Early campers

Early campers

Fernie Alpine Resort officially opens

Powder enthusiasts made their way to the ski hill last Friday for Fernie Alpine Resort’s (FAR) official season opening.

Powder enthusiasts made their way to the ski hill last Friday for Fernie Alpine Resort’s (FAR) official season opening.

Some showed more dedication than others, as they eagerly waited to get a spot on the first chair of the season. Scott Newland, Ross Frazier and Greg ‘G-Money,’ who is now on his 14th consecutive first chair of the season, stayed on the hill overnight, while early camper Mikah Neufeld made his way to FAR at 4:30 a.m.

“That’s how passionate the community of Fernie is,” Senior VP of Marketing and Resort Experiences for Resorts of the Canadian Rockies Matt Mosteller said of the first chair ritual. “It’s been a long standing tradition.”

As the snow fell on Fernie, hundreds of skiing and snowboarding enthusiasts made their way to the hill later on that morning to enjoy some powdery fun.

“We’re excited to have everybody back. We’re stoked for the season,” Mosteller said. “People get fresh air and mountain time with their friends and family and the high fives are shared for the start of the ski season.”

Fernie Alpine Resort has received several honourary mentions over the past few years, including The Telegraph’s Best Canadian Ski Resorts mention and the National Geographic’s World’s 25 Best Ski Town’s second place vote.

This year, Mosteller said they are working even harder to ensure FAR is recognized nationally and globally. In fact, FAR worked closely with Tourism Fernie, Kootenay Rockies Tourism and Destination British Columbia this past year, hosting a campaign in Toronto.

“I think it’s really exciting when you can have a show and have the Tourism Fernie presence…to really build the awareness for Fernie and for Fernie as a top ski destination, not only in Canada but also in overseas markets,” Mosteller said.

In the 2014/2015 season, visitors and locals can expect to be introduced to a new menu at Lizard Creek Lodge along with a new spa service and additional CAT equipment.

“That will be welcoming news to people that love the wonderful grooming our CAT drivers do each and every day,” Mosteller said, adding that although many locals live for the powder, several visitors and locals thrive on the groomer days as well.