The Cowichan Regional Visitor Centre celebrated five years at its location across the parking lot from the BC Forest Discovery Centre.

Since moving from the location near the intersection of the Trans-Canada Highway and Coronation Avenue, more than 128,000 people have come to the visitor centre.

Julie Scurr, the outgoing Duncan Cowichan Chamber of Commerce President has served in the role for four years and said five years ago, the centre became a regional hub and said people make it a priority to go to the ‘regional’ visitor centre.

“We became a regional visitor centre, so we service the entire Cowichan Valley, not just Duncan specifically,” said Scurr. “We have access to this beautiful parking lot, we get lots of buses coming through and people make it a point of stopping and coming in here.”

The Duncan Cowichan Chamber of Commerce is expecting more than 31,000 people to walk through the doors this year.

Scurr has been in the role for four years and said there were a lot of naysayers five years ago.

“There were a lot of skeptics who said that in this digital age of technology, nobody’s going to use a ‘bricks and mortar’ building,” said Scurr. “Our stats show that that’s not the case, people come in here, they want that personal connection, and they want a hard copy map.”

She said the BC Forest Discovery Centre and the Visitors’ Centre have benefited from the success of the other in the last five years.

The next president will be a current board member who wants to take on more responsibility and the board will affirm that person to the role at the next board meeting on December 12.