January 2, 2013 |
The tsunami sequence in the new film "The Impossible" is so terrifying in its intensity that you might believe you're watching actual documentary footage of the natural disaster that struck Southeast Asia on Dec. 26, 2004, killing hundreds of thousands. The verisimilitude is the result of more than a year's work of exacting planning - and experimentation - by director Juan Antonio Bayona and his visual- and special-effects supervisors, who used a giant water tank in Spain (the largest in Europe)
December 27, 2012 |
Ski resorts across the West are enjoying a flurry of winter storms, bolstering hopes for a blizzard of customers for resort operators and snow sport retailers. The recent winter bounty comes after a disastrous 2011-12 season, when snowfall across the country hit a 20-year low. "It's a very positive trend at this point," said Bob Roberts, president of the California Ski Industry Assn., a trade group for the state's 29 resorts. "To get early snow for the holidays is good news. " Ski resorts around Mammoth Mountain and Lake Tahoe reported that 16 to 19 inches of snow fell from Christmas Day to Wednesday morning, with more expected later in the week.
December 27, 2012 |
Hey, ho. A few days before Christmas, chef Mark Estee of Campo Reno opened a sister restaurant in the Village at Mammoth called -- ta dum -- Campo Mammoth . With the restaurant's commitment to organic and seasonal ingredients and a menu built to order for ski buffs and their families, it could be a big step up for the Mammoth dining scene. A chef from Italy? No big deal for those of us who live and eat in Los Angeles, but for ski country, it's notable. That means the menu can offer handmade pasta and Neapolitan style pizza.
December 21, 2012 |
Here's a holiday idea: Leave the city for the City Center on the slopes. Bear Mountain in Big Bear Lake, Calif., will open two new boarding features today (Friday) at its Red Bull Plaza urban playground in the snow. The first is a 40-foot "double-sided gateway rail and box" that looks like a brick wall. The second is a "rideable cop shop. " Say what? For those (like me) clueless about the lingo, that's a replica of a police station where boarders perform freestyle moves. Snowboarders who take the 8:30 a.m. first chair to Powder Bowl can catch a ribbon-cutting ceremony and DJ planned for the opening event.
December 14, 2012 |
Venture inside the walls of the Disneyland Resort and you'll encounter numerous wonders rarely found outside of Orange Country. This summer's reopening of the California Adventure park, for instance, attracted plenty of buzz with the introduction of Cars Land and a host of other rides and attractions not found at any other Disney-branded theme park. But the objects capable of giving visitors a true buzz have received much less attention. Relatively unnoticed in the California Adventure makeover is the park's increased offerings of craft beer.
December 12, 2012 |
Mother Nature has been a fickle manager of snowfall lately, sending an avalanche of powder to ski resorts across the country two years ago, followed by the least amount of snowfall in decades last winter. A scattering of storms has already swept through the West this winter, but it's too early to tell if this season will be a snowy success or another dry disappointment. But ski resort managers are losing less sleep over erratic weather conditions after making a flurry of investments over the last few years in ultra-efficient, computerized snow-making equipment.
December 10, 2012 |
The CopperWynd Resort & Club , in the McDowell Mountains east of Scottsdale, Ariz., is celebrating the holiday season with an $119-a-night deal, a discount of 32% off its regular room rate. The deal: The intimate CopperWynd has 32 rooms and dramatic views of the Sonoran Desert and Four Peaks. It offers a quieter alternative to the holiday hubbub at other resorts, but for those who do need some activity, there are two swimming pools, nine tennis courts and a fitness center, as well as access to area golf courses SunRidge Canyon Golf Club , the Golf Club at Eagle Mountain and We-Ko-Pa Golf Club . Its full-service spa features body treatments incorporating area gemstones such as amethysts and turquoise.
December 10, 2012 |
The Las Vegas Ski & Snowboard Resort , one of Sin City 's best-kept secrets, is open for the 2012-13 season. There are new features as the resort celebrates its 50th anniversary. It's less than an hour's drive from the Strip to the slopes in Lee Canyon, in the Spring Mountains near Mt. Charleston in southern Nevada. The resort's owners hope new amenities this winter will lure people away from the casinos. The resort has 14 new, groomed trails, bringing the total to 30, plus a new quad chairlift.
December 9, 2012 |
Sochi, a resort area on the Black Sea in Russia, is the site of the 2014 Winter Olympics. It's a popular summer resort town because of its warm weather, beaches and a shoreline boardwalk that draws visitors from across Russia. All that makes it an interesting choice for the site of the Winter Games, scheduled for Feb. 7-23, 2014. Thirty minutes from the town center, a new Olympic park is under construction. The venues for figure skating, hockey, speed skating, curling and the opening and closing ceremonies are being built in a cluster and will be within walking distance of one another.
December 9, 2012 |
In real estate, it's "location, location, location. " At ski resorts throughout the West this winter, it's "price, price, price. " The good news for snow sliders: One lesser-known resort, some of the usual (or unlikely) suspects and four historically competitive-yet-now-cooperative mountain destinations are offering great deals. Beyond their annual efforts to fill chairlifts, restaurants, bar stools and beds, resorts are reacting to last winter, which was among the mildest and driest nationally in 20 years.