Delegate numbers fail to tell full VICC story

Re: Busy spring at convention centre, April 19.

To the Editor,

Re: Busy spring at convention centre, April 19.

Anyone reading this story might assume that the Vancouver Island Conference Centre is on the right track and doing well; a modicum of research however shows that this is not exactly so.

First off, the story states that 30,000 delegate days are expected this year.  This is exactly the same number that was being hyped for 2011 and yet we see that only 13,980 delegate days, less than 2.5 per cent capacity, actually were achieved.

Second, it is important to note that included in delegate days are those of the weekly Sunday Church service the ‘Meeting Place’. At an estimated 150 people attending per week this accounts for 6,500 delegate days during the year, almost half of all delegate days in 2011. If, a really big if, the 30,000 proposed delegates do materialize this year, it would still account for more than 20 per cent.

A quick perusal of the VICC website will show that for the last six months of this year, other than the ‘Meeting Place’, only one convention and one other event are scheduled.

Half truths expressed through stories such as this do nothing in moving this facility forward.

We must stop looking at the VICC with eyes wide shut and dreams of a hotel as the only option of salvation. Only by openly recognizing the facility’s flaws can we then move forward to rectify them.

Gordon W. Fuller

Nanaimo