Despite a rumour last week the city’s winter shuttle service to Red Mountain Resort was to be shuffled, the game is still afoot and awaits a word from the province.
Enthusiasm had been flagging for the shuttle bus—that would have linked Red Mountain and the city’s downtown in a daily, continuous service—heading into a regular board meeting for Tourism Rossland on July 24, but an internal vote delayed a decision on the proposal’s fate until an inspector from Destination B.C. finishes up in Rossland next week.
The inspector will give the word if the city will have the required number of approved accommodation rooms—450 and over—to give the city a two per cent share of the Resort Municipality Initiative (RMI) funding from the province, up from one per cent.
That extra money, around $48,000, could become the ticket needed to help fund the $78,000 service, said Tourism Rossland’s executive director Deanne Steven.
“If they approve the number of accommodations then the board will go back to the city with another proposal for two per cent,” she said. “The decision for the shuttle rests upon what the city does, Tourism Rossland cannot do it without the money.”
Tourism Rossland is a non profit society and it is not their mandate to provide transportation, although it operated a limited service from the city’s downtown to the ski hill for the first time last year.
The service was a pilot project and it was hoped it would provide the impetus for establishing a daily, continuous service for this year—something the ski resort and the business community have stressed is vital for economic survival.
Steven said TR had raised $22,375 in support from local businesses and organizations for the shuttle bus and are working with a supplier to negotiate terms of a contract.
“But if we don’t get that (RMI) money we have nothing to match it against,” she said.
And with Tourism Rossland having increased shuttle service to and from the Spokane Airport, via Rossland, through to Nelson for the coming winter that means more people will be coming to the region without vehicle transportation.
“So we are getting people here now without cars, and we are encouraging people to do it that way, so there needs to be a way to transport people around once they get there,” said Steven. “We have to figure out where to start with it all,” and that start is a daily bus shuttle to the ski hill.
Based on the two per cent tax there could be an annual cost drawn from the RMI of $48,000 for the shuttle service. The expanded scope of the service would cost around $78,000 for the season. Last year it cost TR $14,000 to operate the shuttle on a much more limited basis.
The two per cent is the calculated portion of the hotel room tax the city—directed by Tourism Rossland—receives from the province from its general revenue.
It’s time for an Internet make over for Rossland.
Although the Rossland splash page isn’t ready yet the Tourism Rossland page will be revamped this week and loaded.
The splash page—an introduction page on a website—contains Tourism Rossland, the City of Rossland, the Rossland Chamber of Commerce and Rossland events.
The Tourism Rossland page will contain road biking maps, hiking maps, pictures, photo tours and reams of information on the city and the area embedded so people can tour around the businesses and the region and get an idea of what Rossland has to offer.
You can check out the new website in the coming days at http://www.tourismrossland.com.