By Art Harrison, Trail Times
First it was Powder Magazine, then it was the New York Times, now yet another major U.S. media outlet has focussed its lens on the little mountain town that is gaining a big reputation.
The trend continues as USA Today included Rossland in a feature photo montage, “Adventure Travel 2013: Top trips to emerging places.”
While to local residents it may seem like a familiar neighbour and popular recreational hub, Rossland is included in the article with such exotic locales as Ladkh (India), Myanmar, Guyana, Namibia, and Phangan (Thailand).
In the most recent USA Today piece, the caption for the photo that featured the snow covered slopes of Red Mountain Resort cited the Grey Mountain ski lift expansion and Rossland’s “Flagship Seven Summits” mountain biking trail as particular draws to the area.
Howard Katkoff, president and CEO of Red Resort, said the attention was not by accident.
“I think what’s happening is that this expansion that we started planning three or four years ago to raise awareness of the resort is coming to fruition,” Katkoff said in a phone interview from San Diego.
He said the opening of the ski hill last year saw a 29 per cent increase in booking over the previous year and bookings for the coming year are already 55 per cent above that.
Although the resort has increased its focus on marketing, Katkoff said the attention isn’t necessarily solely a result of that effort.
“We were certainly pitching to people last year resulting in quite a few visits by people checking it out,” he said. “But we were completely surprised by the New York Times article and this USA Today just floored us.”
The expansion puts Red in the top 20 resorts in North America in terms of size and is the biggest expansion in North America in four decades, Katkoff stated.
The Grey expansion is planned to include four groomed runs, a “beer and brats” station at the base of the new runs and a new cable cat groomer has been purchased to keep it maintained.
Last year Rossland and Nelson won Powder Magazine‘s, “Snow Town Throwdown,” an American Idol-style, vote-in popularity contest.
Shortly after that the major U.S. daily, the New York Times, ranked Rossland in the number eight position in its feature travel article, “46 places to go in 2013.”