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Briefs: Hit the slopes with an economical ski club trip

Want to go skiing in 2009 but economic woes got you worried? Consider a ski trip with the Clearwater/St. Petersburg Ski & Sports Club.

The group has six ski trips planned beginning in January and two of the weeklong trips (Copper, Colo., Feb. 1-8, and Winter Park, Colo., March 29-April 4) are about $1,000 per person. And that includes lodging and airfare.

The ski club will hold a meeting at 7 p.m. Nov. 11 at the Thirsty Marlin, 351 West Bay Drive in Largo, to showcase the ski trips for the upcoming season. Other trips include Snowmass, Colo.; Park City, Utah; Whistler, British Columbia; and Cortina, Italy.

Details about the clubs trips and events can be found at www.snowshark.org.

America's greenest landmarks

A baseball stadium, a birding center and a not-complete Miami skyscraper are on Travel + Leisure magazine's list of 10 American green landmarks that deserve recognition for modern, sustainable design.

The complete list can be found in the magazine's November issue and at www. travelandleisure.com.

The magazine said the landmarks were chosen because they implement a variety of eco-friendly strategies, such as photovoltaic panels, green roofs and wind turbines.

Some of the landmarks sited are:

• Nationals Park, Washington, which has a green roof and a site that's friendly to pedestrians, bikers and subway riders.

• World Birding Center, Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park, Mission, Texas, a green building amid the park's nine protected habitats on the Mexican border.

• Cor Tower in Miami's Design District, described by the magazine as "glamorous" and "chic" yet environmentally conscious (to be completed in 2011).

Pack your bags — soon

Or you just might miss some of the endangered sites featured in Frommer's 500 Places to See Before They Disappear (Wiley, $19.99).

The book features natural and historic sites, from ancient places of worship, to disappearing landscapes, to one-of-a-kind cultural treasures like Boston's Fenway Park, one of America's last original ballparks.

The list includes the chestnut tree that Anne Frank gazed upon while hiding from the Nazis in Amsterdam. The tree has a fungal disease, but work has been undertaken to preserve it.

New ice rink rivals Rockefeller

The American Museum of Natural History in New York is opening a 150- by 80-foot outdoor ice skating rink.

The rink will have synthetic ice; skaters will share it with a 17-foot-tall sculpture of a polar bear. Information about polar bears, the polar regions and suggestions for being environmentally conscious will be placed around the rink.

It will be open to the public from Nov. 22 through Feb. 28.

Spring break with the folks?

A survey of college students who traveled in the past year shows three-fourths are still planning a spring break trip next year, but about half are budgeting just $500 or less for their trip, according to STA Travel, a student and youth travel organization.

The survey also found that students apparently think they'll get the best deals by planning early. Only 13 percent said they're waiting until 2009 to make plans.

Two-thirds of those who responded plan to visit Mexico, the Caribbean or a beach in the United States.

The most popular destinations for beachgoers in the United States were South Padre Island in Texas, 24 percent, and Panama City at 22 percent. Miami was also high on students' lists at 19 percent.

In Mexico, Cancun was the top choice, chosen by 55 percent of respondents, followed by Cabo San Lucas and Acapulco at 16 percent each.

When in Vegas, stop here

The 2009 Michelin guidebook for Las Vegas has given its top hotel rating to the Wynn Las Vegas and its top restaurant rating to Joel Robuchon at the MGM Grand hotel.

A December weeknight at the Wynn can easily cost $200 or more, while the six-course tasting menu at Joel Robuchon costs $250 per person. A 16-course tasting menu costs $385 per person.

The 2009 guide for Las Vegas highlights five hotels with four red pavilions — Bellagio, Caesars Palace, Palazzo, Trump International Hotel & Tower and Ritz-Carlton on Lake Las Vegas.

Visit Michelin Guide online at www. michelinguide.com/us/index.html.

Compiled from Times staff and wire reports

Briefs: Hit the slopes with an economical ski club trip 11/01/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, November 3, 2010 5:43pm]

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