On June 7th Tumbler Ridge Visitor Centre staff held an Open House, offering a free barbeque and asking guests to complete an interesting questionnaire.
There are several positive changes around the Tumbler Ridge Visitor Centre. The seasonal information Booth changed the status to year-round operating Visitor Centre (the name Visitor Info Centre officially changed to Visitor Centre (VC)).The new manager, Doreen Young, is a long time resident of Tumbler Ridge, who has plenty of experience, knowledge and enthusiasm to provide competent service to the visitors and residents. Currently the VC is open seven days a week, but closed for lunch. After June 28th Young will have support from two summer students. Megan Vivian is coming back for her third year, and Shayna Isaak will be working for the second year in this exciting job.
With the help of the students the VC will be open seven days a week, eight hours a day from 9 AM to 5PM.
The Open House was the start of ?Be a Tourist in Your Own Town? tourism campaign. The visitors of the VC were encouraged to participate in a questionnaire and survey about Tumbler Ridge tourism attractions. Even long time residents felt challenged by some of the questions. Where is Nemoto Plaza? At what hiking destination will you find Chimney Rock??? How high are Kinuseo Falls? were some of the 15 questions asked. The VC staff counted 54 people (15 residents) who completed the questionnaire between 11AM and 1PM. It is a promising start of the tourist summer season 2008.
704 visitors came to the VC since it opened on May 13th. Up to 90 people a day were provided with information so far and the expectation is that up to 300 visitors a day will be served in the coming peak season.
Almost daily there is some new information to find in the Visitor Centre. Charles Helm?s new book ?Exploring Tumbler Ridge? (available at the VC and local stores, with a website opening soon) and the opening of the Monkman Pass Memorial Trail on July 17th are the outdoors-highlights of the Tumbler Ridge summer 2008.
August offers three weekend activities of outdoors and culture; Grizfest Music Festival, the Emperor?s Challenge Half-Marathon and Creative Peace Arts and Outdoors weekend at Gwillim Lake.
Tumbler Ridge?s tourism is taking form. 2008 is the first year with tour operators in the Monkaman Provincial Park. Guided hikes, heli-tours and boat tours are now available to fully enjoy the backcountry of the Park.
The Tumbler Ridge events are posted and the VC manager encourages groups to make information about their activities available.