6 spring skiing destinations to enjoy with your family
Skiing in the springtime is a popular destination for many, especially for families on vacation. There's just something special about the blue-sky weather conditions, softer snowpack and events for non-skiers that make it an impossible trip to resist. If you've been thinking about hitting the slopes with your family this spring, here are six destinations you won't want to miss.
Snow Valley Mountain
Snow Valley Mountain Resort, California
The oldest continually operated ski resort in Southern California, Snow Valley is the perfect spot for families with young children. Located 90 minutes from Los Angeles in the San Bernardino National Forest, this ski area features 13 lifts, 29 runs and 240 acres of skiable terrain. Best of all, the resort offers a popular Children's Learning Program that specializes in teaching kids between the ages of 4 and 12 the fundamentals of skiing and snowboarding. Conditions permitting, Snow Valley is open until the end of March, so families should plan to start their spring vacations here before moving on to other mountains.
Mammoth Mountain, California
Featuring trails for every skill level, you won't find a more complete family ski destination than this iconic mountain resort — the largest of its kind in the western United States. Mammoth Mountain is currently experiencing one of the best snow seasons in recent memory, and it's projected to remain open until July 4. For non-skiing family members, the surrounding area provides fun activities like dog sled races, snowmobile rides, film festivals and brewery tours.
Steamboat Resort, Colorado
Though primarily known as a winter ski destination, this charming resort on Mount Werner in the Routt National Forest remains open through mid-April, making it an ideal spot for families on spring vacation. Sporting a large and efficient lift system, Steamboat Resort offers almost 3,000 acres of powdery terrain to explore. The resort offers kid-focused ski lessons, and non-skiers can enjoy free concerts, wine tasting events, art walks and a gondola ride to the resort's highest elevation to experience one of the most incredible views in Colorado.
Park City, Utah
Comprised of three incredible ski resorts, each with its own unique attractions, Park City offers a wide variety of terrain to enjoy. For parents of infants and toddlers, there's Little Adventures Children's Center, which provides licensed child care to kids as young as 6 weeks old. Those who don't ski can explore the surrounding village, which features some amazing dining, shopping and live music options on historic Main Street. Although Park City's spring season ends in mid-April, families who haven't had their fill yet of skiing in Utah can continue their vacation at the nearby Snowbird resort in Salt Lake County, which remains open until late May.
Crystal Mountain, Washington
With its high elevation and deep snowpack, this stunning alpine ski destination frequently extends its spring season well into May. More than half of the 50 named runs are recommended for intermediate skiers, making Crystal Mountain in Washington well-suited for families with prior experience. However, even children on their first ski trip will feel right at home thanks to slow family-safe zones that are monitored by the resort staff. Non-skiers can take snowshoe tours, enjoy scenic gondola rides and relax on a large, heated sundeck while listening to live music.
If you go
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.
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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 Indeed.com'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.
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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.
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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.
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.