March 1, 2011


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 March Travel News Bulletin you will find:

1. Explore Alaska by train, on and off the rails
2. Ketchikan declares 2011 Year of the Artist
3. New nature trails to open at Alyeska in 2011
4. Cheers to Alaska’s newest brewery
5. Social Media Spotlight


1. Explore Alaska by train, on and off the rails

The Alaska Railroad will unveil a new package tour for the 2011 season offering the chance for visitors to explore Alaska on and off the rails. The 10-day Rails and Trails package travels to Anchorage, Seward, Girdwood and Talkeetna by train. The package includes rail transportation and hotel accommodations in each of the four communities, while leaving days unscheduled to give independent-minded travelers the freedom to explore. Options include paddling Resurrection Bay by kayak, guided hikes or dog mushing atop a glacier, rafting among the icebergs of Spencer Glacier, or flightseeing around North America’s tallest peak, Mount McKinley, just to mention a few. Travelers on any of the Alaska Railroad’s trains have the option to upgrade their trip by choosing the Alaska Railroad’s GoldStar Service, where riders enjoy double-deck dome cars with reserved seating, dining service, a full-time bar attendant and a private outdoor viewing platform. More information on the Alaska Railroad and Alaska Railroad Vacation packages can be found at www.alaskarailroad.com.

Media information
Contact: Susie Kiger, Alaska Railroad Corp.


Phone: (907) 265-2487
Twitter: @akrr
E-mail: kigers@akrr.com
URL: www.alaskarailroad.com


2. Ketchikan declares 2011 Year of the Artist

A yearlong celebration kicked off in January as the Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assembly proclaimed 2011 the Year of the Artist in Ketchikan. The Inside Passage community’s rich cultural and artistic resources are a key factor in Ketchikan’s popularity year-round. Travelers can enjoy a broad range of activities to celebrate art and culture in Ketchikan throughout 2011, including concerts, plays, visual art exhibits, festivals and dance events. “Random Acts of Art,” a project featuring Ketchikan literary, performing and visual artists, will take place periodically throughout the community May through September. A full calendar of arts-related activities is available at the Ketchikan Area Arts and Humanities Council website: http://www.ketchikanarts.org. A guide to Ketchikan area artists, arts organizations, cultural institutions, public art and galleries will be available in print and online in April 2011.

Media information
Contact: Victoria Lord, Year of the Artist


Phone: (907) 229-7159
E-mail: Victoria@ketchikanarts.org
URL: www.ketchikanarts.org

Contact: Patti Mackey, Ketchikan Visitors Bureau
Phone: (907) 225-6166
Twitter: @travelketchikan
E-mail: pmackey@visit-ketchikan.com
URL: www.visit-ketchikan.com


3. New nature trails to open at Alyeska in 2011

Alaska’s biggest ski and snowboard destination, Alyeska Resort, is expanding its year-round attractions with the addition of new nature trails and summer festivals. Hikers and bikers who come to Girdwood for its exceptional mountain terrain will be able to explore new trails along the base of the ski area and at the summit this summer. In addition to the popular Blueberry Festival in August, the new Fiddlehead Music Festival will celebrate summer solstice with a full day of live music and great food. The family-friendly event will take place June 10-11. New seasonal menus add to the dinning experience at Alyeska Resort, including wine-paired dinners and fresh seafood specialties from the AAA Four Diamond Award recipient, Seven Glaciers Restaurant. For more information, visit www.AlyeskaResort.com.

Media information
Contact: Sandy Chio, Alyeska Resort

Phone: (907) 754-2215

Twitter: @resortalyeska
E-mail: schio@alyeskaresort.com


URL: www.alyeskaresort.com


4. Cheers to Alaska’s newest brewery

A new brand of Alaska-made beer begins flowing from the foothills of the Alaska Range this summer. The 49th State Brewing Company opened last year as a restaurant and pub featuring local food, Alaska beers and live music. This summer, they plan to begin brewing their own hand-crafted beers. The new brewpub can be found at mile 248.4 of the George Parks Highway in the year-round community of Healy, just 10 miles north of the entrance to Denali National Park and Preserve. It’s owned and operated by the same folks who run the existing Denali Park Salmon Bake Restaurant and Prospectors Historic Pizzeria and Ale House, both of which are located at the park's entrance. Visitors can stay overnight at the accompanying RV park and campground (www.McKinleyRV.com). Alaska currently has 16 licensed brewing establishments spread across the state in Kodiak, Homer, Kenai, Soldotna, Anchorage, Wasilla, Talkeetna, Fairbanks, Skagway, Haines, Juneau and Ketchikan. The 49th State Brewing Company will begin production in early summer. For more information, visit http://49statebrewing.com.

Media information
Contact: David Coleman, 49th State Brewing Co.
 

Phone: (907) 244-6158


E-mail: dave@denaliparksalmonbake.com

URL: http://49statebrewing.com


5. Social Media Spotlight:

Check out this spectacular YouTube video of a humpback whale breaching in Prince William Sound: http://www.youtube.com/user/stephenscruises?feature=mhum#p/u/3/tzuI6RGH8W4

Get even more Alaska travel news by following @Alaskatravlnews on Twitter or on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/alaskatravelnews.