In the midst of the pandemic in 2020, destination marketing organization Kootenay Rockies Tourism, in partnership with community destination management organizations, local and regional governments, First Nations, non-profits and other partners, worked to identify projects that would enhance and improve amenities that already exist.
As part of StrongerBC: BC’s Economic Recovery Plan, the province’s six tourism regions received a total of $13.6 million, $2.3 million of which went to the Kootenay Rockies region, to create employment opportunities, attract new businesses and increase economic diversification within communities.
Kootenay Rockies Tourism is now announcing a list of completed projects. These infrastructure projects helped create jobs, fostered economic diversification and bolstered the competitiveness of the region in the long term, says a Kootenay Rockies press release.
These completed projects will go a long way to improve our community amenities for residents and visitor experiences. We look forward to other projects that received funding through this program being completed in 2023,” said Kathy Cooper, CEO of Kootenay Rockies Tourism.
The projects include:
Installation of EV charging station: Through a partnership with Community Energy Association (CEA), a level 2 EV charging station was installed at the Marysville Eco Park, in Kimberley. Through the Destination EV Charging program, more charging stations will be installed.
Parking Lot enhancements at signature mountain biking trail networks: Mountain bike use has significantly grown in our region. Recreation Sites and Trails BC has been working in partnership with local trail groups to improve visitor management amenities at popular destination mountain biking trail networks throughout the region to mitigate negative impacts. Mount 7 in Golden, Mt. Swansea in Invermere, Bootleg Mountain in Kimberley and Merry Creek in Nelson have all had parking area expansions and enhancements done this year, to accommodate the increasing number of visitors to those locations. Trail work at Keystone Standard Basin Trail in Revelstoke has made the trail a more suitable gradient and increased its sustainability. Lastly, trail work at Summit-Rosebery connecting New Denver and Nakusp has also been completed with a bypass trail and signage.
Accessibility upgrades to Cottonwood & Winlaw Regional Parks: Kootenay Adaptive Sport Association (KASA) completed accessibility upgrades to Cottonwood Regional Park and Winlaw Regional & Nature Park. Cottonwood is now home to two sets of universally designed pit toilets and picnic tables. Winlaw received accessible washrooms, accessible picnic area upgrades and universally designed way-finding signage.
Craigellachie Last Spike Historic Site upgrades: The Last Spike at Craigellachie site is located alongside the Trans-Canada Highway near Revelstoke and is managed by the Revelstoke Heritage Railway Society. The historical site attracts visitors to get a glimpse into Canadian Railway History. This year, necessary structural improvements were made to the site buildings including foundation and roof repairs.
Campground amenity improvements in the Slocan Valley: This collaborative project between the Villages of Slocan, New Denver and Silverton seeks to enhance the camping experiences and increase capacity throughout the Slocan Valley. Centennial Campground in New Denver completed installation of a new septic system, an automatic pay system, a sani-dump station, a winterized washroom building and signage. In addition, the Silverton Municipal Lakeside Campground received upgrades to their camp-host and washroom building.
“Kootenay Rockies Tourism has worked hard to bring partners together to improve and upgrade amenities and tourism infrastructure in its region,” said Lisa Beare, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport. “These projects provide richer experiences for communities and people visiting campgrounds, mountain bike trails, regional parks and historical sites. I am proud of the investments we made in tourism recovery in British Columbia and the progress we’re making together.”