The Edgewater in Madison, Wisconsin Joins Historic Hotels of America

The Edgewater in Madison, Wisconsin has joined Historic Hotels of America®, a program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

The Edgewater is one of more than 250 hotels and resorts throughout the country that is recognized by Historic Hotels of America for preserving and maintaining its historic integrity, architecture and ambiance. The Edgewater is the only Madison-based property to be included in the portfolio.

“We are delighted to induct The Edgewater, a storied lakefront hotel in the Midwest, to Historic Hotels of America prior to the hotel’s grand reopening after a $100-million renovation this September 2014.” said Lawrence Horwitz, Executive Director of Historic Hotels of America and Historic Hotels Worldwide. “We welcome The Edgewater’s Owner Robert Dunn and leadership team into Historic Hotels of America.”

To be selected for membership in Historic Hotels of America, a hotel must be at least 50 years old; has been designated by the U.S. Secretary of the Interior as a National Historic Landmark; listed in or eligible for the National Register of Historic Places or recognized locally as having historic significance.

“We are extremely honored to be a member of the Historic Hotels of America,” says Ronald E. Morin, general manager and senior vice president of The Edgewater. “The people of Madison have pride in the hotel as a civic asset, a gathering place and a destination that defines the best of the city. Therefore, we are committed to honoring The Edgewater’s legacy as we enter the next chapter of the hotel’s history.”

The Edgewater is rich in history and architectural integrity.  The hotel opened in Madison, Wisconsin 65 years ago and quickly became one of the city’s main attractions. Almost overnight, the hotel became the signature location for local residents and visiting guests to enjoy all things that define Madison. With an extraordinary location right on the shore of Lake Mendota, the new Edgewater, just as the previous structure, will service as a gathering place for significant family events from casual waterfront relaxation to fine dining.

Visiting celebrities stayed at the hotel from Elvis Presley to Sammy Davis Jr. and Elton John to Bob Marley, as well as many visiting notables. Local developer Robert Dunn, with a passion to recreate the unique destination, acquired The Edgewater with an ambitious plan to develop the property and return it to its cultural significance in the city.

After a multimillion-dollar expansion and renovation, The Edgewater will reopen in September 2014 at 1001 Wisconsin Place in Madison, Wisconsin, as a portal to Madison’s waterfront in the heart of Wisconsin’s capital city. A project of Madison developer Robert Dunn, the revitalization of the historic hotel property includes the construction of a new hotel tower as well as the preservation of the two original buildings erected in the 1940s and 1970s. The Edgewater will feature more than 200 guest rooms, new food and beverage concepts, a state-of-the art fitness and wellness center, a multitude of indoor and outdoor event spaces (including two rooftop spaces), an outdoor public plaza and even an outdoor skating rink in winter.

For more information, visit www.theedgewater.com or call 800-922-5512. Connect with The Edgewater on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Historic Hotels of America® is the official program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation® for recognizing and celebrating the finest Historic Hotels. Founded in 1989 by the National Trust for Historic Preservation with 32 charter members, today, Historic Hotels of America has more than 250 historic hotels. These historic hotels have all faithfully maintained their authenticity, sense of place, and architectural integrity in the United States of America, including 46 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. Historic Hotels of America is comprised of mostly independently owned and operated properties.  More than 30 of the world’s finest hospitality brands, chains, and collections are represented in Historic Hotels of America. To be nominated and selected for membership into this prestigious program, a hotel must be at least 50 years old; has been designated by the U.S. Secretary of the Interior as a National Historic Landmark or listed in or eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places; and recognized as having historic significance. For more information, visit HistoricHotels.org.

See also: Historic Hotels of America Announces 2014 Award Nominees

 

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Historic Hotels of America Announces 2014 Award Nominees

Jekyll Island Club Hotel (1886) Jekyll Island, Georgia, is nominated in several categories, including Best Historic Resort © 2014 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
Jekyll Island Club Hotel (1886) Jekyll Island, Georgia, is nominated in several categories, including Best Historic Resort © 2014 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Historic Hotels of America has just announced the nominees for its 2014 Awards of Excellence, recognizing and celebrating the finest historic hotels and hoteliers. The 2014 Annual Awards Ceremony and Gala Dinner will take place at The Hotel Hershey® (1933) in Hershey, Pennsylvania on Thursday, October 2 at 7 pm where the final award winners will be announced.  

Award recipients were selected from nominees received from across America from historic hotels, historic preservation supporters, and leadership from Historic Hotels of America. As the official program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Historic Hotels of America provides the recognition to travelers, civic leaders, and the global cultural, heritage, and historic travel market that member hotels are among the finest historic hotels across America. Historic Hotels of America Awards of Excellence recognize the pinnacle of this distinct group of nominees in a number of categories.

The 2014 award nominees are:

 

Historic Hotels of America New Member of the Year

o   Abraham Lincoln Reading Hotel (1930) Reading, Pennsylvania

o   Airlie (1892) Warrenton, Virginia

o   Benbow Inn (1926) Garberville, California

o   The Edgewater (1948) Madison, Wisconsin

o   Lake McDonald Lodge (1914) Glacier National Park, Montana

o   Many Glacier Hotel (1915) Glacier National Park, Montana

o   Southern Hotel (1907) Covington, Louisiana

 

Mohonk Mountain House (1869) New Paltz, New York. Nina Smiley is nominated for Historic Hotelier of the Year © 2014 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
Mohonk Mountain House (1869) New Paltz, New York. Nina Smiley is nominated for Historic Hotelier of the Year © 2014 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Historic Hotelier of the Year

o   Brenda Anderson, The Lancaster Hotel (1926) Houston, Texas

o   Christopher Diego, Mountain View Grand Resort & Spa (1865) Whitefield, New Hampshire

o   David Tamulevich, Portland Regency Hotel & Spa (1895) Portland, Maine

o   Dean Lane, The Palmer House Hilton (1871) Chicago, Illinois

o   Douglas Brown, The Peabody Memphis (1869) Memphis, Tennessee

o   Gene-Michael Addis, Lord Baltimore Hotel (1928) Baltimore, Maryland

o   Jack Moyer, 1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa (1886) Eureka Springs, Arkansas

o   Jennifer Kimball,  La Fonda (1922) Santa Fe, New Mexico

o   Jim Sims, The Mimslyn Inn (1931) Luray, Virginia

o   Joshua Townsend, Capital Hotel (1873) Little Rock, Arkansas

o   Kelly Hoen, The Royal Hawaiian, A Luxury Collection Resort (1927) Waikiki Beach, Hawaii

o   Kenneth Hayward, Grand Hotel (1887) Mackinac Island, Michigan

o   Ken Price, The Palmer House Hilton (1871) Chicago, Illinois

o   Michel Sheer, Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza (1931) Cincinnati, Ohio

o   Nina Smiley, Mohonk Mountain House (1869) New Paltz, New York

o   Patty Henning, Jekyll Island Club Hotel (1886) Jekyll Island, Georgia

o   Philip Wood, The Jefferson, Washington, DC (1923)

o   Thomas Klein, The Fairmont Hotel San Francisco (1907) San Francisco, California

 

Best Small Historic Inn/Hotel (Under 75 Guestrooms)

o   1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa (1886) Eureka Springs, Arkansas, 72 guestrooms

o   Castle Hotel & Spa (1910) Tarrytown, New York, 31 guestrooms

o   Cavallo Point (1901) Golden Gate National Park, Sausalito, California, 68 guestrooms

o   Caribbean Motel (1957) Wildwood Crest, New Jersey, 30 guestrooms

o   The Chanler at Cliff Walk (1873) Newport, Rhode Island, 20 guestrooms

o   Hacienda del Sol Guest Ranch Resort (1929) Tucson, Arizona, 30 guestrooms

o   The Inn at Furnace Creek (1927) Death Valley National Park, California, 66 guestrooms

o   Inn at the Presidio (1776) Golden Gate National Park, San Francisco, California, 22 guestrooms

o   The Landmark Inn (1930) Marquette, Michigan, 62 guestrooms

o   Lancaster Arts Hotel (1881) Lancaster, Pennsylvania, 63 guestrooms

o   Lord Jeffery Inn (1926) Amherst, Massachusetts, 49 guestrooms

o   The Mast Farm Inn (1792) Banner Elk, North Carolina, 15 guestrooms

o   The Middlebury Inn (1827) Middlebury, Vermont, 71 guestrooms

o   The Smith House (1899) Dahlonega, Georgia, 15 guestrooms

The King and Prince Beach and Golf Resort (1935) St. Simons Island, Georgia, with 195 guestrooms, is nominated for Best Historic Hotel (75-200 Guestrooms) © 2014 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
The King and Prince Beach and Golf Resort (1935) St. Simons Island, Georgia, with 195 guestrooms, is nominated for Best Historic Hotel (75-200 Guestrooms) © 2014 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Best Historic Hotel (75-200 Guestrooms)

o   Capital Hotel (1873) Little Rock, Arkansas, 94 guestrooms

o   Green Park Inn (1891) Blowing Rock, North Carolina, 88 guestrooms

o   Harbor View Hotel of Martha’s Vineyard (1891) Edgartown, Massachusetts, 114 guestrooms

o   Hotel Blackhawk, Autograph Collection  (1915) Davenport, Iowa, 130 guestrooms

o   Hotel Lombardy (1929) Washington, DC, 140 guestrooms

o   The Jefferson, Washington, DC (1923) 95 guestrooms

o   Jekyll Island Club Hotel (1886) Jekyll Island, Georgia, 157 guestrooms

o   The King and Prince Beach and Golf Resort (1935) St. Simons Island, Georgia, 195 guestrooms

o   La Fonda (1922) Santa Fe, New Mexico, 179 guestrooms

o   The Lancaster Hotel (1926) Houston, Texas, 93 guestrooms

o   Mayflower Park Hotel (1927) Seattle, Washington, 160 guestrooms

o   Mountain View Grand Resort & Spa (1865) Whitefield, New Hampshire, 144 guestrooms

o   Portland Regency Hotel & Spa (1896) Portland, Maine, 95 guestrooms

o   The Talbott Hotel (1927) Chicago, Illinois, 149 guestrooms

o   The Westin Poinsett (1925) Greenville, South Carolina, 200 guestrooms

 

Best Historic Hotel (200-400 Guestrooms)

o   Battle House Renaissance Mobile Hotel & Spa (1852) Mobile, Alabama, 238 guestrooms

o   The Brown Hotel (1923) Louisville, Kentucky, 293 guestrooms

o   The Hotel Hershey® (1933) Hershey, Pennsylvania, 276 guestrooms

o   Loews Don CeSar Hotel (1928) St. Pete Beach, 277 guestrooms

o   Omni Bedford Springs Resort & Spa (1806) Bedford, Pennsylvania, 216 guestrooms

o   West Baden Springs Hotel (1902) West Baden Springs, Indiana, 243 guestrooms

o   The Wigwam (1918) Litchfield Park, Arizona, 331 guestrooms

 

Best Historic Hotel (Over 400 Guestrooms)

o   French Lick Springs Hotel (1901) French Lick, Indiana, 443 guestrooms

o   Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza (1931) Cincinnati, Ohio, 561 guestrooms

o   Hotel Monteleone (1886) New Orleans, Louisiana, 570 guestrooms

o   The Mayflower® Renaissance Washington, DC Hotel (1925), 657 guestrooms

o   Moana Surfrider, a Westin Resort & Spa (1901) Waikiki Beach, Hawaii, 791 guestrooms

o   The Omni Grove Park Inn (1913) Asheville, North Carolina, 514 guestrooms

o   The Palmer House Hilton (1871) Chicago, Illinois, 1,641 guestrooms

o   The Peabody Memphis (1869) Memphis, Tennessee, 464 guestrooms

o   The Royal Hawaiian, A Luxury Collection Resort (1927) Waikiki Beach, Hawaii, 562 guestrooms

o   Waldorf=Astoria (1931) New York, New York, 1,413 guestrooms

 

The Plaza (1907) New York, New York, is nominated for Best City Center Historic Hotel © 2014 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
The Plaza (1907) New York, New York, is nominated for Best City Center Historic Hotel © 2014 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Best City Center Historic Hotel

o   The Fairmont Hotel San Francisco (1907) San Francisco, California

o   Georgian Terrace Hotel (1911) Atlanta, Georgia

o   The Heathman Hotel (1927) Portland, Oregon

o   Hotel Lombardy (1929) Washington, District of Columbia

o   Hotel Monteleone (1886) New Orleans, Louisiana

o   The Jefferson, Washington, DC (1923)

o   The Lenox (1900) Boston, Massachusetts

o   Lord Baltimore Hotel (1928) Baltimore, Maryland

o   Omni William Penn Hotel, Pittsburgh (1916)

o   The Palmer House Hilton (1871) Chicago, Illinois

o   The Peabody Memphis (1869) Memphis, Tennessee

o   The Plaza (1907) New York, New York

o   Portland Regency Hotel & Spa (1895) Portland, Maine

o   The Saint Paul Hotel (1910) Saint Paul, Minnesota

o   The Strater Hotel (1887) Durango, Colorado

o   The Talbott Hotel (1927) Chicago, Illinois

Jekyll Island Club Hotel (1886) Jekyll Island, Georgia is nominated as the Best Historic Resort © 2014 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
Jekyll Island Club Hotel (1886) Jekyll Island, Georgia is nominated as the Best Historic Resort © 2014 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Best Historic Resort

o   The Broadmoor (1918) Colorado Springs, Colorado

o   The Buccaneer (1653) St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands

o   Castle Hotel & Spa (1910) Tarrytown, New York

o   Grand Hotel (1887) Mackinac Island, Michigan

o   Hotel El Convento (1651) San Juan, Puerto Rico

o   Jekyll Island Club Hotel (1886) Jekyll Island, Georgia

o   Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa (1901) Waikiki Beach, Hawaii

o   Ojai Valley Inn & Spa (1923) Ojai, California

o   The Omni Homestead Resort (1766) Hot Springs, Virginia

o   Omni Bedford Springs Resort & Spa (1806) Bedford, Pennsylvania

o   The Royal Hawaiian, A Luxury Collection Resort (1927) Waikiki Beach, Hawaii

 

Hotel Historian of the Year

o   Danielle Deschamps, The Mast Farm Inn (1792) Banner Elk, North Carolina

o   Ken Price, Palmer House Hilton Hotel (1871) Chicago, Illinois

o   Les Sossaman, The Wigwam (1918) Litchfield Park, Arizona

o   Steven LaCasse, Lord Jeffery Inn (1926) Amherst, Massachusetts

o   Thelma Kehaulani Kam, The Royal Hawaiian, A Luxury Collection Resort (1927) Waikiki Beach, Hawaii and Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa (1901) Waikiki Beach, Hawaii

o   William Defibaugh, Omni Bedford Springs Resort & Spa (1806) Bedford, Pennsylvania

Oheka Castle (1919) Huntington, New York. The Melius Family is nominated for Legendary Family Historic Hoteliers of the Year © 2014 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
Oheka Castle (1919) Huntington, New York. The Melius Family is nominated for Legendary Family Historic Hoteliers of the Year © 2014 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Legendary Family Historic Hoteliers of the Year

o   Barker Family, The Strater Hotel (1887) Durango, Colorado

o   Beach Family, Basin Harbor Club (1886) Vergennes, Vermont

o   Belz Family, The Peabody Memphis (1869) Memphis, Tennessee

o   Boughton Family, The Colony Hotel (1914) Kennebunkport, Maine

o   Genzlinger Family, Ledges Hotel (1890) Hawley, Pennsylvania

o   Martin Family, Paso Robles Inn (1891) Paso Robles, California

o   Melius Family, OHEKA CASTLE (1919) Huntington, New York

o   Smiley Family, Mohonk Mountain House (1869) New Paltz, New York

o   Widman Family, Wentworth Mansion (1886) Charleston, South Carolina

 

Best Historic Restaurant in Conjunction with a Historic Hotel

o   Chestnut Grille, Green Park Inn (1891) Blowing Rock, North Carolina

o   The Circular, The Hotel Hershey® (1933) Hershey, Pennsylvania

o   The Crystal Room, Omni Bedford Springs Resort & Spa (1806) Bedford, Pennsylvania

o   Diamond Belle Saloon, The Strater Hotel (1887) Durango, Colorado

o   English Grill, The Brown Hotel (1923) Louisville, Kentucky

o   Equus Restaurant, Castle Hotel & Spa (1910) Tarrytown, New York

o   French Kitchen, Lord Baltimore Hotel (1928) Baltimore, Maryland

o   Murray Circle, Cavallo Point (1901) Sausalito, California, Golden Gate National Park

o   Orchids at Palm Court, Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza (1931) Cincinnati, Ohio

o   Penrose Room, The Broadmoor (1918) Colorado Springs, Colorado

o   Simplicity, The Mast Farm Inn (1792) Banner Elk, North Carolina

Our room at The Chattanooga Choo Choo, one of the most unusual hotels anywhere. The Chattanooga Choo Choo (1909) Chattanooga, Tennessee, is nominated for Best Social Media of a Historic Hotel © 2014 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
Our room at The Chattanooga Choo Choo, one of the most unusual hotels anywhere. The Chattanooga Choo Choo (1909) Chattanooga, Tennessee, is nominated for Best Social Media of a Historic Hotel © 2014 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Best Social Media of a Historic Hotel

o   The Chattanooga Choo Choo (1909) Chattanooga, Tennessee

o   Grand Hotel Marriott Resort, Golf Club & Spa (1847) Point Clear, Alabama

o   Hacienda del Sol Guest Ranch Resort (1929) Tucson, Arizona

o   Hawthorne Hotel (1925) Salem, Massachusetts

o   Hotel Blackhawk (1915) Davenport, Iowa

o   Hotel El Convento (1651) San Juan, Puerto Rico

o   Hotel Monteleone (1886) New Orleans, Louisiana

o   The Jefferson, Washington, DC (1923)

o   Jekyll Island Club Hotel (1886) Jekyll Island, Georgia

o   Lord Baltimore Hotel (1928) Baltimore, Maryland

o   The Mast Farm Inn (1792) Banner Elk, North Carolina

o   The Plaza (1907) New York, New York

o   The Wigwam (1918) Litchfield Park, Arizona

The Heathman Hotel (1927) Portland, Oregon is nominated for Historic Hotels of America Sustainability Champion © 2014 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
The Heathman Hotel (1927) Portland, Oregon is nominated for Historic Hotels of America Sustainability Champion © 2014 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

 

Historic Hotels of America Sustainability Champion

o   Airlie (1892) Warrenton, Virginia

o   Boone Tavern Hotel of Berea College (1909) Berea, Kentucky

o   Cavallo Point (1901) Sausalito, California, Golden Gate National Park

o   The Fairmont Hotel San Francisco (1907) San Francisco, California

o   Grand Hotel Marriott Resort, Golf Club & Spa (1847) Point Clear, Alabama

o   The Heathman Hotel (1927) Portland, Oregon

o   Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza (1931) Cincinnati, Ohio

o   Inn at the Presidio (1776) San Francisco, California, Golden Gate National Park

o   Jekyll Island Club Hotel (1886) Jekyll Island, Georgia

o   The Lenox (1900) Boston, Massachusetts

o   Lord Jeffery Inn (1926) Amherst, Massachusetts

o   Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa (1901) Waikiki Beach, Hawaii

o   Paso Robles Inn (1891) Paso Robles, California

o   The Strater Hotel (1887) Durango, Colorado

 

Historic Hotels of America Ambassador of the Year (Quarter Century Service)

o   Bob Louis, Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza (1931) Cincinnati, Ohio

o   Brian LaFountain, The Omni Homestead Resort (1766) Hot Springs, Virginia

o   Charles Schumacher, The Strater Hotel (1887) Durango, Colorado

o   Crystal Brandt, The Hotel Hershey®  (1933) Hershey, Pennsylvania

o   Mike Childs, Paso Robles Inn (1891) Paso Robles, California

o   Patty Henning, Jekyll Island Club Hotel (1886) Jekyll Island, Georgia

o   Stephani Bann, Lancaster Arts Hotel (1881) Lancaster, Pennsylvania

 

“Historic Hotels of America congratulates all the 2014 award nominees,” said Lawrence Horwitz, Executive Director, Historic Hotels of America and Historic Hotels Worldwide.  “The nominees exemplify the finest historic hotels and their hoteliers from across America. The Historic Hotels of America Awards of Excellence Committee is delighted to announce the 2014 nominees and looks forward to awarding winners at the historic and beautiful Hotel Hershey® on October 2. From San Juan, Puerto Rico to Waikiki Beach, Hawaii, all the nominees represent inspiring, captivating, and distinctive hotels.”

Tickets for The Historic Hotels of America 2014 Annual Awards Ceremony and Gala Dinner are available. The dinner will take place at The Hotel Hershey® on Thursday, October 2 at 7 pm. Tickets for the dinner are $160 for one seat and $1,250 per table (for 8 seats). Contact the Historic Hotels of America +1 202 772 8000 or scalhoun@historichotels.org to reserve tickets.

The 2013 Annual Awards Ceremony and Gala Dinner was held at the historic Pfister Hotel in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Please click here to view award winners.

Historic Hotels of America® is the official program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation for recognizing and celebrating the finest Historic Hotels. Founded in 1989 with 32 charter members, Historic Hotels of America now has more than 250 members. These historic hotels have all faithfully maintained their authenticity, sense of place, and architectural integrity in the United States of America, including 46 states, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, Historic Hotels of America is comprised of mostly independently owned and operated properties.  More than 30 of the world’s major hospitality brands, chains and collections are represented in Historic Hotels of America. To be nominated and selected for membership into this prestigious program, a hotel must be at least 50 years old; designated by the U.S. Secretary of the Interior as a National Historic Landmark, or listed in or eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places and recognized as having historic significance. For more information, visit www.HistoricHotels.org, where you can also make reservations. 

 

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Human Rights Campaign Seeks to Block Sultan of Brunei’s Purchase of NY’s Iconic Plaza Hotel

The iconic Plaza Hotel, in New York City © 2014 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
The iconic Plaza Hotel, in New York City © 2014 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization, is renewing its call to lawmakers, advocates, and supporters of the rights of women and LGBT people in New York to speak out against the Sultan of Brunei’s multi-billion dollar offer to purchase the iconic Plaza Hotel as well as the Dream Downtown hotel in New York.

The Sultan has faced an international backlash following his decision in May to begin implementing a horrific series of new laws that could lead to the stoning of women and LGBT Bruneians.  New reports indicate that some hotel guests as well as organizations that host annual events at The Plaza Hotel would refuse to return if a deal with the Sultan goes through. According to some industry experts, his potential ownership could impact the hotel’s business prospects and global brand.

“The Sultan of Brunei could start executing women and LGBT people in Brunei as soon as next year,” said Ty Cobb, HRC’s Director of Global Engagement “The American profit stream that flows from his hotels back to his regime needs to stop.  We urge all New Yorkers to have one simple and straight-forward message for the Sultan: take your business elsewhere.”

HRC strongly condemned Brunei’s decision to introduce laws that allow for capital punishment to be used against women and LGBT people, and called on Americans to avoid his hotels.  Brunei’s decision has been widely condemned by the international community.  In April, the United Nations Commission on Human Rights condemned Brunei’s penal code reforms, saying it was “deeply concerned” and that stoning was considered to be “torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment” under international law.

The Sultan currently owns two hotels in the United States—The Beverly Hills Hotel and the Hotel Bel-Air, both of which are in California.  The Sultan of Brunei has offered more than $2 billion to purchase three hotels––The Plaza Hotel and the Dream Downtown hotel in New York, as well as The Grosvenor House Hotel in London––from the Sahara’s Group chairman, Subrata Roy.

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Center for Responsible Travel Takes Stand on Animal Welfare and Tourism

The dolphin Winter, made famous for the breakthrough rehabilitative work that Clearwater Aquarium did to create a prosthetic tail that saved the dolphin's life, here in 2008 getting her prosthetic tail on, also saved the aquarium and its important work © 2014 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
The dolphin Winter, made famous for the breakthrough rehabilitative work that Clearwater Aquarium did to create a prosthetic tail that saved the dolphin’s life, here in 2008 getting her prosthetic tail on, also saved the aquarium and its important work © 2014 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

The Responsible Travel industry is turning its sights on animal welfare.

This issue will figure into the keynote address by Dr. Martha Honey, CREST Co-Director, at TBEX North America, which will be held September 11 – 13, 2014, in Cancun, Mexico.

In advance of her speech she has been asked to comment on an ongoing debate about captive dolphin tours in Cancun. Here is how CREST views the issue:

“Respecting animal welfare is an essential component of responsible travel. CREST believes that when at all possible, wildlife should live in their natural habitats.”

If wild animals are held in captivity, they should be guaranteed, at minimum, the following ‘Five Freedoms’:

Sufficient and good quality food and water

A suitable living environment

An opportunity to exhibit natural behaviors

Protection from fear and distress

Good health

(Check out Born Free UK’s Guide to the 5 Freedoms, which discusses the Five Freedoms in detail in the context of captive wild animals.)

Dolphins are socially complex and self-aware creatures, and we agree with World Animal Protection in that these animals “deserve to live a life free from captivity, where they can properly fulfill their social and behavioral needs.” A tank simply cannot provide them with the space, environment, and social freedom they need to thrive as they would in the wild.

The tour operator Intrepid Travel, a highly respected leader in responsible travel, has set a guideline that it is best to view wildlife where it belongs, but if a zoo or aquarium is ever visited, a visitor should make sure the facility adheres to the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Code of Ethics before entering.

Also, interactions with wild animals should never involve physical contact with people, feeding, or other actions that disturb or alter their natural behavior. These actions often cause extreme distress for the animal and are health risks for both parties.

On the issue of captive marine animals, President Mark Spalding says, “We have admirable facilities that rescue and when possible rehabilitate and release marine mammals, sea birds and sea turtles. Some of these allow the public to visit and volunteer. And, many have advanced our knowledge of marine wildlife through research during their recovery.

“But like hospitals for humans, this is not where we want wild animals to spend their entire lives. We prefer to see them in the wild where they thrive.”

CREST works frequently in close collaboration and partnership with The Ocean Foundation.

For more information about CREST, visit www.responsibletravel.org. Connect with CREST on Twitter and Facebook.

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Gran Hotel Son Net on 17th Century Majorcan Estate, Opens First Luxury Tree House

Gran Hotl Son Net, on a 17th century estate, was first opened as one of Majorca’s top luxury rural hotels in 1998. In the last three years the hotel has focused on reviving the estate from planting vines, to replanting olive trees and introducing livestock. The hotel’s new tree house is a first for Majorca’s luxury rural hotels and is designed around an existing ancient tree on the Son Net Estate in the front of the hotel’s main façade. Further information and reservations: www.sonnet.es

The Son Net Tree House offers guests the opportunity to enjoy a unique “bird’s eye view” of the Serra de Tramuntana Mountains and the views across the village of Puigpunyent and countryside below and is available for private functions and meals for up to 8 people and cocktails for up to 10 people.

A selection of menus have been specifically created for the Tree House from a four course breakfast at 100€ per person to include a selection of cold and hot dishes to a three course lunch with complementary wine selection from 155€ per person to high tea from 75€. For dinner, the Tree House offers the ultimate romantic setting with candles around the terrace and views of the sunset over the Serra de Tramuntana Mountains. Guests can choose from a 4 or 7 course tasting menu which starts at 150€ per person including complementary wines.

The Tree House also makes the ideal inspirational venue for a small meetings from 90€ per person for half day rental (09.00 – 14.00). Other options include private wine tastings with the hotel’s own sommelier to explain the different wines and the history of wine growing on Majorca, from 45€ pp to include a selection of local wines. In addition, cigar tasting, pre dinner cocktails and after dinner drinks can also be arranged for groups of 4 -10 people. The hotel even available for children’s parties during the day.

Gran Hotel Son Net is located on top of a hill overlooking the traditional village of Puigpunyent with spectacular views across the countryside. It makes a great base to enjoy the best of rural Majorca and yet it is only 20 minutes drive from Palma’s city centre. The estate is divided up into one main building and various out buildings and comprises 31 bedrooms with 7 suites and 24 double rooms and features include a traditional interior courtyard, reception area, the Oleum Restaurant featuring the estate’s original olive oil press, wine cellar, conference rooms, gym, bar, beauty salon, various halls, private chapel, outdoor restaurant, landscaped gardens, a spectacular 30 metres swimming pool surrounded by private cabanas plus two additional swimming pools and jacuzzis. In 2013 the hotel was awarded Most Excellent Hotel in Europe & The Mediterranean Region by Condé Nast Johansens.

Gran Hotel Son Net, C/ Castillo de Sonnet s/n, Puigpunyent 07194 Spain, Tel: +34 971 147 00, E-Mail: info@sonnet.es , Web: www.sonnet.es.

 

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The Wayfarers Walking Vacations Introduces New Destinations for Spring 2015

The Wayfarers Walking Vacations has released its Spring 2015 brochure, offering a sneak-preview of the full range of early season hiking tours across the globe.
The Wayfarers Walking Vacations has released its Spring 2015 brochure, offering a sneak-preview of the full range of early season hiking tours across the globe.

The Wayfarers Walking Vacations has released its Spring 2015 brochure, offering a sneak-preview of the full range of early season hiking tours across the globe.

Three brand new Walks are included in the online brochure, which is aimed at giving guests the chance to reserve places on favorite trips and get a taste of the 2015 Walk Schedule.

The new Walks are in UK’s Northumbria, the Puglia region of Italy and in Tuscany, ‘A Pilgrim’s Journey’ traces the ancient Via Francigena.

Other fully all-inclusive Walks, escorted by The Wayfarers’ renowned Walk Leaders and Managers, range from Argentinian Patagonia to New Zealand, USA, the British Isles and across Europe.

Michael West, who founded The Wayfarers more than 30 years ago, said that the Spring Preview had been prompted by clients who wanted to be able to book their spring season Walks earlier.

“‘We know that this is the time of year that people are already thinking about their spring vacations. So in advance of our full brochure we want to let everyone get a taste of the wonderful Walks we are offering from February next year and allow people to book early and ensure their places on our very popular early season trips.

“The variety of the Walks we are offering in truly marvelous locations really does provide something for everyone, and at all Walk levels. Our new Walks in the UK and Italy are sure-fire winners and of course all our favorites, including our back-to-back Walks in Europe are there too.”

The Wayfarers 2015 Spring Brochure is available online at www.thewayfarers.com.

The Wayfarers, 174   Bellevue Avenue, Newport, RI 02840, 800-249-4620, 401-849-5087, walk-info@thewayfarers.com.

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New York State Partners with ResponsibleTravel on Sustainable Travel Online Guide, Itineraries

You can find out about bicycling along the Erie Canal tow paths at an online New York State Responsible Travel Guide which also offers itineraries © 2014 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com.
You can find out about bicycling along the Erie Canal tow paths at an online New York State Responsible Travel Guide which also offers itineraries © 2014 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com.

Have you ever thought to explore New York State’s Amish culture, or bike along the hundreds-of-miles long Erie Canal towpath? Eco-oriented travelers can discover such lesser known and authentic aspects of New York State at an extensive online guide to sustainable travel, along with bookable itineraries, at www.responsibletravel.com/holidays/new-york-state/travel-guide.

The initiative, in conjunction with responsibletravel.com, makes New York one of the only U.S. destinations to promote sustainable tourism on such a large scale.

The Responsible Travel Guide to New York State provides an overview of the culture, history and ecology of each of New York’s regions as well as practical information on public transportation, eco-friendly activities and accommodations. An easy-to-navigate format invites eco-oriented travelers to discover many lesser known and authentic aspects of New York State. Equally valuable as a planning tool, the guide links to other useful sites as well as a tour section that is constantly growing with a multitude of click-to-book New York itineraries.

The New York State guide and itineraries were produced in partnership with United-Kingdom-based responsibletravel.com, a leading international travel organization and pioneer in sustainable and responsible tourism.

A separate section of the tour operator’s website features a growing catalog of easy-to-book eco-tourism activities in every region of the state.

The partnership and program reflect Governor Andrew Cuomo’s commitment to increasing tourism throughout New York, conserving the state’s unrivaled natural wonders and supporting local communities.

“This initiative will continue to New York State’s history of pioneering environmentally responsible tourism,” Governor Cuomo said. “From our millions of acres of protected wilderness where New Yorkers can hike or kayak, to our vast network of parklands, New York is truly unmatched when it comes to opportunities for sustainable tourism. On top of all that, these assets support eco-friendly jobs and growth in local communities, and ultimately reinforce the value of preservation.”

Justin Francis, co-founder of responsibletravel.com, said, “We are delighted to be working with New York State to find and celebrate the best examples of responsible tourism. I was staggered by the diversity of experiences we found within the state, and by the contribution these make to conservation and communities. I think our clients will be too. We are thrilled that New York State has decided to turn perhaps the most powerful tourism branding in the world, I Love NY, green to help us launch this guide.”

The guide has been penned by Catherine Mack, an ecotourism expert and writer who has contributed to several ecotourism guidebooks as well as responsible-travel oriented articles for the National Geographic Traveller UK, The Irish Times, and other publications.

New York’s strong commitment to conservation dates back more than a century to the ratification of the “Forever Wild” amendment to the State Constitution in 1894. The amendment mandates that state-owned and acquired forest preserve lands be “forever kept as wild forest lands.” New York’s Adirondack Park, the nation’s largest park outside of Alaska, is bigger than Yellowstone, Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Glacier and Great Smoky Mountains National Parks combined and is just one of the state’s many natural treasures. The original two preserves – the Catskill and Adirondack parks – have since expanded to more than 175 New York State Parks with activities such as fishing, hiking, mountain biking, swimming, kayaking, horseback riding, cultural presentations and historic re-enactments.

For more New York State travel ideas, visit http://iloveny.com/.

See also:

Journey by boat and bike along the Erie Canal: Macedon-Fairport-Pittsford and slideshow

Erie Canal journey by boat, bike: Exploring canaltowns from Pittsford to Albion and slideshow

Erie Canal journey: Albion-Medina bikeride is most scenic, illuminating and slideshow

Erie Canal journey by boat and bike: Palmyra, ‘Queen of Canal Towns’ and slideshow

A gal getaway hiking New York’s Hudson River School Art Trail and slideshow

Getaway on the Hudson River School Art Trail: Thomas Cole National Historic Site and slideshow

Getaway on The Hudson River School Art Trail: Frederick Edwin Church’s Olana and slideshow

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Rivers of Recovery Helps Combat Veterans Overcome Scars of War With Fly-Fishing

Vietnam veteran Leon hooks into a big one on one of Rivers of Recovery's fly-fishing programs.
Vietnam veteran Leon hooks into a big one on one of Rivers of Recovery’s fly-fishing programs.

Fly-fishing can be medicinal. It is one of the outdoor recreational therapy strategies that Rivers of Recovery (www.riversofrecovery.org), a 501c3 nonprofit organization, uses to help combat veterans who have been physically affected, or are suffering from traumatic brain injury (TBI) or post traumatic shock disorder (PTSD). The organization’s program fosters confidence-building through outdoor activities and talk therapy in a relaxed, supportive environment.

In July, MPulse Maintenance Software (www.mpulsesoftware.com), a division of SpecTech, Inc., helped sponsor two fly-fishing trips for combat-wounded veterans on Oregon’s majestic McKenzie River.

The company donated 5% of its May 2013 sales revenues to help sponsor two, two-day trips of six veterans each, and the overall operations of Rivers of Recovery. While it started out as a simple fundraising effort for a good cause, MPulse employees soon became invested in the Rivers of Recovery mission. Jason Johnson, MPulse’s vice president of sales and marketing, began advocating for a fly fishing trip on Oregon’s scenic McKenzie River near the MPulse headquarters — the first time the Rivers of Recovery organization has held trips there.

Johnson reached out to Chris Daughters — owner of Caddis Fly (www.thecaddisfly.com), a Eugene, Ore., fly fishing shop — to organize the trips. Johnson and Daughters worked closely with Amy Simon, executive director of Rivers of Recovery, to ensure the trips followed the therapeutic guidelines set forth by Rivers of Recovery. Each group of six veterans received two back-to-back days of guided fly fishing, which took place July 21-22 and July 24-25, 2014. The river guides were provided by Daughters, who also arranged lodging for the group in his cabin at Loloma Lodge in Blue River, Ore.

The experience was extremely powerful for both the organizers and the participants. “Fly fishing is more than a hobby. It’s Zen meditation — the flowing water, fresh air, sunshine. It’s therapy,” explains Johnson, who is a U.S. Army veteran and fly fisherman himself. “It was truly humbling to join this group of selfless men and women for two beautiful days on the river, and to see the impact the experience had on each of them. The change that happens over two days is miraculous.”

Eugene area veterans Troy Givens, Michael Oreskovic, and Jacob Courtright volunteered as camp hosts for the trips, organizing the food, social activities, and transportation. All three are former participants in Rivers of Recovery trips, and they were well versed in the process and the therapeutic benefits of the program.

“Soldiers come back with scars that aren’t always visible,” said Oreskovic, a U.S. Army veteran. “Rivers of Recovery gives vets a chance to work through difficult experiences and find their sense of purpose and self-confidence again. It made a difference in my recovery, and I wanted to pay it forward with other veterans.”

The veterans weren’t the only ones who came back from the river with a different perspective. Coordinating and participating in the Rivers of Recovery trips also left the organizers galvanized by the experience. “We were inspired by the changes these trips made in the lives of these deserving vets,” Johnson said. “It was great to see firsthand what giving back means. At MPulse we believe in actively supporting the communities where we do business and helping those in need. Our senior leaders are active in Rotary International and our employees receive paid time off for community service, which they use to support numerous worthy organizations. It’s part of who we are.”

Rivers of Recovery was founded in 2008 by Dan T. Cook as a means to help combat veterans overcome the invisible scars of war. In six years, Rivers of Recovery has hosted hundreds of veterans through our unique rehabilitation program. As an industry leader in veterans rehabilitation, Rivers of Recovery utilizes a medically designed curriculum coupled with outdoor recreational activities to treat combat veterans suffering with Post Traumatic Stress (PTS), minor Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI), stress, anxiety, and depression.

Each Rivers of Recovery trip hosts six to ten combat veterans on a science-based, experiential rehabilitation program that focuses on confidence-building, outdoor activities, talk therapy in a relaxed, positive environment and proven techniques on the self-management of symptoms, stressors and responses. Through fly fishing, instruction increases self-confidence, skill-improvement builds empowerment, and achievement facilitates enthusiasm and resiliency.

For more information, visit www.riversofrecovery.org

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Learn to Cook Indonesian Style at Four Seasons Bali’s Newly Opened Jimbaran Bay Cooking Academy

Four Seasons Bali is the only resort on the island to feature its own stand-alone cooking school.
Four Seasons Bali is the only resort on the island to feature its own stand-alone cooking school.

Delicious local food is one of Bali’s most famous attractions and now visitors can take home the authentic flavors of Indonesian cuisine, thanks to a new Jimbaran Bay Cooking Academy which has opened at the Four Seasons Bali at Jimbaran Bay.

“Four Seasons is the only resort on the island to feature its own stand-alone cooking school. We wanted to go beyond offering casual lessons in the kitchen to providing a full professional-quality training facility. Our classes are designed for novice and experienced cooks alike – creating a focused learning environment for a maximum of 10 students per session,” says Michael Branham, General Manager.

“Food is a great way to create a deep personal connection and also enhance people’s cultural appreciation of Bali and Indonesia. Many of the recipes are based on old family traditions. Now our guests can take these recipes home and share these authentic dishes with their own family and friends.”

Set in its own building, the Jimbaran Bay Cooking Academy features a charming stone-paved courtyard and herb garden at its entrance. Enormous glass doors lead into the air-conditioned kitchen, equipped with gleaming state-of-the-art appliances and a large, kidney-shaped, black granite preparation unit with induction hot plates. Students can sample their creations at the communal dining table or outdoors in the shaded courtyard. All graduates receive an official certificate of achievement, as well as copies of the recipes in a beautiful hand-drawn booklet.

The Jimbaran Bay Cooking Academy provides a hands-on opportunity to learn about the secret techniques and distinctive ingredients of Indonesian cuisine. Recipes are sourced from the resort’s team of Four Seasons chefs who come from various regions across Indonesia, including Bali, Sulawesi and Sumatra. All classes are taught in English only.

Classes are led by Chef Anak Agung Kristya Yudha, a Balinese native who has been preparing delicious meals for Four Seasons guests for more than 20 years. Caring and passionate with a charming sense of humor, Kristya enjoys engaging with students and sharing his knowledge of Indonesian cuisine and culture.

In each half-day session, students learn to prepare a full five-course meal according to traditional menus representing Bali, Java, Nusa Tenggara, Sulawesi and Sumatra. Highlight dishes include: “Sate rembiga” (traditional beef satay skewer with spicy sauce) from the Nusa Tenggara region; “Bebek betutu”(roasted duck with wrapped in banana leaf) from Bali; and a dessert of “Es doger” (young coconut, tapioca pearls and cassava with sweet milk) from Java.

As part of the day, students can visit the Jimbaran Fish Market – about 10 minutes from Four Seasons – to see how locals shop for the freshest seafood. Students can also pick indigenous ingredients from the academy’s herb and spice garden that grows Thai lemon basil, tamarind, pandan leaf, ginger and garlic.

Taking a class at the Cooking Academy is ideal as an interactive family activity. Once a week, the school offers a kids’ pastry class, focusing on Indonesian desserts.

After an optional market tour at 8 a.m., students gather in the kitchen at 9:30 a.m. to create an authentic Indonesian meal. There are six regional menus (including two different Bali menus), rotating on a daily basis, seven days per week. Special pricing is available when booking multiple sessions, starting at IDR 900,000++ per class. Classes are open to a maximum of 10 participants. Non-resort guests are welcome to attend with advance reservation.

Four Seasons Resort Bali at Jimbaran Bay sits along Bali’s southern coast in 35 acres of oceanfront gardens. Accommodations include 147 villas and nine grand-scale residence villas that can accommodate up to 10 in palatial 11,000 – 24,000-square-foot spaces with 24-hour butler service. Memorable dining options include four restaurants and lounges featuring Indonesian, Thai and global cuisine, in-villa and in-residence dining and specialty meals accompanied by traditional Balinese dance. Cooking classes offer novice to expert instruction in Balinese, Indonesian and Asian dishes as well as the culinary secrets of pastry. The oceanfront Spa features an array of treatments that demonstrate the curative powers of water, including Balinese ayurvedic wellness and healing rituals, along with massages and yoga sessions offered in thatched open-air oceanside gazebos.

For more details on schedules and booking at the Jimbaran Bay Cooking Academy, phone (62 361) 701010, or email concierge.balijimbaran@fourseasons.com, www.fourseasons.com/jimbaranbay/

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Dvorak Expeditions Hosts Bluegrass Music-and-Rafting Fundraiser for NWF on Utah’s Green River

Bill Dvorak's rafting expedition on Utah's Green River will have an unusual twist, with live bluegrass music performed by The Hayward Strangers.
Bill Dvorak’s rafting expedition on Utah’s Green River will have an unusual twist, with live bluegrass music performed by The Hayward Strangers.

Banjo music strumming down Utah’s wild and scenic Green River will be a distinctive feature on Bill Dvorak’s rafting expedition this September, with live bluegrass music performed by The Hayward Strangers. The trip is also a fundraiser for the National Wildlife Federation.

A fifth generation cousin of the famous composer, Anton Dvorak, Bill Dvorak has been running rivers commercially longer than anyone else in Colorado (he owns the first rafting outfitter license issued by the state of Colorado).  With a personal penchant for bluegrass music and an acoustically outstanding natural setting to perform in, the 2014 ‘Green River Roustabout’ was born.

“The Hayward Strangers will blend with the sweet chorus of birds, rippling sounds of the river and the drum roll of the rapids,” Dvorak muses. “Guests will join one of Colorado’s hottest bluegrass bands on a six day journey as they perform daily concerts under natural canyon walls and amphitheaters and along broad sandy beaches.”

Dvorak has also planned for ample leisure time allowing down moments to just soak up the sun, read, float along the river and listen to some impromptu jam sessions. In addition to rafting and music, there are side excursions to ancient Fremont Indian ruins, petroglyphs, and wildlife viewing. “You can play with stand-up paddle boards, inflatable kayaks, have a Bocce ball tournament, swim, fish, and wear out your camera battery taking spectacular photos!”

The trip is scheduled Sept. 13-18, 2014 and departs from Grand Junction, CO or Green River, UT.  The adult rate is $1,498 per person (for youth under 12 $1,350) plus additional shuttle flight to the put-in ($190 per person), taxes and government fees. Trip cost will include all meals, rafting and safety equipment, professional guides and staff.

This concert journey is also a fundraiser for the National Wildlife Federation (NWF). Dvorak and The Hayward Strangers are donating 15 percent of the fee to the national conservation nonprofit for its work in protecting and preserving wildlife habitat.

“The idea for the bluegrass journey first emerged following a conversation I had with Phil Hanceford (mandolin player) at a NWF conservation event,” explains Dvorak. “One year later, six members of the band agreed to sign on and the first such music adventure of its kind is happening.”

The Hayward Strangers are Keenan Copple (banjo, resonator guitar), T.J. Brown (guitar & harmonica), Phil Hanceford (mandolin), Josh Hicks (drums), John Murret (guitar), and Scott Powers on bass. They are a creative, rowdy group of folks with roots from North Carolina, Nebraska, Tennessee, Louisiana, Maryland, and Montana who play high energy acoustic Americana.
The Hayward Strangers are Keenan Copple (banjo, resonator guitar), T.J. Brown (guitar & harmonica), Phil Hanceford (mandolin), Josh Hicks (drums), John Murret (guitar), and Scott Powers on bass. They are a creative, rowdy group of folks with roots from North Carolina, Nebraska, Tennessee, Louisiana, Maryland, and Montana who play high energy acoustic Americana.

Each night guests and performers will mingle over campfire conversation, laughter and singing enjoying a variety of guide/chef-prepared dinners such as blackened salmon, charbroiled steaks, organic salads, garden vegetables and Dutch oven desserts such as Black Forest cake and strawberry shortcake, accompanied by hors d’oeuvres and vintage wines.  Special diets and allergies can be accommodated).

Bill and Jaci Dvorak have been operating Dvorak Raft, Kayak and Fishing Expeditions since 1979. As one of the early pioneers of white water river rafting in the Rocky Mountains, the Dvoraks own the first outfitter license issued by the state of Colorado. Their river trips, white water skills camp and swift water training programs are world renowned and have been featured in National Geographic, the Chicago Tribune and seen on ESPN and various television specials. Bill Dvorak recently received the conservation award from American Rivers as the “River Champion of the West”.

To book a space, call US/Canada Toll Free: 1-800-824-3795 or visit http://www.dvorakexpeditions.com/rafting-trip-reservations/Green-River-2014-Bluegrass-Music-Rafting-Trip.php/

For information, contact Dvorak Expeditions, Phone: 719 539.6851 or 800 824.3795. Email:  info@dvorakexpeditions.com, www.dvorakexpeditions.com.

 

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