This could finally be the end for the Airport Inn in Lake Country | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kelowna News

This could finally be the end for the Airport Inn in Lake Country

This collapsed deck is only the latest in more than a decade of problems with the Airport Inn Lakeside in Lake County.
Image Credit: Submitted/District of Lake Country

After more than a decade of legal wrangling, Lake Country council will be asked on Tuesday to order the controversial Airport Inn Lakeside closed, vacated and sealed off.

A report going to council lists a number of concerns including tickets issued for operating without a business licence, violating a stop work order and “issues with mold, electrical works, structural and water saturation issues; frequent fire inspection issues; and, on-going RCMP capacity issues.”

Of particular concern at the property, highly visible from busy Highway 97 traffic, has been the ongoing rental of rooms, despite not having an occupancy permit.

“In September 2018, the District and the owner of the Airport Inn Lakeside entered into a consent order, whereby the owner agreed to cease operating the hotel in any way, including month-to-month rentals, by November 10, 2018,” Jamie McEwan, manager of community systems for the District, wrote in the. ”Throughout these processes, the District has been made aware that people continue to live within the Airport Inn Lakeside on a monthly basis, and the rooms appear to be offered to the public for nightly stays.”

He confirmed today, Aug. 15, that it appears the business is still renting out rooms, although he could not say if those were on a nightly or monthly basis.

This saga began in 1998 when the District of Lake Country issued a notice against the motel due to building bylaw and code violations. That triggered ticket challenges and court actions by owner Raif Fleihan, most of which he lost.

As recently as July 4, staff found out – and took pictures of – a collapsed deck on one of the buildings, adding to health and safety concerns.

Staff are recommending that council issue an order that “ensures that all buildings on the Property are vacated and no longer inhabited by any persons, including the Owner; ensures that all building entrances, exits, windows and other means of access to the buildings are boarded up to preclude entry by any person; and erects a 1.8 metres tall fence around all of the motel buildings….”

Fleihan will have 45 days to do that work or else it will be done by the District and he will be billed for it.

The business has been up for sale for several months.

The Airport Inn in Lake Country is pictured in this Google Street View image.
The Airport Inn in Lake Country is pictured in this Google Street View image.
Image Credit: Google Street View

To contact a reporter for this story, email Rob Munro or call 250-808-0143 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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