Kenya Brings Renowned Coffee and Rich Culture to Seattle for Global Specialty Coffee Expo

Kenya is the official Portrait Country for the 2017 Global Specialty Coffee Expo organized by the Specialty Coffee Association from Thursday, April 20 to Sunday, April 23. Coffee experts and connoisseurs across the globe have recognized Kenyan coffee for its high quality, superior craftsmanship and exceptionally balanced flavors. Kenya will bring its specialty premium coffee beans Kenya Coffeeto Seattle next week, along with a performance by traditional Maasai dancers from Kenya to welcome Global Specialty Coffee Expo guests to the country’s rich cultural heritage.    

“We are privileged to be featured as the official Portrait Country at the Global Specialty Coffee Expo,” said Mr. Willy Bett, E.G.H. – Cabinet Secretary for the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries. “We look forward to sharing the complex and well-balanced flavors of Kenyan specialty coffee with Seattle and the rest of the world. Though Kenyan coffee has long been used in blends to improve other coffees’ qualities, a cup of pure Kenyan coffee is a unique experience in itself.” Continue reading “Kenya Brings Renowned Coffee and Rich Culture to Seattle for Global Specialty Coffee Expo”

Kennedy – Loo Wedding Invitations Are in the Mail / FREE Airfare to Hawaii?

Kennedy Wedding InvitationThe invitations for the Hawaii beach wedding of social media marketing guru Stacia Loo and Joe Tesla Kennedy have finally been mailed.  You can read all about it and rsvp at JoeandStacia.com.

If you would like to attend the event on Kalama Beach in Kailua, Oahu, Hawaii and are interested in free airfare, A New Day Real Estate will buy two (2) airplane tickets for every client who buys or sells a house or condo with Joe Kennedy and A New Day Real Estate between now and September 1st.

If you’ve never been to Kalama Beach, it is extremely beautiful and happens to be the location of the house that President Obama stays when on vacation in Hawaii.

Whistler Blackcomb to Celebrate World No Tobacco Day by Installing New Smoke-Free Policy!

This is super great news – I’d love to see more businesses become smoke-free!

On May 31, 2015, Whistler Blackcomb will celebrate World No Tobacco Day by introducing a new smoke-free policy. The policy will prohibit smoking anywhere on Whistler Blackcomb property, including lift lines, chairlifts, gondolas, ski runs, hiking trails, valley base areas, parking lots, Whistler Mountain Bike Park trails and all Whistler Blackcomb bar and restaurant locations, including patios.

“We have made the decision to introduce a smoke-free policy at Whistler Blackcomb to preserve the pristine alpine environment our guests come here for,” says Dave Brownlie, President and CEO at Whistler Blackcomb. “We also recognize as a leader in the outdoor adventure and wellness industry and as the largest employer in the Whistler community, we have a responsibility to our guests and staff to provide a safe and healthy environment for work and play. We believe implementing this new policy aligns with this goal.”

Whistler Blackcomb’s new smoke-free policy will apply to both guests and staff. While the policy will prohibit guests from smoking on Whistler Blackcomb property effective immediately on May 31, 2015, Whistler Blackcomb staff will be permitted to smoke in designated smoking areas for one year as they adjust to the company’s new policy. During the one year period, Whistler Blackcomb will provide tools and resources to assist staff with quitting smoking. As of May 31, 2016, Whistler Blackcomb’s smoke-free policy will also apply to all staff.

An information booth will be set up in Skier’s Plaza on Sunday, May 31 to launch the new policy. Whistler Blackcomb leaders will be on-site to answer any questions as well as representatives from Vancouver Coastal Health, who will have cessation resources and information about the health benefits of quitting smoking on-hand.

“By taking this important step, Whistler Blackcomb is demonstrating it is a strong ambassador for health. We know many young people ski and snowboard, and youth who haven’t started using tobacco by the time they are 26 years old will most likely never start,” says Vancouver Coastal Health Medical Health Officer, Dr. Paul Martiquet. “Eliminating smoking in public places, such as on our mountains, creates healthy role modeling so youth, and others, are less likely to even consider using tobacco.”

The decision to become a smoke-free recreation area and employer aligns with Whistler Blackcomb’s core values of Safety First and We Care, as well as the company’s goal to be health-oriented and family friendly. In addition, the smoke-free policy will help mitigate the risk of forest fires on Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains.

For more information about Whistler Blackcomb’s smoke-free policy, visit www.whistlerblackcomb.com/smokefree.

Information about the Resort Municipality of Whistler’s smoking policy is available at www.whistler.ca/sites/default/files/bylaws/1884_2008.pdf.

Guests looking to plan a trip to the consistently rated No. 1 Mountain Resort in North America can visit whistlerblackcomb.com/deals_packages  or call 1-888-403-4727.

About Whistler Blackcomb

Whistler Blackcomb, the official alpine skiing venue for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, is situated in the Resort Municipality of Whistler located in the Coast Mountains of British Columbia 125 kilometres (78 miles) from Vancouver, British Columbia. North America’s premier four season mountain resort, Whistler and Blackcomb are two side-by-side mountains which combined offer over 200 marked runs, 8,171 acres of terrain, 16 alpine bowls, three glaciers, receives on average over 1,164 centimetres (458 inches) of snow annually, and one of the longest ski seasons in North America. In the summer, Whistler Blackcomb offers a variety of activities, including hiking and biking trails, the Whistler Mountain Bike Park, and sightseeing on the PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola.

2nd Annual GoPro GoShow Presented by Whistler Blackcomb Returns to Go Fest Whistler May 17

GoShowPosterThe GoPro GoShow presented by Whistler Blackcomb will return for its second year on May 17 during Whistler’s Great Outdoors Festival (GO Fest). This year, instead of inviting professional filmmakers to compete at the event, Whistler Blackcomb has invited six professional athletes to show off their artistic sides and take on the role of both filmmaker and producer.

“There are so many talented athletes in Whistler who are really skilled at using GoPro cameras to showcase their adventures,” says Chris McLeod, Industry, Film and Communications Supervisor at Whistler Blackcomb. “We have some exciting names confirmed to participate so far and we are looking forward to seeing their creativity shine during multisport season here in Whistler.”

The competing athletes will be required to produce and submit a three to five minute video shot entirely using GoPro cameras. The videos must capture the essence of May in Whistler and need to include action shot on snow, dirt and water. Each athlete will be given a GoPro Hero 4 Black Edition Camera on the evening of May 13 and will be able to start filming their videos immediately. Completed videos must be submitted by 7:45am on May 17. Additionally, 25 per cent of the film must be shot on Whistler Blackcomb terrain and the remainder must be shot within the boundaries of the northernmost point of Pemberton and the southernmost point of Squamish.

Each of the videos will be played in front of a panel of judges and a crowd at the Garibaldi Lift Co. (GLC) on May 17. The athlete whose video wins Best In Show will take home the $2000 grand prize and the title of GoPro GoShow Champion. Competing athletes will be announced through Whistler Blackcomb’s social media channels later this week.

The GoPro Go Show presented by Whistler Blackcomb is free to attend with doors opening at 7pm and the show beginning at 8pm. There will be an after party at the GLC following the event featuring music from DJ Kori K.

More information about the GoPro GoShow presented by Whistler Blackcomb is available at www.whistlerblackcomb.com/events-and-activities/events-calendar.

Guests looking to plan a trip to the consistently rated No. 1 Mountain Resort in North America can visit whistlerblackcomb.com/deals_packages  or call 1-888-403-4727.

About Whistler Blackcomb

Whistler Blackcomb, the official alpine skiing venue for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, is situated in the Resort Municipality of Whistler located in the Coast Mountains of British Columbia 125 kilometres (78 miles) from Vancouver, British Columbia. North America’s premier four season mountain resort, Whistler and Blackcomb are two side-by-side mountains which combined offer over 200 marked runs, 8,171 acres of terrain, 16 alpine bowls, three glaciers, receives on average over 1,164 centimetres (458 inches) of snow annually, and one of the longest ski seasons in North America. In the summer, Whistler Blackcomb offers a variety of activities, including hiking and biking trails, the Whistler Mountain Bike Park, and sightseeing on the PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola.

Legs of Steel Win Best in Show at Intersection Presented by Bromley Baseboards at the World Ski & Snowboard Festival

World Ski and Snowboard Festival 2015 Whistler BCWHISTLER, BC April 18, 2015 – Rider-managed production company, Legs of Steel, won Best In Show at Intersection presented by Bromley Baseboards last night at the World Ski & Snowboard Festival (WSSF) in Whistler, BC. The audience was wowed by six action packed snow sports films that ranged in content from Ontario snowboard competitions, to Japanese powder-filled tree runs, to Alaskan avalanches and urban ski segments across northern Canada.

The winning edit from Legs of Steel is a part of their upcoming film, Passenger, set to be released in fall 2015. They took home the grand prize of $10,000 for being named Best In Show by the judges.

The People’s Choice award went overwhelmingly to Full Moon Films for their flick, Whishalla, which the crew described as a spoof of the ski film, Valhalla. The all-female crew threw down some amazing riding but their hilarious acting bits had the audience in stitches and sent them home with $2,000 in prizing.

In celebration of WSSF’s 20th year in Whistler, the format for Intersection presented by Bromley Baseboards was modified for 2015. Crews were allowed to use any footage shot after December 1, 2014 from anywhere in the world. They were also required to salute WSSF’s 20th year in some way.

To learn more about Intersection presented by Bromley Baseboards and all the teams, visit www.wssf.com/Intersection

To connect with the World Ski & Snowboard Festival online, Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and Instagram.

The World Ski & Snowboard Festival has a brand new mobile app called WSSF Live. It is available for FREE in the App Store and Google Play Store for Apple and Android phones.

Michelle Leroux Hired as Director of Public Relations at Fairmont Chateau Whistler

Michelle Leroux, Whistler local for over ten years, joins Fairmont from Whistler Blackcomb, the No. 1 ranked resort in the world, where she managed teams for Public Relations, Communications and Social Media.

Leroux’s experience as a public relations professional within the sport, tourism and destination travel industry spans almost thirteen years. Three of those years were spent as a consultant where Leroux represented a wide variety of clients including luxury hotel, spa and major sporting events in the media relations and social media realms.

Now at the helm of Public Relations for the Fairmont Chateau Whistler, Leroux will work to leverage the strong media relationships she has made through her career, and develop new connections and partnerships, to ensure North America’s largest ski in, ski out hotel is known as Whistler’s preeminent luxury hotel. With a passion for community and environment, Leroux is excited to bring her brand of story telling, engagement and awareness building to the Fairmont Chateau Whistler.

Leroux earned her Bachelor of Communications, with a specialty in Public Relations, from Mount Royal University in Calgary, Alberta.

Jonesing for Fresh POW? Winter Still Going Strong at Whistler Blackcomb with Lots of Fresh Snow

Photographer: Paul Morrison, Location: Whistler Blackcomb, British Columbia, Date: April 13, 2015.
Photographer: Paul Morrison, Location: Whistler Blackcomb, British Columbia, Date: April 13, 2015.

Spring Skiing And Riding On Whistler Mountain Until May 18

WHISTLER, BC April 14, 2015 – April showers bring May flowers in the valley, and at Whistler Blackcomb they also bring powder days to the alpine for skiers and snowboarders. With a snow base of 206cm and 35cm of new snow in the last four days, winter is far from over at Whistler Blackcomb*. March delivered a total of 123cm of fresh snow, and two weeks into April, Ullr shows no signs of slowing down. With flurries in the forecast later this week, April is shaping up to be a snow-filled month at Whistler Blackcomb. Blackcomb Mountain’s last day of winter operations is April 19 but Whistler Mountain will remain open for spring skiing and riding until May 18, 2015.

“Whistler Blackcomb is known for offering the longest terrain park season in Canada,” says Brian Finestone, Terrain Parks Manager at Whistler Blackcomb. “Despite a below average snow season, the snow in the high alpine has been consistent and on point all season long. Because the Nintendo Terrain Park on Blackcomb is west facing and sees a lot of sun, we have decided to move the Spring Nintendo Terrain Park over to a more protected zone on Whistler where we will be taking over the T-Bars for a full park offering until late spring.”

The new Whistler Spring Nintendo Terrain Park boasts a higher elevation and a north-facing slope, creating the best possible conditions for spring skiing and riding. The new location offers enough snow for a set of Small, Medium and Large jumps, a banked slalom, and some creative jib lines.

With less than one week left of skiing and riding on Blackcomb Mountain, this is the last week for the PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola. The last day of the PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola’s Winter Operations is April 19. The PEAK 2 PEAK will re-open for Summer Sightseeing on May 23, 2015.

*Snow base and snowfall measured at Pig Alley Weather Station, 1650m on Whistler Mountain

For the latest updates on the Nintendo Terrain Parks, guests can visit whistlerblackcomb.com/the-mountain/terrain-parks

Guests looking to plan a trip to the consistently rated No. 1 Mountain Resort in North America can visit whistlerblackcomb.com/deals_packages  or call 1-888-403-4727.

The 20th annual World Ski & Snowboard Festival (WSSF) is happening in Whistler, BC April 10-19, 2015. Visit www.wssf.com for more information.

About Whistler Blackcomb

Whistler Blackcomb, the official alpine skiing venue for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, is situated in the Resort Municipality of Whistler located in the Coast Mountains of British Columbia 125 kilometres (78 miles) from Vancouver, British Columbia. North America’s premier four season mountain resort, Whistler and Blackcomb are two side-by-side mountains which combined offer over 200 marked runs, 8,171 acres of terrain, 16 alpine bowls, three glaciers, receives on average over 1,164 centimetres (458 inches) of snow annually, and one of the longest ski seasons in North America. In the summer, Whistler Blackcomb offers a variety of activities, including hiking and biking trails, the Whistler Mountain Bike Park, and sightseeing on the PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola.

For more information, visit http://ww1.whistlerblackcomb.com/media

Proud to be a venue for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games

Torin Yater-Wallace and Annalisa Drew Win Men’s and Women’s World Skiing Invitational Halfpipe Finals at the World Ski & Snowboard Festival in Whistler BC

On the final day of the World Skiing Invitational (WSI) at the World Ski & Snowboard Festival (WSSF) in Whistler, BC, it was Torin Yater-Wallace and Annalisa Drew who took the wins in the men’s and women’s Association of Freeskiing Professionals (AFP) World Tour Halfpipe Finals.

WSSF Mens 2015 Halfpipe AWARDSThe stacked men’s field put on an impressive show on Blackcomb Mountain, but it was Yater-Wallace (USA) whose huge amplitude and smooth style earned him a score of 94.00 for first place and an $8,000 cheque.  In second place, earning $4,500, was Lyman Currier (USA) with a score of 88.67, and rounding out the podium in third place for $2,000 was Byron Wells (NZL) with a score of 87.67.

WSSF Women's 2015 Halfpipe AWARDSAnnalisa Drew (USA) led the charge on the ladies side with a score of 90.33, landing her on top of the podium with a $5,000 cheque. In a close second with a score of 88.33 was Keltie Hansen (CAN), taking home $3,000 and in third place earning $1,500 was Devin Logan (USA) with a score of 80.33.

The crowd favorite and rider-judged Superhit event closed out the day of competition in the Halfpipe where Keltie Hansen (CAN) and Alex Ferreira (USA) took the crowns with their amplitude and technicality out of the pipe. To add to her successful day, Hansen grabbed the first place prize of a Giant XTC bike and Sennheiser Momentum headphones. Ferreira launched out of the halfpipe to take the win in the men’s division, earning him a Giant Anthem bike and Sennheiser Momentum headphones.

To connect with the World Ski & Snowboard Festival online, Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and Instagram.

The World Ski & Snowboard Festival has a brand new mobile app called WSSF Live. It is available for FREE in the App Store for Apple and Android phones.

The World Ski & Snowboard Festival (WSSF) is produced by Watermark Communications, a Whistler‐based event production & communications company, and presented in partnership with Tourism Whistler and Whistler Blackcomb. April 2015 will mark the 20th annual World Ski & Snowboard Festival and will celebrate how the event has grown over the years into the largest annual winter sports and music festival in North America. WSSF is a 10 day and night showcase of the best of snow sports, music, arts and mountain culture. Featuring major professional ski and snowboarding competitions, the largest annual free outdoor concert series in Canada, photography and film showcases, and spring skiing at Whistler Blackcomb, the World Ski & Snowboard Festival is the poster child for the ultimate ski and snowboard festival experience. In blazing the way for the youth of tomorrow, the World Ski & Snowboard Festival embodies the mantra: ‘Party in April. Sleep in May.’

Bobby Brown & Yuki Tsubota Win Men’s and Women’s World Skiing Invitational Slopestyle and Vincent Gagnier & Giulia Tanno Win Gibbons Big Air at World Ski & Snowboard Festival in Whistler

World Ski and Snowboard Festival 2015 Whistler BCThe World Skiing Invitational (WSI) continued yesterday at the World Ski & Snowboard Festival in the Blackcomb Terrain Park at Whistler Blackcomb. Bobby Brown and Yuki Tsubota took the wins in the men’s and women’s Association of Freeskiing Professionals (AFP) World Tour Finals Slopestyle and Vincent Gagnier and Giulia Tanno came out on top at the AFP World Tour Finals Gibbons Big Air.

In the best-of two run Men’s Slopestyle Finals, Bobby Brown (USA) held on to the highest score of 88.67, landing him on top of the podium with an $8,000 cheque. Taking home $4,500 in second place was McRae Williams (USA) with a score of 87.92 and rounding out the podium in third place for $2,000 was Antoine Adelisse (FRA) with an 86.25.

Whistler local Yuki Tsubota (CAN) brought her top game to the Women’s Slopestyle Finals earning her a score of 80.50 and a well-deserved first place and $5,000. Finishing the slopestyle season strong in second and third places for $3,000 and $1,500 was Katie Summerhayes (GBR) with a 78.33 and Kim Lamarre (CAN) with a score of 74.00.

Although the location of the Gibbons Big Air jump may have changed this year, the game was the same as skiers wowed the crowd on Blackcomb Mountain Saturday afternoon. In the average score from the best two out of three jump format, Vincent Gagnier (CAN) showcased his signature smooth style with a perfect right 1620 with a genie grab and a right 1260 with an octo grab earning him the top score of 88.50 and the grand prize of a 2015 Arctic Cat M 800 153 sled, valued at approximately $16,000. James Woods (GBR) grabbed second place and $4,000 with a switch right 1080 with lead octo grab and a well-executed right 1260 tail grab for a score of 84.83. In third place winning $2,000 was Elias Ambuehl (SUI), stomping a left double 1260 tail grab and a switch left 1260 mute Japan grab for a score of 82.33.

The Women’s Big Air competition was run simultaneously with the Women’s Slopestyle and it was Giulia Tanno’s (SUI) switch 900 that earned her a score of 83.50 for first place and a new GIANT Reign bike. Katie Summerhayes (GBR) threw a 1080 with a japan grab for a score of 79.50 to earn second place and $1,000 and Sennheiser Momentum headphones. In third place, winning $500 and Sennheiser Momentum headphones was Yuki Tsubota (CAN) who threw a 720 tail grab for a score of 77.50.

Complete results from the World Skiing Invitational can be found at www.wssf.com.

Tickets to the evening gala events are now available for purchase at www.wssf.com.

To connect with the World Ski & Snowboard Festival online, Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and Instagram.

The World Ski & Snowboard Festival has a brand new mobile app called WSSF Live. It is available for FREE in the App Store for Apple and Android phones.

The World Ski & Snowboard Festival (WSSF) is produced by Watermark Communications, a Whistler‐based event production & communications company, and presented in partnership with Tourism Whistler and Whistler Blackcomb. April 2015 marks the 20th annual World Ski & Snowboard Festival and will celebrate how the event has grown over the years into the largest annual winter sports and music festival in North America. WSSF is a 10 day and night showcase of the best of snow sports, music, arts and mountain culture. Featuring major professional ski and snowboarding competitions, the largest annual free outdoor concert series in Canada, photography and film showcases, and spring skiing at Whistler Blackcomb, the World Ski & Snowboard Festival is the poster child for the ultimate ski and snowboard festival experience. In blazing the way for the youth of tomorrow, the World Ski & Snowboard Festival embodies the mantra: ‘Party in April. Sleep in May.’

Hilton Worldwide Appoints Frank Welton as Area General Manager of Seattle/Northwest

Frank Welton Hilton HotelsFrank Welton general manager of Hilton Seattle Airport & Conference Center and DoubleTree by Hilton Seattle Airport, a position he has held since 2005 has been promoted to the position of area general manager of Seattle/Northwest region.  Welton’s expanded responsibilities encompass supervision of the teams and operations at five additional hotels: Hilton Portland, Embassy Suites Portland Downtown, Hilton Vancouver, DoubleTree Spokane City Center and Embassy Suites Seattle – Tacoma Airport.  He will continue to oversee the management and operations of the Hilton and DoubleTree hotels at Seattle Airport with a combined flexible function space of over 80,000 square feet and 1,250 guest rooms.   Welton will report directly to Area Vice President of Operations, Jerry Gibson.

“Frank has a proven track record of creating a long-term vision, said Gibson.  “He also has a wealth of industry knowledge, participating in the company mergers/acquisitions of Red Lion Hotels, Doubletree Hotels, Promus Hotels, and Hilton Hotels Corporation making him an excellent choice for this key regional position and expanding market.”

A hospitality industry veteran, Welton has been recognized with industry and Hilton awards for superior performance including the Washington Lodging Association “General Manager of the Year.”

Active in community leadership, he currently serves on several boards including:  Seattle Southside Regional Tourism Authority, SeaTac Tax Advisory Committee, vice chairman of the Washington Lodging Association and past director of the American Hotel & Lodging Association.

Welton attended Central Washington University and resides in the Seattle area. When time permits, he enjoys boating, golfing and spending time with his family which includes three grandchildren.