It will be one-stop shopping for tourist information, but one politician expects some white-knuckle moments trying to get there.
Coun. Bob Spiers opposes the city’s decision to centralize visitor information services to 3004 39th Ave., next to Civic Arena, in the spring.
“The location will cause problems,” said Spiers. “Try and make a left-hand turn off a major highway.”
The intersection of 32nd Street (Highway 97) and 39th Avenue does not have a designated left-turn signal so Spiers says southbound tourists will either back up traffic or take chances to turn across the northbound lanes to get to the centre.
“Traffic won’t come to that location.”
However, city staff say the old Correale building was selected partially because there is easy access from Highway 97 and the RV sani-dump is next door.
“We went through a real exhaustive site search,” said Kevin Poole, economic development manager.
Other attributes to the property are that it’s already owned by the city and is within walking distance of restaurants and shops.
Centralization means the current north and south visitor centres will be closed.
That move will save the city about $60,000 to $70,000 a year, with much of that money going to marketing Vernon as a destination. It is also expected there will be staff efficiencies under one roof.
However, $292,215 will have to be spent on renovations to the building and the property.
“We want it to be appealing as possible,” said Poole, adding that the long-term plans are for a park if Civic Arena is eventually closed.
Coun. Mary-Jo O’Keefe believes tourists will find the new facility.
“With proper signage, people will be able to access the centre properly,” she said.