Spa­niard’s Bay OKs tourism com­mit­tee

Town sanc­tion group will work to at­tract vis­i­tors

The Compass - - Editorial - BY CHRIS LEWIS chris.lewis@cb­n­com­pass.ca

Spa­niard’s Bay coun­cil is look­ing to add an­other com­mit­tee to its list.

Dur­ing a reg­u­lar coun­cil meet­ing held on Tues­day night, April 4th in Spa­niard’s Bay, the idea of form­ing a tourism com­mit­tee was brought up by Deputy Mayor Dar­lene Stamp.

Stamp ex­pressed her de­sire to start up a com­mit­tee early into Tues­day night’s meet­ing, not­ing that the town of Spa­niard’s Bay has a lot to of­fer tourists, but no proper means of find­ing out what there is to do in the com­mu­nity, or where to go to en­joy all it has to of­fer.

Be­fore get­ting too into de­tail, Stamp made a mo­tion to es­tab­lish the com­mit­tee with a $1,000 start-up fee, as well as an ex­tra $1,000 to pur­chase and in­stall a sign in the com­mu­nity to ad­ver­tise tourism and the town’s her­itage build­ing.

Stamp’s mo­tion was car­ried unan­i­mously.

“Ba­si­cally, tourism pro­motes jobs in the tourism sec­tors, such as restau­rants, B&Bs, craft stores, and other lo­cal busi­nesses. That brings money into our com­mu­nity, which we can then put to­ward in­fra­struc­ture and other such things,” Stamp said dur­ing the meet­ing. “It also raises aware­ness in the com­mu­nity for what we have to of­fer, and pro­motes fu­ture growth within the res­i­den­tial and busi­ness sec­tors.”

By form­ing the com­mit­tee, Stamp said the ul­ti­mate goal is to en­tice vis­i­tors to not only come to Spa­niard’s Bay, but to stay there and spend time in the com­mu­nity.

Stamp also ex­plained that some of the ma­jor ob­jec­tives of the com­mit­tee are very busi­ness-cen­tric, with a sig­nif­i­cant fo­cus on pin­point­ing and ad­dress­ing any com­mon prob­lems and is­sues lo­cal busi­nesses are hav­ing in the com­mu­nity.

Along­side this, she hopes to see the com­mit­tee pro­mot­ing Spa­niard’s Bay to tourists by iden­ti­fy­ing what ser­vices and other sup­ports vis­i­tors would need in or­der to make them stay longer than a sin­gle day or night.

A com­pre­hen­sive com­mu­nity tourism plan is also one of the goals the com­mit­tee has on its radar at the mo­ment, which will help them to pro­vide coun­cil with a set of rec­om­men­da­tions, based on their re­search find­ings, to pro­mote tourism as a whole.

Although the com­mit­tee is still in the early stages of de­vel­op­ment, their long-term goal is to ul­ti­mately at­tract more peo­ple to the area.

“Right now, my­self and a cou­ple oth­ers are work­ing to­gether on the de­vel­op­ment of the com­mit­tee – we’re work­ing on some of the back­ground stuff, putting to­gether a mission state­ment and all that,” said Stamp. “We’re try­ing to drum up some names of peo­ple in the com­mu­nity who would be in­ter­ested in join­ing the com­mit­tee, too. We’re look­ing at peo­ple in the busi­ness sec­tor and things like that, and then from there we’ll go to the gen­eral pub­lic to see if any­one from the pub­lic would be in­ter­ested. But we haven’t re­ally reached out to any­one just yet, like I said, we’re still in the early stages of get­ting ev­ery­thing to­gether.”

Stamp said mem­bers of the com­mit­tee would need to have a fair bit of spare time, as there is plenty of re­search that needs to be done to achieve the com­mit­tee’s goals, as well as hourly com­mit­ments on a weekly ba­sis. Iden­ti­fy­ing lo­cal busi­nesses, nat­u­ral re­sources, and all the other things that will at­tract tourists is the num­ber one task com­mit­tee mem­bers will en­gage in.

Along­side the $1,000 start-up costs, Stamp re­quested an ad­di­tional $1,000 for a three-by-four sign to be placed around the town’s gazebo – a lo­ca­tion eas­ily seen by vis­i­tors.

“The sign will, hope­fully, get peo­ple’s at­ten­tion and guide them down to the her­itage build­ing. Stu­dents that are work­ing there over the sum­mer can give them a brochure that’ll show them all there is to do and see here, and an­swer some ques­tions they might have,” she said. “We’ve got a lot here in this com­mu­nity that can at­tract tourism, and hope­fully this can help pro­mote that.”

Du­pli­ca­tions

Later in Tues­day night’s meet­ing, Mayor Paul Brazil brought up an is­sue that has con­fused vis­i­tors and res­i­dents alike. He noted that there are sev­eral streets in the area with al­most iden­ti­cal names, with some only iden­ti­fi­able by the word Lane or Road at the end, such as Butts Lane.

While Brazil ad­mit­ted there was noth­ing they could do to im­me­di­ately solve the prob­lem, he said it was some­thing that could not be over­looked, as, above all else, he saw it as a ma­jor safety con­cern.

“I’m sure peo­ple who have lived here their whole lives know the dif­fer­ence be­tween one road and the other, but that’s not the case for peo­ple who move into the com­mu­nity,” he said. “What if a fire­fighter, who moved here from the west coast, had to re­spond to a fire and ended up on the wrong road, just be­cause there were two with al­most the same name? That’s a big is­sue, and def­i­nitely a ma­jor safety con­cern.”

Brazil ac­knowl­edged some res­i­dents may be op­posed to the idea, as many have grown up in the area and may not be so invit­ing to the idea of chang­ing their street name.

“No doubt it will be an in­con­ve­nience to some res­i­dents. They’d have to change their mail­ing ad­dress, and any­thing else that re­quires that kind of in­for­ma­tion. I un­der­stand that would be frus­trat­ing, but it’s got to be done one way or an­other.”

While no plans are set in stone to rem­edy the is­sue, coun­cil agreed to look into in the near fu­ture.

COM­PASS FILE PHOTO

The Town of Spa­niard’s Bay ap­proved a mo­tion to es­tab­lish a tourism com­mit­tee.

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