Grand America Asks Guests to Take a Hike

One of America’s First Hotels to Offer Europe’s Hottest Health Trend

SALT LAKE CITY, July 5 /PRNewswire/ — The Grand America Hotel is bringing Nordic Walking, Europe’s latest health and wellness trend to Utah in the fall of 2005. While, the hotel’s fitness center is state-of-the-art, guests often look for ways to exercise that takes them beyond the hotel’s indoor equipment. The Grand offers two types of guided Nordic Walking Tours: hiking through picturesque landscapes with crystal-clear mountain streams and fall color, or a city tour that begins from the hotel’s front door, through downtown Salt Lake, to nearby City Creek Canyon park. Nordic Walking is part of the hotel’s Outdoor Concierge Program, a guest services program of outdoor expeditions for guests which includes hot air ballooning, fly fishing, rock climbing, hiking, biking, and golfing.

“The Grand America Outdoor Concierge Program extends our hotel’s eminent services beyond the lobby to the beautiful Wasatch Mountains or our downtown metropolis,” says Anthony Bartholomew, director of rooms. “Our goal is a simple: continually enhance the programs and services we offer, to ensure an extraordinary experience for our guests.”

The Outdoor Concierge will arrange guided Nordic Walking Tours with a certified instructor, as well as provide guests with specialized walking poles, energy snacks, water, and a pedometer to keep track of steps taken and calories burned. The Nordic Walking Adventure Package also includes an overnight stay in a luxury suite for $294 per night.

Following the exercise, guests will have the option to visit The Grand Spa for “post-hiking therapy,” where a variety of massages and body treatments will be available to rejuvenate the body — including an Alpine Aromatherapy Massage, Green Tea Body Wrap, and a Warm Cocoa Balm Body Treatment.

About Nordic Walking

Nordic Walking is a cross between power walking and cross-country skiing. Nordic Walkers will stride up a mountainside or street using two specially designed poles that work the upper body while walking. Like cross-country skiing, the poles are used by the arms to match each step the person takes. The poles are easy to use and provide hikers with stability while walking, much like a hiking stick.

The activity is one of the more efficient cardiovascular workouts because it works all of the major muscle groups in the body, burns 50 percent more calories than regular walking, and it is a sport that can be done as a group or individually. Doctors in Europe also suggest that exercising in higher altitudes strengthens the cardiovascular system, improves the metabolism, reduces body fat, and increases an overall sense of well being. Nordic Walking is also suitable for all fitness levels and can be practiced anywhere — urban streets, mountain trails or jogging paths. An increasing number of people interested in finding new, enjoyable, and effective ways to exercise are discovering the many benefits associated with Nordic Walking.

Nordic Walking, formally launched in 1997, was initially practiced in the 1930′s by Finnish cross-country skiers who used their poles during the summer season to maintain their endurance and fitness levels. Today some 760,000 Finns regularly participate in the activity and the trend is spreading throughout Europe and the U.S.

The Grand America, Salt Lake City’s only Five Diamond hotel, is part of the collection of hotels and resorts owned by Earl Holding. The collection features Sun Valley Resort in Sun Valley, Idaho, ranked seventh among the nation’s top ski areas by SKI Magazine in 2003-4; Snowbasin Ski Resort just outside of Salt Lake City, site of the 2002 Downhill and Super G Races; the Westgate Hotel in San Diego; and Little America properties in Utah, Arizona, and Wyoming. For reservations or more information on Grand America, please call 800-621-4505 or visit the hotel’s website at www.grandamerica.com.

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