A new visitor information park provides details about the entire Sunshine Coast from Howe Sound to Desolation Sound. The Sunshine Coast Visitor Information Park is located on Stewart Road, west of the Langdale ferry highway by-pass.
The Gibsons and District Chamber of Commerce has spearheaded the project, drawing in a long list of contributors and sponsors who have donated time, money and expertise. The park will be the starting point for many Sunshine Coast visitors to gain valuable information on points of interest, Sunshine Coast events, festivals and key locations of businesses, shops, lodging and Visitor Information Centres.
The landscaped park serves as the backdrop to an easy-to-read map of the region, complemented with quality graphics to highlight the unique assets of each region of the Sunshine Coast. In addition, the park includes convenience facilities, vehicle and bicycle rest area, park benches and local information.
Rinette Lagace, chamber treasurer, said it was important to include every area on the map. “We wanted a map project that had a panel for each area of the whole Sunshine Coast,” she said. “People want to know what’s on the Sunshine Coast. It doesn’t stop at Earls Cove.”
Powell River’s map covers two panels and includes the area from Saltery Bay to Desolation Sound.
A community board underneath the map panels provides space to post all the events and festivals that happen up and down the Sunshine Coast. “That is one of the key aspects that we wanted to have there, to draw people,” said Lagace.
The project has been an example of a community coming together to make a project happen, said Michele Platje-Devlin, president of the Gibsons chamber. “We’ve been amazed at the amount of goodwill that has come through this project, just everybody working together and donating their time,” she said.
The Powell River Chamber of Commerce board is pleased that the Powell River area is included in the project. “We hope that the City of Powell River, some organizations and a few businesses get behind the Gibsons chamber, whether financially or with in-kind services,” said Kim Miller, Powell River chamber manager. “Even though the chamber thinks the sign will mostly be geared towards tourism and visitors to the area, we support the sign concept because of possible investors, new residents and people who haven’t even heard of Powell River and region. We support the entire Sunshine Coast working together and this is a great opportunity for that.”
Darren Robinson, executive director of Tourism Powell River, said it is regional initiatives such as this that allow the community to present the Upper Sunshine Coast to large visitor audiences, making them aware of tourism opportunities the minute they drive off the Langdale ferry. “With our strategic partnerships, we continue to bridge the gap between all Sunshine Coast communities, from Howe Sound to Desolation Sound, we are all the Sunshine Coast,” he said. “If visitors are made aware of our tourism products (Sunshine Coast Trail, Powell Forest Canoe Route, Historic Townsite, etc.) the minute they arrive on the coast, our chances of enticing them to stay longer on the Upper Coast increase.”
The grand opening of the Visitor Information Park is on Thursday, September 8. The chamber is still accepting donations to the project and anyone who is interested in becoming a sponsor can search the
to find out more information.