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Give Your Graduate the Gift of an Atlanta Staycation

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What better way to celebrate the hard work and dedication your favorite graduate has shown than with the gift of FUN with an Atlanta staycation? While they may hope to land their dream six-figure job right out of college, the cold hard truth is that times are tough for young graduates. According to a recent poll of 2011-2013 graduates by Ascenture* – one of the world’s leading management consulting, technology and outsourcing firms – only 15% of 2013 grads expected to earn less than $25,000 a year, while the harsh reality found by 32% of employed 2011and 2012 graduates indicated that their actual annual salary was $25,000 or less. To top things off, of the 2011 and 2012 graduating class survey respondents, only 68% were employed full-time and 16% were working part time. And of the 2013 graduate respondents, only 16 percent of them had secured post-grad employment as of this time last year. Needless to say, it should come as no surprise that a third of 2013 graduates planned to live at home after graduation, while 44% of 2011 and 2012 college grads still hadn't made it out from under Mom and Dad’s roof.

The gift of an Atlanta staycation will give your graduate the opportunity to either have one last hoorah out on the town before beating the pavement to find their first big job or catch a series of breaks between job interviews to truly enjoy this terrific city that we all share. In the event that they are fortunate enough to land a terrific job right out of college, an Atlanta staycation serves as a great celebration of their accomplishments and – if season passes to a much-loved attraction is your gift of choice – can help them blow off steam on weekends between runnings of the rat race. Here are a pair of ideas to help you get started on your Atlanta staycation shopping options:

Give the Gift of an Unforgettable Weekend in Atlanta: Book a room in downtown Atlanta on their behalf for a couple of nights, throw in gift cards to a few iconic restaurants to give them a “taste” of success, and foot the bill for tickets to Atlanta’s new Ferris Wheel - SkyView. The future will look a lot brighter from 20 stories above Atlanta’s city streets. To really set your graduate up for success, toss in some gift cards to shops in the area where they can begin building a wardrobe of clothes for interviewing or their first days on the new job. The Atlanta City Pass might also make a terrific addition to this Atlanta Staycation gift basket– with access to a choice of 5 famous Atlanta attractions including The Georgia Aquarium, High Museum of Art, World of Coca-Cola, Fernbank Museum of Natural History, Inside CNN Studio Tour, Zoo Atlanta and Atlanta History Center.

Give the Gift that Keeps Giving: Season passes to their favorite Atlanta attraction are a great way to say “I love you” all year long. AND, in the event that your recent graduate is living at home, will serve as a terrific excuse to get them out of the house in this modern day way of conveying “go outside and PLAY!” Some ideas to consider include: Stone Mountain Park – which, in addition to a treasure trove of fun attractions and regular showings of the Lasershow Spectacular in MountainVision®, plays host to a number of fabulous festivals throughout the year; Lake Lanier Islands Resort – which is home to the beachfront boardwalk entertainment district and waterpark, LanierWorld. In addition to season passes to LanierWorld, the Resort now offers gift cards that can be purchased in any denomination and used towards dining, accommodations, attractions, zip lining, horseback riding, boat rentals and more; Georgia Aquarium – beyond the graduate who dreams of a future as an oceanographer, this is a peaceful place to reflect and be reminded of the fact that we all need to “just keep swimming”**; Zoo Atlanta – a terrific gift for any animal lover; and Six Flags Over Georgia – when faced with a very big world filled with very real responsibilities, it might be nice to stay in touch with that inner child from time to time.

Congratulations and Very Best Wishes to the Class of 2014!

* To gather this data, Ascenture polled 1,010 students who were graduating from college in 2013, and 1,005 students who graduated from college in 2011 and 2012.

** Quote from Walt DisneyPictures' Finding Nemo (2003)

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