Business

Johnson: Hotel plan excites store owner

I’m so excited about the latest hotel development proposed for Kelowna’s downtown.

Last week, I was lucky enough to see a preview presentation of the proposed boutique hotel by Kerry Park, and I have to say I came away very impressed.

Westcorp, the company which built the new marina and pier at the foot of Queensway last year, has put a huge amount of work into getting this project right.

They really want it to be a place where people can gather and enjoy the beauty of the lake and park, and they’ve designed the building to encourage that.

The design reflects the gentle curves of our mountain landscape.

Loaded with features that create a great experience for all—glass-fronted meeting rooms, rooftop patio restaurants, outdoor fireplace—this hotel would totally transform our downtown waterfront area into a vibrant hub of activity and create a real landmark.

The conference facilities would also put Kelowna into the category of a world-class conference destination, which would do wonders for our local economy.

A lot of thought and effort has obviously gone into the planning of this hotel, and I really hope it proceeds as soon as possible.

Did you know that if you’re planning a trip south in the winter and you want to refresh your wardrobe before you leave, downtown Kelowna is the place to go?

You won’t believe the awesome assortment of warm-weather styles you can find even at this time of year downtown.

On a recent dreary winter day, I went for a stroll and here’s what I found:

Fashion Foundations, 1385 Ellis St., has a super selection of bikinis, tankinis and one-piece suits for all ages, from young girls to  great-grandmas, from women who need a J cup to those who are looking for a mastectomy suit.

Some of Fashion Foundation’s top product lines include Freya, Fantaisie and Amoena.

Along with the beautiful styles, the staff are totally helpful in ensuring that you find the perfect fit.

Natural Rezources, at 525 Bernard Ave., now carries a huge selection of sandals, shoes and canvas-top shoes by Crocs to go along with their healthy foods and supplements.

In fact, the back quarter of the store is like a Crocs store-within-a-store.

Some of the styles have arch support and circulation nibs to stimulate pressure points.

Ocean Minded is a new line of sandals by Crocs designed for surfers and beach lovers.

Tigerlily, 575 Bernard Ave., has a Cruisewear section that is very popular throughout the winter months.

It features easy cotton separates by Dunes of Mexico and Sea Salt, fresh sundresses by Canadian designers Michael Tyler and Crystal, pretty sunhats and sandals from Grandco. It’s a great place to stock up for those sunshine destinations.

MacD’s Lakeside, 219 Bernard Ave., is brimming with ladies summer styles from Tommy Bahama—maxi dresses, separates in silk, cotton and linen, tank tops and shorts, swim coverups.

For the guys, MacD’s  features Tommy Bahama linens and silks, shorts, T-shirts and polo shirts as well as Puma golf shirts.

Cruzwear, 539 Bernard Ave., is the store where “it’s always summer.”

Run by the dynamic mother-daughter team of Doreen and Sherry, this is a shop that can fit the whole family in bathing suits.

They buy their  swimwear direct so the costs are lower, and the styles are unique to Kelowna.

Some of their ladies’ lines are Miracle Suit, Sunflair (fit by cup size) and Gottex. Also look for a great selection of beach dresses and separates.

For the guys, Cruzwear has bathing suits and separates, featuring soft tropical-look shirts by Bamboo Cay. And yes, they have bathing suits for kids and even babies too.

The store also carries Sunveil, a line of separates that is breathable and blocks the sun and mosquitoes. Very handy when you’re going to the tropics!

And keep in mind the store has free parking in the back, accessible from Ellis Street.

Surf Culture Clothing, 213 Bernard Ave., has been operating for 20 years in Kelowna.

Owners Rod and Lori gear their store to “the young and the young at heart,” carrying top surf apparel lines from around the world.

In this haven of summer, you’ll find lots of swimwear separates for the ladies to allow for mixing and matching of styles, colours and sizes. You will also find beach dresses, flip flops and accessories.

For the guys, there are board shorts, tanks and shirts, as well as flip flops. This is a unique shop that exudes that summer feeling all year round, well worth a visit.

I know, I know—now you’re amazed at the incredible amount of summer styles that our downtown shops offer, even in the dead of winter.

Whether or not you’re planning a trip south soon, it’s fun just to check out all the bright colours and lightweight fabrics—and to take a break from winter.

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