Nelson wins ‘Ski Town’ title

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SANDPOINT — A minor sibling rivalry ended Monday with the sister to the north taking the victory.

Sandpoint’s match-up earlier this month against Nelson, British Columbia, for the title of best ski town ended with the Canadian resort city taking the victory in Powder Magazine’s “Ski Town Throwdown” competition. Nelson went on to defeat Bozeman, Mont., and win the overall title for best ski town as selected by Powder Magazine readers.

 The  Ski Town Throwdown took place on Powder Magazine’s Facebook page. By liking the page, readers could participate in each round of the competition by casting a vote for their favorite skiing and snowboarding scenes.

The contest between Sandpoint and Nelson took on an especially unusual dimension due to the fact that the two towns are sister cities. In fact, representatives from the municipalities’ respective chambers of commerce are working on plans to enhance and strengthen that relationship through cultural exchanges, manufacturing and industrial relationships. Based on the programs that are developing between the two communities, representatives from the Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce saw the Powder Magazine contest as a good-natured engagement and will likely not hold any grudges.

While Sandpoint didn’t walk away with the ultimate prize, it still fared exceptionally well over the course of the contest. The little North Idaho town stood toe-to-toe with Salt Lake City, Utah, in a late-November tier of the tournament. Thanks to a little mobilization on Facebook and other social networks, however, residents and Schweitzer fans from out-of-town banded together to boost Sandpoint support over the competition in a classic David-versus-Goliath scenario.

The winners from that round advanced to the next tier of the tournament, where Nelson edged out Sandpoint and advanced to the final round. Bozeman, which bested Fernie, British Columbia, in the penultimate round, was its competition, but the Montana town couldn’t match Nelson in the voting.

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