Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Nanaimo Restaurant Closures

Tough Summer For Some Nanaimo Eateries

In the past month there have been five Nanaimo restaurants to close at a time you might expect the 'tourist season bump' to have changed financial fortunes.

The five include the Dancing Goat, The Front Street Grill, Two Guys Cooking, The Modern and The Diners Rendezvous. It is notable that all five closures come within the downtown core for what that is worth. This is in spite of the considerable investment Nanaimo taxpayers have made revitalizing the downtown core. Massive amounts of money have been spent on new buildings, subsidizing the DNBIA, the convention centre, the Port Theatre, hotel tax exemptions and on the list goes. Downtown gets special attention with hanging baskets and sidewalk cleaners to name just a few of the extras property and business owners enjoy compared to other commercial centres across the city.

Considerable tax dollars have also gone to funding the NEDC charged with economic development and tourism for what is arguably little return. The action plan for Nanaimo tourism so far has been to now hire a consultant to conduct yet another survey to develop yet another strategic plan. In the meantime putting up a website and producing a slick tourist guide seems to be the sum total of results coming from the NEDC.

Nanaimo seems to be the poster child for the paralysis that comes with continuing analysis. How long have the people in the private sector associated with the tourist industry been in Nanaimo? Why oh why, can they simply not come to some agreement as to what Nanaimo needs to do going forward to grow the tourist business? After all, they are truly the experts when it comes to what attracts and holds visitors and should be much closer to the business solution than paid consultants.

Here's an idea that should fit into the Nanaimo psyche; lets hire a consultant to conduct a survey and develop a strategic plan to determine which consultant is best qualified to conduct a survey and develop a strategic plan for the express purpose of deciding which consultant we should hire to conduct a survey to see which consultant is best suited to the task.

There....... that should solve the problem.


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