Nelson inn-keeper offers affordable comfort
Jennifer Kim meets people from all over the world at the front desk of Nelson's North Shore Inn. Mrs. Kim says she feels most happy at her job when people tell her how much they enjoyed staying at this clean, comfortable inn that she and her husband Steve have owned for nearly three years.
The Kims bought their inn as newcomers to the hotel industry - after doing their homework and working part-time jobs in hotels to see how they liked it. Mrs. Kim is a friendly "people person" who enjoys meeting and greeting at the front desk. Mr. Kim is an electrician by trade and this knowledge and experience transfered well to hotel maintenance. Mrs. Kim said it was "good timing" when the chance arose to buy the North Shore Inn from friends who were selling it and moving to Ontario. Since then, business is strong and bookings are solid.
Originally from Seoul, South Korea, the Kims moved to Vancouver in 2000 with two young sons. They searched B.C. to find a smaller, "more friendly" town to raise their kids in - checking out Vancouver Island and then finding Nelson. They visited the beautiful Kootenay mountain town several times before moving to Nelson in 2002.
It's a long day for the couple, starting at 7:30 when continental breakfast is served in the front room of the inn. Guests mingle, share stories, and check their email on the computer. Mrs. Kim says it's a lot of hard work and sometimes she feels disappointed that her family can never take a summer vacation. However, with so much beauty so close at hand, it's easy enough to get away for day trips once in a while. Their sons, 15 and 17, work part time at the inn and at a local grocery chain - to get experience working for people other than their parents. One other employee also takes shifts at the front desk, says Mrs. Kim.
The view from the second floor balcony is gorgeous - rolling mountains, big sky, tall trees, and the green-blue shimmer of Kootenay Lake. A double room goes for $89 plus tax during the summer season - which is about six dollars less than the least expensive places right in the cool, funky heart of "downtown" Nelson. The hotel offers clean comfort to people travelling on a low budget - "regular people like us," Mrs. Kim says.
Our family decided to stay at the North Shore Inn after looking at downtown options - and I'm so glad we did, since I really fell in love with the view. Hot nights seeing the sky change color while sipping a locally made organic beer on the balcony... It was such a relief to be there after three days of (disappointing) overcrowding at a campsite in Osoyoos - but that's a whole other story!! (which I will share on request)
This helicopter was returning from a fire fighting mission and later, after this photo was taken, we saw some firefighters at the restaurant of the hotel next door. Toby "interviewed" the young man and woman about the fire - which he learned was 15 times as big as the dining room in which we sat.
The North Shore Inn website is at: http://www.nshoreinn.com