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Spectacular “Home Courts”

July 08, 2015
London is synonymous with Big Ben. The first image of Paris that the mind conjures is the Eiffel Tower. There are some landmarks so well known that they’ve become iconic, indelibly tied to their location. But it’s not just major monuments and structures that have those kind of geographic connections. It can be food and drink (champagne equals France, bourbon equals Kentucky), or it can be celebrations (New Year’s Eve is all about Times Square in New York City).


London is synonymous with Big Ben. The first image of Paris that the mind conjures is the Eiffel Tower. There are some landmarks so well known that they’ve become iconic, indelibly tied to their location. But it’s not just major monuments and structures that have those kind of geographic connections. It can be food and drink (champagne equals France, bourbon equals Kentucky), or it can be celebrations (New Year’s Eve is all about Times Square in New York City).

Some of our favorite non-profit fundraising auction travel packages take donors to visit these destinations, so closely linked to their geographic homes. But we’ve also got ways to connect your supporters to the world’s great sporting events, contests that not only bring the best athletes to the field (or court, or course, or…) but also become intertwined with the local fabric in a special way.

Next week, the eyes of the international sports world moves from England to its neighbor, Scotland, for one of golf’s signature events. The British Open takes place at St. Andrews Links, sometimes referred to as the birthplace of the sport. While the Open Championship (as it’s formally called) is rotated between several courses in Scotland and England, it’s the Old Course at St. Andrews that is the most common host. While Mitch-Stuart doesn’t have specific spectator packages for the Open, we can go one step further: Our “Home of Golf” travel package allows donors to play the Torrance and Kittocks Courses at the Fairmont St. Andrews, two of the most spectacular courses in the country!

There are several yearly events in France that people associate with the country (the clay courts of Roland Garros have made the French Open an iconic tournament of tennis’ Grand Slam), but only one covers a tremendous amount of the nation’s land and ends with an iconic trip down the Champs-Elysees. The Tour de France is a summer sports favorite, an event that attracts eyes from around the world and introduces everyday fans to some of the planet’s top athletes, who otherwise train in obscurity. The best part: Watching the Tour riders pass by is free for general spectators (though VIP tickets are available for those who don’t want to line up and wait roadside), meaning that almost every trip Mitch-Stuart, Inc., offers to France can be a Tour de France trip with a little bit of planning and the willingness to arrive at the race course early.

Of course, in America we’re best known for one particular sporting event as well, even if it changes venues each year. The Super Bowl is a single-game experience like none other; for one afternoon, seemingly the entire nation stops to gather in living rooms, gorge on snacks and watch a lot of … commercials (with some football sprinkled in). It’s a true bucket list ticket for sports fans – and one to which we have access! Our “Winner Takes All at the 2016 Super Bowl!” package can send donors to the 2016 Super Bowl at the new Levi Stadium in Santa Clarita, CA, with two tickets for the game and a three-night hotel stay, along with transportation to and from both the airport and the Bowl itself.
Fairmont St. Andrews
Tour De France
Tour De France
Super Bowl


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Trip of the Month: St. Thomas

April 01, 2015
Mitch-Stuart, Inc., is the industry leader in non-profit auction travel packages, with a world’s worth of options from which to choose – from Boston to Bali, from Las Vegas to London and from Palm Springs to Paris. With such a massive catalog, choosing a trip to offer to your donors at your gala fundraising auction can seem overwhelming, so each month we’re going to highlight a top-selling adventure available through Mitch-Stuart, including its accommodations, its draws and ways that we can even sweeten the deal.

The Trip: All-Inclusive Fun Under the Sun – Island Style!

The Destination: St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands

The Reason: After a tough winter across much of the country, anything with a beach view is going to get the attention of a prospective bidder/donor. And there are few places that scream “beach view” quite like the Caribbean.

The Hotel: The all-inclusive resort Bolongo Bay Beach Resort caters to almost every whim of its guests. A regular fixture on “best beachfront hotels” lists, Bolongo Bay offers gratis meals and drinks – yes, unlimited cocktails – to those staying on the property. This means everything from eggs and OJ in the morning to lobster and wine in the evening is pre-paid. There are no pockets for your wallet in those swimming trunks anyway.

The Add-Ons: Lounging on the beach all day while sipping colorful frozen drinks is one way to do a trip to the Caribbean. But another is to get active – and this package includes an introductory SCUBA lesson in the Bolongo Bay pool, along with a half-day snorkeling trip for an up-close-and-personal encounter with the local turtle population.

…And More!: St. Thomas is known to be the most cosmopolitan of the Virgin Islands, and there’s as much to do here as any other part of the Caribbean. The Mahogany Run Golf Course features a three-hole run called the “Devil’s Triangle,” which awards a certificate to any player who can simply get through them without taking a penalty stroke. After 18 holes, it might be time to get a massage; there are day spas all over the island for relaxation. And though the resort dining is spectacular, those looking to head off into the island for different fare can look up Old Stone Farmhouse, where diners meet with the chef before the meal to prepare their own, personal menu.

Want to find out more about this trip? Want to get the rundown on the rest of our catalog of once-in-a-lifetime travel packages to offer your donors? Reach out to a Mitch-Stuart Travel Expert today.

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Holiday Globe-Hoppin’

March 11, 2015
For many, the first thought of Independence Day involves fireworks over the National Monument in Washington, D.C. When Thanksgiving comes up, invariably so does the tradition of watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, live from New York City. New Year’s Eve? It’s hard to separate the day from the ball dropping in Times Square, isn’t it?

One can celebrate a holiday anywhere, of course, but there are some places that have become ingrained in the culture as the “home base” for a certain day of the year. Mitch-Stuart, Inc. can send your donors to some of the world’s most interesting destinations with our non-profit auction travel packages, but one trait that some don’t realize is that there are few to no “blackout dates” on these trips. So, if you’ve got a donor itching to go to the Big Apple for Thanksgiving, we can make that happen.

Here are a few other places that we can send your donors who want to celebrate specific holidays:

When thoughts turn to St. Patrick’s Day, many immediately think of two east coast cities where many of the Irish who came to America settled: Boston and New York. But only one major metropolis go so far as to dye a natural resource green. Yes, Chicago may be better known for pierogies and deep dish pizza than shamrocks, but Irish-Americans are the city’s largest ethnic group. The city’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade is one of the country’s grandest, and the dying of the Chicago River has to be seen to be believed: Thousands line up and watch a boat dispense the green-colored dye into the river each year.

Unlike St. Patrick’s Day, Labor Day doesn’t lend itself to massive celebrations on its own. The commemorating of the labor movement in America is important, sure, but it’s often conflated with its place on the calendar and the changing season; Labor Day is much more about the end of summer than overtime laws. For that reason, thousands flock to Las Vegas every year to get that last bit of consequence-free Vitamin D before hunkering down for a long winter. From massive pool parties to decadent (and celebrity chef-filled) restaurant scene, there are plenty of ways to celebrate the excess of summer’s freedom in Sin City.

Other holidays have become synonymous with the cities that recognize them the loudest. Patriots’ Day is the third Monday in April, and was set aside to celebrate the Battles of Lexington and Concord. Technically, it’s recognized in Maine and Wisconsin, but it tends to be known around the country as a holiday specifically for Boston, where it’s a day off from school and work, along with a chance to relax (hopefully) in the spring sun. For Beantown, it’s a big sports day, too: The Boston Marathon is run in the morning, and the Boston Red Sox have had a home game at Fenway Park on nearly every Patriots’ Day since 1959.
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Destination Spotlight: Costa Rica

March 03, 2015
When one thinks about vacations south of the border, Mexico is often the first destination that pops to mind. For others, a cruise around the Caribbean may be in order. But the travel experts, those whose passports are running out of room for new entry stamps, know that Costa Rica, even with its upswing in “ecotourism” over the past couple of decades, is the hidden jewel of the equatorial Americas.

Mitch-Stuart, Inc. has non-profit fundraising travel packages ready for destinations all over the world. But while cities like London and Paris attract a lot of attention, Costa Rica is sometime overlooked. This is great for the knowledgeable traveler: It means fewer tourists and more space to explore all the country has to offer! In fact, Costa Rica has something for every type of vacationer.

Costa Rica
Pinilla Canapy Tour Costa Rica
Los Sueńos Marriott Ocean and Golf Resort
JW Guanacaste Resort & Spa
For the beach-comber: With coasts on both the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, the nation has almost 300 beaches, with more than a handful sure to suit the personality of any sun worshipper. The Papapgayo Gulf is a favorite for those visiting the resorts of Guanacaste, while the isolation of Uvita makes it a perfect place to hide out from the world. The youth and culture surrounding Montezuma make it the equivalent of a Southern California coastal community, and it’s impossible to take a photo of the white sands of Nosara that is less than postcard worthy. With such a diversity of experiences, one could spend a whole week in swim gear.

For the jungle explorer: Around 25 percent of the land in Costa Rica is in either a national park or other protected area, but the best to explore might be Corcovado National Park. Once called the “most biologically intense place on Earth” by National Geographic, Corcovado contains endangered species like the Baird’s tapir, a sort of pig-hippopotamus hybrid, and the Central American squirrel monkey. The stars of the show, though, are the two- and three-toed sloths. Other smaller parks and rainforests are scattered throughout the country, and tour operators take visitors sightseeing using everything from cars to zip lines.

For the luxury lounger: While the outdoors are attention-grabbing, there’s plenty of beauty to be found indoors as well. The view of the ocean from the room balconies at the JW Marriott Guanacaste Resort and Spa is tremendous, and the on-site spa includes saunas, pools and even palapas, or thatched-roof huts, to mix clean air with a massage. In San Jose, the Cala Luna Boutique Hotel and Villas features a poolside dining experience unrivaled, with local flavors and farm-to-table foods. Visiting the city is no excuse to skip finer living, either: The Hotel Grano de Oro in San Jose is a converted Victorian mansion, with a secluded rooftop Jacuzzi terrace that has to be experienced to be believed.

Beach, jungle and luxury – Costa Rica has it all! Let your donors bid on a once-in-a-lifetime trip at your next gala auction. Contact a Mitch-Stuart, Inc. Travel Expert today to get started!


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Travel for Two

February 11, 2015
Travel is inherently romantic. It pushed people out of their comfort zones and into new experiences, often requiring assistance from others (directions on the subway, translation of a menu in another language). It makes people vulnerable, a state which can help forge stronger, closer connections. It’s also been a trope in books and films for as long as there’s been fiction; movies like “Lost in Translation” and “Before Sunrise” are based around the idea of finding love in the midst of a trip.

Hawaii Wedding
Fairmont Mayakoba
Sonoma Mission Inn and Spa
The Plaza Hotel
But the act of going somewhere is not, all on its own, “romantic.” Mitch-Stuart, Inc. sends donors around the world with its charity auction travel packages, and a big part of the appeal is the destination itself. But it is often the experiences during these once-in-a-lifetime trips that make the most lasting memories. If you want to set up your donors with an adventure for sweethearts, look to these travel packages for inspiration.

There are plenty of romantic adventures available in Hawaii, of course, but the grandest gesture may be taking your relationship back to the day you said “I do.” Our “Hawaii is a Lovers’ Paradise” package sends a pair of donors to Oahu for either the wedding of a lifetime or a renewal of vows ceremony, beachside at the Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort. Choose from one of three different island beaches, and we’ll do the rest – provide an ecumenical minister, take care of any and all fees, and even give the ceremony that extra island flair with a pair of leis. There’s even a gift certificate to be used on champagne and fruit back at the hotel.

The vineyards and restaurants of Sonoma have their own romantic pull, as well. Mitch-Stuart, Inc. offers seven different trips through that part of Northern California’s wine country, and all of them have one amenity in common: A stay at the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn and Spa. It’s the spa part that should be of special interest to lovebirds; the Willow Stream Spa is ranked in the top 25 of Travel + Leisure’s spa list, and includes mineral baths and a huge list of treatments. There are four different couples experiences on offer, including massages and other body treatments.

Even trips to a city known for romance, like New York, requires some advance planning. Thankfully, staying at The Plaza can make those plans easier. Between its room package ideas like the “Bubbles and Baubles” getaway (which includes jewelry, champagne and chocolates) to its Valentine’s weekend restaurant menus with names like “Champagne and Canapes,” The Plaza has made itself a major destination for once-in-a-lifetime romance. And with some of the top concierges in New York in its employ, The Plaza can help round out a sweetheart getaway with tough-to-procure tickets or reservations nearly anywhere in the city.

Want to send your donors on a romantic getaway? Want to add touches of Cupid to another package? Get in touch with a Mitch-Stuart, Inc. travel expert today!


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Destination Spotlight: Augusta

February 04, 2015
There are a lot of signs of spring beyond longer and warmer days. For some, it’s the first day of baseball season. For others, it’s the return of music festivals, or maybe the first barbecue invite. But one of our favorite rites of the season is The Masters, one of golf’s oldest and most prestigious tournaments. Each year, the planet’s best golfers descend upon Augusta, Georgia for four days that could make or break a professional player’s career.

But while the biggest action may take place at the Augusta National Golf Club, the city and surrounding area has attractions for both golf aficionados and everyday travelers alike. At Mitch-Stuart, Inc., we pride ourselves on creating once-in-a-lifetime travel packages for non-profit fundraising auctions, so our trips to Augusta features day badges to either one or two days of The Masters. But those hours on the golf course aren’t the only reasons to head to the city.

Thanks in part to Augusta’s age, there are plenty of fascinating architectural elements to explore. The Lamar Building, in the city’s Downtown Historic District, was built a century ago, but its rooftop glass enclosure was designed in the 1970s by famed architect I.M. Pei (he designed the pyramid outside the Louvre in Paris). The entire district, in fact, is on the National Register of Historic Places, thanks in part to its diversity of building styles; everything from Art Deco pieces to Craftsman homes can be found by discerning eyes.

That type of range can also be seen in local cuisine, where southern comfort food can be found steps away from white-cloth, upscale restaurants. High-end eateries like Le Maison are in major demand during The Masters; reservations are often made months in advance and credit cards are used to hold spots. But down-home diners like Ruth’s Family Restaurant have an appeal all their own, as well, with locals gossiping over biscuits and gravy during the breakfast rush.

But one of the best-kept secrets about the Augusta area is its natural beauty. There are plenty of opportunities to enjoy the outdoors (and maybe work up the appetite for those biscuits and gravy!) at local parks and other sights. Take a stroll along the Augusta Riverwalk, for instance, and stop and smell the flowers at its various gardens, along the Savannah River. Or rent a bike (or, for the more adventurous, a canoe) and explore the Augusta Canal National Heritage Area. Keep an eye on the boat tour schedule, too; the canal’s Music Cruises are popular ways to both experience the scenery and local culture, with bluegrass and beauty in equal measure.

The 2015 Masters start April 9 – and we’ve still got time to help you send a donor there! Contact a Mitch-Stuart, Inc. travel expert today.

The Masters
The Masters Golf
The Masters Golf
The Masters Golf


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Super Travel

January 14, 2015
The sporting world turns its eyes toward the Super Bowl every winter, as the months-long NFL season reaches its apex. For this year’s edition, the league returns to warmer weather (the 2014 game was held in New Jersey): Glendale, Arizona, home of University of Phoenix Stadium and the Arizona Cardinals. But whether it’s the rare cold-weather host like in 2014 or the southwestern flavor of the Grand Canyon State, it’s a sure bet every year that the championship game will be played in a great travel destination.

With our catalog of consignment, charity auction travel packages, Mitch-Stuart can send your donors to any one of a number of the Super Bowl’s former host cities. Whether it’s an area that’s hosted a big number of big games, or just a football-mad metropolis that can turn high school contests into major events, these destinations are perfect for the pigskin fanatics in your donor community.

Miami has hosted the Super Bowl ten times over the years, with games split between the Orange Bowl and Sun Life Stadium. The former was the home of the University of Miami before its demolition, while the latter holds the Miami Dolphins. But the game is only part of the spectacle in the jewel of South Florida. For one thing, the Super Bowl’s early February placement on the calendar means that all of the tourists flock to the beaches with the kind of intensity only match by children escaping school for spring break. Local sports watering holes tend to show respect to local football favorites; Bokamper’s (named after linebacker/defensive end Kim Bokamper) and Bru’s Room (named after linebacker Bob Brudzinski) are perennials on any “best sports bar” list.

The Big Easy has hosted the Super Bowl on numerous occasions, and it’s obvious why – there may be no city in America that can become one non-stop party quite like New Orleans. The Saints run this town in terms of rooting interest, but fans of all allegiances can feel at home in the French Quarter. Sports bars like local favorite Cooter Brown’s combine sport and cuisine as well as anywhere in the country; Brown’s features boiled crawfish and raw oysters along with po’ boys and other, more traditional bar dishes. And of course, if it’s not football season, Mardi Gras and New Orleans Jazz Fest are pretty good excuses to end up in the Crescent City, as well.

But for the bidder that wants to feel like he or she is in football country, heading to Dallas might be the best option. The area has only hosted one Super Bowl to date – 2011’s showdown between Green Bay and Pittsburgh – but the sport is an integral part of the city’s life, at all levels. Friday nights are as often about high school football as they are about any other entertainment, while it seems like the entire city is in silver and blue on Sundays to cheer on the Cowboys. For the true fanatic, take a day trip south to Waco for the Texas Sports Hall of Fame, which is heavy on pigskin-centric exhibits.

Want to send your donors on a Super adventure? Reach out to a Mitch-Stuart, Inc. travel expert for more information.
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Play Ball!

July 08, 2014
High definition television. Multiple 24-hour sports networks. No fee for parking. In our modern times, there are a lot of advantages to watching baseball games from the comfort of a living room. But no cable channel or fancy TV can replicate the smell of freshly-cut outfield grass or the camaraderie of the seventh-inning stretch. Even the hot dogs at the stadium somehow taste better.

At Mitch-Stuart, Inc., we love to help non-profits send their donors on once-in-a-lifetime travel opportunities through our charity auction travel packages. Every summer, some of those travel packages involve getting great seats to any baseball game in the country – everything from a Wednesday afternoon “get-away game” with an early afternoon first pitch to the MLB All-Star Game (this year taking place at Target Field in Minneapolis).

Those experiences can differ wildly depending on the location, though. Where should a non-profit look to send a winning bidder? Major league baseball stadium experiences can be broken down into three categories, making them easy to pair with a gala theme or non-profit mission:

  • The Latest: Whether it’s the free wi-fi of the aforementioned Target Field or the more than 1,000 high-definition monitors at the new Yankee Stadium, some of the latest Major League Baseball stadiums feature technology previously unimaginable to fans. Some of them also act as curators of the sport’s history: Yankee Stadium has its own museum along with Monument Park, which features plaques dedicated to and uniform numbers of retired players, while Nationals Park has a “Ring of Honor” that bears the names of the franchise’s top players.
  • The Throwbacks: Maybe the best combination of retro ballpark design and modern conveniences can be found in the stadiums built in the 1990s, starting with Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore. That ballpark, along with Coors Field in Denver (opened 1995) and Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas (opened 1996 as the home of the Texas Rangers) kicked off a trend in stadium design that takes the aesthetics of older stadiums – lots of brick and exposed steel – and updated the technology. Many of these parks also acted as catalysts for development in surrounding areas; Oriole Park helped revitalize the Inner Harbor area of Baltimore by drawing more people to the neighborhood, while Lower Downtown (LoDo, to the locals) in Denver is now one of the city’s hottest destinations.
  • The Classics: For those who want a connection to the history and heritage of America’s pastime, though, there are still two parks in operation that can transport a fan back in time. In Boston, Fenway Park is uncomfortable, cramped and still a must-see for the baseball aficionado. Everything from the walk to the Park from the T to the first glimpse of the Green Monster in left field feels like moments taken out of a movie. So well known and regarded is Fenway that it was granted a place on the National Register of Historic Places in 2012, 100 years after its opening. In Chicago, meanwhile, Wrigley Field is two years younger but just as big a part of baseball’s fabric. Its ivy-covered walls and outside marquee may be the icons most closely associated with the entire city, while some of the best seats aren’t even in the stadium; rooftop viewing parties on neighboring buildings are as much a part of the stadium experience at Wrigley as hot dogs. Throw in the Chicago Cubs’ tradition of day games, and on summer afternoons in Chicago it can feel like the entire city is playing hooky.
Yankee Stadium
Fenway Park
Wrigley Field
Wrigley Field


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Fore Father’s Day…

June 10, 2014
When a charity auction trip aligns with a desire from a bidder, it means a satisfied donor and a big check to a worthy cause. This time of year, a top priority for plenty of shoppers is finding a gift for Father’s Day, and hopefully one that does not involve another necktie or barbecue grill gadget. One of the most common types of Father’s Day gifts is golf paraphernalia, be it a new oversized driver or a set of golf ball cufflinks. There’s an entire industry dedicated to creating golf-nut knick-knacks, and Father’s Day is that sector’s equivalent of Christmas.

It may be too late for Father’s Day 2014, but Mitch-Stuart offers several charity auction travel packages that make perfect gifts for fathers, whether it’s a son or daughter buying for a dad or a father buying himself a vacation. Give your donors the chance to take care of a gift occasion by offering (on consignment, as always) a trip to one of these destinations at auction:

Hilton Head: In terms of sheer density of golf courses, it may be difficult to beat Hilton Head, SC. There are more than 20 courses on the island itself, with another dozen-plus more in neighboring cities. Add in the possibility of year-round play, and it’s little wonder that the area is one of the country’s premier golf destinations.  Each of Mitch-Stuart’s auction travel packages to the island include rounds at three different courses, and with our concierge service, extra outings can be arraigned with a single phone call.

Orlando: Every year, around the beginning of spring, the Arnold Palmer Invitational takes place at the Bay Hill Club and Lodge near Orlando, FL. Mitch-Stuart can’t get your donors on the course that weekend, but during the rest of the calendar year the winners of the “Bay Hill Brings You the Best of the Best” trip can play twice on the 18 holes used as a run-up to the Masters. Another package also comes with a one-hour private lesson with a golf academy instructor and a nine-hole “playing lesson” for those whose golf game is a little less Tiger and a little more Kitten.

St. Andrews: While golf is the world’s game, it can only have one true home. And that birthplace is in St. Andrews, a small town on the eastern coast of Scotland. It was here that the sport was first played, in the 1400s, and it also is the home town of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club, one of two organizations in the world that sets the rules of the game. Bidders who win Mitch-Stuart’s “Home of Golf” package get a $900 gift card to be used at the Torrance or Kittocks courses at the five-star Fairmont of St. Andrews. In addition, while staying at the Fairmont, experienced travelers can enter the local lottery for a chance to play the Old Course, the world famous 18 that hosts The Open Championship every five years.

Hilton Head
Sea Pines Resort Hilton Head
Bay Hill Club
St. Andrews Golf Course


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Live the Life: Traveling for Experiences

May 13, 2014
Imagine, for a moment, being a driver. Not a freeway driver, or a backseat driver, but a racecar driver, careening around turns, trading paint with your rival and earning the checkered flag. Or how about being out on the range, riding horses through central California? Maybe the sea calls instead, with you aboard an America’s Cup-qualifying yacht?

Mitch-Stuart, Inc., can send your donors around the world via a charity auction travel package (and can help your non-profit earn big bucks at a fundraising event or gala), but it can also help set up once-in-a-lifetime experiences, the types of activities that separate an everlasting memory from a “trip.”

Those seeking to hear the roar of an engine can pick either the closed-track thrill of NASCAR or the open road of the American West with different packages. For the four-wheel enthusiasts, there’s our trip to Charlotte, North Carolina for the ultimate NASCAR experience: A trip to the NASCAR Hall of Fame and an eight-lap sprint at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. If the added rush of a motorcycle is more the speed of your donors, they can find themselves riding a Harley Davidson through Nevada and Arizona, checking out the Grand Canyon, Sedona and Route 66. Or, their motorcycle excursion can involve the beachside views from the Pacific Coast Highway in Southern California, as they cruise between Los Angeles and San Diego.

If the ocean is more appealing, your donors can spend five days and four nights in San Diego’s stunning Mission Bay, culminating in an afternoon experience aboard a racing class yacht. Climb aboard the Stars & Stripes, which competed in the 1995 America’s Cup, and either get hands-on experience or sit back and take in the beautiful ocean views. Afterwards, head back to the Maritime Museum of San Diego and jump on a tall-sail adventure for a four-hour tour, or stay on dry land and check out the boats, sailing ships and submarines on display.

Not all adventures need speed or engines, though. Be a cowboy for four days and three nights in Solvang and take on the more than 50 miles of horse trails. At the Alisal Guest Ranch and Resort, visitors get to indulge in a throwback lifestyle, one more suited to a time when the American West was about exploring a frontier. After horseback riding, unwind with some fishing at Alisal Lake (which is reserved for guests of the resort), either in solitude or with a guided fishing trip. Hunting is, as one might expect, not on the menu, but one can combine an afternoon learning archery with the barbecued steak of the Ranch Room to get the benefits of the hunt without the hours crouching behind trees or the orange vests.
NASCAR
Motorcycles
America's Cup Sailing
Alisal Guest Ranch and Resort


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New Season, New Trips

April 01, 2014
Spring is upon us (we promise!), and with it comes a variety of new trips in the Mitch-Stuart catalog. Non-profits looking to raise more money by utilizing consignment travel auction packages now have more options, including some once-in-a-lifetime experiences! Let’s look at a few of the highlights:

Wrigley Field
Tea at the London Savoy
Highclere Castle
Seeing a Chicago Cubs game from inside Wrigley Field is a sports experience. But seeing the game from one of the Wrigley Field “rooftop clubs,” just outside the stadium, is a unique view of both the game and the city of Chicago. From the complementary food and beverages (no stale nachos or boiled hot dogs here) and the HDTV monitors to stay close to the action to the extra-wide stadium-style seating, the best visit to the ballpark in Chicago does not involve stepping foot inside the park at all. It’s the type of trip for which sports fan donors will go wild – and with a stay at one of Chicago’s best hotels included in the package, even the baseball-phobic will enjoy.

After a 100 million pound renovation, The Savoy has continued to define luxury travel for visitors from around the world. Central to many of London’s great museums and theaters and with a sparkling view of the River Thames, The Savoy is the place to stay in London in order to really feel at one with the city. Mitch-Stuart can send your donors there, too, for a five-night stay that includes $500 either in dining credit at Gordon Ramsey’s Savoy Grill or for afternoon tea at the Thames Foyer.

But for a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience, send your donors to Downton Abbey. Technically the PBS hit television show is fictional, sure, but Mitch-Stuart has a package custom-made for the show’s fans. It includes four nights at The Royal Park in central London (with a fifth night at The Vineyard Hotel), afternoon tea at the Lanesborough Hotel, and, most notably, a trip to Highclere Castle, the primary shooting location for “Abbey.” Walk the castle’s grounds, through the gardens and woods, and see the same vistas that Lord Grantham and family view on a regular basis. Afterwards, every episode of the television show will be your donor’s own personal vacation video, and a reminder of one of the best travel moments of their life.


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Travel with a Ticket

February 04, 2014
Masters
Indianapolis 500
Kentucky Derby
Kentucky Derby
 
 
On February 6, the pitchers and catchers of the Arizona Diamondbacks will report to training camp in Scottsdale, AZ. They’ll be the first players to open pre-season workouts, and the first athletes to send the thoughts of sports fans racing to the spring months. But the return of baseball is far from the only sporting event to think about when the snow starts to melt and the days get longer; the calendar is loaded in the months of March, April and May with major events and championships in several sports that your donors might care about. Why not couple a charity auction travel opportunity with a ticket to a major spring sporting event? Mitch-Stuart has you covered, with trips revolving around everything from one of America’s oldest sporting events to one of the country’s most prestigious golf tournaments.

Since 1934, the Masters Tournament has held a special place in the hearts of golf fans. Traditionally the first of the PGA Tour’s four “major” tournaments each year, it takes place in Augusta, GA. every April, a time of year when the temperature averages in the 70s and there is little precipitation. It’s a perfect setting for a vacation, too, with Hickory Knob Resort State Park and the cities of Savannah and Atlanta all within reasonable driving distance.

Not every sports fan craves the tranquility of the links, though. For those who like their competition to be a bit louder, consider heading to the capital of Indiana for the Indianapolis 500. More than 250,000 fans cram into the Indianapolis Motor Speedway over Memorial Day weekend to see their favorite drivers race while enjoying experiences ranging from infield tailgating to, as Mitch-Stuart has arraigned for charity auction winners, seats in the Penthouse Tower. It’s a holiday weekend away at one of the most prestigious race events in the world.

Cars at the Indy 500 can boast of more than 600 horsepower, but in Kentucky, the most important race is between combatants that don’t need engines at all. The Kentucky Derby is the first leg of horse racing’s Triple Crown, and is not just a sporting event, but a way of life for residents and expatriates of the Bluegrass State. The Mitch-Stuart travel package takes winners to both the Derby and the Kentucky Oaks race on the day prior, while even taking care of souvenirs. Bring your own big hats, though.


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Destination Spotlight: Some Like it Cold!

January 21, 2014
The ski season is heating up and as you plan winter auctions, raffles and other fundraising events using travel packages and experiences, look to Mitch-Stuart, Inc. for the top cold weather “wonders of the world.”

Grab a mug of cocoa and read about some terrific trips – and relax, knowing that Mitch-Stuart will handle every detail of the vacation experience from the minute the trip is sold to the time your donor returns home.

Skiers
Park Hyatt Beaver Creek Resort and Spa
Killington Grand Resort
Four Seasons Resort Jackson Hole
Four Seasons Resort Jackson Hole
Fairmont Chateau Whistler
Skiers at Four Seasons Jackson Hole
 
Perfect Winter Wonderland
British Columbia, Canada
Explore your passions for adventure and relaxation in Whistler. A scenic 90-minute drive from Vancouver along the Sea To Sky Highway brings you into the heart of this alpine valley. Renowned as the top-ranked ski area in North America and home of the 2010 Olympic & Paralympic Winter Games, Whistler easily rivals the major ski regions of Europe, and offers true ski-in and ski-out convenience. Beyond the slopes, Whistler offers an extensive list of other indoor and outdoor pursuits.

Fairmont Chateau Whistler presents a unique collection of dining options that capture the essence of Whistler's lifestyle. Tastefully designed rooms with spectacular mountain or village views were created to blend with the natural alpine setting.

Centerpiece in a Mountain Crown
Quebec, Canada
Experience an unforgettable adventure as you escape from the everyday into a snow-covered winter wonderland. Fairmont Tremblant offers skiers 94 first rate runs and 600 acres that add up to a ski holiday that will soothe your soul and challenge your skills. The architectural masterpiece of this Mont Tremblant ski resort rooted in the legends of Quebec is the state-of-the-art facilities - climb aboard a high-speed chair lift at the doorstep to ski the slopes of Mont Tremblant Ski Hill and explore the mountains.

Fairmont Tremblant sits at the foot of the majestic Laurentian peaks, tucked into the heart of the region's most picturesque village. After a day of skiing out on the slopes, indulge in grandeur and relax in accommodating luxury at The Fairmont. Enjoy culinary delights from magnificent taste providers, treat yourself to a massage, or simply rest in the elegant Nansen Lounge. Proposing a refined choice of wines in the glass, vintage ports, a variety of martinis, or delicious specialty coffees, you will doubtless find what pleases you.

Ski the Best of the West
Colorado, Utah, Idaho, Nevada or Wyoming
World-renowned for a variety of challenging and breathtaking slopes, the West boasts incredible mountains that offer some of the best skiing in the country! Utah has the best white, fluffy powder covering its peaks, Nevada offers an abundance of annual snow-fall, and Idaho has over 20,000 skiable acres for you! From the fantastic snow and four terrain parks of Vail, to the untamed wilderness of the Teton Mountain Range in Wyoming, get ready for world-class skiing in your favorite destination!

Get your winter sports fix some of Western America’s best slopes! Whether you’re looking for the perfect trail, amazing views, or the charm of a memorable destination, you’ll have access to it all! Choose from amazing mountain ridge resort destinations, including Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Vail and Keystone in Colorado; breathtaking views of Lake Tahoe; and the steep terrain and endless backcountry of Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Sun Valley, Idaho was the nation’s first snow ski resort, and continues to draw ski-enthusiasts and snow bunnies with its long seasons. Nine powder-filled bowls, eight stunning peaks, 50 immaculately groomed runs, and three award-winning terrain parks make Park City’s mountains the perfect place for you to discover adventure in Utah!

Colorful Landscape of Vermont
Killington, Vermont
Located in Killington, amid the scenic splendor of Vermont's Green Mountains, the acclaimed Killington Grand Resort offers the ultimate mountain vacation experience. Stay in the heart of an alpine paradise, where skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiling, snowshoeing and sleighing are just steps away on six mountains with 140 trails, and over 70 miles of terrain.

Killington is the perfect mountain escape in other seasons too. Hike and mountain bike on 45 miles of lift-serviced trails, enjoy 270 holes of spectacular Green Mountain golf on 15 challenging courses in the area, including Killington's championship 18-hole course, and discover breathtaking panoramic views! Antique shops and craft fairs abound, where you’re sure to find the perfect treasure to commemorate your vacation for years to come. Gourmet dining, musical events and local theatres are close by, including the restored Paramount Theatre, so that you can relax in town at a leisurely pace.

Discover Lake Tahoe's Pristine Beauty
Lake Tahoe, Nevada
Discover an alpine paradise at the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe. Nestled within the Sierra Mountain Range, the stunning locale of this Four Diamond Lake Tahoe hotel is the ideal setting for your next ski vacation! Tempt Lady Luck in the Casino, and after a day on the slopes ease tired muscles with a deep-tissue massage in the world-class spa. From delicious cuisine and inviting guestrooms to luxurious amenities and services, you'll experience an incomparable mountain escape at this Hyatt hotel in Lake Tahoe.

Take your pick of ski slopes, from Heavenly and Northstar-at-Tahoe, to Alpine Meadows, and Squaw Valley. And Tahoe even has amazing options for cross-country skiing buffs. For the travelers who are not alpine-inclined, enjoy a sleigh ride through the woods, or a snowmobile adventure in the Tahoe National Forest! Of course, you could always simply take in the natural wonders and remarkable sights!










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Fall For Sports—Literally!!

October 09, 2013
From Los Angeles to Long Island and everywhere in between, we are a country of sports fans. They are the lifeblood of professional and college sports, and today’s global sports industry is worth between $480-$620 billion. Smart auction industry professionals know the value of engaging the hearts, time, attention and wallets of this group.
MetLife Stadium
Houston Texans vs Dallas Cowboys
Angel Stadium
NCAA Hockey
NBA Baskeball
Therefore, if you're appealing to this crowd, fall is truly the ONE time of year where every major sport is either underway or reaching the height of the season. Whether it's NFL or college football, Major League Baseball, the NBA or hockey, this is the time of year to plan an incredible, memorable trip via a Mitch-Stuart, Inc. with a complete sports travel package to incorporate into your fundraiser or charity auction. These are dream trips—where your sports fantasies actually come true. Take a quick, memorable read:

First–EVER Super Bowl in New York. Gotham's the place for the 2014 Super Bowl—and the first outdoor, cold weather championship game in February at the magnificent MetLife Stadium. The high energy, fun-filled, four day & three night package includes everything you need to cheer on your team in style—from game tickets, to economy air travel, hotel, transfers to hotel and the game, daily breakfast and the excitement of being in the Big Apple.

Be a Pro—At Any Pro Game! This unique dream package allows you to attend any game in the 50 professional sports markets. Whether NFL, NHL, NBA or MLB, this three day & two night trip for two is complete with everything you need for a complete experience including hotel, economy airfare and game tickets.

The Fall Classic. The World Series—it doesn't get any bigger or better than that if you're a true, die-hard baseball fan! This unique dream package for two includes TWO tickets to TWO successive World Series games in the same city; hotel, economy airfare, breakfast, transfers—everything you need to sit back and watch the top baseball event of the year.

We Have A Package For You To The 2014 BCS! The Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA, one of the most beautiful settings in all of sports, will be the site of the 2014 Bowl Champion Series (BCS) Championship Game. Your donors will enjoy being at the Super Bowl of college football, while basking in sunny Southern California in January. The Rose Parade, the pageantry of college football, the biggest college game of the year—and, on top of all that—it's the 100th anniversary of the Rose Bowl. The package for two covers four days & three nights, hotel, game tickets, breakfast, car rental and breakfasts—everything you need to experience the historic game!

With any of these unique sports packages from Mitch-Stuart, Inc…your attendees will be winners no matter what their favorite team does!



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Oscar Goes Traveling

February 12, 2013
And the Oscar goes to… YOU!

Have you ever fantasized about going to the location of your favorite movie, walking the streets the characters walked, and pretending to be a part of their experience? Well, Mitch-Stuart, Inc. offers packages that give you the chance to do just that! Below are examples of some of our packages that serve as themes and locations for Oscar-nominated movies.


Silver Linings Poster Image Silver Linings Playbook — Silver Linings Playbook has been nominated for eight Oscars, including Best Picture. In the movie, the main character, Pat, attends a Philadelphia Eagles game that his father has bet a lot of money on, as his good luck charm. Mitch-Stuart offers a trip for two to any regular season NFL football game, such as a Philadelphia Eagles game.  Hopefully you can be a better good luck charm for your team than Pat was!


Les Misérables — Also nominated for Best Picture is Les Misérables, a film that takes place in early 19th century France. Mitch-Stuart offers six different French packages that include hotels all over Paris, including the Marriot Champs-Elysees and the Hotel Le Littre. One of our trips to Paris includes a trip for six days and five nights, including a cooking class at L'Atelier Des Sens or La Cuisine Paris, a Tour of Paris, Lunch at Altitude 95 at the Eiffel Tower, and a cruise down the River Seine. From learning how to make macaroons, croissants, and the quintessential French baguette, you’ll take home the best souvenir of all: French culinary savoir-faire! Les Misérables Poster Image
Snow White and The Huntsman Poster Image Snow White and The Huntsman — Colleen Atwood is nominated for Best Costume Design in Snow White and The Huntsman. Snow White and the Huntsman is a modern take on the classic story of Snow White. Although this film was not a children’s movie, a trip to Disney World is a great way to enjoy the Snow White we all know and love. Mitch-Stuart offers Disney fans a family trip for four to Orlando, Florida for five days & four nights at the Disney's Coronado Springs Resort, including three-day My Way Passes to Disney World.  At Disney World you’ll be sure to enjoy rides and attractions, and of course Snow White and all the Disney characters!

Beasts of the Southern Wild — Beasts of the Southern Wild is nominated for Best Picture, among other awards. The movie takes place in a fictional Louisiana town, Bathtub. Mitch-Stuart offers a trip for two to New Orleans, Louisiana for five days and four nights at the JW Marriott New Orleans, including a Dinner Jazz Cruise, a class at the New Orleans School of Cooking and a $200 Commander's Palace Gift Card. To get more of the feel of the film, visit Isle de Jean Charles, not far from New Orleans, which is where the film was shot. Beasts of the Southern Wild Poster Image

Life of Pi Poster Image Life of Pi — Life of Pi, which is nominated for Best Picture, tells the story of young Pi who sets sail to Canada with his family. After a storm hits the ship he is found on a rescue boat alone, but with the company of a Bengal tiger. Unlike Pi, you CAN make it to Canada on a Mitch-Stuart trip; we offer trips throughout the country! You can enjoy resorts and hotels in Alberta, British Columbia, Quebec and Vancouver. One of our trips to British Columbia includes a trip for two for five days & four nights at The Fairmont Chateau Whistler and a $600 Fairmont gift card for ski lift tickets. Chateau Whistler is a top-ranked ski area in North America, and was home of the 2010 Olympics.

Without a doubt, Oscar certainly logs his miles! These trips are a great way to reward a movie buff, or generate a standing ovation at your next auction; but we have more where they came from! Be sure to check out our catalog for the rest of our trip selection.


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