By Margaret Houben
A meeting for the Interlakes Destination Development Plan was held in Barriere at the Station House Restaurant on Nov. 16.
The goals of this plan are to make B.C. the most highly recommended destination in North America; to create a 10 year strategic plan for tourism development; and to elevate B.C.’s ability to compete as a premium destination. The goals of the meeting were to gather information to use in the creation of the 10 year strategic plan.
Facilitating the meeting was Jody Young, senior project advisor with Destination B.C., and Amy Thacker, from the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association.
Other stakeholders and representatives attending were: Lorne Richardson from the Lower North Thompson Tourism Society; Tiffany Weninger, owner of the Rivermount B&B; Tom Eustache, Simpcw First Nation Councillor; Brenda Ireland, from Aboriginal Tourism B.C.; Bill Kershaw, TNRD Area ‘O’ Director; Colleen Hannigan, CAO for the District of Barriere; Lean Klusa, representing the South Thompson Inn (Kamloop); and myself (Margaret Houben, North Thompson Star/Journal).
It was explained that geographically British Columbia has been split into 20 different pieces for this project.
The exact placing of these boarders was part of the discussion undertaken at this meeting. The section relating to the North Thompson and its communities runs from Blue River in the north down to Heffley Creek in the south, and from the edge of Highway 97 in the west to Adams Lake in the east.
The discussion then moved on to what the attendees saw as their vision for the next five to 10 years for this area. This included discussion about the maintenance of existing infrastructure and the need to put at least some of the tourism money generated back into maintenance.
Some of the suggestions of infrastructure that could use a bit of attention included better roads (ie: Adams Lake Road and Dunn Lake Road); better cell service for the entire area; availability of rentals (such as boats, bikes, etc.); sufficient restaurants and motels; and someone to maintain the many trails.
All the suggestions and comments gathered will be taken into consideration during the next steps in creating the strategic plan, which will begin in earnest this coming spring. For additional information on the program, or if you have any questions, please contact Amy Thacker at: firstname.lastname@example.org.