Julie Gilmore at the 100 Mile marker. (Patrick Davies - 100 Mile Free Press)

District sees drop in revenue as fewer visitors hit town

100 Mile House is facing a $40,450 drop in merchandise sales and facility rental revenues.

The District of 100 Mile House is facing a $40,450 dent in its merchandise sales and facility rental revenues this year.

Council on Tuesday amended its 2020 financial plan to reflect the “drastic decrease” in revenue, which is being blamed on COVID-19. The pandemic resulted in the South Cariboo Visitors’ Centre being closed from March to June, resulting in a 75 percent drop in the number of visitors compared to the same time last year. The Martin Exeter Hall has also been shuttered for safety reasons and ongoing repairs as a result of flooding.

The decrease in revenues, coupled with higher expenses, means a net loss of about $129,000 compared with last year, CAO Roy Scott said.

“The travelling public is down from my understanding,” Scott said. “What it affects is the year-end balance and how much money the district has to pump into the budget to support it.”

READ MORE: District of 100 Mile presents 2020 Financial Plan

Julie Gilmore, the visitor services coordinator at South Cariboo Visitor Centre, said the number of tourists has started to rebound from July to early September, thanks to a steady flow of B.C. visitors and staycationers heading to the region and its neighbouring lakes. Some 3,455 visitors passed through town the past three months, compared with 4,156 during the same period last year. During the Labour Day weekend and the first week of September, meanwhile, 285 visitors, dropped into the centre.

“Usually what we find in September is we get a lot of empty nesters and seniors coming because it’s less populated,” she said. “We’re doing pretty good with the staycation travellers and BC residents.”

However, many of those visitors are keeping a tight hold on their wallets. Although the centre typically sees strong sales in sweatshirts, keychains, maple syrup, chocolate and cribbage boards, Gilmore said this year the focus has been on the odd t-shirt or on maps and books by local authors such as historian Marianne Van Osch.

“We were doing very well and then it dropped,” she said, noting the three-month closure played a factor. “We’re not doing a lot of souvenir sales. We are still seeing our t-shirts move and some jewelry points but people aren’t spending as much. Books are going up and maps … people want a little bit more history, they want to learn about the area.”

Gilmore notes the drop in merchandise sales will have an effect on her budget next year, although she’s not sure by how much at this point. The budget will likely fluctuate further during the year before it’s finalized by the district council next spring.

“It’s definitely going to affect my budget next year going forward. That will set the tone for what I’m able to purchase next year,” she said, but noted “This year I didn’t spend a lot because lots of things weren’t being brought in or delivered. I could probably go another summer on what I have.”


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Two new COVID-19 cases announced in Interior Health region

The total number of cases in the region is at 533

Public invited to help cram police cruiser with food donations

The Cram the Cruiser event will take place on Saturday, Oct. 3 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Library set to resume programs virtually in October

The 100 Mile House Branch will restart its virtual programming this month.

100 Mile House RCMP seeking the public’s assistance to identify a dangerous driver

The male suspect was last seen fleeing north on Highway 97 in a white Acura 2

B.C. counts 125 new COVID-19 cases, up to 1,284 active

No new deaths or health care facility outbreaks

Health Canada green-lights rapid COVID-19 test

Health Canada approved the BCube test from Hyris Ltd. in the United Kingdom Sept. 23

FINLAYSON: COVID-related job losses concentrated in urban areas… especially Metro Vancouver

The biggest job losses, in absolute terms, have been in Metro Vancouver

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

6 puppies rescued in mass seizure on Princeton farm die from illness: BC SPCA

Of the 97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized, most of the puppies suffered from parvo

Action demanded over death of First Nations youth in Abbotsford group home

Family and Indigenous organizations push for thorough investigation

U.S. boater fined $1,000 for violation of Quarantine Act

49-year-old man entered Canada to visit girlfriend in Surrey

More sex abuse charges laid against B.C. man who went by ‘Doctor Ray Gaglardi’

Investigators now focussing efforts on alleged victims within the Glad Tidings Church community

Most Read