"In the name of God, stop a moment, cease your work, look around you."
We here in the Pass are ^not^ a DESTINATION. At best, we are but a pit stop. For many existing and new businesses, and a new hotel to succeed in this area we will need an attraction(s). Something that will draw people into our community.
Part of the problem in this regard is that we have done a lousy job promoting ourselves. In my last post there were several excellent comments with respect to this failing, including this one.
The CNP actually offers a lot. We just do a really poor job of promoting these things. We have one of the greatest outdoor playgrounds at your doorstep. Hiking, biking, sledding, quading, golfing, downhill skiing, cross country skiing, fishing and the list goes on. Fernie has a much better ski hill than us but that's where it ends. They have just promoted everything else so much better than we have.
Most of the blame for this can be laid on the doorstep of the former mayor and his cronies who were all about 'status quo'. As a result, our current mayor and his council are trying desperately to fix in one term what took two decades to screw up, and in doing so are only exasperating many of our problems, while adding new ones in the process.
This council just did a Branding exercise in order to put a new face on our community in the hope of drawing people here, while at the same time working at cross purposes by killing the goose that laid the golden egg for our community... Thunder in the Valley (TITV). This one major attraction of ours was not only the envy of our neighbours and other communities far and wide, but put us on the map provincially, nationally and even internationally while attracting tens of thousands of people to our community in the process, while at the same time annually Branding us as the 'Mountain Freedom' people. What better advertising for drawing people to a community can you get than that?
Rather than build on our success they instead went in the direction of reinventing the wheel. Creating a new brand for example that no one understands (unless it is explained to them) or can relate to? While at the same time unwilling or unable to come up with anything that will even come close to repeating the success we had for so many years with TITV? These people are far from being marketing geniuses. In fact, they are its worst nightmare.
Lack of vision and imagination has been this council's undoing, as has become apparent with their handling of the CLC site. Needing only to put up a 'For Sale Sign' they couldn't even do that right and have now potentially saddled this community with a ticking time bomb, and a major lost opportunity... much as what happened with River Run.
To much 'big city' ways on their minds I'm afraid, and not enough 'home town' understanding of who and what we are, and what we want yet to become, and where we need to go to do it.
Having put the cart in front of the horse by burdening our community with costly and unnecessary 'innovations' before ensuring we had the economic means and engines to afford to pay for all their bright ideas, they still have no idea of how we can become a DESTINATION? A place where people will want to come to visit, and/or move to.
Okay people! Help this council and future councils out by telling them how we can become a resort adventure tourism DESTINATION, for example. Or any kind of DESTINATION, for that matter. But a DESTINATION we must become if we ever hope to go from stagnation and decline to a vibrant healthy economy and community.
Council's wishful thinking won't cut it, nor hoping and praying for manna from heaven to drop from the sky as they reacted recently to a possible mining company starting up operations here in the future, or giving away the farm as they did with the CLC. What's needed is a vision and a plan for this community, not a hodgepodge of pie-in-the-sky wishful thinking and praying.
People with vision and a true understanding of this community and its potential are needed to take it forward. For as it has been said, "Awareness leads you forward, while lack of awareness leads you nowhere." Too many of us now are tired of going nowhere. It's time we got somewhere.
If passionate about your community and wanting to contribute something of yourself to it, then think about running in our upcoming municipal election. Start sharing your ideas and vision here.
Vision without implementation is hallucination.