By Eric Elliott
New to the Columbia Valley and looking for activities to do? Soon that information will be readily available as the Columbia Valley Tourism Marketing Committee is planning to erect multiple road signs to direct people to the must-see areas throughout the valley.
The Tourism Marketing Committee came together looking for new ideas to help visitors and newly-arrived residents find ways to the areas biggest attractions such as beaches, museums, golf courses, libraries and ski hills in the area that arent well-known.
Currently, if people wanted to get this type of information, they could still go to the Visitor Centres and get in-depth background on where to go and what to see, but Valerie Bracken, a member of the committee, said that many visitors dont want to stop in and that the signs will make getting this information much easier.
Theyll see the large map and theyll know that they can stop at that location and locate what theyre looking for, she said. It gets people out and about and if people are touring up and down the Columbia Valley, it also contributes to the local economy and getting people out and about and around the valley.
The committee plans to put up 12 signs throughout the valley on pullouts near Highway 93 and 95 starting in Brisco and going all the way to Canal Flats. According to Ms. Bracken, the cost for each sign will be approximately $12,000 and will be paid for by the Columbia Valley Chamber of Commerce in addition to other organizations to which they are applying for funding.
Ms. Bracken said that having 12 signs spread out will help visitors and residents around the valley explore what there is to do in each individual area.
The majority of the attractions or activities have no cost associated, (so it gives) them access to more activities to enjoy no matter what their budget it, she said.
Currently, the committee is still working with towns and villages to determine the locations of the signs while adjusting the size of the signs down to four by eight feet. They are currently working on the final details of the designs with branding, hoping to incorporate several of the top hiking and biking trails in the area, Ms. Bracken said.
She said one of the main motivations behind this idea is to encourage people to extend their visits beyond a couple days once they realize just how much there is to do in the area.
Were hoping to increase peoples stay. The more they have to do, the longer theyll stay here.
There is no current timeline on the construction of the signs, but once completed, they will mark the Columbia Valleys first valley-wide branding initiative introducing the communitys new brand.