Revelstoke, in the Kootenays, BC, has signed up as an official Resort Municiaplity of BC, following Whistler, Golden, Rossland, Harrison Hot Springs, Radium Hot Springs, Kimberley, Osoyoos and Valemount have reached similar agreements with the Province; four other municipalities are currently eligible to enter into agreements: Fernie, Invermere, Ucluelet and Tofino.
This is part of the Province’s ongoing commitment to meeting the goal of doubling B.C. tourism by 2015.
Revelstoke is the most recent community to sign an agreement under the B.C. Resort Municipality Initiative with the Province, allowing it to share a portion of provincial hotel room tax revenues to invest in local resort-oriented projects and support a greener, healthier environment, Community Services Minister Ida Chong announced…
Under the agreement, it is estimated that Revelstoke and area will receive $2.5 million over five years. The funding is expected to result in a new conference centre, a tourism information centre and improved landscaping on the Trans-Canada Highway, enhancements to the city’s museum, a marina/boat launch plan, public art projects, an outdoor performance space, multi-use trails including snowmobile trail development, and a bus to service the resort.
As a result of these investments, Revelstoke expects to see a significant increase in skier visits to Revelstoke Mountain Resort, a 20 per cent increase in annual hotel occupancy rates, a 10 per cent increase in local employment and a 20 per cent in increase retail sales over the five-year period.
This is great news for the residents that have been in support of the massive expansion to their local ski hill, which can now rightly be called a resort.
Not everything is rosy on the tourism front in many of these resort communities; with the desire for things to stay the same a pretty common theme, those feelings are usually not as popular as the idea of growing with a new tourism based economy and becoming a resort.
Having just visited Whistler, I can see what people are worried about, with everything and everyone in town working towards making the Whistler experience a positive one for tourists. Even there, I’m sure there are those who lament the "good old days".