Hand-drawn Snow Lake tourism maps a hit with visitors, locals

The Snow Lake Chamber of Commerce has found a creative solution to an ongoing problem. Tourists and campers around the area didn’t know where things were in Snow Lake. The chamber’s solution –printing hand-drawn maps, complete with phone numbers for local businesses, then giving them out for free to campers.

There is an unexpected problem with that plan, however –the high demand from locals and former residents for the maps as keepsakes.

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“We decided to just print 1,000 of them and were shocked by the amount of locals and people that are from Snow Lake and have moved away who were asking for them,”Snow Lake Chamber of Commerce treasurer Jill Arpin said.

“They said it didn’t matter how much [the maps] cost - whatever it is - they will pay for it. We were thinking they would just be for tourists that would come through…Now we’ve almost already went through a huge pile and are ready to reorder again.”The map was initially sketched by Arpin, then sent to former Snow Lake resident Bill Hrenchuk, who finished the art. The map is double sided, with information on everything from hunting guides to the local seniors’centre.

“We were blown away by it. It’s just so cute,”Arpin said.

“We were worried that he wasn’t going to be able to fit everything on a map like that, especially to be able to put both sections in there.”

Arpin said after the success of the first run, the chamber will print more and is also looking into places where a larger, permanent version of the map can be displayed.

The maps are free for tourists, but if local residents want one, they’ll need to pay two dollars. The cost is to help cover printing. They are available for sale at the Snow Lake Motor Inn.

“For everyone else, we wanted it to be free,”Arpin said. “We didn’t realize that 1,000 were going to go just like that. Printing is not cheap anymore.”

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