The West Kootenay Trade Show was a huge success this year, not only setting visitor records, but boosting the profitability of the entire city.
With great weather, great food and an even better crowd, Chamber of Commerce executive director Tammy Verigin-Burk said the show this past weekend was phenomenal.
“The feedback we’re getting is over the top. People were so excited at the size of it, that it was in town, the amount of traffic that went through; it was definitely an exciting time for us.”
With over 130 vendor booths and 95 unique vendors, this show was the largest in its history.
The vendors were not only occupying the rink space this year, but right out the back doors and on the outskirts of the arena.
Verigin-Burk said there is much to take away from this year’s show.
In preparation for next year, she and the other staff will look at vendor locations more carefully so the flow of traffic can be more efficient.
The main purpose of the trade show each year is to bolster economic development and encourage visitors to make Castlegar their permanent home.
“Our job as the Chamber of Commerce is to make sure we’re really showcasing our members and driving economic development in this town,” Verigin-Burk said.
“We have a lot of businesses in this town. There’s also a lot of businesses that we don’t have, that are just on the outskirts and it’s good for our people to know of the businesses in Trail or Nakusp or Nelson that they can draw from as well.
“We want to keep people shopping local. The more people who come to this town and see how incredible it is, the better the chance we have of people wanting to potentially relocate here.”
Not only did those involved directly with the event see prosperity this weekend, but all sorts of business in Castlegar boomed.
“During the few weeks leading up to the trade show I had several businesses telling me they were completely swamped,” Verigin-Burk explained, “with people getting signs and brochures made. They were extremely excited at all the work they received.”
Other local businesses thrived as a result of this event as well, including hotels, gas stations and hardware stores.