Hope you're enjoying this amazing summer weather! I guess we appreciate it more when we've been a bit deprived. Here are a few highlights of things going on at council and the Town of Banff.
GEE -- DO THE VISITORS REALLY NOT LIKE US?
In conjunction with some of the discussions of the Land Use Bylaw, you may have read or heard statements such as these:
“Visitors cannot buy products which wouldn’t be available at home”
- “The impression of being in an authentic mountain community...is not being achieved”
These statements come from summaries of the results of the Indexperience Survey, a major survey of how visitors rated various aspects of their experience in Banff and Banff National Park. This survey was conducted in the summertime of 2008 and the winter of 2009.
When I hear a survey being summarized, I'm always anxious to see the actual numbers behind the summary statements. So let's take a look at these numbers, and you can decide for yourself whether the summary statements are justified.
Authentic mountain community: Visitors were asked to respond to the statement "In the Town of Banff you get the impression of being in an authentic mountain community". In the summer survey, 20% of visitors (one in five) said that they either "totally disagreed" or "somewhat disagreed" with this statement. 80% of visitors (4 out of 5) either totally agreed, somewhat agreed, or were neutral on this statement. In the winter survey, 15% of visitors (approximately one in seven) said that they either "totally disagreed" or "somewhat disagreed" with this statement. The rest either totally agreed, somewhat agreed, or were neutral on this statement.
So it would be fair to say that between 15% and 20% of visitors do not get the impression of being in an authentic mountain community, or that the impression of being in an authentic mountain community is not being achieved with 15-20% of the visitors.
Originality of products: Visitors were asked to respond to the statement: "In the Town of Banff, visitors can buy products they cannot find at home". In the summer survey, 17.3% of visitors (approximately one in six) said that they either "totally disagreed" or "somewhat disagreed" with this statement. 82.7% of visitors (5 out of 6) either totally agreed, somewhat agreed, or were neutral on this statement. In the winter survey, 16% of visitors (approximately one in six) said that they either "totally disagreed" or "somewhat disagreed" with this statement. The rest either totally agreed, somewhat agreed, or were neutral on this statement.
So it would be fair to say that between 16% and 17.3% of visitors felt that original/unique products were not available here, or that one out of every six visitors feels that original/unique products are not available here.
Of course we always have lots of room to improve. And of all the questions asked, these were a couple of our least positive responses, so we can hope to concentrate on improving them. But, as we consider changes to our Land Use Bylaw, I do think it's important to understand the exact nature and scale of the visitor comments that we may be reacting to.
You can see more of the summer survey numbers here:
and more of the winter survey numbers here:
And, of course, you can comment on the various ideas being proposed for Phase 2 of the Land Use Bylaw starting here:
BHC WORKING GROUP RECOMMENDATIONS
On Monday, council will meet as BHC shareholders to receive the recommendations from the BHC Working Group. These recommendations cover everything from resale process to BHC board structure to communicating about policy changes. You can see the full reports at this link:
The reports recommend that we send the working group results out for people to look at, hold a public meeting for input, and then vote on the recommendations themselves sometime in September.
MONDAY'S COUNCIL MEETING
You can see the full package here: http://www.banff.ca/Assets/PDFs/Town+Hall+PDF/Council+Agendas+PDF/2010+Agendas+PDF/council-agenda-100719.pdf
A few highlights ...
Subaru Triathlon banners?
Council is being asked by the organizers of the Subaru Banff Triathlon to waive the $100/banner fee that our policy apparently dictates for "corporate" street banners. My initial reaction is that I am uncomfortable with our street banners being used to provide multiple repetitions of a business name all up Banff Avenue, although I certainly understand the importance of sponsorship to event organizers. I'm interested to hear the discussion at council -- and I'd love to hear your comments. You can see the request letter and a picture of the proposed banner starting on page 9 of the package.
Regional Transit Services Commission
I'm delighted that Canmore and ID #9 have already voted to cooperate with us on applying to the Minister of Municipal Affairs for the creation of a regional transit commission for the Bow Valley. Now it's coming to us for approval as well. You can see the reports starting on page 30 of the package. I will certainly be voting for this initiative -- I think that working with our regional partners and Parks Canada to provide transit is an important step toward a sustainable future.
You can see a report starting on page 66 of the package, detailing plans for this fall's municipal election. At present, advance polls are in the works for October 6 and October 13, followed by the election itself on October 18. So you'll have three different opportunities to cast your vote, and I do hope that you will. If you're thinking of running for election, and I do hope that you are, you can find out all you need to know at http://www.banff.ca/town-hall/banff-town-council/election-2010.htm
THE FINE PRINT
As always, this post represents my personal opinion, and does not purport to represent the position of the Town of Banff or its council. I welcome your comments and questions!