Aspen rolling out Food & Wine deal |

Aspen rolling out Food & Wine deal

Janet UrquhartThe Aspen TimesAspen, CO Colorado

ASPEN – Aspen is pairing lodging deals with free outdoor activities or a massage to entice attendees to this year’s Food & Wine Magazine Classic.In pre-recession days, passes to the three-day Classic regularly sold out, and often sold out early, but last year, organizers made $250 day passes available to the grand tasting events in the big tent at Wagner Park because the full passes did not sell out. The day passes proved popular with locals, but the new promotion is aimed at filling up local lodging accommodations for the weekend, said Bill Tomcich, president of the reservations agency Stay Aspen Snowmass.The agency has rolled out a “Sip, Savor and Save” package for the 28th annual Classic, scheduled June 18-20. Purchasers get a Food & Wine pass, a free night of lodging and a free activity. Stay Aspen Snowmass, said Tomcich, saw a flurry of Food & Wine bookings before March 15 – the deadline for purchasing a pass to the event at the lowest price. The early purchase price for the pass was $1,085. It’s now $1,185. The pass is good for admission to multiple grand tastings in the tent, plus the weekend’s slate of food and wine seminars.The lodging piece of the package offers a free night – buy three nights and get a fourth night free, for example, or buy four nights and stay a fifth night for free. In addition, the package provides one free extra activity – a round of golf, river rafting, a half-day guided hiking tour, mountain biking, sunset Jeep tour or a 50-minute massage.”The goal is to fill up hotel rooms first, which has traditionally happened on Food & Wine weekend, but hasn’t happened the past two years,” said Bill Tomcich, president of Stay Aspen Snowmass.”It’s shaping up to be busy, but we’re a long way from being sold out,” he

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