The fun doesn't end after the snow melts away at Southern California's Big Bear Mountain Resorts. While the other chairlifts sit idle in the sun, Snow Summit's East Mountain Express turns into the Scenic Sky Chair, a 15-minute ride up the mountain for sightseers, hikers and even mountain bikers. The lift runs at a high speed during the winter, but in the summer it makes its way slowly and silently up the mountain so riders can enjoy the breathtaking views, both up and down. For those who are a little nervous about getting on and off the Sky Chair, it can be stopped completely for riders who need more time.
There's a snack bar and grill at the top, where hikers and bikers can sit and have lunch and a beer amid the thin mountain air. Shady trails meander down the mountain, and adventurous hikers can take the chair to the top and make their way down. For a more leisurely visit, guests can take in the dramatic views of the San Bernardino Mountains and ride the chairlift back down, featuring one of the best views of Big Bear Lake.
The Sky Chair is a hit with mountain bikers. Bikes are hung from a hook on one chair, and riders follow in the next chair - the bikes are waiting for them as they exit the lift. The mellow Sky Chair ride from 7,000 feet to the summit at 8,200 feet is followed by an exhilarating excursion back down. Bikers can cruise over dirt roads that wind down the mountain, while trails provide a more challenging test for experienced riders.
THE SCENIC SKY CHAIR - Snow Summit in Southern California keeps a chair lift open during the summer, transporting mountain bike riders and sightseers to the 8,200-feet summit. CNS Photo by Tom Roebuck.
FYI: Round-trip rates for the Sky Chair are $10 for adults, $5 ages 7-12. One-way rides are $7 for adults and $4 ages 7-12. A one-way ride with a bicycle is $10 for adults and $5 ages 7-12; an all-day pass is $20 for adults and $10 ages 7-12. For more information call 909-866-5766 or visit www.bigbearmountainresorts.com.
HERTZ IS A HIT WITH FREE UPGRADE
U.S. and Canadian customers who rent a compact through intermediate car at any participating Hertz location in Europe can receive a free upgrade. The offer is valid on qualifying Hertz Affordable Europe rentals of one or more days in more than 25 European countries, including the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Spain, Ireland, Luxembourg, Macedonia and Belgium. Reservations must be booked between by Sept. 30 and vehicles picked up between Sept. 1 and Oct. 31, 2007.
To take advantage of this offer, call Hertz International Reservations at 800-654-3001 and mention promotion code 103843 at the time of reservation, or visit www.hertz.com and enter the code in the appropriate field during the online reservation process. For both phone and online reservations, customers must also make a printout of the offer page found in the "To Europe, Middle East, Africa" tab of the "Special Offers" section of hertz.com and bring it with them when they pick up the car.
Standard rental qualifications, rental periods and return restrictions in effect at time and place of rental apply. Reservations must be made at least eight hours in advance from the U.S. or Canada.
FYI: Visit Hertz online at www.hertz.com.
ELVIS FANS MEET IN MEMPHIS
In celebration of Elvis Week and the life of the King of Rock 'n' Roll, The Peabody Memphis will offer the Elvis' Rock 'n' Roll Package throughout August. Elvis Week 2007 will take place Aug. 11-19 with a full slate of events memorializing Elvis Presley. This year marks the 30th anniversary of Elvis' death; he died on Aug. 16, 1977.
The Elvis package includes one night's deluxe accommodations, Platinum Tour tickets to Graceland, featuring an audio tour of the mansion, and self-guided tours of Elvis' two custom airplanes, the Elvis auto museum, the Sincerely Elvis museum and Elvis After Dark. Also included are tickets to Sun Studios, where Elvis recorded his first single "That's Alright Mama," and a poster of Elvis and his personal tailor Bernard J. Lansky, who runs five retail shops in The Peabody's lobby and can still be found almost daily at the hotel, sharing stories of his friend.
FYI: Elvis' Rock 'n' Roll package at The Peabody is $252 for single occupancy and $309 for double occupancy and is valid Aug. 1-31. Reservations can be made by calling 800-PEABODY or online at www.peabodymemphis.com.
© Copley News Service