Almost $2.5 million in tourism investments coming to region
Four East Kootenay municipalities are receiving $2,486,885 in provincial funding to support tourism infrastructure development, part of a $5 million provincial StrongerBC program.
“This direct investment in tourism-dependent communities was a call to action from the tourism sector and an integral part of our recovery plan,” said Melanie Mark, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport. “These projects will provide good-paying jobs now, create valuable assets for communities and attract more visitors in the future.”
A total of 46 new tourism-development projects were identified by communities throughout B.C., including five in the region and another in Golden.
“Tourism is such an important industry for people and businesses across the Kootenays,” said Brittny Anderson, MLA for Nelson-Creston. “With this funding, we will be in even better shape to welcome visitors back after the pandemic. From electric-vehicle charging stations in Fernie and a spray park for families to enjoy in Radium Hot Springs, to trail upgrades on Kimberley’s Mountains Project for e-bikes and adaptive trikes, these investments will attract even more visitors to our beautiful part of the world.”
Regional (nearby) projects receiving funds:
Installation of electric vehicle charging infrastructure at the Fernie Visitor Information Centre and City Hall – $239,813; and enhancements at the visitor information centre, trail upgrades and staging area at City Hall – $550,750.
Downtown revitalization, including increasing public seating areas, lighting, beautification and improved accessibility – $700,000.
Electrify the Mountains Project, which includes 36 km of new and updated trails for e-bikes and adaptive trikes with signage and amenities – $851,522.
Radium Hot Springs
Construction of a spray park – $144,800.
Historic downtown plaza rejuvenation, including bike repair station, bike racks and covered seating – $468,750.
Communities have been identified as tourism dependent based on a combination of criteria, including:
* collecting the municipality and regional district tax;
* having a population of fewer than 25,000 and located outside of Metro Vancouver or the Capital Regional District; and
* having a higher percentage of accommodation-sector wages in comparison to total employment wages.
Lead image: Fernie’s Visitor Information Centre. e-KNOW file photo