Penticton gets a peek at new casino plans
By Steve Arstad
From left, Penticton residents Nicholas Parker, Arta Ragan and Gateway Vice President of Operations Jag Nijjar, discuss the casino's relocation plans at an open house at the Sandman Inn on Dec. 1.
(STEVE ARSTAD /InfoTel Multimedia)
December 01, 2015 - 6:30 PM
PENTICTON - Residents had their voices heard during the second day of public meetings for the casino relocation plans this morning.
The second in a series of public meetings to share details of Gateway Casinos and Entertainment’s casino relocation plans, which were announced last week, and hear public input was well attended this morning, Dec. 1.
Public Relations Director Tanya Gabara says just under 100 residents took part in the initial public meeting last night and this morning’s event at the Sandman Inn saw a steady stream of visitors coming in to view the proposal and offer opinions.
Gabara says parking is the number one concern expressed so far, with only a four or five people expressing concern about the relocation of the visitor’s centre.
The new casino’s footprint, on the South Okanagan Events Centre property, will see the loss of 100 parking stalls in the event centre’s southwest corner, between Power Street and the curling club, but 143 new stalls will be available once the parking lot at the former hockey dorm property is upgraded.
"The city’s parking study, just released, has indicated there will only be six times in the year where a ‘perfect storm’ exists for parking issues because of multiple events,” Gabara says.
She says plans are underway to proactively deal with busy evenings, noting most vehicles heading to events on the South Okanagan Events Centre property contain more than one occupant. The study also recommends a number of possible parking areas no further than a five or 10 minute walk from the events centre doors.
The existing visitors centre will be integrated into the new casino, but the visitors centre itself will be relocated, Gabara says. The wine centre will remain part of the building, with potential synergies coming from the proximity to the new casino’s two food concessions — The Match Restaurant and an all-you-can-eat buffet.
“We’re thrilled with the response we’ve had so far — the feedback has been phenomenal,” Gabara says.
There will be another open house session at the Sandman Inn tonight, Dec. 1, from 6 to 8 p.m. The third round of open houses will take place Dec. 8 at the Ramada Inn, from 1 to 3 p.m. and again from 5 to 7 p.m.
Residents can also provide input and feedback online through https://www.surveymonkey.com/r8NCC9LP.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015