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Visitor centre proposed for downtown

Councillors continued their push for a new tourist visitor centre at the foot of Queensway Monday.
Image Credit: Google Streetview
January 21, 2014 - 11:57 AM

“Having a highway access is no longer a requirement.”

KELOWNA – Councillors continued their push for a new tourist visitor centre at the foot of Queensway Monday.

The 5000 sq. ft. building was originally intended to be built in City Park as part of a planned redevelopment. Tourism Kelowna Chairman Stan Martindale, however, says that the Queensway location, currently a parking lot, better suits the City’s goal of encouraging pedestrian traffic in the downtown area.

“The site at the end of Queensway … is a highly visible waterfront location in Kelowna’s principal urban centre,” says Planning Specialist Pat McCormick. “It’s close to public amenities, including City Park, Stuart Park, the newly-reconstructed Bernard Avenue, the new pier and marina as well as the city’s cultural district.”

McCormick says that the ways tourists explore the city is changing.

“Having a highway access is no longer a requirement and is becoming less and less desirable as time goes on,” he says. “Everyone has a GPS on their phone, on their tablet or built into their car. People aren’t coming into the centre looking for maps and directions.”

Councillor Colin Basran agrees that people no longer use visitors centres the same way they did even five years ago.

"It's pretty clear the role of visitor information centres is changing and that rubber and tire traffic interactions are clearly declining," he says. "I know there is talk that other communities in the province are closing their highway-centered centres and moving them to downtown, populated areas. The new centre needs to be where the people are because I know anytime I visit a new city I want to go downtown ... that's where the action is."

To contact the reporter for this story, email Adam Proskiw at aproskiw@infotelnews.ca, call (250) 718-0428 or tweet @AdamProskiw.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014
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