Football Fans Flock To Florida
Thousands of visitors will make their way to Florida during the months of December, January, and February to take part in a ritual dubbed “Tailgate Tourism” by VISIT FLORIDA, the state’s official source for travel planning.
According to VISIT FLORIDA, tailgate tourists are those who visit a community for a sporting event and then travel beyond the stadium on their vacation. And this season thousands of pigskin partisans will flood into Florida to be part of six major football games that will be played in the Sunshine State.
The lineup of games includes five college bowls, including the Orange Bowl, where the University of Oklahoma and the University of Southern California will play for the national championship on January 4, 2005, at Pro Player Stadium in Miami. Other bowl games, which draw a majority of their fans from throughout the country to root for their teams, include the Tangerine Bowl (Orlando) on December 21, and the Outback Bowl (Tampa), the Gator Bowl (Jacksonville), and the Capitol One Bowl (Orlando), all on January 1.
Once the college season comes to an end, fans will turn their attention to Jacksonville, site of the National Football League’s Super Bowl XXXIX, which will be played February 6 at ALLTEL Stadium in Jacksonville. Although the stadium holds 73,800 fans, the NFL estimates that more than 35 percent of the visitors to the Super Bowl city each year do not have tickets but come to be a part of the festivities.
If you are traveling to Florida for one of these games or just for the sun and fun, go to www.visitflorida.com, or call (888) 7-FLAUSA (735-2872) for more information about vacationing in the Sunshine State.
Creative World Travel Founder Passes Away
Bill LaGrange, the gregarious 6-foot-6-inch, 250-pound founder and president of Creative World Travel, C1350, died in a single-car accident in New Orleans, Louisiana, on November 11, 2004. He was 55.
Mr. LaGrange began Creative World Travel in 1976, arranging RV rallies and tours in the United States, Canada, and internationally. Destinations outside North America included Europe, Australia, South Africa, Mexico, and the Orient, to name a few.
Greg Bruce, a longtime friend of Mr. LaGrange and general manager with Creative World Travel, has taken over the operation of the company at the request of the LaGrange family. He said that although his friend will be missed, the business will carry on, which is how Mr. LaGrange would have wanted it. “Bill touched people all over the world,” Mr. Bruce said. “No person was a stranger to him. He was a great guy who treated everybody like family. That’s how he built the business.”
Mr. Bruce said that the accident occurred on a road Mr. LaGrange had traveled his entire life and was just feet from Marconi Meadows park, the site of the company’s annual Mardi Gras rally that has been staged since Creative World Travel began.
Mr. LaGrange is survived by his wife, Sheri, and three sons.
Home & Park Introduces Roadtrek 210-Versatile
Home & Park Motorhomes, C3790, based in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada, introduced its latest addition to the Roadtrek type B motorhome family, the 210-Versatile, during the National RV Trade Show, November 30 through December 2, 2004, in Louisville, Kentucky.
The 210-Versatile, which is based on the Chevrolet Express 3500 extended van, includes two captains chairs and two forward-facing lounge chairs that provide seating for four up front. An L-shaped lounge in the rear converts to an 80-inch-by-60-inch queen-size bed. Other amenities include a 4-cubic-foot, three-way Dometic refrigerator; a large storage wardrobe with a built-in closet organizer; solid-surface laminate countertops and a stainless-steel sink; a toast-and-bake microwave oven; and 10 halogen interior lights. Options include a coffeemaker, an extendable table, a flat-screen TV, a DVD player, and an armoire.
For more information about the Roadtrek 210-Versatile, contact Home & Park at (800) 762-3873 or visit www.roadtrek.com.
New Book Reveals 50 Places Americans Should See
Michelin Travel Publications recently released a new book that any traveler with a sense of American history will appreciate. America’s Patriotic Places: The 50 Places Every American Should See ($7.95) is a 108-page publication that highlights 50 of America’s best-known battlefields, memorials, and landmarks.
The book is designed as both a keepsake and as a checklist of patriotic sites in the United States. It features interesting facts, famous quotes, and more than 150 color photographs of sites such as Gettysburg, Plymouth Rock, and Pearl Harbor. Natural wonders such as Pike’s Peak, Mount Rushmore, and the ancient cliff dwellings of Mesa Verde are also included, while the Empire State Building and the Golden Gate Bridge are showcased as symbols of America’s progress.
The publication’s magazine-style format, alphabetical listing, and locator map make referencing sites easy for armchair readers or on-the-road travelers. The book also includes up-to-date addresses, telephone numbers, and Web site addresses for each of the 50 sites listed.
America’s Patriotic Places: The 50 Places Every American Should See is available at Wal-Mart, Target, and other mass merchandise stores.
Airstream Launches Sprinter Westfalia Marketing Campaign
Airstream, a division of Thor Industries, C847, has targeted young families with a sense of exploration as the audience for its first-ever marketing campaign for the Dodge Sprinter Westfalia type B motorhome. The integrated campaign, which will be the largest marketing initiative in Airstream history, intends to show that the Sprinter Westfalia is perfectly built for spontaneous weekend getaways.
Based on consumer research, the campaign is designed to engage younger urban and suburban families who are explorers at heart. The campaign theme will be “Every year comes with 52 weekends. Make the most of them.”
The marketing campaign will involve print and online advertising, direct mail, special events, and a newly designed Web site, www.52weekends.com. The Web site will feature an assortment of weekend-getaway-themed content as well as detailed information about the Sprinter Westfalia.
Built on the Dodge Sprinter platform with a Mercedes-Benz five-cylinder turbocharged diesel engine, the Sprinter Westfalia includes a bathroom with a shower, a hand basin, and a toilet; a kitchen with a dual-burner stovetop, a refrigerator/freezer, and a stainless-steel sink; and a living area with a large removable table, a sofa-bed, and a roof bed that, combined, will sleep four comfortably.
For more information about the Sprinter Westfalia, contact Airstream at (937) 596-6111 or visit www.airstream.com.
John Ratzenberger, Mike Leonard Receive RVIA Spirit Of America Award
John Ratzenberger, best known for his role as Cliff Clavin on the popular TV series “Cheers,” and Mike Leonard, a correspondent for NBC News, were honored with the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) 2004 Spirit of America Award on Tuesday, November 30, during the association’s National RV Trade Show in Louisville, Kentucky.
Mr. Ratzenberger received the award in recognition of his travelogue series, “John Ratzenberger’s Made in America,” which airs on the Travel Channel. The program, which chronicles his journeys around the country in search of made-in-America companies, has exposed millions of viewers to RV travel. In one of the show’s first episodes he visited Elkhart, Indiana, home to dozens of RV factories. In another episode he toured an Airstream factory in Jackson Center, Ohio, and traced the fascination of RV travel back to the covered-wagon era.
Mr. Leonard, who has worked at NBC News for nearly 25 years, received the award for his four-part cross-country RV road trip series that aired on “NBC Today” this past summer. The series highlighted the travels of the Leonard family, which included Mike; his wife, Cathleen; their four children; and his octogenarian parents. The story showcased the fun and adventure this multigenerational group had while traveling in an RV.
Past recipients of the Spirit of America Award include U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas; retired CBS News cinematographer Izzy Bleckman, best known for his work with the late Charles Kuralt’s “On The Road” series; and Joe Cahn, the “Commissioner of Tailgating.”
Fleetwood Introduces Jamboree GTX, Tioga SLX, Other New Models
Fleetwood RV, a division of Fleetwood Enterprises, C985, has collaborated with BMW Group DesignworksUSA to introduce the Jamboree GTX and Tioga SLX type C motorhomes. Both vehicles were unveiled during the National RV Trade Show in Louisville, Kentucky, November 30 through December 2, 2004.
Both models are built on a raised platform to provide expansive basement storage and heated holding tanks. The exterior includes a low-drag body featuring an aerodynamic cab-over area with a distinctive front vista window, contoured transition fairings, molded composite running boards, and a fully integrated rear body panel. Exterior options include full-body paint graphics, a power awning, and a 15,000-Btu air conditioner with solar panel charger and heat pump.
The interior is highlighted by elegant curved cabinetry components, solid-surface galley tops, a residential-size stainless-steel microwave-convection oven, and an entertainment center with a 20-inch flat-screen TV and a DVD/CD player. Options include Ultraleather furniture, a home theater system, high-resolution LCD TVs, and a 400-watt power inverter.
The Jamboree GTX and Tioga SLX are available in three floor plans ranging from 26 feet to 31 feet. All floor plans include a large L-shaped sofa for dining and entertaining.
Fleetwood also introduced its 2005 Pace Arrow with a 30-inch-deep full-wall slideout system; the Revolution LE, built on the company’s Liberty chassis with a Caterpillar diesel engine and quad slideouts; and a new Southwind floor plan with a spacious rear lounge.
For more information about Fleetwood RV motorhomes, call (800) 322-8216 or visit www.fleetwoodrv.com.