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Troubled tourism group down two board members

Hotel owner and Penticton Hospitality Association president Rob Appelman is leading a fight against the City of Penticton over control of the two per cent hotel room tax. This comes out to $400,000 annually and is used for marketing the city.
Image Credit: Tourism Penticton
January 10, 2014 - 9:15 AM

STILL NOT ANSWERING QUESTIONS

PENTICTON - While the Penticton Hospitality Association fights city council over marketing money, it lost two board members in recent months.

Association treasurer Marko Crucnik left the board last fall and resigned as manager at Penticton Lakeside Resort Convention Centre, according to a resort official. Graeme Jenkins, another board member, resigned in November. He says he wanted to spend more time on his job.

Meanwhile, the association appears to be in an information blackout. Numerous requests for information by Infotel News went ignored and according to the City of Penticton, the association snubbed its attempts to meet and resolve their differences.

The hospitality association is playing hardball over control of the two per cent hotel room tax the city collects and intends for tourism marketing. The city put the association in charge of spending the roughly $400,000 per year effectively, but last year got fed up with what it said was a lack of action.

The association announced in November it was hiring a Kelowna law firm. While no statement of claim has yet been filed, the cancelled meeting begs the obvious question—is the association spending the Hotel Room Tax on lawyers to sue the city? Association president Rob Appelman could not be reached for comment despite numerous attempts to contact him. Operations director Tim Hodgkinson agreed to answer questions tomorrow.

The association represents 40-plus hotels and other hospitality businesses.

Association director Paul Buttar, who is back in town after being away for a month, said the city's being unreasonable and the association is doing a good job. He said he had no knowledge of the legal situation. Jenkins declined to speak to it as well. 

To contact a reporter for this story, email Shannon Quesnel at squesnel@infotelnews.ca, call 250-488-3065 or tweet @InfoNewsPentict.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014
InfoTel News Ltd

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