Kamloops Chamber of Commerce on the move
After 73 years in the city’s Visitor Centre, the Kamloops Chamber of Commerce is headed downtown.
The chamber is moving to new offices at 615 Victoria St., as Tourism Kamloops takes over the reigns of the centre.
Though the chamber has run the tourist-information centre since 1939, chamber executive director Deb McClelland said the organization had been looking to hand the operation over to Tourism Kamloops.
“Tourism Kamloops was new back in the day when we were making those plans and, now, obviously, because they are the tourism-marketing association of record here in Kamloops, we just thought it was a better fit for them,” she said.
McClelland said downtown is a good fit for the chamber, as 85 per cent of its members operate in that area. A grand opening at the new location is planned for February.
The Visitor Centre is funded through a mix of city contributions and funds from the provincial and federal governments. The chamber has also subsidized the centre in the past, but has severed its financial ties with the move.
Mayor Peter Milobar said the city will step up its annual contribution to the centre by about $10,000 for a total of about $123,000 in funding. Tourism Kamloops’ yearly operating grant of $250,000 is not affected by the Visitor Centre handover.
Tourism Kamloops CEO Lee Morris said her organization will use some of its marketing budget — which primarily comes from hotel-tax revenues — to expand the centre’s hours of service during peak months.
Morris said Tourism Kamloops is also planning to renovate the centre.
Improvements may include touchpads outside the building, which travellers can use to access information during off-hours.
“There’s a lot of new ideas floating around, but I think the key is to modernize the look and the feel of the Visitors Centre on the inside,” Morris said.
Renovations will likely start in late February, Morris said, with the goal to have work completed before the May long weekend.