To the editor:
Congratulations to Lloyd Vinish (Condescension in Column Puzzling to Newcomer, May 24, Capital News) and thank you to others like him for clearly seeing two sides to Mark Consiglio’s plans for Kelowna Mountain, and very eloquently displaying a common-sense attitude in his letter.
As a relative newcomer to the valley from even further “East,” I can understand Capital News reporter Jennifer Smith’s apparent dislike for foreign imports and her intimation that change is not good.
I am not a retiree, nor an “overseas landowner.” I was lucky enough to stumble across Kelowna in 2006 and moved here a year later with my family and three bags of belongings each—ours is not a story of riches and privilege.
Currently, I am out of work and willing to drive big trucks, clean, analyse data, project plan, walk dogs and mow lawns for the right person/company.
You see, my skill set is wide and varied lending itself to entrepreneurial endeavours, just like the Kelowna Mountain project appears to be. So I feel the collective pain of the “Consiglio crew” and the frustration that must be present every day when all they’re trying to do is improve everyone’s lot.
Okay, so a millionaire gets richer—again. What’s new, or wrong with that? Of course, Mark Consiglio isn’t doing this purely as an altruistic gesture for the city. Why would he? Why should he?
Surely it is better to have the Kelowna Mountain project go ahead and offer the kind of all-season modern facility this city so desperately needs, to create a couple of thousand decent jobs in the construction process.
There’s only one thing in life that stays the same—everything changes. We humans call it progress. And so it is with all things—people, places, nature, ideas—projects all change, or evolve.
We have an ability to control much of what changes around us by effectively planning what we want as an outcome.
It seems to me that Mark Consiglio and his team have been carefully planning their desired outcome while Kelowna and the Regional District of the Central Okanagan blissfully failed to join in with a viable planning process for a long time.
Current result: A regional district, city and local population at odds with a development project that would bring thousands of additional tourist visitors per year into this wonderful valley we are fortunate enough to call home.
Come on Kelowna, see the sense in what’s being done here on the South Slopes.
What an advertising and marketing opportunity for the city and Okanagan Valley. I’ll bet that when the Kelowna Mountain project delivers its goods, there will be an improvement in the city’s tax coffers, regional tourism numbers and overall popularity of Kelowna as a go-to destination.
Some folks don’t want to trek all the way out to Big White or cross the Bennett Bridge to get a couple hours of ski time and fresh air in the winter months. And neither Big White nor Crystal Mountain offer full four-season operation, which Kelowna Mountain proposes to do.
Let’s all be proud to back local entrepreneurs and investors lest they look elsewhere for support.