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MAY-JUN 2017

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18 M A Y / J U N E 2 0 1 7 � eserved Sea�s C hecking into any one of Fairmont's properties in the Canadian Rockies is a heady experience. Checking into four of them over eight days feels like an alpine traveler's quest for nirvana. The Fairmont properties in Whistler, Jasper, Lake Louise and Banff all occupy hallowed ground. As hotels, they are masters of all they survey. My wife, Kim, and I had the opportunity to visit them a couple of summers ago after we purchased an eight-night package offered by Fairmont for a Tourism Cares fundraiser at the United States Tour Operators annual conference. Faced with lots of packages from around the world, we zeroed in on this one. I had not been to the Canadian Rockies since I went on business 30 years earlier; Kim had not been since a family vacation during her childhood. As soon as we bought the package, I emailed a couple of friends in the industry who could counsel us on when to go and what to see. "That's an incredible package," Canada native Jim Warren of An- derson Tours told me. "It's almost impossible to get into those prop- erties in the summer months, so be sure to check on blackout dates." He was right. The high-season months of July and August were off limits, so our choices were early summer or early fall. "If you go in June, you can count on having some snow on hiking trails and maybe even a few of the higher roads you'll be driving," said Bart Donnelly of Travel Alberta. "If you go in the fall, early is bet- ter than late for day hiking. By mid-October, it will be getting pretty cold in the higher elevations." We decided on late June and booked the dates. We'd fly into Van- couver and out of Calgary. Our route would be Whistler, Jasper, Lake Louise and Banff. WHISTLER: YOUNG AND HAPPENING We arrived in Whistler after maybe a two-hour drive from the Van- couver airport. Of these four Fairmont properties, Whistler skews the youngest. It's a ski resort that is building its summer business. This is extreme sports country. The weekend we were there, hundreds of runners were in town for a road race that left from its manicured downtown. Much of the Olympic Village from the 2010 Winter Games remains in downtown Whistler. BY MAC LACY Elk forage on Jasper's Stanley Thompson Golf Course. All photos courtesy Fairmont Hotels except where noted CANADA'S ROCKIES ARE REGAL FROM A FAIRMONT DREAM destinations

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