June 13, 2014 - 12:29 PM
VERNON – The push for an Okanagan rail trail is picking up steam.
The Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce has joined the movement to preserve the rail bed between Vernon and Kelowna as a recreational corridor.
The chamber unanimously passed a motion to call on all levels of government to take a leadership role in advancing the concept of the rail to trail initiative.
“The closure of the railway harmed many businesses along the Vernon–Kelowna corridor. The best alternative for our economy is the creation of a regional trail,” chamber president Adrian Johnson said in a press release. “The clock is ticking. There is less than four months for government to act before CN simply divides up the property and sells it off bit by bit. That would ultimately see a great opportunity pass us by.”
The chamber will reach out to its counterparts in the region to secure their support and to prompt interested parties to come together to establish a long term plan for converting the rail line into a multi-use trail.
“Our chamber would like to see a collaborative effort to establish a trail that would create business opportunities throughout the region,” general manager Dan Rogers said.
A recent economic impact study competed for the Okanagan Rail Trail Initiative indicated the proposed trail would generate millions of dollars every year in additional tourism spending in the Okanagan.
“GVCC’s support demonstrates how important the potential trail is for the business community,” spokesperson for the Okanagan Rail Trail Initiative Brad Clements said.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014