A travelers guide to visiting Colorado
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.
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Jessica Kimbrough, currently Labor Relations and Legal Strategy Managing Director, will take on the new role of Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer Managing Director.
Jessica assumes this new and expanded position to focus on global inclusion and equity as part of our enhanced commitment to ensure best practices across the business to strengthen our culture.
In this role, Jessica will be responsible for helping United redefine our efforts on diversity, equity and inclusion – ensuring that our programs and approach are strategic, integrated and outcome-oriented, while we continue to build a culture that reflects our core values. She will report to Human Resources and Labor Relations EVP Kate Gebo.
"Jessica's appointment to this role is another critical step our executive team is taking to ensure diversity, equity and inclusion remains a top priority at United," said CEO Scott Kirby. "Given her drive, experience and commitment to champion collaboration and allyship among our employee business resource groups, she is uniquely qualified to take on this position and I look forward to working closely with her."
As Labor Relations and Legal Strategy Managing Director, Jessica worked closely with senior management to create and maintain positive labor relations among our unionized workforce, providing counsel on labor litigation, negotiations, contract administration, organizing issues and managing attorneys who represent United in labor relations. Previously, she served as Labor and Employment Counsel in our legal department.
Jessica has a passion for creating a pipeline of diverse lawyers and leaders, and was honored as one of Chicago Defender's "Women of Excellence" for excellence in her career and civic engagement in 2017. She currently serves as President of uIMPACT, our women's employee business resource group.
Jessica's new role is effective immediately.
By working together and strengthening partnerships during these unprecedented times, our global community has overcome challenges and created solutions to keep the global supply chain moving. As COVID-19 continues to disrupt the shipping landscape, United and our industry partners have increasingly demonstrated our commitment to the mission of delivering critical medical supplies across the world.
United Cargo has partnered with DSV Air and Sea, a leading global logistics company, to transport important pharmaceutical materials to places all over the world. One of the items most critical during the current crisis is blood plasma.
Plasma is a fragile product that requires very careful handling. Frozen blood plasma must be kept at a very low, stable temperature of negative 20 degrees Celsius or less – no easy task considering it must be transported between trucks, warehouses and airplanes, all while moving through the climates of different countries. Fortunately, along with our well-developed operational procedures and oversight, temperature-controlled shipping containers from partners like va-Q-tec can help protect these sensitive blood plasma shipments from temperature changes.
A single TWINx shipping container from va-Q-tec can accommodate over 1,750 pounds of temperature-sensitive cargo. Every week, DSV delivers 20 TWINx containers, each one filled to capacity with human blood plasma, for loading onto a Boeing 787-9 for transport. The joint effort to move thousands of pounds of blood plasma demonstrates that despite the distance, challenges in moving temperature-sensitive cargo and COVID-19 obstacles, we continue to find creative solutions with the help of our strong partnerships.
United Cargo is proud to keep the commercial air bridges open between the U.S. and the rest of the world. Since March 19, we have operated over 3,200 cargo-only flights between six U.S. hubs and over 20 cities in Asia, Australia, Europe, South America, India, the Caribbean and the Middle East.
A message from UNITE, United Airlines Multicultural Business Resource Group
Fellow United team members –
Hello from the UNITE leadership team. While we communicate frequently with our 3,500 UNITE members, our platform doesn't typically extend to the entire United family, and we are grateful for the opportunity to share some of our thoughts with all of you.
Tomorrow is June 19. On this day in 1865, shortened long ago to "Juneteenth," Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas, to announce that the Civil War had ended and all enslaved individuals were free. For many in the African-American community, particularly in the South, it is recognized as the official date slavery ended in the United States.
Still, despite the end of slavery, the Constitutional promise that "All men are created equal" would overlook the nation's Black citizens for decades to come. It wasn't until nearly a century later that the Civil Rights Act (1964) ended legal segregation and the Voting Rights Act (1965) protected voting rights for Black Americans. But while the nation has made progress, the killings of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd have made it undeniably clear that we still have a lot of work to do to achieve racial parity and inclusion.
Two weeks ago, Scott and Brett hosted a virtual town hall and set an important example by taking a minute, as Brett said, "to lower my guard, take off my armor, and just talk to you. And talk to you straight from the heart."
Difficult conversations about race and equity are easy to avoid. But everyone needs to have these conversations – speaking honestly, listening patiently and understanding that others' experiences may be different from your own while still a valid reflection of some part of the American experience.
To support you as you consider these conversations, we wanted to share some resources from one of United's partners, The National Museum of African American History and Culture. The museum will host an all-day Virtual Juneteenth Celebration to recognize Juneteenth through presentations, stories, photographs and recipes. The museum also has a portal that United employees can access called Talking About Race, which provides tools and guidance for everyone to navigate conversations about race.
Our mission at UNITE is to foster an inclusive working environment for all of our employees. While we are hopeful and even encouraged by the widespread and diverse show of support for African Americans around the country – and at United - we encourage everyone to spend some time on Juneteenth reflecting on racial disparities that remain in our society and dedicating ourselves to the work that still must be done to fight systemic racism. By honoring how far we've come and honestly acknowledging how far we still must go, we believe United – and the incredible people who are the heart and soul of this airline - can play an important role in building a more fair and just world.
UNITE (United Airlines Multicultural Business Resource Group)
Together, we are facing an unprecedented challenge. United Together, we rise to meet that challenge.
Calling all AvGeeks and travelers! Here's a fun way to take your next video call….from a United Polaris® seat, the cockpit or cruising altitude. We're introducing United-themed backgrounds for use on Zoom and Microsoft Teams, video conferencing tools that many people are using to stay connected.
So for your next meeting or catch up with friends and family, download the app to either your computer or mobile device to get started. If you've already downloaded Zoom you can skip ahead to updating your background image (see instructions below).
To use on Zoom:
- Start here by downloading your favorite United image to your computer or mobile device. Just click "download" in the bottom left corner of the image.
- Next go to your Zoom app (you'll need to download the app to access backgrounds) and click on the arrow to the right of your video camera icon in the bottom of the screen.
- From here select, "choose virtual background" to upload your uniquely United photo.
- Start by downloading your favorite United image to your computer. Just click "download" in the bottom left corner of the image.
- If you're using a PC, copy the image you want to use into this folder:
- C:\[insert your device user name here]\AppData\Microsoft\Teams\Backgrounds\Uploads
- If you're using a Mac copy the images to this folder on your computer:
- /users/<username>/Library/Application Support/Microsoft/Teams/Backgrounds/Uploads
- If you're using a PC, copy the image you want to use into this folder:
- Once you start a Teams meeting, click the "…" in the menu bar and select "Show background effects" and your image should be there
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This is why we fly.
20 UCSF Health workers, who voluntarily set aside their own lives to help save lives, are on their way to New York City.
We are humbled by your selfless sacrifice.
In celebration and appreciation of all first responders and essential workers. 👏🏻👏🏼👏🏽👏🏾👏🏿
This is the story of Jason and Shantel. You see, Jason and Shantel love each other very much. They also love traveling and they love the classic Adam Sandler film, The Wedding Singer.
It all began when Jason reached out to United's social media team, hoping for assistance with his upcoming plan to propose. Some phone calls and one borrowed guitar later, the stage was set for Jason. Put all that together, mix in some helpful United employees and, voila, you have a truly memorable marriage proposal. Congratulations to this fun-loving and happy couple, and here's to many more years of making beautiful music together.
A big thank you to Chicago-based flight attendants Donna W., Marie M., Karen J. and Mark K. for making this proposal come to life.