2022 Nelson Convention
UPDATE: Model railroad layout planning help will be available on-site. Please contact Jim Betz in advance to arrange a time: email@example.com
The Nelson convention will focus on the history of the Great Northern in the beautiful and historic West Kootenays with tours and presentations. The banquet, raffle and the Model Display are also part of the great line-up we will have this year.
This is the first GNRHS convention in Canada, the first joint convention for GNRHS, and the first ever CPHA (Canadian Pacific Historical Association) convention. Nelson was the northern-most community, west of the Rocky Mountains, served by the GN at the time of the 1970 BN merger.
There is considerable mining, rail, and sternwheeler history of interest to GNRHS. • Nelson is the biggest city in the area with a diverse population of over 10,000 people. The legacy of the past, evident in the more than 350 preserved heritage buildings, mixes with a dynamic arts and culture scene. There are many restaurants and arts / crafts / specialty / book stores in the downtown area; as well as a thriving craft beer industry. The West Kootenays have many historic small towns, and we will be visiting many of them during our bus tours.
This convention has been several years in the making, including a postponement from its original 2020 date. We feel we have created an excellent and varied program for our attendees.
- Come and learn about the very interesting and often acrimonious rail history
- Meet the interesting people of the West Kootenays; they are thrilled to have us visit their towns and venues.
- Come see the beauty of the area – the convention is occurring in the third week of September, so we could have “Fall Colours” - bring your cameras!!
- Enjoy meeting the CPHA attendees, who share our interest in this area.
- September tends to be a fairly dry month for this area, but it can be a bit cooler in the evenings since it is by large lakes in the mountains - typically 22C (72F) high and 9C (48F) low; averaging 5 days of rain for the month.
- Come prepared with extra layers of clothing to keep you warm and consider buying one of the convention vests.
Getting to Nelson:
Nelson is 663 kms (412 miles) from Vancouver, 624 kms (387 miles) from Calgary, and 237 kms (148 miles) from Spokane WA.
- By Air - The Nelson airport is very small and is for charters and helicopter flights only. The Regional West Kootenay Airport is in Castlegar (about 30 min S of Nelson). The Canadian Rockies International Airport is in Cranbrook (about 3 hrs drive from Nelson). There is no longer a regular shuttle service available between Castlegar airport and Nelson, only city buses and taxis
- By Car - There are great routes for driving from any of the above locations, which we will discuss in the June GOAT
- By Rail - Amtrak’s closest stops are in Whitefish MT, Sandpoint ID, and Spokane WA.
- We have organized a shuttlebus charter from Spokane (see the registration package and form for details)
Border Crossing Information:
Be aware - If you’ve been convicted of anything, including “DUI – Driving under the Influence”, you will not be allowed across the border.
- To have a successful border crossing, we advise you to:
- Bring your current valid Passport
- Be prepared with information about your trip, be polite, and answer questions simply and honestly
- Do not bring marijuana across the federal border as it’s not allowed, despite being legal in Washington state and the province of British Columbia
- Leave your firearms at home
- Research current COVID requirements and restrictions - at this time vaccination is required.
Convention Hotel Reservations
- Tell them you are booking for “Rail History Convention"
- Call the phone numbers below to make your booking, not online or a 3rd party service (which won’t have access to the reduced price room block).
Main Hotel: Prestige Lakeside Resort & Convention Centre - SOLD OUT
- 74 rooms blocked
- Telephone: 250-352-7222
- Toll-free 1-833-606-7269 (Select 3 “Kootenay Rockies” then 4 “Prestige Lakeside”)
- Or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Deluxe mountain view (35 rooms): $159.95 CAD (~$127 USD*)
- Deluxe lake view (39 rooms): $179.95 CAD (~$143 USD*)
Prestige Inn - SOLD OUT
- 20 rooms blocked
- Telephone: 250-352-3595
- Toll-free 1-833-606-7269 (Select 3 “Kootenay Rockies” then 5 “Prestige Inn”)
- Or email email@example.com
- About 6-10 min. walk to the Resort / Convention Centre
- Deluxe mountain view (10 rooms): $119.95 CAD (~$95 USD*)
- Deluxe lake view (10 rooms): $139.95 CAD (~$111 USD*)
Best Western Plus Baker Street Inn
- Info available HERE.
- 30 rooms blocked for us (Queen, Double Queen & King) with a 15% discount: priced at ~$195 CAD/night
- Free parking lot across the street for their patrons
- This hotel is at the west end of Baker Street near the restored CPR station
- To get this reduced price call them directly at 1-888-255-3525 or online via this link.
The Historic Hume Hotel
- Info available HERE.
- A variety of 12 rooms have been blocked with a 10% discount - prices vary from $225 -$252/night (2 double queen, 6 double queen split, 2 King & 2 premium suites - Rattenbury Suite and Minnie's Room) - to view these options click here.
- This hotel is in the hub of the downtown area so they cannot guarantee absolute quiet
- Call them Toll-free, in N.America - 1-877-568-0888, or phone 250-352-5331
- Price includes a hot breakfast from 7am-10am or a to-go style breakfast, must prebook at the front desk by 8pm the night before for early pick-up the next morning
- The 2 premium suites have parking included - all other rooms do not:
- However parking can be obtained in any vacant City metered spot for free between 5pm to 9am; or can be paid for $4 overnight or $12 / 24 hour period in the adjacent City-owned Parkade
Full registration package is in the March GOAT magazine, and also available online.Early bird registration will close June 15, 2022. Late registration after that date and registration at the convention will be available, subject to a $25 surcharge.
We are really looking forward to seeing you at the convention, to see one of our favourite regions of BC. If you have any questions, we can be reached by email at:
Tom – firstname.lastname@example.org or Francina – email@example.com
Tom and Francina Carr, National Convention Officer and Convention Registrar