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Gold River sprucing up its waterfront

Island Coast Economic Trust backing village’s effort to develop a waterfront concept plan

The Village of Gold River’s remagining of its waterfront is getting support from the Island Coastal Economic Trust (ICET)

New opportunities for tourism and related enterprises along the Gold River waterfront will be explored in a Waterfront Planning process, with support from the Island Coastal Economic Trust’s (ICET) READY program.

The Village of Gold River recently completed an economic development strategy that identified the waterfront area as critically important to multiple sectors of the local economy. The purpose of this plan is to conduct preliminary analyses of the needs of current waterfront stakeholders, and to provide an early redevelopment concept for the waterfront area.

“Creating more ways for visitors, locals, and businesses to enjoy and benefit from the waterfront is integral to the diversification of the region’s smaller coastal communities,” says ICET Board Chair Aaron Stone. “This Quick Start project will help the village accelerate the re-imagining of this vital area.”

Gold River’s waterfront is located 12km from the Village Center. The Village of Gold River was established in 1965 with a pulp mill as its major employer. After the mill closed in the late 1990s, the community experienced significant job loss, and population decline. Since that time, the area has established itself as a hub for adventure and nature-based tourism, as well as cultural and historical tourism.

“Gold River is now considered a tourism gateway to Nootka Sound, and the waterfront represents incredible potential to current and future users,” says Mayor Brad Unger. “Our vision for the waterfront is a place that supports and promotes a rich diversity of local economic activity and improved access to the incredible Muchalat Inlet.”

The waterfront currently provides public, commercial, and private facilities to a variety of users including forestry, fisheries, aquaculture, tourism, and the community. The consultation and planning process will include stakeholders such as the Mowachaht/Muchalaht First Nation, Greig Seafood, West Coast Marine Terminals, Air Nootka, Get West Adventures, and Western Forest Products, as well as Village of Gold River residents and businesses.

The project is expected to begin shortly.

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