ELECTRIC GRAPEVINE: Nature of things

Nik Green
By Nik Green
September 14th, 2012

While hanging from my branch that I sling dung from the other day (long story), I happened across an idea for attracting visitors to Grand Forks that I think someone should look into.

As I dangled there, I recalled the combination of sheer bliss and terror I felt while zip-lining in an adventure park last year in Revelstoke. Why not here in GF, I asked myself. We may not have the massive trees required for an exact duplicate, but we do have the natural landscape key to adventure tourism and we can always use a slightly different attraction.

The dam site, North Fork and Observation Mountain are all fantastic natural locations that could provide a lure to pull tourists out of their cars. What they don’t do presently, is pull dollars from visitors. I think a less static lure could open up some possibilities.

A well planned zig- zagging zip line down the Granby River alone would yield thrills while cruising past some of the area’s historic sites at the same time. Can you imagine how good a dip in the river would feel after soaring past the slag pile at 40 miles an hour during the peak of summer?

Just imagine a thrilling zip line across the rapids of the Granby before a hike up a mountain where a snack is served at the peak. Then enjoy a relaxing downhill stroll back down to a waiting tube or raft and you are on your sun soaked way into town to enjoy the amenities and lunch.

The Boundary area likely garners more attention for the negative stories that develop, such as the tragic tubing accident this summer, than it does for any positives. An organized adventure tourism company could provide a safe structure for visitors to exploit the terrain while ensuring safety measures are in place to minimize potential accidents.

A quick chat with an operator of such an attraction informed me that they welcomed 3,400 people a day through their park for four months a year. At 80 bucks average cost, that’s a decent haul and a helluva experience.

As locals, we know where the best experiences are, but guiding tourists to them in a safe adventurous manner could lead to affordable vacation fun and a decent seasonal draw beyond the norm.

I don’t think we could bill any single one of these ideas as worth the drive for tourists, but as a whole I think the sum of the parts could be an exceptional experience.

Side note:

These are obviously just musings, and stand in stark contrast to my last two rants which were never billed as anything but just that, rants. Most of the time, I wrap up rants with at least a suggestion or solution.

Sometimes I don’t (see Park n’ Ride) and I accept the flack that comes with that. I fully accept and realize stream of consciousness rants aren’t everyone’s cup of tea. What I can’t accept though is cowardly responses to said rantings.

I especially fail to see the logic in essentially subscribing to something you plainly dislike, and I invite the two readers in particular who seem to take aim at me to an in-person sit down where I can answer your queries more clearly.

I enjoy a great debate – be it about big issues or small ones. I’ve written for big newspaper, small newspaper, magazines, television, tourism and film.  I fully embrace the rebuttals and free opinions that come back when they are coherent, humorous and engaging. 

Categories: GeneralOp/Ed