Funds are being pumped into local tourism projects to boost economies and help communities recover from the pandemic.
Coldstream’s Okanagan Rail Trail station has secured the largest share of funds, from the provinces Community Economy Recovery Infrastructure Program.
The station, set to start construction in the coming weeks, has taken “a major step forward,” according to the District of Coldstream, with $624,257. The project valued at $1.6 million was recently awarded to TKI Construction of Kelowna and is anticipated to be completed by the end of June 2022. It will include an event plaza, public washrooms, parking and visitor information and act as a central gathering area for the rail trail.
The Greater Vernon Museum and Archives received $280,896 for the culture heritage and enhancement.
Historic O’Keefe Ranch got $245,085 for its glamping park establishment. Two of the eight planned sites will be ready to rent in the spring, with the remainder becoming available as they are completed. Site will booked through AirBnB.
“The Glamping Park is expected to draw out-of-country visitors to the Vernon area due to the rising popularity of international tourists who wish to experience, ‘roughing it in the wild west,’” the ranch said.
Vernon visitor kiosks also received $242,000.
“Vernon is an incredible hub for arts, culture, and recreation in the Okanagan, and the industry plays a vital role in our local economy and creating opportunities for people,” Vernon-Monashee MLA Harwinder Sandhu said. “I’m so glad we’re able to support this work with these important infrastructure upgrades, creating new opportunities for visitors to our region and helping people explore even more of the North Okanagan.”
The funding for these projects is part of a $21.3 million investment for destination development projects.