While The Josie may not be open yet, there’s still plenty to look forward to when this 106-room stylishly appointed hotel does open (scheduled for November 2018). Located in Rossland, British Columbia, a mecca for all things outdoor, and at the base of Red Mountain Resort, the resort has a more luxurious feel that sets it apart from competitors – not to mention, it’s Canada’s first true ski-in/ski-out resort hotel to open in more than a decade. Hardcore skiers (there for the mountain’s steep and deep skiing), families (with an eye on the ski school), and everyone in between will find something at The Josie. Here, we speak with Mark Bell, The Josie’s general manager, about what will make it such a special spot.
Ski-in, ski-out – is that as straightforward (and awesome) as it sounds?
So, the hotel is built into the mountain and that first floor – the lobby – is at ground level, while the second floor is kind of set back into the mountain, where the ski concierge and locker space are, and the way it’s configured, that’s also at ground level where you can walk right out onto the snow. When you arrive, we’ll take your ski boots and lock them up for you, and when you come out for the day, ready to ski, the concierge will retrieve your gear, and then it’s literally a 15 to 20 meter walk to the lift.
For American skiers who enjoy the Northeast and the Rockies, why is The Josie worth the trip over the border?
Rossland is one of the best places to ski in the world. Red Mountain is what skiers call steep and deep; it’s a real big powder hill. What’s also cool about Red is that it’s 360-degree skiing – meaning you take the lift to the summit, then ski off any face in any direction. Skiers aren’t funneled into any particular one. And because skiers are spread out, the runs aren’t tapped out so quickly. You can easily find fresh powder at 2 or 3 in the afternoon. We’re also known for the best tree runs, which is incredible for our more advanced skiers. It’s a laid-back, relaxed vibe, and people are just really friendly – they’ll learn your name and show you the best runs, and you’ll genuinely make friends by the end of the day.
Why was Rossland the right setting for The Josie?
There’s nothing quite like this hotel between Calgary and Vancouver in terms of resorts. It has a very boutique, modern, sexy feel – it’d fit right in in downtown Vancouver. It’s more modern and funky than most of the condo-style ski lodge operations, and guests are going to love the room views – the majority of them have a view either into the valley or slope side. Plus, there’s the climate: In Alberta, it gets brutally cold in January, sometimes down to -25 degrees or so. Rossland is pretty temperate in comparison to that.
It sounds like cat skiing will be a big deal at The Josie. How will that work?
Red Mountain has a big cat skiing operation, catering to all ability levels. The Josie can help make the arrangements, then you head up in the morning, get avalanche gear, have training, and head into the backcountry via one of these big cats that basically drives you up the mountain and takes you skiing with qualified guides. There are eight different peaks across 1,900 acres, and it’s simply the best glade skiing in the world. It’s a blast. You spend the day with your family and friends and just have a great time making memories.
What can guests expect from The Josie’s dining experience?
We snagged one of the best executive chefs in Vancouver to run our restaurant, The Velvet. His name is Marc-André Coquette – he has 25 years of experience and has been at some of the premier restaurants in Vancouver. What’s great, though, is that we’re right in the middle of these awesome food- and wine-producing areas, so we’re emphasizing locally sourced items. For example, a truck might show up to the back of the hotel with locally produced goods, and he’ll be able to use them to craft something awesome.
This is obviously such a winter destination…what does summer bring?
Rossland is an adventure mecca year-round. The location is unofficially known as the mountain biking capital of Canada, with over 200 kilometers of trails ranging from beginner to expert. We don’t have lift access for mountain biking, but we do have shuttles, so we can take you right up the mountain very easily. There is also trail running, road biking, hiking, golfing, fishing, whitewater rafting (an hour away), paddleboarding, kayaking – we’re really a gateway to activities all year-round.