Fernie

The comforts of home at Powder Mountain Lodge

RICK MACDONNELL

Powder Mountain Lodge, Fernie
Powder Mountain Lodge, a true family-run mountain lodge in the heart of Fernie.
Photo courtesy of Powder Mountain Lodge

FERNIE, BC – There's something about staying in the company of really good people. 

You know that feeling you get when you stay at someone's house and they're just super accommodating, extremely helpful, and unnecessarily thoughtful? It brightens your day just waking up and being there. It's a feeling I have when I stay with many of my family members and only the best of my friends. Perhaps for the first time, when staying at Fernie's Powder Mountain Lodge, I felt that in a stranger's accommodation. 

Newly-crowned owners Randy and Stephanie Franson were two of the warmest people I've ever had the pleasure of meeting. They're those special folks that make it nearly impossible to be in a bad mood around. That same warmth and energy pervades the entire Lodge.

"It's been a lot of fun. It's been a lot of work, but it's been a lot of fun," Randy said, when asked about how their first few weeks with the Powder Mountain Lodge had turned out. "We like people, so just to be able to talk to people and interact is great."

A world of possibilities

The Franson's officially started owning and running the Lodge just two weeks prior to our stay there. And even when you take away that "buzz" that comes with doing something new, it's easy to tell how excited they are for the challenge.

"I'm really looking forward to seeing the growth. There are such possibilities here. Starting here kind of on the ground floor, with something of a blank canvas, gives us the wonderful opportunity of saying "here's where we should go, here's what we should do. I almost want to document this first year. It's going to be quite fascinating. It'll be such an extreme change." 

Not quite a fix-'er-up-'er, not quite the establishment they want it to be, the Fransons have the unique opportunity of taking what was a Fernie staple at one time and returning it to its former glory.

"The powder mountain lodge used to be quite a fixture in Fernie, and we want that back."

Randy and Stephanie are going to be hanging black and white photos all over the lodge – horse-logging, mules pulling carts out of the mine, etc. – as a way of restoring the past legacy of not only the Lodge, but of Fernie itself. 

"It's more interesting than a pretty flower on a fake oil painting." 

Powder Mountain Lodge, Fernie
A quiet, comfortable atmosphere that's bound for a rustic overall in 2011.
Photo courtesy of Powder Mountain Lodge

A quiet, rustic atmosphere

Catering to a family-type atmosphere – a quiet atmosphere – you're going to find that the Powder Mountain Lodge has a unique setting. There's a beautiful courtyard in the back complete with a swimming pool (the only outdoor pool in Fernie). The Fransons' daughter is actually getting married there in 2011, and the wedding will be held in the courtyard. Once you're inside the courtyard area, you're in a world unto our own as far as Fernie goes.

"We're the mountain lodge in the heart of Fernie. Some rooms will be a little bit more rustic. instead of carpeted floors, we're going to be laying down hardwood, and rather than standard hotel fixtures, we're going to be going with wood furniture in a few of our rooms."

And there was actually a really cool international flavour going on at the Lodge while we were there. There were people staying for a few weeks that had come from the UK and South Africa, with more from across the oceans coming in the coming days.

A true family-run accommodation in the heart of Fernie

"It's a good thing this didn't land in our lap in January. We've had a few weeks to adjust and get our feet wet before the season really gets going in January. Once the new year arrives we'll have had time to say 'These are the things we want to do' and hopefully, we'll be able to do most of them."

One of the Lodge's big ventures this year is to transform their main living area into a conference room that's perfect for groups, teams, and corporate clients to host dinners and meetings, whether they're staying at the Lodge or not. 

The Powder Mountain Lodge is a true family-run accommodation. If there's ever a problem, you're not dealing with a 1-800 number or a chain of command. You deal right with the people who own and run the Lodge, and I think that's important.

"You feel that." 

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