The New York Times’ Christopher Solomon seems to have a crush on Nelson. Our little mountain town has earned a second shout-out from the prominent travel journalist, following a feature spread in 2014, and this time he’s giving some love to the Adventure Hotel.
“A customer from Quebec City called us,” Adventure Hotel owner Danny Rickaby told the Star, a few days after the story hit newsstands. “They’d read the story in the Times that morning and they phoned to book a reservation right then. I couldn’t believe it.”
Rickaby hosted Solomon last year, but didn’t realize a second article was in the works. He touched base with Solomon recently to give him updates on the status of the hotel, including the inclusion of the newly opened Empire Coffee.
In the article, which was published on Dec. 28 and called “In British Columbia, a Stylish Hotel for Adventure Seekers”, the hotel is described as a “hipper lodging option that’s much more Euro-style”.
It also takes time to mention some of the local characters.
“It’s not unheard-of to see a woman walking without pants or a guy playing a didgeridoo made from PVC pipe. And that pants-less free spirit? She rips the powder way better than you do,” Solomon writes.
Rickaby said the attention is a welcome shot in the arm.
“I’m proud of what we’ve done here, and I appreciate the fact that people from bigger places are coming to this small town. To be recognized by The New York Times is just amazing.”
Rickaby said Solomon understands the non-franchise ethos of the building, and the adventurous spirit that inspired its renovation. (Formerly the Adventure Hotel was the New Grand.)
“This really was an adventure for us,” said Rickaby. “We had our own style, and our own concept that fits the facility. Most chains will restrict certain things, they want you to do everything according to their plan. That’s not what it’s like here.”
Dianna Ducs of Nelson Kootenay Lake Tourism took the article as a sign that Nelson’s visibility is continuing to rise.
“It’s a great opportunity for us to be on almost the same playing field as some of the new hotels being built. We have funky, state-of-the-art, hostel-like accommodations right here in Nelson,” she said.
She said the spirit of Nelson is exemplified by the number of independent businesses, as well as the Capitol and Civic Theatres. That’s something she believes Solomon captured with his articles.
“We don’t have box stores or franchises or cookie-cutter buildings,” she said. “Here in Nelson we don’t fit into a box.”