City plans new tourism infrastructure projects

Tourism infrastructure funds earmarked for: bird watching blinds, airport improvements, five mile boat launch, firehall museum...

The City of Revelstoke has approved a new Resort Development Strategy for Revelstoke. The document, which was approved in November, is a funding framework for money from the Resort Municipality Initiative — which is essentially hotel tax that is diverted back to the city for tourism infrastructure projects.

There are several projects on the list, many of which are already underway or have been in the news in the past.

Here are some of the new projects that received their public debut in the plan and a clear signal they have been put on a priority list.

Although city council has approved the funding plan, many of the projects will need additional funding and approvals before they get the green light. The budget numbers below are the estimated totals; many of them are contingent on significant contributions from outside grants.

Expansion of firefighters museum

This $170,000 project to expand the exhibit at the museum attached to the fire hall is designed to attract “festivals and events which showcase firefighting heritage and draw more tourists into the community.” Once completed, the plan is to create more special events related to the museum to the city.

Airport improvements

This $765,000 project includes upgrades to the Revelstoke Airport runway, terminal building and navigation system. See the news feature on this project in this issue.

Eastern access improvements

The plan is to spend $150,000 to upgrade the eastern access to Revelstoke to make it more attractive for visitors and encourage more tourists to stop in the city. Basically, the plan is to draw more motorists in at the eastern access entrance at the Trans-Canada Highway.

Wayfinding signage

This $50,000 project will install wayfinding signage throughout the community to better inform tourists of the amenities and attractions in town. “Tourism studies have indicated the importance of quality, wayfinding signage to assist tourists find their way to various attractions in the community,” notes a city report.

Five mile boat launch

The plan is to spend $475,000 to build a new boat launch on Lake Revelstoke at Five Mile. This project is scheduled to start in 2013 with a completion date of October, 2015.

Bird watching facilities

The plan is to spend $85,000 to build two new bird-watching blinds on the Columbia River wetlands. This project is scheduled for start and completion in 2016.

Resort shuttle upgrades and purchase of new buses

A total of $540,000 will be spent to cover the continued operation and replacement of the Revelstoke Mountain Resort snow shuttle service. This includes significant contributions from Revelstoke Mountain Resort and the Revelstoke Accommodation Association.

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There are several other projects on the list. Many of them are well underway, or have seen significant coverage in this newspaper before. They include the new Visitor Information Centre ($1,270,000), mountain bike trails expansion ($355,000), cycling trail system upgrades ($180,000), public art projects ($140,000), museum upgrades ($120,000), snowmobile facilities ($255,000), and golf course improvements ($50,000).