Former Visitor Centre Site Under Sale Process Print Article Font Size

Former Visitor Centre Site Under Sale Process

October 11th, 2018

The Town of Golden Council and Columbia Shuswap Regional District (CSRD) are very pleased to publicly announce the imminent sale of the building and land parcel located at 111 Golden Donald Upper Road, being the former British Columbia Visitor Centre @ Golden. The Province ceased funding its operations as a provincial gateway visitor centre in 2016. 

The projected sale proceeds will repay the taxpayers of Golden and Area ‘A’ for their investment into the original building construction, all the capital costs for land development, major repairs, and purchase of the property surrounding the building over the last 14 years while also including a contribution to appropriate reserves for future Councils’ consideration.  Pending the particulars of the sale process, its costs, and some mitigation work on the property, this will likely be several hundred thousand dollars for each joint owner, being the CSRD and the Town of Golden.

“This is certainly the best way to end an era on a public initiative like this,” said Golden Mayor Ron Oszust.  “For over a decade, this was one of the highest performing Provincial Visitor Information Centers in the province, providing us measurable economic benefit at no operational cost to the local taxpayer.  Because we, as a community, chose to own the building and lease it, we are now able to sell it as an asset, repaying the local taxpayer for their investment and bolstering our reserves for the future.” 

According to Area ‘A’ Director Karen Cathcart, “Having our own third party society (GAI) own and lease a building to the Province for a decade was a great social enterprise experiment that really worked.  And not only were we able to seize an opportunity during the era of the 2010 Olympics, but we wrapped it up positively with all parties successfully moving forward from this visitor centre model.”

The site will eventually be the new home of existing 30 + year Golden business Motor Tech Enterprises now doing business as Banner Recreation and Marine.

“It’s been a steadily growing and changing business over the last 30 years, and with this expansion, the company will be able to revolutionize the powersports industry in Golden and surrounding areas.  I’m very excited for our company moving to this new location,” said company president Derek Bannister.  “Both the space and the building will provide a great showcase for the business as we transition our business model to a stronger focus on the needs of the customers, the respective industries we service and most importantly the community.”

The original British Columbia Visitor Centre @ Golden was built and owned by the Golden & Area Community Economic Development Society as Golden Area Initiatives (GAI) in 2004 through a significant federal infrastructure grant, and financed over 5 years through the local CIBC branch with assistance from Ballast Needham International through Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, the Town of Golden and the CSRD.  It was majority leased to the Province to operate until its closure in 2016, following which GAI purchased the surrounding property from the Province before dissolving as a society, leaving joint ownership of the land and building to the two local governments.  Both agreed to sell it, recouping all original costs and splitting the sale proceeds, thereby ending a 14 year successful public project initiative. 

In 2017 the new Golden Visitor Centre was completed adjacent to Highway 1, at the old weigh scale site, opening to impressive numbers of visitors.  Made possible through continued partnership between the local governments, the Province, and the Resort Municipality Initiative, it is owned wholly by the town on land permitted to it by the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure and operated by Tourism Golden on a seasonal basis.

For more information contact:

Jon Wilsgard,
Chief Administrative Officer
Town of Golden