Thursday, September 11, 2014


Some Fencing & Pretty Signs Do Not A Hotel Make

While going through some of my picture files I came across this one I took the day we had the 'ribbon cutting' on the site of the downtown hotel which is said to be the missing link to a successful conference centre business.

It struck me that this picture looked a bit like what you might expect to see if a circus came to town and set up their signs and tent and invited one and all to be entertained at a modest cost.

I realize that development of any kind can move along at glacial speed but once upon a time we were assured there would be 'shovels in the ground' by the middle of May of this year. Remember?

Then we had the official un-announcement complete with giant scissors cutting a ribbon, which really was only 'announcing' the same deal we expected would be underway back in May.

Mayor Seems To Miss The Point

Mayor Ruttan is quoted in a recent Bulletin article as saying the advent of the downtown hotel should help the ailing convention business which seems to be suffering it's worst year yet. He either knows something the hotel owners aren't disclosing or he is missing the reason the hotel is being built.

The head of the hotel group was quoted in the Daily as saying the reason for building the hotel was to bring Chinese visitors here where they could be served in their Chinese language. He made no mention of the hotel's future having anything to do with the convention business is Nanaimo.

The numbers of the business plan put forward by the Hotel group would not support helping our convention business either. They claimed their business model included bringing 70,000 tourists per year to their hotel which would come from their Asian tourist company. How many rooms they could spare for our conventions would not seem to be really very helpful.

Remember, adding much needed quality hotel rooms to the pool available to attract all those profitable conventions was the premise for giving this hotel a 10 year tax exemption.

Of course, if our convention centre can't attract any more delegates than it has this year, how many rooms are available is a rather moot point.


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