Funding All ‘Round! Tourism Industry Sees Funding Boost Throughout Koots

Communities throughout the Kootenays will enjoy an extra boost to their bottom lines as the the Province’s Resort Municipality Initiative (RMI) injects funds to support the continued growth of the region’s tourism industry.

Strategic tourism industry improvements by way of RMI

Mark McKee, Mayor of Revelstoke, is thrilled to see the funds: $583,057 towards developing valuable tourism related assets. “The City of Revelstoke is grateful to receive continued funding from the Province through the Resort Municipality Initiative Program. This financial investment in our community has been instrumental in supporting Revelstoke with the promotion and retention of tourism. The continued funding allows our resort community to increase visitor activities and as a result contributes to the local economy.”

Revelstoke has received a total of $4,690,273 in funding since 2008. This money has supported projects such as snowmobile infrastructure development, trails (mountain and dirt bike), museum enhancements, public art projects, an outdoor performance space, a visitor information centre, shuttles and airport improvements.

Communities throughout the region will enjoy a funding boost focused on tourism industry

Kimberley has seen significant recent developments effectively raising the communities profile. From a unique branding effort to a variety of businesses, specifically on the food scene, making news.

Confirmed Mayor of Kimberly, Don McCormick, receiving $71,785 from the initiative, “The RMI funding from the Province has enabled Kimberley to build tourism assets to not only attract visitors, but ensure the great experience needed to bring them back. Our tourism visits are growing due in large part to the RMI funding.”

Receiving funds of $830,382 so far, the community as been able to invest in valuable projects that include: soccer field amenities, mountain bike and Nordic trail improvements, ski racing infrastructure, skier shuttle and visitor signage.

The community of Golden will be receiving $689,171 from the Province’s RMI adding to the already $6,560,261 in funding since 2007. The variety of projects completed with the funds includes: enhancements to the community square and green spaces, snowmobile path improvements, highway corridor enhancement/beautification, signage, and visitor information kiosks.

“Funding from the Resort Municipality Initiative continues to be a critical keystone in Golden’s efforts to beautify and diversify its tourism based amenities. Without the program, there is little doubt we would ever meet the expectations of a growing visitor market and in turn our tourism economy goals for greater sustainability. We continue to thank and commend the Province for this ever valuable program that continues to deliver clear results.” stated the Mayor, Ron Oszust.

Tourism provides a job for roughly one out of every 15 people employed in British Columbia.

Last year, 2015 saw 4.9 million international visitors come to British Columbia – about an 8% increase compared to 2014.

International visitors are discovering the beauty of BC for themselves. Their total overnight visits in 2016 so far (January to July) surpassed the three million mark (3,200,503) for an increase of 12.5% over the same period last year.

Rossland has seen several improvement projects funded through the RMI, with a total of $368,113 provided to the small West Kootenay city since 2007. Projects have included: a shuttle service, signage, visitor centre improvements and an outdoor bandstand.

“The City of Rossland is thrilled to once again be a recipient of Resort Municipality Initiative funding.” commented Kathy Moore, Mayor of Rossland.

“This funding has been key to our success as a resort community. It is a challenge for a small community like ours to support tourism infrastructure with our limited tax base so RMI funding is essential to help us grow this important sector of our economy. Rossland uses this funding for the Spokane shuttle and our local Free Ride bus. This year, RMI funding will also contribute $56,000 towards the museum/visitor centre renovation. Our tourism economy is growing as a result of this important funding.”

The Mayor of Radium Hot Springs, Clara Reinhardt, looking forward to 112,025 in funding stated, “The Village of Radium Hot Springs places huge value on the RMI Funding. Our visitor’s comments are pretty consistent about their great experiences in Radium which are enhanced by key elements funded through this program.”

The RMI provides $10.5 million each year to help eligible resort-oriented municipalities to develop and enhance their tourism infrastructure and amenities. RMI communities include Whistler, Fernie, Kimberley, Golden, Harrison Hot Springs, Invermere, Osoyoos, Radium Hot Springs, Revelstoke, Rossland, Sun Peaks, Tofino, Ucluelet and Valemount.

Since the RMI’s inception in 2006, more than $108.6 million has been invested in tourism infrastructure and programs to support local and regional tourism economies in the 14 participating communities.

Confirmed Gerry Taft, Mayor of Invermere, anticipating $164,450 from the RMI to continue the support its tourism industry.

“Tourism is a very important part of the economy for Invermere and area (including Panorama Resort). The RMI program allows us to invest in key pieces of infrastructure and programming which improve both the visitor experience and also make our community a great place for year-round residents to call home. With this current and future RMI funding we are looking forward to continued improvements on our way-finding and entrance signage, much needed upgrades to boat launching facilities, increased funding for our successful year-round events program, and continued funding of a partner on a shuttle bus between Invermere and Panorama.”