Welcome to the State of Alaska Travel News Bulletin. The tourism office sends this out periodically to keep media up-to-date on Alaska tourism and travel news. Media are invited to call (800) 327-9372 www.TravelAlaska.com/media for more information.
October 1, 2012

In this October Travel News Bulletin you will find:

1. Bald Mountain Air now offering polar bear tours
2. Remodeled Tsaina Lodge offers luxury for skiers atop Thompson Pass
3. Food tour shows off sights and tastes of Juneau
4. Bald Eagle Festival soars to new heights

1. Bald Mountain Air now offering polar bear tours
Known for taking guests on thrilling brown-bear viewing tours out of Homer, Bald Mountain Air is now offering once-in-a-lifetime trips to Alaska’s Arctic coast to observe polar bears in their natural habitat. The day trips departing from Anchorage take travelers on a two-hour flight to the Native village of Kaktovik on Barter Island. Here, large groups of polar bears gather in the fall to wait for the sea ice to return and feed on the remains of bowhead whales harvested by the local villagers. Travelers will view bears by boat and vehicle led by an experienced Inupiat guide. Tours run on weekends or by special request for groups of four to 10 people mid-September to late October. Cost for the tour includes round-trip flight from Anchorage on the executive-style King Air, six to eight hours of on-ground guided bear viewing and dinner in Kaktovik. For more information or to book a trip, visit https://baldmountain.powweb.com.
Media Contact:
Contact: Eric Lee, Bald Mountain Air
Phone: 907-235-7969
Email: eric.lee@bma-hq.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Bald-Mountain-Air-Service
URL: https://baldmountain.powweb.com

2. Remodeled Tsaina Lodge offers luxury for skiers atop Thompson Pass
After being closed for six years, the Tsaina Lodge just outside of Valdez reopened its doors last March for the 2012 spring heli-skiing season. The vastly improved and updated lodge now offers visitors 24 chic rooms; a fine-dining restaurant and laid-back bar area offering local Alaska cuisine; stunning views of the surrounding peaks and Worthington Glacier; a guest locker room to store skis and boards; and a top-notch spa to relieve aches after a long day in the backcountry. Tsaina Lodge is the ideal retreat for Thompson Pass skiers and snowboarders, and it serves as the home base for the Valdez Heli-Ski Guides (www.valdezheliskiguides.com), the longest running heli-ski guide service in Alaska. In addition to offering the best skiing in the area, Tsaina Lodge is only 20 minutes from Valdez. For more information on winter activities in Valdez, visit www.valdezalaska.org.
Media Contact:
Contact: Colleen Stephens, Valdez Convention and Visitors Bureau
Phone: 907-835-4731
Email: colleen@stephenscruises.com
Twitter: @tsainalodge
Facebook: www.facebook.com/tsainalodge
URL: www.tsaina.com

3. Food tour shows off sights and tastes of Juneau
Locals and visitors alike will delight in the unique opportunity to stroll through beautiful downtown Juneau while sampling delectable Alaska cuisine at some of the area’s best restaurants. For $99, Alaskan Food Tours’ knowledgeable guides will take guests on a three-hour culinary adventure through the streets of Alaska’s capital city. From dining on seafood at a waterfront restaurant to satisfying a sweet tooth with locally made fudge while taking in a view of the city, the tour provides a well-rounded experience of the sights, tastes and culture of Alaska. In addition to being featured during Alaskan Food Tour, downtown Juneau is home to a variety of local attractions, shops, restaurants and accommodations. More information is available at http://alaskanfoodtours.com.
Media Contact: 
Contact: Gwen Rivas, Alaskan Food Tours
Phone: 907-780-3663
Email: info@alaskanfoodtours.com
URL: http://alaskanfoodtours.com

4. Bald Eagle Festival soars to new heights
Each fall, more than 3,500 bald eagles gather on the flats along the Chilkat River near Haines, making it the largest concentration of bald eagles in the world. The natural phenomenon is celebrated each November during the Alaska Bald Eagle Festival, which features guided eagle viewing, educational tours and programs and photography and carving workshops for all ages. The 2012 celebration, Nov. 14-18, will also include a tour of the newly completed Klukwan Cultural Center, where visitors can learn about the traditional culture of the Chilkat Tlingit’s of Klukwan, the last remaining village of their clan. Participants will tour the center’s Traditional Knowledge Camp that includes a replica of a Longhouse, used for special gatherings, the Adzing Shed where local carvers display their work and the Alaska Native Sisterhood Hall for a performance by the Jilkaat Kwaan Heritage Dancers. At the Hospitality House, guests enjoy lunch while taking in views of the bald eagle preserve. For more information about the festival, visit www.baldeagles.org/festival.
Media Contacts:
Contact: Cheryl McRoberts, American Bald Eagle Foundation
Phone: 907-766-3094
Email: info@baldeagles.org
Facebook: www.facebook.com/AmericanBaldEagleFoundation
URL: www.baldeagles.org/festival


Social Media Spotlight 

As golden leaves give way to frost, Anchorage is still aglow with northern lights and the anticipation of snow blanketing the ground. Professional Anchorage photographer Zan Butler posted this time-lapse footage set to music that highlights nature, northern lights, stars, sunset and tide in and around Anchorage: http://vimeo.com/45105667.

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