The Fernie Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Fernie are now operating under one roof. Phil McLachlan/The Free Press

Two businesses now operating under one roof

Two key tourism organizations are now operating under one roof; the Fernie Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Fernie.

On Thursday, July 13, they hosted their open house, which brought guests from all around Fernie to tour the location, take part in games and enjoy a barbecue.

In addition to the move, extensive renovations also took place. These started in August of last year and finished in February. Throughout this time, the Visitors Centre was able to remain open to the public.

The main room has been dramatically redesigned. The space is now much larger, thanks to the new high ceilings. Much of the administrative items have been moved to the rear of the building, which adds to the open concept and allows more room for merchandise and manuals.

“For the guests, it’s a much better experience to walk in the door, and get all the information they’re looking for,” said Fernie Chamber of Commerce Executive DirectorPatty Vadnais.

Walking in, the first point of contact is the front desk, which hosts both Visitor Information services and Chamber member services. New technology was installed throughout the building, alongside the new offices neatly tucked away behind the front desk. Inside the new board room hangs a large screen smart TV with video conference call capabilities.

The new building in which the Fernie Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Fernie now reside, represents a bonding of two organizations who have worked closely for many years. Now they will be able to work together and collaborate even better than they have in the past.

Tourism Fernie Executive Officer, Jikki Gyorki, loves the new space.

“We’re very happy,” she said.

For close to ten years, Tourism Fernie resided on the second floor of a shared office space on Second Ave. Now, they are able to better interact with customers who stop at the Visitor Information Centre, seeking advice about navigating the many attractions Fernie has to offer. In addition, they are now located beside the popular Fairy Creek Falls trail head.

“It’s a logical progression in working together to further tourism in Fernie,” said Gyorki.

Funding for this project was provided through the use a $180,000 Resort Municipality Initiative, a $50,000 Federal Accessibility Grant, a $50,000 grant from the Columbia Basin Trust, and a $23,000 Southern Interior Development Initiative.

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