Upgrades coming to municipal campgrounds in the Slocan Valley

·3 min read

Villages in the Slocan Valley are going to get some help to improve their municipal campgrounds.

The Villages of Slocan, Silverton and New Denver are each receiving $100,000 to do select repairs and improvements to their camping facilities this year.

The campgrounds have proved an unexpected boon to Valley villages during the pandemic, with officials from each Village reporting one of their most profitable years ever in 2020.

The improvements are part of the government’s Targeted Regional Tourism Initiative, which has provided $13.6 million to communities throughout the province for new tourism infrastructure.

Silverton will build an apartment at its municipal campground to accommodate seasonal campground attendants. This employee housing will help to attract employees and ensure continued operation of the 40-site campground. Typically, the summer attendant has to live in their own RV to work at the campground.

“Providing them with a studio-style apartment in the park, at the campground’s entrance and attached to the campground washrooms, will offer them a comfortable place to live and work during the camping season,” notes a description of the project provided by Jessica Rayner, planner at the Village of New Denver.

New Denver will replace its aging sani-dump station at its Centennial Campground to ensure that RV-based travellers to the area can safely and appropriately dispose of their waste. This service benefits local residents with RVs, as well. The system will increase capacity at the New Denver campground and will also serve visitors to the region who are staying at the many area facilities without dumping facilities. An automatic pay system will allow the sani-dump to be open for 24 hours. Offering a sani-dump station in New Denver attracts campers, extends visitor stays, and fits well with the Centennial Park Master Plan currently under development, the descriptor states.

Slocan is going to expand and upgrade electrical services in its Springer Creek RV Park and Campground. Only 18 of the 35 sites currently have electrical service. “As the Springer Creek RV Park & Campground continues to increase in popularity… providing additional electrical hook-ups increases the Village’s camping capacity, supporting tourism in the community and region,” notes the project description. “Electrical hook-ups also reduce on-site generator use, allowing for a quieter campground environment for all to enjoy.”

A total of $2.3 million in projects in the Kootenay Rockies Tourism region were funded under the program, including the Kootenay Adaptive Sport Association (KASA)’s plan to do trail repairs in the Nakusp area for $150,000.

“We are very excited to have this funding available and look forward to restoring sections of these incredible assets,” said KASA Chief Executive Officer Mike Riediger.

Other initiatives underway in the Kootenay Rockies tourism region include developing electric vehicle charging infrastructure across the region at key attractions and visitor sites, and improving and sustaining access to the Elk River for commercial and recreation users.

Examples in other parts of the province include improvement of trail systems throughout a region for hiking, Nordic skiing or mountain biking, self-guided tour signage to highlight agri-tourism areas and a series of Indigenous landmarks throughout a region.

The approved projects must be completed by March 2023.

John Boivin, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Valley Voice

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