Penticton Western News letters to the editor.

Letter: Thoughts on city parking

If I owned a restaurant in Penticton I would be asking for an equal playing field

Thoughts on city parking

Between Wendy’s on Main and the Chinese Buffet on Skaha Lake local restaurants provide about 429 parking spaces for their customers.

This is excluding restaurants such as Earl’s, Joey’s or Cherry Lane which have mingled parking for various outlets.

Each of these restaurants provides free parking for their customers on valuable land which is part of their capital cost expenditure. These parking spaces are taxed annually by the City of Penticton at commercial rates along with their restaurant.

Now compare this to the casino, a gambling venue with two restaurants and a bistro with a total of 24 parking spaces. For comparison purposes McDonalds has 53 parking spots and Boston Pizza 45.

This past weekend we had the Vancouver Canucks Young Stars Classic and the city was charging $10 per car for parking at the South Okanagan Events Centre.

On at least one occasion I observed a casino patron’s car being allowed to park for free in an overflow section at Memorial Arena. This is in addition to the casino’s allotted 24 parking spaces. Now I have no idea if the Memorial Arena area was full of free parking for casino patrons or not but for every casino car they allowed parking in that area the taxpayers of Penticton saw $10 siphoned out of their pocket as direct subsidy to the casino.

I have seen 50 people lined up for the casino’s buffet supper — as these people were processed 50 more or so took their place. Where are they parking? Why is the city allowing free casino parking on taxpayer-owned land and taxing restaurants in town for the parking they provide their customers? Why is the city allowing free parking during events for casino customers when every other car driving onto that lot, which has already paid to attend an event, is forced to pay an additional $10?

If I owned a restaurant in this city I would be asking for an equal playing field.

Elvena Slump

Penticton

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