New building at the Cottonwood Park campsites to provide new access to power and storage for campers. (Willa Crowley photo)

District of Fort St. James gearing up to attract tourists

Five-year tourism plan discussed

  • Jul. 22, 2021 12:00 a.m.

Submitted by Willa Crowley

The District of Fort St. James is hoping to attract more tourists to the community.

The district received grant funding of $165,000, to spend on resident attractions and are slowly implementing projects. The tourism committee -which contains ten members – has come up with a five-year tourism plan.

As part of the five-year tourism plan, the district will be bringing in a photographer and videographer to update their digital presence including updating their website and social media account. Brooke Eschuk, the district’s economic development officer said the district hopes that this will convince people to leave the city and move to Fort St. James. She also noted that community consultations will take place during the implementation of the five-year tourism plan, which is now available to the public.

Eschuk added that the district is always open to suggestions regarding tourism. To make suggestions, residents can go to the muncipal office. Additionally, there are virtual tourism committee meetings currently being held once a month and are open to the public.

Meanwhile, the district is interested in having a food truck at Cottonwood Park and interested entrepreneurs can reach out to the municipal office to discuss permits.

Many residents have also been wondering about the new building down at the Cottonwood Park campsite. This building provides new access to power and storage for campers, so they can park their RVs at the beach for extended periods. Not only does this make the site more appealing, but it also eliminates the use of generators, which create noise and pollution.

Modeled after the buildings at the local National Historic Site, it was designed and built by Chad Lantz of Nextech. They designed it to have a timber frame look.

Lastly, Bob Grill, manager for the National Historic Site, and chair of the tourism committee, said that the district knows what tourists want, based on visitor surveys filled out at the National Historic Site. The Site has recently added a map mural and banners, directing tourists to fun activities around town. The mural and banners were designed by Vanessa Funk.

With these recent efforts across the community, the district hopes to attract greater diversity and income to Fort St. James.

ALSO READ: B.C. COVID-19 recovery fund aids 60 Indigenous tourism projects

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