The Castlegar Chamber’s fancy new home is in the works

The Confluence of Tourism and Economic Development is coming to Castlegar in 2023

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Image rendering of the Castlegar Confluence of Tourism and Economic Development shows gray walls with some wooden siding.

The primary objective of the Castlegar Confluence of Tourism and Economic Development is to bring economic growth, tourism, and local business support together in Castlegar. — Photo courtesy Tammy Verigin-Burk

The Castlegar & District Chamber of Commerce will soon set up shop in a fancy new pad. The Confluence of Tourism and Economic Development is currently in the works with an anticipated opening sometime in 2023. Besides the Castlegar Chamber, this new $5 million, 7,000-square-foot building will house Economic Development, Destination Castlegar, the West Kootenay Gateway Visitor Centre and a satellite branch of Community Futures. The primary objective of the Confluence is to bring economic growth, tourism, and local business support together in Castlegar.

“The building came to fruition based on the need for a new space due to our current building falling into disrepair,” said Tammy Verigin-Burk, executive director of the Castlegar & District Chamber of Commerce. “The Confluence will be pivotal to tourism and economic growth for the entire region with the opportunities the space brings with its central location, fully accessible public indoor and outdoor spaces and programs that embrace and foster services for tourists, locals, businesses, and entrepreneurs. The purpose of the building is to not only serve the direct community but to be an ambassador for the entire region and province.”

Image rendering of the Castlegar Confluence of Tourism and Economic Development shows a shady picnic area outside the building.

“Over 75 per cent of people who relocate to an area first experience it as a tourist. The Confluence will be a place that attracts tourists and entrepreneurs, which will in turn influence relocation and growth in businesses.” — Tammy Verigin-Burk — Photo courtesy Tammy Verigin-Burk

Architecturally, the Confluence has an innovative mass timber design, which will also see an 85 per cent reduction in emissions. The building will have three distinct areas, starting with the West Kootenay Gateway Visitors Centre. The North Wing will house the Mercer Celgar Board Room, the Castlegar and District Chamber of Commerce, Economic Development program, Destination Castlegar and a variety of business-essential partners. The South Wing will house a 24/7 accessible space complete with for-lease office spaces, co-working space, sound proof telephone booths, lounge and pocket kitchen. The building’s exterior will include a garden, a picnic/gathering space, pathways and abundant lighting.

“This building will provide a significant indoor public gathering space within the West Kootenay Gateway Visitors Centre, which the Castlegar and District area does not have,” said Verigin-Burk. “This will enable people to sit, charge their phones, observe and meet the 1,000's of tourists that will move through our space. Entrepreneurs can promote their organizations or business via kiosks and donor wall.”

Image rendering of the Castlegar Confluence of Tourism and Economic Development shows an angled roof with big windows piercing into the blue sky.

“The purpose of the building is to not only serve the direct community but to be an ambassador for the entire region and province.” — Tammy Verigin-Burk — Photo courtesy Tammy Verigin-Burk

The Confluence’s anticipated cost of $5.1-5.6 million has just over $1 million left to raise. For entrepreneurs and businesses that want to invest in potential growth, there are plenty of options.

“We have extensive opportunities to financially support the building while creating a phenomenal option to promote your own business via our donor wall that will follow the theme of the confluence by having various-sized bubbles—depending on the size of donation—that will flow like the river throughout the high traffic areas of the building,” said Verigin-Burk. “Other high profile options are to buy your name on a room. The return of investment on buying your name on a room is exceptional as the level of exposure will be phenomenal.

“Another option is to physically locate your business in one of our offices for lease in the south wing of the building or to become a member of the co-working space, which has a lounge, pocket kitchen, soundproof phone booths, meeting space and 24/7 fresh food dispensary. We look forward to the regional businesses and citizens becoming part of this legacy through our varied opportunities for donations and sponsorship.”

Image rendering of the Castlegar Confluence of Tourism and Economic Development shows a beige wall with park benches where two people are sitting.

Besides the Castlegar Chamber, this new $5 million, 7,000-square-foot building will house Economic Development, Destination Castlegar, the West Kootenay Gateway Visitor Centre and a satellite branch of Community Futures. — Photo courtesy Tammy Verigin-Burk

The Confluence’s development permit was recently approved and 85 per cent of the construction drawings are complete.

Groundbreaking for the Confluence is scheduled to begin in the fall, with completion anticipated sometime in 2023. The completion date will be finalized once availability of supplies has been confirmed.

If you’d like to get a better idea of what the Confluence will look like—inside and out—you can view a 3D flythrough video of the new building.

Kyle Born

Kyle Born is a writer for Kootenay Business and his initials match that of the magazine—it must be fate that brought them together. View all of Kyle Born’s articles

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