To the editor:
Waterfront property is priceless. Waterfront property cannot be reproduced or replicated. Waterfront property belongs to the residents, taxpayers and voters of Kelowna. Self interest groups must not be allowed to use priceless public possessions in order to market their businesses. Our elected officials need to stand up and be counted on their position to this extremely important matter so as to allow our democratic process to react accordingly at the earliest convenience. We only have one chance to get this right.
We all have a responsibility to future generations to preserve nature’s beauty so that they too can enjoy it in person and not just view pictures of it in a museum. We do not need to build something that will generate ‘oohs and aahs’ as has been suggested. Mother Nature has done a magnificent job of that already. We just need to protect it from greed. Why do so many misguided humans believe that beauty is something that must be built by humans?
Tourists need a large parking area, a comfortable place for family and pets to relax and refresh, a place to gather information and a place to decide on accommodations to stay at and attractions to view. A pretentious waterfront location offers none of these requirements. If a newcomer has made it to the busy and crowded waterfront then they more than likely have already settled in, checked into their chosen accommodation and have started their Okanagan adventure. The only need left is to provide shiny brochures to those who haven’t already gathered them from their campground, hotel or B&B. Do we really need to sacrifice waterfront property to distribute maps and brochures? In fact, the Internet provides all the information they need prior to them leaving their point of departure.
Egos need to be set aside and a facility that meets the needs of traveller’s not the needs of business people or political networking must be the primary focus. Tourism is definitely an important industry for the Okanagan but it isn’t the only important industry. Find a location off the highway that offers safe access and egress, good parking, washroom facilities, a place to relax and a place to gather information.
Keep in mind that this is a seasonal facility that would have minimal need in the winter. Skiers travel north and east. Maybe sublet a space to a local bistro, allow local artisans to display and sell their work, allow wine tastings from local wineries on a winery rotation basis or place it close to the alleged new site for the Farmers Market.
Do what you want just leave our waterfront alone!
Don Clipperton, Kelowna