Letter: No to obtrusive Tourism Kelowna building on waterfront

Vancouver, Toronto and Seattle all rent (tourist info centres) in pedestrian popular locations, in considerably less than 5,000 sq. ft.

To the editor:

Tourism Kelowna seems blind to the real attractions of downtown Kelowna. After having initially proposed to carve out a chunk of city park for their centre they now insist on an obtrusive lakeside building when rental space is available in the historical Paramount building, steps from the lake and with high pedestrian traffic, where they would both benefit from and provide benefit to local businesses.

Tourism Kelowna tries to justify their need to move from the highway to prime lakefront property by comparing their business to other cities. I would like to be specific about those other centres.

According to Tourism Kelowna, Victoria tourist office gets 330,000 visits. Victoria, however hosts one or two per day sailings year-round from Port Angeles, Wa.; daily sailings from Seattle; over 300 cruise ships each year and  the tourists from the many daily sailings of B.C. ferries, most eagerly heading for the beautiful inner harbour, where their information needs are met in Tourism Victoria’s 1,500 sq.-ft. location in 100 year-old rented premises.

Cities like Vancouver, Toronto and Seattle all rent in pedestrian popular locations, in considerably less than 5,000 sq. ft. (Vancouver’s is 2,000 sq. ft.).

I find it interesting that the Portland, Oregon tourism model was mentioned to support the lakefront move. Not only is their tourist bureau in rented premises about five blocks from the river, but their waterfront is exactly as ours ought to be. Portland has a walking/cycling path right on the river, then about a 50 yard-wide lengthy park that runs parallel to the street, grassed and treed with benches, everything to make the locals and tourists comfortable.

This proposal would not be on the table without the encouragement of city council, who seem to feel that we will be satisfied with any structure on the lake, as long as we have a concrete strip to walk along. One councillor even said the new building would provide needed public toilets, only two years after the city built an $800,000 toilet block three to four minutes walk away.

Finally I don’t understand the business decision of spending $3.5 million of  hotel room tax dollars and member fees, earmarked for promoting Kelowna, on bricks and mortar (or wood and glass) when other cities clearly choose the rent and heavy promotion option.

Don Henderson, Kelowna

 

Just Posted

Severe thunderstorm watch issued for the Okanagan

Possible rainfall rates of up to 25 milimetres in one hour.

STEM summer camps focus on math, science learning

Programs offered at UBCO campus encourage hands-on fun

Futures court stars make stop in Kelowna

Kelowna Futures Tennis Tournament goes June 25 to July 1 at Parkinson Rec Centre courts

Blasting warning for West Kelowna

West Kelowna permit issued for blasting to start this week

Glenrosa residents asked to secure garbage

WildSafeB.C. issues warning about bears

VIDEO: Vernon-area students read for rank

RCMP visited JW Inglis on Wednesday as part of the Read with Me and the RCMP program.

Pippins halt Falcons’ winning streak at 3

YAKIMA, WA. – The Kelowna Falcons had their three-game West Coast League… Continue reading

FIFA World Cup weekly roundup

Host nation Russia remains unbeaten in Group A, tied with Uruguay

Star Gazing: Using a large telescope

Ken Tapping, astronomer with the National Research Council’s Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory

Trudeau says he can’t imagine Trump damaging U.S. by imposing auto tariffs

New tariffs on Canadian autos entering the U.S. would amount to a self-inflicted wound on the U.S. economy

Temperature records broken across B.C., again

The first heat wave of the season went out with a bang across the province

Canada’s first national accessibility law tabled in Ottawa

The introduction of the Accessible Canada Act marked a key step towards greater inclusion

Police chief calls for mass casualty plan in Saskatchewan after Broncos crash

Former Saskatoon police chief Clive Weighill said the office was tasked with creating such a plan 13 years ago but none exists

U.S. schools mum on ties to doc in sex abuse inquiry

A now-dead doctor accused of sexual misconduct acted as a team physician at other universities

Most Read