Fernie becoming hot spot for trail users
The City of Fernie is making a name for itself nationwide, thanks to improvements to its trail system and due to events such as the Fernie 3 mountain bike race.
Resort Municipality Initiative (RMI) funding worth $9,000 supported the race. Additional funding has been directed to buying a stage, crowd-control barriers and general event equipment that will also be used for other events in Fernie.
Meantime, Fernie’s trail system was recently showcased in a Globe and Mail article. While the city is getting positive attention nationally, even more improvements to the trail system are being made courtesy of RMI funding.
In 2014, $41,000 went to the Fernie Trails Alliance for trail development. The Fernie Trails Alliance maintains responsible non-motorized trail access on Crown lands and private lands in the Fernie area.
“Fernie is a must-see travel destination for four-season outdoor enthusiasts. This RMI funding will enhance Fernie’s growing reputation and draw visitors from every direction for the benefit of the region,” stated Kootenay East MLA Bill Bennett.
“The RMI Program has had a huge impact on our community. This is a key example of an initiative that couldn’t have been taken on if not for the funding made available through the RMI program. Significant progress was made on the Nordic trail network enhancements and other trails within and around the city. As well, art walks, concert series and the winter shuttle have all benefitted by RMI funding as have many organizations and projects. This is a great program that benefits tourists and residents alike,” said City of Fernie Mayor Mary Giuliano.
RMI is a $10.5-million-a-year program that addresses the unique circumstances of resort-oriented municipalities to help them develop and enhance local tourism-related infrastructure and amenities.
Along with Fernie, nearby communities that participate in the RMI program include Golden, Invermere, Kimberley, Radium Hot Springs, Revelstoke and Rossland.
Since 2009, Fernie has received $2,454,207 in funding from the RMI program.
Since RMI inception in 2007, over $87.6 million has been invested in tourism infrastructure and programs to support local and regional tourism economies in the 14 participating communities.
In 2014, 4.7 million international visitors came to B.C. – a 5.3% increase and nearly a quarter of a million more people than the previous year.