Archive for the ‘travel’ Category goes local

Posted: September 23, 2010 in Bermuda, internet, Technology, travel

Went to the launch of the new-look tonight. The tourist-focused site has been overhauled and aims to be a lot more dynamic in terms of content. There’s better integration of Google Maps and social media-type tools and the leaner redesign should be faster to load and the site claims to be optimised for better search engine results.

The site is aggressively going after the local market and Yellow Pages in particular with its Local section which offers users impressive search, rate, share and review functions for local businesses. Click on a business and you get map location and turn by turn directions.

Advertisers themselves can dynamically add text, images and video and have access to an very useful back end that tracks their online presence across the internet and what people are saying about their business on various websites, blogs and social media networks. Online reputation is critical these days and this is an easy-to-use option to keep track of it.

A new Onions section aims to draw more locals to the site with things like flight status, off island travel deals in conjunction with Expedia, Bermynet-style party photo pages, contests and what it claims is a simplified guide to what’s on at the movies – something no one seems to get right. This attempt is better but infuriatingly there is still no “at a glance” guide to what’s on – you have to click through to the Bermuda Sun’s movie reviews to find out where the film is playing [ and the Sun are both owned by Media House].

All in all though, a lot of useful improvements but it remains to be seen whether local users will gravitate to it in any great numbers. As their Facebook page has only 411 followers (as of 10.15pm tonight),  it suggests they may have some work to do.

Ten reasons to love Telluride

Posted: February 21, 2009 in miscellany, travel

Just on our way back from a first trip to Telluride, Colorado. Two glorious weeks in the San Juan mountains have confirmed it as our family’s favourite North American ski resort. Here’s ten random reasons why:

  1. Awesome skiing: miles of really varied and challenging terrain (the new Revelation  Bowl on a sunny day has to be experienced to be believed); fantastic instructors for kids and adults alike. Genial Aussie Howard Davis transformed my skiing in three days and had me flying down the slopes with more speed and panache than I thought possible.
  2. Women’s Week: The wife loved this – four days of seriously intense, extreme ski instruction, great camaeraderie, plus parties and dinners. Toss in all the store discounts and freebies and this proved to be one of skiing’s best-kept secrets. There are three a year, check them out at the resort website.
  3. No lines: No, really. Telluride is still remote enough not to attract the days crowds from Denver. We were there over President’s Day weekend and even at its busiest I don’t think we ever waited five minutes at the main lift.
  4. Free transport: No need to rent a car. The free Galloping Goose bus service runs around townevery 10-20 minutes depending on the time of day and gondolas up and across the resort are free too.
  5. The Boot Doctor: Magicians or technicians, we’re not sure but they made a world of difference to our feet. Great gear too.
  6. 221 South Oak Street: Our favourite place to eat. Intimate atmosphere, great staff and Chef Eliza Gavin’s menu is full of fresh, innovative creations. Possibly one of the best little bistros in North America. Alpino Vino up on the top of the slopes is a cozy touch of Europe for a leisurely lunch. It ain’t cheap but location, location, location … 
  7. Telluride Truffles: Exquisite handmade chocs to die for.  You’ll never eat Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory again.
  8. Cool history: Butch Cassidy carried out his first bank robbery here in 1889. And it was the first city in the world to have electric street lamps thanks to the world’s first AC power plant, built to serve a mining industry that by the end of the 19th century had clawed a staggering $360 million worth of gold from them thar hills. The Telluride Historical Museum is a little gem worth visiting.
  9.  Snow mobiling: The boys at Telluride Snowmobiling Adventures took us on an spectacular two-hour tour up to the  deserted old mining town of Atta.
  10. Western gear: I don’t know what it is about the west that gets under a man’s skin but this is the place to get kitted out like an extra from True Grit. I stopped after stocking up on leather and horsehair belts, a rancher’s palm hat (perfect nape-to-nose coverage for a Bermuda summer) and ranch-hand jeans that claimed to be “cowboy tested”. Not on Brokeback Mountain, I hope. Then again, Telluride is hosting Gay Ski Week the week after we left. Would have just loved to have seen the RuPaul Drag Race, darling.