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Welcome to the RMI electronic newsletter. We hope you like the new format. If you were not contacted via e-mail about the newest newsletter being posted and would like to be added to the mailing list, please contact [email protected]

Rocky Mountain International Newsletter
Volume E1, Issue 4, Winter 2006

In this issue:



Roundup Preview – DESTINATION BUTTE!

This year’s Roundup at the Copper King Hotel and Convention Center in Butte, Montana is shaping up to be an outstanding event.

With over 75 suppliers and 40 tour operators and receptives, the Roundup will certainly bring together an excellent mix of buyers and sellers from throughout Europe and the Rocky Mountain region.

Also new for this year, will be the inclusion of two Australian tour operators, who are eager to expand their product into the RMI states.

The Roundup will be begin Thursday, March 30 as the tour operators and North American receptives will enjoy an exciting familiarization tour in and around Butte. Butte’s history as a major center of mining and western heritage will be on full display, and the day will end with a reception and dinner for the operators at Fairmont Hot Springs resort.

For those suppliers in Marketplace #1, March 30 is your day to register (12 p.m. – 5 p.m.) and attend the supplier briefing (3 – 5 p.m.) at the Copper King. Registration will take place in the hotel lobby, while the briefing will be held in the Ballroom, poolside.

On March 31, the Roundup kicks into high gear, with Marketplace #1 running from 9 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. Included during this time will be lunch and two breaks. Suppliers in Marketplace #2 will need to register this day (12 p.m. – 5 p.m.) and attend their briefing (3 – 5p.m.), which will also be held in the Copper King Ballroom.

That evening, the signature event of the Roundup will take place as all of the tour operators, receptives and suppliers from both marketplaces gather for dinner at the Red Lion Hotel in Butte. It will be a fantastic time to network and enjoy the evening with friends new and old.

The next day, April 1, Marketplace #2 runs from 9 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. with breaks and lunch scheduled during the day as well. That evening the tour operators will be hosted for a final dinner and sendoff at the Acoma restaurant in historic Butte.

Finally the Roundup will conclude with a four-day fam trip in the Black Hills of South Dakota, giving the operators a chance to experience some of the attractions in the Real America.

If you have not registered for Roundup, but would still like to do so, your time has just about run out. But if you contact Nancy Hall at RMI ([email protected], 307-637-4977) as soon as possible, there may still be time to register for this annual event.

For more information about the Roundup, Montana or Butte go to:

www.rmi-realamerica.com

www.visitmt.com

www.buttecvb.org

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How To Prepare for a Roundup

This year’s Roundup will be held March 29-April 1 at the Copper King Resort and Convention Center in Butte, Montana, and for those that have registered, now is the time to begin preparing for the show.

The strategy behind the RMI Roundup is to provide an opportunity for businesses, destinations, and attractions within the region to meet face-to-face with targeted tour operators from Europe who specifically want to do business in Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota and Idaho along with RMI’s official Gateway Cities (Minneapolis/St. Paul, Denver, Salt Lake City, Portland and Spokane).

It is a low-cost and highly effective way for local suppliers to meet with international tour operators.

The Roundup is designed not only for suppliers who are currently operating internationally, but also for those who want to test the waters at a cost-effective price, in an environment where they’ll get the opportunity to promote their product and do business one-on-one.

Roundup marketplaces consist of tour operators and North America based receptive operators seated at tables with suppliers rotating through 10-minute appointments with them. Suppliers are encouraged to visit each of the tour operators in order to get the full benefit from the show.

Also included in the Roundup are meals, breaks, a supplier briefing, a dinner and all materials.

Prior preparation for the Roundup is critical and many first time participants wonder what they need to do to get ready. In addition to the “Do’s and Don’ts” listed here, there are a couple of other things to do to get you ready for a Roundup.

Suppliers are encouraged to bring at least 40-50 complete sets of materials, including brochures, business cards with telephone and fax numbers, commissionable or net rates, booking and deposit information, and press kits and/or slide sets if available. Keeping this information to a manageable size is key, as the operators will be mailing back the materials they receive. Remember you can always follow up with them, and are encouraged to do so.

If you are a hotel or ranch, be sure to have commissionable rate set beforehand, as it will be a waste of your time and the tour operators’ time if you do not have these in place. If you need assistance with commissionable rates, please contact your state representative. There will also be more information about this at your supplier briefing.

If you choose to distribute videos to tour operators, you will need the PAL format for German, Italian and British operators and Seacam for French participants. Be sure that any DVD’s are in the correct format for play in Europe.

It is a good idea to have professional images of your property/attraction that illustrate the season you wish to sell internationally (for example, some ranches only have room now in the spring and fall).

Finally, you will be receiving a Roundup program listing all of the tour operators, suppliers and schedule in the mail about a week before the event. Plan on reviewing this so you can “map out a plan” before attending. And don’t forget to bring it with you!

Plan to be in international marketing for the long haul. Aside from the length of time it may take to get your product into a brochure, it is important for the tour operators to know you are serious and for them to get to know you. As you know, there are many wonderful people in this industry and you may be surprised at the friendships that develop.

If you have any additional questions, please do not hesitate to contact your state marketing representative or us. We look forward to seeing you in Butte!

Things to Do:

  • Define Your Objectives. What exactly is it you expect to achieve? Publicity? Trade contacts? Inclusion in tour operator catalogs? Special interest travel? Business and convention visitors?

  • Analyze Your Tourism Product. How accessible is your destination? What airline services are available? Do you offer a shuttle service from the airport? What is the capacity of your accommodations industry? Rental cars? Commercial or public attractions? Scenic places? Historical landmarks? Scenic places? Historical landmarks? Sports and Entertainment? Climate? Culture and Folklore? Special Events? And most important: Would someone really travel 5,000 miles to see it or experience it?

  • Identify Your Main Selling Points. Why should an international visitor come to your destination or deal with your company? What makes you unique? Quality of services? Language resources? Prices? Destination expertise? Uncrowded? Lively? Great shopping?

  • Establish Your Rates. This is becoming the weakest link in the region, more evident by the fact that tour operators are hungry for our kind of products and want to include them in their brochures. But if your product is priced either "rack rate" or with a simple 10% travel agent rate, the tour operator will have absolutely no financial incentive to use up valuable brochure space to promote your product for free.

  • Target Your Markets. Use State and RMI research data. Analyze prevailing patterns of tourism, both domestic and international. Decide on the method of segmentation. By country? By market segment? Or in combination? Many don't realize that the single biggest market in the world is not Japan, or Taiwan, or Korea. It's the European Community.

Things to Avoid:

  • Don't Enter Foreign Markets Without A Long-Term Commitment. Tour wholesalers and operators need time to develop new products and introduce them to their clients. And they need to know that you are someone who will be there next year.

  • Don't Be Adamant About What You Consider Your Best Feature To Be. The view from Frankfurt and London is different from the view from the sagebrush. What may be popular domestically may be a complete bust in foreign markets. Sometimes what you don't have, like a large population base and resort amenities, can work in your favor. Sometimes western history doesn't excite someone who lives in a 150-year old house.

  • Don't Push A Product That Won't Sell. Trust the tour operator and wholesaler to know his clients. You are both in it together, and nobody makes any money on something that doesn't get sold. Be prepared to accept alternative suggestions, but don't compromise your product or your integrity.

Don't Panic If Nothing Happens In The First Two Years. Any new product has its introductory phase. That is when it needs support and patience. Plan for the long haul. Remember that it might take a year to interest a tour operator in your product. When he/she agrees to sell it, it will still take a year to market it in a brochure properly. And if the product is purchased by a consumer, it is likely to be six to eight months before they take the trip!

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RMI's New Marketing Coordinator


My name is Mathias Jung and I have recently moved into the Marketing Coordinator postition at Rocky Mountain International. I was born and raised in Wyoming, and have been living in Laramie for the last 4 1/2 years.

I recently recieved my bachelor's degree in Marketing with a minor in Management from the University of Wyoming in December 2005. My fiancee Catherine and I are spending most of our time enjoying early parenthood as we welcomed our daughter Sienna into the world just after Christmas.

My interests include spending time outdoors, sports, travel, and of course my baby girl. I am looking forward to marketing the rocky mountain region as well as working with many diverse people along the way.

Best Regards,

Mathias

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Nuts and Bolts UK

UK Booking Patterns have Changed Over the Years

In 2001, RMI UK reported that whilst there was much more products being put online, the UK traveller were not comfortable with using the internet. However it has become evident since that time, the UK booking patterns have been changing, as travellers use of the internet has grown – and continues to grow. This change has now been confirmed.

From a zero start in 1996, the Internet in the UK is now poised to take over from agents/operators to become the primary information source. Worldwide data clearly indicates that, in comparison, UK personal computer usage is growing at a much faster rate.

Operators accounted for a high of 88% in 1998 but this had declined to 50% by 2004. Conversely, the Internet has moved from a zero start in 1996 and now accounts for 27% - and, if current trends are maintained, will overtake agents / operators in 2 to 3 years. Again, the UK trend to personal computers is much faster than worldwide. USA International Arrivals for year 2005 to end October show that the UK are still the Number 1 country travelling to the US, followed by Germany, France, Italy and Netherlands. – sorry my fellow RMI colleagues, but I am still NUMBER 1!!!!!!

“Its been the best snow for 20 years," boasts Sun Valley, Idaho

“ We believe some of the best times with a family is skiing on the slopes,” says Big Mountain, Montana

“Happy Two thousand and six – ty inches,” from Jackson Hole, Wyoming

“Experience the difference in South Dakota” from South Dakota

One area of holiday interest that has increased for the RMI Region is the coverage for the ski resorts. The overwhelming impression of skiers who return from skiing in the States for the first time is one of the high standard of accommodation, superb quality of the snow, relatively deserted slopes, immaculate piste grooming, and for those who enjoy more challenging skiing, the large expanses of ungroomed but avalanche patrolled terrain which can be skied without a guide.

This has all helped put the RMI region's resorts firmly on the map for British skiers and products in nearly 20 UK operators brochures and programs. New companies include Mountain Tracks who have introduced a ski touring program for the 2005-2006 season to Jackson Hole and the Tetons (9 day tour) and Neilson Ski will be adding in Jackson Hole to their 2006-2007 brochure. Ski Safari have also added Sun Valley & Big Sky to their program, following a press trip last March with journalists Peter & Felice Hardy who write "The Good Ski Guide" and also for national newspapers. Finally, Carrier Travel reported they are pleased to introduce for 2006, the Jackson Hole ski resort and highlighted the Four Seasons Hotel as true luxury, alpine spa and the convenience of ski-in and ski-out.

Ian Porter, Ski Manager for AmeriCan Ski said that enquiries for USA skiing are way up so far this season but bookings have remained consistent to last year. Ian commented that the UK school holiday periods are dominating the bookings ie Christmas, Half Term (February) and Easter seeing the greatest share of business. But he also said the RMI resorts were losing out to other more family friendly resorts and gave Copper Mountain as an example as they offer free kids lift passes, saving an average British family around $350. In terms of the RMI region's resorts he said he was always keen to push them and was seeing an increase in high-end clients particularly in Jackson Hole.

Richard Rice, Director of Ski Safari who features Big Sky, Jackson Hole, Grand Targhee & Sun Valley reported that there has been a lot of interest in US resorts this season and more clients switching from Canadian resorts than usual. He feels the charter flight services back into Denver has instigated this interest, particularly for the family market which is a core element. Jackson Hole has not done so well this year for them, which he attributes to the cutting of domestic flights, but also the larger Operators' pricing makes it very difficult for them to compete, but he says it is well known as an excellent resort for good skiers and there is genuine interest in all the region's resorts.

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Montana Film News

New Incentives Take Center Stage for Montana at Sundance Film Festival

The Montana Film Office teamed up with members of Governor Schweitzer’s Film and Television Advisory Council to help spread the word about Montana’s new film incentives at the Sundance Film Festival. The annual Sundance Film Festival which is held in Park City, Utah each January is considered the premier U.S. showcase for American and international independent film. “It is taking advantage of opportunities like those at Sundance to educate national and international filmmakers about the new tax incentives available in Montana that will spur more film production in Montana,” cites Governor Brian Schweitzer. ”These efforts help us to realize the intent of our aggressive economic plan designed to create jobs, keep Montana university graduates in the state, and bring new money to Montana's economy.”

Last year, the Legislature passed the “Big Sky on the Big Screen Act,” a tax incentive package designed to encourage film production in Montana. The measure gives production companies a 12 percent incentive rebate on all Montana labor hired for film production and an eight percent rebate on all production-related Montana expenditures including lodging, equipment rental, fuel, lumber and construction materials. Montana’s new tax incentives, coupled with the federal incentives that passed in The American Jobs Creation Act of 2004, will assist in making filming production in Montana much more affordable and attainable.

It was under this specter of saving up to $1 million per film that council members Chris Arnold, Chris Cronyn and Cinda Holt joined Film Office staffer John Ansotegui at the Outreach table at the Filmmaker’s Lodge to educate filmmakers that Montana is now a competitive place for film production. “We are pleased we have such a dedicated group of individuals to work on film and television opportunities for the state,” says Commerce Director Anthony J. Preite. “We see their involvement as a critical component of being successful in attracting business and are appreciative of the networking opportunities they sought out on behalf of Montana at Sundance.”

In addition to the invaluable face-to-face networking, Montana made certain information about their new tax incentives were strategically placed on information tables at many of the film venues in Park City. “Throughout all our interactions, our goal was to provide the filmmakers with the information needed for them to have a practical and more profitable alternative to taking their productions across the border into Canada,” noted council member attendee Chris Cronyn.

In addition, the Images of Nature Gallery was once again the venue for a western hospitality reception co-hosted by Montana and their Film The West marketing consortium of Wyoming, Idaho and South Dakota. Upwards of 200 active filmmakers with projects likely in the works were in attendance. Once again providing Montana unfettered access to filmmakers.

Asked about the overall exposure and experience, Chris Arnold explains, “Making the effort and creating a presence are the most important things. It was encouraging that news about our incentives ranged from genuine interest to a more urgent ‘Overnight FedEx your production guide and all your incentive info ….. This sounds like what we have been waiting for.’”

Montana was represented at the film festival with a screening of “Don’t Come Knocking” starring Sam Shepard and directed by venerable director, Wim Wenders. The film, which was partly shot in Butte in 2004, infused $4 million into Montana’s economy over the course of the filming and the cinematography was beautifully shot lending a favorable portraiture of Butte. In addition, another Montana production that was featured at Sundance was the short film "High Plains Winter" by MSU professor Cindy Stillwell.

From 1998-2003, Montana’s film industry generated $53 million in film production spending within the state. Film production created 903 full-time equivalent jobs in the film industry and 444 full-time equivalent jobs in the general economy. During those five years, the film industry contributed $4.3 million of tax revenue to the state.

Submitted by Montana Department of Commerce

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Sheridan Number One Town

Sheridan, Wyoming named #1 Western Town by True West magazine

WOW!!! Out of 500 western towns competing for the honor, SHERIDAN wears her official #1 well!

The reality is setting in…Being the nation’s top western town in America came together with an award celebration of a life time – fun, festive, and impressive with over 1,100 people joining us at the Historic Sheridan Inn on January 28th! Wear your #1 Western Town in America commemorative pins proudly.

We knocked the boots off True West Magazine Editor, Bob Boze Bell with our community’s western enthusiasm and flavor . . .And Bell strongly touts Sheridan as “by far the BEST choice for the first-ever #1 western town in America. We are really excited about what went down in Sheridan, and were kind of in shock all the way home to Arizona.”

Bell and staff could not be more impressed and pleased, and I in turn could not be more proud of all involved - our community support, the volunteer participation, the superb historical entertainment, AND of Sheridan!

What a grand performance by our local historical entertainers:Drum & Bugle Corp’s march and play to welcome celebrants and dignitaries arriving in Craig Maris’ horse-drawn carriage, the Frontier Regulars live history demonstration with the Howitzer cannon explosion, the dove release by Gwen Turner, Native American dances by Joe LaForge & Shelly White Bear, the Historic Sheridan Inn’s Buffalo Bill, Annie Oakley, Calamity Jane, & Wild Bill Hickok and the grand finale of 1880’s era music by the New Sheridan Cornet Band.

Mayor Kinskey provided a warm western welcome, followed by the reading of Governor Freudenthal’s proclamation. Diane Shober, Director of Wyoming Travel & Tourism, presented Wyoming’s new Forever West tourism theme and an overview of our cooperative ventures with recent movies and the Spring TV advertisements filmed in Sheridan.

Then for the reason we all came together, the presentation of the western statuette for our #1 western town award by Bell. To view our outstanding award, stop now at City Hall, or beginning in the spring at the Wyoming Information Center museum, where 150,000 visitors will enjoy viewing and reading all about it.

Attendees also enjoyed the educational displays by the Trail End State Historic Site, Sheridan County Museum, Sheridan Heritage Center, and Sheridan Travel and Tourism. Perhaps we could have used more space, however I heard not a complaint, but rather a happy and festive crowd! The media coverage of the honor and celebration was wide, ranging from TV, print and radio, from Chicago to Kansas City, Rapid City to Billings and Casper, as well as local. Stay tuned, as our work with True West Magazine has already begun for the next feature story from their recent stay with us in Sheridan.

"Sheridan’s culture is Western, in all of its varieties and meanings. The pace of life is Western. When you're in Sheridan, no matter where you hail from, you are Western. It's that magic which really makes the town stand out," writes the True West staff.

Sheridan was selected from the 500 entries judged on its history and heritage; efforts to preserve, maintain and promote that heritage; and success in attracting tourists. The judges noted that Sheridan has several historic districts and dozens of historic sites—and hosts numerous Western events each year. The town raised a million dollars for a new history museum, scheduled to open in 2006. And renovation work continues on the historic Sheridan Inn, where Buffalo Bill Cody auditioned acts for his Wild West show in the 1890s.

Thanks to our community for it’s support and involvement in making an outstanding celebration for our outstanding tourism destination, Sheridan – The West at its Best! And now we begin the work together to expand our #1 Western Town in America promotions for the year . . .

For those interested in availability of the #1 Western Town in America commemorative pins, or the True West magazine feature article, or further information, please contact Sheridan Travel and Tourism at 307-673-7120.

Submitted by Sheridan Travel and Tourism

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South Dakota News - Jewel Cave

Jewel Cave Now Second Longest in the World

By Steve Miller, Journal Staff Writer

JEWEL CAVE -- Four volunteer cavers made a four-day underground trek into the far reaches of Jewel Cave last month, adding more than half a mile to its known length and making it the second longest cave in the world.

The exploration trip added about 3,700 feet to the cave's known length, bringing it to 135 miles and 10 feet long, according to Jewel Cave National Monument superintendent Todd Suess.

That made Jewel Cave the second-longest cave in the world, eclipsing the Optimisticeskaja Cave in Ukraine, according to Karen Rosga, chief of interpretation at Jewel Cave.

Cave officials believed Jewel Cave might already have passed the Ukraine cave, but it's challenging to get updated information from the Ukraine, Rosga said. "We felt sure if we hit the 135-mile mark, there would be no doubt." The Ukraine cave is still being explored, also.

The longest known cave in the world is Mammoth Cave in Kentucky, with 360 miles explored and mapped, Suess said.

The Jan. 13-16 trek explored the eastern reaches of Jewel Cave and brought the cavers to a point near Pass Creek Road, Suess said.

Making the survey trip were Mike Wiles, cave management specialist at Jewel Cave; Larry Shaffer, a computer specialist and cave volunteer from the Black Hills Institute of Geological Research in Hill City; Andy Armstrong of Custer, an intern at Jewel Cave; and Stan Allison, a National Park Service cave specialist from Carlsbad, N.M.

It takes exploration crews six to eight hours to travel from the cave entrance to the main camp deep inside the cave, Suess said. Water is stored along the way in plastic and nylon caches that catch drips from the cave roof. The main camp stores 20 gallons of water, enough to hold four people for four days. Explorers then travel another three hours from the camp to the unexplored areas, work for six to eight hours, then make their way back to camp.

They repeat that process, heading out to explore each day and returning to the base camp deep underground at the end of the work day.

Cavers pack light, taking only critical equipment such as head lamps, along with food, protein bars and special equipment. Though the cave is a constant 49 degrees, cavers wear T-shirts and light clothing to increase mobility and to fight the high humidity and heat of exertion.

"We do all of our cooking and cleaning and eating over tarps so we don't leave anything there," Armstrong said, "including human waste or garbage."

Armstrong said he liked exploring beyond the End, the name of the last place that had been explored. "When we got beyond the End, we found lots more, like a passage 30 feet wide and 50 feet high that went on and on."

But there are plenty of tough, tight spots to get through, also, including a stretch in the first few miles underground called the Miseries. "It took us an hour and 40 minutes to get through the Miseries," Allison said. "It's a thousand feet of belly crawling."

But there are also high wide galleries where mobility is hindered less and jeweled walls reflect the light of headlamps, Suess said.

Along the way, the explorers saw untouched calcite rafts, thin mineral deposits that look like water lilies; gypsum "flowers" with long streamers and hairs created by wind and water; walls lined with crystals; and deep inside the cave a mummified Townsends long-eared bat, hanging from a roof filled with fossils from the even more distant past.

"You get to see places no one has ever gone before," Shaffer said. "When you get there, it's like Neil Armstrong stepping onto the moon."

The cave continues to be explored so that measures can be taken to protect the interior from activities above ground, Suess said. Landowners spraying herbicides or introducing harmful chemicals could affect water in the cave. Drilling could change the ecological balance deep underground, he said.

Scientists are studying the DNA of micro-organisms and chemical reactions with water in Jewel Cave. Cavers use a combination of old-fashioned grit and high-tech computers and lasers to measure the interior of the cave.

Suess said more than 90,000 visitors took the cave tour in 2005, but only a few cavers have been past the Miseries.

He said the most recent trek mapped more area than is typical for four-day exploration trips, which often cover only 500 feet to a quarter mile.

Of course, explorations will continue into Jewel Cave. In fact, the next four-day survey trip is planned to begin Friday, Rosga said.

The explorations continue to find large passages and more passages, Suess said. The biggest surprise of the January exploration was that the cave is continuing east, Suess said. "It's, wow, there's more cave out here. We haven't found the end."

He said the end of the cave likely won't be found in his lifetime.

Contact Steve Miller at 394-8417 or [email protected]

Submitted by South Dakota Tourism, originally from the Rapid City Journal

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Wyoming News - GoNative Upadated

Go Native America - Guided Tours to the Heart of Indian Country, Battlefield Rides & Tipi Camps

Walk in the footsteps of legends such as Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse, Gall, Red Cloud - great leaders on the Northern Plains of Native America. With our unique insights into indigenous history, lands and cultures, enter ‘Indian Country’, and experience Indian Nations the way traditional people wish them to be seen. Historical and cultural trips from ½ day to 14 days, stays of 2-10 days at our tipi camp, Native American Concierge service (the first ever!), Battlefield Rides - exploring the Little Bighorn on horseback, and the Flaming Star Gallery for Native and Historic America.

Chief Alfred Red Cloud, executive director, believes this is something his great-grandpa, the great Mahpiya Luta - Chief Red Cloud – would much appreciate. Contact: Sarah Chapman, 1-888 800 1876, [email protected] , or www.gonativeamerica.com.

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Beware of UK based lodging scam

Accommodation suppliers need to be aware of a scam that has been reported by a number of lodging establishments in both Montana and South Dakota.

Companies in the UK, posing as legitimate travel agencies and in one case a church group have attempted to defraud RMI region businesses. Please remember to be certain that you are dealing with reputable travel companies.

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News from Idaho - Guest Ranches Form New Association

Website Provides One-stop Vacation Shopping

Guest ranching is for all ages SANDPOINT, Idaho (Feb. 6, 2006) —Idaho is perhaps the best kept secret in the ranch world, but the mountains - like the Sawtooth, Salmon River and Cabinet Ranges - offer as much beauty as anywhere in the United States and Canadian Rockies.

Now, Idaho’s leading ranches have created a convenient new resource for planning your next vacation.

The Idaho Guest and Dude Ranch Association Website introduces you to eight properties, several of which have been welcoming visitors for generations. Some take as few as a dozen visitors, others can accommodate over 50 guests. They vary from rustic to posh, but regardless of size and elegance, they’re genuinely hospitable.

Each ranch offers horseback riding (short rides, day rides and even overnight rides), but you can also enjoy cattle roundups, guided fly fishing trips, gold panning, even low-carb gourmet cooking as well as the chance to kick back and leave city pressures behind.

Many of the ranches have special summer programs for kids, and several are open in winter for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling and sleigh rides.

The IGDRA Web site is designed to help you learn about the whole range of summer, fall and winter getaways. It’s easy to navigate, starting with an introduction to what makes guest ranching in Idaho unique.

The site gives concise descriptions of all eight ranches, with links to their own web sites. You can locate each ranch on a map of Idaho, evaluate sample photos, and even use the IGDRA site to check reservation availability for the dates you want.

Ranch rates vary with the season and include accommodations, means and activities. You can even arrange to rent an entire ranch for anywhere from a day to a week.

http://www.idahodra.com

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News from the Region:

News from Denver

Denver Ranks No. 1 as U.S. Travel Bargain

Denver offers visitors the best value for their money, according to the results of the Hotwire® Travel Value Index. The study evaluated 50 U.S. markets to determine which offer the best savings and overall value to visitors based on:

1. Discounts offered to travelers
2. Low published-rate prices and presence of affordable entertainment
3. Outdoor attractions

“Denver is the top U.S. place for travel bargains based on its low prices, affordable attractions, like the Denver Zoo, and natural beauty, including the Rocky Mountains, which offer a broad range of fun, outdoor activities to visitors,” Barbara Messing, vice president of customer experience at Hotwire.com. “In fact, this winter we’re seeing rates at 4-star hotels in Denver for less than $100 per night.” For more information visit http://www.hotwire.com/destination/travel-value-index.jsp.

Denver Offers Visitors Out-of-body experience

Beginning in early March visitors to Denver will have the opportunity to visit BODY WORLDS 2, a world-renowned exhibit that will reside in the Mile High City through late July.

Created by Dr. Gunther von Hagens, BODY WORLDS 2 uses a process called Plastination to preserve its anatomical specimens. This technology allows bodies to be saved in a durable and life-like fashion for instruction and education, giving you an opportunity to appreciate what it really means to be human.

Never before has an exhibition offered such an intimate look at the human body. More than 200 real human specimens—whole bodies, healthy and diseased organs, body parts and slices—present a one-of-a-kind anatomy and physiology lesson. See how your body’s systems relate to one another and work in concert to help you function and survive. View firsthand how lifestyle choices impact your health and how muscles and joints work together during athletic performance.

“BODY WORLDS allows people from all backgrounds to better understand the body and how it functions,” said Dr. Gunther von Hagens, the inventor of the plastination process. “As event anatomy, BODY WORLDS juxtaposes healthy and diseased organs and features whole body specimens in dynamic lifelike poses. Plastinated anatomy is beauty beneath the skin, frozen in time between death and decay. It opens the heart to our inner self and makes us fall in love with our own body.”

The exhibition also allows for visitors to better understand diseases, the effects of tobacco consumption and use of artificial supports such as knees and hips. To date, nearly 18 million people around the world have viewed BODY WORLDS and BODY WORLDS 2.

For complete information, visit www.dmns.org and www.bodyworlds.comor call 303- 322-7009.

Highlights of Mile High Events for 2006

Cinco de Mayo, May 6-7

The largest Cinco de Mayo celebration in the United States with strolling Mariachi bands, Aztec dancers and Mexican culinary delights! 303-534-8342, ext. 106; www.newsed.org

Tesoro 6th Annual Indian Market and Powwow, May 20-21

Colorado’s largest Indian Market Powwow features Native American artists from 60 tribes.

303-839-1671; www.tesorofoundation.org

Colorado Renaissance Festival, June 10-July 30

Flash back to the 16th Century with full-armor jousting, tasty turkey legs, music and a marketplace featuring more than 200 artisans. (Weekends) 303-688-6010; www.coloradorenaissance.com

Keybank La Piazza dell’Arte, June 17-18

Larimer Square is transformed into a giant canvas by hundreds of artists who recreate masterpieces and original works with vivid pastel chalk. 303-685-8143; www.larimerarts.org

Film & Concerts on the Rocks, June-August

Hear a concert or see a film in the most spectacular venue on earth – Red Rocks Amphitheatre. 303-697-4939; www.redrocksonline.com

Cherry Creek Arts Festival, July 1-3

Ranked as the No.1 fine arts and crafts exhibition in the nation, this festival draws more than 250,000 people. 303-355-2787; www.cherryarts.org

Buffalo Bill Days, July 26-30

The legacy of Buffalo Bill is celebrated in the city of Golden with a Wild West Show, burro race, games, food and a Western parade. 303-279-3113; www.goldencochamber.org

Dragon Boat Festival, July 29-30

Vibrantly decorated dragon boats race in an exciting pan-Asian sport. 303-722-6852; www.coloradodragonboat.org

The INTERNATIONAL, Aug. 7-13

One of the PGA’s most unique and challenging tournaments attracting the world’s top golfers. 303-660-8000; www.golfintl.com

CENTRIX Financial Grand Prix, Aug. 11-13

The streets of downtown Denver are transformed into a giant race track seating 60,000 people as cars race by at speeds of up to 175 mph! 303-825-0300; www.gpdenver.com

Festival of Mountain & Plain: A Taste of Colorado, Sept. 1-4

Seventy five of Colorado's premier restaurants offer tastings, along with live entertainment, artisans and carnival rides. 303-571-8200; www.atasteofcolorado.com

Great American Beer Festival, Sept. 28-30

Cheers! The largest gathering of beer enthusiasts boast more than 1,500 different beers from 300 American breweries. 303-447-0816; www.beertown.org

Visit www.denver.org for a detailed calendar of events

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News from Minneapolis

MINNEAPOLIS’ ARTS EXPLOSION CONTINUES INTO 2006

Opening dates set for latest cultural building projects

(MINNEAPOLIS) – Feb. 21, 2006 – Internationally acclaimed architects continue sculpting the landscape of Minneapolis, preparing for the 2006 completion of three highly anticipated building projects. Adding $500 million in infrastructure to the city in a two-year span, five of the nation’s premiere cultural institutions cement Minneapolis’ reputation as a cultural destination.

MINNEAPOLIS PUBLIC LIBRARY(opening May 20, 2006)

Architect: Cesar Pelli

This new downtown gathering space, housing the nation’s fourth-largest public library collection, features five stories of space for books, computers, meeting rooms, fireside reading dens, a children’s library, a gallery and a café.

THE MINNEAPOLIS INSTITUTE OF ARTS(opening June 11, 2006)

Architect: Michael Graves & Associates

One of the top 10 comprehensive art museums in the country, the expansion increases the museum’s already-impressive gallery spaces by 40 percent. State-of-the-art classrooms, research facilities and public spaces enhance visitor enjoyment and understanding of the renowned collection.

GUTHRIE THEATER(opening June 24, 2006)

Architect: Jean Nouvel

A national theater arts and education center, the Tony® Award-winning Guthrie Theater opens its new riverfront home with a mix of three unique spaces: 1,100-seat auditorium for classic works, 700-seat proscenium stage for contemporary productions and 250-seat studio theater for emerging artists – plus rehearsal and education facilities ready to embrace a diverse range of dramatic work.

Recently completed Minneapolis cultural projects:

WALKER ART CENTER(opened April 17, 2005)

The Herzog & de Meuron project doubled the size of this highly acclaimed museum with new galleries, a performance space, educational facilities and a Wolfgang Puck restaurant.

THE CHILDREN'S THEATRE COMPANY(opened Oct. 7, 2005)

The expansion of the Tony® Award-winning regional theater, designed by Michael Graves & Associates, boasts a second stage, education wing, rehearsal space and expanded production shops.

Book a trip and check out Minneapolis’ arts explosion by visiting http://arts.minneapolis.org

Lee Henderson
Media Relations Specialist
Greater Minneapolis Convention & Visitors Association
612.767.8042

Minneapolis: One ofTravel + Leisure's top five up-and-coming destinations to visit in 2006.

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News from Portland

What’s New and Different in Portland, Oregon – 2006

Attractions/Arts & Culture

Portland Art Museum Unveils Historic North Building Restoration

The Portland Art Museum completed another major renovation in October 2005. The museum, which wrapped up a $45 million renovation and expansion of its Belluschi Building in 2000, has unveiled a $40 million historical restoration of the adjacent the 141,000-square-foot North Building. Now called the Mark Building, the renovated structure boasts 28,000 square feet of additional gallery space in the new Center for Modern and Contemporary Art; an underground passage/gallery linking the Belluschi Building and the Mark Building; new space for the NW Film Center; a 33,000-volume Art Study Center and Library; and the renovated Sunken and Grand ballrooms. Formerly a Masonic temple, the Mark Building’s elegant ballrooms are now available for meetings, receptions and other special events.

The first major exhibition to be unveiled in the completely renovated museum complex is Hesse: A Princely German Collection. The Portland Art Museum is the exclusive world venue for the exhibition, which is running through March 19, 2006. Among the treasures on display are Hans Holbein’s Madonna, one of the most important paintings in private hands. The painting’s permanent home is Darmstadt Castle, one of the major estates of the Princes of Hesse-Darmstadt. The painting has only been exhibited twice in Europe; it has never before traveled beyond the Continent. In addition to the great Holbein Madonna, the exhibition includes a royal coach (nicknamed the “Cinderella Carriage” by the curators who are lovingly restoring its glittering opulence), a gilded throne, jeweled tiaras, examples of German baroque silver and furniture, German Romantic paintings, Winterhalter portraits, a Russian dowry, and other antiquities.

Meghan Rodimel, Portland Art Museum, 1219 S.W. Park Ave., Portland, Ore. 97205; 503.276.4316 (direct); 503.226.2811 (public inquiries); [email protected]; www.portlandartmuseum.org

World Forestry Center Discovery Museum Opens

Strap into a smoke jumper’s harness and parachute into a wild fire. Stroll through the forest canopy along a 20-foot-high walkway. Burrow beneath the forest floor to discover a subterranean ecosystem. Or, take a video journey around the globe: glimpse boreal forests from the windows of the Trans-Siberian Railroad; view temperate forests from your seat on a Chinese boat; explore subtropical forests during a Jeep safari; or get a bird’s-eye view of a tropical Brazilian forest from inside a canopy crane. These exhibits, along with many others, are part of the $7.5 million renovation of the World Forestry Center, a facility dedicated to highlighting the importance of the word’s forests to our history, culture, economy and daily lives. Housed inside the new Discovery Museum, which opened to the public on June 30, 2005, these innovative displays and hands-on exhibits represent the center’s first complete renovation in more than 30 years.

In addition to the Discovery Museum, the World Forestry Center’s Magness Memorial Tree Farm, located near Wilsonville, Ore., is also open daily to the public and offers 2.5 miles of hiking trails that wind throughout the 80-acre site.

Jennifer Kent, World Forest Center Discovery Museum, 4033 S.W. Canyon Road, Portland, Ore. 97221; 503.488.2117; [email protected]; www.worldforestry.org

Portland Center Stage Moves to Portland’s Historic Armory Building

With its turrets and faux parapets, the Historic Portland Armory building looks like a castle. And by fall 2006, the royalty residing within will be the cast and crew of the Portland Center Stage. Founded nearly 20 years ago, Portland Center Stage has evolved to become a major player in Portland’s arts scene. The company (currently a tenant of the Portland Center for the Performing Arts) has long desired its own performance space. That dream will be realized following a $36.1 million renovation of the castle-like Romanesque Revival armory, which was opened in 1891 to house local units of the Oregon National Guard. The building, located in Portland’s Pearl District and accessible from downtown via the Portland Streetcar, has a dramatic façade and cavernous main room that make the structure a perfect fit for theatrical endeavors. In typical Portland fashion, the armory’s renovation is being done as a pioneering “green” project. Portland Center Stage is striving to become the world’s first historic renovation to earn a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum rating. Even the new name of the theater reflects “green” sensibilities: the newly christened Bob and Diana Gerding Theater in the Historic Portland Armory honors one of Portland’s visionary “green” developers and his spouse, both of whom are also strong arts supporters.

Kathy Budas, Portland Center Stage, 1111 S.W. Broadway, Portland, Ore. 97205; 503.274.6583 (direct); 503.274-6588 (public inquiries); [email protected]; www.pcs.org

Hotels

Hotel Deluxe to Open in Summer 2006

In January 2006, Portland’s historic Hotel Mallory closed its doors to undergo an $8 million renovation and modernization. When the hotel reopens in early summer 2006 it will be called Hotel Deluxe. In addition to its new name, the 1912 building on the quiet fringe of Portland’s downtown district will boast high-speed wireless Internet service, all new furnishings and carpets, modern bathroom fixtures, a pillow menu, and a Hollywood-noir décor. A 13-foot plasma screen in the lobby will feature glamorous black-and-white stills of Hollywood stars (the images will change every few hours), while the hotel’s hallways will be lined with additional shots of movie stars and famous directors. One thing that won’t change – much – is the hotel’s famed Driftwood Room. The tiny lounge’s wood paneling, brick wall and dark ambience – which were ultra-cool in the ‘50s – have transitioned to hipster-kitsch. While most of the cozy bar’s elements will remain untouched, the lounge will see a few cosmetic changes: new lighting, carpeting and chairs.

Dina Nishioka, Aspen Hotel Group, Hotel Deluxe, 729 S.W. 15th Ave., Portland, Ore. 97205;503.295.2122 , ext. 223 (direct); 503.223.6311 (public inquiries); [email protected]; website???

Convention Facilities

Oregon Convention Center Expansion Earns LEED-EB Certification

The 407,500-square-foot expansion of the Oregon Convention Center – a $116 million project that transformed the OCC into the largest convention facility in the Pacific Northwest – recently received its LEED-EB (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design - Existing Building) certification. This prestigious honor certifies that the OCC expansion meets the eco-friendly, energy-efficient building standards established by the U.S. Green Building Council.

In addition to LEED-EB certification, the convention center also boasts 255,000 square feet of exhibition space, the 34,400-square-foot Grand Portland Ballroom, the 25,200-square-foot Oregon Ballroom, 52,000 square feet of meeting space (50 total breakout rooms), and two levels of underground parking.

The OCC’s LEED-EB status is partly due to several “green” elements that were incorporated into the design of the expansion. Among the most functionally beautiful is the new “Rain Garden,” a series of landscaped waterfalls and pools that purifies all rainwater draining from the OCC’s massive 5.5-acre roof. As the rainwater is filtered through native grasses, rocks and settling ponds, it is cleansed of pollutants before being released into the city’s storm-sewer system, and eventually the nearby Willamette River. Other eco-friendly

features include extensive banks of large windows that wash the interior with daylight, reducing the need for electricity; far-reaching recycling programs; energy efficiency systems that exceed normal Oregon building code requirements by 30 percent; and much more.

The LEED Green Building Rating System for Existing Buildings (LEED-EB) is a set of performance standards for the sustainable operation and maintenance of existing buildings. As one of only 12 buildings that have been certified to date under the LEED-EB pilot program, the OCC is the first building in Oregon – as well as the first convention center in the nation – to achieve this rating.

Matt Pizzuti, Oregon Convention Center, 777 N.E. MLK Jr. Blvd., Portland, Ore. 97232; 503.235.7577 (direct); 503.235.7575 (public inquiries); [email protected]; www.oregoncc.org

Transportation

Portland Aerial Tram Construction Underway

Construction is underway on what many feel will become a major city icon: the Portland Aerial Tram. When it opens to the public in the fall of 2006, the 3,400-foot tram system will ferry passengers from downtown Portland’s South Waterfront District to the top of Marquam Hill, where the Oregon Health & Science University campus is located. Designed primarily as a neighborhood connector that will allow commuters to forgo using cars, the $40 million tram – much like the hugely popular Portland Streetcar – should prove to be an equal hit with visitors. As the tram cars make their three-minute journey from the South Waterfront to Marquam Hill, riders will enjoy views of the Willamette River, Mount Hood and downtown Portland. Each bubble-inspired tram car will be designed to hold approximately 80 passengers. The tram plaza at South Waterfront will be located adjacent to the Portland Streetcar’s RiverPlace Station.

Jonas Allen, MAP Communications for Portland Aerial Tram; 503.219.9294; [email protected]; www.portlandtram.com

Portland Streetcar Extends to RiverPlace Marina District

In March 2005 the Portland Streetcar unveiled an $18.2 million extension to the city’s busy RiverPlace Marina district. Overlooking the Willamette River and bordering downtown Portland, RiverPlace features two hotels, several restaurants, shops, galleries and a collection of waterfront condominiums. The area is also a popular bicycling route for visitors, connecting to both Gov. Tom McCall Waterfront Park and the Willamette River Greenway Trail. With the addition of the RiverPlace spur, thesix-mile-long streetcar route now winds its way from the waterfront to Portland State University, downtown Portland’s Cultural District, the Pearl District and Northwest Portland/Nob Hill. But the streetcar has plans to expand yet again. Preliminary work has started on extending the line farther south along Southwest Moody Avenue to Southwest Gibbs Street, at the planned terminus of an aerial tram that will connect Portland’s South Waterfront District to Oregon Health & Science University on Marquam Hill. That work is scheduled to be completedin 2006.

Kay Dannen, Portland Streetcar Project, 115 N.W. First Ave., Suite 200, Portland, Ore. 97209; 503.478.6404 (main); [email protected]; www.portlandstreetcar.org

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News from Rapid City

Rapid City CVB creates a new City tour for visitors- with photo

Recently Rapid City created the new City Tour and Historic Districts. This tour, which is a popular activity for visitors, includes many of our local free attractions and offers the opportunity for an up close and personal glimpse into what makes Rapid City such a wonderful place for visitors to spend their time. Highlighted here are the attractions that comprise the tour. Signs featuring directions are conveniently located along the way to efficiently guide visitors from one point to the next.

  • Black Hills Visitor Information Center
  • Memorial Park/Berlin Wall
  • Storybook Island
  • Cleghorn Springs Fish Hatchery
  • Stavkirke Chapel
  • Canyon Lake Park
  • Formal Gardens
  • Dinosaur Park
  • Dahl Arts Center
  • Museum of Geology
  • Apex Gallery
  • The City of Presidents
  • The Journey Museum
  • Downtown and West Boulevard Historic Districts

To coincide with a new year of motorcoach and tour planning shows, the Rapid City Convention and Visitors Bureau has created the first ever Rapid City Tour Planning Guide. This guide, which contains information for tour planners thinking of bringing business to the Black Hills, will be used as follow-up to appointments from the various shows the CVB attends, as well as for those who have requested information about planning tours to the area. The guide contains all of the information needed for tour planning, which includes not only accommodations, restaurants and attractions, but motorcoach services, itineraries, escort notes and climate information, to name a few. If you have any questions about this new guide, please call Michelle Thomson at 718-8489.

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RMI Marketing Calendar

March 4-7 – French Sales Mission, Paris, France

March 8-12 – ITB, Berlin, Germany

March 28-29 – RMI Summit Meetings, Butte, Montana

March 29-April 1 – RMI Roundup, Butte, Montana

April 10-11 – Montana Governor’s Conference, Great Falls

April 24-25 – Wyoming Governor’s Conference, Casper

May 6-10 – TIA Pow Wow, Orlando, Florida

May 18-19 – Idaho Governor’s Conference, Lewiston

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2006 Roundup Registration

 

 

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