Fall has dropped in the United States. I heard that in Denver, CO the temperature on the weekend was 101 and by three days later was to plunge to the 30s and snow. Where I am based, we are still dealing with the sauna bath known as Florida summer that sometimes seems like that last 10 pounds on a diet—nothing you do can make it disappear! For some reason, my husband keeps saying “It’s Fall… things should be cooling down from the humidity-soaking 100+ degrees we still face daily.” I remind him that I have worked Halloween gigs (as my alter ego, Natasha, The Psychic Lady) wearing sleeveless blouses because temperatures have barely taken a dip into the low 90s.
My wish for you this month is for weather not to put a damper on your plans, for your health to be outstanding, and for businesses and life experienced before-COVID to rebound.
DoubleTree Resort by Hilton, Myrtle Beach Oceanfront refers to their Puppy Love discount package as “pawsitive.” The Myrtle Beach, SC resort’s package includes overnight accommodations in a pet-friendly room; daily buffet breakfast at Ocean Blue, the resort’s casual beachfront restaurant; a special dog treat or toy at check-in; unlimited use of the resort’s all-new dog park; and 50% off nightly pet fees (savings of $37 per night). To book, use rate code 0PT. The resort is convenient to nearby Barc Parc South, which has its own lake for dogs to play in and shade structures to cool down after, and leashed pets are allowed from dawn to dusk on the beach. DoubleTree Resort by Hilton, Myrtle Beach Oceanfront sits on a quarter-mile stretch of shoreline.
www.myrtlebeachresort.doubletreebyhilton.com; (800) 770-6895
With new direct flights to Los Cabos, Mexico from Austin (TX), New York (NY), and Sacramento (CA), the country is seeing a surge in bookings for private villas. Journey Mexico is constantly updating both its listings and COVID-19 safety measures. Many of the private villas are even offering promotional discounts, such as 10% off for the 6-bedroom Casa Fryzer, located within the private Villas del Mar community of Palmilla. The coastal beauty has a wine cellar, fully equipped gym, and an in-villa theater with leather reclining seats.
Buy two nights and get the third 50% off at Caribe Royale Orlando. The Winter Escape package is good for travel from October 1 – April 30, 2021. The package includes two specialty coffees, two bagels, muffins or croissants daily at Java’s Coffee Café or Café 24, as well as 50% off daily hotel fees. For a limited time, the resort offers a “Travel with Confidence Cancellation Policy” allowing you to book your next getaway and cancel without penalty up to 24-hours prior to arrival for travel through December 19, 2020.
Prices will soon rise for the Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows IKON Pass for the 2020-2021 year. Each pass comes with Adventure Assurance. The IKON Pass includes 44 destinations, 761 lifts, and 5,154 trails.
www.ikonpass.com/en/shop-passes; (800) 403-0206
NEW HOTELS & OTHER VENUES
The date has changed to September 23 for the soft open, but otherwise, the launch of the 12-story, 243-room waterfront Luminary Hotel & Co. in downtown Fort Myers, FL is a go. Opening along with the hotel will be Dean Street Coffee, the Lobby Bar, and Ella Mae’s Diner, three of Luminary’s main food and beverage outlets, while the rooftop Beacon Social Drinkery and Silver King Ocean Brasserie will make their debuts later in the fall. The nearby Caloosa Sound Convention Center opens four days earlier, with its first event the Fort Myers Home & Garden Show.
REAL BODIES at Bally’s Las Vegas, NV has reopened to the public with brand new exhibits. The attraction features 20 perfectly preserved human bodies and more than 200 anatomical specimens. New additions include the latest science-based information about the novel coronavirus, including 3-D printed virus models, and a short film explaining in everyday language how the virus reacts to your body and how it can be spread. Fast facts about the virus, including how it affects body systems, and related topics will be found throughout the experience. All ages are welcome.
ALL STUDY OR WORK AND NO PLAY? NOT AT TRADEWINDS ISLAND GRAND RESORT
You wouldn’t ordinarily think of going to a beach resort to get your school or job work done, but TradeWinds Island Grand Resort, located along acres of sugary white beaches on the island of St. Pete Beach, FL is offering just that enticement with their two new “remote retreat” programs – “Learn from Paradise” and “Work from Paradise.” The Island Grand’s “Learn from Paradise” program provides a supervised, specially designated area of socially-distanced work stations available from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the week. Stations are organized into zones based on grade level. TradeWinds will provide both a “study buddy” and a certified E-Learning specialist to assist distance learners with online classes and homework from 10 -2 pm. weekdays, at no extra charge to guests. Students may choose to enjoy scheduled PE and Art programming, take a stretching and mindfulness break, and can buy lunch from a special menu. Registration is required for the “Learn from Paradise” program and must be completed at least 48 hours in advance. The program runs through Oct. 30. As for stressed out workers, the “Work from Paradise” program has designated lounges with social distancing to provide a safe, optimal work environment. Recently reconfigured Wi-Fi provides strong, reliable access, but if any problems arise, guests have access to the resort onsite IT department to troubleshoot any issues. Complimentary beach cabanas are also an option for an enviable Zoom background. To ensure guest safety, students will be separated by six feet and masks will be required in the E-Learning program, Learning Lounge and work stations. Hand sanitation stations will be available in the rooms, routine cleaning will be done throughout the day, and electrostatic sanitation will be performed daily. Parents will fill out a registration form and a COVID questionnaire for each student that takes part in the E-Learning program. If any student shows symptoms or signs of COVID, they will be removed from the program.
(855) 292-8724. To register for the Learn from Paradise program (48-hour advance notice needed), call (727) 363-2294.
THE HOLIDAYS ARE COMING! THE HOLIDAYS ARE COMING!
It will be more fun if you dress to theme, but London Cabaret’s ‘El Dia De Los Muertos’ aka ‘The Day Of The Dead’ party looks like an amazing evening celebration. The ancient Mexican tradition unites families to remember those who have moved into the spirit world, by way of a vibrant and scintillating fiesta! Presented Oct. 30 & 31 in England’s Bloomsbury Ballroom (an elaborate art deco auditorium decorated to the theme), the evening will include choreographed dancing, singers, and acrobatics by costumed performers.. Of course, prizes will be awarded. Group rates are available.
Yes, that time of year is fast approaching. Gaylord Hotels are introducing a new way to dive into the nostalgia of the holidays through favorite, family movies. Beginning November 13, holiday movies go interactive at all Gaylord Hotels with sets and character interactions from The Polar Express™, A Christmas Story™, Elf™, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation™, and The Year Without A Santa Claus™. Movies may vary at each property: Gaylord Opryland (Nashville, TN); Washington DC, Gaylord Palms (Orlando area, FL(; Gaylord Texan (Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX); and Gaylord Rockies (Denver, CO).
TRAVELING BY RV? DID YOU KNOW CAMPSITES ARE BOOKING OUT?
I wouldn’t normally write about travelling by RV, but I have a number of family and friends who have taken up this form of road tripping and glamping. I had heard from them how difficult it can be since the pandemic, to drive up to a campsite or a national park and expect immediate entrance. The RV Industry Association (RVIA) has provided the reasons for this occurring. They predict that 46 million Americans, many for the first time, will embark on an RV vacation in the coming year. The abundance means campsites and national parks are getting booked up weeks or years in advance. Tracks & Trails, a Colorado-based company who specializes in organizes seven to 14-day trips, has packaged national park RV vacations since 1996. “Getting in an RV and setting off without a plan can be a very bumpy road,” says Dan Wulfman, Founder and President of Tracks & Trails. “Ironically, the wild beauty that makes these places so special also attracts a lot of humans. Planning a successful trip means choosing your dates six to 12 months in advance. And then the real work begins.” The company offers 20 itineraries. They reserve prime campsites the minute they are available, book guided excursions with trusted outfitters, and prepare travelers’ comprehensive documentation to ensure things go smoothly. They will stop booking 2021 trips by December 15 this year.
www.tracks-trails.com’ firstname.lastname@example.org; (800) 247-0970
MORE 2020 EVENTS CANCELLING
Nov. 17-20: IAAPA Expo (International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions) has cancelled their in-person conference. Really sad as I was going as press to cover the latest and greatest rides, games and food. All is not lost though, as they will instead be hosting multiple virtual sessions throughout those days. So far, in Orlando alone, 58 major conferences have cancelled events, some to be rescheduled for 2021.
Walt Disney World (Orlando, FL) which has already cancelled this year’s Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween festivities, has also cancelled their Very Merry Christmas and Candlelight programs.
Universal Studios Resort (Orlando, FL) cancelled their Halloween Horror Nights celebrations.
Karen Kuzsel is a writer-editor based in the Orlando area who specializes in the hospitality, entertainment, meetings & events industries. She is an active member of ILEA and MPI and is now serving on the 2019 – 2020 MPI Global Advisory Board for The Meeting Professional Magazine for the second consecutive year. Karen writes about food & wine, spas, destinations, venues, meetings & events. A career journalist, she has owned magazines, written for newspapers, trade publications, radio and TV. As her alter-ego, Natasha, The Psychic Lady, she is a featured entertainer for corporate and social events. Karen@KarenKuzsel.com; www.karenkuzsel.com; www.ThePsychicLady.com; @karenkuzsel; @thepsychiclady.