Emo plans tourist strategies

Those attending a recent meeting to discuss possible strategies to attract more tourism to Emo and the surrounding area came up with some very interesting results.
Those on hand for the Sept. 29 meeting, staged by the Rainy River Future Development Corp. at the Emo-La Vallee Community Centre, were split into groups to weigh the importance of various aspects of the tourist business in their community.
“Among the most important factors were fuel, food, hardware, boating supplies, groceries, and accommodations,” noted Brenda Cooke, clerk/treasurer for the Township of Emo.
“We also took into account that there were many people who were employed because of the tourism here,” she added.
The groups then brainstormed about what improvements could be made to the area to improve tourism, after which they exchanged ideas and priorized them as realistic options.
Of most importance was the possible construction of an information centre/museum that could assist and educate tourists about the area. A brochure promoting the area also was part of this idea.
Second, there was a proposal to provide adequate signage in Emo, pointing out the various churches, landmarks, and businesses to tourists visiting there.
The beautification of highways, with more lighting and planted flowers, was ranked third while the development of more events at the Emo grandstand (such as concerts like the two held in conjunction with the Rainy River Valley Agricultural Fair in August) came fourth.
But this latter proposal demands the co-operation of the Rainy River Valley Agricultural Society, noted Cooke.
Establishing a ferry service between Emo and Minnesota was ranked fifth in importance, followed by a proposal for the development of a private-sector RV ground in Emo.
“Our next step was to establish a working committee to work towards investigating the validity of these proposed plans,” said Cooke, who added Emo already has made some of these plans a priority–to an extent.
“We’ve been working on improved signage and the brochure, and we’re putting up more lights all the time,” she noted.
The extent to which these ideas give the tourist industry a boost will be determined in the future by the working committee.
“With the Emo centennial coming up next year, the grandstand idea is one that many of us would like to see go further,” Cooke said.
The RRFDC is compiling the information gathered at the meeting, and will be sending it out to businesses that may be interested in the proposals by the end of this week.
No one from the RRFDC was available for comment by press time last night.