Penticton council approves casino relocation proposal
By Steve Arstad
Image Credit: Gateway Casinos & Entertainment
January 05, 2016 - 6:30 PM
PENTICTON - A proposal to relocate the Lakeside Casino in Penticton received approval from council this week.
City council approved the relocation to a site on the South Okanagan Events Centre property following a series of open houses that followed the unveiling of the proposal in early November.
A staff report to council Monday, Jan. 4, said the open houses attracted 321 people, and a total of 150 feedback forms were completed. A website set up by Gateway Casinos and Entertainment also recorded 591 visits to the page.
The report suggested more than 90 per cent of the attendees of the open houses voiced support for the proposed relocation.
As expected, the number one concern expressed by respondents involved parking issues, mainly with respect to peak periods when a number of events centre venues would be in operation at the same time.
A professional parking study completed in the fall concluded parking in the area is adequate, except for those peak periods. It found there are 774 additional parking spaces within 10 minutes of the events centre and casino complex, which would be enough to accommodate 2,150 people, assuming 90 per cent travelled in a personal vehicle.
Earlier this year the casino found out their lease with the resort would not be renewed. The casino company had been planning an expansion of existing facilities in Penticton and were looking for a new site to accommodate an expandsion.
The new facility is expected to open by May of 2017, when the current lease with Penticton Lakeside Resort expires.
The proposed location at the corner of Power Street and Highway 97 is anticipated to create up to 150 new jobs because of the addition of entertainment and food service options.
The B.C. Lottery Corporation must now give its approval to the proposal, a process that could take up to four weeks. Gateway Casinos can then proceed with work required prior to beginning construction, such as applying for building and other permits.
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