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Finding Pow in the Nelson and Kootenay Lake region
By John Bowden
Amidst a sea of choices, what makes a place unique and worth visiting? As tourism continues to grow rapidly, and is now the world’s largest industry, it seems that just about every city, town, or hamlet is vying for a slice of the action. And no surprise; the industry is worth over 7 trillion dollars per year.
From snazzy photos to catchy taglines, destinations are trying to entice you to visit with a promise of a memorable experience. So what sets a place like Nelson and Kootenay Lake apart from the crowd?
The local tourism organization has moved away from a “Far Out, For Real” campaign to a livelier, and slightly cheekier approach based on “Finding Awesome”. The previous message embraced the area’s remoteness while also celebrating its authenticity. The new campaign is an effort to cut to the chase.
"Let's stop talking around it and just call it what it is, this place is f#@*ing awesome, end of story!"
Nelson & Kootenay Lake Tourism
Dianna Ducs, Executive Director of Nelson & Kootenay Lake Tourism, recalls what led to the creation of the new approach. "When we [the board] tried to drill down on what makes this place unique, there was hard data collected over the years, and all sorts of descriptors, but none of them really nailed it. Finally, someone just said, let's stop talking around it and just call it what it is, this place is f#@*ing awesome, end of story!"
Perhaps a little too risqué using the “f” word, but from it evolved the “Finding Awesome” campaign. The promotion just kicked off in October, with an emphasis on potential visitors living within a day’s drive. It will focus on some of the people, places, and experiences that makes the Nelson and Kootenay Lake region (Ainsworth Hot Springs, Balfour, Kaslo, Meadow Creek and Lardeau) truly awesome.
“If you’re a snow sports enthusiast, you owe it to yourself to experience it on your own. The Nelson and Kootenay Lake region is more than a snow sports destination; it’s a beautiful part of the world.”
Tom Slazinski, snowboarder
One of the upcoming billboards features an image of snowboarder Tom Slazinski floating atop legendary powder up at Selkirk Snowcat Skiing, near Meadow Creek. I asked Tom for his thoughts on what makes the area worth visiting in the winter.
“The place is blessed with amazing natural beauty, the terrain for skiing and boarding is great, and the people are awesome. Everyone is super down to earth and cool.”
“There’s high alpine, tree skiing, and just so much terrain in one spot. The climate leads to blower pow everywhere and so much snow, coverage and base. I’m hooked. I’ve been coming there for almost 15 years on an annual basis.”
I also asked Tom what he would say to someone thinking about visiting. “If you’re a snow sports enthusiast, you owe it to yourself to experience it on your own. The Nelson and Kootenay Lake region is more than a snow sports destination; it’s a beautiful part of the world.”
Tom has definitely found his happy place in the Kootenays. And although there are no shortage of great places to visit, I guarantee that you’ll Find your Awesome here too.
#findingawesome | FindingAwesome.ca