Kelowna mayor pleased with Scottsdale reception

Mayor announces plan for symposiums to introduce officials to each city with the am of creating a business relationship.

Kelowna Mayor Walter Gray’s quick trip to Scottsdale yesterday to investigate the possibility of a future business relationship between his city and its Arizona counterpart, has already yielded its first result.

Contacted in Scottsdale yesterday afternoon, Gray told the Capital News that at a meeting with city and business representatives there, it was decided to hold two symposiums—one in Kelowna in August and another in Scottsdale next February—to introduce officials to each city.

“It will be like a home and home series,” said Gray, stressing the relationship being investigated will be strictly business and not a sister-city relationship such as the cultural and social ones Kelowna has with Kasugai, Japan and Veendam in the Netherlands.

Gray said in addition to the meeting with Scottsdale Mayor Jim Laine, he also attended a meeting organized by the Kelowna-Scottsdale Business Council, a group of Scottsdale businesspeople, some with ties to Canada. Present at the meeting was the Canadian consul and senior trade representative whose area includes Arizona.

Gray said he came away from the meting encouraged by the reception he, Central Okanagan economic development commissioner Robert Fine, and city councillors Andre Blanleil and Colin Basran received and was pleased to see the two cities have a lot in common.

“This would all be about business but often the way you make someone think about business is by familiarizing them with your area, and that is often done first by being a tourist,” said Gray. So, to the end, he said when the representatives from Scottsdale come here, they will be shown many of the recreational attractions this area offers such as golf courses and wineries.

Gray noted as an example of the familiarity many here have with the Scottdale area, 55 per cent of the residents of the Gallagher’s Canyon golf resort area are “snowbirds” with 65 per cent of them spending time in the Phoenix/Scotdale area of Arizona every winter.

One of the people spearheading the proposed city-to-city relationship is local businessman Brad Field, who works with Armorworks, a company that has operations here and in Scottsdale.

Gray said the company, which recently won a multi-milion military equipment contract, has about 500 workers in the Scottsdale area.

Gray  added that one of the issues that needs to be addressed in order to create any “sustainable” relationship is a more frequent airline connection between the two communities.

Currently, Westjet offer service between Kelowna and Scottsdale during the winter months only.

Gray said the Scottsdale mayor, who used to work for an airline, is familiar with the issue and said  in addition to possibly more flights by Westjet, another, as-of-yet unidentified U.S. airline may be interested providing a year-round connection between the two cities.

“I came down here with an open mind and came away very encouraged by the meetings,” said Gray, who flies back to Kelowna today.



Just Posted

Fence to go up along part of Mission Creek

360 metres of chain-link fence to go up in Mission Creek Regional Park

Uber official says public needs to push for ridesharing in B.C.

Mike van Hemmen tells Kelowna Chamber of commerce ridesharing would be ‘win-win-win’

Three-vehicle accident on Highway 33

Crews are on the scene of the multi vehicle collision about 10 kms east of Kelowna

Cram the Cruiser back in Lake Country

The annual fundraiser will be held Dec. 2 at the Save On

Cougar spotted near Okanagan elementary school

Cougar sighting near Peter Greer Elementary in Lake Country

Okanagan ski hills open for the season

Both Big White and Silverstar Resort open for the 2017-18 season Thursday

Four years for discharging shotgun in home, school break-in

Yvon Martel also threatened his wife and broke into an elementary school

Traci Genereaux: Gone, but not forgotten

COLUMN: Family, friends want justice for Vernon teen

An adopted cat is the best 10 pounds you’ll gain this season

BC SPCA encouraging families to add a forever feline friend during adoption event Nov. 24 to Dec. 3

Up close and personal roots performance on Vernon stage

The Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre Society presents William Prince Nov. 29-30

B.C. co-ops relieved with Ottawa’s housing strategy

Federal government to have a new co-operative housing funding model in place by 2020

Letter to the editor: Missing woman’s parents appreciate search effort

To take part in the banner drop, poster distribution and the drone… Continue reading

B.C. NDP referendum plan sparks legislature battle

David Eby says public will decide on proportional referendum

Hammy has been freed of his threads, a purple antler remains

The iconic Prince Rupert buck with a piece of hammock attached to his antlers was caught by COs

Most Read