Lyle Wilson had a dream of building an outdoor centre and resort in the Rocky Mountains, and just needed to find a perfect place to build his dream. He found it one day following a tip about a wild, remote property adjacent to Kootenay National Park – after driving a logging road, skiing into a meadow and gazing at the surrounding river, mountains and forest he knew he had found the perfect location. This place was to become Nipika Mountain Resort – a place to stay, experience and explore the Canadian Rockies.
Lyle and his wife Dianne took the plunge to build their dream, moving their young family from Alberta and working various jobs in the Columbia Valley while they built trails and cabins for Nipika by hand. Commitment to preserving its spectacular wilderness setting is paramount at Nipika, and through Lyle’s advocacy, the non-motorized Cross River Canyon Recreation Area was created on land that surrounds the resort. Nipika now boasts an amazing 100 km trail system on 1500 acres of protected land.
Lyle Wilson is a passionate outdoor enthusiast, a former Olympic coach for the Canadian Cross Country Ski Team, and a national competitor in canoeing, kayaking and cross-country skiing. His passion for the outdoor recreation available in the Columbia Valley region is contagious: “After traveling and experiencing outdoor recreation and sport internationally, nowhere has fulfilled my outdoor interests as completely as the Columbia Valley. This area is a hub for outdoor recreationists – everyone from cross country skiers, hikers, paddlers to birdwatchers.”
Nipika Mountain Resort’s location in the Columbia Valley also benefits from its close proximity to a large market of potential visitors. “Seventy percent of our market is from Central Alberta” explains Lyle. “And 85% of our guests are due to repeat clients and personal referrals – this is the biggest measure of our success”.