[R2804R, Revelstoke Mountain Resort] has opened its Nelsen Lodge. The new lodge, located at the base of the Revelation Gondola, now hosts skier services for the resort and upscale hotel suites.

The lodge is a combination day lodge and luxury boutique hotel. "It's the ultimate skier's dream location," general manager Peter Nielsen told us. "You're right in the middle of it all literally 50 feet from the gondola."

The new day lodge portion now contains all skier services for the resort: lift tickets, rentals, ski school, cat skiing, and heliskiing.

The lodge opened 59 accommodation suites in early March for its first guests. Nelsen Lodge provides the only ski in/ski out lodging at the resort. Luxury suites, with full kitchens, flat screen televisions, and both wireless and wired Internet hookups,range from 450-square-foot studios to four-bedroom units with 1,800 square feet.

All suites come with furnished balconies, looking up at the ski slopes on Mt. Mackenzie or across the Columbia Valley to the Monashee Mountains. "In a lot of the units, it feels like the gondola will come right into the living room," added Nielsen "We're blessed with spectacular views in all directions." A hot tub with a valley view sits off the lobby.

Revelstoke plans to run its lifts for skiing and snowboarding through April 13, but the Nelsen Lodge is open year-round. Lodgers either need to cook in or head to town for restaurants for now. Nielsen noted that this summer the lodge plans to open two food and beverage outlets and retail stores along with another 62 suites.

The resort's summer operations will run Fridays through Sundays beginning July 3 through the September long weekend. Revelstoke is considering proposed activities such as gondola sightseeing rides, interpretive guided hiking, paragliding, and perhaps helicopter hiking and tours. Call 250- 837-9400 for a final activity list and details.

Rates for the lodge vary between winter and summer seasons. The opening special this winter offers accommodations for C$199-499. Summer rates drop to C$159-449. Book a suite at the new Nelsen Lodge by calling 800-726-3626.