Hoteliers refuse meeting with city

NANAIMO – City council renews discussion about hotel extension at meeting Monday.

SSS Manhao refused to meet with the city officials in the lead-up to a political decision on timeline extension for the hotel, according to Mayor Bill McKay.

“They are being a lot colder towards us right now and I can’t say that I blame them,” he said.

City representatives, including the mayor and city manager, were prepared to meet with the conference centre hotel developers to offer assurances the best is wanted for both parties but the offer was refused, according to the mayor, who says proponents are waiting to hear what happens at an open council meeting Monday.

He believes they took great offense at last week’s council meeting, where council nixed a bid for a one-year extension on the hotel project and decided instead to consider giving SSS Manhao six more months to apply for a building permit before making the decision whether to buy back the property.

The extension would be in exchange for SSS Manhao committing $100,000 to Piper Park improvements, and the loss of the Right of First Negotiation to operate the Vancouver Island Conference Centre. Council could have just said no on the year extension, but it took three hours to do it, the mayor said, adding proponents will now watch  how council behaves, how it speaks about the project and whether this is a community they want to do business with.

“That’s what’s at stake.”