We find out to much fanfare last year that we have a deal to take down the old hospital and build a hotel.
Medican despite the fact that they just came out of CCAA court protection are the lucky winners of the hotel sweepstakes.
We are told that they are going to pay us $1.1 million for the property! Well not really we find out in dribs and drabs of information that they are getting an $800,000 credit for the demolition of the building, $100,000 from the municipality to build a park and $200,000 cash will hit the municipal coffers.
It was a con job to say the least there (As I have stated on this blog numerous times) was two bids under the $800,000 in fact yesterday Frank Bessinger Director of Public works confirmed that they had a low bid of $577,000.
So why didn’t they say to the public we sold the building for $777,000 ($577K for demo and $200K cash) did they really think Medican was going to use the high bidder?
Then the story gets dragged out for five months because they were waiting for Best Western to let them have their name. Lets get real the issue was Medican did not come up with the $8-10 million to build a hotel.
Then just a mere few weeks back the next saga of this tale pops up Group Vachon paid up front $50,000 to file the application with Best Western for the name and rights to the franchise. But there is a deadline July 26 Mr Vachon can with draw his application at that point and get his $50K back. Or the municipality can put up the $50,000 and maintain the application and the rights to the Best Western name and franchise for two years.
First impression sometimes you have to spend a little money and take a chance to make something work, so the municipality spends $50K to take ownership of the name and rights to the Best Western. Surprise the town owns NOTHING Group Vachon owns the rights to the Best Western name. If any other businessman is thinking about buying a franchise for the Pass just approach council tell them that you will build within two years and maybe they will pay $50K towards the cost of the franchise for you.
Then just minutes before they vote Councilor Gail asks the question “If this doesn’t work out in two years I understand we will get most of our money back except for a few thousand dollars for the administration costs?” Administration tells him we will take the $50K out of land reserves and put it back when we sell the land that the centre is sitting on.
Well if the land was sold for $500,000 you will not really be getting that amount because the first $50k will pay for the rights to the franchise.
So lets be an optimist and say there is another hotel waiting in the back ground to snap up this golden opportunity to own a Best Western hotel in the
Councilor Saindon made it clear in his line of questioning there is not. Crowsnest Pass.
But there is an answer our Economic Development Officer recommends we go on a marketing blitz of the site for the next three months (August, September, October somebody will be selling hope by say late October). She also informs us that there are three conferences coming up in
Vancouver and Toronto
she suggests that council sends her to those conferences to meet with al those potential
investors the one’s Medican couldn’t find.
These guys need to tell the truth there is a $50K expenditure of taxpayers money being made to maintain the rights to a Best Western for Group Vachon. The municipality owns NOTHING the taxpayers takes all the risk. Another Investor comes in and wants to go with Holiday Inn Express are we going to say NO?. Two years runs out the $50K got us what?
I think I have made myself very clear where I stand on this issue.
Kudos to Councilors Saindon and Saje who voted against this in a sincere way and stated why they didn't not some phony No vote. Because they knew it was going through any way and just wanted to be able to stand up at a forum in October and say I never voted for that.
Note: Cost of administration $4325 per day