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Economic recovery plan aims to reverse Okanagan Falls’ gradual decline

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Economic recovery plan aims to reverse Okanagan Falls’ gradual decline
Economic recovery plan aims to reverse Okanagan Falls’ gradual decline – Sep 8, 2020

An economic development and recovery plan has been put together for Okanagan Falls, a small community south of Penticton, that lost its only grocery store last year.

According to the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen, the three-year plan provides a vision to help the South Okanagan community of 2,500 recover from a gradual decline.

The plan is also a call to action for all stakeholders, noting that the coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated the downtown, and that a new strategy is needed to reverse the trend.

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Residents now have to travel to Penticton or Oliver for food, after the only grocery store shuttered in September because of a lack of customers.

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The regional district also said 90 per cent of service-based businesses in Okanagan Falls saw 100-per-cent revenue loss from March to May, during the pandemic’s height.

“The plan does not try to reinvent past economic development initiatives, but build on the current assets and momentum of community groups already underway.”

Click to play video: 'B.C. government involved in ongoing Indigenous fishing dispute in Okanagan Falls'
B.C. government involved in ongoing Indigenous fishing dispute in Okanagan Falls

 

The plan’s timeframe runs from August 2020 to December 2022.

Among the plan’s outline are the following notes:

  • Community perceptions that the quality of life has declined since 2017;
  • Revitalizing downtown is an ongoing concern;
  • More action needed, fewer studies and plans;
  • That Okanagan Falls is an attractive community for young families;
  • An informed discussion on incorporation is needed;
  • And develop Okanagan Falls as a tourist destination
Click to play video: 'B.C. government involved in ongoing Indigenous fishing dispute in Okanagan Falls'
B.C. government involved in ongoing Indigenous fishing dispute in Okanagan Falls

 

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“It is believed that up to 9,000 vehicles pass through Okanagan Falls on Highway 97 each day, and each vehicle represents an opportunity for the community to market and encourage that visitors to stay awhile and enjoy the fantastic recreational amenities, wineries, and beaches that tourists are looking for in the South Okanagan.”

For more on the report, click here.

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