After a busy winter season it was time for the Red Tree Lodge staff and the Nonstop crew to have a well deserved break, so we had a staff party at the arcade in Fernie. Where is the arcade you’re wondering? Tucked away above the Vogue Theatre is a place that time forgot, with video and table games, pinball machines, air hockey and so much more! Walking in, we were all instantly transported back to those days when you begged for quarters to play over and over again. This time there were no quarters needed – unlimited gaming is included!
Arcade Game Machines
There are some newer games as well as the old classics to keep everyone entertained. I started the evening on a downhill ski video game. We all had a lot of fun trying to do our best carving turns while our 90s digital counterpart raced down the piste. There is also table football, air hockey and a basketball game. Kelly showed off her exceptional skills and grabbed a high score! With 3 different driving games everyone had a go behind the wheel racing around the tracks to claim the first place title. The vintage graphics are the best part and the simplicity of the games can’t be beaten. There was a lot of friendly competition as everyone got into the gaming! However, more often than not I found myself on the losing side. And too often the words GAME OVER flashed at me on the screen.
Pizza and Beer and Videogames? OK!
To keep us all gaming we had a tower of hot pizzas delivered from Fernie Pizza and Pasta and brought some cold refreshment from Fernie Brewery. We also had as some soft drinks for the drivers and kids. The Arcade is available for private functions such as birthday parties, company functions or stag/stagette evenings. It is a fun space for all ages. After a very good evening it comes highly recommended from us all here at Red Tree Lodge. But please don’t beat Kelly’s high score on the basketball game!
Fernie Art Exhibit
Last week Jody and I went to the Fernie Museum on 2nd Ave, a 5 minute drive from Red Tree Lodge, to see the “I Am Fernie” art exhibition. In celebration of Canada’s 150th anniversary, Kyle Hamilton (Fernie Photographer) has selected 150 of his portraits from his I Am Fernie project as an art exhibit at the Fernie Museum in collaboration with Fernie Art Station. His original goal was to capture a portrait of every man, woman and child of Fernie over one year.
This journey started three years ago when Kyle started photographing Fernie residents in their daily life. Whether they have been living here for 5 minutes or a whole lifetime, Kyle took their pictures. Over this time Kyle has taken more than 1000 photographs of the people who call this town home.
Surrounded by Portraits
The first thing I noticed when walking into the room was that almost all of the portraits are staring right at you. Close to 150 pairs of eyes follow you around the room as you read and learn more about the individuals in the striking black and white portraits. As I looked closer at each of the pictures, the individuality of each person really came to life. I started to wonder who the people are, where they have come from, and what they do. And in true Fernie style, you can feel the mountain culture shining through. Most of the residents have on either a toque or some kind of hat!
This Is Fernie
Along with each portrait, there is a small description from each person. These descriptions tell us why they live in Fernie and what they love about their town. The recurring theme throughout is community; that small town vibe in a place where there is so much to do and so many adventures waiting to be had. One of my favorite quotes is from Lindsay Vallance, who said; “Fernie exists on a narrow line between the antics of human endeavor and the wordless, timeless core of nature. You can walk out your door in any direction and be humbled by what you see.” The faces of the people of Fernie and their words are a reminder of the wonderful place we all call home. I love that everyone here takes the time to look up from daily life and doesn’t take for granted the beautiful mountains around us.
Although there are 150 different faces throughout the whole exhibition, it really feels like a single snap shot in time. Leaving I felt a touch of nostalgia; this is Fernie, right now, at this time, and damn, do they look good!
Ascent Helicopter Sightseeing Tour
In the winter, the Red Tree Lodge is lucky to host the Nonstop Adventure programs here in Fernie. Clients come to Fernie to get top-notch ski and snowboard instruction, but they can’t be on the hill all the time! What else is a group of visitors to Fernie going to do to keep busy? One of the many extra activities that Nonstop offers is a helicopter sightseeing tour of the area. Along with Casey and Nadine from my team, I was lucky enough to join in on a recent tour this past weekend.
Get To The Chopper!
We headed over to the Ascent Helicopters helipad in the Nonstop shuttle from the Lodge. The helipad is located over on Burma road, at the foot of some of Fernie’s best mountain bike trails. Ascent provides a wide range of helicopter services in Fernie: beside the Elk Valley Scenic Tour, they also offer movie and TV support for filming, medevac and first aid services, industrial hoisting, avalanche control for Fernie Alpine Resort, Island Lake Lodge, and local mining operations, and of course, heli-skiing operations. Along the way, Casey told us about how he used to live next door to their helipad. He would often get woken up by the early morning avalanche control flights. He explained that he had been promised a ride in one of their fleet as a result. Finally get a chance to take that flight!
We met our pilot Greg and learned a little bit about helicopter safety (which fortunately we didn’t have to put into practice). The Bell Longranger we rode in had room for six, but with only four passengers, we had some room to stretch out. This was especially true as Greg explained that one of us could ride in the cockpit with him! Casey won the quick round of evens & odds and hopped up front while Nadine, Will from Nonstop, and I rode in the back.
Our Route Over The Mountains
Casey, Will, and I had never ridden in a helicopter before, but it was Nadine’s second time. She was still super stoked to head up though! I always thought that helicopters would be a rougher ride (from watching too many movies, I think). I was surprised as instead we lifted smoothly up and headed over the ski resort to look down on the runs. My son was skiing with his group that morning and insists he saw me looking down as we were hovering over him – he described the chopper accurately, so maybe he really did.
We passed over the resort and headed over Polaris Bowl and Easy Way towards Island Lake Lodge. There was a bit of cloud cover in this part of the tour, but as we approached the cat skiing area, visibility improved and all of sudden the snowcats were visible from the air. I was amazed as one headed downhill –for such big machines, they can really move! There were a couple of different groups on the terrain just waiting for the go-ahead to start down the slopes. As happy as I was to be on a helicopter sightseeing tour, I must confess I did get a momentary pang of jealousy as I scoped out the untouched snow below them. Next blog? PLEASE??
Views from the Tour
We continued on for the rest of the twenty-minute tour as Greg pointed out various peaks, ridges, and features around us. We cruised past the Three Bears, Mount Bisaro, over Fairy Meadows, and a bunch more. It was amazing to see the mountains stretch out underneath us! I’ve seen them from the air before, but always from a much higher elevation. With Greg at the controls, we were able to swoop around below the peaks, through valleys, and over ridges. Some of the drop offs below us as we crested were legitimately awe-inspiring. Casey may have had the best view, with the glass bottom beneath his feet, the array of dials and controls in front of him, and the best idea of just how close to some of the mountains we got. However, that was balanced by a level of concern that we didn’t have to experience in the back! I did get to hear him wonder aloud “Greg, when are we going to turn? Greg? When? GREG!”
Summer Helicopter Sightseeing Tours
It seemed far too soon when we headed back to the helipad. Casey and Nadine discussed going back up on a tour again this summer. Greg explained that the summer sightseeing tours were similar, with a few differences. Obviously they’re far more green with less snow, but the chances of seeing wildlife in the summer is much higher. We did see some mountain goats (and lots of tracks) but in the summer, the bears are out of hibernation and are often spotted from the air. There’s also springtime snow-melt waterfalls off Mount Bisaro to check out. If the visibility is just right you can see Lake Koocanusa in the summer as well.
After landing, we took a few minutes to take some pictures again before thanking Greg and bringing Will and the other Nonstoppers back to their accommodations at the Lodge. It was a pretty cool experience and I am glad to have had the chance to take part. Thanks to Nonstop and Ascent for taking us up and helping me scratch “Take a helicopter sightseeing tour of Fernie” off my bucket list!
FERNIE SPA DAY!!! For the girls… Sorry Jon, for leaving you behind to man the Front Desk. We really appreciate it! And off the Front Desk Girls go, to award winning Spa 901 for an amazing day out! It was Kelly, Ash, Jody, our new Deskie Laura, and I. What an awesome way to welcome Laura to our team!
Award Winning Fernie Spa
Spa 901 is an award winning Fernie spa which has won accolades such as Top 25 Spas in Canada 2016 at the Canadian Wellness Awards and the Community Leadership Award 2016 by the Fernie Chamber of Commerce, as well as many more. They offer a full list of treatments and services for their clients to choose from. Well done girls!
Off to the Spa!
Sit back, relax, and read about our day. We started by meeting at the Red Tree Lodge before we jumped in the car and made our way to Spa 901, about a 5-minute drive away located in the heart of downtown Fernie. This was my first visit here and I immediately noticed how lovely the building is. It turns out this building is a renovated historic schoolhouse built in 1908, and they have certainly made it into a special place! The brickwork is stunning and a feature in many of the residential apartments as well. We were greeted by Jessica at reception – such a friendly welcome and warm environment. We filled out our forms and left our snowy boots at the door to turn instantly into ladies of leisure. The floors are a lovely polished wood and we meandered downstairs following a big sweeping staircase.
We were each given a pair of jandals (flip flops, thongs whatever you call them!) to slip into and Jessica gave us a walk-through of the Spa and all the beautiful recreational rooms they have on offer for spa dates, wedding parties, stagettes, and whatever else you want! The fire, blankets, and soft lounge chairs were so inviting. We then slipped into our robes and the first stop was a cup of tea while we waited for our appointments. Ashley and Kelly opted for manicures, while the rest of us went for massages.
Here is what Ash had to say about her Manicure experience:
The manicure began with a big welcome from Jess. I instantly felt at ease with her and asked for her recommendation picking a colour for my desperately in need of repair nails. We decided to go for something a little dark red/ purple and sparkly (it is the festive season after all). I found out that Jess has lived in Fernie for 8 years and is co-owner of the Fernie spa. She has a ton of knowledge about Fernie but is also very experienced in the beauty industry.
The treatment focused on more than just my nails and cuticles, and included a forearm and hand massage during which all the clicks in my fingers were taken out. However, my new favorite part was the Signature Parafin Manicure. My hands were placed into warm wax in a bag, and after 7 or so minutes, Jess slowly pulled the bag away so the cooled wax slid off my hand! I noticed immediately that they smell and feel amazing! Then it was time for the painting, with polish that slid on smoothly and set quickly. The whole treatment took almost an hour and I love my nails. I think I will have to make this a more regular thing.
In addition to the treatments we also made use of the large steamy outdoor hot tub. The near naked dash from inside to outside was chilly! But once our toes hit the water it was utter bliss. We got the multiple jets going (including the overhead jets) and had a good long soak. We really loved our pampering session and decided we had better make the most of the showers as well as the products provided – minty fresh everywhere!
Personally I felt like I had left my usual life and had been on another planet for a few hours. I was well entirely getting ready for a good night’s sleep!
Wow, Ash made that sound so dreamy and it truly was! I opted for the Massage, and I will soon have to go back for another! I see you can “Enhance Your Experience” with some small extras, for example a Argan Oil Scalp treatment or Invigoration Foot Scrub and many more. How lush, I should be a lady of leisure more often, I think! My masseuse’s name was Jin; she asked me if I had any problem areas and where I wanted her to work on the most. To start, I jumped into a heated bed all cozy and warm, and was then lathered in peppermint oil. She focused on my lower back neck and shoulders. I was so relaxed that I fell asleep at one stage. How could you not just unwind?
After my massage, I met the other girls in the Relaxation Room, where I flopped onto the couch with my body feeling light as a feather and a warm cup of tea that was the most delicious thing I had tasted! It was Sweet Macaroon. I tried to buy more but Kelly bought the last one they had on our way out! It was so good.
We had such a great experience at Fernie’s Spa 901 and we will be repeat customers for sure. When you make it to Fernie make sure to take a look, and even book yourself into a pamper session! Thanks Spa 901 for being amazing, accommodating, and having really great friendly staff.
Ahhh, the month of November… Second to last month of the year, next month is Christmas. Where has the year gone, right? Well, here at the Red Tree, we looked forward to it as we joined in on the fun with a Movember Fundraiser this year. If you haven’t heard of The Movember Foundation, here is a the 411 for you:
“Our fathers, partners, brothers and friends face a health crisis that isn’t being talked about. Men are dying too young. We can’t afford to stay silent. That’s why we’re taking action.
We’re the only charity tackling men’s health on a global scale, year round. We’re addressing some of the biggest health issues faced by men: prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and mental health and suicide prevention.
We know what works for men, and how to find and fund the most innovative research to have both a global and local impact. We’re independent of government funding, so we can challenge the status quo and invest quicker in what works. In 13 years we’ve funded more than 1,200 men’s health projects around the world.”
Every year, a number of men, women, and businesses all sign up and join the movement of Movember. You can grow a Moustache for the duration of November to raise funds or Challenge yourself to get physically active and raise funds for men’s health. It’s a great cause that gets everyone involved.
Soooo, the Red Tree Lodge started a donation page of our own where anyone could donate too! We made our goal $500.00 which we surpassed – so far we have raised $592.50! YAY! How great is that!
We also had great ‘Movember’ Rates which started at $79.00 + tax, and each time a Movember rate/room was booked we donated 10% to the Movember Foundation. We even had special wee chocolates in these rooms as a thank you for the donations! Delicious!
Now let me introduce you to Jon, Casey and Dave! These Mo Bros all work here at The Red Tree, and they all shaved for the cause and grew a Mo! Here are a few photos to show the progression… they look pretty sharp right? They did such a great job.
We’d like to offer a hearty Thank You to everyone who donated and who came and stayed with us to help raise funds for the Movember Foundation. Thanks to your generous support we met our goal and we’re looking forward to next year!