Jilted?

Our Council unanimously responded positively to a request from SSS Manhao for an extension of time in performing their commitment to the City for the development of their hotel project. They just didn’t agree to doubling the time available. SSS Manhao have apparently used this to assert that they no longer have the support of Council and appear to be moving on. The Daily News story uses the term “cites” quite properly as we will never know the real reason why they are pulling out.

This is not the first time than that Nanaimo has found itself in this position over a Conference Centre Hotel.

What we all need to remember, though there is only one current Councillor who was involved at that time, is that this is not the first time that promises of more time being the holdup on hotel development have been given. The last time we were in this position we ended up after years not only disappointed but millions out of pocket.

The suggestion that this is “a huge missed opportunity”, or that “Losing this hotel project means a significant loss in local investment and job creation.” treats this situation as if we were losing something real. In fact it has been pie-in-the-sky. We never had that hotel. What we had was a lottery ticket on it. Unfortunately that ticket did not pay off. But at least we haven’t, as we did in the case of the originally promised Conference Centre hotel, lost more than the cost of the ticket.

I find it particularly galling to listen to folks who should know better, talking about a business deal as if we were discussing a romantic affair. While business may demand respect, respect is built on performance. One would think that we would have learned this lesson by now.

Ron Bolin Nanaimo

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