Over the weekend I have received a lot of comments on my blog and around town about the news release from the municipality regarding the loss of the Medican deal.
A couple of common themes I heard over and over again a lot of people were not surprised. The Municipality made a deal with a company that was under court protection, to save itself from it’s creditors.
How long did the
manufacturer story drag on, and what was the result of that endeavor. The CAO
announced after a year that the company realized we were to far from Lethbridge
and the ceiling on the old Artic Spa building was too low, I would be taking a
look at my management team if it took them a year to figure those things out.
The Mayor as spun this tale for how many months about waiting for Best Western approval. I think lot of other peoples agree with my opinion, that was just a stalling tactic the real issue from day one was finding the $8-12 million to build a hotel.
Everybody know if that kind of money was available, the demolition would have started by now. I am sure the hotel owners would have been more than able to hook up with a hotel chain somewhere during the next two years while the hotel was under construction.
My concern now is how will council proceed in a desperate attempt to salvage something from this deal just mere months prior to the election.
I take the following quote from the most recent Mayor’s Corner:
“At this point we are still working with the Vachon group (hotel finders) to attract a Best Western or other hotel chain to build. In order to retain our right to build a Best Western for two years, we need to consider putting up $50,000.00. A decision regarding clearing the property will also have to be made very shortly”.
Unless I am totally miss reading the above quote it sounds like the Mayor is going to attempt to persuade Council to put up $50,000 to retain the rights to build a Best Western.
This is crazy for so many reasons, the first being these are taxpayers dollars, is anyone aware of a government at any level that is in the business of buying franchises, rights etc?
Two if the hotel finders (Vachon group) are so certain that a hotel (with real investors) can be found let them put up the $50,000 they should easily be able to regain their investment with a hefty return from that future group.
Third what guarantee will we have that a new hotel group will have any interest in being a Best Western. Would the municipality limit potential Investors to only those that want to open under the “Best Western” name. Let the people that are prepared to put up $10-12 million pick the name for their hotel.
Then the Mayor talks about a decision regarding the clearing of the property must be made shortly. He is wrong a decision of that significance, should be made by the next council comprised of seven people with a clear mandate from the public.
The municipality in the Medican deal allowed $800,000 for the demolition of the building. That would be roughly half of what this municipality has in reserves, they could take out a loan for that amount. Are those decisions a council should be making in the last two months of it’s mandate? How long before a new hotel developer comes in, how long before the municipality recoups it’s money?
Who will have these answers I don’t know but I do know I will not be listening to the Mayor’s predictions I will finish with a quote from his Oct 2012 Mayor’s corner:
Note: Cost of administration $4325 per day