Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Hotel deal, what a circus.

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 Crowsnest Pass. Councilor Saindon made it clear in his line of questioning there is not.

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 Calgary, 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


Anonymous said...

Admin did not answer Gail's question. After 2 years assuming there is no hotel is the 50 k returned to the municipality?
How much more damage can these guys do in 3 months. I am afraid, very afraid.

John Prince said...

"I think I have made myself very clear where I stand on this issue."

You certainly have. You got my vote... but only if you keep it up. :-0 :-}

Anonymous said...

The local government must think that there is a never-ending source of money. If we have to roam the country to look for investors we are in the wrong game. The investors should be coming to us. I am not sure what the EDO's mandate is, but traveling to Calgary. Vancouver and Toronto just gives her a chance to look for a new job.

Small town trying to be a big town; way, way out of their league. These guys are a disaster and don't have a clue on how business works.

Who really owns the BW rights?

Anonymous said...

I think the reason for the "Credit" gimmick in the contract was so they could say the purchase price was $1,100,000. MGA 70 requires them to sell at market value, and that is the lowest appraisal they had. They probably could have got a more realistic appraisal, but they didn't.

Anonymous said...

Council simply lied to us when they told us they sold the CLC for 1.1 million. Why lie? Probably because its fair market value was in this range. We should have been giving Medican a credit for 600k to demolish the building, netting us 400K.
The desperation is unbelievable.

Anonymous said...

As commented on Deans "Special Council Meeting-managing your money", Chris Vachon is now working for Penrose, building and managing a BW in Okotoks.

If investors have to go through Group Vachon will they have to give the construction and management contracts to Penrose?

Anonymous said...

Wow Dean John is going to vote for you.Only if you keep it up.

Anonymous said...

The demo is only out for seven days? kind of suspicious!

Anonymous said...

Dean they should have demolished the center in their first year.They were to busy screwing the volunteer,s and the workers.

Anonymous said...

Taxpayer's have just been fleeced of $50,000 - not by any underhanded act, but by an incompetent act. These are the same councilors who make claims that,every other council before them, did not know what they were doing. $50, 000 can fix some sidewalks or pot holes. Or pay down the peace officers trucks, or just about anything more productive.

Anonymous said...

This truly is a circus. Give the clown (Vachon) the 'golden handshake' and send him on his way.

Leave this issue up to the next council! If the current council feels they have it right then let them run again and consider it a vote of confidence if re-elected.

As to the 7 day tender process...something really smells rotten here. Is it possible that the higher $800K bid was previously accepted as 'something' was very agreeable to all parties involved?

My money says that this decision was made more than a year ago. Unless, of course, someone tenders a bid so low, in such short time, that it would be impossible to create reasons for non acceptance. I would think that the same company gets the contract and so the reason for the short tender process.

This continuing fiasco sure does raise a lot of red flags.

Anonymous said...

The RFP required financial resources to complete the project.

Most developers can't do that - they are in the business of dreaming up projects and and then rounding up investors to finance them.

Without that requirement in the RFP we might have got a few legitimate proposals. As it is, this one man company that did not meet the requirement ends up owning the project.

Anonymous said...

Some of us may wish for the hopeful destruction of the CLC and the subsequent construction of a well planned and proper execution of development, on said property, so that we may realize the best return on whatever assets we have left.

Some of us may want answers and thereby wish for the current council to relax a bit.

One of the above will cost us stakeholders very little and is quick and effective.

If council had any cojones they would 'table' this issue and we could force our hand in making a few desperates sweat a bit. (There is a Sunset Clause.. July 26}.

Leave this issue up to those that hold the next mandate!

Anonymous said...

Voted in on a promise of enacting 'Policy'.

Three years of nothing happening.

Two months left in a mandate and it is time to resort to the 'Scorched Earth Policy' enacting everything still in you powers...

Priceless move there Bruce!

Anonymous said...

Only two more months of his ranting and raving. Then he will attempt to maintain his legacy by passing the torch to mini-Bruce.

Will the people of the Pass get fooled again?

Anonymous said...

Re; 2:56:00 PM

"The RFP
required financial resources to complete the project."

And so this council accepted an offer from an entity that had already established a questionable background and previously changed their operating registration more than almost 60 times in order to suit their purpose.

This is a Gong Show.

Anonymous said...

Noting much we can do as ratepayers at this point in time. Can you Bruce, upon your final exit, get one of your buddies to procure a tent for your circus? It could become a resource for some of the local organisations. Make it BIG! In the future we would actually be able to utilise it as an asset.

A true legacy.. your problems solved.

Anonymous said...

Average taxpayer with an older home pays less than $2,000 in taxes. Newer homes pay over $3,000 per year and many people pay a lot more. Here is the point: well over 20 households will pay to register the Best Western for the municipality without any guarantees we will get a Best Western in the next two years.
What happens if the next investor wants to build a Travelodge or a Ramada?

Municipalities do not buy commercial hotel of fast food franchises. What next? Is our dully elected council about to reserve a Jack in the Box franchise? They sure used our dollars to reserve a Pig in a Poke.

This is for Jerry: you don’t get the $50,000 back by selling land; you only get it back if the Best Western gives it back to you, like they are giving it back to Mr. Vauchon. Who is the smart one in this transaction?
They just pissed $50,000 of taxpayers’ dollars and there is no good explanation for this.

Anonymous said...

Interesting search on this bankruptcy revealed no less than 196 related companies.

'Medican Holdings Ltd. & Related Entities196'.

(yes, that is right 196!)

Medican Holdings Ltd. exists only due to a lot of southern cities and towns in this province that were willing to settle and also to accept what would amount to but pennies on their dollars as this company claimed bankruptcy.
The settlement imposed involves millions of dollars of reparations over a few short years.
I'm afraid that if this person carries on with the guise of making an attempt to meet his obligations, and successfully milks it, he will legally be absolved of his obligations to his creditors. (If I were him I would offer up my option on a Best Western Hotel leaving myself with absolutely nothing invested and yet retaining total control over the entire fiasco and a bit more income for the next two years).

It does not matter how many times a name is changed in doing business, the writing still remains on the wall.

We could either be the ultimate laughing stock here, or we could send this guy down the river and let him eat his 'supposed' $50K investment.

Anonymous said...

Dog runs???

Anonymous said...

Harry didn't get an answer to his question on Emile's blog.

I posted this question:
"Based on what has been made public, I agree with your vote against the BW franchise gift to Group Vachon.
It is not clear what we are paying $50,000 for. Does the “two years” mean a hotel has to be built and opened by then? Did councillors have this information when they voted?
Another issue is that Group Vachon, not CNP owns these rights. Chris Vachon is now an employee of Penrose in the hotel development/management business. As owner of Group Vachon he controls who builds and manages the BW."

Anonymous said...

The sad thing is Bruce wants to present himself as someone who understands business, while proving by every action he has no clue. The fault is entirely with council for this total lack of supervision when it comes to taxpayers money.

Anonymous said...

It could be worse they could have spent 4-500,000 on some stupid banners and silly logos. Dean have you seen the one,s around town you can barely read them they are horrible.

Anonymous said...

" ... consider the Cargo Cult. ... during World War II. Natives on many south Pacific islands had never before seen airplanes, modern war ships and other strange sights -- such as tanks, Jeeps and men wearing godlike clothing. Very often, cargo planes would parachute crates of clothing, canned food, tents, weapons and other useful stuff for the amazing new visitors -- who often shared the goodies with the natives.But when the war ended, the soldiers left and all the stuff stopped dropping from the sky.

The natives assumed that all they had to do was imitate the practices they had seen the soldiers performing to make the “sky gods” come back with all the neat stuff. Thus, they carved headphones from wood, and wore them while sitting in fabricated control towers, or airplanes made of bamboo. ... Of course, every once in a while, a plane or visitor would return - and the cult priests took credit for it."

Anonymous said...

$100,000 from seniors reserves. $50,000 from land reserves. Bruce to Vancouver, to do what? To do some name dropping? This council failed to supervise spending.

Anonymous said...

So Vachon group is Chris Vachon who works for the Penrose group which took over Medican. I think I am finally understanding this process!!!! Not

Anonymous said...

Darn, I left this out of the Cargo Cult quote:
"They waved landing signals while standing on the old runways."

Anonymous said...

I can almost guarantee securing the rights for a Hyatt Regency Hotel in the CNP. I am sure this proposition would impress council and they would bend over backwords in order to finance this venture. (I have no money).

Of course Hyatt Hotels Corporation would be rolling on the floor laughing as they accept the application and still hold the final say. Still, it might guarantee that Ranchlands doesn't get a Hyatt.

Anonymous said...

Sorry about that last post. I wasn't thinking sharp business...

Why doesn't Bruce promise Ranchlands the Hyatt Hotel, upon their assimilation into the CNP, along with free transit (subsidised by advertising) to our 'Big Smoke'? Any which way, I can make a few bucks on this one.

Ann said...

Anon. 4:01 you would make the BBoys proud ;) $50,000.00 to a one man show from a company coming out of bankruptcy to secure a hotel for which there are no legitimate investors anywhere in the near or distant future. Good to see some citizen outrage for this latest insanity from the Mayor and his drones. Your hard earned tax dollars are paying for the Mayor's latest ego trip. Take care.

Anonymous said...

Thank-you Ann,

But I want part of this 'action'. These guys are really ripe for the picking.

Anonymous said...

After 3 years of governance and very few tangibles to put a positive spin on during this mandate, this council has resorted to the scorched earth policy.

Don't handcuff us with your narcissistic anger because your policies didn't return the results that you expected!

Anonymous said...


Exactly my point. You could not have posted it any better. What we are experiencing is nothing more than an end of term rampage. And it hurts.

Anonymous said...

I have put down $50,000 for a franchise from the famous "Pig in a Poke" restaurant chain. Will CNP pay this for me? Where do I apply? Is there a form I need to fill out?

Anonymous said...

Oh, and it will help my "Pig in a Poke" restaurant to succeed if I can offer free camping to customers visiting CNP. I'll also need the application form for that.

Anonymous said...

Did the councilors even know what they were voting on? Looking at the question about whether or not we get the $50K back, it sure does not look like they did. Getting $50K from land sale is not the same as getting the $50K deposit back from Best Western. If they can't see the difference they are bound to make other bad decisions before this is over.

Anonymous said...

After reading the mares last demented statements in the paper`, it left me thinking that we have a mental health issue here, that seriously should be looked into.

Anonymous said...

king Dekookoo not only wants to rule over us, but is also looking to conquer and confiscate our neihbours lands. What is wrong with this man?

Anonymous said...

You have councillors voting that don't understand how medican had the right to pull out of the deal.
You have another councillor thinking that the money to Vachon will come back in two years if nobody builds.
You have administration telling them they are spending the money but its no big deal because we will just take the money out of reserves and put the cash from the sale of the land back into reserves.
(Doesn't that mean we will end up with $50,000 less in reserves)

I suppose council can go on a spending spree just keep paying for it with money from reserves. Then convince themselves its ok we will put the money back when we sell something.


Anonymous said...

King Dekookoo.....why didn't I think of that! Ouch. My sides are hurting!

Anonymous said...

Dean did you hear they spent $20,000 on those stupid banners around town.
Try and read the "Naturally Rewarding".

Anonymous said...

I saw those plain Jane banners and thought the same thing. You have to tilt your head sideways to read what 's on there. Don't try it while you are driving. You have to stop and really try hard to read what is on there. More crap with the compliments from the mare and his stable cohorts paid with our utility charges our taxes, and the high frachise charges. Nice going you community wreckers.

Anonymous said...

The only rewarding thing around here , are the sky high wages that this administration is getting, The only thing we are getting is the shaft.

Doomsayer said...


My fly-by-night start-up company SCI (Scam Artists Inc) has deposited $50,000 for an exclusive monorail system for the Pass. We have contacted Springfield, Mayor Quimby & George Burns have agreed to loan us Homer Simpson as a consultant. Lego has agreed to be the exclusive builder.

Now if the Hyatt would just build on the east end of Hillcrest, the Pig-in-a-Poke restaurant would build on the ski hill & Best Western move out to the old power plant on the lake, we could run a super tour of our valley.

Please, all the suckers, oops, investors line up on the left, we’ll only need about 40 or 50 million to start. Of course we promise, as soon as we abscond with the money, we’ll be back for more from the reserves.

Any takers?? Opportunities are going fast. Don’t be the last to lose your money.

“In a time of deceit telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”
George Orwell

Anonymous said...

I wonder how well those banners that no one can read will hold up when we get a good wind?
Does anyone think at all in administration.

Anonymous said...

It's a brilliant slogan. If you stare at it long enough and maybe cock your head sideways a few times you might be able to understand what it says which, in itself, may be naturally rewarding.

Anonymous said...

Eww! We can offer white water rafting right to your hotel door step. Those ski resorts will have nothing on us. Just think, 'Float in, Float out'. Kinda catchy slogan.

Anonymous said...

Would Homer Simpson like a red or a white truck?

Anonymous said...

3:23 Shouldn't that be "Float in, Float out Naturally"?

Anonymous said...

Shouldn't that be "Float in, Float out Naturally"?

Good point. We'll have to throw this one to a consultant.

Anonymous said...

Doomsayer I want to invest in your adventure. I just have to cash in my RSP or at least what is left after Riverrun. I just love these loosing investments. Pretty soon I can go on assistance, wish I had more reserves to dip into. Put me in for $250.00 I'm thinking of running for mayor or council, and if I win I will have more reserve to dip into. Wish me luck.Ronald McSucker

Anonymous said...

Seems there is a tender out for a policy development for hiring of consultants by consultants for consultants. Kind of like the government of the people by the people for the people. Just substitute consultants and it will all work, leave your tax dollars by the door as you depart.

The Doomsayer said...

"We'll have to throw this one to a consultant."

Hey Homer's available, lets ask him.
BTW, he wants a red & white truck.

“To build may have to be the slow and laborious task of years. To destroy can be the thoughtless act of a single day.”
― Winston Churchill

Anonymous said...

I think I can mitigate the amount of any future loses in proposing the retention of a Shady Inn franchise.

I submit that any potential risk factor would be in the 18-20% range of what has been previously proposed.

I trust that the funds will be approved during council's next emergency G&P and the subsequent council meeting, and that my next ticket to my good times will soon be forthcoming.

Anonymous said...

This is not a real Circus.

I have experienced Cirque du Soleil many times and they are experts at jumping through hoops. It was also very entertaining for my money.

This Sinister Seven feels that they need to hire a consultant every time they try to accomplish the same thing.

I am not having much fun for my money.

Anonymous said...

They should have hired Misty to review their business plan, she could not have done any worse and perhaps made some sensible contribution to this fiasco.

Anonymous said...

A total 'no brainer' here.

-Market this once again letting any hokey prospective developers know that they can land an easy contract due to well publicised desperation and only by their 'promising' $50k and a few pretty elevation concept drawings, preying on our hopes for a Best Western that they know they will never hold the rights for.

-Or biting the bullet and realizing that our $50k is lost and leaving any experienced future developer the freedom to do as they should...develop.

Anonymous said...

Only seven days of accepting tenders to demolish something that they have had over three years to do?

You bet that a contract is awarded.

They have, unwittingly, almost wrecked an entire community in the same time span. This is child's play. They don't even have to think.

It would take a lot more than the current gong show to decimate this town but a lot of us may have been left demoralised.

Following our current Mayor's Economic Administrative Stimulus Program, we may be facing austerity in the near future to balance some of our books.