Maybe it’s the possibility of Spring beckoning. Or perhaps it’s simply that credit cards being sucked dry by rising gas prices have encouraged hoteliers to offer more interesting sounding promotions designed to do their own spending stimulation. Whatever the reason, my inbox is rife with offers that may tempt you into booking now and saving later.

 Exciting news for divers, water sports enthusiasts and marine life conservationists. The TradeWinds Sandpiper Suites on St. Pete Beach is undergoing a $3 million renovation and rebranding. When the 211-room beach-front property is completed in 2013, the TradeWinds will become Florida’s first Guy Harvey Outpost in the U.S. According to Keith Overton, president of TradeWinds Island Resorts, the rebranding project includes incorporating the signature Guy Harvey brand through the public and exterior spaces of the hotel and meetings facilities. Each guestroom will feature a Guy Harvey décor theme and each will receive new carpet, paint, artwork and flat screen HDTVs. Start saving now for the officially licensed Guy Harvey clothing, products and souvenir line. For over 30 years, the Guy Harvey brand has been synonymous with exploration, research and conservation of the oceans. The rebranded Outpost property will remain owned and managed by the TradeWinds Island Resorts and share privileges with its nearby, larger sister property, the TradeWinds Island Grand.  www.GuyHarveyOutpostTampaBay.com

I don’t ski, water or snow, but even someone as klutzy as me can recognize an incredible deal when offered, such as the latest from Vail Resorts. The leading mountain resorts operator has acquired Kirkwood Mountain Resort at Lake Tahoe, CA, site of some of the best high alpine advanced terrain in North America. Their acquisition means they now operate three world-class mountain resorts in the Lake Tahoe region, including Heavenly Mountain Resort and Northstar California. What it means for current and future near-passholders if access to all three. .”  As of today, Epic Pass and Epic Local Pass holders will have unrestricted access to ski and ride Kirkwood. Tahoe Value Pass holders can ski and ride there every day except on Saturdays. Kirkwood pass holders with the following passes will have access to Heavenly and Northstar: Premium Pass holders and 7 Wood Pass holders will have unlimited, unrestricted access to Heavenly and Northstar, while 6 Wood Pass holders will have access to Heavenly and Northstar six days a week, Sunday-Friday, with no holiday restrictions. 5 Wood Pass holders will have access to Heavenly and Northstar five days a week, Monday-Friday. The Company also announced that it intends to retain a Kirkwood-only season pass and Kirkwood-only daily lift tickets, priced comparably to what’s offered today. www.vailresorts.com

The views from the Wyndham Ocean Walk in Daytona Beach are stunning. The vacation condominium rentals combine deluxe resort amenities with an intimate leisure atmosphere, creating a perfect setting for an incentive or small conference group. For a limited time, planners booking a minimum 20-rooms can receive a $100 AMEX gift card, your room and breakfasts for free. Details at www.wyndhamgroups.com

Now on a more personal note: I will be travelling to Iowa this summer, with possible side trips to Milwaukee and Chicago. As well, hubby and I and another couple are planning a trip (maybe this summer???) to Montreal and Quebec City. If anyone has ideas for must-do’s or suggestions on best times to go and possibilities for where to stay (prefer b&b’s  or boutique hotels that don’t require taking out a second mortgage), please do let me know. I rely on your expertise for what to do, where to stay, and most of all, where to eat that the food is unquestionably awesome but affordable.

Karen Kuzsel is a writer-editor based in the Orlando area who specializes in the hospitality, entertainment, meetings & events industries.  She is a Contributing Editor-Writer for Prevue Magazine and is an active member of ISES and MPI, for which she is on the Membership Advisory Council and the Industry Advisory Council. She writes about food & wine, spas, destinations, venues, meetings & events. A career journalist, Karen has owned magazines, written for newspapers, trade publications, radio and TV. As her alter-ego, Natasha, The Psychic Lady, she is a featured entertainer for corporate and social events. karenkuzsel@earthlink.net; www.ThePsychicLady.com

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