Like any business Gateway Casino has every right to seek different accommodation when their lease expires. The question is whether the city’s involvement breaches a code of ethics that will ensure that no business will be willing to chance locating or expanding in our fair city.
Gateway, according to the mayor, approached the city. So who touted the idea a new hotel would benefit the city and Gateway? Gateway must have been aware that the city did not own any property that could accommodate them. Hotels currently have a 51 per cent vacancy rate.
In the meantime where does this leave the Lakeside Resort?
Is it ethical for the city to engage in talks to provide presently non-existent accommodation to Gateway under those circumstances?
Has Gateway discussed their apparent need for change with the Lakeside? Perhaps the Lakeside is willing to accommodate them. Did the city refer Gateway to the Lakeside to discuss their lease?
Would you move or expand your business in Penticton if you knew that after you spent millions of dollars accommodating city planners; the city would engage competitors in talks that monetarily provide unfair competition against you?
Prystay and the Lakeside have been a huge philanthropic charity benefiting taxpayers in Penticton. As such, they deserve our admiration and the utmost respect and consideration of our city fathers.
The city representing taxpayer’s has an obligation to be open in its dealings and treat all citizens ethically and fairly. That includes David Prystay and the Lakeside.
The city needs to tread very carefully or we might find taxpayers’ are facing a lawsuit that makes other lawsuits against Penticton look like chump change.