Revelstoke, B.C. – Last year, the Province of BC announced that it was extending the Resort Municipality Initiative (RMI) for a further three years (2019 to 2021. Revelstoke is one of fourteen designated Resort Municipalities in the Province of British Columbia that are eligible to participate in the Initiative. As part of this designation, Revelstoke is afforded funding through the Resort Municipality Initiative to support the development of tourism infrastructure and tourism programs and services. In order to access the RMI funding the City of Revelstoke needs to have a current Resort Development Strategy (RDS) that covers the period of funding, and that reflects not only the community’s vision and goals, but supports provincial tourism outcomes, including:
- Extend or diversify the community’s tourism season
- Increase visitation
- Improve the sustainability of the tourism sector
- Enhance the visitor experience
Mayor Gary Sulz noted: “The Resort Municipality Initiative has helped the community to upgrade and invest in our community tourism infrastructure. This has really improved the tourism experience in Revelstoke, and is a main reason why we have seen a strong increase in tourism visitation over the past several years. This is a real positive for the local economy”.
The current Resort Development Strategy expires in the spring of 2019, and efforts are underway to develop a new RDS under the direction of the [Tourism Infrastructure Committee] *name will change pending adoption of the new Terms of Reference. As part of this process, local tourism stakeholders must have an opportunity to have input into Strategy development and recommend priorities and projects to Council for inclusion in the draft Strategy. The City has contracted the Whistler Centre for Sustainability to help facilitate our RDS development process and to help prepare the accompanying Strategy.
For the past three years, the annual funding available to Revelstoke through the RMI program has averaged approximately $550,000 per year, and is expected to remain pretty much the same for the next three years. RMI funded projects in the RDS must meet the following criteria:
- Must have a direct connection to tourism and economic benefits
- Must be predominantly targeted or used by visitors, not residents
- Must be generally supported by stakeholders and residents
- Must be within the program spending limits
- Must not be a general municipal expense such as maintenance of municipal facilities/lands transit, policing etc.
In addition to spending on infrastructure, up to 30% of RMI funds can be spent on tourism programs, services and events.
As part of the development of a new RDS, tourism stakeholders are being invited to complete a survey, including expressions of interest for future projects. Once the RDS is completed and approved by Council and the Province, partners will be invited to submit proposals that align with the priorities and goals established by the Strategy.