Rossland/Nelson named top ski town

Local resorts garner most votes in North America-wide online competition.

There is another reason for powder hounds to celebrate après-ski at Red Mountain and Whitewater this week.

The West Kootenay duo shredded the competition from Bozeman, Mont., on Sunday with 11,426 votes to 10,572 to win bragging rights in Powder magazine’s Ski Town Throwdown.

Since November, the ski magazine listed 32 ski towns or regions, spanning from Salt Lake City to the Kootenays, and asked readers to vote the best place to ski and its hometowns, via Facebook.

The RosslandNelson entry outlasted Sugarloaf, Maine, Whitefish, Mont. and Creste Butte, Mont to reach the final against a trio of hills in Bozeman, Mont.

“We are extremely excited about winning,” said Howard Katkov, president and CEO of Red Mountain Resort.

“We’ve always known we are a very unique place and provide a unique experience, with phenomenal skiing.”

Katkov acknowledged overtaking Bozeman was a big feat for the local resorts.

“Bozeman has 800,000 skier visits, and we have a quarter of that, so beating them is quite exciting for the region and the powder highway,” he said.

Red received accolades from Powder Magazine’s November issue picking it as the number four best resort in North America, and naming Rafters Pub as the best ski bar on the continent in the same issue.

“What is interesting, is that we were ranked number four by an algorithm, but ranked number one by the public,” said Katkov.

He added being ranked number one by popular vote is validation of Red and Whitewater and can be a springboard for more awareness and more visits to the region and other regions along the Powder Highway, which encompasses East and West Kootenay resorts.

Powder Magazine has been in print for 40 years and is circulated around the world via print and online editions.