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Balfour Fire, Nelson SAR benefit from Kokanee Mountain Zipline discount day

Nelson Daily Staff
By Nelson Daily Staff
May 23rd, 2016

­­Mark Monday May 30 down on the calendar as a can’t-miss chance to ride the Kokanee Mountain Zipline, located along Kokanee Glacier Park Road 15 kilometers north of Nelson.

That’s the day, which just happens to be a school Pro D Day, Kokanee Mountain Zipline co-owners Jay and Todd Manton are planning to give back to the community by offering up 100 discounted spots at 50 percent off, with all proceeds being shared by the Balfour/Harrop Fire Department and Nelson Search and Rescue.

“We’re donating the guides’ time and the use of the aerial park, plus any other donations guests want to provide,” explains Jay Manton of the business that has been open for less than a year.

“Todd and I truly believe, as a family business, that we need the community support to succeed. We wanted to find a way to give back to the community, and these are key first responders who will help anyone in the community.”

Kokanee Mountain Zipline is a premier outdoor attraction for people looking for exciting things to do in Nelson and the surrounding area. The aerial park features six unique ziplines set among pristine forests and high above Kokanee Creek canyon.

Kokanee Mountain Zipline opened Mother’s Day weekend and has operated on Saturdays and Sundays until the Victoria Day weekend (May 21-22). After that, they will offer daily tours throughout the week.

Meanwhile, the Manton boys have been busy touching up the ziplining course and training new guides to meet the anticipated surge in demand this season.

By the time they begin operating at full capacity, Jay expects to have 10 guides available for tours.

“To address issues we faced last year, we’ve increased capacity for the 2016 season to help accommodate walk-ins.

“But we’ve never operated in spring (first official day was July 13, 2015), so we don’t know what it’s going to look like. We hope the buzz we’ve been hearing around town is going to bring people out.”

Much like stepping off of a zipline platform, starting a zipline company requires a leap of faith. Looking back on the inaugural season, Jay says the response to Kokanee Mountain Zipline exceeded expectations.

“You have no idea what you’re getting until you’re out there trying the course,” says Jay. “It’s not just the ziplining, it’s the view. That exceeded our expectations, and that’s why the ridership exceeded our expectations.

“We’re both over-the-moon with how it turned out. Almost everyone that comes here leaves with a huge grin.”

Kokanee Mountain Zipline is the only ziplining operation in the Kootenay Mountains. With six unique ziplines, combined with bird’s-eye views of Kootenay Lake, Kokanee Creek canyon and surrounding mountains, it is proving to be one of the top BC attractions of its kind.

As thrilled as Jay and Todd are at seeing a solid tourist turnout, they are equally appreciative of the local support. When the summer vacationers started to dwindle as the start of the school season neared last fall, people from surrounding areas started showing up.

“When a local tells you that they’re coming back to do it again, that’s a good feeling,” smiles Jay.

One of the more pressing items on Kokanee Mountain Zipline’s to-do list during the offseason was to improve accessibility to their main staging area, which is 2.2km up Kokanee Glacier Park Road. There were some rough patches in the road that made it difficult for two-wheel-drive vehicles to make it up. To address this, Kokanee Mountain Zipline partnered with the Ministry of Transportation to perform some much-needed road improvements.

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