In Recession, Luxury Hotels Offer Deals

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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – In a tough economy, taking a luxury vacation might seem impossible. But some of the nation’s nicest hotels are taking steps — including lower rates and vacation specials — to lure new visitors.

Take Gaylord Hotels. The luxury multi-property operation with resorts in Nashville, Dallas, Washington, D.C. and Orlando offers guests majestic views, high-end shopping and dining experiences, full business accommodations and world-class entertainment. Even better, the hotels offer packages for special events.

Starting at just $199, guests can discover the rich history of the Nation’s Capital and enjoy a one-of-a-kind experience at the Washington region’s newest waterfront resort destination. The package includes round-trip tickets on the resort’s exclusive shuttle to downtown Washington, D.C., which makes stops at Union Station and the Old Post Office. Afterwards, guests can take advantage of the resort’s offerings, which include four restaurants, Pose Ultra Lounge, Relache Spa, nightly entertainment and an all-season pool. This package is available now through August 31, 2009, but other great packages can also be found.

In addition to finding great packages, Gaylord offers these tips for travelers hoping to enjoy a little luxury without breaking the bank:

– Plan meals carefully. Choose package deals that provide breakfast at no extra cost. If you have children, choose family-friendly restaurants that allow children to eat for free. If your hotel room has a refrigerator, consider purchasing lunch staples so that you can prepare you own mid-day meal.

– Save your money for nice dinners. Before making a dinner reservation, look for coupons or ask the front desk about area restaurants that give discounts to guests.

– Travel with friends or family members. Some hotels and entertainment destinations, like museums or theme parks, offer discounts to guests traveling as a large group.

– Pack wisely. Don’t bring things that the hotel will provide, like soaps or shampoos. Bring refillable water bottles so that you don’t have to purchase new ones at every destination. If you have a young child, bring a light stroller to save on rentals.

To find and reserve your vacation package, call 301-965-2000, or book online at www.gaylordnational.com.

Home Projects Becoming Real Entertainment

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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – As the recession tightens pocketbooks, Americans will begin to look for inexpensive entertainment at home. Movie ticket sales are down, DVD rentals and TV viewership are up. Libraries are enjoying increased popularity, and many people are now viewing home improvement as a form of entertainment.

Many homeowners are being drawn to landscaping, not only to improve their homes’ aesthetics, but also to engage in a rewarding activity that boosts property values and creates entertainment space. With some savvy plant choices and a few accessories, Americans can turn their lawns into outdoor theaters, camping grounds or picturesque picnic spots. Outdoor grilling baskets, marshmallow forks and a firepit allow for parties and at-home camping.

Garden Artisans, a Web site that specializes in distinctive and high-quality handcrafted products, offers many ideas for creating outdoor entertaining spaces. Larger structural items, like wall trellises, can form sequestered areas for private dining or gardening. Planters, landscape lighting, ponds and outdoor sculptures can create peaceful walkways. Outdoor candle holders and windchimes can set a whimsical or romantic mood.

But gardening does more than beautify your yard — it carries real health benefits. Gardening is a low-impact physical activity. Just a half-hour of gardening three times a week can improve health and fitness levels dramatically, and some studies suggest that working in nature decreases stress levels and improves mental clarity.

As food becomes less affordable, many families will turn to gardening to grow fresh fruits and vegetables at costs well below supermarket prices. Even a few tomato, pepper and zucchini plants can help families enjoy fresh produce through the summer. One organic pepper can cost $2.00 or more at a grocery store. For the same price, home gardeners can purchase a whole package of seeds.

For more information about landscaping or starting a garden, visit www.gardenartisans.us.

Monster Jam Drawing the Crowds

<b>Monster Jam Drawing the Crowds</b>“></td>
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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Some people might not consider sports entertainment or theatrical competitive events as real sports, but a growing number of Americans, over 5 million to be precise, are attending Monster Jam events, Supercross races, Arenacross races, Freestyle Motocross events and IHRA Nitro Jam drag racing events -; while looking for some good old-fashioned fun and competition.

“Sportive” entertainment might have started with the Roman Colosseum, but today’s stadiums and arenas are featuring much more family-oriented entertainment, while still providing the same adrenaline rush. From the world’s top monster trucks competing on circuits, crushing anything in sight including cars, semi-trailers, busses, small planes and more, to drag races, sportive entertainment has become Americana to the core.

Spectators flock to both the top stadiums and arenas in North America and Europe to see their favorite motor sports stars perform. Feld Entertainment, Inc., the company that brings classic shows like Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey, Disney On Ice and Disney Live!, acknowledges motor sports entertainment’s immense popularity. The company recently purchased Live Nation Motor Sports, Inc., which has been renamed Feld Motor Sports.

“With the addition of our motor sports division, Feld Entertainment can now offer families everywhere an even wider range of live family entertainment options,” said Kenneth Feld, chairman and CEO of Feld Entertainment. “We plan to take Monster Jam and all of our motor sports events to even more domestic and international markets than ever before.”

Monster Jam live events include three main elements: monster truck racing, monster truck freestyle and pre-show pit parties, where families can come to the venues early to get autographs and pictures with their favorite Monster Jam stars. In addition, many specialty events can take place at Monster Jam events like Quad Wars, Pro Arena Trucks and demolition derbies.

Many of the world’s top monster trucks compete on the Monster Jam tour including the likes of Grave Digger, Maximum Destruction, Blue Thunder, Monster Mutt and Captain’s Curse in addition to many studio-licensed brands like the Superman monster truck and Batman monster truck.

For more information, visit www.feldentertainment.com or www.monsterjamonline.com.