April 1, 2010


Welcome to the Alaska Travel Industry Association (AlaskaTIA) Travel News Bulletin. AlaskaTIA sends this out periodically to keep media up-to-date on Alaska tourism and travel news. Media are invited to call (800) 327-9372 or visit www.TravelAlaska.com/media for more information.

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In this April Travel News Bulletin you will find:

1. Saltery Lodge now offering day tours
2. Palmer remembers its agricultural heyday
3. Bearfest débuts in Wrangell
4. Start your engines at the Fountainhead Antique Auto Museum
5. Follow #Alaska cruise companies on Twitter


1. Saltery Lodge now offering day tours

Entering its second year in operation, the Saltery Lodge is now offering a selection of day tours available to both cruise passengers and independent travelers. The Saltery Lodge Wilderness Tour takes visitors on a leisurely hike through some of the property’s 62 acres of old-growth forest and explores the history of the salmon cannery that sat in the lodge’s location 100 years ago. With the Saltery Lodge Kayaking Tour, guests embark on a guided paddle around the bay with the chance to see seals, birds, otters and more. In May and June at Saltery Lodge, the grounds are buzzing with hummingbirds. Guests can learn how to photograph the birds and other sights from a noted photographer on the Photography and Hummingbird Tour. All tours are 4.5 hours and include cruise ship or other transfers, a scenic boat ride out to the lodge and lunch. For more information, visit www.salterylodge.com.

Media information
Contact: Scott Kemp, Saltery Lodge
Phone: (877) 253‐9258
Cell: (541) 619‐6875
Twitter: @SalteryLodge
E-mail: scott@salterylodge.com
URL: www.salterylodge.com



2. Palmer remembers its agricultural heyday

Renown for its giant vegetables grown under the midnight sun, Palmer’s farming roots date back to the Great Depression when Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal plan relocated hundreds from the Midwest to help struggling farmers start over. This June, the Palmer Colony Days celebration commemorates the 75th anniversary of the Matanuska Colony Project that brought so many settlers to the area. Events will include a car rally, craft fairs, horse-drawn wagon rides, farmer’s market, parade and more. A special ceremony will honor a few original settlers who still live in Palmer today. Travelers can learn more about the history of the area by visiting the Colony House Museum, with displays on rural life in the Matanuska Valley during its 1930s heyday. To delve further into the historical spirit, guests can stay at the Colony Inn, a restored teacher’s dormitory from the New Deal era. For more information on visiting Palmer, go to www.AlaskaVisit.com.

Media information
Contact: Casey Ressler, Mat-Su Convention and Visitors Bureau
Phone: (907) 746-5037

E-mail: casey@alaskavisit.com
URL: www.AlaskaVisit.com


3. Bearfest débuts in Wrangell

A new event celebrating the bears of Alaska will debut in Wrangell this summer. The first annual Bearfest will hold workshops about bears — from camping and hiking safety to photography — as well as a research symposium, golf tournament, live music, food booths and more. Located on an island surrounded by the protected waters of Alaska’s Inside Passage, Wrangell has over 100 miles of roads and several maintained trails offering mountain bikers, hikers or RV travelers access to the remote wilderness. The Anan Bear and Wildlife Observatory provides a safe area to observe the abundance of brown and black bears that come to Anan Creek to feast on the largest pink salmon run in Southeast Alaska. Visitors can kick-start their bear viewing vacation at Wrangell’s Bearfest celebration July 21-25. For more information, visit www.bearfest.net.

Media information
Contact: Sharon Gaiptman, Alaska’s Rainforest Islands
Phone: (907) 321-0751
E-mail: sgaiptman@yahoo.com
URL: www.alaskarainforestislands.org



4. Start your engines at the Fountainhead Antique Auto Museum

America’s farthest north automobile museum, the Fountainhead Antique Auto Museum, will shine this summer with the inaugural Alaska Midnight Sun Cruise-In event. On solstice weekend, June 18-20, visitors are encouraged to stop by the museum and check out the collection of vintage automobiles dating back to the late 1800s. The event will also include a dinner cruise ending with an authentic Alaska salmon bake, a steam car demonstration, classic car show and the Tour de Fairbanks classic car cruise as well as ongoing museum activities for the whole family. This event is just one of the many ways to celebrate solstice weekend in Fairbanks. Travelers can participate in the nighttime Midnight Sun Run, enjoy the Midnight Sun Festival or attend the Midnight Sun Baseball Game beginning at 10:30 pm — no artificial lighting required. For more information on the Alaska Midnight Sun Cruise-In, visit www.fountainheadhotels.com/auto. For more information on visiting Fairbanks, go to www.explorefairbanks.com.

Media information
Contact: Nancy DeWitt, Fountainhead Antique Auto Museum
Phone: (907) 450-2100
Twitter: @AKcarmuseum
E-mail: projects@fdifairbanks.com
URL: www.fountainheadhotels.com/auto



5. Follow #Alaska cruise companies on Twitter

Several cruise companies plying the Alaska waters are on Twitter – follow them! @PrincessCruises, @HollandAmerica, @CruiseWest and @Silversea.