From left: Revelstoke Chamber of Commerce executive director John Devitt

Revelstoke Chamber of Commerce AGM highlights successes, some challenges

The Revelstoke Chamber of Commerce met for the annual general meeting on April 20, capping off a year with its fair share of successes and some challenges.

The Revelstoke Chamber of Commerce met for the annual general meeting on April 20, capping off a year with its fair share of successes and some challenges.

Chamber president Brydon Roe addressed chamber members alongside chamber executive director John Devitt during a lunch meeting at Powder Springs. Here are some of the highlights from the meeting and the chamber’s year:

New Visitor Information Centre plans

As has been reported several times in the Times Review, the chamber is a leading partner on plans to build a new Tourist Information Centre in downtown Revelstoke, which will also house other community groups involved in the project.

Devitt said that although a location had not been finalized, things were leaning towards the parking lot next to the Canadian Avalanche Centre on Mackenzie Avenue. “We’re hoping to break ground this summer,” Devitt said.

“Having a visitor centre downtown is really key,” Devitt said. “We’re hoping to put to rest the debate about whether it should be on the highway or downtown. We like to use the analogy that there’s a real good reason why groceries store put milk and eggs and butter at the back of the store. For the same reason we think it’s important to have our visitor centre downtown.”

The chamber is also starting up a tourism info kiosk in Woodenhead Park this summer. The kiosk was originally used during the 2010 Olympics.

Commercial taxation issue

In their 2010 year in review, the chamber says the zero per cent tax increase for commercial properties has been a success but they plan to continue to lobby the city for reductions. “The chamber worked hard to partner with the City of Revelstoke to address the longstanding commercial taxation issue,” writes Devitt in his annual report message.

Tourism coordinator funding stressed

Both Roe and Devitt stressed that the elimination of the $30,000 in funding for the tourism coordinator position came as a surprise to them and that the funding had been yanked well into their operating year. “It came as a real shock to us,” Devitt said.

They requested that chamber members continue to contact city councillors and lobby for funding for the position. They also expressed concern that the funding was not reinstated when council got their first look at the budget on April 19 following a month-long break during the public comments period. Council did discuss some of the outstanding budget issues at that meeting but deferred decisions until they had more time to digest the comments. [See more on budget discussions on page 16.]

Devitt stressed the importance of Revelstoke Tourism and the tourism coordinator position. He listed projects the organization has been involved with, and more are listed in the written annual report.

Activities have included creating a hiking, biking, Nordic skiing and climbing trail map, with plans to develop it into a mobile app. Other projects include a redesigned tourist brochure, a new vacation guide, a tourism map, tourism industry guides, the Revelstoke dining guide, attendance at tourism conferences and shows and hosting visiting media. These are just some of the activities included in the annual report.

Improved website portal planned

The chamber is working to create a single tourism portal for Revelstoke.

“There is a lot of consumer confusion with multiple websites boasting that they’re the Revelstoke website,” Devitt said. “So we’re hoping to unite all of that in one key site.”

Devitt said the chamber had an agreement with the city to partner with them on the www.revelstoke.ca domain. By law, domain names beginning with the name of a town or city and ending in ‘.ca’ are reserved for municipalities.

Chamber cancels home show

Devitt said the chamber had cancelled the home show at the Revelstoke Forum because it was more effort than it was worth. He said organizing the event took four months of planning and resulted in a $4,000 profit. He felt their efforts would be better spent elsewhere. He also noted that 80 per cent of exhibitors were from out of town at the last event.

New events and promotions committee formed

Devitt said events that attracted customers downtown to the city’s retail core had been a success, giving the New Moon festival as an example. However, the chamber has formed a new “events and promotions” committee in order to steer away from promotions overly-focused on the downtown core.

He said the new committee was a way to even out the promotions to more broadly represent all chamber businesses, including spreading the focus beyond downtown and beyond just the retail sector.

 

 

Just Posted

Province partners with Columbia Basin Trust for new affordable housing

Goal is to create 225 affordable rental units in the Columbia Basin area

Glimpses of the Past

A look back through the archives from WWII airmen spending the holidays to human-cougar encounters

CP Rail Holiday train stops in Revelstoke

Brings a dose of holiday spirit and funds for the local food bank

Turn it up

RAC asks council for summer Street Festival funding increase to hire sound technician

City of Revelstoke passes fire services bylaw

We are doing our end of the paperwork to be ready just in case this comes to fruition: mayor

Holiday Train rolls through the Shuswap

Hundreds of people have gathered in Sicamous, Canoe and Salmon Arm for… Continue reading

Kamloops RCMP warning public to stay away from unfolding domestic dispute

The public is being asked to avoid Sabiston Creek Road off of the highway

Owl found dead after eating rat poison leaves B.C. woman concerned

After finding the owl on her Surrey property, Christine Trozzo says the poison is a concern for kids

Change to CPP death benefit panned as insufficient to cover funeral costs

Funeral Services Association of Canada lobbied governments to raise the value to $3,580

#MeToo at work: Employers play a role in fixing culture of sexual harassment

B.C. workplaces are getting ahead of being the next MeToo debacle, calling on experts to train staff

Column: Make it a green Christmas

Instead of purchasing a cuddly stuffie this year, put your money towards helping the real thing.

B.C. woman brain injured in crash as a baby gets $1.1 million in damages

Trial heard the woman was 16 months old, being carried by her mother when they were both hit

Interior Health holding immunization clinic in Vernon Saturday

IH issues list of Okanagan meningococcal immunization clinics

Court denies WestJet’s bid to toss out discrimination lawsuit of former worker

Mandalena Lewis is suing WestJet over allegations of gender-based discrimination

Most Read