The Nevis Range is set to turn back the clock to 1989 to celebrate 30 years of adventure.
On Saturday 21 December, hundreds of locals and visitors are expected to flock to The Nevis Range Mountain Experience, near Fort William, to join Scotland’s leading snowsports, mountain biking and outdoor activities destination’s thirtieth anniversary celebrations.
During the day all visitors can ski or snowboard, or take a gondola, for the same price as it was back in 1989! A gondola day ticket will be just £3.50 and a full day snowsports ticket only £12.50 [tickets must be purchased by noon on Friday 20 December].
The fun packed celebrations will continue from 5pm-midnight with an action filled programme of free entertainment in a heated marquee next to the Gondola Base Station. The celebrations will include Celtic fire dancers, PyroCeltica, inspirational and informative talks from Nevis Range legends, a ceilidh with A’hooligan and The Gary Innes Band, local food and drink and loads of fantastic prizes and unique Nevis Range giveaways.
Running all day and night there will be a competition for the best dressed person wearing ski kit and / or apres ski kit from 1989, with an incredible prize of a 10-year snowsports season pass for Nevis Range!
Chris O’Brien, CEO of Nevis Range, said: ‘I’m immensely proud to be chief executive of this ever changing and ever progressing business! To be celebrating 30 years of the Nevis Range Mountain Experience is an incredible feeling, especially considering that this anniversary comes at such an exciting time.
‘On the night. Ian “Spike” Sykes and Ian “Suds” Sutherland will be telling us all about the early days and history of Nevis Range, while Mike Jardine and Lesley Beck will give us the fascinating story of the UCI MTB World Cup. They’ll be plenty more guests, surprises and give-aways on the night as well as bands and even the fire dancers from PyroCeltica.
‘I hope we’ll see a huge turnout to join us all in a 30th birthday to remember!’
Nevis Range will be laying on a free shuttle bus service from Fort William and Corpach to transport party goers to and from the venue where celebrations will resume from 5pm-midnight
The hugely popular PyroCeltica, who pioneer their own brand of Celtic Fire Theatre, will be getting the evening off to a jaw dropping start, pushing the boundaries of performance and delivering high energy and smoking hot showstoppers with a fusion of circus, music, dance and theatre melded together in flames.
Nevis Range founders, Ian Sykes and Ian Sutherland, who were key in driving the original Nevis Range concept forward, will regale tales of how a group of close friends in a small, remote community with a never give up attitude, rallied local businesses into action to raise a million pounds in less than a month in order to make their dream of a snowsports centre on Aonoch Mor in the 1980’s a reality. They will also comment on the incredibly hard work and positive innovation that has gone in to securing the venue’s future as a renowned outdoor activities centre.
Mike Jardine and Lesley Beck from Rare Management, organisers of the annual UCI Mountain Bike World Cup, hosted at Nevis Range since 2002, will give a talk about the early days of mountain biking at Nevis Range and the development of the venue’s now legendary downhill track. They will also focus on the multi-award winning success of the British round of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup and the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships in 2007; whilst giving a sneak preview of plans for the forthcoming Mountain Bike World Championships in 2023.
This will be followed by a fun fuelled Ceilidh, with local bands A’hooligan and The Gary Innes Band, both guaranteed to get everyone up on their feet until home time at midnight! Mad-trad group A’hooligan have been a favourite at Nevis Range ceilidhs for years; yet it will be particularly special night for award winning accordionist and founding member of super-group Mànran, Gary Innes, who was born and raised in Spean Bridge and was a Nevis Range ‘lifty’[lift operator] in his teenage years. Locally brewed beers and lagers, some of the Nevis Range staff’s favourite, will be on sale from The Glen Spean Brewery Co pop-up bar all evening.
Gondola day tickets and full day snowsports tickets on Saturday 21 December are available now and must be pre-booked on https://www.nevisrange.co.uk/. All discounted tickets (daytime only) for this date must be purchased by noon on Friday 20 December 2019.
Free shuttle buses from Fort William and Corpach to Nevis Range (and home again) will operate from 5pm until midnight on Saturday 21 December. Nevis Range will also do a pick-up and drop-off from the Roy Bridge Village Hall and from the bus stop in Spean Bridge – keep an eye on the Nevis Range Facebook page for the specific timings (as this will not be a shuttle service).
The Nevis Range Timeline
- 1930: Skiing is enjoyed on Aonach Mor, predominantly by local skiers.
- 1968: The area’s full economic potential is recongnised.
- 1974: A planning report is produced, sponsored by the Scottish Tourist Board, concerning the prospect of a winter sports development in Fort William, and essentially developing the area as an all year tourist destination.
- 1986: The project wins approval from the Highland Region’s Planning Committee after numerous further commissioned feasibility studies concerning the engineering, ecology and viability of a development in Aonach Mor.
- 1988: Construction begins and both public and private funding is secured for the development. Considerable effort is made to create an environmentally acceptable area. All work carried out is in compliance with planning controls and restrictions put in place to protect the environment. Buildings are designed to blend with surrounding vegetation, helicopters are used for all construction work and no bulldozing is permitted throughout the process of piste creation.
- 1989: Nevis Range is opened to the public.
- 1997: The Braveheart Chair is constructed and opened to the public.
- 1998: Discussions begin to extend the Downhill track to the top station and provide gondola access for riders and their bikes.
- 2000: The Downhill track is opened to the public.
- 2002: Nevis Range welcomes the first UCI Mountain Bike World Cup.
- 2007: Nevis Range welcomes the UCI Mountain Bike and Trials World Championships.
- 2010: Tree Adventure was opened to the public.
- 2011: The Pinemarten Café was opened at the Nevis Range Base Station.
- 2018: A three-year partnership is formed with Trek Bicycles.
- 2019: Nevis Range builds a snow making plant, creating an expanded beginners’ ski area serviced by a new travellator conveyor lift.
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