12/31/10

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Reasons to Say “I Do” to a Destination Wedding

Jamie and Mike's Garden of the Gods Club wedding (photo by Charlotte Geary Photography)

Jamie and Mike's Garden of the Gods Club wedding (photo courtesy of Charlotte Geary Photography)

During the last several years, destination weddings have become more and more popular.  Getting married at a vacation destination can provide lasting memories beyond one’s hometown.  As you begin to plan your special day, these are eight reasons why you should consider saying “I do” to a destination wedding:

  • A complete package:  Most destination locations offer package deals, which (in addition to being convenient) often represent a great value.  Here at Garden of the Gods Club, for example, we strive to keep each wedding simple and stress-free.  The Club employs an on-site wedding planner who provides complimentary assistance to brides-to-be and their families.  Traveling guests can take advantage of group guest room rates and room blocks.  We have a full-sevice Spa and salon on-site, which is a convenient solution for bridal party pampering and wedding day hair and make-up.  Additional amenities and extra add-ons are available to help each bride-to-be create a one-of-a-kind experience that she’ll remember for years to come. 
  • Greater intimacy:  Generally, fewer people are willing to travel for a wedding than would be likely to attend one close to home.  With a destination wedding, you’ll be able to share the most special day of your life with only your closest friends and loved ones.  A shorter guest list helps keep wedding costs down and makes for an intimate, relaxed event during which the bride and groom are easily able to interact with every guest.
  • Combined wedding and honeymoon:  Travel to a magical location for your wedding, and you won’t have far to go for your honeymoon!   Once the wedding’s over, you won’t have to deal with airport security lines or spend long hours on a plane when all you really want to do is enjoy each other.  Instead, you’ll be able to continue your vacation without interruption. Look for an incredible area with amazing natural beauty, and let nature speak for itself!
  • Easier reservation process:  Hosting your ceremony, reception, and ceremony all in one place tends to be easier than planning the events separately. You only have one location to scout and reserve– and, as the saying goes, the early bird gets the worm.  We recommend reserving your wedding venue well in advance of the wedding date– the earlier the better for popular vacation properties.
  • Creative stationery:  When planning a destination wedding, sending a “save the date” notice is crucial because guests need sufficient time to plan time off work and make travel arrangements.  For a destination wedding “save the date” notice, you can get creative and design something that’s less formal and more “fun” than wedding invitations tend to be.  Think about the card as a way to give your guests a sneak preview of what they’ll experience on your wedding day. 
  • Guest activities:  With a destination wedding, your guests will be able to enjoy an abundance of nearby activities.  They’ll be able to explore the picturesque setting and experience local attractions. 
  • A secluded, peaceful setting:  Many resort properties feature more secluded areas for weddings, which provide for a tranquil wedding environment.  With breathtaking views of Pikes Peak and the distinctive red rock formations of the Garden of the Gods National Landmark, Garden of the Gods Club’s natural grandeur sets the scene for an unforgettable event.   Many couples have shared with us that they chose our venue so that they could say their vows surrounded by spectacular beauty, without having to travel outside the continental U.S. 
  • Future vacation/anniversary destination:  A destination vacation wedding location gives you lifelong memories of a special location.  Whether it’s to celebrate an anniversary or renew your vows, you’ll be able to relive the wonder of your big day by returning to your wedding location for vacation.

For information about booking a wedding here at Garden of the Gods Club, please contact our wedding coordinator at 719.520.4978 or click here to visit our Web site.

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12/30/10

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Things to Do This Weekend in the Colorado Springs Area

Evening in the Royal Gorge along the tumbling Arkansas River

Evening in the Royal Gorge along the tumbling Arkansas River (Photo by Royal Gorge Route Railroad)

It’s New Year’s weekend in Colorado Springs, which means we have a great selection of fun events and activities available.  Whether you choose to imbibe gourmet cocktails, dance the night away, or hop on a train, we hope this New Year’s in Colorado Springs will be one that you’ll never forget. 

  • New Year’s Eve dinner & dancing here at Garden of the Gods Club, Dec. 31st, 6 pm to 12:15 am – Members, Member guests, and Lodge guests only – Call 719.329.6901 for dining details and reservations.  For room reservations, call 719.632.5541.
  • New Year’s Eve Train on the Royal Gorge Route - The train departs the Santa Fe Depot at 6:30 p.m. on December 31st for a three-hour, three-course dinner excursion by Chef Donald Burns, who hails from the American Orient Express. Tickets for the Visa Dome are just $79 this year, which is a $30 savings.  Champagne is included.
  • Cruising to Exotic Places:  New Year’s Eve at the Fine Arts Center - Dec. 31st – Enjoy an elegant evening of dinner, dancing, performances, gallery tours, karaoke, movies, a dance contest, and a champagne toast, all at Colorado Springs’ beautiful Fine Arts Center.   Dancers and non-dancers alike will feel as though they’re being transported from Colorado Springs to cruise ship destinations such as Paris, Buenos Aires, Hollywood, and a tropical island.  Tickets are $69 per person or $119 with dinner.
  • AdAmAn Fireworks from Pikes Peak - This, in our opinion, is one of the local traditions that truly makes our community of Colorado Springs unique.  Every year since 1922, the Pikes Peak AdAmAn Club has been climbing the icy slopes of Barr Trail on the east face of Pikes Peak.  At the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve, AdAmAn members and their guests ignite a glorious fireworks display from the summit to usher in the New Year.
  • New Year’s Eve Greek Feast – Jake & Telly’s Greek Taverna, Dec. 31st, 7 pm to 10 pm, $75 per person for five courses, six wines, and champagne toast.
  • Mr. Guffaw’s New Year’s Eve & Weekend – Dec. 31st 7 pm, Jan. 1st 11 am and 2 pm, Jan. 2nd 11 am and 2 pm.  Ring in the New Year with world-class clown Jim Jackson and 2011 laughs. Astounding tricks, beautiful surprises and non-stop hilarity prove once again, “The bigger the dream, the bigger the mess.”  Manitou Art Theater, $10 per person.  
  • New Year’s Eve “Broadway in Blue” with the Colorado Springs PhilharmonicDec. 31 at 8 pm, Pikes Peak Center. Dale Backus, piano.  Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, back by popular demand! Colorado Springs Conservatory alumni ring in the New Year with your favorite Broadway super-hits brought home by some of the newest voices on the New York scene.

A number of local churches will be hosting New Year’s Eve services and/or celebrations as well.  For other weekend activity ideas, check out The Gazette‘s Event Guide, http://events.gazette.com/

The weather is supposed to be very cold over the next couple of days, so don’t forget to bundle up!  We wish you a pleasant weekend.  Stay warm and safe!

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12/29/10

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Kissing Camels Golf Course Irrigation Blow-out

Winter Blow-Out at Kissing Camels Golf Course

Although the weather hasn’t been as wintry as we would like, winter golf course maintenance practices have begun.  Even though most golf courses along the Front Range blew out their irrigation systems in mid-November, we decided to wait out the warmer-than- average temperatures that Colorado Springs has experienced this year.  On December 7, we began blowing our irrigation system out.  While Colorado Springs high temps have been reaching 50-60 degrees, the lows here can be well below freezing.  Kissing Camels is typically one of the last golf courses along the Front Range to blow out due to our unique climate up here on the mesa in Colorado Springs.  As it turns out, the warm days have continued, and we have been pleased with the few additional irrigation cycles we’ve put out.  As most homeowners know, timing a blow-out correctly can be critical  to the survival of the turf throughout the winter months.  Blowing out too early could lead to winter desiccation, while blowing out too late could result in expensive irrigation repairs in the spring.

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12/28/10

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How to Travel Safely This Winter: A Checklist

Snow Storm

As a major storm recently pummeled the East Coast and dumped over a foot of snow in my hometown of Philadelphia, I was reminded of two things:

1.  I am glad I now live in Colorado Springs, where we experience more sunshine throughout the year (300+ days) than the state of Florida.

2.  I need to double-check my vehicle to make sure it’s equipped with everything I would need in the event that I get stuck in a winter storm myself.

Before you take off on your next road trip this winter, I recommend stealing a page from the book of the Big Man in Red:  Create a list, and check it twice.   This way, you can be sure that you’ll have what you need and will be prepared no matter what circumstances you encounter.  Here’s my own checklist of the top 10 winter travel items I won’t leave without:

  1. Flashlight
  2. Bottles of water and a few granola bars
  3. Road map of the area through which I’ll be traveling
  4. Jumper cables
  5. Warm blanket
  6. Ice scraper
  7. Tool kit (screwdrivers, pliers, adjustable wrench)
  8. Duct tape — This stuff always comes in handy!
  9. First aid kit — My wife is a nurse, so she would be upset if I left this off my list.
  10. Twizzlers licorice – I enjoy snacking on licorice during road trips.

I wish you safe travels this winter, and if you are in the Colorado Springs area, please stop by our property and say hello.  We can talk about Colorado, Philadelphia, or everything we have to offer here at Garden of the Gods Club.

Happy New Year!
Tom

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12/27/10

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Winter Skincare Tip: Save Your Skin Using Honey!

Did you know that honey is used as an ingredient in many cosmetics due to its medicinal properties?  Well, it’s true!  Honey is not just a sugar substitute used in the kitchen; it is now found in many nourishing body lotions and facial treatments, as well as lip balms.

Honey contains glucose, magnesium, calcium, potassium, minerals, and vitamins B1 through B5. The amber liquid helps skin retain moisture, which make this at-home remedy perfect for harsh, dry winter weather. If you have acne-prone skin, you can use honey to fight pimples, as it acts like an antioxidant. Honey is safe for sensitive skin and is proven to be effective in eliminating fine lines and wrinkles.

Try this simple recipe using honey:

Hot Honey Bath
Add 1/4 cup of honey to your hot bath water for soft and silky skin.
(This is especially good for dry skin!)

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