Resort Municipality Initiative money aides tourism in Golden

The BC government continued to work with Golden in sharing out RMI money.

The government of British Columbia is continuing to invest in projects this year that help support tourism infrastructure and programming in Golden,

Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour Pat Bell announced the funding as part of the B.C. government’s Resort Municipality  Initiative (RMI) program.

In total Golden receives $529,534 from the program to help develop the area’s tourism potential.

“Our government recognizes how important a role resort municipalities play in the economic prosperity of our province. This initiative provides local governments with the financial certainty to facilitate a great visitor experience and ensure visitors will return,” Bell said.

Town of Golden Manager of Corporate Administration, Jon Wilsgard, explained this money helps Golden complete projects which would be difficult to fund from other sources.

“The money provides us the ability to build tourism product and infrastructure which we would never have the ability to fund under normal tax payer regimes.”

He went on and said the money goes towards projects in the Town’s five-year plan which, the town must deliver on 11 projects in the area.

“They are things which tourists expect and demand. Examples are having trail systems which are nicely signed, a finished nordic centre, and other projects which will add to all of this,” he said.

Wilsgard said projects like having a permanent hub in Spirit Square, which would include a stage and better bathrooms ,and work along the Trans Canada Highway are being looked at for the future.

The program is incentive-driven, with contributions based on accommodation revenues from the previous year of business in 14 eligible municipalities. Some examples of RMI projects that have been funded throughout the 14 municipalities include trail system maintenance, public art, visitor centre enhancements, shuttle services and visitor sign improvements.

Joanne Sweeting, marketing manager, Tourism Golden said that, “Golden has a unique location between the Rocky and Columbia Mountains of B.C. and at the confluence of the Kicking Horse and Columbia rivers. Close to five national parks and with a myriad of outdoor activities on our doorstep, the Province’s Resort Municipality Initiative allows us to promote and improve our community alongside the natural assets that we boast. Golden is truly fortunate to have access to this program.”