Welcome to Europe’s winter playground!

 The Alps. Breathtaking, Beautiful & Centrally Located!
Welcome to Europe’s winter playground
Winter in the Alps offers opportunities galore for those who just love to hit the slopes. Skiing isn’t on the top of your list? How about snowboarding, snow tubing, sledding or anything else fun that involves snow, because here, they have it all.  More than 120 million people visit the Alps each year to see the towering Alpine peaks that cover parts of southeastern France and northern Italy, most of Switzerland, part of southern Germany, and some of Austria and Slovenia.  Although each country offers it’s own cultural take on winter activities, it’s clear that the mountains are what shape most aspects of life in the Alps, and your home resort is conveniently nestled right in the middle of the action.
High above the picturesque towns that dot the Alps are pristine ski slopes, both ski enthusiasts and beginners can find the perfect run(s) for their ability. The most difficult decision you’ll have to make on an Alpine skiing adventure is where to start!  Most regions contain large ski areas which allow skiers to ski several mountains on one lift ticket, an added bonus to any ski trip!   Each mountain offers a different yet impressive experience and an excellent way to  make the most out of your vacation. Each ski area has various slopes which range in degrees of difficulty, all clearly marked for the beginners, intermediate, and advanced.  Ski lessons, both group and private, as well as children’s ski school  are available at all mountains and are a great way for beginners to learn the basics or for an expert to fine tune his skills.  For the real adventurous,  skiing powder, snow parks, and heliskiing are offered throughout the region.
In any great ski town, the slopes are only part of the fun and festivities. For some, the apres-ski scene is just as important as their time spent on the slopes!   Après-ski (French: after skiing) offers a wide range of opportunities to revel in the camaraderie at the end of a day on the slopes.  Typically involving drinking and dancing, skiers will stop at bars on their last run of the day while still wearing all their ski gear.  Quintessentially alpine,  après-ski is a central part of the ski culture, so when in Austria, grab a schapps and sing along to widely popular techno with your fellow skiers, or enjoy the live bands and djs of the apres-ski scene in France!   Either way it’s a guaranteed good time and memorable experience.
The World Cup & Popular Resorts
Skiing is a beloved sport by enthusiasts around the world and the world’s greatest compete annually in the World Cup.  The World Cup is considered the premier competition for alpine ski racing and requires a competitor to ski at an extremely high level in several disciplines throughout the season, and not just in one race.  Races are hosted primarily at ski resorts in the Alps in Europe and competitors attempt to achieve the best time in four disciplines: slalom, giant slalom, Super G, and downhill.  The fifth event, the combined, employs the downhill and slalom.   Popular ski resorts to host the world cup each year include: Kitzbuhel, Austria; Adelboden, Switzerland; Santa Catarina, Italy; Val d’Isere, France; and Garmisch-Paterkirchen, Germany.   These resorts are extremely popular for all skiers and travelers can find themselves on the mountain on the same day as a World Cup race.  If you’re lucky, you may find yourself inches away from Lindsey Vonn or Bode Miller as they win their next title.  Even better, you can be on the same run just days later, shushing down the mountain, scoring your own world cup victory!
American Resorts International (ARI) has two premier timeshare resorts located just steps from the slopes, contact us today and learn why membership means more with ARI!

Come to Salzburg in the Fall!

If  you think  you might like to try  Europe but are not a skier, and don’t necessarily like crowds, try Europe in the fall.  In addition to more affordable airfare, they’re little to no crowds. Best of all, the castles, beautiful lakes and mountains are still there… waiting for you to enjoy!

In fact, Salzburg is nice year-round as every month has its specific attractions. But in the fall, you won’t have to wait to get a seat in your favorite cafe or pastry shop as you peruse the old streets where Mozart once roamed.  Just take a walk though the Cathedral and feel the history and passions of the old world penetrate you.

If you like to party, be sure to make time for Munich’s world renown Oktoberfest.  Many don’t realize it but the Oktoberfest is the annual celebration of the wedding reception of King Ludwig I.


Things to see & do in Salzburg: October

For the music lover, Salzburg is the place. The “Salzburger Kulturtage” are a series of concerts, opera and theatre that targets a local audience; they were founded in 1972 to provide an affordable alternative to the Salzburg Festival of the summer. Today, they are quite popular, and – as intended – visited mostly by people from the city of Salzburg or its surroundings. Don′t expect the glamour of the Festspiele – but if you have a serious interest in music or theatre, you might even prefer the more private Salzburger Kulturtage.


Things to do & see in the surroundings: October

In the south of Salzburg, at least in the mountainous areas that is, you might have an opportunity to witness the traditional “Almabtrieb” on a weekend in early October. This ceremony involves the decoration of cows with a special kind of ornament; then the cows are taken from the high altitude meadows in the mountains to the valleys, where they stay for the winter. The ritual is often combined with services or blessings to say grace for a successful season.

This might be linked with crop and harvest festivals, of which there are plenty in rural Salzburg. The peak of these is Erntedanksonntag, the “Thanks Giving Sunday”. Processions take place for this occasion in many villages, often involving a crown made of wheat.


Things to do & see in the surroundings: November

St. Martin’s Day festivities are held on the 11th of November, a long celebrated occasion of feasting which attracts people from all over the globe, with it’s traditional meals and candlelight processions.  In late November, the skiing season starts in some ski areas; this is often done with much pomp and circumstance – live concerts, parties and traditional celebrations throughout the night.


And Remember… ARI’s Home Resorts are under an hour away from beautiful Salzburg!

Give member services a call or visit the American Resorts International site today!

An Adventure With My Mother Abroad

Living outside Chicago, time with my mother in Munich offers new memories and experiences to cherish 
By: Alain Carr

My trip began in England with my very first TATOC conference in Man-chester.  As traveling between European countries is relatively simple, I decided to go over and see my mom.  It was only a two hour flight from Manchester to Munich, so I just had to go see her.

After the conference closed and I spent a great day with my good friend showing me around London, I headed to Munich, just in time for dinner where my good German mother wasted no time, feeding me well and planning our next day in Munich.

Getting to downtown Munich couldn’t have been easier. We hopped a train to the center and walking through the Marienplatz, ate smoked salmon sandwiches and drank Hefeweizen, and doing a little shopping for my two girls.  There was an incredible array of food from the North Sea to Mediterranean and music playing, and singing in the streets welcoming the coming of the spring.  Utterly fantastic…and I hate shopping!

The next day it was off to Austria!  Salzburg is only an hour and a half drive from Munich to Salzburg, at least for most people … but my mom likes to take the back roads so it’s a bit longer … but no problem, it’s not bad way to go …along the Salzsach river!   Wunderbar Schone!  And along the way, my mom is smiling, pointing out the magnolias in bloom, and the magnificent Horse Chestnut trees essential for any real beer garden.

When we got to Salzburg it was past midday, so we decided on finding the best place we could for Salzburger Nockerln. This is a 3 mounded Austrian soufflé; a fluffy pastry cream baked on top of a bed of raspberries.  A tradition in Salzburg…, the 3 mounds  represents the hillsides surrounding the city center: the  Festungsberg, the Mönchsberg and the Kapuzinerberg. The dusting of powdered sugar resembles the snow-covered peaks.  I ate the Mönchsberg in about 30 seconds flat…unbelievably delicious!

Next we were off on a horse drawn carriage with my mom through the old streets of Salzburg. I looked at the beautiful old buildings as we strolled past while my mother watched the black horses trotted along.  We ended the day with a trip to the old fortress via a cable car to the mountainside top.  While there you’re able to look down at the amazing historic City where Mozart was born.

Then it was down to St. Johann to see how Alpenland was doing.  Once again for most it’s a 35 drive… but we took the scenic route which was much better! We made it in later that evening and had a great dinner at the resort and settled in for the evening.

The next day we drove to Hallstatt, one of oldest and most beautiful cities in Austria in my opinion.  And the road we choose to get there was spectacular.  It sits on the Hallstatt sits on the edge of the Hallstattsee, It is so beautiful I understand China has recreated Hallstatt in their country.  And, if you take the fast way back to Alpenland, you will pass the  birthplace of Mozart’s mother, the place the ‘Sound of Music’ was filmed and the beautiful Wolfangangsee which has used many movies here in the states.  In case you were wondering…we did not take the fast way back…..

We got back to Alpenland early that evening had another fantastic dinner in the Ponguaer Stube… Robert,… Anna you are the best! I think we truly have the best food in Austria… we even found they had the famous Salzburger Nockerln on the menu!

The next morning we started our way back to mom’s, but if you think we took the fast way… you’re wrong!  Nope… in fact we stopped off at the most beautiful café on Bergestgarten, 2/3rd the way up to the Eagles’ Nest …the Windbeutel Baron, where we had their specialty… der Windbeutel!; a light airy pastry filled with real cream, a scoop of vanilla ice-cream and cherries… how do you say “yum” in German?

Arriving back at my mothers, it was time to starting packing to head home. But my mother was not done with me yet!  She sent me off with a most wonderful Bavarian breakfast. She explained it was actually two breakfasts, because a traditional Bavarian might have two: one to start the day and another around 10ish… so in front me I had baked farmer cheese wrapped in bacon, weisswurst with two kinds of mustard, pretzel, salad, and an assortment of breads and cheese.  To drink, I had coffee, orange juice and a Hefeweizen.  Did I mention I love my mother?!

So, if I may make a suggestion… because time with our mothers is truly precious… take a slow spring trip through Austria sometime with yours.  Let her show you the magnolia trees blooming and have a Salzburger Nockerln together!  Neither of you will ever forget it. I promise you both!


Looking to plan a trip with you loved ones?  Contact ARI Holiday Network Member Services today!