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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Like us on Facebook and you could win a 2 nights stay at the Douglas Fir Resort and Chalets!

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So we might be a little biased, but we think the Douglas Fir Resort is the finest family resort in Banff. We want to share our outstanding accommodation, waterslides, Playzone and location and let you know when we have discounted rates, exciting new packages and deals that you can’t resist!
 

Social media has become a part of everyday life and is one of best and yet, least intrusive ways to keep you up to date with everything we have to offer.

We don’t just want to collect Facebook fans, we want to offer memories and experience that will last a lifetime and they are right on your doorstep at the Douglas Fir Resort and Chalets.


How to Enter?
‘Like’ our Facebook group from now until June 30th and you could be in with a chance of winning the two night stay. We will pick a winner at random from everyone who ‘Likes’ the page.





The finer details:
  • Contest is open to adults over the age of 18. 
  • The contest opens on June 1st 2011 and Closes June 30th at 4:30pm,  Mountain Time. 
  • The winner will be chosen at random from the Facebook ‘fans’ of the DFR page. 
  • The winner will be chosen on June 30th at 4:30pm. 
  • The winner will be chosen by an independent party, by designated Douglas Fir Resort staff. 
  • The winner will be announced in the first week of July and will be contacted via their Facebook account. 
  • The winner will receive a free 2 night stay at the Douglas Fir Resort and Chalets, Banff in one of our One Bedroom Loft Condos. 
  • The 2 night stay is not valid for long weekends, holidays and is subject to managerial discretion. 
  • The 2 night stay is valid for bookings from July 1st 2011 to June 30th   2012. 
  • The 2 night stay is not valid in conjunction with any other discount, coupon, package or special promotion and applies to new bookings only. 
  • The prize is stated and non transferable. No cash or other alternatives   available 
  • The winner will be issued with a gift certificate.

Be the first to know about our best prices and hotel information by liking us on Facebook, and you could win a 2 night stay in the process!
 

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Thursday, May 26, 2011

Top Tips for Wet Weather in Banff

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So the scenery is outstanding and the mountains are breathtaking, but you can’t see any of it due to the low cloud coverage! Yes, even Banff get’s its rainy days. But hey, don’t worry about it. There are some great indoor activities you can occupy yourself with until the clouds part and Alberta’s famous blue skies reappear.

Bowling
Little know to a lot of people, is the 5 pin bowling at the Fairmont Banff Springs hotel. Located in the Bowling Centre across from the hotel, there are 4 lanes available for everyone to use! And if you have to wait for a lane, keep yourself occupied with the arcades, pool table, lounge and bar.


Indoor Climbing
Based at the Sally Borden Recreational Facility at The Banff Centre, this world-class climbing gym will keep you occupied and active! Admission fee also includes use of the rest of the fitness facilities!


Indoor Waterslides

Of course, how could we NOT mention our very own indoor waterslides! Free to hotel guests and an admission fee to outside patrons, we welcome everyone to come and use the only waterslides in Banff!


Ice Skating
At Banff’s only indoor ice facility, this is a vibrant space year round for hockey, skating and other activities.


Movies
Banff has its very own movie theater showing all the new releases. Matinee showings are available and it’s a great way to pass a couple hours.


Museums

Take your pick from:
- Buffalo Nations Luxton Museum, detailing how the First Nations people of North America lived
- Banff Park Museum National Historic Site of Canada which boasts a collection over 5000 natural history specimens detailing the modern natural history of the park.
- The Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies with exhibits exploring the history and culture of the area.



And that's not to mention the great shopping, art galleries, coffee shops, amazing restaurants or cozy hotel rooms with fireplaces!


If all else fails, grab those waterproofs and head out hiking; its only a bit of water!
 

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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Bike Fest June 16th-19th

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Another fantastic highlight on the Banff events calendar, June 16th-19th, will see the annual Bike Fest come to Banff. Four days of exciting edge of your seat races with competitors from far across Western Canada and the US flocking to the area to compete.

There are five competitive events to be held during the four days. Not to mention the family friendly Little Crit and fancy dress Cruiser Crit Challenges; there is something for everyone. If you’re not competing, take the time to enjoy events and stake your perfect viewing spot alongside the road.


Best Spectator Spot for the Banff Bike Fest 2011 (as recommended by Banff Lake Louise Tourism):


Thursday, June 16th
Cascade Plaza Prologue
Buffalo St & Tunnel Mountain Dr.

Friday, June 17
Lake Louise Road Race

Lake Louise
Castle Mountain Chalets at Castle Mountain Junction
Corral Creek Picnic Area
Village of Lake Louise


Saturday, June 18
Individual Time Trial
Town of Banff / Minnewanka Loop Road
Start / Finish – Bumpers Beef House (Used to be Husky Gas Station) Banff Avenue
Two Jack Lake Day Use Area
Lake Minnewanka Day Use Area


Saturday, June 18
Criterium / Little Crit / Cruiser Crit Challeng
Town of Banff
Start / Finish - 200 block Banff Avenue
Wolf Street
Bear Street
Caribou Street


Sunday, June 19
Tunnel Mountain Road Race
Town of Banff
Start/Finish – Beaver St
Corner of Banff Ave & Tunnel Mt. Rd – Rocky Mountain Resort
Corner of Tunnel Mt. Rd & Tunnel Mt. Dr – Buffalo Mountain Lodge
Surprise Corner – corner of Buffalo St and Tunnel Mt. Dr



Visit the Banff Lake Louise Tourism website for everything you need to know, and more, about the event!
 

An event for all the family!
 

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Thursday, May 19, 2011

83rd Annual Slush Cup at Sunshine - This Weekend!

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There are certain events which signify the end of the winter season in the Rockies. One of the biggest is the closing tradition of Sunshine Ski Village – the infamous Sunshine Village Slush Cup.

Picture this: a steep ski hill, a bikini-clad guy (yes, guy) on skis, and a 20ft pond of ice cold water. A bad combination? We think not!


The brave Slush Cup skiers and snowboarders have one objective - to speed down the ski hill, skim across the ice cold water and victoriously reach the other side of the pond….without falling in. Few manage to earn the glorious title (and bragging rights) of reaching the other side and most dent their pride while trying. But it sure is fun to watch.


Skiers are judged on their distance, air, style and perhaps most importantly, the quality of their belly flop, with various prizes awarded at the end of the competition. This year will also see the 3rd annual Bikini’s for Breast Cancer fundraiser on the Strawberry Face. All of this teamed with a live performance from New Moon and you’ve got yet another great weekend at Sunshine Village.


Huge crowds gather to watch the event and it’s a great day out for everyone. It’s a fantastic combination of celebrating the 2010/11 ski season, saying goodbye to winter and enjoying everything that is great about the sport. 

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Thursday, May 12, 2011

Farmers Market Comes to Banff!

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Hooray, history has been made! At a much anticipated council meeting earlier this week, council members unanimously voted in favor for a farmers market to be held in Banff throughout this summer. It’s something that has been on the agenda for many local residents for years and the decision has been met with fantastic response.

With recent concerns about the tourism industry and not to mention gas prices, the farmers market is yet another reason to come and visit the area and is sure to bring a vibrancy and buzz about town. It’s a free event that is perfect for families wanting to enjoy some ‘down time’ when they come to the area.


The market will feature a variety of products and organizers are keen to ensure that there is a varied selection of stalls. Councilors want to keep the location central for shoppers as its going to be a great opportunity for visitors to stroll around the market in the summer sun.


Located at the end of Banff high street in the Central Park parking lot, it is going to be ideal for downtown shopping with its central location. The only concern is the loss of 38 parking spaces during the peak summer season. Guests staying at the Douglas Fir Resort needn’t worry as all Douglas Fir Resort guests receive free and unlimited access to the downtown shuttle bus, so you can leave your car at the hotel and enjoy a hassle free trip to the market!


The farmers market is scheduled to be held every Wednesday between June 29th and August 31st. Just make sure you buy us something nice!
 

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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

6 Professional Tips to your Best BBQ

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Can you smell that, it’s freshly cut grass, it’s a warm breeze, its sausages on the grill! The time has arrived and it’s time to get out those ‘Kiss the Chef’ aprons as BBQ season has begun!

Whether you’re grilling up some patties on a portable camping BBQ or roasting a whole hog on your triple leveled masterpiece, we have 6 tips from a BBQ mastermind straight out of South Africa, for your Best BBQ season of 2011.



1.    It Makes the Difference - Grilling and BBQ-ing
Grilling is cooking food quickly and directly over a very hot fire, whereas barbequing is the slow, indirect cooking of meat over a low, smoky fire. When you can keep your hand over a fire for three seconds, it means you have medium heat. At this temperature, most foods grill without burning on the outside.

2.    Get Your Meat Right
If you're picking steaks or sausages, pick something that contains a little bit of fat. In a steak you want 'marbling' which is very small, thin streaks of fat throughout the meat. With sausages you could try South African boerewors or Spanish chorizo. The fat will cook the meat from the inside and most of it will drip out in the cooking process.

3.    Get Saucy
As with meats, marinades that contain oil or fat tend to do better on a barbeque. Marinade meat 24hours to 20minutes before you cook it to bring out an amazing flavor! Brush vegetables with a little bit of olive oil before you barbeque them and experiment with flavors. Try mixing balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper and adding bell peppers, onions, zucchini, and then grilling. Put them back into the dressing when they're done!


4.    Turn on the Hot and Cold
On your BBQ grill, designate two separate areas. One area which is very hot where the actual cooking of the meat will take place. The other, a cooler area where the meat can sit after it’s been cooked, the meat will still be cooking and it will keep it warm, without that charcoaled effect. The areas can be separated by a bottom or top shelf with propane BBQ’s or stacking the coals to one side on a charcoal BBQ. Perfect way to have all your meat fully cooked without being burnt.

5.    The Art of Searing
'Sear' the meat quickly on a high heat to get some brown or black char marks on the meat. This starts something called the Maillard reaction which gives meat that delicious barbeque flavor. Once it has some color move it to the cooler part of the grill to cook slowly.

6.    Keep It Tender

There is no point buying top grade meat to then go and stick a fork in it whilst cooking to lose all those juices and dry it out. The only tool you want to be using when cooking are tongs to turn the meat. To test whether you meat is ready and for tenderness, touch the centre of the meat. The rawer it is, the more flesh like it will feel. The better done meat will feel much firmer to the touch.



If you want to try out these insider tips whilst you’re here in Banff, we have our very own Bed and Make your Own BBQ package which you can add on to most room types along with shared BBQ stations dotted around the property for you to use. BBQ-ing out in the open in the middle of the Canadian Rockies is something that no summer should be without.
 

So don those aprons, grab those tongs and let the BBQ season begin!
 

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Thursday, May 5, 2011

Top 7 Family Friendly Drives in Banff National Park

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On The Road Again - Many activities come to mind once the warmer weather arrives after the lull of winter. BBQ’s, camping, hiking and of course, just getting out onto the open road. With the snow melting and the ice thawing, many of the roads around Banff national park which are closed during winter are now opening up and it’s time to make use of them once again.

There is something about rolling the windows down, playing your favorite music and letting the fresh air invigorate you as you take in the majestic beauty of the mountains. So here is our Top 7 Family Friendly Drives of 2011. We’ve rated them on distance, wow factor and kid friendly, because after all, we know what phrase we often hear during car journey’s!

 
Tunnel Mt. Drive
              Distance 9 km    Wow Factor – 3/5        
Kid Friendly 5/5 thumbs up


Starting from the Douglas Fir Resort, you drive the short distance round to the other side of Tunnel Mt. A simple yet impressive route, with fantastic views along the way and on the other side with will reach the aptly named ‘Surprise Corner’ because of the impressive view when you least expect it! You can also park up and take it in once you reach the other side.



Vermillion Lakes
              Distance – 4.5km    Wow Factor – 3/5        
Kid Friendly – 4/5 thumbs up


This drive is less than 2 minutes outside of Banff. It takes you alongside some of the lakes that are the essence of the Rockies, and so close to home. This drive is especially great in spring as the lakes are teaming with wildlife such as beavers, bighorn sheep, muskrats, Canada geese and bald eagles. Take the binoculars for some wildlife spotting.


Norquay Landing
              Distance – 6.4km      Wow Factor – 4/5        
Kid Friendly 3/5 thumbs up

Another drive that’s close to home, described as being in Banff’s backyard with access to the road 2 minutes outside of town. This winding road takes you up to where Norquay ski hill is based during the winter months. Wildlife is often seen grazing along this road and you are treated to an impressive view at Norquay landing when you reach the top. Take a picnic once you get there and take in the view.

 
Sunshine Road
            Distance – 9km     Wow Factor 4/5      
Kid Friendly 3/5 thumbs up



Accessible from the Trans Canada Highway after approximately 10minutes driving, as you head out towards Lake Louise, the Sunshine Road is another ski hill route. Enjoy the scenery as you are nestled in-between the rugged mountains and take time to stop along the way. Look out for the Healy Creek rest point to take in the atmosphere or even head out on one of the many hiking trails along the way.

 
Bow Valley Parkway
        Distance – 18km    Wow Factor - 4/5    
Kid Friendly - 3/5 thumbs up
 

Another route to Lake Louise, but without the hustle and bustle of the highway! The parkway starts at an intersection on the Trans-Canada Highway 5.5 km west of the Norquay overpass and winds its way through the mountains for scenery that is good for the soul. Lookout for landmarks such as Hillsdale Meadows, Johnston Canyon, Castle Mountain, Baker Creek along with numerous other look out points.

Lake Minnewanka Loop
     Distance – 19km    Wow Factor – 4/5    
Kid Friendly – 5/5 thumbs up

Not only great for a drive, but one of the best places for a picnic and a day out. It is a short distance from Banff and takes you on the full loop of Lake Minnewanka. Not to mention Cascade Ponds, Lower Bankhead and Upper Bankhead, sites of the old coal mining community that is now an area with shelter and picnic tables in an open meadow! You can also go boating on the lake, fishing and camping. Two Jack Lane is also a stone’s throw from Lake Minnewanka, another great site.

Moraine Lake
               Distance  - 65km   Wow Factor – 5/5           
Kid Friendly 4/5 thumbs up

Last but definitely not least on the list. Moraine Lake boasts some of the most breathtaking views in the area. Accessible on a road close to Chateau Lake Louise, the drive is exceptional and the scenery is breath taking. A common feature on many postcards, Moraine Lake is well worth the trip.

 Pack up a picnic and take in the magestic beauty of the Rockies.

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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

We Have a Winner! Aprils ‘Pet of the Month’

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We are very excited to announce our first ‘Pet of the Month’, competition winner! April’s title goes to…….Fuzz! Small in size but big in personality, Fuzz takes travel in his (little) stride.

Pictured here last summer, camping in the Rocky Mountains, Fuzz has a chair, a blanket, and a beer all to himself. As a dog that loves travel, and described by his owner as flying across Canada more times than most people, this dog loves to see new places and new things. His favorite place to sleep at home is curled up in the travel bag, and will gladly show you his appreciation for travel by wagging his tail enthusiastically when you find him in there! Fuzz also likes his comfort (as you can tell) and will travel in style, making sure a sleeping bag is always reserved for him!

April’s winner was a tough decision and we want to thank everyone who has so far sent in pictures of the furry members of their family. You can enter as many times as you like, and no pet is out of bounds! So keep sending in your snaps!

To enter send your pictures to alison@douglasfir.com (no URL’s please) and for further competition details please visit our website. We will announce a winner each month, who will then go into the grand prize draw at the end of the year for the two nights stay at the Douglas Fir Resort!

All pets are welcome for the competition, so get sending in your photo’s for May’s winner!

 

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Douglas Fir Resort & Chalets

Tunnel Mountain Road
P.O. Box 1228
Banff, Alberta T1L 1B2 Canada

For reservations call toll free:
1-800-661-9267
Toll free fax: 1-800-267-8774
Calgary Direct Line: 264-2563
Phone: (403) 762-5591
Fax: (403) 762-8774
Email: stay@douglasfir.com

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