The Cache Creek Visitor Centre will be opening for the season on Sunday, May 15, and the public are invited to come and see what a wonderful resource it is. Previously operated by the Chamber of Commerce, the centre is now under the management of the Gold Country Community Society (GCCS).
“We were afraid it would close, as the Chamber didn’t seem interested in running it,” says Kat Chatten of GCCS. The society has a contract to run the centre for the 2016 season, and Chatten, who is a certified travel counsellor, will be the centre’s manager. “We came up with a plan to keep it running, and are going to try it out for a year and see how it goes.”
She says that a visitor centre of some kind is vital, particularly in smaller towns. “If a community has less than 2,000 people, studies show that visitors stay there for less than one day. If we can slow them down and make them stay overnight we can double the amount of money they spend locally.”
The Cache Creek visitor centre had more than 6,300 visitors last year, and Chatten hopes to improve on that. “If we can get over 10,000 people stopping in I’ll be ecstatic. And the more informed we can make a traveller or tourist coming through our area, the more likely it is that they’ll stay here. We need to capture a bigger part of that market rather than just have them passing through.”
She adds that the Cache Creek visitor centre is a cooperative effort, and will promote other areas in the region, which will in turn promote Cache Creek. “One place can’t succeed on its own; we need to work together and promote the area. We need to do this as a group effort, and pool our resources; then we all win.”
She also encourages residents to be visitors in their own town. “Come down to the visitor centre and see what’s coming up in the area.” In addition to becoming better ambassadors for their town, residents are likely to find out about interesting events that they didn’t know were happening.
The Cache Creek visitor centre is located on the lower side of the Community Hall on Stage Road. It will be open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Thursday through Monday, until the end of June; after that it will be open seven days a week through the end of August. The grand re-opening is from 10:00 a.m. to noon on May 15, with refreshments provided.