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Forums focus on making city a ‘resort municipality’

Anyone with a stake in the next five years of Rossland’s “Resort Development Strategy” is invited to participate in two upcoming public input sessions hosted by Tourism Rossland to ascertain community goals as a “resort municipality” and to brainstorm ideas and projects that will move Rossland towards those goals.

In particular, as a bona fide “resort municipality,” Rossland is eligible for a grant of $25,000 over five years if a feasible and beneficial plan for the funds is laid out in a resort development strategy submitted to the provincial government.

Rossland is one of 13 resort municipalities in the province, defined as such based on the central importance of a resort to the town, and if the town levies a hotel room tax — as Rossland does, at two per cent of the accommodation fee.

The Resort Municipality Initiative (RMI) government website says the RMI “was created to provide resort-oriented municipalities with new finance, development and business promotion tools to enhance the resort sector [and] allow the eligible municipalities to share a portion of hotel room tax to invest in local resort-oriented projects.”

Deanne Steven of Tourism Rossland explained, “[The RMI] is a way to get money back to communities that have resort developments.”

Everyone is welcome at the input sessions. The first session (May 18, 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Miners’ Hall) will introduce RMI, review the types of projects that are eligible for the funding, and participants will then brainstorm ideas and narrow them down to a shortlist of three.

The second session (May 31, 7:30 to 9:30 p.m.) will review research conducted on the feasibility of each of the ideas and the group will then come to consensus on one idea to pursue.

“The input I’m getting so far,” Steven said, “is that people want to look at transportation solutions. We need to improve our transportation between here and airports. We also need to improve our internal transport — we need a bus to the ski hill, which is something I harp on about every year!”

She said, however, that many different plans could be eligible for the funding and of great benefit to Rossland.

Tourism Rossland plans to submit the 2011 strategy by the June 15 deadline. More information on the RMI prior to the sessions can be obtained from Steven at deanne@tourismrossland.com.

 

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