City can’t afford to lose hotel deal

If we had a decent-sized hotel for the tourists to stay in, isn’t there a high possibility that the conference centre would be used?

To the Editor,

Re: Council considers six-month extension on hotel, June 18.

Let me see if I have this right. We have the Vancouver Island Conference Centre, which is a white elephant that the Nanaimo taxpayers have been heavily supporting. Then there is that white elephant we have called the Port Theatre.

If we had a decent-sized hotel for the tourists to stay in, isn’t there a high possibility that both the conference centre and the theatre would be used? If the hotel had the first booking rights for the conference centre, couldn’t it use that to draw business meetings in? Call me crazy, but I see this contract as a win-win situation all around.

The investors have not asked for an extension to the completion date so let’s try and work with them and let them keep the first rights to negotiation. They can’t do any worse of a job than has already been done getting bookings for this place.

Robin HulmeNanaimo


To the Editor:

Re: City council agrees to six-month hotel extension, June 25.

While we have had personal animosities between council members from time to time, the open viciousness and seething hatred between and among so many in one public session is a record. A new low, despicable record. Such pettiness denigrates the participants, detracts from fulfilling city business, besmirches council’s reputation, insults the voters, and diminishes the credibility of those central to the abuses.

Among the mayor’s responsibilities, he was elected to chair council meetings fairly and effectively. That includes using firmness, if necessary, to bring abusive councillors under control. Mayors, all chairpersons, must ensure all members are treated with respect and the business of the organization is fulfilled.

On a more positive note, I extend my public appreciation to other members of council for trying, in very trying circumstances, to do the job the voters elected them to do.

Gary KorpanNanaimo


To the Editor:

Re: City council agrees to six-month hotel extension, June 25.

No sooner had city council unanimously given a six-month extension to the hotel developer, Mayor Bill McKay blind-sided colleagues with a proposed follow-up motion to guarantee the conference centre would not be repurposed or sold. Say what?

The hotel developer had already stated it was not interested in managing the seven-year-old white elephant. Its main goal is to bring tourists to stay in its hotel. The developer actually gave away any contractual rights it had to the conference centre.

McKay no longer seems to care about saving taxpayers over $1 million a year it costs to bail the VICC from the red each year, nor the interest we pay on the $72.5-million structure which sits virtually as an echo chamber.

Luckily the rest of council saw the lunacy of the mayor’s back-door motion and it died its rightful death without a seconder.

Something, anything must be done with the conference centre. The promises, the waiting, have gone on long enough.

K.T. ShawNanaimo

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