The Williams Lake Visitor Centre is saying goodbye to one of its original and most unique exhibit ­— its car display. The display is being removed in order to provide more space for events. Saying goodbye to the car feature are visitor centre staff Taylor Williams (left)

The Williams Lake Visitor Centre is saying goodbye to one of its original and most unique exhibit ­— its car display. The display is being removed in order to provide more space for events. Saying goodbye to the car feature are visitor centre staff Taylor Williams (left)

Visitor centre sees change

The unique car display inside the Williams Lake Visitor Centre is moving on.

The unique car display inside the Williams Lake Visitor Centre is moving on.

“It’s time for some changes, we need some updates,” said Claudia Blair, executive director of the Williams Lake and District Chamber of Commerce, which operates the visitor centre inside the Tourism Discovery Centre.

The display, which features a small car loaded several feet high with everything from a boat, canoe, boots, snowshoes, coolers and even a tent, will be dismantled after being a part of the building since it opened in 2006.

Last month Williams Lake City Council also committed up to $135,000 to have much needed repairs done to the exterior and handrails of the building, located on South Broadway along Highway 97.

“We commend the city with having the vision to take it on,” Blair said of the repairs.

An impressive 15,000 square foot log building, Blair said the centre receives about 30,000 visitors from around the world each year who are always impressed with the building and the staff.

“This visitor centre is one of a kind in the province,” she said, noting her staff still wear uniforms to greet visitors.

“I want to keep that tradition of a classic visitor centre. That’s important to us.”

Blair said keeping the centre staffed and physically maintained is costly, and there hasn’t been any money spent on the building since it was built.

She said they almost double their budget with funds raised in the gift and coffee shop to help offset costs every year.

Currently the visitor centre is opened 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday, but will open seven days a week beginning May 7.

Blair said she is looking forward to having more usable space in the building once the car display is gone, with ideas such as hosting more events or even student groups being considered.

“The list of possibilities are endless.”