Category: A Private Guide, Along the Trail By Sid Wilson, CITM
By Randle Loeb on Aug 3, 2010 | In Caring and Surviving, Citizenship and Stewards By Randle Loeb, A Private Guide, Along the Trail By Sid Wilson, CITM
Deep int eh recesses of the forest the solitary giant bird looking like a hulking somber messenger sits a perch his sentinel and regards the universe. he hearkens to a time when there was a purpose to everything and his roost dominated the deep inner recess of the forest, that was thick and unending. His caws resonated with every being that was in ear shot but almost never did he raise the deep call within his consciousness because all was settled and there was enough for every being on earth.
Now there is little that we have that is real. Almost everything is a fleeting memory of trust and the highest principles. Dinosaurs lived more fitfully than most of the inhabitants of the earth and for an eternity. Their place here was not challenged.
In a brief time then we have managed to lose sight of everything that is sacred and create a monster that we cannot soothe. We go about our business daily with the thought that all will be fine when of course, we sit on the edge of a precipice that we have never imagined possible.
Bless everything and we will be free. Focus on compassion and there is hope for all humanity. For go your possessions and there is yet a chance that we may be here when the dawn of the new era arrives.
By Sid Wilson on Nov 30, 2009 | In A Private Guide, Along the Trail By Sid Wilson, CITM
The last few months have been an exciting, challenging and very important part of my college career. An internship is an experience that follows and guides a person throughout their entire life. It is often the first actual work experience they have and therefore it is quite important to them.
I can’t believe how quickly the last few months have flown by. When you first begin college you think about all those big moments that you can’t wait to accomplish but have years to worry about. Graduating, your last final exams, your internship, so on and so forth. This is a defining chapter in my life book and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.
With all I have learned during this internship I have no doubt in my mind that I will be successful when I graduate. I have seen a side of myself that I didn’t know existed until recently and it has brought out my confidence and shown me what I can achieve. It’s incredible how much a person can learn about themselves by working a few months in an environment they aren’t used to. With the year at an end, I think back on everything that has made this such an unforgettable experience: all the great meetings I was able to attend, the hands on learning experience (which so far surpasses any knowledge one could gain from reading a book), the countless hours I spent working on blogs, learning about the industry I will be involving myself in, and the amount of time that my supervisor has spent teaching me and guiding me along my way so that I am nothing but my best when I leave. Looking back on this one experience, I see how much it will shape and mold the woman I am going to become.
Like all things in life this internship wasn’t always easy. However, I feel that before college, people spend their lives making things easy for themselves, taking the easy way out to avoid any hard work. This was one of the first times in my life I have taken the road less traveled and put myself out there. I didn’t know what to expect and I didn’t know how well I would do in the end. All I can say is that I feel as though I have come so far and if it were not for the help and guidance of A Private Guide Inc., I might never have discovered this side of me.
I want to thank everyone who took the time to read my blog over the last few months, even if you only just read one entry because I wouldn’t stop nagging you to do so! I want to thank my family and friends and my supervisor for all of their support while I was attending school and working a full time job! I wouldn’t have even met my supervisor, Daphne Marrable, or been introduced to A Private Guide, Inc. had it not been for its President, Sid Wilson. Sid, thank you so much for everything! If I could go back and change anything, there wouldn’t be a thing I would want to change.
A Private Guide Inc. Intern
By Sid Wilson on Nov 20, 2009 | In A Private Guide, Along the Trail By Sid Wilson, CITM
‘Tis the season! Denver is a great place to spend your holiday with all the season’s fun and festive happenings. Whether you’re looking for shopping, a carriage ride or great holiday lights, Denver is the best place to make this season memorable. From November through January, Denver lets loose and creates an environment Santa himself would be proud of. Denver Mile High Holidays provides holiday enthusiasts everything they need to make this time of year special. “Denver is the cultural, shopping, nightlife, dining, sports, and entertainment capital of the Rocky Mountain West”, says Richard Scharf, President and CEO of Visit Denver. “This [$1 million] campaign encourages families from throughout the region to start a tradition of coming to the big city during the holiday period.” Visit MileHighHolidays.com for a complete guide to holiday enjoyment in Denver.
Denver is a premier shopping destination. “People come from abroad to shop in Denver. We offer historic downtown shopping as well as places like Cherry Creek. Over 3 million tourists shop at Cherry Creek each year”, states Pat Lee, Tourism Marketing Specialist for Cherry Creek Shopping Center. A Private Guide designs custom holiday packages for family reunions and church groups. Shop, dine, spend a wild night at the Denver Zoo enjoying “Zoo Lights”, or see a Denver Center for the Performing Arts holiday show.
Wrap up your evening with a stop by the Great Western Art Gallery on 14th and Curtis. Warm up with hot cocoa and treats while enjoying special stardust dancer decorations and $52.80 deals on select art. On December 8 the gallery will host a live sax player. While you’re there, put your name in a raffle to win a gourmet gift basket or one night stay at the Hotel Teatro.
Restaurants, attractions and more than forty hotels are offering holiday deals this season. “Don’t spend money in Los Angeles or New York-- stay here! Denver has the largest holiday celebrations in a 600-mile radius”, Mayor John Hickenlooper proudly proclaims. Hilliard Moore, owner of the Great Western Art Gallery adds, “Both downtown Denver Partnership and Visit Denver are doing things to energize and bring people downtown. We really appreciate it.”
A Priavte Guide,Inc.
By Sid Wilson on Nov 13, 2009 | In A Private Guide, Along the Trail By Sid Wilson, CITM
Curtis Street circa 1930 (courtesy of the Denver Public Library Western History and Genealogy Department)
Congrats to the Denver Pavilions for this week’s grand re-introduction! I toured the Pavilions earlier this week and the renovations look great! In summer of 2010, Denver’s 14th Street will also be getting a makeover due to the recent decision to make it Denver’s “Ambassador Street”. Over the coming year, Market Street to Colfax Avenue will see several changes designed to make the area better compliment the 16th Street Mall.
According to a Downtown Denver Partnership press release, “14th Street is becoming known as the ‘Ambassador Street’ due to the diversity of visitor-oriented uses found along this corridor, including the Colorado Convention Center, the Denver Performing Arts Complex, the Hyatt Regency at Colorado Convention Center, and four other new or recently-constructed hotels.” On November 3, 2009, property owners along 14th street voted to contribute 4 million of the 14 million dollar cost of the streetscaping project. As seen on the official press release video, large LED monitors and crosswalk renovations will be added near the Denver Performing Arts Complex. The project also boasts the addition of about 200 trees, new flower planters and wider sidewalks designed to make the street more pedestrian friendly.
A recent DenverInFill blog about the subject roused varied emotions from its readers (http://www.denverinfill.com/blog/2009/11/14th-street-makeover.html). Some locals feel that the 14th Street initiative will be a great addition to downtown and think it will be exciting to see the enhancement and expansion of the theatre district. Not everyone, however, is so excited to see these changes. One commenter states, “Seems like a waste of millions of dollars for a pedestrian walk when there is already the mother of all pedestrian walks two blocks over.” Another adds, “Times Square may be in NYC's theater district, but I'm not sure how Denver needs to ‘turn the block into times square [sic]’ to have a theater district here. Why does it have to be the same thing?”
Interesting to note, however, is that Denver used to call itself the “City of Lights”, and Curtis Street used to look much like New York does today, dubbing itself “Denver’s Theatre Row". Denver's official website, Denvergov.org, further waxes nostalgic explaining that during the early 1900’s this area was “the grand corridor of theatres—The Majestic, The Victory—whose lights made the street, as [Thomas] Edison put it, the brightest in the world.” Joshua Dinar’s book, Denver Then and Now, states, “By 1930, there were forty-eight theatres shining 10,000 bulbs on Denver Streets, prompting the claim that Curtis Street was the brightest street in America”.
I had the opportunity to speak with Hilliard Moore, owner of the Great Western Art Gallery on 14th and Curtis Street, regarding his thoughts on the 14th Street Initiative. “I think it’s going to help my business in the future. Curtis and California streets will be a gateway to the Performing Arts District. When you look at 14th Street at the turn of the century, this is where all the mansions were. This renovation will allow the area to turn back into one of the key places of the city-- the hub of the city.” Moore would also like to see added retail space along Curtis Street between 14th and 16th, and suggests that installing storefronts on the ground floor of the 15th and Curtis St. side of the Qwest building would serve as a magnet to attract pedestrian traffic, ultimately being as successful as 16th Street Mall.
I am looking forward to seeing what these changes will bring to Denver! It’s exciting to see how going back to our roots will make Denver an even stronger tourist destination. Although some people are concerned that we are trying too hard to be like New York, I believe this is just a great step forward for our already great city.
By Sid Wilson on Nov 6, 2009 | In A Private Guide, Along the Trail By Sid Wilson, CITM
Denver Arts Week 2009
This week has been exciting for Denver and for me! Yesterday, I attended my first ever press conference at the Denver Art Museum. Mayor Hickenlooper kicked off Denver Arts Week with an enthusiastic speech about Denver’s blooming art scene saying, “Colorado is the cultural capital of the Rocky Mountains”.
I interviewed Rick Dula, one of seventeen artists featured in the Embrace! exhibit opening at the Denver Art Museum on November 14, 2009. Dula, a master of photorealism, is the genius behind the exhibit’s enormous mural in the museum’s atrium. Dula explained that when you look at the mural, you’re getting a “bird’s-eye view” of the museum’s skeletal structure (Denver Art Museum’s Christoph Heinrich likens it to seeing through a wall with a pair of x-ray glasses.) “I’m really proud of it, quite proud of it!” Dula expressed enthusiastically. Here is a picture of Rick Dula and I in front of his masterpiece!
This is only one of many exciting pieces of artwork that you will see during Denver Arts Week’s free Night at the Museums on Saturday November 7, 2009. Free shuttles will be available from 5pm to 10pm to transport you to eleven of Denver’s greatest museums. Shuttle routes begin and end at Cherry Creek Shopping Center and Denver Art Museum. The free First Friday Arts Shuttle will still be operating tonight between the Art District on Santa Fe and the Golden Triangle Museum District from 5:30pm to 9:30pm.
As I come into the final stretches of my internship, this experience is definitely one I won’t forget. Meeting the mayor has been an aspiration I didn’t think I would accomplish until I had been in the workplace for several years. A Private Guide has turned my long-term goal into a short-term reality!
By Sid Wilson on Oct 30, 2009 | In A Private Guide, Along the Trail By Sid Wilson, CITM
Grab your heaviest jacket and some hot cocoa before you leave the house-- it’s that time of year again! Colorado residents wait excitedly every year and it’s finally time for the mountains to open! That’s right, ski and snowboard season is upon us once again and, after Wednesday’s snowstorm, it looks like it’s going to be a good one!
It’s a well known fact that Colorado is popular for skiing. Having the Rocky Mountains in our back yard providing tons of mountain space makes that easy. With over twenty ski resorts all around Colorado, everyone can find something to enjoy. Arapahoe Basin and Loveland Pass are already open for the season. Aspen Mountain, Crested Butte, Snowmass, Telluride, Vail Mountain, Copper Mountain and Steamboat open in November. Echo Mountain, Powderhorn, Buttermilk, Sunlight Mountain and Silverton open in December. Most of these ski destinations are only a few hours from Denver and are open for morning runs, afternoon runs or all day runs. While these are some of Colorado’s most popular ski mountains, there are many others to explore as well.
For some Denver residents, finding time to go to the mountains can be tough, even if it’s only an hour and a half drive. Something you may not be aware of is that Echo Mountain, located in Idaho Springs, is only 35 miles outside of Denver! When I first heard about a ski resort so close to Denver, I didn’t think it could possibly offer the same ski experience the other mountains do. It surprised me to find that Echo Mountain gets 762 cm of annual snowfall a year and hosts 85 acres of powder covered land. Probably the most notable thing about Echo Mountain is that it offers night skiing! On several nights each week, you can ski on a well lit run until 9pm. In addition, Colorado.com has named Echo Mountain the least expensive skiing experience at $39 for an adult day pass.
Although many find skiing a fun and challenging sport, playing in the snow all day isn’t for everyone. What could be better a way to reminisce about the warmth of summer than to sit in Colorado’s largest hot springs pool? Relax in a 90 degree swimming pool or a 104 degree therapy pool while your family and friends spend the day skiing at Glenwood’s most popular ski resort, Sunlight Mountain. Glenwood Springs’ natural hot springs are open year round, and it can be an absolute treat watching the snow fall around you while you stay toasty warm in therapeutic waters!
Don’t want to drive yourself up into the mountains? A Private Guide would love to transport you and your group to the mountains this winter! Let us help you plan a weekend retreat with one of our many winter tour packages. Whether its a few days on the slopes or luxury weekend spent dining, shopping and swimming, experience Colorado winters at their finest in one of many festive resort towns!
I would love to hear your favorite thing to do while the snow is falling! Whether it’s skiing, sitting in the hot tub, sledding or just sitting by the fire and reading a book, leave your comments about your most memorable Colorado winter!
-Kelli Wilson, Intern
A Private Guide, Inc
By Sid Wilson on Oct 23, 2009 | In A Private Guide, Along the Trail By Sid Wilson, CITM
Boulder, Colorado is a beautiful little town located just northwest of Denver in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. It is well known for being home to the University of Colorado, Mork and Mindy’s hometown and the town that was ranked #1 on the list of “America’s Top 25 Towns to Live Well” in Forbes Magazine. Many people travel to Boulder to explore the amazing greenbelts, city trails and open space. However, how would you feel if you were required to pay just to explore the outdoors? What about people flying in from Germany or New Zealand who want to take their family on a vacation to Boulder? They might have to pay a $10 fee to get into our country (due to the Travel Promotion Act), and then pay an additional fee to hike in the foothills of Boulder.
This is what Boulder is thinking of doing. For those who aren’t Boulder residents, a trail pass will be required if you want to use their trails and open space. As you can imagine this isn’t going to be favored highly among those who like to utilize the trails in Boulder already. A guest commenter on the ABC Channel 7 News website contested, “How selfish can ya get. Just another reason I won't go there now. There are much better maintained areas in Jefferson and Park county that clearly rely on Denver visitors. Boulder needs a reality check, in this economy people aren't going to pay for it.”
Why would Boulder do this? Imagine you had a beautiful backyard and sold jewelry from your home. How would you feel if people were constantly coming to eat, play and socialize in your backyard but never stopped in your home to purchase any of your goods? How would you pay to keep your property nice if people were constantly causing damage? According to Steve Mertz, spokesman for the City of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks, “People who live in Denver and pay taxes in Denver are not necessarily paying any taxes to Boulder. So the upkeep of these lands is paid for by people who live and shop in Boulder." This is something to think about for everyone using open space in Boulder. Ask yourself this, how sustainable is it to use a lands natural resources but not help the town?
This is a tough subject seeing as how so many people could be affected by this proposal. On one hand natural open space should be free right? On the other hand why should people be able to use something that they aren’t helping pay for? Is there a happy medium where everyone could end up happy? Do you live in Boulder? How do you feel about this proposal? Do you live in Denver and utilize Boulder open space? Will you still hike on Boulder trails if you have to pay to use them?
By Sid Wilson on Oct 20, 2009 | In A Private Guide, Along the Trail By Sid Wilson, CITM
When I first told people I was majoring in hospitality, no one knew that this was an actual major that existed. The truth is that the hospitality industry is becoming more popular not only in Colorado but around the world. So popular, in fact, that a bill has been created called S. 1023, the Travel Promotion Act of 2009, which has just passed the House of Representatives and is about to go back to the senate for one last vote.
What congress is hoping to accomplish by passing this bill is to bring tourism back to the United States. As stated by the Travel Promotion Act Democratic Policy Committee on June 16, 2009, “Travel and tourism generates approximately $1.3 trillion in economic activity each year in the United States and supports 8.3 million direct travel-related jobs. Unfortunately, since the attacks on September 11, 2001, overseas travel to the United States has decreased significantly. While worldwide travel has increased, according to the U.S. Travel Association, the nation’s share of international tourism has declined 17 percent since 9/11, at a cost of more than 200,000 jobs. The Department of Commerce estimates that since 9/11, the nation has lost $182 billion in visitor spending and $27 billion in lost tax receipts.”
In accordance to the Transportation Promotion Act, the United States will be promoted as a premier international travel destination by a newly-created non-profit organization. The Section 2 Bill Provision of the Legislative Notice posted June 12, 2009 states that the Corporation for Travel Promotion “Establishes a new non-profit, nongovernment corporation, subject to the provisions of the D.C. Non-Profit Corporation Act, for the purposes of promoting international travel to the U.S.” According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) Cost Estimate dated June 9, 2009, “CBO estimates that the assessment imposed by the corporation would increase revenues by an estimated $135 million over the 2010-2019 period, net of income and payroll tax offsets. CBO also estimates that enacting S. 1023 would decrease direct spending by $290 million over the 2010-2019 period. In total, CBO estimates that enacting S. 1023 would reduce budget deficits by $425 million over the 2010-1019 period.”
This bill could greatly affect Denver’s hospitality revenues. In fact, Senator Mark Udall made a speech to President Barack Obama in June 2009 where he stated, “Obviously, travel and tourism is an incredibly important sector of Colorado's economy. For every $1 million spent in Colorado by domestic and international travelers, 11 jobs are created. Travel and tourism generated about $13.7 billion in revenue in 2007 in Colorado alone. And almost 150,000 Coloradans owe their jobs to the industry. And that's why I rise today to express my support for the Travel Promotion Act of 2009.”
However not everyone thinks this bill is as great as Senator Udall does. Opponents to the bill say that it is counterintuitive to increase the cost for foreign travelers wanting to come to the U.S., even if only by $10, as a way to bring in more foreign visitors. In a Washington article dated September 7, 2009, US Senator Jim DeMint stated, “The $400 million Travel Promotion Fund, set to be created if the Senate passes the Travel Promotion Act (TPA) this week, is perhaps the perfect illustration of the disconnect between the American people and their representatives in Washington. The bill would impose a $10 fee on foreign visitors to the United States and use the money to fund an international advertising campaign encouraging the world to travel here (Imagine: "Come to America, so we can tax you at the airport!"). The advertising fund would be controlled by leaders of America's tourism industry -- giant corporations such as Disney, Loews and Marriott. Keep in mind, those companies are not in distress -- they're thriving. Disney, for instance, posted profits of $4.4 billion last year, and bought Marvel Entertainment for $4 billion just last week. The American travel industry already spends billions every year on advertising with tens of millions focused on international marketing. The purpose of the Travel Promotion Act is to subsidize that advertising. No thanks. Proponents of the bill say that it's not a tax increase because only foreigners will pay it. But the European Union and other governments have already announced that any TPA fee will trigger reciprocal fees for American travelers to their countries. Meanwhile, every $10 Washington takes from foreign tourists is $10 those tourists won't spend in local restaurants, shops and hotels. This act is designed to help big businesses at the expense of small ones.”
Senator DeMint’s concerns are shared by those of European Ambassador John Bruton. On June 25, 3009 Bruton stated in the European Union Delegation of the European Commission to the USA, “While seeking to attract international visitors, the same legislation would also foot them with the bill to pay for this program. If passed, a fee of at least $10 would be assessed on foreign travelers. It would be a tax on tourists to encourage tourism – a questionable concept. In addition to the economic downturn, the Senate Commerce Committee noted recently that tightened security standards and waiting periods at US borders following 9/11 'had the unintended consequence of erecting barriers to travel.’ Adding to that, by charging $10 per passenger would simply mean erecting yet another barrier to travel to the US and would be a step backwards in our joint endeavor to ease transatlantic mobility. The fee might actually result in fewer, not more travelers coming to the United States. “
I clearly see the points that Jim DeMint and John Bruton are making. However, I still believe the outcome will be positive in the end. I think we’re all ready to see that America can once again be a premier travel destination. Of course if you’re opposed to the Travel Promotion Act please leave a comment as to why we’re better off without it. By the way, this isn’t the only news of “wanting to charge people to use their land”. Our little town of Boulder, CO is also considering charging a fee for non-resident hikers. This topic will be explored more in my next entry, so stay tuned!
-Kelli Wilson, Intern
A Private Guide Inc.