Monday, October 06, 2008

QUESTIONS ABOUT THIS NEW HOTEL

STILL NO PROGRESS ON OUR NEW HOTEL

SOME QUESTIONS TO ASK CANDIDATES IN CIVIC ELECTION

This hotel originally was going to be a multi star Marriott Hotel as I recall and was to be an important component of the success of the Nanaimo Convention Center also known as the Vancouver Island Conference Center.

The lack of a hotel has already been reported as a hindrance for the Conference Centre trying to book any of the larger conventions as convenient accommodation must be available to delegates wishing to attend a conference in the Harbour City.

All that has come forth from councillor Manhas is the usual baffle gab designed to offer an explanation without really saying anything. For example back in May, we were told they were still awaiting geo-technical reports which seemed unlikely, as the hotel footings were to have been poured by this date.

Now it seems there is not even a firm contract with any company to operate a hotel on this site and obviously until that happens no one is going to start building a hotel. So what is really going on?

The company the city has entrusted with the development of this property was also offered a very valuable piece of land on the old foundry site on which they were going to build condominiums, which I am sure was the real reason for taking on the hotel construction. You see unless they build the hotel they can not get the land by Swy-a-lana lagoon which is the real 'carrot' being offered the developer. If that project is no longer looking as attractive as it once did, there may be little reason for the developer to be motivated to build out the hotel downtown.

The City is in no bargaining position in this deal whatever as clearly they have no options open to them or else they would have exercised them by now and engaged another contractor to complete the hotel downtown.

Suro Millenium has already failed to live up to their end of the agreement with the City on multiple occasions now and yet the city continues to limp along with them in the hope they can actually build this hotel.

The question which comes to mind is 'what kind of a deal is being negotiated with the supposed hotel company'? By that I mean is the City of Nanaimo having to guarantee the hotel operator any levels of income as part of the incentive to operate this hotel?

If this were a profitable venture you would not have to go begging companies to build a hotel, they would be lining up bidding on the opportunity. For example, private money built the new Ramada Inn on Terminal Ave. which has 60+ rooms and there was no help from city taxpayers whatever. So why, does it seem we are having so much trouble attracting anyone to build a hotel downtown next to what should be a busy conference center?

It is said that Suro will forfeit $250,000 if they fail to complete their end of the hotel deal (which they have already failed to do according to their contract) as if that is some big club. I would ask your elected officials how much money has this company already been paid by the city? I am certain they can give us back $250,000 and this whole adventure has cost them nothing.

Be sure to ask those wishing to be re-elected just what this new hotel is going to cost us and in fact is there any real assurance it is ever going to be built by Suro Millenium.

allvoices

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