Vancouver Island Pride’s first VIP Getaway Weekend will be held at Mt. Washington Alpine Resort from Feb. 28 to March 3.
The event, which Vancouver Island Pride intends to hold annually, will include a robust itinerary of on-snow and off-the-snow activities with highlights that include a charity ski race, a celebratory Pride Parade, and evening social events.
Vancouver Island Pride selected Mt. Washington as the venue, which is known for record snowfall, varied terrain, and unique views, because it is recognized as one of the best destination resorts in British Columbia, and the hope is the iconic location will help increase attendance. The VIP weekend is expected to attract many first-time visitors to the resort and the Comox Valley. New guests can orientate themselves to the 1,700-acre resort by joining daily guided tours of the slopes. For skiing and snowboarding novices, VIP has arranged to make group lessons available with Mt. Washington’s Snow School.
The weekend schedule will also cater to non-skiers.
“There are a lot of activities to take part in outside of skiing or snowboarding,” explained Robyn Heron, manager of business development at Mt. Washington. “For example, guests can explore Strathcona Park on Nordic skis or snowshoes. It’s a wild experience to see the old-growth forests covered in two metres of snow! We also have fat biking, which we just added this year, on a 15 km groomed trail system.”
Heron noted other activities include the Tube Park, a groomed slope where guests descend the hill on a truck tire inner tube, and an après scene at the resort and in the Comox Valley rivalling bigger, more famous ski resort towns.
Mt. Washington has indicated an interest in hosting the VIP Weekend as an annual event and has partnered with LGBTQ travel specialist, Dean Nelson of Travels by Dean to help co-ordinate travel for the occasion. Nelson provided some background for the origins of the of the winter getaway.
“Over the years we’ve heard from the Island’s LGBTQ community that they would love to see a gay ski weekend that’s affordable and easy to get to like Mt. Washington. We are so excited about the activities lined up for the inaugural event from the skiing to the apres scene. It’s going to be a high energy weekend celebrating diversity on and off the slopes.”