By Claire Piech
Golden and Rossland have followed in Whistler’s footsteps to become the second and third communities in B.C. to enter into a Resort Municipality Revenue Sharing agreement with the province.
The agreements, signed two weeks ago, allow the communities to share a portion of the hotel room tax to invest in local resort-oriented projects and programs.
“Resort municipalities have unique demands and a limited tax base, but with this agreement these communities now also have additional resources to bring to life new local projects and amenities,” said Community Services Minister Ida Chong.
Under the agreement, Golden will receive an estimated $2.25 million over five years to invest in a comprehensive strategy to increase occupancy rates, visitor satisfaction, and local retail sales.
Rossland will receive an estimated $700,000 over five years to invest in downtown beautification projects and signage, which is hoped to increase visitor satisfaction.
Whistler became the first community to enter into the revenue sharing program in late March this year, when it signed an agreement that is expected to be worth an estimated $35 million over five years.
Whistler will be using the money to invest in a range of programs and projects, such as enhancing the village host and village information programs, holding cultural celebrations, adding to the trails network, and building employee housing and infrastructure. These investments are guided by the strategic priorities of Whistler2020, ensuring social and environmental sustainability and a healthy economy.
Ten other municipalities in BC are also eligible for the Resort Revenue Sharing agreements. They are: Fernie, Harrison Hot Springs, Invermere, Kimberley, Osoyoos, Radium Hot Springs, Revelstoke, Tofino, Ucluelet, and Valemount.