A vision that has been in the works for several years will become reality in 2013 when the Revelstoke Visitor Information Centre opens on Victoria Road, next to Pharmasave, the Revelstoke Chamber of Commerce announced in a letter to members on Tuesday.
The City of Revelstoke, Community Futures Revelstoke, Revelstoke Chamber of Commerce and the Revelstoke Land and Development Company announced the organizations were partnering to build a new $1,179,000, two-storey building that would house the Revelstoke Visitor Information Centre on the ground floor and the offices of the chamber, community futures, and community economic development upstairs.
“Having a new full-time VIC will make it much easier for the chamber to deliver tourism information services in an efficient manner,” stated Judy Goodman, Executive Director of the Chamber of Commerce. “We are very pleased with the design and layout of the new VIC, and think it will be very well received by the growing number of visitors coming to experience Revelstoke.”
Currently Revelstoke’s economic group is located on Campbell Avenue, with a small visitor centre downstairs. In past years, the chamber has operated a second visitor centre in the Canadian Avalanche Centre’s building on Grizzly Plaza, and this summer it switched to a new location a block away at Victoria Road and Orton Avenue.
A new building that would house all these elements has been in the planning stages for a number of years. There was an ongoing debate about where the visitor centre should be located – on the highway, in Grizzly Plaza or at the chosen location on the vacant lot next to Pharmasave.
Alan Mason, the city’s director of economic development, said the location was chosen after extensive consultation. It was chosen over Grizzly Plaza out of concerns that a large building there would have a negative impact on the character of the plaza, lead to a loss of parking, and hurt downtown businesses, including the Farmers Market. He said the chosen site would improve an otherwise ugly and empty lot on Victoria Road.
The new building will provide a permanent home to the visitor information centre and house all the economic development agencies in one location, wrote the chamber in its letter.
“Co-locating the economic development services also provides a ‘one-stop shop’ for people looking for business information, and allows these services to be delivered very effectively,” the letter states.
Planning for the new building will begin this fall, with an expected opening of the VIC sometime next summer.
The total cost of the building has not been releases, but each partner is contributing an equal amount to its construction, with the city’s portion coming from Tourism Infrastructure Funds. The Columbia Basin Trust contributed $200,000 to the project and the Economic Opportunity Fund another $100,000. The cost breakdown will be as follows:
City of Revelstoke (Tourism Infrastructure Funds): $500,000
Community Futures Revelstoke: $300,000
Revelstoke Chamber of Commerce: $129,000
Grant funding: $300,000
The land will be purchased from the Revelstoke Land and Development Company, who will design and construct the building and maintain ownership of half the building, said Mason.
The new visitor centre will be built using local wood products, which Mason. said would highlight the abilities of the local forest industry.
The Chamber’s letter to members follows:
NEW VISITOR INFORMATION CENTRE ANNOUNCED IN REVELSTOKE
The City of Revelstoke, Community Futures Revelstoke, the Revelstoke Chamber of Commerce and the Revelstoke Land and Development Company are pleased to announce their intention to partner on the construction of a new building in Revelstoke which will house the new year-round Visitor Information Centre, and offices for the Chamber of Commerce, Community Futures Revelstoke and Community Economic Development. The building will also offer additional office and retail space which will be available for lease.
The new building will be located on Victoria Road immediately adjacent to the Pharmasave building. This highly visible location will be ideal for the new Visitor Information Centre, and will have excellent parking facilities for tourists who are looking for information about the community. The two-storey building will allow the three partner agencies involved in economic development in Revelstoke to continue to share space and resources, which is mutually beneficial to each agency and helps reduce costs for all three groups. Co-locating the economic development services also provides a “one-stop shop” for people looking for business information, and allows these services to be delivered very effectively.
The new building will provide a permanent home for the Visitor Information Centre, and will be operated by the Revelstoke Chamber of Commerce. “Having a new full-time VIC will make it much easier for the Chamber to deliver tourism information services in an efficient manner”, said Judy Goodman, Executive Director of the Chamber of Commerce. “We are very pleased with the design and layout of the new VIC, and think it will be very well received by the growing number of visitors coming to experience Revelstoke.”
The interior of the VIC will showcase the high-quality wood products that are produced in the community. “This is a great opportunity to showcase our local wood products,” said Alan Mason, Director of Community Economic Development for the Revelstoke Area. “We hope that the display of wood products will help increase knowledge of and demand for local wood”.
Darryl Willoughby, Manager of Community Futures Revelstoke comments: “Community Futures is very pleased to be part of this initiative that continues the economic development partnership that has served this community well for the past 25 years. We look forward to working collaboratively with our partners in the new facility to improve our local economy”.
Planning work on the building will commence this fall, with an expected opening of the new VIC sometime next summer. Each partner is contributing toward the cost of the building, with the City portion allocated from the Tourism Infrastructure Funds. The partners have also been successful in obtaining grant funding for the building. The Columbia Basin Trust has contributed $200,000 toward the project.
For further information contact Alan Mason, Director of Community Economic Development, Revelstoke and Area, firstname.lastname@example.org. Chamber of Commerce may also contact Judy Goodman, Executive Director at 250 837-5345.