November is a month that is not at the top of my list. Normally it would be a time for a quick getaway to recharge and get ready for ski season. It is month when we get fog, rain, snow but little sunshine and of course the days are getting shorter. But we are not going to get away this year. We have been very fortunate in our area. There have been very few cases of covid and we hope that will not change. But we are not that far from Alberta where the case loads have been sky rocketing in recent weeks. And our coastal area of BC has also seen a huge growth in covid cases. Kicking Horse Resort as well as Vagabond Lodge are looking for an opening date for the winter season of December 11. We have had some nice dumps of snow already and if things continue I would predict an early opening. How the season will unfold is anyone's guess. The resort has unveiled its covid plans and a couple of things stand out. Masks are to be worn all the time at the resort except when you are actually skiing. I think that is great. The other point to make note of, is regarding lift ticket purchasing. You can only buy them on-line and will be limited. If you are planning to come skiing here this winter make sure you get your pass before you come otherwise you may not get to ski. Click here to get more details. If you have a season pass, there is no issue. You can go skiing anytime. But I suspect during the Christmas rush and in February on weekends there may be an issue at time. Just a heads up. At Vagabond we will be limiting the number of guests we can accommodate to about 50%. Instead of being able to accommodate 20 people , we are going to limit the numbers to about 10. One thing that will not change will be our ambience and the fun we can have. We have some great winter specials especially if you book direct where we don't have to pay commission to the likes of booking.com or expedia. Give us a call at 250 344 2622 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Enjoy the video with some of the hi lights of last season.
I enjoyed reminiscing about the good ole days in my former life. I was involved in the media for 30 years prior to making a career change and moving to Kicking Horse Resort and owning and operating Vagabond Lodge with wife Lori.
Bryn Griffiths and Robin Brownlee asked me to join them on their podcast called the Outsiders the other day. I knew both when I was working with TSN in Edmonton. Bryn brought up one story I had forgotten about which isn't unusual. It was after the Oilers beat the Boston Bruins for the Stanley Cup in 1990 in Boston. . We were waiting for the bus at a downtown hotel to take the team and the media(me included ) to catch the team plane back to Edmonton. It was relatively early in the morning. There was an unexpected passenger who arrived to take the bus and the plane to Edmonton. You have to listen to find out more.
Kicking Horse Resort unveiled its Covid-19 protocol for this coming ski season and there will be some challenges. They will not be selling any lift tickets at the resort. You will only be able to purchase them on-line and they will be limited. If you are planning to come skiing or snowboarding here this winter you need to get your lift tickets organized before you book a room otherwise you may get here and not be able to ski. We are still waiting at Vagabond Lodge to find out what our guests need to do. I am hoping we will have access to lift tickets for our guests as I suspect a lot will wait until the last second since our major market now is Alberta and BC. They will look at the weather forecast before making a booking. Since food services will be limited as well as toilets and warming areas, Vagabond will be offering lunch to our guests and since we are just across the road from the gondola, it is easy to whip back for a quick bite to eat, warm up and back on the hill. There is a policy of mask wearing throughout the resort. The only time you do not need to wear a mask is when you are skiing. Good to hear. You can click here for more details on what to expect.
It really is a winter wonderland already at the resort with about 50cms of snow in the past week. One of my favourite things to do this time of the year is to go for a walk in the woods. Usually I put some snowshoes on and do some exploring. It is so serene and a great way to escape. We have some awesome trails out our backdoor at Vagabond Lodge.
You can book your stay at Vagabond by giving us a call 250 344 2622 or email email@example.com We have some great winter specials.
The seasons change quickly here. One day we are kayaking on the river in 20 C temperature and the next we are having a snow storm. And that has basically been the case here in the past week. It has been snowing off and on for the past few days and it definitely looks and feels like winter.
We are staying close to home and did manage to go on a road trip into the wine growing area of the province for a few days and did some wine swilling, kayaking and bike riding. It was our first getaway in a year. We took all the precautions and always wore a mask when we went out in public. It was great to getaway.
Now we are in the winter prepping mode but not sure what the winter will bring. Kicking Horse Resort is scheduled to open on December 11th and we do have some reservations but not many. Usually most of our guests are from overseas and the US. That will not happen this winter. Whether there are enough Canadians to make an impact on the tourism business in this area is difficult to predict.
One thing we do know, we will be keeping our occupancy to 5 rooms maximum which is 10 people to make sure everyone is spread out and we feel safe and so do our guests. It is a good manageable number for us to work with. The resort hasn't really unveiled their winter protocol except to say "no masks, no service." But how they will handle food service on a busy day and washrooms and keeping skiers warm is unknown at this time. It will be a challenge. The one thing they could do is have someone at the bottom of our road in Golden allowing a certain number of people up to avoid congestion and not early. That way there will not be a big lineup on a powder day. When the lifts open, then they can come up the hill. Just an idea.
We have our 10% Early Bird Discount available until October 31st plus we also have some extended stay savings available through the winter. If you stay 4 or more nights you get 10% off, and if you pay for 6 nights you can stay 7. Give us a call at 250 344 2622 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to get more details. Be safe, and stay healthy. The video is from this week.
It's not over until it is over. Everyday like this is a bonus so we are taking advantage of it. We have had an amazing month or so for weather. Along with son Kori and his wife Elaine Lori and I took advantage of an amazing day recently for what could be our last paddle on the Columbia River this year which flows by the town of Golden. We put in just south of town and it was about a 3 hour float. We did some paddling but not much. It was too nice of a day to rush things. The water level is pretty low so we needed to watch for sand bars in a few spots but nothing serious. There were only two other people that we saw, on paddle boards behind us. How good is that. We are so lucky where we live.
Vagabond is closed but we are planning to reopen for the upcoming ski season which is set to begin on December 12th. How that will unfold, is still not known at this time.
Vagabond is taking reservations and they will be limited as we do not feel having all our rooms full is a safe way to do it. Give us a call at 250 344 2622 or email email@example.com. We are offering a 10% Early Bird savings. That offer expires on October 31st.
Enjoy the video.
Vagabond Lodge is now closed until ski season. According to Kicking Horse the resort is going to open on December 12. We have yet to hear about what they are planning regarding covid-19 protocol. Most resorts' have indicated a variety of changes and I am sure Kicking Horse will be the same. Certainly there will be a challenge with food services, toilets and busy days in lift lines. One thing Kicking Horse has announced "no mask, no service. " Good work. Other protocol will be forthcoming soon.
We are having to change our policy here at Vagabond for now. We have 10 rooms available to rent and that means about 20 people. That is too many. For now we feel safe with about 5 rooms which will make an impact on our potential revenue. But health comes firsts. One big issue will be lunch for our guests. We are looking at offering something so guests can either take a bag lunch with them skiing or something simple if they wish to return for a break. That is still in the discussion stage.
There is speculation it will be a busy ski season where staying in Canada is the only option. Certainly a big market is Ontario and Quebec where a big number either go skiing to Europe or the US. That will not happen. Also a big number of Canadians take their vacation in warmer climates and again that will not happen. We will see.
You can book your stay at Vagabond Lodge direct by giving us a call at 250 344 2622 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Reminder return guests' receive a 10% discount and we have an additional 10% early bird discount that is valid until October 31st if paid in full at the time of reservation. Our cancellation policy is posted on our website. Video is from last winter to get you in the mood. It was into Canyon Creek which is the backside of the resort out of bounds. We can hook you up with a guide and all the necessary backcountry equipment. Also if you are not into downhill skiing, we have some amazing nordic trails out our backdoor at the Golden Nordic Club along with snowshoeing. It will be a winter for Canadians to enjoy our own backyard. And we have an amazing backyard. Vagabond Lodge was featured recently in a on-line post by BC Tourism. The story suggests we are a great place to enjoy the fall. We are closed and the resort closes September 27 but we will take the mention anyways. Stay healthy and stay safe.
If nothing else it has been a great summer for kayaking. Not only have we enjoyed some of the amazing lakes in our area but with two river, the Kicking Horse and the Columbia running through or past the town of Golden it doesn't get much better. And the confluence of the two is at the bottom of the mountain just before entering Golden. Usually we start on the Kicking Horse and end on the Columbia. But about halfway is the Whitetooth Brewery. And the other day we decided to make a pitstop and have a beer before continuing our trip. How good is that?
Vagabond is open for a couple more weeks and then we will try and regroup and hopefully have a great winter. Kicking Horse Resort hasn't unveiled their covid-19 plans yet for the ski season but we do know, they will be open. Hopefully we will know the details in the next couple weeks. I will keep you posted.
Stay safe and stay healthy.
Summer is winding down for us and it has been good and awfully bad. Of course the bad part is covid-19. It is decimating the tourism industry around the world and that includes us in BC. And if there was a light at the end of the tunnel I would be lying. We have had some guests at Vagabond Lodge but only a few. How long we can survive is hard to tell. If there was a light at the end of the tunnel would be the upcoming ski season. For Canadians, travel is going to be restricted. We are known for escaping during the winter to Mexico, Hawaii, Florida, and the other warm states. Well that is not going to happen. Canadians will be staying at home and we hope they will be heading to the mountains to ski and play in the snow. And that is the positive. We have had a lot of time to play this summer which is a good way to take your mind off covid-19 at least for awhile. BC had done a good job keeping the number of new cases to only a few but that has skyrocketed in the past few weeks. I would assume it has to do with travel and wanting to socialize. The one good thing I see around Golden is the increase in the numbers of people wearing masks. Whether that makes a difference I am not sure but it can't hurt so why not wear one. We do.
We have been using our kayaks a lot this summer. We have such amazing places to enjoy the water where it is easy to self distance. We went to Bow Lake a couple times this summer in Banff National Park. The lake is about an hour and half drive. The one disappointment has been the lack of maintenance of some of our pristine spots in our National Park. The toilets and cleaning that is being done in some of our campsites and picnic areas in Banff is marginal to poor. Very sad. They are being used by Canadians this summer so there is nobody else to blame. People can be pigs.
Enough of my rant for the day. Enjoy the video from recently at Bow Lake. Ski season isn't that far away. If you are looking for an amazing spot to spend part of the winter, give us a call at Vagabond Lodge 250 344 2622 or email email@example.com
It is hard to believe we are already into August and finally got some hot weather. It has been around 30C for the past few days which has been nice for a change. We have been spending a lot of time kayaking on the Kicking Horse River that runs right through the town of Golden. The Kicking Horse then empties into the Columbia River at the base of the mountain below us. We have a great trip we do that takes about 45 minutes with some small rapids and then a nice float once we hit the Columbia River. The cold water is great with the heat of the air to cool off. Lots of fun. And we are generally the only people on the river. So social distancing is not a problem.
The resort itself seems like they are having a busy summer with a lot of mountain bikers. More than I have ever seen. With border restrictions in place the only tourists are from Alberta, and BC with a few from the rest of the country. We have had to scale back on our operation with only 4 rooms being able to be booked in order to keep a safe distance from our guests and vice versa. Obviously this impacts our bottom line but not much we can do about that. I am guessing this will be the scenario for awhile.
Hope everyone is healthy and safe. Enjoy the video of some of our kayaking.
We are back in business at Vagabond Lodge at Kicking Horse Resort. Yesterday June 26 was the opening day for the resort and our first guests roll in today. From the looks of it, it will be a quiet summer for us. We have a few bookings but mostly cancellations. Most of our early bookings were from Europe and the US. The border between Canada and the US is closed except for essential traffic and the US is not doing so well in the fight with controlling covid-19. I suspect it will remain closed for a few months yet and from our health perspective we are happy about that although we love our US guests. Stay healthy and stay at home for now my friends. BC has now said it safe to travel within the province and are welcoming visitors from other parts of the country. The problem for the tourism industry is our country does not have enough people to sustain the industry. We rely on overseas and US visitors. It is going to be tough sledding. We did go to Lake Louise last week where I hadn't been for a long time. I was surprised how busy it was and there was very little social distancing happening. I witnessed a young couple with a cute little puppy on a leash. That puppy must have got petted a hundred times in the short time they wandered in front of the lake. Probably not the best thing to do. Just saying.
It was great yesterday to head up to the top of the mountain again on the gondola. We went for a short hike to the top of T1 with friends and family and then had lunch at the Eagle's Eye Restaurant. It will be quite a challenge for the management of the top of the mountain eating spot as their seating capacity will be a lot smaller than usual and it looks as if they are understaffed. But we enjoyed the first day lunch and look forward to heading up there a few times this summer. The video is from opening day.
Vagabond has some direct booking specials and are offering a 15 % discount on stays of 3 or more nights. Give us a call at 250 344 2622 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Ken along with his wife Lori are the owners and operators of Vagabond Lodge at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort.