Pemberton's burgeoning tourism scene has a new leader.
Tracey Rozsypalek, a co-owner with husband Rudy of the Pemberton Soaring Centre, has officially taken over as Chair of the Tourism Pemberton committee, a group that falls under the umbrella of the Pemberton and District Chamber of Commerce and whose mandate is to promote tourism in the area.
"It feels great, I'm happy about the opportunity to contribute to the community," she said. "I'm excited about working alongside our committee that's made up of a great bunch of people with a lot of experience."
Rozsypalek, a resident of Pemberton for 16 years who's run her business for the same amount of time, came into the volunteer position after her name was put forward at a June 4 meeting. The 13 people on the committee agreed and she took up the job.
Now in charge of promoting tourism within the Spud Valley, Rozsypalek said her biggest priority is carrying through commitments under the Union of British Columbia Municipalities' Community Tourism program.
The program has distributed a total of $30,353.44 to the Village of Pemberton and the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District for the promotion of tourism, money that will help Tourism Pemberton develop both a website and a media kit that it hopes to distribute to international media during the Olympic Games.
"The press kits will be used for the Olympics but will also be used beyond the Olympics and just getting interest in Pemberton through travel writers, media contacts and that kind of thing," Rozsypalek said.
Thus far Tourism Pemberton has received three-quarters of the promised money from the Union of B.C. Municipalities and it expects to receive the remaining cash once it is finished its website and media kits, according to Shirley Henry, who sits on the Tourism Pemberton committee.
"We've only got $22,000 of it so far," she said. "What we're doing is we're going to end up costing the 30. We have to spend it before we get it, we don't get it until we spend it. But it is money they give us at least three quarters to work with."
Other priorities for Tourism Pemberton will include diversifying tourist opportunities within the valley. Pemberton already boasts a hoard of tourist attractions including its lush farming fields, airport and horseback riding, but Rozsypalek hopes to find some new opportunities.
But whether the committee can do that depends a lot on funding.
"Currently Tourism Pemberton has no source of funding or revenue coming in," Rozsypalek said. "But having said that, one of our other focuses, once we get through the website and press kits, we'll be looking at funding opportunities so we can look at expanding and funding from there.
"We will be having discussions with the Village of Pemberton, we see them as stakeholders too, looking at ways for Tourism Pemberton to be really self-funded or have revenue sources, so that will be another one of our focuses as well."
Other priorities for the committee include finding marketing and training opportunities for their members, something she hopes can be its focus in the next little while.