California’s Mammoth Mountain and Lake Tahoe’s Northstar Bike Parks Make The “Top 10 Bike Parks in the World”

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This week, I’d like to feature some excerpts from the title article written by Dave Scorer, business creator of the best and most comprehensive Mountain Bike Park Web site around – World Bike Parks.com . Although Dave’s informative and interesting piece covers great top ten bike parks from around the world, we’re going to take a look at two of these winners, right here in our own backyard mountain resort towns of Mammoth Lakes and Lake Tahoe. So here’s what he has to say about how to pick a winner!

“So how do you identify the top 10 bike parks…? I mean number one is obvious. Few people would argue that Whistler Bike Park leads the pack in probably every single metric you’d care to choose, from the number of trails to offering the best development programs for kids. But who is in the chasing pack?

First, we have to start by defining the basis for how we selected the top 10. We have to assume that when we talk about a “Top 10” we actually mean the “best” bike parks. But how exactly do you decide which bike park is better than another – what are your measures of performance? It can’t be personal opinion, although that will always affect your own top 10 no matter how much you don’t want to accept it! We fully admit that it has played a part in our decision making, but we have put together something of an ‘engineering’ approach in order to normalize the results and reduce the possibility for bias or opinion placing a bike park higher up the list than it should be.”

#10: Mammoth Mountain, USA

“Mammoth Mountain in California squeezes in to the top 10. For riders of a certain generation, Mammoth is legendary. Home of the Kamikaze, many will remember the days of Myles Rockwell and Missy Giove bombing down the fireroad on a classic Cannondale Super-V Downhill rig with clouds of dust billowing up behind them! And guess what – it’s back for 2013, with the Kamikaze Bike Games going off in September. Get there if you can.”

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Mammoth Mountain Bike Park – Dave Scorer

#7: Northstar California Resort, USA

“Sponsored by Giant, Northstar Tahoe might surprise a few by making the top 10 but the stats put it there! Joint 3rd in the total number of trails, there is also the vertical to back it up. The Northstar Bike Academy offers excellent programs for all bikers, brand new or seasoned, looking to improve their techniques and step up in riding ability. Set in stunning scenery on the shores of Lake Tahoe there can’t be many better places to hone your skills!”

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Northstar Bike Park – Dave Scorer

If you want to learn more from Dave about how they picked the winners, as well as how they measured and ranked the performance of each of the parks, including factors such as the trails, vertical drop, values, and reputation, read the rest of his article at http://www.worldbikeparks.com/blog/the-top-10-series/the-top-10-bike-parks-in-the-world .

And then, when you’ve decided which of these awesome local California bike parks – or both – that you want to try out, World Bike Park’s lodging partner, City Concierge Mammoth reservations, has some special mountain bike lodging packages with discounts for riders to help you seal the deal and save some money for some cold refreshments after a long, exhilarating day of rides on the mountains!

Here are City Concierge’s deals for you:

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Mammoth – MOUNTAIN BIKE PACKAGE

Show us your mountain bike park pass and we will give you 15% off your lodging on selected Mountainback, Ski and Racquet, or Discover 4 units. Search for unit, and then call us to get the discount!

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Northstar – MOUNTAIN BIKE PACKAGE

Stay in one of our Northstar rentals when you ride at Northstar Mountain Bike Park and we’ll give you 15% off your stay. 3 or more nights minimum Lake Tahoe rentals PROMO: NLT SV15off

Although it didn’t make the top ten list, Kirkwood Bike Park, a quick drive from south Lake Tahoe, is an outstanding, popular park in its own right. you’ll feel like you’re at the top of the world here! Learn more about from World Bike Park’s Kirkwood page.

KirkwoodMOUNTAIN BIKE PARK SPECIAL

Stay in one of our Tahoe Keys rentals when you ride the park at Kirkwood, and we will give you 15% off your stay. There is a 3 or more nights minimum. Tahoe Keys Rentals  PROMO: NLT SV50off

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Mammoth Food and Wine Experience 2013

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Each year the Mammoth Lakes Foundation throws a party to celebrate food and wine from the foodies point of view. Labeled a “seminar” but really a very big tasting of foods paired with wine, this annual event raises funds for the Foundation which supports the local schools among other charitable causes. This year it is very exciting as the event has grown in size and through dedication has become one of the most respected events in Mammoth. This year it also coincides with the week long Mammoth 4th of July activities making a 7 day spectacular vacation.

The event is Friday, July 5 -Sunday, July 7, 2013. The famous chefs giving their seminars all know each other as many have all done time with Wolfgang Pucks “Eureka” restaurant. In this year’s lineup are Jennifer Black Dea, Jody Denton, Neal Fraser, Richard Haake, Jennifer Jasinski, and now local Dan Molnar.

More importantly, 30 wineries and 120 wines make up the grand tasting. This is one event where you need an iPhone app to keep track of all this deliciousness. You’ll want to compare notes as you sip through the pinot, chardonnays, cabernets and merlots. The growing number of vintners coming to Mammoth for the event shows their commitment to making Mammoth a real center for the art, education and enjoyment of fine cuisine and wine. You can read all about the Grand Tasting Event.

Lodging & Tickets Special for Food and Wine Experience
With the help of the Foundation, City Concierge is happy to announce that we have special tickets and lodging packages for Mammoth Food and Wine when attending the festival. You will get a 5% ticket discount and a 20% discount on our lodging for those of who attend the event and get their package from us. We’ve also got specially priced tickets for the Sunday festivities in The Village on July 7. You can find out more about the discounts and even get set up to Win Tickets to Mammoth Food and Wine Experience by entering our Facebook Contest.

It is going to be a great weekend filled with fireworks, wine, parades, really good food.. with really good wine all set in the Sierra Mountains. We’ll help you with your lodging and set you up with tickets to the events for a vacation that sparkles. Give us a call 866-864-6444 today for best choices.

GO LOCAL AND GET MORE FOR YOUR RESERVATION BUCKS

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The convenience of trip planning with vacation reservation Web sites is on the rise, with up to 80% use according to travel industry statistics. The Internet makes finding and booking lodging easy, but quick reservations are not the only aspect of a successful vacation. Travelers also want value from their vacation dollars through great customer service and ample amenities. Local resort reservation services or concierge companies offer an improved vacation experience with superior property choices, better knowledge of the area, personalized customer service, and often lower prices. In comparison to the larger national sites and discounters, there are no benefits except price, and you may not even get the quality of room you booked.

The main differences between local and national reservation sources are: property prices, quality assurance, personal attention and value add services. You may pay a little less, but in the end it is likely to cost you more or have ruined your vacation.

Jefferson Lanz of City Concierge puts it this way: “When you use a locally-based all-encompassing full-service vacation rental Web site, you get local knowledgeable people to help you with your travel plans. They know the area you’re visiting and the actual lodging properties you’re looking at, and they do the legwork for you to keep you in your budget. The personal service starts with the first phone call and continues until your vacation is over. Also the personal recommendations and services make your vacation a real “vacation”. We want you to come back. Distant national companies just can’t do that.”

What you get – a National Lodging Reservation Web site:

1. Property Prices – Because of the deep commissions these national companies charge such as Expedia, Bookings.com, Trip Advisor, VRBO,  Homeaway,   vacation rental and hotel property managers have to mark up the real cost as much as 30% over the average nightly rate. The national sites now charge the consumer a fee as much as 10% more than going local.

2. Quality Assurance – The photo of a property in a complex is a generic photo, not an individual photo of the specific vacation rental or even hotel room. The actual lodging may not even look similar nor have the same features. This is especially true with vacation rentals, as each home is personally owned with personal objects rather than a hotel where each room should be identical.

3. Personal Services – Other than a help line so you can navigate their site, any questions or answers about the property come from a manual not a live person.

What you get – a Local Resort Reservation and Concierge Web site:

1. Property Prices – All the local vacation properties such as at City Concierge in Mammoth are aggregated into one web site for easy comparison of properties, prices and features. The company’s staff has real relationships with property managers and owners – they know the inventory. They also know the best possible prices or current specials or even who will wheel and deal.  Can’t wheel and deal on a national site.

2. Quality Assurance – The photos of the specific properties are the actual and true photos of the properties – no generic photos. “What you see is what you get”.

3. Personal Services – The local company has real people who specifically know the area and have personal relationships with the resort’s unique services, information, activities and businesses. Their information, guidance and assistance are free, just like with a hotel concierge. Certain companies even have local people to provide special guest services such as custom chef-prepared meals, grocery shopping, baby and pet sitting, in-home massages, holiday decorations, dinner and equipment reservations, special ski packages, and 24/7 problem fixers. A truly full-service company will offer special group services, too. This one item makes your getaway a success every time.

When it comes to getting the most value for those hard-earned vacation dollars, combining the ease of the Internet with the personal customer relationship of your own concierge will make your vacation. National reservation sites just can’t compete with this kind of attention. Book your Mammoth vacation rentals and hotels with a local company. You will get more and have a better experience.

Flexible Travel Days + Technology = Cheaper Family Mountain Resort Vacations

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Family trips use to mean you only vacationed during the Flexible Travel Days. Yet the key to saving on California flexible travel days is your family having a flexible travel schedule and knowing the California school vacation calendar to avoid the holiday rush when everything is more expensive and crowded. Fortunately, this is now possible for you since most schools have Websites, Facebook pages and teachers’ emails. This lets your kids stay on top of their school work with assignments from teachers, and notes and projects from fellow classmates, even when away on vacation. Technology also allows you to work remotely, if needed. So, your family can now travel during “off days” when it is cheaper to vacation with better deals and rates, with more lodging available.

Today, the tourism trend is for everyone to take their resort vacations during the same holidays.  For example, you can use your smart vacation dollar savings by reserving your Mammoth Sierra lodging choices for your family early or around the schedules  to avoid these periods of higher demands and prices. Some of the more expensive times are the Christmas, New Years, Martin Luther King and Presidents Holidays. Also, there are usually three-to-four-day required lodging stays during these periods. So, be sure to plan your lodging reservation dates well in advance to beat these larger crowds and higher prices.

Some of the best times for you to think about booking California mountain resort vacation rentals are just after the peak season has ended, or just before peak season begins. With your flexible family vacation schedule, certain holiday breaks and off-season times are in less demand and less expensive. Getaways during these periods will result in more affordable vacations, with more money left in your bank or available for your other family fun during the vacation. The winter holiday periods are Ski Week beginning the week after President’s Day Monday through Friday, and the Spring Break week. Spring Break and Easter often coincide. And many businesses let employees have extended time off for religious holidays because of cuts in the schedule or mandatory vacation times – maybe you can take advantage of this, too. For winter resorts, regular season ends just after Easter when prices on lodging plummet. And after the summer rush, anytime in September, after Labor Day, up till Thanksgiving is also not high season and rates will be remarkably less.

If your family can take advantage of flexible vacation schedules and days, you can benefit from some real savings on vacation rental homes and cabins. Many resorts are 50% empty during these off-season times so they will offer bargains to entice you to plan your trip for when everyone else isn’t. Coming before Christmas vacation is one way to get the best rates. Likewise, for New Years, many companies offer their employees extended time off, so coming after the holidays is another good option. This may be perfect for your family if you want to save, as rates at many resorts will drop after New Years, meaning a 20-40% savings.

Another great way for you to save on flexible vacations is by having your kids use technology so your family doesn’t become trapped by the school holiday schedule. Most vacation rentals have access to the Internet, and there is always the local Starbucks. If your children are not involved in sports, then you can comfortably take them out of school and let them use technology to stay up with the class while traveling as a family during non-prime-time season. Many classrooms create their own specific Facebook page where students can help each other by uploading and sharing homework notes and problem solving. They can also use Skype and Facebook Instant Messaging features to communicate their “status” individually and as a group so that they build a community around the page. This is clearly beneficial for your kids “grabbing the notes” and working on joint projects when they go on vacation.

Additionally, parents can work remotely on their job projects through the Internet and conference calling if needed. You can use “Go To My PC”, a program that allows you to connect to your own home PC, or “Go To My Office” (same company business edition) and connect to your business computer. These kinds of telecommuting tools used on your own traveling laptop let you do everything you would if you were in the office. This flexibility allows for a vacation schedule that will save you a bundle.

For example, at many of the bigger ski resorts, such as Mammoth Mountain , a lift ticket can go as low as $65 for an adult during these times, which is a huge savings off the regular $120 lift tickets during holiday times. And even better savings come from taking advantage of mid-week deals and rates, any days Sunday through Friday. The key here to saving on your Mammoth vacation rentals is to avoid staying Saturday night.

With the many technology choices available for both your students, as well as you, the parents, the freedom of a flexible family vacation schedule is a real possibility. Planning your trip to maximize the value of vacation dollars and minimize the limitations of travel periods is simply smart math. These kinds of calculations equal more family vacation savings, better choices and fewer crowds. The numbers are in your favor.