“People always ask me, ‘What can I do that’s different?’ ” says Michael Fox, Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel chief concierge.
“I tell them surf or take an air tour.”
Sundance Los Angeles Helicopters offers the customized air tour he recommends that flies over Santa Monica and the surrounding areas.
“It’s something different that guests can take back home,” Fox says.
Now Sundance Los Angeles Helicopters has a shopping excursion to the Desert Hills Premium Outlets near Palm Springs.
A five-hour overall experience, the trip in the four-seat-plus-pilot helicopter eliminates traffic woes by taking passengers on a breath-taking aerial tour of Southern California as they make their way, according to Caroline Van Steen, Sundance Los Angeles Helicopters marketing manager.
Desert Hills Premium Outlets features 130 designer and name-brand outlet stores.
Sundance holds exclusive and private landing rights on that property and on arrival, a Desert Hills landing officer meets and escorts passengers off the aircraft so they can begin shopping right away.
Passengers get three hours of shopping time.
Booking requires a minimum of two people for the $770 per person round trip “Shopper Chopper” package, according to Van Steen.
Sundance offers this shopping excursion seven days a week from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.
If shoppers have too many packages or they are too large or heavy, a butler service is available for an additional charge to either drive packages back to the hotel or residence or to mail the items within the U.S.
Van Steen says the company has received a lot of response to the program and was actually surprised by such enthusiastic feedback.
“People have told us, ‘I want to shop in style and I’m so glad I can do it,'” Van Steen says.
In business for 19 years, Sundance Los Angeles, formerly Bravo Aviation, Inc., offers a variety of excursions, both short and long, besides the Shopper Chopper.
“We work with all the major hotels in Santa Monica and keep them up-to-date on our service,” Van Steen says.
Willem DeGeus, concierge at Shutters Hotel in Santa Monica, books flights on Sundance for guests of the hotel.
“Sightseeing by air is amazing,” DeGeus says. “It’s the best way to see the city, hands-down.”
He says he has done helicopter tours over Catalina and other locations and feels that Sundance’s “Over-LA” is by far the most impressive.
“The pilot is very knowledgeable and points out so much, and it’s a more personalized tour,” he says.
DeGeus says most requests come during the summer and “it’s absolutely worth it.”
Sundance’s “Seashore Soar” takes passengers on a 15-minute narrated tour from Los Angeles International Airport along the coastline, over the Venice canals, the yachts of Marina del Rey and the pier in Santa Monica.
The “Shutter Flutter” is a nine-minute narrated flight offering superb views of Dockweiler Beach, Ballona Creek, the yachts at Marina del Rey and the Los Angeles skyline.
“Flight Above Paradise” takes visitors “flightseeing” up the coastline along “Baywatch” beach and inland, showcasing celebrity homes, movie locations and downtown skyscrapers.
Van Steen says the pilot is the tour guide and the air tour over celebrity homes shows the entire property.
Voted third best “flightseeing” tours in the world, Sundance tours represent the biggest feature for the company, which has a 60 percent international market, according to Van Steen.
Besides tours, Sundance helicopters are available for charter and are frequently utilized by the press and for movie productions, according to Van Steen.
Information, (310) 263-7669 for the “Outlet Shopping Experience” package.
Julie Kirst can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org