Build it and they will come. Nearly double the number of visitors stopped in at the Cowichan Regional Visitor Centre this January than in the same month at the old strip-mall location just one year before.
Some 472 visitors were received at the new Drinkwater location in the first month of 2014, as compared to the 248 at the old spot last year.
"We’ve been in the Centre for three months and early indications are it’s doing exactly what was projected," Chamber President George Gates said, shortly after the grand opening. "We are capturing more visitors and promoting businesses throughout the region."
It’s not hard to see why folks passing through want to swing by.
Across the street from North Cowichan’s premiere shopping destination and carved into the front yard of the B.C. Forest Discovery Centre – Already A Popular Tourist Draw – The Visitor Centre’s Modern Architecture And Red FaÃ§ade Are Hard To Miss.
Easily accessible from the highway, inside, more than 1,500 square feet of display space is configured to maximize the promotion of the best of the best of Cowichan’s food, wine, trails, businesses and attractions.
The collaboration between the area’s various chambers of commerce, local governments and businesspeople is already seeing dividends.
The new facility saw 550 visitors on Feb. 1 during the Forest Discovery Centre’s annual Big Leaf Maple Syrup Festival. The statistic was a big improvement over the 2013 one-day record of 105 visitors in July.
"By opening during B.C. Forest Discovery Centre events, we capture families from all over the Island, the Lower Mainland and Washington, and introduce them to everything Cowichan has to offer," said Visitor Centre Coordinator Kirsty Grant. "They love the displays, and continually tell us they are discovering new things to see and do here."