-pit mine in the western hemisphere. Although gold mining in Homestake has ceased, the mine is now used as a scientific research facility and offers a visitor center detailing the history of the mine.
In addition to the gold-rich sandstone of the Deadwood Formation, a thick layer of Pahasapa limestone (Pahasapa is the Lakota term for Black Hills) can also be found throughout the Black Hills. The porous nature of limestone has yielded over 200 caves throughout the Black Hills region. Jewel Cave National Monument, located near Custer, is regarded as the second longest cave in the world, coming in second only to Mammoth Cave in Kentucky. Another nearby cave also holds high national prestige – Wind Cave National Park (pictured) is the first cave to be designated a national park and features a unique calcite formation known as boxwork. Such high concentrations of this rare formation can only be found within Wind Cave. Rushmore Cave, located near Keystone, also offers tours full of geologic wonder as well as a number of fun family activities. In addition to the caves mentioned, there are a number of other Black Hills caves that offer a wide-range of tours.
History books often relate South Dakota’s past to the rough and tumble days of the Wild West. However, if it weren’t for millions of years of dynamic geological activity, South Dakota’s heritage would not have unfolded as it did.
May 1-5, 2013 – Black Hills Film Festival – Hill City
May 4, 2013 – Critter de Mayo – Sioux Falls
May 17-19, 2013 – State Parks Open House and Free Fishing Weekend – Statewide
May 23, 2013 – Summer Porch Series – Renner
May 25-26, 2013 – SDRA Foothills Rodeo – Wessington Springs
May 25-27, 2013 – Crazy Horse Memorial Day Weekend Open House – Crazy Horse
May 27-September 2, 2013 – Greatest Show on H2O! – Sioux Falls
May 31-June1, 2013 – Sisseton Car & Motorcycle Show & Swap Meet – Sisseton
June 1-2, 2013 – Crazy Horse Volksmarch – Crazy Horse
June 4, 2013 – Concerts in the Park – Yankton
June 9, 2013 – Fort Sisseton Historic Festival – Lake City
June 21-22, 2013 – Czech Days – Tabor
July 2, 2013 – Trolley on the Trail – Deadwood
July 4, 2013 – Aberdeen Aqua Addicts Water Ski Show – Aberdeen
July 5-7, 12-14 and 19-21, 2013 – Laura Ingalls Wilder Pageant – De Smet
July 18-20, 2013 – Sioux Falls JazzFest –Sioux Falls
Jackson Hole Hotel Named “Best in the USA”
U.S. News & World Report’s 2013 Best Hotels in the USA have picked the Amangani in Jackson, Wyoming as the number one hotel in the country. The Amangani’s redwood ceilings, slate floors and regional artwork achieve a medley of elegance and naturalism and offers stunning panoramic views of the Grand Tetons and Snake River Valley. Editors analyzed recommendations from many sources, comparing reviews, accolades, and ratings for nearly 2,000 luxury hotels throughout the United States. This luxury resort is part of the Aman Resorts brand and has also won a spot on Conde Nast Traveler’s Gold List in 2013 and 2012. To read more about the US News & World Report’s designation visit http://travel.usnews.com/hotels/usa/. For details on the Amangani visit http://www.amanresorts.com/amangani/home.aspx.
Experience Native American Powwows in Wind River Country
June through August is Powwow season in Wind River Country. A different Powwow can be experienced every week during the summer season. Experience the 54th Annual Eastern Shoshone Indian Days & Rodeo Celebration near Fort Washakie in June. The Northern Arapaho Cultural Experience, which showcases traditional tepees, dancing, and storytelling are held once a week June through August near Riverton, Wyoming. Travel to The Museum of The American West in Lander, Wyoming, which hosts the Eagle Spirit Dancers. To learn more about Native American powwows, including a complete schedule visit www.windriver.org/info/reservation/index.php.
Yellowstone National Park Bus Line, The Linx, Expands Service
The Linx, Yellowstone National Park’s metro bus line, is now offering guided tours of Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. The Linx provides transportation to the Greater Yellowstone region, which includes cities in Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana as well as transportation within Yellowstone National Park. The new tours offer experienced guides that will share their extensive knowledge of the parks’ geology, wildlife, and spectacular landmarks. For a complete schedule of tours and bus routes or to purchase tickets visit www.linx.coop/index.html.
Geologic Wilderness Tours
The Wild Calls invites you on a 7-day tour discovering some of the most fascinating and diverse geology in the world. This escorted tour picks up at the Salt Lake City airport and takes you through Flaming Gorge, Wind River Reservation and Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. Learn about geology, paleontology, history, anthropology and archaeology along the way. Lodging, transportation, expert guides, educational materials, and meals are included. Visit www.thewildcalls.com for details.
Catch Spring Fever
Events through MAY
Wooly Mammoths, Georgia O'Keeffe, Jane Austen heroines, Edgar Degas, pro rodeo all stars and much more! They're all in Denver this spring, along with great hotel deals. http://www.denver.org/what-to-do/events-spring-2013
Discover Downtown History
History comes to life around every corner in downtown Denver. Take this fun walking tour and discover the stories behind The Mile High City's most famous icons.
Go Beyond the Ordinary!
From 16-foot-tall rubber bunnies to X-Wings straight out of Star Wars, Denver is packed with fascinating curiosities.
Red/Yellow/Blue (and Black and White)
Clyfford Still as Colorist explores the significance of color in Still's art. Experience five distinct galleries, each devoted to one of Still's signature hues. https://www.clyffordstillmuseum.org/
Now through May 26- Sense and Sensibility: The Musical
Now through June 30- Edgar Degas: The Private Impressionist
May 4-Jan 14 - Catalyst: Colorado Sculpture
May 18-19 - Tesoro Annual Indian Market & Pow Wow
May 19th- Kaiser Permanente Colfax Marathon
May 24-26- Downtown Denver Arts Festival
May 25th - Denver Day of Rock
June 1-2 - Peoples Fair & Chalk Art Festival
June 15-16 - Denver PrideFest
July 5-7 - Cherry Creek Arts Festival
There never is a shortage of things to do and see in Bloomington, Minnesota when the weather is warm. When visiting this area, be sure to bring your comfortable walking shoes, as the must-see attraction is Mall of America. With more than 520 stores, over 50 restaurants an amusement park, an aquarium and miniature golf course there is something for everyone to enjoy. Plus, with tax free shopping on clothing and shoes, bring an empty suitcase to take home all of the bargains you will score! And, with more than 400 FREE events hosted inside the mall throughout the year, you’ll be sure to be entertained by someone during your visit.
May – The 21st annual Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure at Mall of America takes place on Mother’s Day, to raise money and awareness for breast cancer. One of the largest events in the country annually, Race for the Cure draws tens of thousands participants, in a sea of pink, supporting loved ones and friends fighting breast cancer. A must see while traveling in Minnesota in early May. (May 12)
More than 300 artists, spanning every medium of art, become part of the Edina Art Fair, the second largest art fair in Minnesota. (May 31-June 2)
June – Women’s Half Marathon and 5K in Bloomington brings avid runners to Bloomington from all across the country. With incredible scenery and a challenging race route, runners will see the full scope of how spectacular Bloomington is this time of year. (June 16)
July – The official kick off to Summer in Bloomington, Summer Fete celebrates Independence Day with fun and flair. See the fireworks at dusk and enjoy a great lineup of musical entertainment throughout the day.
September –September is full of fun this to see and do, so make your way to us! Iron Girl Women’s Duathlon is a 2 mile run, 22 mile bike ride, 2 mile run for women only in Bloomington.
ScrapFest brings the most avid scrappers and card makers to Mall of America for 3 days of nothing but crafting. A must do, you will take home many projects to remember your time in Bloomington.
The 4th Annual Bloomington Heritage Days returns to celebrate Bloomington and community spirit. Take in a parade of more than 120 floats, a car show, inflatables, arts & crafts area and food galore. (September 21)
Check out all event details at www.bloomingtonmn.org. With38 hotels with complimentary park and shuttle service to and from the MSP airport and Mall of America, Bloomington is the ultimate destination to stay and play! Check out the affordable getaway packages www.bloomingtonmn.org/packages.
Upcoming Chicago Museum Exhibitions
Adler Planetarium - www.adlerplanetarium.org
- The Universe: A Walk through Space and Time- Now Open
The Art Institute of Chicago - www.artic.edu
- Picasso and Chicago- February 20 – May 12, 2013
- Impressionism, Fashion, and Modernity- June 26 – September 22, 2013
The Field Museum - www.fieldmuseum.org
- Creatures of Light- March 7 – September 8, 2013
- Scenes from the Stone Age: The Cave Paintings of Lascaux - March 20 – September 8, 2013
The Museum of Science & Industry - www.msichicago.org
- Animals Inside Out- March 14 – September 2, 2013
The Shedd Aquarium - www.sheddaquarium.org
- Jellies- Extended through 2013
- Amazon Rising- Newly revised
Spring and Summer Fun Chicago
- 30th Annual Chicago Blues Festival- Grant Park- June 6-9, 2013- www.choosechicago.com
- 28th Annual Gospel Music Fest- Grant Park- June 20-23, 2013- www.choosehicago.com
- Chicago Gay Pride Parade- Boyztown/Lakeview Neighborhood- June 30, 2013 - www.northalsted.com
- Lollapalooza -Grant Park - August 2-4, 2013 - www.lollapalooza.com
- Tall Ships Chicago 2013 - Navy Pier - August 6-11, 2013 - www.navypier.com
- Northalsted Market Days -Halsted between Belmont and Addison - August 10-11, 2013
- 55th Annual Chicago Air & Water Show - Chicago Lakefront - August 17-18, 2013
- Chicago Gourmet - Millennium Park - September 27-29, 2013 - www.illinoisrestaurants.org
Blue Man Group – Open Run - www.blueman.com
ComedySportz Theater – Open Run - www.comedysportzchicago.com
Million Dollar Quartet – Open Run - www.milliondollarquartetlive.com
The Second City – Open Run - www.secondcity.com
The Jungle Book – June 21 – July 28, 2013 - www.goodmantheatre.org
Book of Mormon – Through September 8, 2013 - www.broadwayinchicago.com
Hidden Cultural Gems
Pritzker Military Library – www.pritzkermilitarylibrary.org
Oriental Institute Museum – www.oiuchicago.edu
Glessner House Museum – www.glessnerhouse.org
Wright’s Roby House – www.gowright.org
For information on all of these Chicago events and more, please visit www.choosechicago.com
Hampton Inn Jackson Hole
The Hampton Inn Jackson Hole is thrilled to announce we have a YouTube Channel! http://www.youtube.com/HamptonInnjh - check it out, what a fun way to showcase our hotel while enticing more interest in the recently renovated property located at 350 S Hwy 89. Plus, with summer road construction projects beginning on March 25, our hotel will not be affected by the noise, traffic hassles or closures as other downtown properties. For more information and regular updates, please visit www.jacksonstreets.com.
NCAR Facility Opens in Cheyenne
Cheyenne celebrates its Authentic Western history, the city is focused squarely on its technological future especially since the National Center for Atmospheric Research’s new facility, called the Wyoming Supercomputing Center (NWSC), opened here in 2012. The center is the home of the the Yellowstone Supercomputer, the world’s fastest computer for analyzing weather-related data and predicting hurricanes. The facility is a fascinating place to visit, and you are welcome to take a free, self-guided tour of their Visitor Center. You'll see the huge processors and learn how they reuse the heat from the supercomputer to power the building’s air conditioners and furnaces. More than that, the tour is a fun and educational opportunity to learn about atmospheric research and how the world's scientists predict and deal with severe weather. NWSC is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays at 8120 Veta Drive. Field trips for schools or other groups are welcome, so make sure you give NCAR a call to set up a special day. More details about the computer and visitor’s center can be found at http://nwsc.ucar.edu, or you can call 307-996-4321.
Mall of America News
NEW RADISSON BLU OPENS AT MALL OF AMERICA®
Spring has sprung at Mall of America® with the opening of the Radisson Blu Mall of America on March 15.
The 500-room property is the first hotel to be physically connected to Mall of America, the largest U.S. shopping and entertainment center attracting 42 million visitors annually. The hotel is located on the Mall’s south side and features luxurious rooms, full-service restaurant, spa and club-level perks. In addition, Radisson Blu staff will meet guests anywhere inside Mall of America to pick-up their packages to bring back to the hotel while the guests continue to shop.
Mall of America features designer brand goods from throughout the world at 520 stores with no sales tax on clothing or shoes! The Mall also features 50 restaurants and many attractions for hours of family fun including Nickelodeon Universe®, the nation’s largest indoor amusement park. Nickelodeon Universe has 30 exciting rides and offers entertainment for Nickelodeon fans of all ages and courage levels. Other Mall attractions include a large aquarium, LEGO® land, mirror maze, ropes-climbing course, aircraft simulators, miniature golf, 14-screen movie theatre, American Girl®, Build-A-Bear® and much more.
Mall of America will open about 20 new stores this spring and summer. They will complement existing retailers like Burberry, Michael Kors, Apple, Coach, AIX Armani Exchange, Victoria’s Secret, Hugo Boss, Lacoste, Microsoft and Abercrombie & Fitch.
Guests can save even more money with the Mall of America Coupon Book. Packed with over 270 discounts offering more than $2,000 in combined savings, the coupon book can be purchased for $9.95 at the Mall but is free for travel partners who offer a Mall of America tour program. Contact Doug Killian, Mall of America senior director international tourism, at firstname.lastname@example.org to get a coupon book voucher on which tour operators and travel agents can feature their name and logo and offer to clientele as an added-value product.
The Mall also offers 400 events each year, all free to guests. Many Hollywood celebrities and musicians perform at the Mall. Appearances/performances have included One Direction, ‘N Sync, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Taylor Swift, Britney Spears, Mariah Carey and Heidi Klum.
Events also include the 11th annual Scrapfest from Sept. 19-22. Scrapbooking is a hobby that has become popular world-wide featuring ways to assemble, organize and display items like family photographs. Scrapfest features scrapbooking seminars and hands-on workshops for three days in the Mall and is popular with girlfriends, mothers/daughters and other guests. More than 25,000 visitors from as far away as Australia attend the popular annual event.
Mall of America is located in Bloomington, Minnesota. The Mall is next to Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport (MSP) and only minutes from downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul. Convenient Light Rail Train (LRT) links Mall of America to MSP Airport and Minneapolis. If travelers have a flight connection of three hours or more at MSP, they can easily take LRT to/from the Mall to shop or dine.
38 Bloomington hotels are located within 10 minutes of Mall of America and offer complimentary shuttle service to/from the Mall and MSP Airport. For more information, visit www.mallofamerica.com
Our partners make it happen!
Official Marketing Partners:
Buffalo Bill's Cody/Yellowstone Country
Yellowstone National Park Lodges
Rapid City CVB
Jackson Hole Chamber of Commerce
Visit Cheyenne, the Convention & Visitors Bureau
Southwest Idaho Travel Association (SWITA)
Mall of America®
Hampton Inn, Jackson
Official Gateway Cities:
Minneapolis/St. Paul/Bloomington, MN
Official Receptive Tour Operator:
Rocky Mountain Holiday Tours
America 4 You
Promoting the Real America in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, France, Italy and UK!
RMI UK - www.rmi-realamerica.com
RMI Germany - www.rmi-realamerica.de
RMI Benelux - wildwestusa.nl
RMI France - www.wildwestusa.com
RMI Italy - www.realamerica.it