Giving away city parkland to private interest

Darkre
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Re: Giving away city parkland to private interest

Post by Darkre »

XT225 wrote:I think that the El Rancho property (which IS for sale) would be ideal location. Right across from the Convention Centre and would keep anyone happy who didn't wish to see the city lease/sell public parkland. Its a win win situation as far as I'm concerned. ETA: I wonder if leasing the city land would not give the operator an unfair advantage over other hoteliers who had to BUY their land. Just saying.

Actually the El Rancho location is no better than a location on South Main if you are trying to attract certain high end clientele. I have the opportunity to attend several conferences a year as well as sending others to conferences and many big organizations won't consider a conference facility without an attached hotel. Across the street is simply not good enough. When attendees leave the conference facility the facilitators of the conference lose "control" of them. When you put on one of these events you want to get as much face time and networking in as possible. It's possible that a covered pedestrian bridge between facilities could accomplish this but it may not be enough for some of these groups.

Large national companies host annual events for the best of the best of their employees. These are the events that the city needs to attract. I know of one national real estate company that hosts an annual conference for it's top sales people from across the country that won't even consider Penticton because there is not an attached hotel let alone quality hotel rooms within walking distance to the facility. These are people that do 10's of millions of dollars in sales, many do 100's of millions. Can you imagine them staying at the Sandman or Coast hotels? There are a LOT of investment dollars attending conferences in other cities and Penticton needs a facility like this so we can get some of these conferences
and show these people what this city has to offer.

As to whether it is an advantage to lease rather them own the land that is arguable depending of course on the value of the lease compared to the land. I don't know the value of the land but to simplify things let's pretend it is worth $1million. If the city leases the land for $50,000 per year on a 30 year lease the company would have paid $1.5million and would not own the property. Obviously there are other factors at work depending on how good your accountant is but leasing is not better than owning, it's just different. The value of the hotel would also be considerably less on a leased parcel of land should it ever be put on the market.
Bunnyhop
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Re: Giving away city parkland to private interest

Post by Bunnyhop »

That's interesting about criteria for conference organizers. I wonder though, how that would benefit the city in general, to have conference attendees "held captive" so to speak? How would their dollars be spent in the city if they never leave the conference/hotel premises?
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fluffy
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Re: Giving away city parkland to private interest

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Darkre wrote:The biggest misconception going around town is that the other water slides failed.


I agree. It's the same with the vanishing camp-grounds. It wasn't that they were unprofitable businesses, it's just that the potential for greater profit was available through real estate development.
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twobits
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Re: Giving away city parkland to private interest

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Darkre wrote:
Actually the El Rancho location is no better than a location on South Main if you are trying to attract certain high end clientele. I have the opportunity to attend several conferences a year as well as sending others to conferences and many big organizations won't consider a conference facility without an attached hotel. Across the street is simply not good enough. When attendees leave the conference facility the facilitators of the conference lose "control" of them. When you put on one of these events you want to get as much face time and networking in as possible. It's possible that a covered pedestrian bridge between facilities could accomplish this but it may not be enough for some of these groups.


I absolutely understand your reasoning here but I am having trouble reconciling how a proposed skinny 11 story 120 room Hotel on that land footprint addresses any convention of over a few hundred delegates? The money is in the 800 to 1500 delegate size convention so the majority would have to stay offsite anyway short of building a Vegas sized Hotel. And that is most unlikely to happen in Penticton and most definitely not on the footprint of the land proposed.
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Rosemary1
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Re: Giving away city parkland to private interest

Post by Rosemary1 »

Many will be going it sounds like and that is good.

We have City council and media talking about media expansion for boats and restaurant with very little mention about a huge amusement park with slides, mini golf, expanded parking etc. that would replace a beautiful pristine area enjoyed by so many families year around. Many people did not realize this until short time before Council Meeting but it seems it has been in discussion for more than a year.

The company is actually an American based conglomerate but media always refers to marina being managed by three locals"conveniently not mentioning the latte. Our mayor who supported the slides and mini golf publicly recently retreated to a safe position on the fence after seeing opposition at council meeting after it was voted in. Better for him in next election maybe.

Do go checkout Trios site and read their letter in paper. Apparently they are doing us a favour with their ''mission to revitalize the park for the citizens of Penticton' . Mature trees that provide much needed relief from heat cannot be replaced when amusement and this city is in very short supply of such parks and trees The water park is in the perfect spot near the playground and heavily used even for month before and after tourists arrive.

What happens when amusement park goes bankrupt. Who will pay to restore what was lost . We know mature trees cannot be restored to original We have to stop making decisions based on tourists alone who descend on city for 2 months of the year. There are many lots in the area for sale. Let developers go after those or better yet why not approach PIB to make a deal for part of their 46000 acres most of which not being used. Who knows they might be interested.
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madmudder
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Re: Giving away city parkland to private interest

Post by madmudder »

One question that needs to be answered is who owns the Trio Marine Group. And how much did they donate if they did to mayor and councils election campaign?
John500
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Re: Giving away city parkland to private interest

Post by John500 »

This is what I don't understand, why do we have elections to represent the people? Or do all the people want to run everything. If you do not like an elected official then try to impeach that person. But not every citizens can run everything. Then we need a plebiscite by the people all the time on any issue. Yes elected officials sometimes have to make decisions at times that are tough. And that are not popular. So be it. Elect a different person next time elections roll around. That's the system. By the way, I am not in favour or opposed to this particular issue. Just a point of view.
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Re: Giving away city parkland to private interest

Post by Static »

^^^^a very good point that is often forgotten.
twobits
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Re: Giving away city parkland to private interest

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John500 wrote:This is what I don't understand, why do we have elections to represent the people? Or do all the people want to run everything. If you do not like an elected official then try to impeach that person. But not every citizens can run everything. Then we need a plebiscite by the people all the time on any issue. Yes elected officials sometimes have to make decisions at times that are tough. And that are not popular. So be it. Elect a different person next time elections roll around. That's the system. By the way, I am not in favour or opposed to this particular issue. Just a point of view.


For the most part everything you say is absolutely correct. We elect officials to do the business of the City. There are however times when a subject arises that cannot be directly linked to an election platform upon which we select our City Managers. For those topics extra public involvement is required. This subject is not a rezoning or variance setback. It is a long term commitment for the use of public property. The duty of care and public consultation is far higher and not a part of any mandate the voting public could have considered when filling out their ballot.
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veesfaninvernon
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Re: Giving away city parkland to private interest

Post by veesfaninvernon »

Everyone against the waterslides talk about the parks that closed years and years ago. Nobody talks about the very successful parks in Vernon and Salmon Arm. The slides in Vernon really kinda suck but they are packed every day. The design of the slides have changed quite a bit since the parks were built in Penticton and Kelowna and hopefully they will build some compelling slides I don't see an issue with it being successful. Although I now live in Vernon, Penticton is my hometown. I hope they do this right and it is a success. Also static, you forgot about the park in Bridal Falls when your were talking about the parks in the lower mainland. There are also a bunch of big pool facilities in Vancouver with some pretty cool slides.
John500
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Re: Giving away city parkland to private interest

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The waterslides in Kelowna and on the Westside were purchased by developers. Same with Old Mc Donalds park, Flintstones, Race track, McCurdy roller rinks, green golfcourse that is now Wallmart and probably couple more. Now we have a stupid HOV lane, parking lots, grid lock and road rage. Wonderful replacements for family fun stuff. Guess its called progress with the almighty dollar.
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Re: Giving away city parkland to private interest

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John500 wrote:The waterslides in Kelowna and on the Westside were purchased by developers. Same with Old Mc Donalds park, Flintstones, Race track, McCurdy roller rinks, green golfcourse that is now Wallmart and probably couple more. Now we have a stupid HOV lane, parking lots, grid lock and road rage. Wonderful replacements for family fun stuff. Guess its called progress with the almighty dollar.


None of the businesses/properties you mention would have been offered for sale if the use of them as 3 month amusement parks was the most profitable use. You can lament the loss of this "family fun stuff", everyone does, but I have to wonder if you were the owner of Flinstones or a roller rink if you would bust your stones for four months to just barely eek out a living or put it up for sale for market value and cash the cheque?
It is exactly the same reason why campgrounds are virtually gone from "in town" properties. The land values as determined by the BC Assessment Authority by comparative analysis of other similar properties sold combined with the punitive mill rate multiplier applied to commercial (C and CT zoned) lands by the City or other taxation authority, caused property taxes alone to be their death knell.
Friend's of my family operated a 4 1/2 acre campground in Penticton for over 30 years until sometime in the 80's. Campgrounds then were essentially no vacancy from the May long until Labour Day. When it took 50 days of gross revenue just to pay the property taxes, you stop self flagellating and sell out for the value of the land. It made even more sense to do so considering the principle residence was also on that campground land so along with the assessed home value and one acre of land, capital gains free, taxes were favorable. And if they were incorporated as a Canadian Company, the sale of shares of that company would provide an extra 500k capital gains exemption to both the husband and wife as shareholders. That is why that campground and many others are now strata condo's, commercial buildings or houses. And also why you would have done the same thing instead of flogging yourself to provide family entertainment for 10 bucks an hr net.
It's so easy to be a philanthropist with someone else's money, labour, and property isn't it?
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XT225
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Re: Giving away city parkland to private interest

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I am NOT against the water slides (just as a LOT of the "NO" side is also not against them); just the location. Put them on the PIB Locatee lands across from Green Avenue; they're looking for tenants. Very visible from the highway (which is good) and not taking away any parklands. One thing that nobody has yet mentioned is the NOISE that these slides will create. I recall many moons ago, going to Waterworld and though it was a nice waterslide park, they played music all the time and not at low levels. I think that it would ruin the peace and serenity of the surrounding Skaha Park. Many families and seniors use that land and may not appreciate being disturbed like that. Just something to consider. I haven't signed the petition yet, because I haven't seen what it says yet but I know many folks who WANT the slides for the younger generation; just not on Publicly owned parkland. That land is too hard to come by and will be far more expensive in the future. Why should the city lease the land out, long term now, depleting parkland, and then look for more later? They have it now; keep it!

ETA: I say again - I am NOT against the waterslide proposal; very much in favor; just NOT if it involved removing a good chunk of pristine parkland that the public uses.
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fluffy
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Re: Giving away city parkland to private interest

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I have absolutely no problem with this proposal. I see it as an investment in Penticton's vitality and tourist appeal, something we have lost in large measure over the last few decades. The unique natural features of the proposed lease area, the water features along the east side, will remain intact, any other additions and changes are basically temporary. We could have the lessors post a bond of some sort guaranteeing return of the property to its current state should the waterpark ever become insolvent.

To me a couple of acres of parkland is a small price to pay for the economic shot in the arm this project will bring. Show me a petition in favour of this project, I'll put my name to it in the blink of an eye.
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XT225
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Re: Giving away city parkland to private interest

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fluffy wrote:I have absolutely no problem with this proposal. I see it as an investment in Penticton's vitality and tourist appeal, something we have lost in large measure over the last few decades. The unique natural features of the proposed lease area, the water features along the east side, will remain intact, any other additions and changes are basically temporary. We could have the lessors post a bond of some sort guaranteeing return of the property to its current state should the waterpark ever become insolvent.

To me a couple of acres of parkland is a small price to pay for the economic shot in the arm this project will bring. Show me a petition in favour of this project, I'll put my name to it in the blink of an eye.


There lies the problem (for you, at least)...there does NOT appear to be any YES petitions. Tis obvious that the NO side far outweighs the YES folks. Majority should rule and a referendum is the way to prove real Democracy still exists here. As I said, most of the NO crowd is NOT against the slides; just not on public parkland.

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