Golden is really starting to make its mark on the tourism scene.
When I first moved here three years ago, I knew little more about the area than it was on Highway 1. The words Kicking Horse meant practically nothing to me.
But since I’ve been here, I’ve watched the “brand” of Golden and Kicking Horse Country slowly rise, and have been blown away by the waves it is making in tourism media, especially this year.
Golden took the cover and a six-page centre spread in one of the country’s biggest travel magazines, Canadian Geographic Travel.
On Boxing Day, a blog was published on the Calgary Herald website naming Golden the “more edgy, hardcore, a seat of your pants, go for it mountain town.”
Comparing us to Canmore, a more nationally, even internationally known mountain community, the author says our towns are as different as our rivers, using the waterways as a metaphor for our community culture.
“The Bow River, elegant, slowly moving through Canmore. The Kicking Horse River, charges, tearing through its namesake canyon, go for it pace until it slams into the Columbia River on the edge of town hitting its brakes.”
The article discusses Golden’s blue collar roots with a “do it yourself, help your neighbour care and go for it adventure spirit.”
It also highlights various Golden businesses, eateries and tourist attractions. The piece was clearly written by an RCR (Resorts of the Canadian Rockies) rep, but does an excellent job of capturing the spirit of Golden, and shining light on what sets it apart from other mountain communities.
It also has the advantage of being published by a leading daily newspaper in a major Canadian City. Golden and Kicking Horse may be widely known within Calgary, but their online reach extends much further than the city boundaries…and now anyone searching out this community online will see a glowing review of everything we have to offer.
Only a few years ago, when I would tell people where I lived, many would respond with ‘where?’
With every passing year, that response gets less and less common as people are becoming exposed to Golden’s unique brand through a variety of different outlets. It just takes some time to permeate.
Or as it says in the Calgary Herald, “Golden is strong, black, kick ass coffee that sinks in, becoming a dear friend over time.”
I think Golden is going to make a lot more friends in 2015.