The Annual Resort Municipality Initiative Report is in, and Golden has some great progress to detail.
The past five years have been a “whirlwind of activity,” and now in the calmer period, the fruits of these labours are starting to show.
“Continuing evidence of the value of projects completed in the original five-year period became evident in the statistics associated with the use of facilities and amenities in the community provided by their managing organizations,” reads the report.
This is most evident through the increasing popularity of the Golden Civic Centre, managed by Kicking Horse Culture.
“The Civic Centre’s use has increased immensely; wedding bookings from Alberta are up 300 per cent since its renovation… This alone has created an increased awareness of this community.”
The community’s Spirit Square, a former RMI project, has also seen a substantial increase in usage, including two weddings, and a jump in attendance at the summer concert series from 300 in 2006, to 3,600 in 2012.
Tourism has been a bit stagnant the past several years, as has much of the economy, but according to the report, 2012 “marks a definitive turn around for the tourism sector in the community… visitor supported sectors began to see increases for the first time in several years.”
The accommodation sector saw its highest revenue since 2008, although still lower than their revenues in 2006, their base year. The number of business licenses in the tourism sector has gone up 29 per cent since the base year, for a total of 126.
The Visitor Centre saw a notable increase as well. In 2012 their visits averaged at 17.9 per hour, 52,000 overall, which is a nine per cent increase from the previous year and a nine per cent increase from the base year.
The report concluded, “The benefits of RMI program accomplishments are not always immediately apparent, but are revealed through time.”