Sidney’s tourist services deal in the works

Sidney is going ahead with seeing what kind of new tourism services it can get for $60,000.

Sidney is going ahead with seeing what kind of new tourism services it can get for $60,000.

Councillors this week approved a request for proposals that would seek innovative and traditional ways of delivering services to tourists in Sidney. Sidney currently pays the Saanich Peninsula Chamber of Commerce $60,000 a year to deliver these services out of their Beacon Avenue information centre.

The Chamber has held the contract since 2010 and it’s set to expire December 31 this year.

Sidney Councillor Mervyn Lougher-Goodey, however, tried to change council’s mind on Monday.

“My concern is budgetary,” he said, noting bids for this service could come in higher than what the Town currently pays.

“I see the Town angling off here,” he said, noting there are many volunteers used under the Chamber’s current operation. “I’d hate to see a doubling up of the effort.”

He was also concerned that bids would only come back for the Beacon Avenue site.

Currently, the Chamber runs tourist information services out of the Beacon Avenue site, another on the Pat Bay Highway and additional services at the Anacortes Ferry terminal. Sidney’s contract with the chamber is specifically for the Beacon Avenue building, however the Chamber had noted that money helps support their service delivery at all three places.

Sidney Chief Administrative Officer Randy Humble said the request for proposals would include the Beacon Avenue building only, but also encourage bidders to suggest online or innovative ways of reaching tourists.

Coun. Cam McLennan suggested Sidney is taking this position on tourist services to focus their money on services for Sidney. He noted that while the Chamber directs visitors to places in North and Central Saanich, neither one of their neghbours contribute any money to the service.

“We are not satisfied with the level of service we are getting with the Chamber,” said Coun. Erin Bremner. “The $60,000 is supposed to be for Beacon Avenue only.”

She added, however, that the Chamber would be welcome to re-apply for the contract and any successful bidder would not have to completely re-invent the wheel.

Coun. Peter Wainwright added council is after good value for its money, saying they may stick to the $60,000 they are already allocating to visitor information services.

Council approved, in a 6-1 vote, the request for proposals be issued immediately, with a closing date of August 26, 2016.

Just Posted

Egg buyers given more information, options in Greater Victoria stores

Partnership with BC SPCA launched the project in 2011

Algae bloom at Elk Lake prompts CRD advisory notice

Reappearance of blue-green algae lethal to dogs a constant concern for water quality

B.C. historian helped Viola Desmond make it on the $10 bill

Merna Forster of Oak Bay petitioned for years for a Canadian woman to be honoured on currency

Third rink needed immediately at Pearkes, say users

Only four ice pads for Saanich, Victoria groups

City of Victoria looks for emergency shelter options amidst bed shortage

My Place considered for tier-2 shelter during harsh weather

VIDEO: B.C. legislature clerk, sergeant at arms suspended for criminal investigation

Clerk of the House Craig James, Sergeant-at-arms Gary Lenz on administrative leave

Good Food Summit plants seeds for food security

The Good Food Summit runs Nov. 22 and 23

POLL: Have you started your Christmas shopping yet?

The Christmas lights are twinkling and holiday music is playing in local… Continue reading

Trial: Witness describes encounter with accused murderer while tending to fatally injured Descoteau

Wright said he was working in his yard when he heard a woman screaming.

Former NHL player and coach Dan Maloney dies at 68

Maloney coached the Toronto Maple Leafs and Winnipeg Jets

Ex-MSU president charged with lying to police about Nassar

Lou Anna Simon was charged Tuesday with lying to police during an investigation

Police aim to prevent retaliation after Hells Angel found dead under B.C. bridge

IHIT confirms Chad Wilson, 43, was the victim of a ‘targeted’ homicide

Otter makes a snack out of koi fish in Vancouver Chinese garden

Staff say the otter has eaten at least five fish

Police looking into two more incidents at private Toronto all-boys’ school

Police and the school have said two of the prior incidents involved an alleged sexual assault

Most Read