Town develops new Resort Development Strategy

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The Town of Golden released an updated Resort Development Strategy this week, outlining the vision, goals, and key projects for the Resort Municipality Initiative (RMI) funding for 2019 to 2021.

“With over $9 million awarded to the community of Golden through the RMI over the last 12 years, we have been able to fund, upgrade, and invest in Golden’s community tourism infrastructure,” said Mayor Ron Oszust. “We are happy to release the new Resort Development Strategy and look forward to Golden continuing as a strong tourism destination for years to come.”

Golden is one of 14 communities in British Columbia that has been designated a Resort Municipality as part of the Province of B.C.’s RMI. In 2018, the Province announced an extension of the program, giving it a status of permanency. Since the announcement, Town of Golden staff and the RMI advisory committee have been working to develop an updated Resort Development Strategy. The strategy was approved by the Province in June 2019.

Golden has been a designated resort region in the RMI since the program’s inception in 2007 and has accomplished a great deal in terms of projects and programming.

The program provides funding for special amenities and programming that most communities could not otherwise afford, but are required to meet the expectations of visitors and residents alike from a tourism infrastructure perspective.

“Thanks to public feedback through our online survey, and the hard work of our RMI advisory committee in idealizing some exciting projects, we have a solid Resort Development Strategy for Golden moving forward,” said Jon Wilsgard, Town of Golden chief administrative officer.

The new strategy focuses on six overarching goals, with five tourism infrastructure projects and three tourism related programs, services, or events to be completed or supported between 2019 and 2021.

Resort Development Strategy goals focus on improving and enhancing the built environment, enhancing cultural vibrancy and identity, enhancing key existing tourism product infrastructure, diversifying municipal tax revenue, increasing visitation and length of stay, and fostering environmental responsibility and sustainability.

Tourism infrastructure projects:

1. Trail systems: upgrades and finishing components to the Selkirk Connector trail and additional work as determined by the Regional Trail Strategy for Golden and Electoral Area A.

2. Dikes and waterfronts: beautification of a section of the Kicking Horse River dike and lane adjacent to Golden’s downtown.

3. Public spaces and facilities: enhancements to the downtown core and public spaces.

4. Vehicle corridors: continuation of the Highway 1 corridor enhancement project, including landscaping and additional signage.

5. Pedestrian: improve safety and walkability through pathway lights and improving wayfinding.

Tourism related programs, services, or events:

1. Services that improve recreational opportunities such as snowmobile trails grooming and cycling trails maintenance.

2. Increase events programming and event support. This includes increasing shoulder season festivals and activities.

3. Deliver arts, culture, and heritage programming through storytelling and a public art program.

The vision of the Resort Development Strategy is that Golden’s spectacular natural setting, history, and tradition inspire visitors from Canada and internationally to discover, explore, and stay in Kicking Horse Country.

For more information on the RMI and to view the updated Resort Development Strategy, visit www.golden.ca/RMI.

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