Thursday, July 18, 2013

July 16 G+P Meeting Crowsnest Pass

Group Vachon Hotel status review

Chris Vachon spoke to council regarding this issue made some very interesting comments and responses to Councilors questions:

-Investors that were previously lined up went to what they know best the condo market
-The Best Western brand and franchise was approved for the Pass under the Vachon group
-The cost to maintain the Best Western for two years will be $50,000, the way it came across to myself is Vachon put the money up six months ago. The municipality as a deadline of July 26 to make a decision on if they will pay the $50,000 to maintain the rights to Best Western. If they don’t I suspect Mr Vachon will get his $50k back from Best Western and the option to own those rights will disappear.

At this point Councilor Gail asked if there would be a problem finding Investors down the road especially with the MCNP already having the feasibility study done?
Mr Vachon told him that Best Western came in and did their own study and would probably have to update the study when new Investors show up. He also stated that new Investors showing up would be tied to what happens in the Coal/lumber markets locally.

Councilor Londsbury asked if Best Western sees this town has a viable option?
Mr Vachon gave a qualified yes based on once again what happens in the coal industry.

Councilor Saindon asked how can Medican pull out, didn’t we have an agreement, didn’t we honor our side of the agreement, thing’s get difficult they pull out?
Myron Thompson stated terms of the agreement were not met by Medican the contract became null and void.

Councilor Saindon asked what was the out clauses that Medican used?
Myron Thompson responded with “various clauses”.

Councilor Gallant said Best Western did not play games, independent studies said this location was viable, he asked how long Sparwood has been on Best Western books and is there a time limit on how long they will be on the books?
Mr Vachon stated that he did not know Sparwood was trying to get a Best Western until they filed the application for Blairmore. He also stated that Best Western watchs a location for signs of moving forward (foundations being put in place etc)

Councilor Mitchell asked if he had heard correctly that there is a deadline of July 26?
Mr Vachon said yes for the $50,000

Councilor Saje asked for an explanation of what the status of the present contract is?
Mr Vachon stated we will talk further later in the meeting (In Camera)

At this point the Mayor asked Mr Vachon to stick around until later in the meeting.

Topics of Discussion

Municipal Credit card policy presented to council most of them seemed to be excited due to a policy being put in place. Some thought there was no policy previously they should do a little research and read the previous policy on council remuneration. Credit card limits were increased from $1000 to $2000.

Economic Development and Tourism Advisory Committee terms of reference were presented to council everything appeared to be to council’s satisfaction

Municipal Disaster Relief Plan Task Force- the Mayor explained that he would be bringing forth a position at the council meeting to put in place a “Task Force” of experts, provincial agencies, local people with the historical perspective and members of council to look at ways of preventing future disasters.

Ranchland Annexation- The Mayor stated he would be proposing at the council meeting that this process begin in a formal fashion.

Alberta Transport right of way along Highway 3, concerned raised about the weeds along the highway 3. Mr Headrick informed council that Volker Stevin were made aware of the Municipalities displeasure especially in light of the fact that thousands of people would be coming to our community this weekend.

Streaming of council meeting- The Mayor stated that they have been working on this issue for many months and its time for it to be put in place. At this point Councilor Saje made the point that council had not even made a decision on if they were going to do this. The Mayor stated that he basically did not care what needed to be done between now and then but by August 20 council meeting will be streamed.     

After this council went In Camera for Land and Personnel issues.


 Note: Cost of administration $4325 per day


Anonymous said...

Was uptown this morning and there wasn't one trailer parked at the community pasture across the tracks. They better hurry on over if they want to find a spot among the thousands that are coming this weekend. It looks as though the public (tourist and otherwise) have had it with the Crowsnest Pass and all of their promises.

Anonymous said...

Dean there is talk around town that they are going to make the decision Tuesday afternoon to knock down the center. They will take the cash out of reserves or finance it.

Anonymous said...

It cost us a lot of money in legal fees in making amendments to suit Medican etc. All we ended up with was a contract full of escape clauses and now Council is scrambling, once again, in order to appease a developer.

Stop the madness.

It seems the Sinister Seven are beginning to act in desperation, now, without regards to taxpayer's money. The few thousand that was to be realized from the sale have now been reduced by so much that it should be admitted that the CLC is just being given away. And what are we doing by caving in and putting up the deposit on a hotel franchise? I thought this was part of the developer's proposal. I will help them start their project by developing a major restaurant on site. Investment shouldn't be a problem as the Muni should pick up the franchise fees.

Mr. Vachon claims he didn't know about a Best Western slated for Sparwood until he submitted his application. A little bit of research when developing goes a long way. Even still, he should have taken a step back at that time to re-evaluate.

I believe a lot of locals have been aware of a Sparwood Best Western for over two years.

This from over a year ago.

Anonymous said...

Keep in mind these guys are desperate to get re-elected they need to do something drastic to get the public believing that they are actually doing something.
Do not be surprised if they don't bring down the old hospital just weeks prior to the election.
Between that and all the banners being put up around town showing off the new logo. Will it be enough?

Anonymous said...

Hi Folks

It's been a long time. The hotel is only a temporary setback. When my boys get back in October it won't be long before new Investors step up to the plate. Do not lose sight of the bigger picture the mine and a lot more development that our Mayor mentioned in his newsletter are on the way. So quit your gloating come on out and enjoy the best Rum Runners Weekend we have ever had.

Misty Schitz

I know most of you can't afford it but if you do manage to scramble up $30 you can come and have Wine and Cheese with the people that matter tonight.

Anonymous said...

Oh dearest Misty,

I wish I could, but I would have a hard time forking out $30 while knowing that your ticket is free.

Please enjoy your close networking in that phone booth and let us know next week how it went.

Just one time in the Bouncy Castle, please. After all, it is for the kids.

All the best Misty.

Anonymous said...

3:11:00 PM,

Kwit it... my guts are hurtin.

Anonymous said...

Councilor Saindon asked how can Medican pull out, didn’t we have an agreement, didn’t we honor our side of the agreement, thing’s get difficult they pull out?
Myron Thompson stated terms of the agreement were not met by Medican the contract became null and void.

Councilor Saindon asked what was the out clauses that Medican used?
Myron Thompson responded with “various clauses”.

It appears Saindon didn't Take The Time To Read And Understand
(his Feb. 2013 blog):

The info given out so far covers the points that are important to the municipality
I do not have a copy of the contract nor do I want one.
Our solicitirs have poured over this deal right from the start and have had a large hand in getting this done with all of the resident`s best interestat heart. I can tell you that our law firm is one of the best in the province and has the departments who specialize in these processes.

And in response to Dean's question:
14. Are there any escape clauses in the agreement for either the municipality or the developers, if yes what types of issues would warrant that?

he said:
14. I do not have the particluars on that but would assume that any contract would have performance clauses and milestones that must be reached on certain dates. Our administration along with our solicitors have ensured that this community and it’s residents are protected.
We have not made any deals outside of a strong contract that was reviewed and signed off by our solicitors. ...

Anonymous said...

Misty, you have just given me and a lot of people a good reason to boycott the Rum Runner Weekend. Your post is obnoxious and I put a pox on the whole weekend.

May you choke on your cheese. It appears that you've had an early start on the wine part re your first paragraph's bravado.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes, when conducting a failed business venture, (council's endeavors)) it may be best to exercise wisdom and to sit back and lick your wounds. Nothing is really going to happen in the next three months. Leave this issue alone in order for the next council to assess their inherited assets and deal with them as best they can.

And from the business sense, call Mr. Vachon's cards. (Smells of an option)

He claims that he has already put up the $50K that he needs council to cover by the 16th; chicken feed for an established developer, with so called experience. He should know the ropes on how to make money and should be more than willing to invest his own money in a venture that he believes will be profitable. Make him sweat, walk, or what ever.

The muni can regroup after Oct with a new perspective.

Anonymous said...

04:14:00 PM,

Clauses that we paid big bucks for, just to create amendments in a contract, in order to hang on to some kind of council fantasy and perceived legacy.

Anonymous said...

Good name for misty SHITSY, she's full of it, if it's a man he's full of it. Why would anyone vote for the likes of this bunch, they are downright disgusting.

Anonymous said...

From the press release:
"The Vachon Group, who is still the official applicant for the hotel development, intends to continue working with Crowsnest Pass on the complex."

In the normal world, when you have an RFP you select one proposal (or possibly zero if none meet the minimum requirements). Then the RFP process is over.

But here the RFP has no definite ending and Vachon has somehow morphed into the exclusive developer for the site (without providing proof of financial resources as required by the RFP).

Dean, do you remember if he was supposed to be representing Group Vachon or Penrose Hospitality?

Anonymous said...

In reference to councillor Saindon's blog; "Take The Time To Read And Understand"

"Those of you who have attended these open houses and information meetings should have noticed that they were for information purpose not to enhance any council members futures. The process to get some of these changes and attracting some new interest in the community have been hard fought by all involved."

But I have not yet received an invitation to taste my cheese and wine before these "information meetings" in what is perceived by many to be nothing but a gala and, in the end, the obligatory presentation to the gathered, interested Pee-ons, with little input considered. How do you realistically expect to attract my 'ideas and new interests'?

No wonder so many of us have felt totally alienated.

Doomsayer said...

Oh dear God!!
Emperor Decoux must have had an enema. Misty's back!
Quick, somebody call Roto-Rooter, it's going to get deep around here again.

Anonymous said...

04:56:00 PM,

Better question. Does council really know what entity or whom they are really dealing with at any certain point in time? They are being outmaneuvered, in a very slick way, costing us a lot of money.

Anonymous said...

05:25:00 PM,

Told you once already to kwit it.

I'm coming over, to your place, right now, to pour your drink on your keyboard. You neglected a quote that would guarantee peace in the Universe and would also add credence to your post.

My stomach hurts.

Anonymous said...

4:26 wrote:
"He claims that he has already put up the $50K that he needs council to cover by the 16th; chicken feed for an established developer, with so called experience. He should know the ropes on how to make money and should be more than willing to invest his own money in a venture that he believes will be profitable. Make him sweat, walk, or what ever."

Vachon's "Hotel investment | development" experience was with Group Vachon, a one-man company he started in 2011. He was doing stuff like parking utilization studies. Before that he was a hotel manager, and he now has a job with hotel management company Penrose Hospitality.

I notice Vemma is current but Group|Vachon is past.
Vice President of Hospitality & Development at Penrose Hospitality Inc.
Co owner of Imagine.Vemma.Com at Vemma - health, wellness & fitness
Hotel investment | development | management at Group|Vachon

Anonymous said...

As to 5:21:00 PM,

Might sting a bit Emile. Those were your exact words, in quote. A proper defense may be allowed here and would be expected, unless you choose to crawl into a some kind of 'cave'.

Anonymous said...

Hi Misty, missed you, see you at the wine and cheese tonight where us hoity toidies can smooze knowing the lower class are at home on their computers writing bs.

Anonymous said...

"Misty" got overcharged. Tickets were only $25.00. Hummm. interesting.

The Doomsayer said...

To Anonymous @ 5:52
Sorry I forgot my usual quote, the Misty stench was clouding my thoughts.
Here you go.

“The most essential gift for a good writer is a built-in, shockproof, shit detector.”
― Ernest Hemingway

Anonymous said...

The current council is either not tuned in enough to comprehend that they are dealing with a huckster that is, most likely 'one up' on them, and realises the CNP's existing vulnerabilities, in order to make a small, personal, profit?. On the other hand, they may think we are oblivious to moneys spent as long as promises keep coming down the pipe.

I don't claim to know the answers, but I can only think that this council's actions are not in the best interest of our community.

Anonymous said...

05:59:00 PM,

Your research is alwsys good. Although the presented facts can be interpreted in many ways by others, it makes any informed resident wonder, "what is really happening?"

It is time that certain people relaxed and laid back for just a short while. Don't worry, your legacy over the last 3 years will still be a matter of record.

Anonymous said...

Purchase your very own caver t shirt all proceeds go to the food bank

Anonymous said...

Wine md Cheese $25 in advance $30 at the door. Check out the Rum Runner's site

Anonymous said...

It's time to cut this guy loose, right now! Burry the losses, so that there will be no more hurt, and in Oct we will move on! (Hang this person with the 'promise' of a retainer. I think he is that desperate)

Anonymous said...

08:54:00 PM

"Purchase your very own caver t shirt all proceeds go to the food bank"

Really bad marketing policy there, when I can, and at my own discretion, make a donation to the Boy's and Girl's Club and obtain unlimited camping in downtown Blairmore.

You bet that I had better be making a donation to them!

Anonymous said...

How much money did Bruce and the learned council spend on lawyers and all the other consultants pursuing this weird development proposal? If they take an additional $50,000.00 from the seniors’ reserves it may just cover it. If anything is left after that, it can go toward some wine and cheese.

Anonymous said...

If he really coughed up $50K, of his own money, like he purports to (and wanting it back) then let him eat it as just another failed business venture. Or maybe a few people should just stop the B*ll S**t.

Anonymous said...

"Councilor Saindon asked how can Medican pull out, didn’t we have an agreement, didn’t we honor our side of the agreement, thing’s get difficult they pull out?"
"Councilor Saindon asked what was the out clauses that Medican used?"

This is totally clueless. The agreement was just an option to purchase, it didn't commit Medican to anything. If Medican didn't come up with the money by a certain date the agreement expired.

Here is Saindon's description of how the deal was approved from Time to Compare Past and Present

"Council instructed the CAO to look at the proposal and work out a satisfactory deal and that our solictors be involved in the process to ensure we had the muinicipalities interests covered.
The final package was brought to council and council directed the CAO to enter into an agreement with the developer."

He said (quoted in post above) "We have not made any deals outside of a strong contract ...", so the contract WAS the "final package". He voted for it with no understanding of it.

BTW, Oops, Dean did say "Group Vachon". If that is still alive it deepens the mystery of why the Penrose Group was invited to appear before Council.

BTW2, is anybody old enough to remember Misto-Van? Or was it Misty-Ban? (Unfortunately, the Kiwi shoe polish company stopped making it years ago)

Jack said...

Just got back from downtown Blairmore. Sad Sad Sad. 1400 for Sinister 7----14 for Rum Runners.

Anonymous said...

Some things are quite simple. Others are not.

It is obvious that this hotel development issue is not progressing. Mr. Vachon may not have known the state of the Sparwood Best Western development. If he truly, only learned the status of the Sparwood hotel developement upon his hotel application, he my have still been misleading council during the time frame leading up to the G+P. (he should have at least informed them as to the status of the development and a possible change of course) If council had done their own due diligence regarding what our closest neighbours were up to, then red flags would have been raised and questions asked.

Something is terribly not right here.

Anonymous said...

Jack 10:37

I think Rum Runners would attract more visitors if they offered free camping like Sinister 7.

Anonymous said...


You were obviously not here last year. They did offer free camping last year. There was not ONE tent or RV on site.

Most of us know what would attract THOUSANDS of visitors. Problem seems to be that it attracted TOO many visitors, hence it was deferred.(and then sabotaged?!)

The issue was not attracting visitors. The issue was managing and controlling all the visitors that showed up. So, no point in trying to attract visitors to this place. We just can't seem to figure out how to handle that, without turning our community into a police state, at a cost of $100,000 for the police. (If we can find enough police, and provide lodging for them.)

Anonymous said...

Oops, I forgot, camping wasn't free, I believe it was $100 for the weekend, or something like that. A fairly good deal, not free though.


Anonymous said...

Seems by one poster's experience that there were no time constraints placed upon campers for the Sinister Seven. How about marketing free camping and the idea of hanging around for another two weeks for Rum Runners Days Brian?

Maybe you also attracted a few 'Bad Apples' that may abuse the situation Brian? And why was nothing done by Peace Officers to gently move this act on his way. Maybe there is no policy regarding this. Where is a councillor when you need them?

As with TITV 'Bad Apples' do exist in any gathering.

Anonymous said...

"Sad Sad Sad. 1400 for Sinister 7----14 for Rum Runners"

14 people? That seems like an unmanageable crowd. I will have to head down to Gazebo Park tomorrow to check for signs of goat abuse. (I will call the Peace officers, but I don't think there is a policy regarding this yet).

We must do our best to handcuff this type of festival so that it doesn't happen again next year.

Tom said...

Dean, can you tell me why the Peace Officer from Black Diamond is in town????? How much is this costing us???

Anonymous said...

Two possibilities.

1. There have been rumours that the Grade 7 class from Lundbreck is coming in to stake out their turf on the Bouncy Castle could get ugly.
2. They are trying to maximize revenues because they know the next council will want to see the numbers on how well the Peace Officer program is paying for itself.

Anonymous said...

Bruce should be sent back to School. Can't he organize anything?

Anonymous said...

Umm, Dean, perhaps you could refresh everyone's memory about which council was intent on closing the CLC? Pretty hypocritical of you - about the current councils inherited problem, from your prior watch.

Crowsnest Pass Home said...

9:35 yes we closed the centre so what is your point all the hard work was done. The fights the politics were done. All these guys had to do over the last three years was put up the For Sale and sell the property.
Your fearless leader at one of the first meeting of this council stated we do not need the place we can not operate it and we can not afford it.

Anonymous said...

Dean 10:46
Yeah, they voted for the RFP that required demolition be included in the deal.

Now, without any explanation or vote, Himself has decreed that demolition proceed "very shortly" at taxpayer expense without any prospect for development. Why has it suddenly become urgent to demolish?

Maybe he has a consultant report that gophers are undermining the foundations.

Anonymous said...

Dean your right you guys has the mayor always says did the "heavy lifting" these guys had very little to do.

Anonymous said...

For our current Mayor, heavy lifting is policy development; economic development is not his shtik.