Once again, there was no shortage of outside media coverage about Nelson and West Kootenay this year, but it wasn’t all laudatory.
1) Nelson landed on the front page of the National Post in January, but many locals weren’t thrilled with the portrayal. Freelance journalist Elizabeth Hames called Nelson Canada’s pot capital and took the city to task over its downtown dog bylaw.
“It is perhaps a law unfitting a city that free-love flower children and organic cannabis helped build,” she wrote in a lengthy feature. “The dog ban was part of a sweeping series of bylaws targeting the young nomads.” (Partly as a result of the story, city council briefly entertained the idea of relaxing the bylaw — before deciding against it.)
Chamber of Commerce boss Tom Thomson said the story was “full of half truths and conjecture” while city councillor Deb Kozak called it “unfair” and “simply wrong.” But though she focused on a contentious topic, Hames told the Star she was left with a very positive impression of Nelson overall.
2) Two weeks after the Post article appeared, The Globe and Mail mentioned Nelson’s Civic Theatre in a story about small theatres raising money to buy digital projectors. Culture reporter Marsha Lederman noted the Civic society’s campaign to raise $150,000 (which was attained and exceeded within a few months) and quoted vice-president Roger Ley.
3) Soon after, the Edmonton Journal ran a 1,000-word feature about Nelson and Whitewater.
“Hype aside, Whitewater is worth the trip, and since it’s more than eight hours by road from a major city, it’s not an overcrowded weekend resort,” wrote D. Grant Black. “[Nelson is] populated with a colourful mix of the newly arrived turned-on-crowd, the entrepreneurial tuned-in folks and the hippie dropouts.”
4) nationalgeographic.com named Nelson as one of its Top 10 Emerging Ski Towns, giving it kudos as being tops best for those “seeking an off-the-trodden path, powder-smothered destination that’s more about relaxed authenticity than thread count.”
Writer Aaron Teasdale described Nelson as a “funky hamlet” that “has long harbored artists, adventure seekers, and copious, car-concealing amounts of snow.”
5) Baldface Lodge earned major magazine exposure: Outside listed it among its Best Cat Skiing Destinations in North America.
Writer Gordy Megroz said Baldface’s 50-degree pitches and 3,000-vertical foot runs made it a prime destination for fillmmakers and expert skiers. “Of course, skiing 20,000 feet a day means you better listen up when the company recommends you get in shape before you arrive. But if you’re a fit thrill seeker, the payoff is huge.”
GQ mentioned Baldface in its “GQ Skis” special section. “Sure, the snow and terrain are incredible and the food is excellent,” Josh Dean wrote. “but it’s also laid-back and built first and foremost on the idea that every, at pretty much every level, should be having fun.”
6) On the heels of Whitewater’s win in the Powder Magazine Throwdown, the Los Angeles Times’ online travel section also praised the local ski scene, calling the region “among the best destinations few folks have ever heard of” and stating “Some of North America‘s finest skiing can be found just outside the Victorian community of Nelson.”
Writer Jay Jones didn’t actually come here, but that didn’t dampen his effusiveness: “Given the setting on Kootenay Lake in the heart of a mountain range, Nelson is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream.”