Despite the struggles of the COVID-19 pandemic, tourism and visitors to the Columbia Valley are now generating economic activity in Invermere, helping businesses push past the early woes.

Speaking to MyEastKootenayNow.com, Al Miller, Mayor of the District of Invermere said activity in the area has significantly improved in recent weeks.

“Business is quite good, certainly I try to take checks on downtown fairly regularly and Main Street seems to be quite busy. Everybody I’m chatting with they seem to be reasonably positive under these COVID-19 conditions,” said Miller. “Thankfully all of our tourism folk are in, they’re here, you can see it, lots of volumes of vehicles and people.”

Miller said tourism and specifically summer visitors are integral to the success of many businesses in the Columbia Valley and the District of Invermere.

“We depend on it, every business in this community depends on it.”

That being said, Miller noted the importance of safety in the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuring everyone keeps playing their part in limiting the spread of the virus.

“We have to be able to have respect and do our procedures and protocols properly to keep everybody safe. We just ask that the Valley really respects our visitors – respectful of each other.”

Miller hopes locals and visitors will continue supporting local over big box stores or online during the pandemic so the economy can continue to recover as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

“Customer service is very important to all our stores in town and they’re trying their very best. We just ask everybody to support them, shop local, and we’ll get through this.”