Tourism service proposal accepted by council
Chamber and city back in visitor info business together
Saturday, Feb 22, 2014 06:00 am
The city and the St. Albert and District Chamber of Commerce have hammered out a deal that will see tourism services return to 71 St. Albert Trail.
On Tuesday, council was presented with the chamber’s service proposal to deliver visitor information services.
The report from economic development executive director Guy Boston said the city will pay $30,000 per year to the chamber for the chamber to provide tourism services, including extended hours during the summer season and an information kiosk at the farmers’ market during the outdoor season.
Boston said the $30,000 will be funded out of growth revenue surplus from 2013. There’s also a one-time $10,000 capital cost for signage and other materials.
Tourism information services left the office at the southern edge of St. Albert when the city’s economic development department moved to its new home on Sir Winston Churchill Avenue and discussions to keep welcoming services along the trail came to an impasse.
Brochure racks were installed in St. Albert Place and some city staff trained to answer questions.
In the fall, the chamber of commerce started lobbying council to reopen those discussions, noting they still have many visitors coming in seeking tourism information at their office.
“At the end of the day, this is what we’ve asked for and we’re receiving it in turn,” said Coun. Gilles Prefontaine. Prefontaine made the motion in November directing administration to negotiate a co-operative service agreement with the chamber.
The contract is for one year, with an option to renew next year for up to three years.
The city will provide St. Albert promotional material to the visitor information centre.
New signage using the international symbol of “i” to direct people to the office will be installed.
While council passed a motion to authorize the city manager to execute the agreement based on the service proposal unanimously, mayor Nolan Crouse sounded off again on the lack of a policy.
“It’s a good agreement, no dispute there. I just think we continue to move forward on one-offs,” Crouse said, noting a tourism document was brought to council back in 2005 but a tourism policy has yet to surface.