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!

P

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.

Bryce1

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.

Narrows1

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.

JemTrail1

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.

West Yellowstone – The Gateway to Adventure!

West Yellowstone Evening1

Laura Hesson
Market Development Generalist

Hearing the words “West Yellowstone” immediately brings to mind Yellowstone National Park and all the beauty that it holds. West Yellowstone was incorporated in 1966 but has existed as a gateway to Yellowstone National Park since the early 1900s welcoming 3.5 million people each year. And, it’s no surprise! Yellowstone National Park spans approximately 2.2 million acres, and offers more than 300 thermal features and 200 waterfalls. It is truly a captivating place where the surroundings seem larger than life and shape a huge outdoor playground waiting to be conquered.

The early summer is a fabulous time around West Yellowstone. Visitors can take advantage of the trails in the Gallatin National Forests, as well as, scenic drives, wildlife watching and unmatched photographic opportunities. Caution is suggested as grizzly bears are common in the Greater Yellowstone area.

West Yellowstone Bear1

Of course, a trip to Yellowstone National park wouldn’t be complete without a stop at Old Faithful. Imagine sitting on a bench watching Old Faithful erupt and taking in the awe-inspiring beauty of the snow-covered mountains in the background. The iconic geyser spews anywhere from 3,700 to 8,400 gallons of water into the air each time it erupts, reaching heights of 106-184 feet. Each blast lasts between 1.5 to 5 minutes. But don’t get too close. The water temperature at the vent has been measured at 204 degrees Fahrenheit and the steam temperature can top more than 350 degrees Fahrenheit!

Don’t forget about the variety of other geysers and mud pots, forests and lakes, historic cabins and prehistoric sites, along with the enormous bison that seem to be everywhere. With so much to see and do, be sure to spend a few days to take it all in. If possible, start the day early in the morning, which is the best time to see all the wildlife on the move near the rivers and streams. Outdoor enthusiast’s high expectations will be met at every bend.

West Yellowstone Geyser1

For those wanting something a little less adventurous, be sure to visit the Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center. This unique facility provides a grand opportunity to experience the world of grizzly bears and gray wolves up close and personal in a safe environment. In town, visitors can also take the Historic Walking Tour by following the green Bear Paw Trail that’s painted on the sidewalk. It’s a great way to relive the early years of West Yellowstone.

After a day of exploring the park and surrounding area, an amazing place to stay is one of the new, unique Explorer Cabins at Yellowstone. Families, couples and groups will have a one-of-a-kind vacation experience in a casual setting.  Unlike a typical hotel, guests will enjoy sitting by a cozy fireplace and relishing in all the comforts of home in a private cabin. For dinner, the Branch Restaurant is a great open-range cuisine restaurant where beef and game dishes are infused with local flavor and served alongside a selection of regional microbrews and hand-crafted premium cocktails. And to finish it all off, enjoy some good old-fashioned S’mores provided free of charge to all Explorer Cabin guests.

Seasonal SkyWest flights, operating as Delta Connection, are available every day from Salt Lake City to West Yellowstone (WYS) making it incredibly easy to fill the need for the great outdoors. Book an exciting vacation today by visiting www.Delta.com.

Welcome to the Team, E175!

photo 1

Layne Watson
Corporate Communications Specialist

SkyWest Airlines reached a new milestone this past week with the official launch of its first Embraer E175 aircraft into commercial service! The inaugural flight, operating as United Express, from Chicago O’Hare to Reagan National Airport in Washington, D.C. on Saturday, May 17 represented a tremendous amount of preparation and hard work by many SkyWest employees during the last 15 months. Within the next two years, SkyWest will take delivery of 40 new E175s that will operate under an agreement with United Airlines.

The E175 is the fifth aircraft type in SkyWest’s current fleet, and from full-sized cargo-bins to larger aisles and seats, it’s filled with enhanced features that will help ensure every passenger enjoys a comfortable, convenient flight.

E175-takeoff-9

ERJ175InteriorPhotos-2169

05-06_ERJ175Event-FAT-554_5_6_tonemapped   

SkyWest Airlines’ Mini Indy 2014 a Success!

SkyWest Airlines Mini Indy

Jessica Bowers
Corporate Communications Coordinator

SkyWest Airlines’ Mini Indy 2014 is a wrap! In March, 30 companies from around the world traveled to St. George, Utah to compete in a go-kart race. Why would multi-billion dollar companies travel Utah to drive a go-kart that travels 23 mph? Other than the intense racing action, these racers gather for a greater cause – helping those in need!

Mini Indy is an annual charity event that takes place in SkyWest Airlines’ hometown – St. George, Utah. Every year, hundreds of people from companies around the world come pouring into St. George for four days of adrenaline pumping competition including go-kart racing, pit-stop competitions, golfing and fine dining.

SkyWest Mini Indy Race Day

Over the last 14 years, SkyWest Airlines, in partnership with the City of St. George, has raised more than a million dollars for the United Way Dixie, an organization that funds 16 community partners like Habitat for Humanity and the Dove Center.

To put it into perspective, thanks to the funds from just one Mini Indy, 23 families were moved from the streets to permanent living conditions, 12 children were placed with a Big Brother, Big Sister mentor, and 171 domestic violence victims received legal representation. And these success stories come from just three of the 16 organizations that receive funds from Mini Indy. SkyWest is committed to giving back to the communities where employees live and work, and Mini Indy is just one example of that focus.

While SkyWest Airlines’ Mini Indy is an opportunity for companies to network, mingle and have a good time, the impact stretches far beyond the track. It directly influences the lives of those living and working in Southern Utah.

SkyWest Mini Indy 2014

 

Santa Barbara – America’s Mexican Riviera

Santa Barbara 1

Rob Brewer
Emerging Media Coordinator

Most people think they have to head out of the country for a taste of Mexico, but now is the time to toss out any preconceived notions of California’s Central Coast and visit the Mexican Riviera in Santa Barbara! This place has all the food, the beaches and culture of Mexico without ever crossing the border.

Iconic Spanish-Colonial style buildings with red tile roofs and Spanish arches, outdoor restaurants, hotels and eclectic shops line the streets and add vibrant color to a historic downtown. All this in the backdrop of the Santa Barbara Harbor which boasts dazzling coastline views that leave visitors convinced that a passport was required to visit.

Sounds magical, right? Santa Barbara has hidden gems at every turn. Rent a car, grab a camera and head east over the Cold Spring Canyon Arch Bridge for amazing views that lead to Santa Barbara’s wine country. The perfectly manicured green vines on the rolling hills of the Central Coast and the contrast of red dirt that has been colored over many decades of work are an unbeatable sight for a dreamy weekend getaway – and spring is one of the most exceptional times to visit!

Santa Barbara2

Santa Barbara also offers an incredible variety of activities that are perfect for those traveling with family. Explore all 30 acres of the Santa Barbara Zoo, become a new world explorer and set sail on a voyage at the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum, or explore the many historic estates with vibrant gardens and quaint Spanish charm. And don’t forget to take the time to enjoy the majestic sunsets at the Santa Barbara Harbor. The spectacular vistas are known for leaving visitors entranced and wanting more from this American treasure.

Book your trip to the American Mexican Rivera with a convenient flight from Los Angeles to Santa Barbara today at www.united.com.