Yellowknife councillors worried city will have to take over visitors' centre permanently

Last October, the city agreed to temporarily run visitors' services out of city hall after the former tourism office closed due to structural issues. Now, one councillor is worried that move might no longer be temporary.

City temporarily took over visitors’ services after former centre vacated due to structural issues

Yellowknife city hall is temporary home to visitor services after the former building that housed those services closed due to structural problems. (Gabriela Panza-Beltrandi)

Yellowknife city councillors are worried the N.W.T. government may expect the city to run the visitors' centre permanently.

The city began running visitor services out of city hall last October after the former visitors' centre was vacated because of structural issues.

The move was supposed to be temporary, but at Monday's municipal services committee meeting, Coun. Adrian Bell said he fears the territory might expect more from the city than the city has the capacity to provide.

"The last thing I want to see is the [territorial government] offloading this responsibility onto the city on a permanent basis," he said.

"I can see that the longer this goes on, the more likely it is that the city will be seen to be responsible, or more responsible than it should be, for providing these services."

Coun. Shauna Morgan echoed Bell's concerns.

"We definitely need to keep pressure on the [territory] to step up and see this as a urgent issue," she said.

Drew Williams, a spokesperson for the Department of Industry, Tourism, and Investment says the territory is still working with the city to find a long-term location for the visitors' centre.

Council will vote whether to run visitor services for another six months at its next meeting on March 26.