Bike camps for girls, a whimsical glass exhibit in Vermont, and getting ready to ride the rails


HERE

Girls’ mountain bike sessions

Get your little ripper ready for a new season of Little Bellas’ mountain bike camps and programs. The Vermont-based company, started by former pro racers Lea and Sabra Davison, launched in 2007 and now runs 57 programs nationwide for girls 7 to 15. Riders learn bike skills, gain confidence, and have fun in small groups led by local mentors. Sign up for weekly programs in Carlisle, Mass. (starts July 25) and Lebanon, N.H. (starts June 23) for ages 7-13, and on New Hampshire’s Upper Valley trails (begins June 14) for ages 12-15. Or choose from half- and full-day camps or weekly programs in Williston, Vt., for ages 7-15 (kick off May 22). Adventuring outside of New England this summer? Little Bellas offers new programs in Baltimore, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Park City, Phoenix, and Grand Junction. Rates start at $150; financial and gear assistance available. Insider tip: Summer programs fill up fast — register now. littlebellas.com

Glass exhibit’s fantastical creatures

The whimsical new exhibit at the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center can put a smile on nearly anyone’s face. “GLASSTASTIC,” on show through June 13, features more than two dozen glass sculptures made by children and professional artists that showcase an assortment of creative creatures, from “non-flightless snails” to the so-called snoogle, kelpie, pegamallow, and preying beetis. See works by kindergartners through sixth graders from New Hampshire to Washington state. The biennial exhibit also features a digital gallery with nearly 800 drawings from children nationwide. Make time to explore the museum, which just opened four other new exhibits this past month. Walk-ins welcome, or book tickets in advance online. Museum open Wednesdays through Sundays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission on a “pay-as-you-wish” basis. 802-257-0124, www.brattleboromuseum.org

A piece from "GLASSTASTIC" at Brattleboro Museum & Art Center.
A piece from “GLASSTASTIC” at Brattleboro Museum & Art Center. Handout

THERE

Amtrak restores train service

Summer train travel may look more like it did pre-pandemic, thanks to new funding and people’s interest in riding the rails again. Amtrak plans to fully restore daily service along 12 long-distance routes starting in May. The Lake Shore Limited train, which links New York and Boston to Albany, Buffalo, and Chicago, commences May 31, while four other East Coast routes restart June 7, linking New York with New Orleans (the Crescent), Savannah, Ga. (the Palmetto), and Miami (the Silver Meteor and Silver Star). Amtrak will also debut new Viewliner II sleeping cars on the New York-Miami route; upgraded bedding, towels, and linens in private rooms on the auto train, which runs between Washington, D.C., and Florida; jazzed-up Amfleet II coach railcars along East Coast routes with new seats, cushion, carpet, curtain, and LED reading light; and new high-performance and lower-emission diesel-electric locomotives that will replace the long-distance engine fleet starting this year. Add to that the debut of the Metropolitan Lounge in the Moynihan Train Hall at New York Penn Station. Rates vary. www.amtrak.com

Amtrak plans to fully restore daily service along 12 long-distance routes starting in May.
Amtrak plans to fully restore daily service along 12 long-distance routes starting in May. Handout

New year, new adventures

Your international travels may be on pause, but you’ll find no shortage of cool domestic tours this year. REI has launched 17 new trips across the United States from backpacking to kayaking tours, women’s-only to family adventures, and lodge-based to tent-camping itineraries. Choose from a five-day backpacking trip up Yosemite’s Half Dome with time to explore the backcountry after your ascent; a five-day family trip to Rocky Mountain National Park, which includes hiking to alpine lakes, visiting an old mining ghost town, and rafting the Cache la Poudre River; and a four-day women’s cycling, camping, and culinary adventure in the San Juan Islands, where participants will pedal up Mount Constitution (the highest point on the islands), explore historic lighthouses, and sample local wines. Trips start at $899 per person (for a three-day Yosemite trip). www.rei.com/adventures

EVERYWHERE

Get your national parks journal

Ready to hit the road and go national park-hopping this summer? Take along a copy of the National Parks Bucket Journal, a spiral-bound publication that serves as a trip planner, resource, and diary in one. It’s broken into six geographical regions and features a two-page spread on each of the country’s 62 national parks. The first page includes the park’s website and phone number and then space to fill in the nitty gritty details for your trip: entrance fees, attractions you’d like to visit, wildlife sightings, and park stats, from the number of visitors per year to the highest elevation point. Record your personal experiences on the second page, including when and why you visited, where you stayed, memorable sites, and anything funny, surprising, or disappointing you experienced — then draw a sketch, paste a ticket stub, or add a park stamp to the blank box. $39.97. mybucketjournals.com

Keep your DSLR camera dust-free, dry, and cloaked in comfort with Matador’s new Camera Base Layer.
Keep your DSLR camera dust-free, dry, and cloaked in comfort with Matador’s new Camera Base Layer.Handout

Use this protective camera pouch

Keep your DSLR camera dust-free, dry, and cloaked in comfort with Matador’s new Camera Base Layer. This lightweight padded pouch (it’s like a puffy jacket for your camera) has a roll-top closure and a protective flap with a strong magnetic clasp that work together to seal out moisture during your travels. Adjust the length of the camera holder — based on the size of your lens — using a drawstring pull, much like an adjustable sleeping bag. The bag, which fits mirrorless and compact DSLR cameras, has a tucked-away, zippered accessory pocket for smaller items, such as memory cards, car keys, or a camera filter, and a strong clip for hooking the bag to your backpack or sling. The bag’s reinforced nylon back adds durability and prevents abrasion. $74.99. matadorup.com

KARI BODNARCHUK





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Research Shows Americans Cautious but Ready To Travel


Americans are ready to travel again, but despite viral images of maskless travelers, research shows they are more likely to engage and visit places with clear COVID-19 safety protocols.

The latest Longwoods International tracking study of American travelers found that 88 percent have travel plans in the next six months. That is the highest level in more than a year.

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The research also found that less than one-third of travelers are inclined to visit a tourism attraction or a business that does not have clear COVID safety protocols such as mask requirements and social distancing.

“It’s obvious from the data that Americans are ready to travel again but only if they believe they can do safely,” said Amir Eylon, president and CEO of Longwoods International. “With many states reducing or removing coronavirus safety mandates, tourism businesses will need to figure out what level of safety precautions their customers expect or demand.”

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Travel technology, man with airplane and laptop

The Longwoods study, which was supported by Miles Partnership, also shows that Americans are still shying away from longer journeys in favor of road trips. Domestic and drive destinations are favored over international and fly-to locations.

They are also still more inclined to plan farther out. There is an increase in trips being planned more than six months out when compared with travel planning in the past month.

Only 13 percent of Americans said that they didn’t have any upcoming travel plans. Eighteen percent are traveling within the next month. Nineteen percent are taking a trip in the next one to two months, and 27 percent within the next three to five months. Twenty-three percent said they have travel planned in six months or more.

COVID-19 is still the greatest impact on whether Americans are traveling or not and how they are traveling. Thirty-three percent said the virus was greatly impacting their decisions. Just 17 percent said their decisions were greatly impacted by finances.

Thirty-two percent of American travelers said that they were choosing a drive destination rather than flying, and 31 percent said that they were traveling within the U.S. rather than internationally due to the coronavirus. Fifteen percent are traveling to rural destinations rather than cities. Only 12 percent are deciding not to travel at all due to the virus, and 10 percent said they are canceling trips.

An increasing number of Americans said that they feel safe traveling outside their community (58 percent).

Many travelers are waiting to be vaccinated before they travel (34 percent), and 20 percent are waiting until a majority of Americans are vaccinated. Thirty-nine percent said that the vaccine has no impact on their travel plans.





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7 Southern California day trips to take when you are ready


Beachgoers take to the water at La Jolla Cove on Sept. 13.

Beachgoers enjoy the water at La Jolla Cove.

(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

At Torrey Pines State Beach, swim, fish, walk the sand or sunbathe. The beach is 4½ miles long, between northern La Jolla and southern Del Mar, and lined by red-dirt cliffs and Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve (still closed). For a memorable overview of nearby beach, cliffs and sea, park at the Torrey Pines Gliderport, watch paragliders take off, get a sandwich at the Cliffhanger Cafe and sit at one of the outdoor picnic tables.

A paraglider takes flight at sunset over the ocean at Torrey Pines Gliderport in La Jolla.

A paraglider takes flight at sunset over the ocean at Torrey Pines Gliderport in La Jolla .

(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Plenty of art and architecture await just east of the glider port on the 1,200-acre UC San Diego campus. You can take a self-guided tour among the works of art at the Stuart Collection and and check out the striking academic architecture, including the otherworldly Geisel Library (interior closed) and the crooked little house atop the engineering building.

In La Jolla, you can stroll past the shops, galleries and restaurants on Prospect Street and Girard Avenue. Or go tide-pooling or picnicking along Coast Boulevard near Children’s Pool Beach. There’s also pleasant strolling along the Coast Walk Trail near Cave Street.

Or you could kayak around La Jolla Shores or the cliffs and caves near La Jolla Cove. Co-owner Michael Luscomb said La Jolla Kayak ([858] 459-1114, lajollakayak.com) resumed rentals in late May, tours in early June. “We’re very strong on weekends,” he said.

For coffee or a snack, head to Pannikin (outdoor seating) at 7467 Girard Avenue. For a fancy dinner, you might try George’s at the Cove, a longtime Prospect Street mainstay whose Level 2 and Ocean Terrace dining areas are open.

Info: sandiego.org

California sea lions rest on a rock at La Jolla Cove.

California sea lions rest on a rock at La Jolla Cove.

(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

After launching at La Jolla Shores, kayakers explore the cliffs and caves along the coast near Goldfish Point in La Jolla.

Kayakers explore the cliffs and caves along the coast near Goldfish Point in La Jolla.

(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

The normally busy Geisel Library at UC San Diego is quiet.

The normally busy Geisel Library at UC San Diego is now quiet.

(K.C. Alfred / The San Diego Union-Tribune)





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Travel Oregon Invests Millions to Help State Get Visitor Ready


PORTLAND, Ore., March 26, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — As Oregon gears up for economic recovery, tourism is expected to lead the way and Travel Oregon is actively laying the groundwork. The agency, which serves as the state tourism office, has established a multi-million-dollar suite of investments to aid the tourism industry in economic recovery from the pandemic.

The state’s tourism commission is awarding up to $2.3 million through its Competitive & Recovery Grants Program to fund much needed infrastructure projects across the state, from wayfinding signage to creation of outdoor public spaces for people to sit, eat, drink and patronize businesses safely. Applications are due by 5 p.m., Wednesday, March 31. Local governments, port districts, federally recognized tribes, nonprofits and Oregon-based tour operators, guides and outfitters looking to enhance the visitor experience are encouraged to apply. Awards decisions will be announced April 30. This is Travel Oregon’s second major investment in 2021 following a $913,000 Destination Ready program announced last month which awarded grant funding to 34 projects that are focused on the development, enhancement and stewardship of key visitor experiences that are COVID-19 appropriate.

“Tourism is a vital component of Oregon’s economic recovery; Travel Oregon’s investments strategically and creatively address needs specific to our state, bolstering small, local businesses and communities that have borne the brunt of the Covid-related impacts,” said Todd Davidson, Travel Oregon CEO. “The time to invest is now. More than 80% of Oregonians are making plans to travel sometime in the next six months, and it is essential that we aid communities in being poised to welcome visitors safely.”

Recognizing the expected popularity and value of small-group travel as a means to enhance safe travel, Travel Oregon is also funding a new program called “Why Guides” – a guide/outfitter registry to help promote local outdoor recreation services and experiences in communities throughout the state, from fly fishing the Metolius River to wine tasting tours in the Willamette Valley. The Why Guides registry will open in early April on Travel Oregon’s industry website.

In a typical year Oregon welcomes more than 1 million visitors that fuel a $12.8 billion industry. The pandemic hit the tourism industry particularly hard. Last year, of the 178,200 Oregon payroll jobs lost as a result of the pandemic, 81,600 (nearly 47%) were in the leisure and hospitality sector. In 2020, visitor spending in Oregon fell by 58% compared to 2019. Tourism plays a crucial role in Oregon’s economy, so much that earlier this week, promoting and enabling safe in-state travel in the future was listed as one of Governor Brown’s priorities in the 10-Point Economic Recovery Plan for Oregon.

About Travel Oregon The Oregon Tourism Commission, dba Travel Oregon, works to enhance visitors’ experiences by providing information, resources and trip planning tools that inspire travel and consistently convey the exceptional quality of Oregon. The commission aims to improve Oregonians’ quality of life by strengthening the state’s tourism economy that employs thousands of Oregonians statewide. Visit traveloregon.com to learn more.

SOURCE Travel Oregon

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http://www.traveloregon.com



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Weekly ASX Small Cap Wrap: Who’s ready for a bubble this week?


This week was the 1 year anniversary of the end of the COVID-19 crash.

Debates goes on  — is this a bubble? Is everything about to crash? Again?

Speaking of bubbles, it appears a trans-Tasman bubble is finally happening. This week the Kiwis revealed…that will reveal the details after Easter.

If you’re that desperate for some sort of overseas travel  here’s a travel tip – Norfolk Island. While it is an Australian territory flights actually depart and leave from the international terminals in Australia.

And for those wanting to use points, Qantas (ASX:QAN) has taken over the route for the next few months from Air New Zealand (ASX:AIZ).

 

 

ASX SMALL CAP WINNERS

IDT Australia (ASX:IDT) +124%

This time last week, the pharmaceutical manufacturer released a three-paragraph announcement in which it said was looking to see if it could help in the COVID-19 vaccination roll out.

Specifically it said was undertaking a feasibility assessment to see if its manufacturing facility could help.

Shares have been on a tear ever since the announcement – which came just as the next phase of the COVID-19 vaccination rollout gets underway.

 

Lefroy Exploration (ASX:LEX) +81%

Lefroy’s Burns prospect appears the best candidate of being 2021’s major discovery with shares having gained 5 times since a major gold intercept a few weeks back.

Today the company gave another exploration update in which it noted six pre-collars had been completed in preparation for a subsequent diamond drill program to evaluate the Eastern Porphyry at Burns. It is expecting assay results in mid-April.

 

Oneview Healthcare (ASX:ONE) +53%

The Irish domiciled telehealth stock has surged from 7 cents to well over 30 cents today and this week it got 2 good pieces of news.

First it has been offered an investment by research group StocksDigital – a move shareholders will vote on come April 15 – and second it was awarded ISO 27001 certification.

 

Nanoveu (ASX:NVU) +46%

The anti-viral tech company signed a deal with global beverage company Nestle.

The deal will see Nanoveu’s anti-viral protector on touchscreens and touchpads on Nestle’s coffee machines.

 

ASX SMALL CAP LOSERS

 

Freedom Food (ASX:FNP) -83%

The dairy processing company recommenced trading after a 9 month suspension. The company had discovered accounting irregularities which resulted in an exodus of senior staff and directors and required the company to recapitalise.

Its major shareholder, the family investment company of Tony Perich and his family, stumped up the cash but shareholders rushed for the exits.

 

Atrum Coal (ASX:ATU) -78%

Coal mining in the Canadian province of Alberta is under threat. The government has decided to reinstate a previously rescinded policy that substantially restricts coal mining. In the interim all future exploration approvals on “Category 2 lands” will be banned.

Atrum has opted to pause works at its Elan Project to direct efforts to a stakeholder consultation process being undertaken by the government.

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Media Outlets Ready to Scout Talented Girls Hoopers at WPA Bruins Tip Off


From April 16-18, the WPA Bruins will once again be hosting the WPA Bruins Tip Off event, a national girls basketball tournament that will include more than 185 teams from all over the nation. 

The tournament features teams from 10U up to 17U, including many of the top ranked high school prospects in the nation. When it comes time for the tournament to roll around, many of the media outlets from across the U.S. will be heading out to Pittsburgh to cover the event. Pittsburgh Sports Now spoke with a few of these media members and broke down what they do as well as why they will be covering the event. 

Tenishia Benson will be at the Tip Off, covering for both Ohio Girls Basketball Report as well as Eye for Prospects.

“I’ll be there under two different brands,” Benson said. “I’ll be under Ohio Girls Basketball Report (OGBR) which is a company that I own. Here I will get to see some of my Ohio teams that will be there as well as teams that will be there from neighboring states. I will be there with Eye for Prospects as well, a scouting service that does more national stuff. I do that because I am a McDonald’s All American Game voter, so I am going to look at the up and coming players in our country. This tournament has quite a few players that will be potential power five players as well as mid major and just a whole bunch of players from around. I get to evaluate them and watch some great basketball.”

Why Come to the WPA Bruins Tip-Off?

“We have gone before and there were a lot of teams that I had never seen before. It was great competition. Sometimes when you go to tournaments you usually get the same teams, same style, and at the Tip Off they have great competition, very diverse, and I appreciate that especially as an evaluator. I know there will be some great Ohio teams coming and talent from all across the country. They do a great job of bringing that under one roof.”

Jason Wilkins at Lady Baller Insider will also be in attendance. Wilkins focuses his coverage on the top eighth grade girls prospects in the Midwest. 

“This is one of the best spring events in the country. You get teams from Ohio, Indiana, Pennsylvania, DC, and this is your best chance to see all of the kids before they get older and get more exposure. It’s a good chance to see them play early. You get to see the Under Armour teams, the Nike teams, the Adidas teams all under one roof, before they get to their events. 

Who is Wilkins looking forward to watching?

“You’ve got West Virginia Thunder, Team Takeover, WPA Bruins, and more. Those are some pretty strong clubs. They always have some of the top talent in the area.”

Shane Laflin will be covering the event for Premier Basketball Report, a scouting service. 

What does Premier Basketball Report Focus On?

“We run events, have teams under our umbrella, and more,” he said. “The basis of our organization is the events first. Then the scouting service grows the game, finds the players, serves the college coaches, and then at the same time also helps players out. Helps players find a spot, mentors them, helps them understand the process and how to grow in the game. As far as the service is concerned, we have had it for 10 or so years, and we are trying to see and evaluate as many players as we can. Get them in our database and get out reports and give them opportunities.”

Why Come to the WPA Bruins Tip-Off?

“Number one, John Tate is just a real basketball guy. Reputable WPA Bruins, an historical club. The event has just taken off, they have done a really good job. The bottom line is that he gets a ton of good teams there. People travel from the DMV, the Northeast, and it gets great talent. It ended up being a really good place to watch players, evaluate players, network with coaches, and support John and what he is doing. It just keeps growing and it has been a really impressive effort.”

Who is Laflin Keeping His Eye On?

“There are going to be a ton,” he said. “Starting with John’s group, the Bruins. Then you have the West Virginia Thunder. I have been keeping up with the twitter list of teams that are coming, but he has been posting so many that it has been hard to keep up. Everybody that has been posted is legitimate. We have seen players from everywhere. It really is, top to bottom, it has serious players from every level. Ohio Future, Elevate Elite, Michigan Basketball Academy, Team Durant, Cincy Angels, Mass Rivals, D.C. Premier, and more, so yeah. Everybody he has got going is really good. It is going to be great.”

Kenneth Pannell will be there as well. Pannell runs a company called Kontinuous Performance Athletics which is a scouting service.

“I will be doing a lot of scouting, looking for who’s next, who’s now, who got better during the pandemic, and seeing who is doing the work and who is not,” Pannell said. 

Why the WPA Bruins Tip-Off?

“The level of talent that will be at the event and the event have been great for years now. John Tate and the WPA Bruins just put on a great event. You wouldn’t think that something in Pittsburgh would be so good, but because of the quality of teams, the quality of the scheduling, the quality of how they treat people, that is what separates this tournament from any other tournament in the country, to be honest with you. To do this during a non-evaluation period, it just doesn’t happen. He does a great job getting people there, whether it is referees, teams, everything. It is just quality. It is a great event.”

Joe Costa will be there with Bluestar Media as well as 412 Report. 

“I have two different hats I wear,” he said. “I work for Bluestar National, which is a national scouting, rankings, and event outlet. My local thing, 412 Report, is focused on Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Ohio areas. The center of PA towards maybe not quite as far as Columbus. We cover all of West Virginia, some of that western Maryland area. So this is a gold mine for me.”

Why the WPA Bruins Tip-Off?

“This is probably the best event because John can bring and put that talent all into one place,” he said. “The talent being from, in my case, my area of responsibility, and then I get to see that talent play against the next level out, which is other areas that I may not cover. They are talented kids and now my local kids get to play against those other talented kids. The other reason is he gets to cross shoe company lines. He gets to bring in the Under Armour teams, the Nike teams, and all of them. Usually those leagues are very conventional, they play themselves and they don’t get to play the other league very often. With this tournament, John gets to make sure that happens.”

Who is Costa Looking Forward to Watching?

“To start, John’s group alone. He has the most talent in the Western PA area. You can watch them in high school, but even then, they’re under their own circumstances. Here, he’s got them all in one place. They’re all on one team. Some of these teams feature players that now don’t have to carry their team like in high school, which allows them to be a more all-around player.

Sasha Palmer will also be in attendance, covering the tournament for BluePrint Scouting. 

The company is based out of Atlanta, but is represented all over the country. They have a national scouting service and will be focusing on everyone at the Tip Off, looking to set up players with scouting profiles and more. 

“We came to it last year, and we want to come up there as much as we can to cover that Northeast region,” Palmer said. “These are just great runs, a lot of good kids in this tournament.”

As for the scouting report Palmer adds, BluePrint will be looking at any and every player, not just the highly ranked ones. 

“We put all levels in our scouting report,” she said. “We do headshots and we will have someone talking to all the kids, getting all of their information, so we really like to do and help colleges out with any kid at any level. We have top kids, and we have division III players. We will be there to hit all levels of talent and not just always have the standouts, because those are given.”

The event will tip off on April 16, 2021. More information on the tournament can be found at the link below.

Tip-Off Tournament





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Vaccinated Americans Are Ready To Travel


There are a lot of vaccinated travelers in the U.S.—and they are ready and eager to travel.

A new study from Travel Leaders found that 85 percent said they have already been vaccinated or planned to get vaccinated when eligible.

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One in three respondents had already booked their next vacation, and 62 percent are planning to take their next vacation this year. Sixty-two percent also said that, if a country required visitors to be vaccinated in order to enter, they would be more likely to visit.

“This data is interesting because it suggests travel is a big factor in motivating many people, particularly seniors, who are the most at risk of serious illness or hospitalization from COVID-19, to get vaccinated,” said John Lovell, president of Travel Leaders Group. “Compare this traveler population, with a 44 percent already-vaccinated rate, to the general population, where only one in seven have already been vaccinated.”

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Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats.

Travelers are ready to get out and see the world again. Of those surveyed, 32 percent of clients have already booked their next vacation and 24 percent are planning their next vacation.

Significantly, respondents who were already vaccinated were 20 percent more likely to have already booked their next vacation.

Three-quarters of respondents are planning to travel in the near future. Thirty-four percent said that they are planning to take their vacation this spring and summer, an additional 23 percent are planning to travel this fall. Five percent are planning travel for the holidays.

The vacations that travelers have in mind appear to be visiting new and adventurous places. Forty-four percent said “exploring new places” is what they miss most about traveling. Twenty-five percent said “getting away from it all.”

“As the vaccine rollout continues, we are seeing more Americans planning and booking their vacations for this year,” said Roger E. Block, president of Travel Leaders Network. “Our travel advisors tell us that many of their clients are ready to travel, but they still have concerns about minimizing risks and following COVID-19 safety protocols. We believe our ‘Book with Confidence’ program is helping those advisors guide their clients in making comfortable choices about where, when and how to travel.”

Travel Leaders Network has made it easy for advisors to keep abreast of the latest, in-depth health and safety protocols through its Book with Confidence program.

“At times like these, the value of booking with a travel advisor becomes increasingly apparent,” continued Block. “Booking with a travel advisor is the best possible strategy to navigate the new world of travel.”





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Prepare for a Travel Boom: ‘People Are Ready to Go’


11:37 AM | Saturday, March 6, 2021

Travel experts are ready for a post COVID-travel boom. There are signs that people are ready to travel again. 

Spring Break Travel

March is expected to be the busiest month at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic one year ago. This despite urging from the Minnesota Department of Health to avoid nonessential travel.

MSP could see a few days peaking at more than 28,000 passengers going through its checkpoints in March, which is well over the current pandemic peak of nearly 22,000. 

Pre-pandemic, busy spring break travel days often saw up to 45,000 people passing through the airport’s security checkpoints. 

Pent-Up Travel Demand 

Julie Harper-Wylie shopped at the AAA Headquarters in St. Louis Park to prepare for an upcoming Florida trip.

“I was a flight attendant for 34 years, so travel is in my blood,” she said. “We take a large trip every year. Our last one was the year before the pandemic.”

Harper-Wylie and her husband put a pause on their travels because of the pandemic. But after getting vaccinated, the couple feels more confident to fly again.

“There’s a bright spot out there now that the vaccines are rolling out,” said Linda Snyder, vice president of AAA Travel and Retail Services.

As vaccines allow people to venture out more, travel agents anticipate the industry to thrive.

“People are ready to go. They want to spend money and have a change of scenery. We all love to travel,” said Snyder.

Lower airline tickets and relaxed cancellation penalties are also incentives. Snyder said people are booking for 2022 already and in some cases 2023. 

Popular destinations like Europe and Canada aren’t yet open so more people are flying domestically. Snyder said more families are going to national parks or traveling by car

Travel Restrictions

If you’re taking to the skies, there are restrictions that include masking up and social distancing. In some airlines, such as Delta, middle seats are blocked.

“We are finding that there’s space in Mexico and the Caribbean. If you’re comfortable doing that, you do have to test before coming back to country. But the resorts are doing that for you,” explained Snyder.

Whether you’re traveling by car or flight, the climb to normalcy looks promising.

“2022 will be really a big rebuilding year and then we’ll ramp up from there,” Snyder said. 

aaa marijuana

Brooklyn Center | Brooklyn Park | Crystal | Golden Valley | Maple Grove | New Hope | Osseo | Plymouth | Robbinsdale



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WSU women ready to tip-off Pac-12 Tournament against Utah


The Washington State women’s basketball program hasn’t been to the NCAA Tournament since 1991. This season, the Cougs are on the verge of breaking that streak. But they still have work to do before they get invited to the dance.

Right now, WSU is firmly on the NCAA Tournament bubble. ESPN’s Charlie Creme has the Cougs as one of the last four teams in the projection, listing them as an 11-seed in the field. College Sports Madness, meanwhile, has WSU a little more secure, listing them as a 9-seed.

No matter what the bracketology says, the Cougs would much rather take things into their own hands.

They have the chance to do just that this week at the Pac-12 Tournament in Las Vegas. The Cougs earned the 7-seed at the event, matching their highest seed in program history. They’ll hit the court for first round action tonight when they take on 10th seeded Utah tonight in a game WSU likely needs to win to keep their NCAA Tournament hopes alive.

The Utes enter tonight’s game with serious question marks. The team had to cancel their last game against Colorado last week due to COVID-19 issues. While they have been cleared to travel to Las Vegas and plan to play tonight, they will be without several players due to health and safety protocols. For obvious reasons, the program has declined to announce which players will be out of action.

It is worth pointing out that, according to conference policy, if the Utes had been forced to withdraw from the Tournament over the weekend, the remaining teams would have been re-seeded. However, the bracket became locked-in on Tuesday, meaning that if Utah (or any other team) is unable to play, their opponent will receive a bye into the next round.

For now, the Cougs are focused Utah. The two teams have faced off twice this season, with Washington State coming out on top both times. WSU picked up a 79-74 win in Salt Lake City on New Year’s day. Then, on February 21, the Cougars completed the sweep with a 68-55 win in Pullman. Pac-12 freshman of the year Charlisse Leger-Walker led the way for WSU in both games, combining for 55 points in the two victories.

She’ll look to lead her team to another win when WSU starts postseason play tonight against Utah. Tip off is set for 5 p.m. tonight in Las Vegas. You can watch it over on the Pac-12 Network.

Cougs Open the Pac-12 Tournament this Wednesday vs. Utah – Washington State University Athletics
LAS VEGAS – The Washington State women’s basketball team begins its run in the 2021 Pac-12 Tournament, presented by New York Life, this Wednesday, March 3, as the No. 7-seeded Cougars take on No. 10 seed Utah. Tip-off from the Michelob ULTRA Arena is set for 5 p.m. PT and will air live on Pac-12 Network.

Seventh-seeded Washington State to open Pac-12 Tournament against 10th-seeded Utah | The Spokesman-Review
While many bracketologists already have Washington State penciled into the 2021 NCAA Tournament field, Kamie Ethridge and the Cougars still have another opportunity to make sure they’ll be playing meaningful basketball two weeks from now.

Utah women’s hoops will play in Pac-12 Tournament after COVID scare, but will do so short-handed
The University of Utah women’s basketball team had a COVID-19 scare, but will play in the Pac-12 Tournament beginning Wednesday against Washington State in Las Vegas.

Olympic Dreams: WSU’s Leger-Walker sisters shoot for the Olympics | king5.com
The Leger-Walker sisters are working to get the WSU Cougars back in the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1991.

Washington State to play six of first eight games at home during 2021 football season | The Spokesman-Review
Fans will get to see Washington State three times at Martin Stadium within the first month of the 2021 football season and six times before November, but the Cougars will face a challenging stretch of road games near the end of the slate, culminating as always with the Apple Cup rivalry.

2021 Pac-12 football schedule release: Team-by-team analysis
Which teams drew the toughest assignments (Stanford and Colorado)? Which have the easiest roads (ASU and Utah)? Did anyone get hosed (Washington and UCLA)? We broke it all down.

WSU-Seattle U Weekend Series Moved to Pullman – Washington State University Athletics
The Cougars will host Seattle U this weekend.

Soccer to pause due to Covid-19 Protocol – Washington State University Athletics
Due to protocols the Cougs have less than the minimum number of required student-athletes available for competition.



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