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Taste and Tote Makes Visiting Walla Walla Easier! – Press Release

August 16, 2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE August 16, 2012 Contact: Michelle Liberty, Tourism Walla Walla, 509-525-8799, mliberty@wallawalla.org.

WASHINGTON WINE COUNTRY TASTE AND TOTE: NEW PROGRAM INCREASES EASE AND AFFORDABILITY OF AREA TRAVEL Alaska Airlines, Enterprise Rent-A-Car and local tourism groups collaborate on new tourism program (August 17, 2012) – Tourism Walla Walla, Tri-Cities Visitor & Convention Bureau, Yakima Valley Visitors & Convention Bureau, and Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance announce the launch of a new collaborative effort with Alaska Airlines and Enterprise Rent-A-Car to promote Washington Wine Country. Launching in September 2012, the Washington Wine Country “Taste and Tote” promotion will make it easier and more affordable to taste and travel the Yakima Valley, Tri-Cities and Walla Walla Valley wine regions.

As part of this new partnership, Alaska Airlines will expand its existing “Taste and Tote” wine check-in program to include the Yakima and Pasco/Tri-Cities airports in addition to Walla Walla . Originating in the Walla Walla Valley in late 2011, this program allows outbound passengers to check their first case of wine for free on their return flight. In addition, Enterprise Rent-A-Car will waive car drop-off fees for visitors flying on Alaska Airlines into Yakima, Pasco or Walla Walla regional airports, who wish to fly out of one of the other two airports.

“The ‘Taste and Tote’ program has been a big success in Walla Walla and we feel our expansion to the Pasco and Yakima airports shows our dedication to being Washington Wine Country’s airline of choice,” said Clint Ostler, Alaska Airlines’ manager of retail advertising and sponsorships. “Washington State’s tourism and wine industries are so closely connected and we are committed to making it easier for travelers to visit our awardwinning vineyards.”

Other features of the new program will allow travelers to sample wines at participating wineries and pay no tasting fees when they show a current Alaska Airlines boarding pass from one of the three airports.

“This is a great partnership for everyone involved, especially our visitors,” said Duane Wollmuth of the Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance. “This program gives travelers the opportunity to spend an extended vacation in Washington Wine Country and not pay extra during their stay, either in car rental, airline baggage or wine tasting fees.”

The majority of visitors to Walla Walla Valley, Tri-Cities region and Yakima Valley wineries come from the Seattle and Portland metropolitan areas. Organizers hope that with these added incentives, visitors from these destinations and others served by Alaska Airlines will utilize air service for their trip to Washington Wine Country. Additional details on the Taste and Tote promotion are available at www.tasteandtote.com.

About Washington Wine Country Founded in 2003, Washington Wine Country is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting wine-related tourism by fostering collaborative regional partnerships throughout the wine growing region of Eastern Washington, where 98 percent of Washington State’s wine grapes are grown. For more information, visit www.winecountrywashington.org.

About Alaska Airlines Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air, subsidiaries of Alaska Air Group (NYSE: ALK), together serve more than 90 cities through an expansive network in Alaska, the Lower 48, Hawaii, Canada and Mexico. Alaska Airlines flies nonstop from Seattle to Walla Walla Regional Airport twice daily ; to Yakima Air Terminal three times daily ; and to the Pasco/Tri-Cities Airport five times daily. Starting Aug. 27, the carrier will begin new daily service between Pasco/Tri-Cities and Portland, Ore.. Connections can be made beyond Alaska’s Seattle and Portland hubs to destinations in Alaska, the lower 48, Mexico and Canada. To purchase tickets, visit www.alaskaair.com or by calling 1-800-ALASKAAIR.

About Enterprise Rent-A-Car Enterprise Rent-A-Car Enterprise Holdings, through its regional subsidiaries, operates more than one million cars and trucks, the largest fleet of passenger vehicles in the world today. Enterprise Holdings is North America’s largest and most comprehensive service provider in the car rental industry, operating the Alamo Rent A Car, Enterprise Rent-A-Car and National Car Rental brands. www.enterpriseholdings.com/press-room.

 

Duane Wollmuth: Executive Director, Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance, duane@wallawallawine.com  (509) 526-3117.

 

John Cooper: President and CEO, Yakima Valley Visitors & Convention Bureau Convention Bureau,  john@visityakima.com,  (509) 575-3010.

 

Kris Watkins: President and CEO, Tri-Cities Visitor & Convention Bureau, kris@visittri-cities.com (509) 735-6816.

 

Michelle Liberty: Executive Director Tourism Walla Walla, mliberty@wallawalla.org, (509) 525-8799.

 

Bobbie Egan: Media Relations, Alaska Airlines, (206) 392-5101

 

Robert Lerch: Director of Sales, Business Rentals  Enterprise, Rent-A-Car, (425) 917-7532.