The Economic Development Department plans to hit the ground running this year, building on the momentum gained across their key objectives in 2018. With the expansion of the tourism mandate, along with project initiatives including the Stave West Recreation Area and the Mission Waterfront Revitalization Strategy, 2019 is expected to be as busy and diverse as last year.
The tourism portfolio has seen many of the tactics outlined in the two year business plan reach completion. Highlights have included:
• Meeting over 40 stakeholder’s to-date to discuss the tourism development plan and garner business and partnership support.
• Over 30 businesses have now completed their “Google My Business” listing, including the all-important 360° interior images of each business.
• The creation of two new promotional videos: one in partnership with Maple Ridge to promote the Woodlot Mountain Bike Trail and one with the Fraser Valley Bald Eagle Festival.
• 200+ campsites are now open within the Stave West Recreation Area.
• In partnership with the Fraser Valley Mountain Bike Association, the development of a mountain bike skills park at Mill Pond is underway and scheduled for completion early in 2019.
Downtown Mission was out of action for the film industry for many months with the streetscape and beautification improvements taking place, however, a steady stream of film enquiries and productions continued:
• 15 productions and 41 film days completed by the end of the third quarter of 2018.
• The direct economic benefit of approximately $179,380.00 in film expenditures in the community.
• Productions included Great American Railroad Journeys, Signed, Sealed, and Delivered, The Victoria Gotti Story and the Art of Racing in the Rain.
Revitalization of the waterfront has been a significant topic of discussion since 1992. In addition to its historical, cultural and recreational importance, the Fraser River has been central to the development of Mission given its industrial legacy and adjacency to the river for industrial purposes.
While it will continue to have an industrial function; increasingly it is being viewed in terms of the opportunities it presents for high-density residential and mixeduse, light industrial and institutional development. The purpose of current efforts is to identify the best approach to create an achievable plan to coordinate waterfront revitalization efforts.
Check out future blog posts to get updates on some of the goals for 2019, including the handover of Visitor Services in May, a new tourism brand and website and the creation of a tourism committee to provide advice and strategic direction to Council. Additionally, watch for important community updates on waterfront revitalization efforts, as well as efforts to develop more local employment opportunities.