Letter: Queensway a good location for a tourist centre
Open letter to Kelowna Mayor Gray and Council:
I am writing this letter to offer support for the Tourism Info Centre at the west end of Queensway Avenue.
The issues that were raised when the Visitor Info Centre was proposed for the City Park location were heard by city council and staff, and now I feel that a better location is being considered that meets the criteria of a great ‘welcoming center’ for guests to our city.
I believe that the objectives and the vision reflected in the OCP and the Downtown Plan are satisfied in this proposal presented by city staff.
The criteria that Tourism Kelowna has presented for the location and function of the Visitors Centre is well-researched with real statistical information that reflects the recent evolutionary changes in the tourism industry. A strong presence and commitment to tourism is critical to our community for the thousands of jobs sustained and the estimated $653 million in economic output produced by our local economy. I believe that anything less than an iconic, well-designed Visitors Centre in the absolute best and most effective location in Kelowna would be a grave mistake.
The location is currently asphalt parking and would serve the public better as a resource and service center for visitors. The waterfront would be preserved in the location and design presented with very little disruption to sight-lines. I have walked through this area numerous times over the last 27 years since owning a business in the downtown and look forward to this part of our city coming to life as it is in other parts of the downtown and the city.
I believe that all of Kelowna, our tourism operators and their employees, and our visitors will be well served by a Visitor Information Centre at this location.
I encourage council to continue to support modern and innovative opportunities in our community such as this and support the Tourism Industry and its employees in Kelowna by approving this initiative.
Many thanks to city staff and council, and to Tourism Kelowna for listening to the public concerns about the City Park site and providing us with a well-planned alternate proposal.