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Local Spotlight - High Point Cross Country Ski Center

High atop Sussex County NJ, where the three states converge, there is an obelisk that stands 1,803 feet above sea level. The 360° view is an amazing sight and the monument itself can get your elevation and your heart rate up after climbing inside the 220 foot structure.  The view is definitely worth the climb. You will overlook the Catskill Mountains, the Wallkill River Valley and the Pocono Mountains. 

Through all four seasons the park sees pretty steady traffic. The camp ground,  Lake Marcia, and hiking trails. Even though the trails are covered in snow now, that should not discourage you. When learning about High Point Cross Country Ski Center operating at the park, it was eye opening. The business concept is actually pretty brilliant. Some may think that the park, or at least the trails, were not open for the average hiker, but then after speaking with the owner, Hans Jensen, we found out the true deal.

Hans grew up in Norway and competed in the World Cup for cross country skiing. Racing was his passion. His love for nature and being outdoors was part of his childhood, and as an adult has always been enjoyable for him.  "It feels good to exercise and be healthy enjoying winter activity then retreating to the warmth of a roaring fire and enjoying rich creamy hot chocolate. It doesn’t get too much better than that! Being able to share this with other outdoor enthusiasts makes it 

all worthwhile." Hans says.  

 Being in NJ, the weather is pretty unpredictable and so relying solely on mother nature would make it very difficult business to sustain. Operated under contract with the State of New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Division of Parks and Forestry, Hans and his team spend hours and hours grooming the trails and making snow. They use four wheelers to pull grooming machines, setting tracks and manicuring the over nine miles of trails so that you have the most enjoyable experience. This is their 26th season - hard work, dedication, research and experience has produced quite a nice get-away destination at the top of our High Point State Park. The only open to the public park that grooms it’s trails for the complete benefit of the skiers and snow shoers. 

Hans explained about the difference between cross country and downhill for novices. He suggested that there is usually a crossover and most skiers will enjoy both. Downhill is a more individual activity where once you have confidence and get into the sport you challenge yourself, go faster, take steeper inclines, be more adventurous and then there’s higher risk of injury! Not too many cross country skiers leave via EMT transport. People don’t generally plow into a tree or fall and break an ankle on the trails..

Cross Country is a continuous exercise, you move at your pace, however you can definitely go with a buddy and both enjoy the workout and fresh air.  There are different trails where you may encounter more hills and challenging 

inclines. There are a lot more chances that you will see some wildlife and absolutely gorgeous surroundings while cross country sk iing . You might just might miss out these experiences if you are whizzing down a steep and slippery slope.

Cross country is also a more economical way to go as well.  The equipment investment is similar however the trail rates are a mere $20 for the day vs. lift tickets that can be anywhere between $80-100 for per pass. That can equal quite an expensive way to spend the day, especially if  you are doing it as a family. “Many are doing cross-country here for the first time,.” he says.  Having the ability to include the baby on a backpack or sled is yet another way that you can include the entire family. Literally the cross country skier ranges in age from toddler to 70 or 80 years young. Offering lessons to beginners is really popular and it is usually  a shorter learning curve which means they are out on the trails enjoying their adventure pretty quickly. 

If you have a case of cabin fever this winter and are considering some outside activities the whole family can enjoy., take a ride up High Point Mountain and explore your possibilities. 

High Point Cross Country Ski Center

High Point Cross Country Ski Center

Located at High Point State Park

1480 Route 23 Sussex NJ 07461

Phone: 973-702-1222                                                                                                 http://www.xcskihighpoint.com

 
 
 
In cross country skiing at its best!

Local Spotlight - High Profile Events

Bryan Murphy is a Sussex County native with an affinity for music and love for his guitar. He spent many years playing live, with a band doing gigs. When he got an opportunity to DJ and MC, it seemed like a great fit for him. He learned so much from this experience and found that this added yet another dimension to his love of music, the spinning of the records, mixing the tempo. The art of it “grabbed” him, he said.

He  gained more experience, he tried new things, he  grew quite a following. After years of mixing and being a part of these special events, he sought out ways to improve the crowd experience, he invested in equipment, and expanded his database. He partnered with Michael Andolina "the most talented MC I've ever heard" and collected a group of talented staff to deliver the best possible entertainment possible. In 2018 he started his own business, High Profile Events.

When you hire DJ Bryan and his team, you're not just getting a DJ. You get an experience designed straight out of your dreams.  They customize everything to your wants and needs. If you want a vocalist at the ceremony, a string quartet at your cocktail hour, you got it. You want lights and fog and a saxophone player at the reception, done. Photo booth check. "It’s amazing what a difference it can make when you incorporate live energy to the entertainment at your party. It’s a complete game changer.  To Bryan none of this is a game, but is fun!

The music is his passion, his love of people is a notch above that. He clearly loves to make people happy and taking the time to sit with a couple before their day and hear about their dreams of how the most important day should unfold. They sometimes explain how a special relative will be in town, or how they recently lost someone and would like a moment in remembrance.  He understands all the pressures of life stuff, and how they just want this day to be perfect. Through listening for years and meeting with many couples,  Bryan has devised a plan for getting the best context and quality personal anecdotes from each client. His planning process very precise. He uses a template that is detailed, thorough and covers everything. He designs each event based off of learning about each individual, everything in detail from the ceremony, cocktail hour, wedding profile, reception seating everything throughout the night. 

He's also happy to say that he has added corporate events, to his experience and he's provided entertainment for companies such as Red Bull, Victoria's Secret and Mercedes-Benz. Being able to raise the energy and set the bar high for these events is fun and exciting and a lot of detailed work!  Being able to get a room buzzing with excitement, engaging the crowd, knowing when to go low key and when to kick it to the next level.  There’s a director on the scene of this movie, It’s High Profile Events. - Music-Lights - Camera - Fog-  ACTION!

I asked Bryan what advice he could offer to someone like himself just starting out. He immediately replied, "First focus on a quality product, second make your customer service as strong as it can possibly be." He believes that focusing on the few not the many, has made him grow as a business and a businessman. Energy and passion. That is what makes the difference.

When a couple comes up to me at the end of the night and says everything was perfect, if it wasn't for you it would never had been this great. That's the reason I put so much into this business. Their happiness makes it all worthwhile. 

High Profile Events provides and matches the music to the atmosphere. Years of experience and the love of music makes this entertainment company a must for brides & grooms and anyone having an event.

Featured on The Knot, the feedback is positive and energetic. Here are some of their customers reviews.

Timothy B  They made the day!!! Weddings are a celebration and thanks to Bryan this celebration will be remembered by my whole family and all my friends forever. Every one of my family said Bryan was the best DJ they had ever heard. I was one of my first friends to get married and my friends were so impressed they ended up hiring High Profile Events for their own weddings. Me and my wife can't thank you guys enough! You are the best! I can't wait for our vow renewals to hire you again.

Eryka B DJ Bryan Murphy (with High Profile Events) has a reputation of being the very best around so, naturally, hiring him for our wedding was a ‘No Brainer’. Not only were we non-stop dancing throughout the night but so were all of our guests and to this day we’re still being told the music selections were impeccable. There aren’t enough good things that I can say about his service, perfection is a gross understatement for the overall experience you’ll have! My husband and I are looking forward to hiring High Profile Events for our next celebration!

High Profile Events provides and matches the music to the atmosphere. Years of experience and the love of music makes this entertainment company a must for brides & grooms, corporate, private and anyone having an event.

High Profile Events

High Profile Events DJ & Productions

800-259-0949

https://highprofilevents.com

info@highprofilevents.com

Instagram High.Profile.Events

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/highprofilenj/

In Taking DJ Entertainment to the next level

Local Spotlight - Crystal Concierge, LLC

So, what the heck is a lifestyle management company, seriously what does that mean? Well, I asked the right person to explain it to me and the light bulb 💡went on. Ann Marie Miskewicz is the President of Crystal Concierge, LLC.  She’s the lady who literally can make your life easier. She takes away that stress that we all find ourselves dealing with in our day to day routines.

Let's back up a bit to find out that Ann Marie was in corporate America specializing in third party logistics and also had an in-depth knowledge of the hospitality industry. She was the middle woman, the one who set up the dates between two potential matches and let the universe take over. Not really, she was the universe that put the right people and companies together to get whatever the task at hand done. And then, she managed and oversaw everything to make sure that it was going according to plan. Kind of a superwoman if you will.

Eleven years ago she decided to focus her talents on her own business. Realizing all the things she couldn’t get done at her home, the errands, the time consuming scheduling of appointments, the endless phone calls trying to get quotes. Planning a party that should be fun,  would end up being an enormous undertaking. At the end of the evening you didn’t even get to sit and enjoy your company because you exhausted yourself playing planner, shopper, cook, decorator, server, bartender, hostess, and cleaning crew. Now I remember why I don’t entertain much anymore.

Let's think of Ann Marie as the “fixer”; you have a problem, she fixes it.  Literally taking the load off your shoulders. "Oh, so she’s a party planner". Well it doesn’t start or stop at parties.

Looking at her website and the back of her business card you might think, "All that, can one person do all this?" The beautiful thing is that one person can arrange the right people, staff, contractors and coordinate what needs to be handled. She pulls all her resources together and viola!

Arrange deliveries and installations

Business Services

Cleaning and Move-outs

Contractors

Companion Travel, Electronics assistance, Event planning and Staffing, Home Care, Maintenance and Organization, Property Management, Shopping, Vacation Security Checks, Wait Staff, Chefs and Bartenders.

“Lifestyle management, having the right people in the right place at the right time can be the solution to most of your problems.” She has been referred to by her clients as a "the phantom" or "the magician"

 "I'm the paid family member, there's no tally of I owe you's or you owe me, no favors to call in". You (the customer)  go through your day uninterpreted,  She handles it all. The biggest compliment she feels is the level of trust her clients put in her. The majority of her business is referrals and having a new potential customer call and say "Jessie, said I absolutely have to get in touch with you, you are the best, your spot on reliable, and never disappoint." Well that's just an advertisement that is worth more than gold to me.

Her clients turn to Ann Marie to manage their properties, plan events and provide professional contractors for a variety of jobs, big or small. Corporations to individuals, she has the experience, the staff and the network to get it done. 

So when you are in a tailspin over the upcoming holidays and thinking, about the new carpets coming, decorating, finding a caterer and getting your mom to the doctors and wondering "how on earth will I ever get all this done" Pick up your phone and dial 973-919-7430, Ann Marie is the first call to making miracles happen. 

Crystal Concierge, LLC

Ann Marie Miskewicz 

Lifestyle Management Company

5 Spyglass Hill Unit 6

Vernon, NJ 07462

973-919-7430

In Lifestyle Management Company

Local Spotlight Lourdes of the Vine

Finding passion in what you do, makes your world a whole lot happier.

Meet Lourdes!   She’s my new idol. 

When it comes to wine, this lady knows her stuff. Lourdes is experienced and knowledgeable and loves her wine.  Her palette is pretty refined and she can talk you in, around and through the best bottles, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they are expensive. 

 I asked her how she started her business. She responded with a giggle and then replied “ by accident, actually” 

She got her start studying French language and literature at the University of Maryland, then she set off to France to study, that’s when she knew. Coming back  when the recession was in full swing, she happened to come upon employment at Madame Claude’s Bistro in Jersey City. They offered some favorite wines, she began to get more excited and influenced by owners Alice Troietto and Mattias Gustafsson. (She refers to them as her mother and father of wine). Madame Claude Wines opened in 2010 as one of the first “wine boutiques” and they loved to share wines and educate their customers.

She worked, and managed the specialty wine shop while she started her training at the International Wine Center in NYC.  She spent the next 4-5 years educating her way through the beginner, advanced level and she’s now a Level 3 Certified Wine & Spirits specialist through WSET.

In Love Wine Learn Wine, Wine is Learned

Local Spotlight - Pillar Construction, Glenwood, NJ

 

Recently I got the opportunity to speak with Ron Bevacqua, Owner of Pillar Construction. 

I was lucky enough to catch him while he was in route from one job site to another. My first attempt at contacting him, he couldn’t pick up because he was on the roof mid day 90* temps in the middle of August. He apologized and all I could think was, wow that’s dedication. I was probably sitting behind my computer in the A/C. He was open to giving me a little background of his business. In the early 80's he worked for his father's family drywall business. In 1993, he and his brother went onto form Pillar Construction. Their reputation of being the best drywall company earned them an amazing reputation and they became Pillar Drywall, Inc. At the time the new construction was booming, he contracted with new home developers, builders, and commercial properties. This was a critical step, and when he was finished, the next phase of the construction was continued by the painting contractor and so forth until the project was finished.

 In 2008 things went south as the economy was suffering, new construction pretty much came to a complete halt. Many other contractors found themselves...

In remodeling design, home repairs, general contractor

Local Spotlight: Wilcox Press, Hamburg, NJ

Hamburg, NJ; a quaint little town the Wallkill River runs through. Mostly known currently for the Golf Courses and Crystal Springs resort, the Gingerbread Castle brings memories forward in remembering days gone by. Wilcox Press, originally owned by the Wilcox Family nearly a century ago, still stands proud and still functions as a printing company on Main Street. Jodi Palmasano is now the present owner, and only the fourth since it's conception. Her parents purchased it when she was a teen and have since passed it down to her. Growing up she was always amazed at how the whole process was done. It was like some sort of magic, the creativity made it the natural fit for her to continue on after her parents. 

In Wilcox Press, Printing, Custom Design, Family owned, Promotional

LOCAL SPOTLIGHT: Cruise planners TRAVELS BY SYLVIA

 Travel Adviser Cynthia Allen is a well traveled, worldly lady who happens to get enormous enjoyment out of helping others plan their dream vacation. You might think that with so much technology at your fingertips, seeking help isn't necessary. You can do this. Right? You start your mission of  searching endless websites toggling from tab to tab, trying to find the best deal and flight and so on. You could run to the local library and get some travel books to peruse, or even go to AAA and grab some maps. That doesn't seem all that hard right?  WRONG! You have taken on an enormous task and admit it my friend, you NEED some help. That is why I urge you to call Cindy. You will thank me again and again once you meet her. She"ll start off with learning about you and your dream vacation and what's important to you. She'll find out if you want to be part of a group of people with similar interest to try and get you a more aggressive discount. If you are traveling as a group she organizes events and excursions, even celebrations.  She recommends out of the way places,  if you prefer to keep to yourselves. Cindy has been to over 30 Countries, 40+ States - This lady has been around the globe, LITERALLY - So it seemed like a no brainer to her and Sylvia - owner of Travels by Sylvia Cruise Planners to join together and create the perfect team.

 Cindy is as excited about your fairy tale type vacation as she would be about her own. She digs in and does all the research about the destination she suggests out of the way places that are off the beaten path. It's the little suggestions and references she offers that will make it unique. The chances are she's been there so she speaks from experience. "Travel is the only thing you can buy that makes you richer!" She believes that to be true, and loves the fact that she can share her experience and knowledge with her clients. She arranges it all, booking planes, trains, cruise ships, automobiles, scooters, and wheelchairs. She thinks of everything, I mean every little thing. This doesn’t mean an hour spent looking up flights on Expedia, we are talking days of researching the dates, is the weather suitable that particular time of year, documentations, time changes, exchange rates, vaccinations, local culture, dietary restrictions and allergies. She is even certified in Autistic and Special Needs Travel, which means she knows about and understands the challenges you might face and can instruct you how to change that challenge into a well deserved and enjoyable respite. When you come back, it might feel as though Cindy went with you as your invisible companion, but her special touch is evident in everything. The angel on your shoulder that guided and directed you through, if something unexpected comes up, she's there for you.

Her Military background in the US Army Medical Service Corps makes Cindy a logistical expert. She can juggle a lot of balls at once and not drop any.

In the best vacation ever, Cynthia Allen, land and cruise experts, Travel by Sylvia, Your Dream Vacation

Local spotlight: Whisper and Brook Flower Co.

If you ever had a fairy tale dream of what you wanted to be when you grow up, you'll want to read more about Jesse and Stephanie Williams. Owners of Whisper and Brook Flower Company. We got the opportunity to visit with Jesse and learn about how their dream became reality. The business is new to Hamburg, but not to the area. 

Originally it was Stephanie who started with her creative floral business and before they knew it, Jesse joined in to manage while Stephanie designed. They took a plunge and started as a Wedding & Specialty Event Floral Designer and Retail Florist in Lafayette, NJ. They decided to hone in on the wedding design and nurture the workshop portion of their business.   They closed the retail portion of the business so that they can focus on what they truly think is their sweet spot. 

In whisper and brook, wedding florist

LOCAL SPOTLIGHT: Simply Unique Baskets by R

 

It all started 22 years ago, she was helping a friend with a gift idea.  She turned to another friend who had been making and selling gift baskets for some time. Her friend was nice enough and walked her through the steps and voilà, she was a natural. Before she knew it, she was putting together unique gift baskets for friends and family.  As word spread, she was building a following and a business. Now, thanks to the internet, her orders can be placed day or night through her website. Her social following is great and she’s even sent out a gift arrangement to the UK. Her 
website gets the traffic 
In local spotlight, gift giving, customized gifts, baby baskets, sympathy, special delivery, Personal gifts, corporate gifts, realtor gifts, wedding