KAMLOOPS – When the new casino in Aberdeen opens later this summer patrons will be able to sit on a Cascades Casino patio into the wee hours of the morning.
Located on Versatile Drive just off the highway near the Aberdeen and Pine View Valley neighbourhoods, council shot down a city staff suggestion to close patios at 11 p.m. because of noise concerns.
Brought up as part of a liquor license application, staff is concerned such large patios, even in commercial areas, pose the potential to be excessively noisy. The casino’s neighbours think otherwise and a letter from the Holiday Inn notes the potential for noise from the patio will never be greater than ‘background’ noise from the highway.
Coun. Tina Lange agrees about noise not likely being a big concern and adds the casino is to be built in a largely commercial area and it will offer more security than most patios in town, many of which do close at 11 p.m. Coun. Pat Wallace says noise is a fact of life, and asks why, if the RCMP pose no objection and if businesses and homes within 100 metres don't object either, should restrictions be placed?
The main opposition to the longer hours came from Coun. Donovan Cavers, who urged council to support the hours the social planning committee recommended.
Staff does not object to regular working hours inside the casino, which is set to be open until 2 a.m. Monday through Saturday. The casino will be open longer than other liquor primary establishments in the area. Staff also agrees with the social planning committee in recommending an 11 a.m. opening time instead of the requested 9 a.m. because of concerns around the combination of alcohol and gaming.
At a meeting yesterday, June 23, council agreed to support extended patio hours in a six to three vote, with Cavers, Coun. Arjun Singh and Coun. Dennis Walsh not in favour. The application now gets sent to the provincial liquor control branch for final approval.
Construction has been underway at the new location, the former Rona store, for several months as Gateway Casinos prepares to relocate the Lake City Casino from downtown to the Aberdeen location, where it will be expanded and rebranded as Cascades Casino. The relocation process received approval from council last summer, even though staff said the rezoning to necessitate the move went against the official community plans.
With a capacity of more than 3,500 people, the liquor license applications include the casino proper, an eatery and public house, sports bar, and four separate patios. An officially open of July 29 is planned for the casino.
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