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Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Royal Visit

Press Release from our Banff Lake Louise Tourism Bureau:

New Royal Legacy for Historical Skoki Lodge

Everybody needs a break these days. After weeks of speculation on where the Royal couple would find quiet personal time during their whirlwind tour of Canada, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge finally chose Skoki Lodge in Banff National Park for a very special overnight getaway.

Set in the high alpine, normally accessed by an eleven kilometre trail up the Skoki Valley from the Lake Louise Ski Area, hikers and skiers from all over the world arrive at one of Canada’s most famous backcountry lodges. For Kate and Will it was a bit easier, flying in by helicopter, but no less special. For everyone who visits, Skoki Lodge offers breathtaking mountain ridges and alpine lakes, and the opportunity to explore five different adjoining valleys.

“Visiting this part of the world, one cannot escape the significance of this landscape and the importance of preserving it forever,” says Julie Canning, president & CEO of Banff Lake Louise Tourism. “We’re confident the young royals will be equally touched by the uniqueness and hospitality of Skoki Lodge and Banff National Park”.

The lodge, a National Historic Site, was the first facility built specifically to cater to ski-tourists on a commercial basis in Canada, and possibly North America. It was built by a group of Banff residents who formed the Ski Club of the Canadian Rockies to manage the operation.

The first guests arrived for skiing in the spring of 1931. The main building was made of local logs with saddle-notched corners. A log one-storey kitchen was added in the summer of 1931.

In l935-1936, Jim Boyce made a series of additions, including the upper floor and roof dormers and what is now the living room. He also added three or four log cabins for sleeping to increase the original capacity. Like the builders of several other backcountry lodges in the area, Boyce started out as a tour guide and outfitter.



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