Michelle Rago, Ltd.—Blog

An Open Letter to Philip Seymour Hoffman

February 3rd, 2014

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I casually met Philip Seymour Hoffman at Corsino while having dinner at the bar with a friend. He was with his son and his cell phone was out of juice so my friend lent him hers to make a call. We chatted for a few minutes-established we were members of the same social Club and basically exchanged casual New Yorker niceties.

I am so, so sad about his death because he was a brilliant actor whose films I always made a point to see and of course because he leaves behind a wife and children.

The manner of his death was ugly. That is not the way anyone wants to leave this world. I have had many people in my life who have suffered from addiction and suffer from addiction and I do not wish it on anyone. It is all consuming and colors everything with difficulty.

I believe when you die…you see everything. I have convinced myself you are basically sitting on a cloud with your chin in your elbow contemplating what happened. Whenever things have gotten really rough or I am super afraid to confront a situation head on… I say to myself… I do not want to be sitting on “that cloud” in heaven pissed at myself for being afraid or incapable of managing a situation. That vision drives me as silly as it may seem.

I have anonymously ridden in elevators with Philip Seymour Hoffman, crossed the street and eaten in the same restaurants over the years. He was a guy you would absolutely want to invite to a dinner party. He seemed the quintessential New Yorker I liked just having him messing about the city I have grown up in.

Maybe it’s snowing today to just make New York brighter for a few hours…I don’t know. But Philip… if you can indeed hear me…I will always remember you with a wry smile and admiration. I am sorry there is no turning back from your choices but as with all the delightful aspects of your life I have enjoyed…I will honor the result of your struggles as lesson to be well respected.

And of course next time I am at Corsino I will raise a glass to you buddy.

Your fellow New Yorker…


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Michelle Rago Destinations’ Sneaky Spot for February

January 28th, 2014

The Oasis at The Little Nell 

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My philosophy is…if it’s gonna happen…bring it.

This winter has been chock a block of snow and polar vortex a**-biting cold.

My prescription is…lean into it!

Close your eyes and try this snowy, bubbly dream on for size…

….gliding down the slopes of Aspen, the last thing you would expect to stumble upon is a champagne bar…but that’s that’s exactly where your skis will take you. The Oasis, Aspen’s version of a “pop up” bar, is The Little Nell’s mobile champagne bar located in alternating secret spots on Aspen Mountain.

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The “oh so fabulous” champagne bar is dedicated to serving up glasses and bottles of Veuve Clicquot, as well as caviar and local potato chips. There are umbrellas to shade you from the sun, lounge chairs to well…lounge, and a solar-powered sound system to shake your groove thing.

When things really get hopping The Oasis has been known to offer light nibbles from guest chefs, a putting green during the Masters Golf Tournament and local DJs (as if it needed anything more than Veuve Clicquot to make having a glass of champagne more glamorous.)

Most don’t know it, but The Oasis is also available for private use. With a minimum food/beverage purchase, the bar can be placed in a variety of locations on the mountain. Have a group that’s big into skiing? Place the bar near an expert ski run. Having a winter wedding welcome party? The bar can be placed at the top of the Silver Queen Gondola so non-skiers can also enjoy the fun.  

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The bar only operates during the spring ski season and will return to the slopes mid-February (President’s Day Weekend). Its open to the public Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays until the slopes close mid-April.

The secret location is shared each week via Twitter from @TheLittleNell.

The time is nigh….

All we can say at Michelle Rago Destinations is…bottoms up!



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Make the Next 50 Years Count Project!

January 23rd, 2014

Calling on My Community!!

Instead of Throwback Thursday… help me look ahead!

In May I turn 50 years old!

Join me on my “Make the next 50 Years Count” Project.

I would love to integrate your spirit and heart as I shape my goals!

Don’t hold back… let the creativity fly!

Email me…FB me or text me…


What goals do you think I should integrate into my next 50 years??

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1964, 1974, 1984, 1994, 2004, 2014

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Enagage! Recap from Michelle Rago Destinations

January 17th, 2014

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This week the Engage! 13 Montelucia coverage report was released, which in turn has kicked me in the back side to hit send on my long overdue recap. I have been lost in a month of destination jobs, Christmas, Todd and Ceron’s amazing wedding and a host of post holiday activities. 2013 was an amazing year and 2014 promises to be even better. I treasure the relationships I have cultivated as a result of participating in Engage!. I always come away with a fresh perspective and a renewed sense of courage.

What I am most struck by from the Engage! at Montelucia is how much the attendees have matured since it started. Maturity is generally learned rather than instinctive which for me represents true growth. The attendees were not only the most well informed but seem to have a greater capacity to understand the importance of their market actions and choices, and therefore seem enabled to make better choices for themselves and their businesses. The attendees no longer appear to be “brides turned planners”,  but passionate educated (even ivy league educated!) professionals who are committed to learning as much as possible. It was very reassuring and exciting to see the bar raised and a greater sense of confidence overall.

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At my first Engage! I mediated a break out session and, as God is my witness, someone asked  me ‘what do you do when a bride picks up an infant and the dirty diaper leaks?’  Okay people … birds chirping here … I politely responded that I am sure for all of the effort folks made to come there had to be something more pertinent for the group to discuss. For many of the following summits, most of the questions were about how to handle Bridezillas and what felt like an over arching attempt to handle the anxiety and the pressures of owning your own business.

This year there were rigorous questions about fee structures, profitability and the how leads are processed. Frankly, I felt a bit relieved to NOT be on the hot seat at the Planner Break out session! Also in years past I have noticed that the doors to the general session were like revolving doors. Attendees were up and down and having a hard time sitting through the long general session days. This year there was hardly any attrition throughout the day. People were seemed very committed to getting the full scope of the experience.

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I am passionate about education and appreciate the opportunity to impart knowledge to smooth the way for others. I have always been profoundly proud of being in the service business and sad that the entry level for my chosen field seemed so low. As a community we are contributing to one of life’s most hopeful journeys. It is a gift not to be squandered.

We don’t receive wisdom; we must discover for ourselves after a journey that no one can take for us or spare us

Marcel Proust

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Fun Christmas Gift Ideas!

December 4th, 2013

Fa la la la la…..

Well… we blinked and Christmas is upon us again!

Here are some present ideas that would be SUPER fun to find under the tree or in your stocking!  I included the links so you can check out other goodies on these websites.

Custom Signature Necklaces From Neiman Marcus

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Cashmere Caftan from Calypso

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Paper Baking Molds from Mignon Kitchen Co.

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$5 for a set 10


Herb Scissors from Mignon Kitchen Co.

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USB Outlets from Home Depot

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$27.99 ea.



Custom Wedding Globes from Scout Mob

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Solar Window Charger Gizmag

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Michael Kors Watches

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From $195


David Yurman Skull Ring

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Available Everywhere!

Have fun shopping and Merry Christmas!



Posted in: Our Travels · Social Media · The Detail that made the Difference · Trends · Uncategorized · Unknown. · We Know...