Although you might not see it on the street, Nakusp is already a major winter tourism destination, with more than 90 percent of the skiable terrain around Nakusp already held in commercial recreational tenure by local companies and large corporations.
Canadian Mountain Holidays is ranked 10th among the Kootenays largest employers. In the winter months up to 100 guests per day are enjoying the mountains surrounding Nakusp area in commercial heli-ski, cat-ski, and ski touring operations.
Keeping some areas for the use of local recreation is not unreasonable. Having areas where locals can enjoy snowmobiling and skiing is appealing to residents who wish to live and work in the community. Full time residents add much greater value to an area than intermittent tourist dollars.
The area where Alex was enjoying himself was land which was within a tenure and given back recently for recreational use. With pressures from commercial tenure holders and mountain caribou habitat, there is relatively small areas left for snowmobilers and skiers to enjoy. Do the last small non-tenured areas need to get exploited for tourism too?
Perhaps the local Chamber of Commerce and West Kootenay Tourism Alliance need to reach out to the already established businesses specializing in winter tourism. Having years of experience in the area, commercial operations offer self sufficient options or fully catered and guided trips. These companies specialize in creating safe and highly enjoyable experiences.
I suggest tourists in the area take advantage of the many commercial backcountry accommodations available which offer a wide range of top notch services.