Unsuccessful hotel worse than no hotel

To the  Edit0r: The Nanaimo Daily News

Published: Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Re: ‘Nanaimo cancels drawn-out and failed agreement with Millennium’ (Daily News, March 31)

Last Wednesday’s editorial repeats the mantra of the necessity for a new hotel while the story repeats the tragic history of its failure to date.

If we really want a new hotel downtown at the present site, it would take a referendum on the rezoning of Piper Park which could allow access to the hotel from Front Street.

While a reputable hotel might have its rear in the middle of what is a backwater in the downtown landscape, it is hard to imagine any that would use that void as a grand entrance which is only approached down long, dark and vacant streets. The only way this site could be made palatable to a successful hotel chain without even greater incentives that have already been offered, would be to have the grand entrance oriented to Front Street where it could be seen from the waterfront and be approached from a busy Commercial Street.

I am not recommending this approach, merely commenting on the absurdity of the present site. The hotel should have been relocated when it was found, that it could not be located over the Conference Centre. Or perhaps, given the stated co-dependence of the conference centre and the hotel, the whole idea should have been shelved.

So many follies have been associated with this project that it is difficult to remember all those turning points at which we steamed ahead when we should have changed course.

A new hotel developer will find the same problems. It is time for an entirely new assessment of the situation. An unsuccessful hotel would be worse than no hotel at all.

Your article did not note that we should now be able to cash the $100,000 surety which was given by the developer for the last extension provided.

– Ron Bolin