The Grand Falls community says a sign on the Trans-Canada Highway has got to go. The sign welcoming visitors to the rural community of Saint Andre was installed in the fall of 2012, and Grand Falls mayor Richard Keeley says its confusing to tourists.
“We have some local business people that expressed a concern, they’ve actually witnessed some people turning around thinking that they had passed Grand Falls,” he says.
Keeley says the sign sits three and a half kilometers from the entrance of Saint Andre – and just two and a half kilometers from the entrance of Grand Falls. He says if you look at the sign from the highway – you see more of Grand Falls behind it than you do Saint Andre. He’s already met with the officials from the community of Saint Andre and representatives from the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure about the issue. He’s mainly frustrated because there was no communication before or when the sign was put up.
“It’s the process more that caused the problem, the sign is the symptom of that problem,” says Keeley.
Keeley wants the sign moved to a location closer to the St Andre municipal boundaries and he plans to replace it with one welcoming tourists to Grand Falls. Moving the sign will cost several thousand dollars but the town of Grand Falls is open to a solution that benefits everyone.
“Our tourism numbers are down and I can’t attribute it solely to that, its been sliding for a number of years, but its certainly not helping our cause,” says Keeley.
Keeley says Grand Falls has spent millions of dollars on tourism – he expects to hear back from the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure in a few weeks.