After several lack lustre seasons, the Mascot Gold Mine tours will start this year with a bang.
“Last year was tough. It started late. There really wasn’t people that could run it. There was a problem with the tour bus. But this year everything has been really good so far,” Sophia Rosenbloom, the new marketing director for the mine tours said.
The Upper Similkameen Indian Band hired Rosenbloom earlier this year to help promote the mine tours and hopefully draw more tourists to the Similkameen Valley.
“We’re trying to reposition ourselves. We want to promote tourism in the area and get some real interest going,” she said.
To kick that off a grand opening is being held this Saturday from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Snaza’ist Discovery Centre in Hedley.
The day will include a barbecue, live country western music played by local musicians Tomahawk and Friends, silent auction, and 50/50 draws.
All proceeds raised throughout the day will go towards rebuilding the band’s community hall located across from the tour building on Hwy 3.
Silent auction items include a helicopter ride over Spotted Lake for three people, passes to Main Event gym in Keremeos, winery tour at Seven Stones, passes to the Osoyoos Desert Model Railroad museum, passes to Snaza’ist Discovery Centre, gift certificates to Wrong Turn Tavern, The Hitching Post and much more.
“It’s great the community has really come out to support us,” she said.
Mascot Mine is already seeing a bump in visitors as school trips become more popular. A tour for 69 children just took place from a school in Enderby.
Tours for the public are taking place every weekend in June with departure times at 9:30 a.m to 2:30 p.m.
In July and August tours will run five days a week from Wednesday to Sunday.
There are still spots available for the tour heading out Saturday morning. To book a tour email email@example.com or call 250-292-8733.
The Mascot Gold Mine operated from 1936 to 1949. In all, 7.1 tonnes of gold was extracted, worth close to $130 million.