At the age of 19, Rupert Taylor visited Quebec and while there was told by an ex-Fernie resident about Fernie’s friendly community and its amazing powder. In 2001, aged 22, having left university, Rupert set out for Fernie and a job as a snowboard instructor. During that first winter he realized the untapped potential Fernie had – fantastic skiing and snowboarding, amazing snowfalls, a wealth of quality people living and working in the area, and affordable accommodation. Rupert decided to create a career which combined the ski industry, instruction, and most importantly Fernie. With support from his family, and alongside Dave Richards, a local Fernie business owner and resident, NONSTOP was formed.
NONSTOP offers ski instruction training packages and ski tours to international participants in the Fernie, Banff, Rossland and Whistler areas. Their main product is an 11 week long, all inclusive, ski instructor training program. During the week days the participants take ski lessons to gain instructor qualifications and on the weekends various local outings are organized. NONSTOP’s mission is to provide a cultural immersion into Canadian mountain life. They now run various lengths of trips anywhere from two weeks to three months and each season they bring over 400 clients to Western Canada with the majority staying in Fernie.
In 2007 they purchased a 43 bedroom hotel to accommodate participants. They completed a full renovation, investing $1.2 million into the property. The result is the popular Red Tree Lodge which is now open year round for public guests.
New for 2011 are summer programs including photography courses, mountain bike camps, and multi sport weeks exploring the local Fernie area.