Hays: Small-Town Charm and Big-Time Fun!

Hays Kansas Welcome

Rob Brewer
Emerging Media Coordinator

Hays, Kansas is known as a place with small-town charm and big-time fun! And the friendliness of those who call Hays home is evident to travelers who are enjoying a family vacation, business trip, sporting event or even just passing through.

Those making their first visit to this historic frontier town will definitely appreciate the many low- or no-cost attractions that are available, including the chance to learn about Hays’ often dangerous early days when the town was filled with railroad workers, desperados and other notorious characters. The city also offers historic downtown tours and shopping, a look into frontier military history, annual festivals and sporting events, art studios and performing art, and much more!

In its early days, Hays developed a reputation for lawlessness and as a tough “end of the tracks” town. During several months in 1869, James Butler “Wild Bill” Hickok served as an interim sheriff to quell the almost constant homicides, bloodshed and feuds. Visitors can experience some of this history with a trip through time on a self-guided walking tour of downtown. Twenty-five bronze plaques mark the route where some of the most famous and notorious characters lived and walked.

The Fort Hays Historic Site offers a glimpse into a soldier’s frontier life in this unique location that was founded to protect settlers from native resistance. Today, visitors can see the original blockhouse, guardhouse and officers’ quarters, and the information center provides exhibits and artifacts about the fort and military history.

Hays House Hays Kansas

In town, there is always something exciting and interesting happening throughout the year, including 12 annual German festivals and events that celebrating the Hays area’s German immigrant heritage. Sample the finest German lager at Oktoberfest or participate in Lanternfest where families and children make handmade candle-lit lanterns. There are also rodeos, car racing events, 5K runs, country music concerts, and an exhilarating fireworks display at the Wild West Festival. December’s FrostFest offers horse-drawn wagon rides, a baking contest, a visit with Santa, vendors, decorating cookies, children’s arts and crafts, storytelling and the Main Street  illuminated holiday parade.

Downtown Hays, the oldest part of the community, has recently seen great revitalization that is helping preserve history and pride while also creating a bustling old-fashioned-main-street atmosphere. The area currently features more than 100 thriving businesses that include dining and entertainment options, antique stories, art shops and many other services.

Downtown Hays

When it’s time to dine, try the award-winning house brews and frontier cooking of Gella’s Diner & Lb. Brewing Company, named by the Huffington Post as “the one thing you must do” in Kansas. It’s less than 10 minutes from the airport and is just blocks away from Fort Hays State University.

Get started on an historical adventure to Hays aboard one of the two daily SkyWest Airlines flights, operating as United Express from Denver. The best fares can be found at united.com.

Devils Lake – A Jewel of the Prairie!

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Rob Brewer
Emerging Media Coordinator

Devils Lake, a jewel of the prairie, offers vacationers everything needed within a 15-minute radius: luxurious lodging, appetizing dining, historical treasures and adventurous activities suitable for all ages! Historic buildings and independent shops abound throughout downtown, while the lake – from which the town derives its name – offers more than 160,000 acres of water, hundreds of miles of shoreline and is a nationally known fisherman’s paradise.

Devils Lake is the place to be for outdoor recreation, whether it’s for unbeatable fishing or communing with nature on a wilderness hike. The largest lake in North Dakota, Devils Lake offers fishing for all skills, ages and seasons, and is known as the Perch Capital of the World. Cozy cabins line the shoreline and provide an ideal home base to enjoy the lake. If fishing is not on the agenda then enjoy a sunset pontoon cruise or the exhilaration of jet skiing through the refreshing spray. Sullys Hill offers breathtaking views of the hill and lake with its wilderness hiking trails, and Grahams Island State Park offers unparalleled scenery along its trails. This central flyway is also a hunter’s paradise and offers an opportunity to find duck, geese, grouse, partridge and even pheasant. Archery hunting for deer is also exceptional with varied terrain and excellent cover. Just bundle up in camo against a morning chill and reach a hunting limit by noon!

Devils Lake Hunting

Throughout the year, Devils Lake is the setting for exciting annual events throughout the different seasons. Billed as North America’s Hottest Car Show, Devils Run, this classic car show and auction is the largest in the state. Held the first weekend in June draws participants from around the country. As the temperature cools off, ShiverFest offers an exciting collection of winter activities that takes place annually in February. Enjoy a mite hockey tournament (for little skaters), youth ice fishing tournament, kite flying, a golf course on the ice, snowmobile oval races, gun show, sleigh rides, pond hockey tournament, home-based business showcase and much, much more.

After enjoying so many outdoor activities, be sure to indulge in some dining spots that focus on the local scenery and history. Proz Lakeside of the Cove offers stunning views with indoor and outdoor seating, while a cozy fireplace sets the mood in winter. The Ranch Steakhouse offers an unforgettable experience in a setting converted from a working barn in 1946. Try the top -quality steaks, and enjoy the full bar and wine service.

The Ranch Steakhouse Devils Lake

Whether it’s a trip to indulge in the great wilderness opportunities that Devils Lake has to offer or the attraction of a local festival, be sure to plan an exciting trip today by booking a convenient United Express flight, operated by SkyWest Airlines, at united.com today!

SkyWest Crews Welcome Five-Year-Old “Pilot” Onboard

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Layne Watson
Corporate Communications Specialist

For a child enamored with planes, simply boarding a flight and taking a seat with their face pressed eagerly against the window is an experience to remember. However, thanks to a special request, some amazing crewmembers and a carefully coordinated effort by SkyWest Airlines employees, five-year-old Calibrooke Myers recently had a flight experience that is sure to be cherished for a lifetime. Kelsey Myers, Calibrooke’s father, reached out to SkyWest representatives before his recent flights asking if he could get some type of special memorabilia for his aviation-loving daughter.

“I was just hoping she would get a sticker or something,” said Kelsey. He never expected the royal treatment bestowed upon Calibrooke. Kelsey said, “The crews really went above and beyond anything I imagined. They were truly amazing!”

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As Calibrooke boarded each of her flights, dressed in her captain’s uniform, she got a VIP tour of the flight deck and even had a chance to sit in the captain’s seat. Wise and attentive beyond her years, she listened as the pilots explained what various instruments do. And it wasn’t long after takeoff that Calibrooke was busy explaining to other passengers everything she had learned about the instruments the pilots were using to navigate the plane as they ascended through the clouds.

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Calibrooke also received plenty of mementos as part of her journey, including wings, posters, cards signed by crewmembers and a sign with Calibrooke’s name waiting for her as she took her seat. The packages from the flight attendants also included the stickers Calibrooke’s dad was hoping for when he originally contacted SkyWest.

All of the attention added up to an unforgettable experience, both for Calibrooke and the crewmembers who witnessed the sincere joy this young passenger finds in flying. With her love for flight and natural ability to understand aviation, there’s a good bet Calibrooke could be back in the flight deck piloting her own SkyWest flight in the future!

Jamestown – The Pride of the Prairie!

World's Largest Buffalo  Jamestown

Rob Brewer
Emerging Media Coordinator

Known as the “Pride of the Prairie,” charming Jamestown, North Dakota is located midway between the state capital of Bismarck and Fargo, the state’s largest city. Jamestown prides itself on its warm and welcoming hospitality, and as a year-round vacation destination offering exciting entertainment, comfortable accommodations and fine dining that are sure to provide an exceptional experience.

Outdoor adventurers can choose from more than 35 miles of trails, including short, paved and scenic routes; along with long, natural, challenging hikes – perfect for every fitness level! One favorite is the Jamestown Reservoir Trail, which also brings visitors to one of Jamestown’s premium recreational areas. With more than 45 miles of shoreline and 2,000 acres of surface area, visitors can enjoy boating and fishing from seven different launch areas, camping, beaches and even 24-hole disc golf along the reservoir!

No trip to Jamestown is completely without a visit to Frontier Village where original buildings from the North Dakota frontier have been relocated and filled with historic artifacts. Guests will have a chance to learn about Western frontier history, view exciting Wild West shoot-outs, experience stagecoach and pony rides, and view local art in the Kirkpatrick Art Gallery.

Frontier Village Jamestown

One of Jamestown’s most popular roadside attractions has been standing watch over the city since 1959. The 26-foot-tall, 60-ton buffalo, named Dakota Thunder, will delight kids of all ages. Rare, white buffalo, considered sacred in some Native American traditions, also roam in pastures near the National Buffalo Museum as visitors learn about the history and significance of these incredible creatures.

White Buffalo Jamestown

Fans of the famed Western author, Louis L’Amour, will enjoy their time in Jamestown seeing the Historic Franklin School where he received most of his formal education. Afterward, take a trip the Alfred Dickey Public Library, one of the places that helped to stimulate Louis’ love for the written word.

Whether seeking a historical frontier experience or just the chance to indulge in the great outdoors of North Dakota, Jamestown in a perfect fit! Visit today by booking a convenient United Express flight, operated by SkyWest Airlines, at united.com.

Eau Claire – More Than Meets the Eye!

Eau Claire

 

Layne Watson
Corporate Communications Specialist

While Wisconsin is widely known for being the land of cheese, communities like Eau Claire also provide visitors with a huge variety of recreational activities and unique adventures that will make any trip unforgettable.

Located on the western side of Wisconsin, Eau Claire (pronounced O’Claire) is the Kubb Capital of North America. Kubb is thought to have originated with the Vikings and is often described as a combination of bowling and horseshoes. During the last several years the sport has seen a spike in popularity in the U.S., and in Eau Claire in particular where every summer they host the U.S. National Kubb Championship. This multi-day competition draws hundreds of people to several local parks where they have the chance to go head to head in an effort to earn a spot in the championship match.

Kubb Eau Claire

For those interested in less organized sport, Eau Claire offers many more activities for vacationers. During the summer, there are trails a plenty for hikers, bikers and even inline skaters. They city actually maintains more than 21 miles of trails, including a section of the popular Chippewa River Recreation Trail that stretches more than 30 miles in total.

For music fans, Eau Claire is the perfect home base for anyone looking to enjoy the nearby Country Fest or Rock Fest held in Cadott, Wisconsin – just 24 miles away. The area is home to a natural 380-acre amphitheater, making it the perfect venue for musician lovers to see some of the biggest names in the music industry.

EAU Rock Fest

Of course, no trip would be complete without the chance to check out some of Eau Claire’s fine wineries, microbreweries and distilleries. The Lazy Monk Brewery offers tours and a tasting of their traditional Czech and German Lagers on several days throughout the week. For a more refined palette, check out the urban winery and distillery at Infinity Beverages in downtown Eau Claire to enjoy a great atmosphere and even a chance to see how they create some of their incredible spirits.

Whether joining the Kubb National Championship, enjoying the outdoor beauty the area has to offer or rocking out to your favorite band, come see everything Eau Claire has to offer! Daily United Express flights operated by SkyWest Airlines from Chicago to Eau Claire make it more convenient than ever. Book today at united.com.

Explore “Dinosaurland” in Vernal, Utah!

Vernal Welcome Sign

Rob Brewer
Emerging Media Coordinator

Where in the world is Vernal, Utah? While it may appear to be just a small community in northeastern Utah, Vernal is home to stunning scenery, unparalleled recreation areas and even some prehistoric remains. Visitors and residents alike enjoy the adventure and excitement this community offers!

First-time visitors should not miss the chance to step back in time at Dinosaur National Monument. With more than 1,500 dinosaur bones – including some 149-million-year-old fossils that can be touched – and the legendary “Wall of Bones,” the facility is beyond impressive. Presentations and exhibits are also available to explain more about the quarry and the dinosaurs that it contains. After exploring the Jurassic world, don’t forget to take advantage of the whitewater rafting, hiking and camping that’s available within the Dinosaur National Monument.

Dinosaur National Monument

Just north of Vernal lies the High Uinta Wilderness. The area was established in 1984 and is the largest wilderness in Utah at more than 460,000 acres! Here, visitors discover the peaceful backdrop of beautiful, pristine mountains with areas that are perfect for everything from hiking, fishing and horseback riding, to backpacking and hunting. For those with a less rugged constitution, the splendor of the Uinta mountains can be enjoyed by driving along Highway 150, formerly known as Mirror Lake Scenic Byway. This route stretches 42 miles through the mountains and forest from Kamas, Utah to Evanston, Wyoming and affords some of the most stunning high-mountain driving views anywhere in the nation.

High Uintah Wilderness

Vernal is also proud to be a gateway for Flaming Gorge National Recreation Center; which attracts more than two million visitors per year. Flaming Gorge consists of more than 207,000 acres of water and land with the Flaming Gorge Reservoir being one of the top attractions as it provides outstanding opportunities for houseboating, fishing, skiing and other water sports. Fishing enthusiasts in particular may be challenged to find a better locale outside of Flaming Gorge where it’s not uncommon to haul in 30-pound lake trout, along with rainbows, brown trout, kokanee salmon and smallmouth bass.

From the high mountains to desert scenery and everything in between, Vernal is a virtual paradise and center for adventure and excitement in the great outdoors! Book a convenient flight right into the heart of the action on a SkyWest-operated Delta Connection flight at www.Delta.com today!

Experience Colorado’s Unique Melting Pot – Pueblo!

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Rob Brewer
Emerging Media Coordinator

Pueblo, Colorado is a unique community that has been shaped by a variety of races and cultures as it has grown into the fascinating city it is today. In the early 20th century, Pueblo was one of the largest steel producing cities in the nation, earning it the title “Steel City.” Today, it’s a popular destination for tourists, food lovers and many more looking for an unforgettable experience at any time of the year!

Pueblo has been named one of the nation’s Top 10 Foodie Cities by Livability.com and it’s no surprise with mouth-watering events like the Chile & Frijole Festival paying homage to two of the Pueblo area’s best loved crops! Don’t miss out on sampling the region’s famously favorite comfort food by trying a Green Chile Slopper, which consists of a hamburger or cheeseburger smothered in chili sauce. These creations are then topped with chopped onions and oyster crackers or French fries for an unbelievable result. Discover this taste sensation at a number of local eateries including Papa Jose’s Union Café, Jorge’s Sombrero, and the Riverwalk Restaurant and Lounge!

Visitors looking for inspiration should look no farther than Pueblo’s unique cultural offerings available at First Friday Art Walk. Here, tourists and shoppers are able to explore an area packed with art galleries, independent cafes, street sculptures and theatrical performers. At any time of the month a visit to Pueblo is incomplete without a stroll down the Historic Arkansas Riverwalk Project where a large concentration of independent businesses wind through the city center.

Pueblo Downtown River Walk

One of Colorado’s most popular state parks, Pueblo State Park, is just 15 miles from Pueblo Memorial Airport and offers an array of outdoors recreational pursuits for those wanting to really get out into the wild west of the region. Located on nearly 10,000 acres of land the park boasts a year-round mild climate and is an ideal place for visitors to spend a few days enjoying this natural gem. Get wet with activities like sailing, boating around the lake, tubing on the river and fishing. Land lubbers can enjoy miles of trails that are perfect for hiking, biking and just exploring nature. Those looking for a more refined outdoor experience can also play a round at the Pueblo Country Club or the Walking Stick Golf Course in town.

This dynamic community continues to grow and change ensuring the need for a return visit! Start an adventure in Pueblo by booking a convenient SkyWest-operated United Express flight today at united.com.

Stunning Scenery Sets St. George, Utah Apart

AngelsLanding1

Austin Mayer
Lead Travel Programs

Few places in the world can compare to the stunning scenery in Southern Utah, making it a must-see destination for travelers who are looking for gorgeous landscapes, relaxation, solitude, adventure and inspiration.

St. George, Utah (SGU) is the perfect starting point to begin the scenic adventure of a lifetime. The city is conveniently located near three National Parks: Zion, Bryce Canyon and Grand Canyon, as well as Cedar Breaks National Monument. There are also numerous State Parks including, Snow Canyon, Coral Pink Sand Dunes, Gunlock, Quail Lake and Sand Hollow. In any other state these areas would be National Parks but here natural beauty seems to be everywhere.

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One of the gems of Southern Utah and the most popular destination in the area is Zion National Park. Zion is about an hour drive northeast of St. George and welcomes approximately three million visitors a year. For those visiting the park, the little town of Springdale right at the entrance can be used as a convenient base when exploring everything Zion has to offer. It’s also home to some of the best restaurants in Southern Utah! So while a packed lunch can help ensure visitors don’t miss out on anything in the park, the breakfast and dinner options in Springdale are exceptional and shouldn’t be missed! Oscar’s Cafe is the all-around local favorite for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and is known for their hiker’s granola, ribs, sandwiches, burgers, southwest dishes and incredible sweet potato fries. For some additional variety, the Bit and Spur Restaurant and Saloon or The Spotted Dog are both fantastic dining options.

When accessing the park, it’s simple to hop on one of the complimentary shuttles that run up the canyon from April through October, or just driving in during the winter months. Once inside, the two must-do hikes are Angels Landing and the Narrows. Angels Landing is about five miles roundtrip and usually takes four to five hours to complete. The trail starts at the bottom of the canyon, and climbs 1,500 feet to a point on top of a pinnacle in the middle of the canyon. The views from the top can’t be replicated, but note that anyone who is nervous about heights should proceed with caution as it’s a bird’s eye view! The Narrows starts at the Riverside Walk trail and continues up the Virgin River where the canyon continually becomes more narrow – at times only 20 feet wide. The hike is literally in the river, so those making their way up should be prepared to get wet! This is a great hike to do at virtually any pace, trekking up along the river and turning back whenever needed.

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Those with time for just one of these two iconic hikes should choose the Narrows in the summer and Angels Landing in the winter. The Narrows is great for the summer when temperatures are often over 100 degrees, because hiking in the water makes it easy to stay nice and cool. Angels Landing, on the other hand, can get very busy in the summer and is more enjoyable in the winter when crowds and temperatures are down. While these are the two most popular hikes in the canyon, there are dozens of other hikes to keep even the most advanced adventure seekers busy for days.

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After exploring Zion National Park, visitors should plan to spend some time enjoying the scores of other entertaining activities in the area. Within the St. George area, there are more than 50 mountain biking trails, the most popular of which are the Gooseberry Mesa trails, Zen Trail, Bear Claw Poppy, Barrel Roll, J.E.M. and Little Creek. For hiking outside of Zion or the state parks, the Red Cliffs Desert Reserve offers more than 60,000 acres of desert that is just waiting to be explored. For fun in the water, Gunlock, Sand Hollow and Quail Lake State Parks each offer areas to swim, boat, fish, cliff dive or just relax. And with more than 300 days of sunshine a year and mild temperatures, there are plenty of opportunities to take advantage of all the different outdoor activities.

Of course after spending so much time outside, many travelers will turn to serenity through pampering at one of two world-class spas: Red Mountain and Green Valley. Each offers a full selection of treatments that can help guest rejuvenate while surrounded by beautiful desert landscapes.

With such stunning scenery and so many diverse activities, be sure to get here quick! Delta Connection flights from Salt Lake City, Utah, and United Express flights from Denver, Colorado – all operated by SkyWest Airlines – are available daily. Book today at www.Delta.com or united.com.

SkyWest Employees Make a Difference in Costa Rica

Hazel Sainsbury
Corporate Communications Coordinator

When planning a trip to an exotic destination like Costa Rica, most people don’t think about packing their bags with 200 lbs. of paper, folders, coloring books, calculators, soccer balls, shampoo, stuffed animals and hair accessories. That is, unless they are SkyWest Director of Flight Operations Bill Mostowy and his wife, Brandi Mostowy, a Flight Operations Facilitator.

Costa Rica Supplies

The idea for the unusual luggage started roughly two years ago when the couple traveled to Costa Rica to vacation and visit family members in Tamarindo. While enjoying the beautiful country, zip-lining and playing in the surf, they noticed a drastic difference between the tourist areas and back-country villages.

“We saw elementary schools that lacked basic necessities like running water, air conditioning, books, restrooms, paper, pencils and other supplies that any school should have,” said Bill. “And after that first trip, we knew we couldn’t return without bringing as many supplies and donations as we could carry.”

Costa Rica School House

To help meet their goal, Bill and Brandi solicited donations from friends, family and their SkyWest coworkers who are always eager to help with these types of efforts. In fact, they finally had to stop taking donations because they simply ran out of room from all of the tremendous support.

After arriving in Liberia, Costa Rica, they traveled to the coastal town of Tamarindo. And while they thought they had carefully accounted for everything, the Mostowys quickly realized that the school year in Costa Rica had not yet begun and the schools were closed. Thankfully, two friends managed to contact school officials to arrange for someone to meet the group at the school to receive the supplies.

Costa Rica Students

“As we drove up to the school, we were shocked to see nearly every student waiting for us,” said Brandi. ””It was hard to tell who was most excited, us, or the 15 students and their parents.”

After their initial shyness evaporated, the kids welcomed them and peppered them with questions, which they eagerly answered through the help of their translators. In addition to all of the school supplies, each child was also given a gift bag and had a chance to put together some SkyWest paper airplanes.

SkyWest Planes

“It was truly an amazing experience to see how something so simple could bring so much happiness,” said the couple.

And Brandi and Bill didn’t just stop there. In addition to their trip to Escuela Linderos, they set aside supplies and toys for another charitable program called Casa Luz, located in San Jose. Casa Luz is a haven for adolescent mothers who have come out of abusive situations or extreme poverty. It was established in 2003 by Canadians, Eldon and Lori Cooke, who felt the need to help these exploited adolescents and their children.

Bill and Brandi both say they’re grateful for all of the support they experienced in putting together this humanitarian trip and are planning to organize another effort soon.
The care and compassion demonstrated by Bill and Brandi is also shared by many of the other 10,500 employees working at SkyWest Airlines. They are committed to going above and beyond, to help in the communities where they live and work. To learn more about SkyWest Airlines, visit www.skywest.com.