To the editor:
Tourism Kelowna’s latest plan is now its third attempt to place a building in City Park or on precious waterfront. For each of the three iterations (City Park location, larger footprint on Kerry Park, and now an altered building on Kerry Park), there has been significant public outcry against erecting a building—however beautifully built.
The voice from the people has been loud and clear—no building in City Park or on waterfront.
Yet, the City of Kelowna, in conjunction with Tourism Kelowna, continues to try to push this onto the citizens of Kelowna.
My experience from both living and working in great waterfront cities is that city owned waterfront lands are earmarked for the public as public spaces. Urban planners have concluded that what makes a city vibrant and connected and its citizens happy and engaged, is plentiful, well planned, public spaces.
We have seen this in action in Kelowna in both summer and winter as people flock to Stuart Park to play ball, dance or skate.
Tourism Kelowna would be perfectly and perhaps better served by an office near The Sails. The benefit of this downtown location is that tourists could visit this location twelve months a year, not the seven or eight when tourists currently visit and walk the waterfront. Those who visit in the winter—perhaps a day away from Big White— could find the Tourist Office easily when they were downtown shopping and visiting our wonderful restaurants. Tourists would rarely be keen to look for information in the proposed Kerry Park location on cold, windy and sometimes icy days.
Anyone reading this who has objected to the earlier proposals and also objects to this one: You need to send in a specific objection to this proposal to ensure that your voice on this specific proposal is heard.
Barbara Bailey, Kelowna