It’s only an idea at this stage, but a plan has been launched to build a tourist centre at the west end of town.
Gary Arsenault of Green Emerald Investments Inc. has been floating a proposal to build a tourist centre on property near Buckerfield’s that was purchased by the city to accommodate a future intersection near the former Canadian Tire.
He visited the Salmon Arm Chamber of Commerce, outlining the proposal that could potentially include the Visitor Centre, the Chamber of Commerce office, Economic Development, a service station and a sani-dump.
“It would make it very convenient for RVs – they can’t stop at the (current) tourist info centre, there’s no parking…,” he said, noting that recreational vehicles are gaining popularity, even with young families.
The site would be ideal when the road to Buckerfield’s, 17th Street SW, is closed off to accommodate a new intersection, he says.
“It would be a perfect location and would really help put Salmon Arm on the RV map.”
His concept would complement the shopping centre proposed for the Adams Lake Band’s Lot 7, between the rear of the Mall at Piccadilly and the Trans-Canada Highway, possibly including a portion of that land as well. That project is being headed up by Mike Fowler of Richmond, who took over from Glen Bury of Full Circle Shopping Centres Ltd.
Jim Kimmerly, president of the chamber, said the chamber would be interested but the plan is speculative at this point.
“It would make good sense if it did get built; it would be a good location…”
Mayor Nancy Cooper agrees a tourist centre would be an option.
“When Gary talked to me, he was talking about the Adams Lake Band Lot 7 development and an idea of a tourism centre on that property… As part of our conversation, I said the city property you are asking about might be an option someday for some type of Visitors Information Centre,” she wrote in an email. “The property near Buckerfield’s was purchased by the city because the long-term TCH plan includes, as future development occurs, traffic signals in that area.
“However, the property required for traffic signals will not utilize the entire property, leaving choices for a future council to decide how best to use it. This council has talked about some general possibilities, realizing it may not be up to them to determine but rather, as I said, the decision of a future council.”