If it were a hockey game, it would be considered a classic. Two rival communities, going head-to-head, battling it out all day, with the result only being decided in the waning minutes.
“To get that kudos heading into the season is really cool, and to be able to carry that flag, winning against last year’s winner, is speaking volumes for the way – quote-unquote – the world is looking at Revelstoke,” said Ashley Tait, the director of marketing for Revelstoke Mountain Resort. “It’s a great start to the ski season.”
Whitewater won last year’s inaugural Ski Town Throwdown when it was partnered with Rossland’s Red Mountain. This year, Powder Magazine expanded the contest to 64 resorts, and split up the two West Kootenay ski areas.
Revelstoke went into the contest ranked first overall, and easily beat out Cypress Mountain in the first round.
For round two, all the stops were pulled. The contest was announced at the high school, mentions were made in the local media, and it was shared all over Facebook. Nelsonites put on a similar push as they attempted to defend their title.
Throughout the day the vote went back and forth, with Whitewater taking the early lead, only to see Revelstoke recover. They remained neck-and-neck, with Whitewater pulling ahead late in the day, only to see Revelstoke pull off a late comeback comeback for the 20-vote win.
Tait said winning the Powder Magazine competition would provide a “cool factor” and also generate tourism benefits for the resort and the community.
“Definitely, there’s a bit of ego involved, not just for Revelstoke Mountain Resort but for the town as well,” said Tait. “I think it’s a good thing to differentiate it’s not just RMR, it’s for the town of Revelstoke. I think that differentiates us from other competitors in B.C. for ski resorts, because we are a ski community, we’re a ski town.
“When we’re selling and marketing Revelstoke as a destination, we’re always talking about our community that’s here.”
While some may wonder about getting caught up in the hype for a Facebook contest that serves as a promotional vehicle for Powder Magazine and contest sponsor Liftopia, in Nelson, winning last year’s Throwdown did provide dividends.
“Last year was a huge community effort, and thousands of hours were put into winning that competition. We can ride on the coat tails of Best Ski Town in North America title for a long while and reap economic stimulus from it,” said Dianna Ducs, the executive director of Nelson Kootenay Lake Tourism. “Our exposure from the Powder Magazine contest showed an increase in media attention and accommodation sales last winter and this year we are anticipating a similar increase.”
Revelstoke will be up against either Banff/Lake Louise or Panorama in the third round on Nov. 11–12.
“Getting the word out there and getting everyone psyched on the community of Revelstoke is a great way to get into winter mode,” said Tait.
With files from the Nelson Star.