Tourism in Richmond County
Ann Marie Yorke
March is here and we are now counting down the days until Spring, with it’s longer days and warmer temperatures; I can hardly wait. But since we still have to deal with snow, we may as well make the most of it. And when you think about it, there are still lots of things to do to keep busy. This is perfect weather to take to the slopes for an afternoon of sledding, or travel to Ben Eoin’s Ski resort and have fun skiing. These are great activities to keep in mind over March break. Thinking ahead to warmer temperatures and the outdoor activities that will be drawing visitors to the area, it is only 6 months to the 9th annual Surf Classic at Point Michaud. Michelle Richards is already planning this year’s events and is in the process of looking for sponsors to help make this year’s event a success. Ms. Richards, who has worked as the Municipality of Richmond’s Recreation Department’s Surf Instructor at Point Michaud since the start of the program, has worked tirelessly making the surf program a success. It is Richards who has managed the event the last number of years, making the Surf Classic a reality and an event that all the surfers who have taken the recreation department’s surf program, as well as those coming to the area, have come to enjoy.
Last year was the first year that the Municipality of Richmond’s Tourism, Culture and Economic Department funded the Classic in hopes of expanding to a full weekend of activities, which they hoped would bring more visitors into the area. It is unclear that the event will be receiving funding from the Department of Tourism, Cultural and Economic Development for this year.Besides the Municipality’s support, the Village of St. Peter’s stepped up to the plate as it showed its support for last year’s Surf Classic in many ways. Rhoda and Jean Pierre Gillet of the Bras d’Or Lakes Inn lent their support to the event by offering surfers travelling to the area to take in the Classic a discounted room rate which was a great benefit for the surfers. The Inn also hosted the first night and donated one of the major prizes. The MacBouch Restaurant and Lounge hosted the Saturday night event for the Classic, which was very successful seeing many visitors taking in the event. VOCA, the Village On the Canal Association, lent its support to the Surf Classic as one of the Host Sponsors for this very popular event. As well as the above mentioned support, there were also other business from the area that supported the Classic by donating prizes for the events. Outdoor Tourism is one of the most sought after and growing avenues of the industry in Nova Scotia. It is important to stay in tune with what the visitors are looking for, especially with all the excellent reviews that Cape Breton has been drawing as the number one island to visit in North America. With outdoor activities offered in Richmond County, it will continue to draw the interest of visitors. The Surf Classic, as well as last year’s new Paddlefest, have caused quite a bit of interest from visitors around the area and beyond.
It is great to see the renewed interest of businesses and community organizations from the county lending their support to our tourism ventures. In order to see our county grow in the tourism sector this support is a necessity. The Surf Classic which takes place the last weekend of August also aids the increase of visitors coming to the area during the start of what we refer as our shoulder season, as this is the time period that many of the visitors with families have already headed back home due to the start of school. Well until next week, I hope you enjoy your time in Richmond and have fun during the school March Break!