New office to oversee resort development 

The provincial government reinforced its commitment to resort development last week with the announcement that a new All Seasons Resorts Division has been created within Land and Water B.C.

The new office, which will be located in Kamloops, is intended to streamline resort development and attract new investment in resorts across B.C.

"The All Seasons Resorts Division (ASRD) will lead resort sector expansion by providing a one-point window of access to existing and new resort industry operators, local government, First Nations, other ministries and agencies," Minister of State for Resort Development Patty Sahota said in a release.

In 2003 the province struck a Resort Task Force, which was charged with identifying weaknesses and strengths to resort investment. Last fall a resort strategy was announced as part of the province’s plan to double the size of the tourism industry by 2015. The new ASRD office will be responsible for implementing the key initiatives of the resort strategy, including:

• Developing the new Master Development template and an All Seasons Resort policy framework;

• Proactively identifying new resort sites; developing and implementing a new provincial/local government integrated approval process;

• Reviewing new major all season resort proposals and expansions;

• Administering existing Resort Area Master Plans and Master Development Agreements (MDA) for all season resorts; and

• Linking marketing strategies through Tourism BC and the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games to promote the resort industry in the province.

The ASRD office creates 12 new jobs in Kamloops and injects $1.2 million into the local economy, Kamloops-North Thompson MLA Kevin Krueger said.

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