(YELLOWKNIFE) May 8, 2017 – Following a decision made by the Northern Frontier Visitors Association Board to close the Northern Frontier Visitors Centre by May 15, Regular Members of the Legislative Assembly representing Yellowknife constituencies are calling on the government to take immediate action to support the continued operation of this facility.
“The government has been a constant champion for our tourism industry and now immediate action is required to ensure continuity of services for the upcoming tourism season,” said Kevin O’Reilly, MLA for Frame Lake. “The government owns and operates most of the NWT’s visitor centers and this need for support is no different from what is being provided elsewhere in the territories.”
The Visitors Centre is owned and operated by the Northern Frontier Visitors Association (NFVA), a non-government organization that provides tourism services 360 days a year. The Centre is a popular attraction for tourists. There has been a 400% increase in visitors over the last 10 years, with more than 50,000 visitors through its doors in 2016. The Centre promotes not only Yellowknife but the entire NWT and has created connections across the NWT for merchandise and tourism operators.
“It is inconceivable that Yellowknife would not have a visitors information centre, nor can we ignore the needs of a volunteer organization that has done so much to support our economy,” said Julie Green, MLA for Yellowknife Centre.
Yellowknife Regular Members are proposing that the GNWT take the following actions:
• Work with the City of Yellowknife to secure a temporary location for the Visitors Centre;
• Cover costs of relocation and adequately fund NFVA’s operation of the Centre; and
• Provide funds for the demolition of the existing building and remediation of the site.
While there’s a need for a permanent location for the visitor centre, Yellowknife MLAs are focused the immediate needs of the NFVA. “The discussion on a new Yellowknife visitor centre will be part of the government’s strategic planning process,” said Cory Vanthyune, MLA for Yellowknife North. “While we are supportive of a new centre the decision must be made with the full support of our colleagues, taking into account the strategic infrastructure priorities of the 18th Assembly,” added Kieron Testart, MLA for Kam Lake.
Kevin O’Reilly MLA, Frame Lake Julie Green, MLA Yellowknife Centre
Telephone: (867) 767-9143 ext. 12110 Telephone: (867) 767-9143 ext. 12180
E-mail: Kevin_O’Reilly@gov.nt.ca E-mail: Julie_Green@gov.nt.ca
Kieron Testart, MLA for Kam Lake Cory Vanthyne, MLA for Yellowknife North
Telephone: (867) 767-9143 ext. 12135 Telephone: (867) 767-9143 ext. 12170
E-mail: Kieron_Testart@gov.nt.ca E-mail: Cory_Vanthyune@gov.nt.ca