Carlson Employees to Celebrate Company's 70th Anniversary with 'Winter Wonderland,' Featuring Will Steger

Minneapolis, MN | February 07, 2008

Ice skates, sleds, skis, snowshoes, magic and legendary Arctic explorer Will Steger all will be part of Carlson's Winter Wonderland celebration for employees and their guests on Saturday, Feb. 9, at the company's headquarters in Minnetonka.

The employee event, which will feature a variety of indoor and outdoor activities, is part of Carlson's 70th Anniversary observance throughout 2008.

Events Saturday will begin at 11 a.m. and conclude at about 3 p.m. at the company's headquarters complex, 701 Carlson Parkway, near the intersections of Interstates 394 and 494.

An appearance by University of Minnesota mascot Goldy Gopher on skates will be among the highlights. Guests also will be entertained by live bluegrass music, a balloon artist, horse-drawn wagon rides and an ice-carving demonstration.

"Winter Wonderland is an opportunity for our management team and family to thank our Minneapolis-based employees for everything they do for our customers, clients, suppliers and company," said Marilyn Carlson Nelson, Carlson's chairman and chief executive officer. "As we look back on 70 years of accomplishments in the hotel, travel, restaurant and marketing industries, it is evident that Carlson could not have become one of the largest private companies in the world without the immense support of our employees. Congratulations to all of them."

During the activities on Saturday, employees can sign up for the Carlson 70 Great Prizes Sweepstakes. Each employee has received one free entry to win prizes, ranging from free gift cards to T.G.I. Friday's for a year, and snow removal equipment, to free airline flights, and stays at Carlson hotels in Aruba and the Netherlands. Employees also are invited to purchase additional sweepstakes entries, with proceeds benefiting The World Childhood Foundation. Employees already have contributed nearly $30,000 to the foundation through the 70 Great Prizes Sweepstakes, which continues until late March.

Part of Carlson's corporate social responsibility initiative includes support of the World Childhood Foundation, which Carlson co-founded with other international corporations and Her Majesty Queen Silvia of Sweden in 1999.

The stated mission of Childhood is "to defend the rights of the child to a secure childhood and to work for better living conditions for children at risk all over the world." The organization's present focus is protecting children from being sexually abused, with special attention given to the situations of girls and teenage mothers. Locally, Childhood supports two non-profits - Youth Link and the Bridge for Runaway Youth.

Carlson's 70th Anniversary observance also will include a day-long, international business summit and world gala for invited guests on Feb. 28 in Las Vegas. Carlson Chairman and CEO Nelson will host the Imagination Summit, which will include Her Majesty Queen Silvia; Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, chairman and CEO of Nestlé; Honorable Christine Lagarde, minister of finance and economy, France; Maya Angelou, poet, author and educator; and Dr. Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman, World Economic Forum.

Regis Philbin will host the evening gala, featuring performances by Tony Bennett, Garrison Keillor, O Tahiti E, the Boys Choir of Kenya, Paul Potts of the U.K., Maria Alexandrova of Russia, and the Taiko Drum Ensemble of Japan.

"All of the 70th Anniversary events and celebrations are designed to inspire, entertain and motivate the participants," said Kim Olson, Carlson's chief communications officer. "The theme of the late-February business summit is 'Imagination.' We know what our accomplishments have been in the past, and we know imagination, strong leadership and hard work will help shape Carlson's future."

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