A new passenger shuttle will drive American tourists to Nelson from the airport in Spokane, Washington this winter — allowing them to avoid costly and unreliable flights to the Castlegar airport.
The shuttle will run to and from Spokane on Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays, as long as there’s at least one passenger booked on it. It will also stop in Castlegar and Rossland.
“The primary purpose of the shuttle is to accommodate tourists coming to the area to visit Whitewater and Red Mountain ski resorts,” said Dianna Ducs, director of Nelson Kootenay Lake Tourism, which partnered with Whitewater Ski Resort and Tourism Rossland to organize the shuttle service though Queen City Shuttle.
Tickets on the shuttle are $135 each way. On days when the shuttle isn’t at its minimum capacity, those partnering organizations will pay the difference to make sure the shuttle will continue to run.
“Bringing in more tourists is a benefit to both the ski hills and the general business community, so it’s really a win-win relationship,” Ducs said.
The shuttle service will target, in particular, tourists from the southwest United States, from states like California, Utah and Colorado, who previously would have had to either rent a car at Spokane or fly to Castlgar via Vancouver or Calgary to get to the area.
“We want to make it easier for them to get here to enjoy the amazing skiing in this area,” Ducs said. “Right now, we think a lot of people overlook this area because it’s harder to get to or they’ve heard Castlegar can be a little bit of a questionable location to fly to — it’s called ‘cancel-gar’ for a reason.”
The shuttle will be offered from December 8 to April 1 and requires 48-hour booking to guarantee your spot. For information see kootenayshuttle.com/spokane.