XOJET’s Guide to the 2017 NBA Finals

May 31, 2017  |  Events, Private Jet Charter

NBA Finals Guide

Any time the conversation includes Magic Johnson and Larry Bird – with a splash of Michael Jordan, for good measure – you’re floating in a lofty basketball realm.

Hence why these 2017 NBA Finals feature more than another captivating clash between the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers. Another duel between Stephen Curry and LeBron James. Another dose of Kyrie Irving zooming to the basket, plus the fresh intrigue of Kevin Durant playing in his first Finals with the Warriors.

There’s an extra layer of hoops history involved, and that’s what makes the impending series, starting Thursday night (June 1st), one of the most highly anticipated Finals in years.

Here’s history: This is the first time ever the same teams have met in the NBA Finals in three consecutive years. Warriors-Cavs counts as a tantalizing matchup reminiscent of the memorable 1980s tussles between Magic and Bird, the transcendent stars of their generation. Those Lakers and Celtics played each other in the Finals three times in a four-year span (1984, ’85, and ’87).

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.”

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:

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).

XOJET’S Super Bowl Guide to Houston

January 23, 2017  |  Events, Gary Walther

Here at XOJET we have to hand it to Houston. From Sam to Whitney to Tom (“Houston, we have a problem”), the city has cemented its place in American culture despite sharing the stage with other great performers: Dallas-Ft. Worth, Austin, and New Orleans.

This year it steals the stage as the host of Super Bowl 51, actually the 50th anniversary of the original Super Bowl. The city knows its Super Bowl stuff, having hosted the game in 1974 and 2004.

Whichever team wins, you win by chartering XOJET—which flies you in and out with ease, style, and comfort. Here is your playbook for the days in-between.

XOJET Challenger 300 Engine

The Art of Dressing for Art Basel: 3 Experts Give Their Take

November 20, 2016  |  Art, Events, Hayley Phelan, Private Jet Charter

Every year at the beginning of December, a new swarm of fashionable jetsetters descends on the city of Miami. We’re not just talking of sun-starved beachgoers fleeing winter for South Beach, but instead the thousands of art world insiders, collectors, and artists who flock to Miami for Art Basel, one of the most important art fairs of the year.

Art Basel is always quite the feast for the eyes, and the art isn’t half-bad either. However, just as entertaining—and inspiring—as the masterpieces on the wall, are those walking about the fair and sipping Champagne at the after-parties. So now the challenge, if you’re flying XOJET in the direction of Miami Beach, is what to wear?

While you’ll certainly want to blend in with those well-dressed hordes, you’ll also want to stay relatively comfortable. We spoke with three Basel-bound style experts, including artist Jenna Pietrobon, stylist Ian Bradley, and gallerist Leila Greiche, for tips on how to pull off the ultimate Basel look.

What to Wear…for the Preview Day

What to wear for Art Basel Preview Day

XOJET’s Guide to the 2016 World Series

October 24, 2016  |  Events, Gary Walther, Ron Kroichick

Progressive Field in Cleveland, Ohio - World Series

No matter who wins this year’s World Series, it’s going to be one rollicking party.

Baseball’s annual Fall Classic drips with a distinctive brand of history in 2016. The Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians share a common bond, through decades of ineptitude – all forgiven now, because they both stand one step from the mountaintop.

But those long years of losing offer context to this year’s Series, starting October 25th in Cleveland. These are two of the sport’s oldest franchises, dating to 1876 for the Cubs (when they were known as the Chicago White Stockings) and 1901 for the Indians (then the Cleveland Blues). All this history, so little joy – that explains why Chicago and Cleveland are bursting at their seams in excitement.

XOJET’s Guide to the 2016 Napa Valley Harvest

September 23, 2016  |  2016 Harvest, Events, Gary Walther, Luxury

On any given day, XOJET, which has the nation’s largest floating fleet of Challenger 300 and Citation X super mid-size jets, flies as many as 60 flights a day around the country.

But at this time of year, one destination starts popping up conspicuously: Napa County Airport, the closest one to the Napa Valley wine region. It’s the harvest and there’s nothing like being in the heart of wine country while it’s in full swing.

To that end, we interviewed the people on the ground, winemakers and winery owners at top Napa properties, to get a firsthand report on the 2016 vintage and to get their advice on where you should stay and dine if you decide to make a visit—the places where they relax during the harvest and where they send their friends.

As for the vintage, the answers were surprisingly uniform: balance, structure, classic flavor, all created by a growing season that was remarkably uniform (no weather ambushes). And as Kristof Anderson, the winemaker at Gargiulo Vineyards said, “finally a vintage not based on drought,” as there was good rainfall in the winter.
That left the perennial challenge: logistics. All of the winemakers cited the need to line up the picking crews in advance, yet having to pull the trigger on the harvest on relatively short notice.

“Thank God for cell phones,” said Doug Shafer, head of Shafer Vineyards, who recalled the days of tearing around the Valley in his pick-up trying to meet up with a crew foreman in order to book him. “Tech has allowed me to get more sleep.”

Gargiulo Vineyards: Jeff Gargiulo (owner) and Kristof Anderson (winemaker)

Gargiulo Vineyards Harvest Season Winemaker
Located in Oakville and a producer of four Cabernets: Money Road Ranch (100% Cabernet, 900 cases annually), Aprile Super Oakville (96% Sangiovese, 900 cases), G Major 7 (Bordeaux blend, 900 cases, named for a classic jazz chord), and 575 OVX (100% Cabernet, 200 cases). The OVX is Gargiulo’s top wine, from the only vineyard in Napa Valley that borders the cult Cabernet property Screaming Eagle.

Up-and-Coming Designers to Know at NYFW

September 6, 2016  |  Events, Hayley Phelan, Luxury

There are few things more satisfying than being the first to know about a new talent. While New York Fashion Week always brings fresh tidings from American icons like Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein, there are a number of exciting new names on the calendar that deserve a closer look. So as you descend on the Big Apple aboard one of 50 XOJET New York-bound aircraft in the coming week, here is a list of the designers you need to know to stay ahead of the curve.

Visitors flying with XOJET to NYFW can land at a wide variety of New York airports, including Teterboro, White Plains, LaGuardia, JFK and Newark.

Adam Selman

Adam Selman New York Fashion Week Designs

Photo: Adam Selman

When you can already count Rihanna as a fan, the rest of the world can’t be too far behind. After styling the pop star for a few years, 33-year-old Adam Selman launched his eponymous line to rave reviews. Since then, his cheeky and feminine designs have been seen on celebrities, fashion editors, and, of course, Bad Girl RiRi. This summer, the designer got the official stamp of approval from the industry, when the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) named him as a 2016 finalist for the organization’s Fashion Fund.

XOJET’s Guide to the U.S. Open

The U.S. Open offers a distinctive blend of sporting urgency and big-city entertainment. It’s the season’s final Grand Slam event, so the world’s top players are eager to make one last splash and etch their name into tennis lore.

And really, there’s no better place to make a memorable splash than the Big Apple, with its uniquely bustling, eclectic aura. The crowds invariably include all manner of fans, from the dignified to the, uh, loud. A friend who has covered many Opens calls them a “great conglomeration of humanity,” in which conventional boundaries take a holiday.

US-open-stadium

This was most evident in the late 1970s and early ‘80s, when John McEnroe and Jimmy Connors practically traded the men’s title (they combined to win seven straight, from 1978 through ’84) and spectators occasionally shouted in the middle of a player’s serve. That’s certainly excessive, but it speaks to the passionate and boisterous setting in the United States’ largest, sports-crazed metropolis.