Additional money for tourism marketing

Increased money will be spent on encouraging tourists to spend time in Vernon.

Increased money will be spent on encouraging tourists to spend time in Vernon.

The city will direct $71,064 in surplus hotel room tax funds towards spring and fall marketing projects.

“It’s needed given the circumstances out there,” said Coun. Patrick Nicol referring to the impact constant rain has been having on tourism businesses.

Coun. Mary-Jo O’Keefe wants assurances there’s a plan for anticipated room tax surpluses in the 2013 budget.

“There’s merit to doing these initiatives when people are still in the decision-making phase of holidays, which is in the spring and not in the summer,” she said.

City plugs into grant

Vernon wants to be prepared for more electric cars taking to local roads.

The city is seeking an $8,000 provincial grant for an electric vehicle charging station. If approved, the city would contribute $3,300 to the project.

While support for the grant application was unanimous, Coun. Bob Spiers has some questions.

“It sounds like a great thing we’re doing for two or three electric cars and hybrids. Why doesn’t a gas station jump in and do it if this is such a great thing?” he said.

Predator change proposed

There may eventually be more people living at Predator Ridge.

Vernon council supports an application to amend the definition for the cottage tourist use so up to 30 per cent of the cottages in a strata development at Predator can be permanent residences.

Presently, the owner can only live on site for 180 days with the rest of the time designated for tourist accommodations.

City staff has endorsed the proposal because it would increase the population base at Predator.

“It adds more vitality and security and supports local businesses,” said Kim Flick, community development manager.

If the change is approved, 70 per cent of the cottages would remain primarily for tourist accommodations.