The new Revelstoke visitor centre was opened to the public and Revelstoke Tourism showed off its various marketing initiatives at an open house last week.
The event at the Regent Hotel was a chance for various groups to showcase their tourism marketing initiatives. The Revelstoke Snowmobile Club, the cycling association, museums, Parks Canada, Friends of Mt. Revelstoke & Glacier were all represented at the event, showcasing what they have to offer and what promotions they are undertaking.
The Revelstoke Accommodation Association had a large display as well, with a number of booklets, flyers and posters displayed featuring its marketing efforts.
“We’re pushing our marketing towards Calgary and the Okanagan,” Thom Tischik, the executive director of RAA, told me.
He pointed out several initiatives – a partnership with Revelstoke’s museums, ads in the hot springs, spas and wellness map book; a pamphlet on top 10 motorcycle rides in the area, a partnership with Kootenay-Rockies tourism, and more.
He also showed me a media travel trade kit that featured a USB key that can be loaded with high-resolution images, story ideas and other information for media to use.
“We can customize it for people like yourself who might be a freelance writer,” Tischik said.
Judy Goodman, the Chamber of Commerce’s new executive director, said she wanted to look at tourism opportunities in markets beyond sports and adventure, like history tourism.
“They say people are travelling just to see history and they want to actually experience the destination, so I think we need to brainstorm around that,” she said.
She also brought up the age-old question of how to get people off the highway. One strategy she mentioned was an improved eastern access and creating a Revelstoke loop of the Trans-Canada, so people would drive through town on their trip.
“They’re still continuing down the Number 1, but they’re coming down the Revelstoke loop. It’s pushing that experience,” Goodman said.
I joined Sonia Cinelli for a tour of the new visitor centre, which is located at the corner of Victoria Road and Orton Avenue, where Clearview Computers used to be.
The new centre is more spacious than the old one, with large windows on both sides of the building. A cut out of a mountain range looks out, with space for advertisements on it. Cinelli said all the spots were sold.
Inside we were greeted by visitor centre manager Michelle Gabriele and her co-worker Heather Bishop. The middle of the centre is dominated by the front desk. To the right, along one window, are three new computers, purchased in part with Columbia Basin Trust funding.
This summer, the Chamber will be selling its own retail items, with the aim of not duplicating what other businesses are selling. There was a fridge full of water bottles from Revelstoke’s Own Water & Ice Company, Buggz Off spray from Revelessence, little bottles of maple syrup, disposable ponchos and more. Racks full of pamphlets, magazines and booklets lined the far wall.
The new visitor centre is only temporary right now, but the goal remains to find a permanent home for the space. “We’d really like something more like the visitor centre we are opening tomorrow,” said Goodman.
As well, new websites for both Revelstoke Tourism and the Chamber of Commerce are in the works. The sites will have a similar look to the Revelstoke Accommodation Association’s new website, creating a similar look and feel for all three organizations.