It has been a hectic summer for everyone at the Creston Valley Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Centre.
We have just said goodbye to our two student councillors, Jayme and Caitlyn. They were a great help during a busy summer tourist season. Best of luck to them in their studies!
There were some interesting occurrences this summer. We actually had more visitors this year than the same period last summer, bucking the trend in many parts of B.C. Curiously, the rainy month of June saw us double our Visitor Centre numbers. We have also seen an unusually high number of tourists from far reaching parts of the United States — Michigan, Tennessee, Arkansas, Vermont, Massachusetts, Florida and Texas. Part of the credit for that must go to the International Selkirk Loop. Those folks are doing a terrific job promoting the entire area and especially the top 10 scenic drives in North America.
A great addition this year was the summer art show put on by Artistic Visions as our entry in Artwalk. The amount of talent on display was amazing. The show was a welcome extra reason to stay in the Visitor Centre a while longer, which gives more time to learn about other local attractions. Of course, giving tourists reasons to stay in the valley longer is one of our main goals!
We also helped several people interested in moving to the area, including a few that are interested in setting up, or in the process of setting up, new businesses. Very exciting stuff!
A lot of work is going into the branding project. Info gathering, fact checking, design ideas and more are all a part of the plan for how we can better tell our story and help attract even more visitors to our valley.
Meanwhile, we are busy getting ready for the fall, Christmas and even next year!
Small business week is mid-October. We are busy planning an event in the middle of the week, including organizing a sequel to “Common Ground”, which took place in 2010. Not too far after that is the Santa Claus Parade and Christmas celebration. We are constantly gathering info and looking for improvements for our annual visitors’ guide (published for us by the Creston Valley Advance). Plus, we have work on the annual spring Home and Garden Show.
Meanwhile, we are kicking off a membership drive for the chamber of commerce. We are a membership-based organization and cannot do the work we do without your help. We are always working to improve on the way we do things and the things we do. We want to start by asking a simple question, “What do you want us to do?” We welcome your thoughts, ideas and suggestions. Call me at the chamber of commerce and we can talk.
Jim Jacobsen is the executive director of the Creston Valley Chamber of Commerce. He can be reached at 250-428-4342 or firstname.lastname@example.org.