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
For the past number of weeks the City has allowed a contractor working in the vicinity of the hotel site to use the site as a storage area for equipment,materials and construction debris.This day,April 25,the site continues to look as it has since the start of this project,which is a very unsightly mess.It is truly amazing that the City of Nanaimo,which has a bylaw against unsightly premises,would allow their own property to be kept in such a state of filth and disrepair.Imagine what a visitor to the city,or indeed a conventioneer, must think about the level of care that is put into looking after city property? Look out a window in the Centre and gaze upon a garbage dump.Exit from the parking facility and drive past a garbage dump.What is it about our City officials and why do they not seem to care about the state cleanliness in the city they claim to be so proud of? Perhaps it is time long past that a large broom be used to sweep the hotel site clean,and then proceed on to City Hall and sweep out all the senior bureaucrats now employed there.
I think it is best to allow this property to be used as it is for the contractor that is doing a CITY JOB on Front Street. It is close and keeps the equipment off of the main street when not needed and keeps the Front Street area clearer for pedestrian traffic. It is not a garbage dump, but a job work site. This train of thought reminds me of the visitor to our city. When complimented of the beautiful trees and magnificent flowers in our parks and alongside many of the trailways within our City and on then the visitor wonders why it rains so much. IT rains so much so our city is clean and has many nice plants and trees. You gotta give up something to get a greater reward.
Getting back to the ‘ allow the usage of Piper Park for the Hotel ‘. NO WAY! The hotel can be built without interfering with Piper Park and the hotel can be built enhancing Piper Park and preventing it’s current usage as a haunt for drunks. The hotel will have many floors and the view is what the hotel guests want, not a fancy entry way. Most entry ways of current hotels are not the most beautiful. The Coast faces an empty parking lot, The Howard Johnston faces a busy highway and the back of the Inn at Long Lake is a lot more attractive than the front.
If you are worried about the possibility that City staff want to “interfere” with Piper Park then have a look at the report included with Council’s meeting agenda for December 14,2009.This report,authored by 2 senior staff,will confirm your worst fears.They recommend the Centennial museum building be removed.Also you may want to look at an article “A hidden agenda?” included elsewhere in the blog.
Garbage = Unwanted or useless material.
Dump = An accumulation of refuse or other discarded materials.
Dump = Hotel site
I don’t agree that because the street construction project is work contracted by the City, then it becomes acceptable to allow an eyesore to persist on City (read taxpayer and/or citizen)property.Quite the opposite, as the City should be setting a high standard rather than the lowest possible.Perhaps they could melt down the discarded asphalt and fix some of the many pot holes found on our streets.
The recommendation to remove the Centennial museum building is due to the lack of respect of the building since it was built. The roof looks like it is the original and I doubt there has been any structural work done since 1967 (over 43 years). The removal of the building does not mean the removal of the park. Could the citizens of Nanaimo along with the construction industry form a “Save the Centennial building in Piper Park” movement? I wonder if there is a restriction on that piece of parkland?
Piper Park is one of only a few that were designated as park by a bylaw some years ago. To change the use from park would require a referendum. What is in/on the park is another matter.