Mayor couldn’t appoint Reyerse to tourism board

Flyers delivered around Harrison Hot Springs contained incorrect information about Tourism Board, says board chair

I am Ian Maw, Director of Marketing of Harrison Hot Springs Resort and in my spare time, I am also the Chair of Tourism Harrison, this communities ‘Destination Marketing Organisation’.

I recently had the opportunity to read a newsletter as provided by mayoralty candidate, John Allen and wanted to set the record straight.

Under the heading ‘Election Spending’, candidate Allen suggests that Robert Reyerse, the Executive Director of Tourism Harrison was appointed by the current Mayor, Ken Becotte. Nothing could be further from the truth. Last Spring, the Board of Directors sought a new Executive Director after the resignation of the incumbent Stephanie Key who had accepted a terrific opportunity to return to civic administration. A selection committee including myself and two other members of the Board interviewed four shortlisted candidates with Mr. Reyerse being the successful candidate. The Mayor of Harrison Hot Springs is not a member of the Board and could not therefore be a member of the selection committee.

Tourism Harrison is primarily funded by a tax on guestrooms of ‘fixed roof’ accommodation providers with a minimum of four sleeping rooms. In Harrison Hot Springs, this includes a variety of hotels, motels and B and B’s. Recreational vehicle facilities and campsites do not charge this tax. Visitors to Harrison Hot Springs fund this organisation, not the taxpayers of Harrison Hot Springs.

The Village of Harrison Hot Springs provides less than 10 per ent of Tourism Harrisons’ funding, this supplement supports the operation of the Visitor Centre and was in place when Mr. Allen served as Mayor.

These are very challenging times in our industry, with fewer Americans coming north and more Canadians heading south – hotels and resorts across the province are fighting for a shrinking travel market. We are fortunate to have a strategic thinker like Robert Reyerse as our Executive Director at Tourism Harrison.

Ian Maw