Tourism P.G. – Matter of Visitor Centre Relocation Raised Again
Prince George, B.C.- The hotel room tax is expected to bring in nearly a million dollars to Tourism Prince George this year, and that will go a long way to meeting their budget targets.
But while the income and expenditures for 2017 will see a 4% boost to operating costs, and a 4.4% increase in capital spending to upgrade the Visitor’s Centre, it was the matter of the location of the Visitors Centre that sparked more discussion.
The First Avenue location of the Visitor’s Centre is not ideal for some who come to the City, and it has long been known the Mayor, and some members of Council would like to see a Visitor’s Centre located in the area of the intersection of 16 and 97.
There had been a visitors centre there, but it was in need of significant upgrades and was sitting on leased land. Access to the Visitor’s Centre at that location was anything but ideal.
Tourism P.G. CEO Erica Hummell says while the Board for Tourism P.G. has discussed the idea of a better location for a Visitor’s Centre, there would need to be considerable consultation with visitors to gather their thoughts on possible alternate locations. Mayor Lyn Hall has often said he would like to see the centre moved to a higher profile location.
But there has never been any sort of formal analysis on the idea of moving the Centre to the Highway 16/97 location.
“It certainly is , in my estimation , a prime location for a tourist information site” said Mayor Hall, but adds “I suspect there is a healthy dollar involved.”
Councillor Albert Koehler says it would be worthwhile to explore the issue “Because up until now, we haven’t done anything.”
Manager of Development and Planning, Ian Wells says his department will “explore opportunities as they become available in that area.”
Administration will have a conversation with Tourism Prince George to see if there is any desire to further explore the idea.