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.
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.”
In the most recent USA Today piece, the caption for the photo that features the snow covered slopes of Red, cites the Grey Mountain expansion of the ski hill and Rossland’s “Flagship Seven Summits” mountain biking trail as particular draws to the area.
Howard Katkoff, president and CEO of Red Resort, welcomes the news of the latest attention with open arms.
“It’s fantastic, you take that and the New York Times and it’s staggering,” Katkoff he told the Trail Times in a phone interview from San Diego. “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 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.
“I think this is a result of not only creating the press but the press is creating its own buzz. 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.”
According to Katkoff, the Grey expansion is planned to include four groomed runs and a new “beer and brats” station at the base of the new runs and a new cable cat groomer has been purchased to keep the it maintained.
The snow cat tours that carried eager skiers to the top of the newly developed mountain last year will continue this season, after proving immensely popular over the 2012/2013 season, selling over 4,500 tickets.
“You can’t buy advertising like this,” said Katkoff. “In an industry dominated by the major players we have dominated the news.”