Raven Lodge Boosts Nordic Visits by 50%

Raven Lodge's first year of operation was a raving success, says Dave Hampshire, Mount Washington's Director of Public Relations. The posh, post-and-beam lodge has launched the Alpine Resort into the first-class category of nordic skiing - a sport that is gaining in popularity in North America on its own.

"People walk in and the lodge is meeting their expectations of what a ski lodge looks like," Hampshire said. The sweeping vistas visible through the floor-to-ceiling windows as one walks in the lodge are breathtaking, and the grand stone fireplace and sitting area are ideal for apres ski.

The whole ambience "gives them a sense of arrival, he said. "The footprint that was chosen for the lodge was designed so when you walk in, Mt. Albert Edward is right there."

Raven Lodge's popularity is evident in the numbers, Hampshire said. Season pass sales were 60 per cent higher and nordic trail passes (for the groomed, track-set runs) were 50 per cent higher than last year. "It was the dramatic increase we saw in numbers and just having the ability now to promote the sport with a facility that reflects the pureness ... it really allows us to match that," he said.

The Alpine Resort and its new lodge were featured in a two-hour MuchMusic special last winter, as well as on the Outdoor Life Networks' Ride Guide program. That show will air in the United States, Africa and Europe in the fall.

Subaru came up to Mount Washington two separate times to shoot commercials, too. "In total they had 15-20 different Subaru vehicles up there. They bring up 150 people per episode.

It's a big, big event" to film a commercial, Hampshire said. "Both times (Subaru) spent $250,000 to $800,000 in a two-week period on Vancouver Island."