As we head into summer, you may want to include Fernie in your travel plans.
The city is making a name for itself nationwide, thanks to improvements to its trail system and due to events such as the Fernie 3 mountain bike race.
Beautiful mountain scenery and single-track trails are big draws for the race, taking place June 27-29.
Resort Municipality Initiative (RMI) funding worth $9,000 has gone toward the race. Additional funding has been directed to buying a stage, crowd-control barriers and general event equipment that will also be used for other events in Fernie.
Meantime, Fernie’s trail system was recently showcased in the Globe and Mail (article link below). While the city is getting positive attention nationally, even more improvements to the trail system are being made courtesy of RMI funding. In 2014, $41,000 in funding went to the Fernie Trails Alliance for trail development. The Fernie Trails Alliance maintains responsible non-motorized trail access on Crown lands and private lands in the Fernie area.
RMI is a $10.5-million-a-year program that addresses the unique circumstances of resort-oriented municipalities to help them develop and enhance local tourism-related infrastructure and amenities.
Bill Bennett, MLA East Kootenay, said, “Fernie is a must-see travel destination for four-season outdoor enthusiasts. This RMI funding will enhance Fernie’s growing reputation and draw visitors from every direction for the benefit of the region.”
Along with Fernie, communities that participate in the RMI program include Golden, Harrison Hot Springs, Invermere, Kimberley, Osoyoos, Radium Hot Springs, Revelstoke, Rossland, Sun Peaks, Tofino, Ucluelet, Valemount and Whistler. Since 2009, Fernie has received $2,454,207 in funding from the RMI program.
Mary Giuliano, mayor of Fernie, said, “The RMI Program has had a huge impact on our community. This is a key example of an initiative that couldn’t have been taken on if not for the funding made available through the RMI program. Significant progress was made on the Nordic trail network enhancements and other trails within and around the city. As well, art walks, concert series and the winter shuttle have all benefitted by RMI funding as have many organizations and projects. This is a great program that benefits tourists and residents alike.”
To keep B.C.’s economy diverse, strong and growing, since September 2011 the BC Jobs Plan has been building on the strengths of eight of our province’s key sectors using our educated and skilled workforce. B.C.’s tourism sector is one of the eight key sectors identified in the BC Jobs Plan, creating more than 132,200 jobs and $13.9 billion in revenues across the province in 2013. Since RMI inception in 2007, over $87.6 million has been invested in tourism infrastructure and programs to support local and regional tourism economies in the 14 participating communities.
-RMI supports the Province’s tourism strategy – Gaining the Edge and the BC Jobs Plan.
– In 2014, 4.7 million international visitors came to B.C. – a 5.3% increase and nearly a quarter of a million more people than the previous year.
To learn more about the RMI program, click here.