Traveler's guide to visiting Colorado - United Hub

A travelers guide to visiting Colorado

By The Hub team , February 29, 2016

Friends, travel experts and social media will tell you — Colorado makes an epic winter getaway. Snow-capped summits and breathtaking landscapes come together to make Colorado one of the best places for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. Throw in celebrated attractions, winter activities, lodging and eateries, and you'll know why the Centennial State consistently tops the charts for winter vacation experiences. From secluded winter wonderlands to the best après-ski spots and urban delights, each of these cities offers its own take on cold-weather fun.

Durango: Day tripping, historic train rides and old west elegance

Durango, southwestern Colorado's largest town (population 15,000), is perched at 6,512 feet above sea level and flanked by snow-blanketed red sandstone cliffs. The city is just 20 miles from the Four Corners, 56 miles from Mesa Verde National Park and 70 miles from Ouray Ice Park and its 200-plus climbs.

With accolades from National Geographic and The Denver Post, the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad has been a top attraction since the late 19th century. The 1920s steam engine pulls refurbished, circa 1882 heated coaches at 18 mph through pristine snowy forests and past wildlife galore.

Afterwards, head two blocks north to the Strater Hotel in Durango's Historic Downtown district, where you can find award-winning restaurants to dine at and catch a live show at the world-famous Henry Strater Theatre.

Denver: Museums, gardens and specialty eats

The Mile-High City is the capital and cultural epicenter of Colorado, where you'll enjoy a rare combination of metropolitan culture and Western charm. Its museums display some of the nation's top Native American and Western art. Learn about Colorado's astounding sights at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, or see some floral eye candy at Denver Botanic Garden's Blossoms of Light.

Honor your taste buds and enjoy the surroundings at The Source, one of the hottest eateries in Denver. Converted from a 19th-century warehouse, The Source marketplace houses local bakers, specialty grocers, crafts and more.

After you eat, rent skates and take a loop around the outdoor rink that overlooks downtown Denver. Or, you can bring your skates a few miles west into the mountains to 40-acre Evergreen Lake, which also boasts a boardwalk and warming hut.

Vail: Carriage rides, ski lodges and romance

Fashioned after villages in the Swiss Alps, Vail's cobblestone streets and limited number of cars create a winter wonderland for travelers. The carriages with soft jingle bells add to the wintry scene. While you're there, take in the European-style architecture, shop Vail's unique boutiques and dine at its award-winning restaurants. As for skiing, Vail Resort is the largest in the nation with a vast 5,289 acres of snow to explore.

Vail's private gondola rides and romantic restaurants make it especially popular with honeymooners. Stroll through fine-art galleries and museums like the Colorado Ski and Snowboard Museum and the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame. For a romantic escape, try The Sebastian, where you can enjoy one of four hot tubs, or the creek-side Vail Mountain Lodge, where a full-service spa awaits.

Steamboat Springs: Skiing, hot springs and sleigh rides

Head up to Steamboat Springs in northwestern Colorado to enjoy powder snow and ski the state's longest-running slopes at Howelsen Hill. If you're looking for ski lessons, you'll find some of the best instructors at Steamboat Springs Resort, one of the world's finest ski and snowboard schools. If you're into freestyle or cross-country skiing, the resort offers a mogul field and plenty of trails.

After a day on the slopes, take a 15-minute shuttle or ride a four wheeler down to Strawberry Hot Springs, where man-made pools blend with nature. After a day of exploring, unwind with a massage and sleep fireside in one of the springs' cabins.

Back in town you'll find distinctive accommodations, eateries and shops. Snuggle up under a blanket while stargazing in a Percheron horse-drawn sleigh then stop for dinner at family-friendly Hahn's Peak Roadhouse. Or, if you're feeling adventurous, saddle up for a horseback guided tour at The Home Ranch. Visit the Steamboat Springs website for more ideas, including an eclectic mix of winter events — think cowboys on skis.

Aspen: Après ski, Snowmass and nature

Those searching for a naturalist-led snowshoe and other excursions will find an abundance of activities at the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies. Enjoy the silence of snow-covered spruce and fir forests as you explore one of 25 nature trails by foot with a knowledgeable Naturalist tour guide. During your excursion learn about wildlife, tracking, mountain ecology, avalanches, winter habitats and Aspen history.

Après ski in Aspen and Snowmass Village is a lifestyle, and Condé Nast Traveler calls it the best in North America. During the day, ski one of four mountain ranges that make up Snowmass and at night enjoy one of the many activities offered. Dubbed as one of America's Best Ski Resorts, Snowmass is the most spacious of the Aspen ski areas with runs to suit every level, from kid-friendly trails to a mountain range that is home to the Winter X Games.

Head back into town where you'll find plenty of folks grabbing drinks and swapping ski stories at one of the many resorts. To bring a beautiful end to your day, unwind near the fireside gazing upon the mountain sunset, enjoying the Aspen glow John Denver sang about.

No matter which locale you visit, Colorado offers plenty of memorable experiences. Visit or use the United app to start planning your Colorado ski adventure today.

Reflecting on Veterans Day: a message from our CEO Oscar Munoz

By Oscar Munoz, CEO, United Airlines , November 11, 2019

Right now, around the world, brave members of America's armed forces are on duty, defending our freedom and upholding our values.

When not laser-focused on the mission at hand, they're looking forward to the day when their service to our nation is fulfilled and they can reunite with their families.

They are also imagining how they can use their hard-earned skills to build an exciting, rewarding and important career when they return home.

I want them to look no further than United Airlines.

That's why we are focused on recruiting, developing and championing veterans across our company, demonstrating to our returning women and men in uniform that United is the best possible place for them to put their training, knowledge, discipline and character to the noblest use.

They've developed their knowledge and skills in some of the worst of times. We hope they will use those skills to keep United performing at our best, all of the time.

That's why we are accelerating our efforts to onboard the best and the brightest, and substantially increasing our overall recruitment numbers each year.

We recently launched a new sponsorship program to support onboarding veterans into United and a new care package program to support deployed employees. It's one more reason why United continues to rank high - and rise higher - as a top workplace for veterans. In fact, we jumped 21 spots this year on's list of the top U.S workplaces for veterans. This is a testament to our increased recruiting efforts, as well as our efforts to create a culture where veterans feel valued and supported.

We use the special reach and resources of our global operations to partner with outstanding organizations. This is our way of stepping up and going the extra mile for all those who've stepped forward to answer our nation's call.

We do this year-round, and the month of November is no exception; however, it is exceptional, especially as we mark Veterans Day.

As we pay tribute to all Americans who have served in uniform and carried our flag into battle throughout our history, let's also keep our thoughts with the women and men who are serving around the world, now. They belong to a generation of post-9/11 veterans who've taken part in the longest sustained period of conflict in our history.

Never has so much been asked by so many of so few.... for so long. These heroes represent every color and creed. They are drawn from across the country and many immigrated to our shores.

They then freely choose to serve in the most distant and dangerous regions of the world, to protect democracy in its moments of maximum danger.

Wherever they serve - however they serve - whether they put on a uniform each day, or serve in ways which may never be fully known, these Americans wake up each morning willing to offer the "last full measure of devotion" on our behalf.

Every time they do so, they provide a stunning rebuke to the kinds of voices around the world who doubt freedom and democracy's ability to defend itself.

Unfortunately, we know there are those who seem to not understand – or say they do not - what it is that inspires a free people to step forward, willing to lay down their lives so that their country and fellow citizens might live.

But, we – who are both the wards and stewards of the democracy which has been preserved and handed down to us by veterans throughout our history – do understand.

We know that inciting fear and hatred of others is a source of weakness, not strength. And such divisive rhetoric can never inspire solidarity or sacrifice like love for others and love of country can.

It is this quality of devotion that we most honor in our veterans - those who have served, do serve and will serve.

On behalf of a grateful family of 96,000, thank you for your service.



United named a top workplace for veterans

By The Hub team , November 10, 2019

Each year around Veterans Day, Indeed, one of the world's largest job search engines, rates companies based on actual employee reviews to identify which ones offer the best opportunities and benefits for current and former U.S. military members. Our dramatic improvement in the rankings this year reflects a stronger commitment than ever before to actively recruiting, developing and nurturing veteran talent.

"We've spent a lot of time over the past 12 months looking for ways to better connect with our employees who served and attract new employees from the military ranks," said Global Catering Operations and Logistics Managing Director Ryan Melby, a U.S. Army veteran and the president of our United for Veterans business resource group.

"Our group is launching a mentorship program, for instance, where we'll assign existing employee-veterans to work with new hires who come to us from the armed forces. Having a friend and an ally like that, someone who can help you translate the skills you picked up in the military to what we do as a civilian company, is invaluable. That initiative is still in its infancy, but I'm really optimistic about what it can do for United and for our veteran population here."

Impressively, we were the only one of our industry peers to move up on the list, further evidence that we're on a good track as a company.

Mission Accomplished

By Matt Adams , November 06, 2019

The question of where David Ferrari was had haunted retired U.S. Army Sergeant Major Vincent Salceto for the better part of 66 years.

Rarely did a week go by that Salceto didn't think about his old friend. Often, he relived their last moments together in a recurring nightmare. In it, it's once again 1953 and Salceto and Ferrari are patrolling a valley in what is now North Korea. Suddenly, explosions shatter the silence and flares light up the night sky.

Crouching under a barrage of bullets, Salceto, the squad's leader, drags two of his men to safety, then he sees Ferrari lying face down on the ground. He runs out to help him, but he's too late. And that's when he always wakes up.

Italian Americans from opposite coasts – Salceto from Philadelphia, Ferrari from San Francisco – the two became close, almost like brothers, after being assigned to the same unit during the Korean War. When Ferrari died, it hit Salceto hard.

"After that, I never let anyone get close to me like I did with Dave," he says. "I couldn't; I didn't want to go through that again."

When the war ended, Salceto wanted to tell Ferrari's family how brave their son and brother had been in battle. Most of all, he wanted to salute his friend at his gravesite and give him a proper farewell.

For decades, though, Salceto had no luck finding his final resting place or locating any of his relatives. Then, in June of this year, he uncovered a clue that led him to the Italian Cemetary in Colma, California, where Ferrari is buried.

Within days, Salceto, who lives in Franklinville, New Jersey, was packed and sitting aboard United Flight 731 from Philadelphia to San Francisco with his wife, Amy, and daughter, Donna Decker, on his way to Colma. For such a meaningful trip, he even wore his Army dress uniform.

That's how San Francisco-based flight attendant Noreen Baldwin spotted him as he walked down the jet bridge to get on the plane.

"I saw him and said to the other crew members, 'Oh my goodness, look at this guy,'" she says. "I knew there had to be a story."

The two struck up a conversation and Salceto told Baldwin why he was traveling. She got emotional listening to him talk and made a point of fussing over him, making sure he and his family had everything they needed.

About halfway through the flight, Baldwin had an idea. She and her fellow crew members would write messages of encouragement to Salceto and invite his fellow passengers to do the same.

"We did it discreetly," says Baldwin. "I asked the customers if they saw the man in uniform, which most had, and asked them if they wanted to write a few words for him on a cocktail napkin. A lot of people did; families did it together, parents got their kids to write something. After the first few rows, I was so choked up that I could barely talk."

When Baldwin surprised Salceto with dozens of hand-written notes, he, too, was speechless. He laid the stack on his lap and read each one. At the same time, the pilots made an announcement about the veteran over the loud speaker, after which the customers on board burst into applause.

"It seems contrived, and I hate using the word organic, but that's what it was; it just happened," Baldwin says. "Mr. Salceto was so loveable and humble, and what he was doing was so incredible, it felt like the right thing to do. And you could tell he was touched."

On June 27, Salceto finally stood before Ferrari's grave and said that long-awaited goodbye. As a trumpeter played "Taps," he unpinned a medal from his jacket and laid it reverently on the headstone.

"I had gotten a Bronze Star for my actions [the night Ferrari died] with a 'V' for valor, and that was the medal I put on Dave's grave," says Salceto, pausing to fight back tears. "I thought he was more deserving of it than I was."

For the first time in years, Salceto felt at peace. His mission was accomplished.

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