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Member News and BenefitsA world of experiences within AAA's exclusive getaway package
What's your idea of a dream vacation?
How about someplace scenic with a great climate, plenty of upscale shopping, close access to major sporting events and entertainment, and many outdoor family activities? Toss in AAA-rated hotels, numerous cultural and family attractions and a Venetian-style gondola ride. Make it available at bargain prices, and with no need to see the inside of an airport.
Where is this fabulous place?
Right in your own backyard. AAA Colorado has arranged it all in an exclusive Denver Getaway package. For $149 per person (based on double occupancy), the package includes three days and two nights at one of Denver's best hotels; admission to the Denver Zoo; Denver Museum of Nature and Science; Denver Botanic Gardens and Denver Art Museum; and a choice between admission to Six Flags Elitch Gardens or a halfday Gray Line Tour. Participating hotels are located near downtown or at Cherry Creek and include the Holiday Inn Downtown, Holiday Inn Select Cherry Creek, Hampton Inn Suites, Doubletree Hotel Denver and Red Lion Denver Central. Bring your children for an additional $49 each (age 11 and under, staying in the same hotel room). The package also includes special discounts good at more than 50 Cherry Creek Shopping Center stores.
Topping it all off is a complimentary day or evening gondola ride on Cherry Creek (June through August), courtesy of Venice on the Creek (formerly Punt the Creek; reservations required). See downtown Denver from a new perspective while gently gliding down scenic Cherry Creek in a specially designed gondola that's reminiscent of those in Venice, Italy. Your guide will point out famous landmarks and relate the history of Colorado's capital city, from its roots as a small mining town to the vibrant metropolis of today.
Score an "A" with your graduate
This is the season for graduation, and with it comes the plaintive call of graduates all over the state: "Can I get a car?" For those who want to buy a car with or for their child, here are some tips that might come in handy:
Special AAA offers add to spring's charm
AAA Colorado's partnership with numerous and varied companies provides a year-round collection of benefits for members. Here's a sampling of values during May:
Denver Art Museum & AAA team up for visual delight
The usual $1 discount AAA members receive when they visit the Denver Art Museum as part of AAA's Show Your Card & Save program is getting a boost from a special exhibit, "Sargent in Italy" (June 28 to September 21). AAA members will receive $2 off the exhibition price, which also includes general admission to the rest of the museum.
John Singer Sargent was one of the most famous and creative American artists of the late 19th century and ranks as one of the finest watercolorists of all time. Born of American parents living in Florence, he retained a strong and long-lasting association with the land of his birth. He admired Italy's people, land and culture.
The exhibit of more than 90 oil and watercolor paintings will present works from Sargent's entire career and will focus on his fascination with Italy. The majority of works will be of Italian sites, both well-known tourist spots and quieter, more isolated locales.
Put money in your wallet when you put gas in your tank
Every day it seems as if gas prices continue to rise higher. A tankful of gas has become a major financial transaction.
To ease the burden a little, AAA has introduced a program for members that rebates 5 percent on all gas purchases when you swipe your AAA Visa credit card at the pump. The name of the gas retailer and the amount of each transaction will appear on your periodic billing statement, while your gas rebates for that month will be credited to your account as well.
To apply for a AAA Visa at a special introductory rate, pick up an application form at any AAA Colorado office, or online.
Four Diamond designation truly means something special
Each year more than 60 AAA tourism editors visit more than 70,000 lodgings, campgrounds, restaurants and attractions throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean. They conduct unannounced evaluations, scrutinizing such areas as cleanliness, safety, ambiance, amenities and service. Only 2.84 percent of AAA-rated lodgings and 3.87 percent of restaurants are awarded Four Diamond designations each year.
For those who make the grade, the Four Diamond symbol is included with each facility's listing in the 2003 AAA Colorado/Utah TourBook. Following are the 21 lodgings and 21 restaurants in Colorado that have earned the coveted Four Diamond Award:
On the road again—AAA's road
trip page & DriveAmerica tours
Before you jump into the car for the season's first road trip, try "driving" onto AAA Colorado's website, www.aaa.com, and checking out two new products: AAA Road Trips page and DriveAmerica Tours. Both will help ensure the best possible vacation.
To get to AAA Road Trips, start at AAA's homepage, click on Internet TripTik, then click on AAA Road Trips. Once there, you'll find numerous road trip choices grouped into five categories: Cross-Country Adventure; East and Mid-Atlantic; South and Central; West; and Canada. Each trip features a route map, a detailed narrative, estimated drive time, mileage count and photos.
To get to DriveAmerica Tours start at AAA's homepage, go to the travel section and click on DriveAmerica Vacations, then click on DriveAmerica. Once there, you'll see numerous and varied DriveAmerica Tours listed in the left panel. When you click on your choice, up will come a detailed itinerary with photos, day-by-day descriptions, mileage and specific hotels that will be guaranteed for your trip once you've booked. You can spend the day exploring and never worry about where you're going to stay the night.
So next time your fingers get antsy for holding the wheel of your car, first take them on a spin around these two AAA Colorado Internet sites-they won't steer you wrong.
Four tips for buying a more environmentally friendly car
Even though technology has made automobiles cleaner and more efficient, car buyers can still achieve greater economy and fuel efficiency by following a few simple guidelines when shopping for a new car.
"Only purchase as much car or truck as you need," says Jim MacPherson, lead reviewer for AAA Auto Guide: 2003 New Cars and Trucks, which rates more than 200 new vehicles each year. "A bigger vehicle will usually cost more to operate, may emit more pollutants and doesn't always mean you are buying a safer vehicle."
To help shoppers find a vehicle that meets their needs while having less of an impact on the environment, AAA offers these tips:
AAA members can win cash and prizes from Best Western
AAA members who book and stay at a Best Western hotel between May 15 and July 15 may enter a sweepstakes for daily prize drawings that total more than $10,000.
Each day during the promotion, Best Western will randomly select a AAA member who makes a qualifying reservation and stays between May 15 and July 15. Daily winners will receive a $100 Best Western travel card, good for use at more than 4,000 Best Western locations throughout North, Central and South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, the Middle East and South Pacific. Additionally, all daily winners will be automatically entered into a grand prize sweepstakes drawing for $5,000 in cash.
No purchase necessary; contact a AAA Travel professional for details.
Congratulations to five state finalists and good luck to Colorado's winner
Earlier this year AAA Colorado became involved in a nationwide high school competition designed to enhance geographic and geography literacy. The inaugural AAA Travel High School Challenge offers college scholarships worth $156,000 to be awarded to winning students who successfully master three levels of competition.
The first level, conducted in January and February, was an Internet web-based exam, which recorded approximately 8,000 registrants and 5,500 test takers nationwide. In the March/April issue of EnCompass we announced as state finalists the five highest-scoring contestants in Colorado: Lauren Bennett, Englewood; Zebulon Holbrook, Fort Collins; Michael Krakowiak, Colorado Springs; Libby Reinish, Boulder; and Melanie Spencer, Arvada.
These five students then moved to the second level, which involved taking a proctored written exam administrated in March. At press time it was announced that Libby Reinish had become Colorado's champion. Congratulations! As you read this article, a chaperone and our state champion-who won a $1,000 scholarship-are being flown to Orlando, Fla., for the final competition (May 9-12) at Universal Studios Orlando. The well wishes of 450,000 AAA Colorado members and AAA Colorado employees go with our champion!
International airfare ticketing fee waived
AAA Colorado members going overseas this summer are getting a bonus when they book their international airfares through a AAA Colorado Travel professional. For any reservation made in May and June (with travel completed by November 30), the usual $40 ticketing fee will be waived. The only exception is travel to London.
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