When a tourist comes knocking

What does a business do when it can't afford to stay open at all hours?

As summer ramps up with its full schedule of activities, as well as months full of curious visitors, we’re faced once again with what do they do in Ashcroft once they’re here?

Saturday afternoon I was sitting in my office as the rumble of Harley motorcycles became overwhelming. And just before that, a couple of visitors in an SUV reading the open hours of the Museum, which don’t include Saturdays, and making a disappointed comment before leaving.

It’s the same every year. Local tourism promoters say: if only we could get people into town…

And then what? The restaurants and types of stores or businesses that tourists would be interested in have limited hours. Tourists don’t have limited hours: they come at all hours of the day and week, including Sundays and after business hours.

Being on the highway, Cache Creek doesn’t need to bring in visitors. It isn’t hard to open your doors to tourists when they’re already there.

Ashcroft businesses can’t operate the same way and expect to survive.

We need to diversify in a way that will allow the doors to stay open after regular hours in the off chance that a tourist will walk in.

It takes an act of faith – expanding a business when common sense tells you to cut back and reduce your costs. But once you start cutting back, the only future is a For Sale sign.

At the same time we’re putting our energies into steering tourists off the highway and into Ashcroft, our Chamber of Commerce should be promoting ways that their members can afford to be open more hours to receive them.

Wendy Coomber is editor of the Ashcroft-Cache Creek Journal