Council considering new hotel application

If successful, this hotel would fill four vacant lots near the northern gateway to Penticton

Penticton city council is considering another hotel proposal near the South Okanagan Events Centre. (Submitted graphic)

Hoteliers are looking at the area around the South Okanagan Events Centre as the new area to develop.

Last month, Penticton city council green lighted a hotel application that would see Mundi Hotel Enterprises build a 95-suite hotel on Eckhardt Avenue, on the site now occupied by the Bingo Palace.

Tomorrow evening, council is considering another hotel project, this time for a four-storey, 75-unit hotel on four lots kitty corner from the SOEC across Eckhardt Avenue, on land where a gas station formerly sat. The construction value of the project is estimated to be around $10.3 million and will contribute about $79,000 a year in taxes to the city’s coffers. The current taxes on the property are about $6,300 a year.

The letter of intent accompanying the proposal from JM Architecture Inc. Indicates this project is under the Ramada brand. The proposed site is backed the Penticton Golf and Country Club, and the existing Ramada Penticton is nearby.

The report from city staff speaks positively to the hotel project, indicating the area is suited for commercial densification.

“The transition from a petrol station and subsequent brownfield site to a brand new hotel in a strategic gateway location for the City of Penticton is another step in a positive direction for our community,” reads the report.

If council approves the initial proposal, the project will go to a public hearing at a future council meeting.

Casino changes

Also on council’s agenda this afternoon is a request for support from Cascade Casino, which is applying for a new outdoor patio through the Liquor Control and Licensing Branch. The patio area is changing from staff smoking area to patron smoking area, which expands the liquor service area.

The patio will have a maximum 14 people and operate the same hours as the main casino. The staff reports notices and request for comments were sent to business owners and residents within 100 metres, but there have not been any inquiries or letters received.

Unsightly property

City staff are requesting council approve a private contractor to clean up an unsightly property at 485 Westminster Ave. There have been five separate complaints about the property since 2009, including the current file which was opened in April 2016.

“Historically, the owners of the property have done a minimum amount of clean-up to satisfy the bylaw officer’s requests,” reads the staff report. “The unsightliness consists of discarded furniture and various types of discarded material all visible from the street, the lane and from both neighbouring properties.”

Since April 2016, bylaw officers have completed 20 inspections of this property, issued two letters requesting clean-up, and twelve notices/tickets, none of which have been paid, according to the report.