The CHE Experience!

For many of us, our minor hockey days have long since vacated our brains as the humdrum and monotony of everyday adult life takes over our mental faculties.  Wake up, get the kids off to school, head to work, head home, drive the kids to practice, eat some food, go to bed.  It seems the older we get the faster time goes, and it’s not until we’re able to escape the day-to-day life that we’re able to appreciate the little things.  This is where CHE steps in.  Our holiday hockey weekends provide a brief but exhilarating reprieve from the daily grind, and for a short window of time, everyone gets to feel like a kid again, and here’s why.

The Hangover Roadtrip

Philosophers and Facebook moms love to say “It’s not the destination, but the journey that’s important” or something along those lines, and for our adult hockey players this holds true.  The tournament begins when you’ve loading up the 3 – 5 vehicles with your gear and luggage for the trip with your teammates.  The 5 or so hours spent on the road getting to the tournament are typically the most energetic hours for every player on the team, as the excitement of the weekend ahead gets everyone’s blood going, and from the time you leave the driveway to the time you get into your hotel room the hooliganism expected from a 12 person road trip is at fever pitch.

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Tournaments were always a highlight of every youth hockey players year, but it always seemed like the parents were having more fun that the kids as they travelled room to room in the hotel for drinks, cards and general revelry until the wee hours of the morning.  With CHE you’re both the player and the parent and there is no shortage of shenanigans in the hotel whether you’re doing the hotel room beer crawl or playing practical jokes on your teammates.  The stories of what goes down each night don’t often get revealed to outsiders, but there’s always plenty of evidence of good times had in the hotel lobby each morning as blood shot eyes try not to make contact with any direct light.

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Once you’ve gotten your entire team out of bed, filled with coffee and over to the arena the fun just keeps going.  There’s never a shortage of bellowing laughter coming from the dressing rooms as players reminisce about all of the debauchery that took place the night before.  Luckily we provide complimentary Gatorade for the players to replenish their electrolytes for the big game ahead.  After the game is finished and the player of the game awards have been handed out, it’s time to head back to the locker room for a refreshing beer and the whole cycle starts again.

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At CHE we try and do all of the thinking for you so you can make the most of your weekend away.  Our all-inclusive packages make sure your team is in a great hotel that located exactly where you want to be.  We include the basic meals like breakfasts and lunch to make sure your fuzzy head doesn’t need to make any tough decisions, and our professional tournament staff is always around to answer any questions you might have.  And if you’re lucky enough to survive the chaos of the weekend, you might just head home with the championship trophy!

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So this season, when the daily routine is causing your hair to fall out, grab your teammates and head to one of our fantastic holiday hockey tournaments.

Graydon Crowley

Canadian Hockey Enterprises

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Viva Las Vegas!!!

Sin City just might be the most exciting vacation destination in the world, with a smorgasbord of adult activities, you’re guaranteed to find one if not ten things that will make a trip to Las Vegas the adventure of a lifetime.  Known as the perfect spot for a bachelor party, it’s similarly a perfect spot for you and your teammates to get away for weekend of absolute debauchery, and as difficult as it is to boil it down, here’s the top 5 reasons to head to Vegas with your team this spring.

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November 15, 2014: CHE tournament in Chambly, Quebec.

  1. First Class Hockey Tournaments

First and foremost, you’ll be treated to a first class hockey tournament that CHE is renowned for.  A 3-game guarantee with tournament games played at the Las Vegas Ice Center Twin Rinks and Fiesta Rancho Sobe Ice Arena, both located just 5 minutes from the Las Vegas Strip.  With all of the hotel options in Vegas, we offer a tournament entry-only option where teams can book their own accommodations, as well as an all-inclusive hotel package at the Excalibur Hotel & Casino right in the center of all the action.  Our professional tournament staff will make sure you’re in a competitive division with separate age and skill levels, and even though they say “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas!” you just might leave with the Gamblers Cup and a gold medal around your neck.

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  1. Cards, Dice and Slots!

There’s a reason that a massive city of almost a million people sprang up in the middle of the Nevada desert and it’s not their refreshing water springs.  The absolutely massive casino’s take up entire city blocks and the extreme size and over the top extravagance makes each unique casino an adventure of its own.  Places like the Bellagio try to draw you in with a stunning fountain display out front.  The new Cosmopolitan has floor-to-ceiling glass offering incredible views of the strip while you play at one of 83 tables with everything from Blackjack to War.  Then there’s the MGM Grand which takes size to a whole new level with 170000 square feet of gaming.  If you’re looking to take a break from the strip Then D Las Vegas is in downtown Vegas and is one of the only 2 level gambling establishments in the city, with 3 to 2 blackjack pay and dancing dealers.  The allure of winning big has always been the biggest draw to Vegas.

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  1. Unbelievable, one-of-a-kind shows.

Known in the 50’s and 60’s as the home to famous crooners like Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin, Las Vegas still has the draw to bring some of the world’s best acts into town to stay.  The World’s best musicians, magicians, acrobats and comedians all end up in Vegas.  There are currently 9 different Cirque du Soleil shows to choose from if you’re into a spectacle.  Comedians such as Carrot Top or Terry Fator are always in town, but many top name stars make stops in Vegas every weekend so you might luck out with a Louis CK or even Andrew Dice Clay show.  David Copperfield has been a staple in the Las Vegas illusion game at the MGM Grand, but for something a little smarter you can go check out Penn & Teller at the Rio Hotel & Casino.  If you’re more of a Broadway type, shows like Jersey Boys or the Book of Mormon can be caught any night of the week.

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  1. Buffets to Michelin Stars

If you consider yourself a foodie, then Las Vegas is the city for you.  One of the main ploys to get you in the door of a casino is the plethora of all-you-can-eat buffets and if you’re not concerned with spotting a celebrity chef, the buffets are a great option to eat good food for almost nothing.  The Village Seafood Buffet at the Rio is one of the only seafood only spots in town and a perfect spot to go eat crab and lobster until you explode, or head over to Caesars Palace and check out the Bacchanal Buffet which has every type of food you could want in this 25000 square-foot restaurant.  If fine dining is your taste, you can hit up Le Cirque at the Bellagio which has received a AAA Five Diamond rating for 13 straight years, or head down the strip to Caesars Palace to eat at NobuAureole in Mandalay Bay has incredible seasonal dishes prepared by acclaimed Chef                Charlie Palmer, but for those who require the best of the best, you have to go to Joel Robuchon at the MGM Grand to experience Las Vegas’s only spot to receive 3 Michelin Stars.

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  1. Incredible outdoor activities

As hard as it is to tear yourself away from the glitz and glamour of the Vegas Strip, beyond the casino’s lies a vast array of activities that will blow you away.  If you’re a golfer, there’s a ton of courses to choose from, but some of the more famous tracks include the Tom Fazio designed Shadow Creek, Coyote Springs and Cascata, which all make the most of the undulating desert terrain for dramatic views and difficult shots.  You can take a day trip and check out the Hoover Dam in just over 40 minutes, or continue to drive for a couple more hours and you’re at the Grand Canyon.  You can head to Battlefield Vegas and try shooting some fully automatic rifles or hop in an actual tank and crush a car.  If that doesn’t get your adrenaline going, Exotics Racing gives you the opportunity to max out Lamborghini’s, Porsche’s, Ferrari’s, Austin Martin’s and more.

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So that’s my list, and although there seems to be a lot of things on it, it truly is just the tip-of-the-iceberg for all of the amazing and exciting experiences Las Vegas has to offer.  That said, even if you only did 3 things on the list, there’s no doubt in my mind that this will be the most memorable weekend for your entire team, though you may not remember much.

CLICK HERE to view all details, dates and prices for our amazing Las Vegas tournaments.

Graydon Crowley

Canadian Hockey Enterprises

Go To Montreal!!!

With the Montreal Canadiens off to an incredible start, there’s no better time to head to Montreal with your team and enjoy the hype and hysteria that engulfs the city when the Habs are doing well.  CHE is thrilled to offer 3 dates this spring for your team to choose from: April 15 – 17, April 22 – 24 (featuring men’s & women’s divisions/private party at Sir Winston Churchill Pub) and April 29 – May 1.  Most people know that Montreal is a hockey mecca, has an amazing night life and some of the best and most diverse dining options, but just in case you don’t, here’s the top 5 reasons to bring your adult team to Montreal this spring.

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1. First Class Holiday Hockey Weekend

First and foremost, you’ll be treated to a first class hockey tournament that CHE is renowned for.  A 3-game guarantee with tournament games played at Isatis Sport Chambly three rink complex just 25 minutes from downtown Montreal, featuring a fully functional restaurant and bar including a convenient tap in the dressing room area.  Teams stay right in the heart of downtown Montreal at the Gouverneur Place Dupuis or can upgrade to stay at the Marriott Chateau Champlain, right beside the Bell Centre.  A convenient bus shuttle gets you to and from the arena to your hotel so there’s no reason to hold back on the weekend.  Our professional tournament staff will make sure you feel like you’re playing for Olympic Gold!!!

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2. Les Habitants

Winning their first 9 games and having the best goalie in the league, barring any serious injuries, the Canadiens will surely be heading into this year’s NHL Playoffs.  Getting tickets might be a challenge, but fear not, as the entire city will be in a frenzy and you’ll be hard pressed to find a bar or restaurant that isn’t showing the game.  Every car has those silly flags hanging out the windows, and the streets turn into a sea of red jerseys when the home team is playing.  Should an epic failure occur and they don’t make the playoffs, hockey fans of all types can head to the Bell Centre for a tour and catch a glimpse of the history of this most storied franchise.

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3. World Renowned Night Life

There are so many incredible adult beverage establishments in Montreal that it’s very difficult to single out just one, as you’re bound to have a great time no matter where you go.  Younger crowds will head down Boulevard St. Laurent to mix with the McGill University crowd and hit up hip hot spots like GoGo Lounge, Casa del Popolo or Lodge Tavern, or cross the english/french border and head to Rue Saint Denis and check out the spectacle that is Bar Le Saint-Sulpice which is a combination of 9 different bars, 3 stories tall with a massive shared patio they all bleed into.  Those looking for an easy, hassle free evening can head to Crescent Street to hit up Sir Winston Churchill Pub or Hurley’s Irish Pub for some fine Irish ale.  There’s no shortage of old school cocktail bars either and Dieu de Ciel, Dominion Square Tavern or Burgundy Lion are great for a tasty micro brew or fancy pants cocktail.

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4. Incredible Eats

In a city that’s a literal melting pot of cultures, there’s absolutely no shortage of amazing food no matter what your preference is.  No trip to Montreal is complete without an authentic smoked meat sandwich and you pretty much have to go to Schwartz’s or Reuben’s Deli if you’re in town.  Gibby’s is great if you’re looking for steak, Joe Beef is incredible if you like truffles and want to try some tripe or horse, Le Taj has some crazy good curry, the Bar-B-Barn will fill you up with greasy chicken and fries for almost nothing, and La Queue de Cheval is absolutely amazing, and will almost certainly empty your wallet.

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5. Old World Charm in a New Age Metropolis

These days, most cities in the Western hemisphere are keen to tear down the old, traditional, 3-story brick buildings in favor of a gleaming 40-story steel and glass sky-rise, and while Montreal has plenty of the latter, its always been careful to protect it’s heritage and the entire district of Old Montreal is rich in 17th & 18th century charm.  Nestled between the St. Lawrence River and downtown Montreal, pedestrians can meander the small cobble stone streets and feel like they’ve left the continent completely.

This April, make sure to grab your teammates and head to beautiful Montreal for the hockey tournament experience of a lifetime.  CLICK HERE for full details.

Graydon Crowley

Canadian Hockey Enterprises

We’re Going to Nashville!!

It’s official.  After many requests and a long summer putting details together CHE is thrilled to announce our Brand New tournament location in Nashville, TN April 29 – May 1, 2016.  Just a quick flight from almost anywhere in North America, tons of music history, live shows every night, world class southern cuisine and a big city with a quaint feel, we shouldn’t need to sell this exciting location to anyone.  But just in case, here’s the top 5 reasons you should bring your team to Nashville this spring.

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  1. First Class Hockey Holiday Weekend

First and foremost, you’ll be treated to a first class hockey tournament that CHE is renowned for.  A 3 game guarantee with tournament games played at Centennial Sportsplex two rink complex where the Nashville Predators practice, with a delicious cold beer for each player after every game and a chance to hoist the Nashville Cup!  Book your own accommodations or stay with our all-inclusive package at the Holiday Inn Vanderbilt, just 5 minutes from downtown Nashville and featuring a complimentary shuttle to any destination within 3 miles.  Our professional tournament staff will make sure you feel like you’re playing for Olympic Gold!!!

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2. It’s called Music City for a Reason

The Country Music Hall of Fame and Grand Ole Opry are world class venues for all things country music.  Even with all of the pomp and circumstance surrounding the Opry, it’s still a popular venue with local Nashvillians and is definitely worth a visit.  If bluegrass is your thing then you’ll want to check out the Station Inn that’s been pumping out live bluegrass since 1974 and is relatively inexpensive.  If covers aren’t your thing and you want to catch a rising star before their time, head to the Bluebird Cafe where country legend Garth Brooks first cut his chops.  No matter what you’re looking for, there’s an authentic and exciting venue to catch a great live show.

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - JUNE 14, 2013: Honky-tonks on Lower Broadway. The district is famous for the numerous country music entertainment establishments.

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE – JUNE 14, 2013: Honky-tonks on Lower Broadway. The district is famous for the numerous country music entertainment establishments.

3. Broadway Honky Tonks & Dive Bars

Legend’s Corner is probably the first Honky Tonk you’ll stumble into as it’s right outside the Convention Center and impossible to miss.  Walls covered in album covers and memorabilia create the top-notch atmosphere that tends to draw in tourists and local legends, so keep your eyes peeled for the likes of Vince Gill and Little Jimmy Dickens cuz they could be at the stool next to you.  Stumble down the street and you’ll run into the historic Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge which has been around for a long time and featured performances from the like of Willie Nelson, Patsy Cline and Waylon Jennings. Even today there’s a good chance you’ll see an up and coming star hit the stage.  If you’re more inclined to skip the history lesson for today’s hits, The Stage is one of the newest faces on the block.  Try to sneak up to the balcony seats to get an unreal, bird’s eye view of the live performances.

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4. Barbecue and Fried Chicken

New York has pizza, Philadelphia has the cheesesteak and Nashville has BBQ.  The Loveless Café is arguably the most famous establishment, but it’s a bit of a journey out of town, but luckily there’s plenty of great spots in the heart of Nashville.  Mary’s Old Fashion Barbeque Pit serves hand pulled-pork 24/7 with fiery hot sauce and piles of cornbread.  For people who like spice, or at least think they like spice, Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack has long lines for a reason, so queue up and see if you can take the heat.  For some late night bites, you can check out BB Kings Blues Club and Restaurant for some deep fried pickles or their amazing chicken fried chicken served on a bed of white cheddar mac’n cheese.  Look our arteries!!!

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5. Early Season Golf

Given its nickname is “Music City”, it’s not unreasonable that when people think of Nashville they think of music, but what many don’t realize is that Nashville has a ton of great golf courses.  With seasonal temperatures between the 70s – 80s, it’s a great opportunity to shake off the winter cob webs and hit the links with the guys.  Whether you want a championship course or spend just want to $30 there’s a course for you.

This April 29th, grab your teammates and head to Music City for a great time and great tournament.  CLICK HERE to s.ee details and prices on our website

Graydon Crowley

Canadian Hockey Enterprises

Pond Hockey Classic

As winter weather finally takes hold over most of the country, it’s easy to imagine living under a blanket for the duration of the season, but what makes Canadians so resilient is our ability to overcome and take advantage of our surroundings.  And is there anything more Canadian than grabbing a shovel, skates, sticks and nets, bundling up in all our gear and playing a relaxed game of hockey on a frozen pond or lake?  We don’t think so, which is why we’ve set up 2 different Pond Hockey Tournaments in world class destinations this February 6 – 8, 2015.

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Right in the heart of the Laurentians, Mont-Tremblant is just 1.5 hour drive from both Ottawa and Montreal and is eastern Canada’s premier ski resort with world class mountain, hotels and apres ski.   This picturesque village is also surrounded my a number of lakes, and the typically frigid temperatures make it an ideal situation for a pond hockey event.  Teams of 4 – 6 players will head to Tremblant for a taste of French Canadian culture, ice cold beverages and a truly Canadian experience as they battle it out on beautiful Lac Mercier, just 5 minutes from the main village.  There’s still space available and team cal CLICK HERE for details and to register.

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For teams on the western side of the continent, we’ve substituted the Laurentians for the Rockies, Lac Mercier for Lake Mildred, and the mountain town of Mont-Trembant for the winter wonderland in Jasper, AB.  Surrounded by glacier covered peaks rising over 10000 feet into the sky, it feels like a scene from a Molson Canadian commercial.  Teams can choose to just play in the tournament February 6 – 8, but most teams will take the all inclusive package and spend the weekend at the historical Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge where they can warm their feet and relax with a cold beverage after battling it out against teams from all over western Canada and US.  Space is tight, but there’s still room for teams to join and you can CLICK HERE for more details.

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As Canadians, it’s our duty to show mother nature who’s boss during these precarious and frigid winter months, and what better way to do so than grabbing a few friends and heading to one of these pristine destinations for what could be the ultimate in Canadian traditions.

Graydon Crowley

Canadian Hockey Enterprises

Tournament of Champions Season

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After 4 years of success and continuous growth at our Tournament of Champions (TOC) tournament in Las Vegas, Canadian Hockey Enterprises is thrilled to announce the expansion of our Tournament of Champion series of tournaments this November and will now be in Las Vegas, Banff, and Montreal.

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On November 6 – 9, 2014 we will once again be heading to beautiful and exciting Las Vegas, NV to kick off the TOC tournament season with winners and runner ups from our 2014 tournaments flying in from all directions.  Team can book their own accommodations, or choose to stay on the CHE package at beautiful Excalibur Hotel & Casino right on the strip.

Boston Bruins v Montreal Canadiens - Game One

The following weekend, November 14 – 16, the TOC championship trophy will travel right across the continent to the wonderful and unique city of Montreal, QC.  Montreal has arguably the greatest hockey culture and history in the world, and the Habs are in town on Saturday night to play the Philadelphia flyers, and teams who participate will be staying in downtown Montreal at the Chateau Champlain Marriott.

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Once the TOC trophy has been handed to teams in the desert, then teams in la belle provence, the cup gets back on a plane and heads to the Canadian Rocky Mountains for the TOC event in spectacular Banff, AB November 21 – 23, 2014.  Teams will be able to choose a 3 or 4 day package staying at the Caribou Lodge and Inns of Banff, both walking distance from the city center.

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For more information on all of our Tournament of Champion (TOC) events, please CLICK HERE to view our 2014 Fall Tournament brochure for men’s and women’s teams.

 

Graydon Crowley

Canadian Hockey Enterprises

Kelowna, BC

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For this weeks destination I’m going to take a closer look at another CHE tournament and camp destination; Kelowna, BC.  A hugely popular vacation destination in the summer and winter months, I’m going to argue that the best time to visit Kelowna is in the spring, and here’s why!

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1.   Catch some end of season powder runs at Big White!

If there’s one thing I’ve always loved about Kelowna it’s the quickness of the transition from winter to summer activities that takes place during the month of April.  The sunny slopes of Big White Ski Resort has spring skiing at it’s finest and is known for late season powder and extremely mild temperatures at the same time.  There’s still a 2.5 meter base and with 51 cm of fresh snow in the past 7 days so don’t discount the Okanagan as a ski destination even though the weather in the valley can heat up to the mid 20’s.  Beginner or expert, grab your ski’s or board and head to Big White to cruise through the snow covered trees known locally as snow ghosts, or drop into some seriously steep powder over on The Cliff.

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2.  Don’t ski, no problem….you can Golf instead.

Doesn’t make much sense in most places, but if you’ve gotten all of your skiing in for the season and are ready to trade your ski gear for golf clubs it’s not a problem.  The Okanagan seems to heat up faster than any other region on the planet, and with moderate temperatures at the valley floor throughout the winter, most courses in the region are open and ready to go by early April at the latest.    With some of the most scenic golf courses in the country, there’s no shortage of world class courses for you to start your golf season, because this is going to be the year that you finally break…..

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3. Patio Season is already going.

It has been a long and cold winter for most of the country beyond never shoveling snow again there are a few things I’m really looking forward to doing again; not wearing a jacket, breaking out the flip flops and drinking on a patio with friends being t at the top of that list.  Here in Ontario, patio’s will be packed on the first days that reach +10 degrees or higher, but out in Kelowna spring temperatures can reach as high as +30, and patio season goes from closed to full on pretty quickly.  All beer tastes great, don’t get me wrong, but cold beer on a warm patio tastes a heck of a lot better, and the opportunity to possibly get that base tan going doesn’t hurt either.

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4.  Mosquitoes, or lack there of.

I feel like I’m repeating myself in this post but it bears mentioning again….Kelowna is weird, and it doesn’t do spring like the rest of the country.  I love the spring!  It’s the time of year where everything comes back to life.  Buds start forming in the trees, birds start returning from their wintering grounds in the south and in most places, the bugs return in full force to make sure you don’t get to spend any time outside.  Well….not in Kelowna….Kelowna is different.  The leaves don’t fall, the lake doesn’t freeze and the bugs don’t exist.  You can leave your deet infused bug repellent at home and enjoy the warm temperatures in perfect tranquility without fear of being eaten by tiny flying vampires.  If nothing else on this list entices you this definitely should.

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5.  It’s not really spring, it’s summer but without the tourists.

The best part about visiting Kelowna in the spring is that, well, it’s not really spring, it’s summer but with without the tourists.  You may miss out on seeing the actual grapes on the vines that will be plentiful in late summer, but you can still visit all of the beautiful vineyards in the region without competing with the swarms of tourists that smother them in the summer months.  The lake is a bit cool, but it never really warms up that much anyways and you can go sailing without the constant barrage of wakeboard boats sending you waves.  You can even relax on one of the many public beaches without having to fight through the crowds to find a place to lay down for some sun.

 

For those of you that read this and think, “yeah! why don’t I go to Kelowna this spring?”  You’re in luck.  Canadian Hockey Enterprises still has for men’s and women’s recreational hockey teams on the weekends of April 11 – 13 and April 25 – 27.  So if you and your friends want to take advantage of this great destination but need some incentive, give us a call and we’ll help make this dream trip a reality.

Graydon Crowley

Canadian Hockey Enterprises