Charlie Locke, the man who pioneered and built up Canada’s Lake Louise ski area, has again won the World Ski Award as Canada’s Best resort.
Hard-working entrepreneur Charlie Locke returned home to Calgary after winning the World Ski Award for the second year in a row – and was doubly honoured by being bestowed the tribute of Outstanding Contribution to Ski Tourism for the Americas.
The generally modest and unassuming Charlie told us – “This is the high point of my career. I was thrilled we won Best Ski Resort in Canada again, but this personal recognition in front of esteemed peers in an industry so dear to me – is just an amazing surprise. I am feeling extremely grateful and honoured.”
The 2nd annual World Ski Awards welcomed 200 leading global ski hospitality representatives to Kitzbühel, Austria for a gala dinner hosted by UK television star Ela Clark. The World Ski Awards are a sister organization of the venerated World Travel Awards, celebrating their 21st anniversary. More than 800,000 independent travel professionals and skiers from around the world voted to determine this year’s ‘Best Of’ categories. And interesting to note that Louise, not the overcrowded Whistler, won the award as chosen by ski professionals. And having regularly tried both, we also prefer Louise, says GSG Editor John Hill.
Charlie Locke, born and raised in Calgary, ,started life as an investment banker, but the call of the wild led him to becoming one of Canada’s leading climbers and mountaineers during the 1960s and 1970s. Major climbs included pioneering the Great Divide Ski Traverse from Jasper to Lake Louise in 1967 and over 40 first ascents of Alberta and British Columbia peaks.
Charlie helped raise money for the construction of initial lifts at the Lake Louise Ski Area prior to purchasing the resort outright in 1981 and founded Resorts of the Canadian Rockies in the 1990s, which he sold in 2003. Today he is sole proprietor of The Lake Louise Ski Resort, which he operates with his loyal wife Louise and two daughters. Charlie was also one of the pioneers of UK tourism to the area – with some help from Good Ski Guide – and later American resorts moved in and copied.
Louise Ski Resort, nestled in the heart of the Rocky Mountains and Banff National Park UNESCO World Heritage Site, offers legendary, light, dry powder and awe-inspiring panoramas of endless mountain views, glaciers and frozen lakes.
The views were hailed by Good Ski Guide as America’s very best and later Prince Charles praised as Best in the World the views of the frozen lake. Louise is accessible from the town of Banff, and is what GSG has called a real European-sized mountain, which includes a large learners’ area and beginner and intermediate runs from every chairlift, so that all ages and abilities can explore the four mountain faces and sprawling resort together.
There are also endless bowls, steep chutes, an impressive terrain park and a newly expanded tube park. Lake Louise is home of the World Cup Alpine season-opener speed events, which begin November 29 with the men’s downhill races.
More on Louise upcoming so keep logging on.