To the Editor,
Re: Event centre process is a cause for concern, Letters, Jan. 17.
An events centre that rivals Victoria and Kelowna would be a huge asset for Nanaimo, not just for the immediate locals, but for all Vancouver Island residents. When an event like a concert is announced in Victoria a lot of people from Ladysmith to the north end of the Island travel to Victoria. If Nanaimo had an events centre then they would travel to Nanaimo instead and spend their money here because the same concert would certainly want to play in both cities. That would also be true for trade shows, sporting events and the like.
I have seen first hand what the Kelowna Events Centre has done for the downtown of Kelowna. Before it was built, the downtown area was going through a very rough time. Since its construction, the downtown area of Kelowna is where it’s at and people want to be. Hotels, condos, restaurants, and many other businesses have thrived and brought their downtown back to life.
As for locations, downtown Kelowna is on the waterfront lakeshore and we have an ocean location that is ripe for development beside Port Place mall all the way over to the cruise ship pier. This is where it should be built, because the space is large enough for the events centre along with enough room for parking and condo projects. As it stands now, it is a terrible first impression that we give cruise ship passengers when disembarking to explore our city. They see a nice new terminal building surrounded by desolate wasteland. Imagine what it could be like with a new events centre, new waterfront condos, a new hotel, new restaurants and businesses. I am sure it is one, if not the only prime waterfront pieces of land still undeveloped in a downtown location anywhere in B.C. If we do not do something spectacular with the waterfront, our downtown will continue to be an undesirable location for visitors and locals alike.
To the Editor,
Re: City takes next steps toward referendum, Jan. 19.
With regard to the proposed Nanaimo event centre, it would appear from the media information concerning the steps already taken by our disjointed city council that it will be a foregone conclusion despite the referendum.
The council appear to have developed a mania for appointing and engaging advisors with taxpayers’ money, which would be better spent on solving the problem of low-cost housing, education and health matters.
There are sufficient ‘white elephants’ within Nanaimo to fill a market stall without creating another and council would be better advised to attempt their clearance during their, fortunately, dwindling term of office.