With winter still a month and a half away

Ski towns unite for bragging rights

Rossland and Nelson have joined forces in a competition to see which town is king of the hill in North America.

  • Oct. 30, 2012 8:00 a.m.

Rossland and Nelson have joined forces in a competition to see which town is king of the hill in North America.

A new competition in “Powder” magazine, dubbed the Ski Town Throw Down, will soon reveal the answer to that question, as readers are given a chance to vote for their favourite ski destination.

In several rounds of competition, two ski towns will go head-to-head in an effort to collect the most votes and advance to the next round. The first round of voting for Rossland/Nelson will open Wednesday.

To vote, go to facebook.com/powdermagazine.

With the Red Mountain expansion underway, the extra terrain will hopefully bear some consideration as voters take to the polls.

“I think quintessentially Rossland is one of the best ski towns in Canada if not North America,” said Rossland Chamber of Commerce’s Renee Clark.

“The whole expansion thing is creating a bit of a buzz. I’m getting more and more phone calls on my end about people wanting to move here, people wanting to open business in our area, so anything that happens up at Red is a great thing for our community and area.”

Meanwhile, the joint submission is another example of the two local ski areas working together to promote skiing in the West Kootenay.

The two resorts combined for a sales promotion in past years and this year a shuttle will help ferry skiers from Spokane to the two hills.

“We hope everyone will go online and vote,” Whitewater marketing and operations general manager Anne Pigeon told Sam Van Shie of the Nelson Star. “If we can really get the town behind this, I think we could go all the way to the end and be named the best ski town in North America.”

The recognition would be huge for Red Mountain Resort and Whitewater, Pigeon said, given the distribution of the exceedingly popular publication.

The California-based glossy is read by some 300,000 skiers across North America.

“Getting our name in there as the best ski town, that’s something money can’t buy,” Pigeon said.

In the opening poll, Rossland/Nelson is up against Sugarloaf, a ski hill in Maine, four hours south of Quebec City, which has gained recognition for having the largest ski area east of the Rockies.

If the Kootenay combo wins this round, it will move on to compete against either Whitefish Mountain in Montana or Whistler on November 28-29.

“I’d love to see us beat Whistler,” Pigeon said. “I think we can definitely stand up to the competition. We have something special here, that the big hills can’t compete with.”

That something, she said, is the sense of community on the slopes.

“It’s all about the community spirit of the hill and the people who ski here,” she said. “We have so many great supporters and if we can get them all to vote, and tell others to vote, I think we’ll kick butt in this competition.”

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