Aspen Food & Wine à la Master Sommelier Bobby Stuckey

May 17, 2017  |  Events, Travel Booking and Tips

Master Sommelier Bobby Stuckey

World-class hiking, biking, running, and climbing are all reason enough to charter an XOJET flight into Aspen, Colorado during the early stages of summer.

But for food and wine connoisseurs like Master Sommelier Bobby Stuckey—himself an avid outdoorsman—these are just appetizers for what most consider the country’s pre-eminent culinary event: the Aspen Food & Wine Classic, running June 16th-18th.

“I’ve been coming to Aspen Food & Wine for the past 22 years and I still get wide-eyed in anticipation,” says Stuckey, a mainstay on the Classic’s yearly speaker list. “For four straight days every year, Aspen is the center of the wine universe.”

While that’s high praise coming from virtually any oenophile, it’s especially telling from a man with the international acclaim of Bobby Stuckey. One of just 236 people across the world to have earned the prestigious distinction of Master Sommelier, Bobby gained notoriety as the Wine Director of The Little Nell right here in Aspen between 1995 and 2000. He then moved to Napa Valley to lead Thomas Keller’s wine program at The French Laundry. Now he’s back in Colorado, where he co-owns Boulder’s Frasca Food & Wine (winner of the 2013 James Beard Award for Outstanding Wine Service), owns a winery using grapes from Friuli, Italy (Scarpetta Wine), and is preparing to open a new restaurant, Tavernetta, in Denver’s vibrant Union Station development (slated to debut the week following Aspen Food & Wine).

“What makes Aspen Food & Wine so special is that there’s virtually no dilution,” he says. “So many people have tried to emulate it, from Miami to Telluride to New York. But at the end of the day, Aspen is the place to be and everyone still shows up for it.”

Read More

America’s Cup: Where Sailing Meets Science

America's Cup Bermud

A vacation via XOJET is so free of complications you end up pondering little else beyond where to go and what to do. This May and June, clients flying XOJET to Bermuda for the 35th America’s Cup yacht races will encounter an irony: sailboats not so different from the planes they flew in on.

Technology has long been a fixation for designers of America’s Cup yachts, but the most recent breakthrough is particularly stunning. Simply stated, the airfoil principle discovered by a Swiss mathematician centuries ago is what lifts a plane airborne (it’s all about wing shape) while the analogous hydrofoil concept allows America’s Cup Class catamarans to defy gravity, as well.

These yachts are able to elevate their twin hulls clear of the water and more or less fly—only a slender pole with a plank-like foil attached to it connects boat to water. Built with little-to-no natural materials, the 50-foot wonders require a crew of only six sailors. They benefit from the simple fact that air is so much less dense and choppy than water, which means drag is sharply reduced and speeds are nearly double what the previous generation could achieve.

For this edition of the 166-year-old competition, the water in question is that cerulean blue color Bermuda is beloved for, lined by coral sands tinged a dusky pink. Though high-toned in a distinctly British way, Bermuda is not an acquired taste. Travelers of every stripe fall for the island readily—unless their preference runs toward honky-tonk, which is not to be found there. One of the first (of many) celebrities to develop a fondness for the place was Mark Twain. A newspaper clipping from 1907 describes the famed author boarding a Bermuda-bound steamer. “I am in search of rest, British humor, and an opportunity to appear logical in March in a white suit,” Twain said dryly.

Read More

Under the Radar with XOJET: Amangiri, Utah

Amangiri Utah Desert

Private aviation clients are accustomed to thinking in terms of flight hours and flight miles.

So let’s get away from the flight plan for a moment: XOJET can take you 50 to 80 million years into the deep American geological past. No flight suit or training required.

Just book a trip to Page Municipal Airport, on the Arizona-Utah border, and a room at Amangiri resort. It lies by the Four Corners—the vast tableland where Arizona, Utah, Colorado, and New Mexico do-se-do—and takes just 20 minutes to reach from the airport by car.

The resort, situated in a curl of cliff, plays off the eons-old eroded rock with sleek geometrical architecture. From your room you see sand-billows rushing toward a bone-white mesa, and behind that, a fortress of rust-red cliffs. In an eye-instant, you’ve just traveled millions of years, geologically speaking; all that red in the distance is the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument, in far southern Utah, and all that sand is probably a teenager in geological time.

Amangiri nests in the midst of spectacular eroded rock formations, a rock opera of violent up-thrusting and relentless weathering that created this vast geological zoo: pinnacles, hoodoos (mushroom-hooded rock towers), benches, terraces like the upper deck of a stadium, and mesas flat as a marine haircut. It’s why the region contains the greatest concentration of national parks and national monuments in America.

Read More

XOJET, The Most Liked Private Jet Brand Across Social

April 21, 2017  |  Media, Private Jet, XOJET

We are thrilled to celebrate a special milestone, one that represents our focus on people, communities, and those who love aviation. Each day we constantly and fiercely advocate on behalf of our clients by being the trusted advisor and service provider of choice. This is our mantra, our true north, and our guiding principles – and the ability to share our passion with hundreds of thousands of people around the world as the most liked private jet brand across social media is a true honor.

Read More

An Insider’s Guide to the Kentucky Derby

Kentucky Derby

Photo: Bill Brine

When the fifteen horses comprising the inaugural Kentucky Derby field pounded around the track in 1875, 10,000 spectators looked on from a grandstand that still didn’t have a name. These days, the Kentucky Derby draws a cheering crowd of more than 160,000 and has gone on to become not just a rite of spring but one of the top sporting events in the world.

The 20 horses that will compete in the 2017 Kentucky Derby have been chosen based on a point system. Girvin, a Kentucky-bred dark bay trained by Joe Sharp leads with 150 points; Irish bay Thunder Snow and Todd Pletcher-trained Always Dreaming round out the top three with 100 points each. But it’s not just about the points. Although he’s only earned 32 points, Classic Empire, whose sire also fathered Triple Crown winner American Pharoah, is emerging as an early favorite, as is McCracken, who can end a race with a sudden burst of speed.

For XOJET clients, a trip to Churchill Downs couldn’t be easier. Louisville is home to a number of well-positioned airports as well as a terrific transportation system, great hotels, and a mix of time-tested and contemporary restaurants.

Here’s the inside track.

Read More

Challenger 300: Sourcing And Customizing A Unique Aircraft

April 14, 2017  |  Aviation, David Gould, Private Aviation

In the small but rarified world of private aviation, the customer-supplier relationship can sometimes feel more like a partnership, or a meeting of the minds. XOJET, which owns and operates the Bombardier Challenger 300 within its floating charter fleet of super mid-size private jets, has a feel and affinity for this universally admired aircraft that is not so different from the manufacturer’s.  

To understand more about the making of a Challenger 300, I spoke with Bombardier’s industrial design manager Timothy Fagan, a 17-year veteran of the company’s design-engineering group, and asked him just how the customization process for XOJET unfolds.

……….

Watching a Bombardier Challenger 300 climb toward 41,000 feet and a cruising speed of 520 miles per hour, you’re likely to think of all the high-tech engineering that powers it in flight. But those aboard the jet are likely to be focused on its high-end interior finishes, made predominantly of leather and wood.

Sourced from European tanneries that serve high-end furniture manufacturers, the luxuriant leathers found on a Challenger 300 are customized for color, texture, grain pattern, and other subtle features. Upholstering the cabin walls as well as the seating, they help create a first impression that soothes and gratifies any boarding passenger. The best steer hides are used, matched with expensive dyes to create a warm look enhanced by deep and uniform colors.

Read More

A Guide to Choosing the Right Jet for Your Mission

One of the primary advantages of flying XOJET (and flying smart) is the complete control our clients have over aircraft selection. Unlike fractional owners who are locked into one class of aircraft, you as an XOJET client can choose between dozens of modern jets through out Preferred Partner Network—including turboprop, light, mid-size, super mid-size, and heavy jets—specifically tailored to the distance, speed, cabin, and storage space required for your trip.

To help you decide which aircraft is best suited for your missions in 2017, here is our high-level guide to select options available within XOJET’s owned and extended fleet. Welcome aboard.

Turboprops

Suitable Routes:
Los Angeles > Las Vegas
New York > Boston
San Juan > St Barths
San Francisco > Los Angeles

King Air 350

Exterior View of a King Air 350 at an FBO

Range: 2,077 miles
High Cruise Speed: 360 mph
Takeoff Distance: 3,300 feet
Landing Distance: 2,692 feet
Rate of Climb: 2,731 ft/min
Max Operating Altitude: 35,000 feet
Cabin Volume: 416 cubic feet
Cargo Volume: 71 cubic feet

Cabin Highlights: With available seating up to 11, the King Air 350 sets the class standard for comfortable cabins—featuring luxurious seating, noise-dampening ride technology, and luminous natural lighting thanks to large, rounded windows. It’s the cabin you’d expect from a jet aircraft.

What You Need to Know: Though still a turboprop aircraft, the larger King Air 350 is more comparable to light jets than the PC-12. Positioned as such, the 350 offers style, comfort, and small-jet versatility for an operational cost vastly lower than its competitors. A proven classic since its first model in 1974, we recommend it as a more fuel-efficient, economical option for both business commuters and leisure travelers flying short-to-mid-range distances—and those who want a faster, more luxurious aircraft than the PC-12.
To help you decide which aircraft is best suited for your missions in 2017, here is our high-level guide to select options available within XOJET’s fleet. Welcome aboard.

Read More

Five Destinations You Can Only Reach by Private Jet

Besides comfort, convenience, and cutting-edge efficiency, flying private opens the gates to a multitude of hard-to-reach destinations.

Below is the crème de la crème of those destinations—not just difficult to reach, but quite literally impossible when flying directly on anything but a private jet or charter. Meaning, if you’re looking for a luxurious destination for your next vacation with XOJET, look no further.

Anguilla

Four Seasons Resort and Residences Anguilla

Photo Credit: Four Seasons

Read More

XOJET’s Guide to the Masters

March 23, 2017  |  Events, Katie McElveen, Ron Kroichick

By Ron Kroichick, Sports Columnist/Feature Writer for the San Francisco Chronicle

Augusta National

Let’s face it: The Masters almost never disappoints.

This stretches beyond, say, the 1997 edition, when young Tiger Woods made history with his landmark victory. Consider five years ago, when Bubba Watson memorably curved a shot out of the forest to prevail in a playoff.

Or two years ago, when Jordan Spieth – not quite as young as Woods in ’97, but close – launched his riveting run at the Grand Slam. Or the year after, when Spieth collapsed on the back nine on Sunday and unheralded Englishman Danny Willett slipped his arms into the green jacket.

Few marquee sporting events perpetually produce great theater the way the Masters does, and XOJET can take you there – right to Augusta Regional Airport at Bush Field, only 13 miles from the course.

Anticipation for the Masters builds all winter, as golf slowly emerges from hibernation and winds its way to the azaleas and pines of eastern Georgia. Augusta National is part of the tournament’s allure, not only for the picturesque setting but also for the cool, thrill-seeking stage it provides.

The course favors power hitters and those with creativity around the greens. Augusta also lends itself to final-round excitement, with two reachable par-5s (Nos. 13 and 15) and a potential birdie hole (No. 16) coming down the stretch.

There also are plenty of treacherous holes, as Spieth learned all too well last year. But the magic of the Masters, set for April 6-9 this year, includes a powerful sense of history. These are the same fairways Ben Hogan and Byron Nelson once walked … and Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus … and Woods and Phil Mickelson.

Now, here in 2017, who will win the year’s first major?

If you’re traveling to Augusta, this all-encompassing guide will help you find out in style:

Read More

March Madness: A Game Plan with XOJET

March 15, 2017  |  Events, Ron Kroichick

XOJET March Madness 2017

March Madness resonates with American sports fans because it’s authentic. Just picture the faces of college basketball players if their “bubble team” is selected for the NCAA Tournament – a captivating mix of wonder, exhilaration, and sheer joy.

Then the games begin, and so does the theater.

This year’s journey culminates April 1 and 3 with the Final Four in Glendale, Arizona. But the road to the desert begins in nine scattered cities March 16-19 and advances through four more venues March 23-26.

Along the way, the customary drama will unfold, from epic upsets to improbable, last-second shots. Every tournament matchup carries a distinctive brand of urgency—akin to Game 7 of an NBA playoff series—and XOJET follows suit to offer seamless private charters to every single game from 1 to 67 (see below for a full list of host cities, including recommended airports).

Read More