June 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 June Travel News Bulletin you will find:

1. America’s pastime comes with a twist
2. There’s an Alaska travel app for that
3. Holland America makes Anchorage an official port
4. Lively tasting menu in the most unlikely location
5. Follow #Alaska news outlets on Twitter

1. America’s pastime comes with a twist

What do baseball stars Barry Bonds and Mark McGwire have in common? They both got a start in the Alaska Baseball League. As it does with many national traditions, the 49th state puts its own spin on baseball, drawing players and fans from all over the country. The Alaska Goldpanners host the Midnight Sun Game on the summer solstice in Fairbanks each year. And even though the first pitch is thrown after 10 p.m., with more than 20 hours of sunlight this time of year, there is no artificial lighting required on the field. The 2010 Midnight Sun Game will take place on June 21, pausing during the inning nearest to midnight for the singing of the Alaska Flag Song. This is just one of the chances to catch a glimpse of the college standouts that make up the six-team, four-city baseball league. The league has become known as a showcase for top American college players, mostly from the Lower 48. Since its inception in 1969, the ABL has produced almost 400 major leaguers including well-known stars, such as Bonds and McGwire. For more information on the Alaska Baseball League, visit www.alaskabaseballleague.org. To plan a trip to Fairbanks for a Goldpanners game or other midnight sun events on the solstice, visit www.explorefairbanks.com.

Media information
Contact: Todd Dennis, The Alaska Goldpanners of Fairbanks

Phone: (907) 451-0095
Twitter: @Goldpanners
E-mail: todd@goldpanners.com
URL: www.Goldpanners.com

Contact: Karen Lundquist, Fairbanks Convention and Visitors Bureau

Phone: (907) 459-3775
Twitter: @Insidealaska
E-mail: klundquist@explorefairbanks.com
URL: www.explorefairbanks.com

2. There’s an Alaska travel app for that

Mobile-app addicts will have a new excuse to pull out their phones in Alaska this summer. Launching on the iPhone in June, The Alaska App: Your Expert Travel Companion provides statewide travel information with an initial emphasis on the popular destinations of the Kenai Peninsula. Even in areas with no cell phone coverage, travelers can log onto an interactive map showing their exact location and receive directions and distances, as well as use it to find mountains, glaciers, rivers and more. The application also will include a multimedia travel guide sharing nearby points of interest, history and travel tips. Additionally, visitors and residents will be able to share their own tips on the application by posting wildlife sightings, photos, videos and audio clips. They’ll also be able to send virtual postcards. The free Alaska application will be adapted for the Android and other mobile devices in the future. For more information, visit http://alaska.org/iphone/alaska-iphone-app.htm..

Media information
Contact: Bob Kaufman, Alaska.org
Phone: (907) 777-7700
Twitter: @AlaskaTravel
E-mail: bob@alaska.org
URL: www.alaska.org

3. Holland America makes Anchorage an official port

Cruise passengers will find it easier to make their way to Alaska’s largest city this summer with Holland America Line’s new 14-day Alaskan Adventurer cruises. The 700-foot Amsterdam will dock in Anchorage every other Monday, making Holland America the first major cruise line to call on the city regularly. The 1,380 travelers aboard each ship will have the opportunity to visit downtown’s local attractions, including restaurants, museums, retail shops and more. Guests also can take several excursions, such as bear viewing; a city tour exploring the Anchorage Museum and Alaska Native Heritage Center; a day-trip excursion to view Mount McKinley in Talkeetna; or a trip to Girdwood for a tram ride to the top of Mount Alyeska. Fourteen-day Alaskan Adventurer cruises depart roundtrip from Seattle regularly until Sept. 6 for the 2010 season. The ship also will make calls at historic ports along the Inside Passage and in Homer and Kodiak, two other new ports on Holland America’s itinerary. For more information, visit www.hollandamerica.com or www.anchorage.net/media.

Media information
Contact: Sarah Scoltock, Holland America Line
Phone: (206) 301-5445
Twitter: @HALcruises
E-mail: sscoltock@hollandamerica.com
URL: www.hollandamerica.com

Contact: Jeanette Anderson Moores, Anchorage Convention and Visitors Bureau
Phone: (907) 276-4118
Twitter: @BigWildLife
E-mail: jmoores@anchorage.net
URL: www.anchorage.net

4. Lively tasting menu in the most unlikely location

McCarthy Lodge is making its mark on the Alaska culinary scene from the most unlikely location. In the middle of Wrangell-St. Elias National Park — America’s largest national park — McCarthy is a town of just 30 year-round residents set at the end of its eponymous dirt road. It’s hard to imagine this remote town as a venue for a gourmet food and wine experience, but that’s exactly what McCarthy Lodge is offering. Including local specialties, such as wild Copper River red salmon and an extensive wine list, the multi-course tasting menu is a combination of casual atmosphere and serious cuisine. The lodge is now open for the 2010 season until September 15. But for those who can’t make it to Alaska, chef Josh Slaughter will be the featured chef at New York City’s James Beard House on October 29, 2010. For more information, visit www.mccarthylodge.com.

Media information
Contact: Neil Darish, McCarthy Lodge and Ma Johnson’s Hotel
Phone: (907) 554-4402
E-mail: help@mccarthylodge.com
URL: www.mccarthylodge.com

5. Follow #Alaska news outlets on Twitter

Want to be the first to hear breaking Alaska news? Follow local print media: @Adndotcom (Anchorage Daily News), @Alaskadispatch, @Anchoragepress, @Juneauempire, @pclarion (Peninsula Clarion) and @Newsminer (Fairbanks Daily News-Miner).