Nakiska offers a breather from December festivities
December is busy.
Between holiday parties and end-of-year obligations and everything else that tends to crowd the calendar in the year’s final month, all of us could probably use a little bit of a breather.
This is where Nakiska comes in.
“Obviously, at this time of the year people are busy with Christmas, holiday socials, work socials … and that’s one thing that’s really brilliant,” said Matt Mosteller, senior vice-president of marketing and resort experience at Resorts of the Canadian Rockies, which owns Nakiska. “Everybody needs to take a break and get some fresh air and get some spectacular views in their face, and a trip to Nakiska can do that.”
Proximity to Calgary isn’t all that Nakiska has going for it, but we’ll get to that in a minute.
Part of what has made Nakiska such a destination for Calgary’s skiers and snowboarders over the years is the fact it’s only a little more than an hour’s drive away from the centre of the city.
Yes, there are bigger resorts a couple hours further down the highway, but sometimes life doesn’t afford us the opportunity to drop everything for an entire day.
That might mean delaying a trip to the mountains for people who live literally anywhere else, but Nakiska allows Calgarians to get a few turns in without skipping breakfast or dinner at home — half-day passes that allow guests on the mountain at 12:30 p.m. every day make this a whole lot more affordable, too.
“When people drive into Kananaskis it has that, ‘Wow’ factor,” Mosteller said. “We’re so lucky to have that wilderness at our backdoor and then to be able to go out there in the wintertime and ski so close to your home and your work and your other activities, (a day on the mountain) is easily built into your every day.”
In addition to hosting countless international ski and snowboard competitions over the years — including the 1988 Olympics, famously — Nakiska has also made its name as one of the top resorts in Western Canada for new skiers and snowboarders trying to learn the basics.
But in recent years, the resort has also made sure it’s got programs for guests of all experience levels who are looking to work on their skills and improve.
Among the most popular programs at Nakiska is Ladies Days, which includes transportation from Calgary to the Kananaskis resort, as well as lift passes, guided instruction and a gourmet lunch in an all-female environment. There are four Ladies Days on the schedule this season, beginning Feb. 6.
There are also lessons catered specifically to skiers and snowboarders who are looking to sharpen their skills in the rail park, as well as a public ski-cross course, an ever-changing gladed area and one of the largest tubing parks in the country.
There’s a lot more to the resort other than just it’s proximity to Calgary, in other words, although it sure doesn’t hurt that you can pack it all in to a quick little trip where nobody will even know you’ve left the city.
“You can take two hours, come out and get a bunch of skiing and snowboarding in and then get back for the family function,” Mosteller said.
You can take two hours … get a bunch of skiing and snowboarding in and then get back for the family function.