Should Revelstoke invest in a pair of billboards somewhat like this one in order to attract passing motorists into town?

Update: Red light. Council to rejects highway Jumbotrons proposal

Should the City of Revelstoke spend an estimated $100,000 on two giant TVs for the highway corridor in order to attract tourists to town?

Note: A June 25 update follows original story published June 24.

Revelstoke city council will give the green or red light to the idea of creating large electronic Jumbotron-style signs on the Trans-Canada Highway to the east and west of Revelstoke.

The concept was first highlighted for council in December, 2012, when it met with very negative first responses from some city councillors. “Atrocious” and “obscenity” were two descriptors used at a December city council meeting; one councillor did say he supported ideas that support business.

The item was up for discussion again at council’s June 25 meeting after the city’s enhancement committee advocated for the new signs. The council meeting took place after press time.

Tourism and economic development forces argue Revelstoke needs to do more to attract passing motorists into Revelstoke. The electronic signs would help achieve this goal by promoting the town and its many special events through the programmable signs.

Opponents say the proposed large LED TV signs are a literally-glaring affront to good taste not reconcilable with Revelstoke’s heritage mountain-town image.

In a report to council, CAO Tim Palmer also notes the Jumbotrons fly in the face of the city’s sign bylaw, which would need revisions to accommodate the new electronic signs.

If the giant TVs idea goes forward, the ongoing review of the city sign bylaw will be further delayed. The city planning department has also noted that, while the signs contravene the City of Revelstoke’s sign bylaw, the city “may be exempt” from following its own regulation.

What’s the price tag? $50,000 each to purchase and install, so $100,000. But the enhancement committee recommendation and accompanying report from the city’s economic development department doesn’t have details like quotes or maintenance costs.

The report suggests the signs could “possibly” be funded through the city’s Resort Municipality Initiative fund – the so-called hotel tax fund.

UPDATE, Tuesday, June 25

Revelstoke City Council has nixed the Jumbotron plan. At their June 25 meeting, the idea didn’t get a seconder at the council table, meaning the idea wasn’t discussed and didn’t proceed to a vote.

This means, as far as city funding for the project goes, it’s off the table for now. That doesn’t mean another party couldn’t pursue the idea.

***

Note: The headline of this story was changed when it was updated. The original headline was: Green light or red light? Council to consider highway Jumbotrons proposal

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