LETTERS: Support for the Penticton Lakeside

Once again I am flabbergasted by the actions of our current city council.

Once again I am flabbergasted by the actions of our current city council.

Firstly, they say they wish to encourage sport tourism, but it is OK to get rid of another ball diamond with no plans to relocate it or build a proper ball/soccer park such as Oliver’s or Summerland’s?

Secondly, they are enticing the major tenant, Gateway Casinos, away from one of Penticton’s greatest community supporters with taxpayer money It appears that money is being used for subsidizing another hotel, which is not built yet with idle promises of greatness and unproven profits. For years, our convention centre was one of the most successful in the province. We have lost that marketing team and there are also lots of world class venues to accommodate those convention attendees.

Currently there is a signed contract that the city, the Lakeside, BC Lottery Corporation and Gateway Casinos all signed onto upon approval of the current casino. I would think it should also be ethical that all parties involved should be invited to any meeting in which any adjustments or changes for the said contract are made. The Lakeside went above and beyond to accommodate the wishes of the council of the day and BCLC, spending into the millions of dollars to meet those demands. I am not sure if to date the Lakeside has been able to recover those additional costs yet either.

The fact that council accepted and invited this meeting with BCLC without representation from the Lakeside, is nothing but a slap in the face the general manager David Prystay and his amazing staff at the hotel.

There are two other options within a block of the convention centre for a major hotel to be built  upon, The El Rancho property on Westminster or the failed hockey dorm site on Eckhardt.

Another point I wish to make is that I believe the utilization rate that the current hotel rooms are full is under 48 per cent per year. Now how will another major hotel be any better off without being subsidized by taxpayers.

I am totally disappointed with this council so far and can not believe the total disregard and disrespect for Prystay and the Lakeside staff whom continually are amazing community supporters

Our mayor, council and city staff say they would like to see a softer side of the taxpaying public when they are dealing with them.

I have a solution for that too: quit making so many dumb decisions.

George Bergquist




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