Penticton’s tourism advocates said they’re happy to be moving into the old tourism location on Westminster Avenue early next year.
Travel Penticton headed to council this summer to make their case for a $250,000 investment from the city to help build a new headquarters on the South Okanagan Events Centre campus, which was turned back at the time, but executive director Thom Tischik said the group has found a new, suitable location.
Their new digs will be the old spot for Tourism Penticton, also on the SOEC campus, but in a rustic, green-tinted building at 888 Westminster Ave.
“It’ll be great for what we need. It’ll actually have an all-in-one location, which is excellent. This is what we’ve been looking for,” he said. “We’re really, actually, quite grateful to the city for pulling this together for us. Otherwise we’d be looking for a commercial space somewhere.”
The move saves the city and Travel Penticton hundreds of thousands of dollars that would have been invested into a new building — the proposal that made it to council in summer was estimated at $450,000, with $200,000 coming from the tourism association.
Though the group had been given until the end of the summer to move out, Barb Haynes had told council at the time “probably, we could fudge until October.”
Tischik now said Travel Penticton will likely be moving into its new spot in January 2018.
Though it isn’t on the highway anymore, Tischik said the travel group is looking to reach tourists by other means.
“We will still look at having for the summer to help out … a second, either mobile or temporary location in the summer in a spot that’s got good traffic,” he said. “If we use a small van, or, I’ve been looking around at different places that use other kind of mobile technologies with e-bikes and that kind of thing.”
Tischik said the group will also be putting more into its mobile phone efforts, though he didn’t expand on that.
“But, we still want to be able to engage with our visitors while they’re here.”