Sunday, October 13, 2013

Who owns the Best Western rights?

Lot's of information from various sources draw your own conclusions on who actually owns the Best Western rights.  The fact that the $50,000 will be paid back when the land is sold, still means the taxpayer will be receiving $50,000 less value for the property.

The following comes from the municipalities own press release announcing that the deal with Medican collasped.

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

Comments from July 16 G+P meeting 

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)

Pass Herald July 16

“What brings me out here is to see if there is any interest in pursuing a new investment group, under myself,” said Vachon.

Crowsnest Pass Peomoter 

The curious case of the hotel Part 3 from Joni MacFarlane

You'd be forgiven for having difficulty keeping track of the unfolding events surrounding a proposed development for the former Crowsnest Centre site.
Ever since it was announced that the first deal had gone south, the story’s taken more twists and turns than Senator Pamela Wallin’s travel expenses.
First we’re told that after much legal wrangling, a large construction company had been awarded the sale and contract of the site.
An open house presenting an architect’s conceptual designs was held when a new name emerges – that of Chris Vachon, a hotel management consultant.
The Medican deal falls through and now Vachon holds all the rights and none of the risk to secure a Best Western franchise. With hands held to the fire, we’re told it’s now or never - pay this fellow or kiss Best Western goodbye forever.
Now another name comes crawling out of the woodwork – that of Clay Cup Development. Apparently, they were originally involved in the deal before Vachon came along. We’re told they too are an approved Best Western developer and have built one in the past. They call the “now or never” scenario bunk and say that’s not how it works.
They also claim municipalities don’t pay these fees and that it sends up “red flags” to be asked to. Clearly the majority of council members are colour blind.
But wait, there’s more. Clay Cup says they chose to walk away from the deal when they read the “amateurish” feasibility study. Some members of council said they were fired.
Who is telling the truth here and who is not?
Is council adequately investigating these conflicts of information before playing with taxpayers’ money?
More worrying is the obvious conflict between what some members of council knew and what some did not. When and how was this information imparted and why are some members in the dark?
Now with close to a million dollars committed to demolish the site, find investors, a builder, and who knows what else to make a Best Western hotel a reality, this business of “he said - he said” is farcical.


Anonymous said...

And then there was the letter indicating that Penrose Group (Mr. Vachons's employer) had been invited to appear before Council.

"The fact that the $50,000 will be paid back when the land is sold, still means the taxpayer will be receiving $50,000 less value for the property."

If it takes more than two years to sell they can't pretend that we are getting back $50,000 for something that is expired. This money was taken from the land reserve - aren't there legal requirements to use it only for purchase of public land?

"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?"

Funny, he said on his blog he hadn't read the contract and didn't want to.

Anonymous said...

show of hands, how many people think that the CLC property is a good place for a hotel?

Anonymous said...

I hear that Garth Brooks was coming to Calgary until he found out that some residents started a petition to remove the Mayor.
Dam those Calgary ratepayers.

Anonymous said...

So the feasibility study done by the municipality was a waste of money?

Anonymous said...

$10, 000 for feasibility study, $8,000 for legal fees and $50,000 to reserve a hotel name for a non-existing hotel developer. Does anyone think you need to cut services to save on taxes? Give your head a shake. And yes, CLC is a great place for a hotel, as long as the municipality does not use our meager tax dollars!

Anonymous said...


This whole fiasco has been a waste of money!

Anonymous said...

We don't even know what these "rights" are. Must a hotel be built and open within 2 years?

Does CNP even have a copy of the franchise agreement between Vachon and BW?

Anonymous said...

Suppose some investor is interested in buying the site, but they want to build a Holiday Inn and they want to employ somebody other than Vachon in the development. Will CNP blow them off?

What if they want to build something that doesn't include a hotel? Sorry, not for sale.

Does the secret deal with Vachon restrict what the new Council can do with the site?

If the M7 get back in we'll never know.

Anonymous said...

Decoux and HIS councillors say they are a policy driven government. They had put out a Request for Proposals for a hotel, at the CLC site, in which they stipulated only developers with proven resources need to apply. This is a good policy with respect to public assets.

After they made this policy, they proceeded to do an expensive, $8,000 just for the lawyers; deal with Medican which, everyone was aware, had NO RESOURCES. That deal predictably crushed.

Again, disregarding its own policy regarding the Request for Proposal, our council led by Decoux, put up $50,000 of taxpayers’ money to reserve a hotel brand for a non-existent developer.

Councillors were told a fairly tale that the $50,000 will be recouped when the land is sold and they bought this argument. This is absurd, why would any experienced developer give extra $50,000 just because you made a goofy decision? We simply get $50,000 less for the land if this is the case.

Now we read with interest that the blame for the waste of the $50,000 is being passed on to some kind a board, the money was spent on the recommendation of “Economic Development Board as a prudent measure.” Note the misuse of the word prudent.

There is a pattern here of not accepting responsibility. No need to talk of accountability. All of us would like to see a nice hotel there, but most of don’t want our precious tax dollars going down the drain. The fact is, too much money was wasted on goofy things while important things, like our roads and the seniors lodge, have been neglected.
This is not a policy driven behaviour, this is not even common sense driven behaviour.

Anonymous said...

10:13 wrote:
"Councillors were told a fairly tale that the $50,000 will be recouped when the land is sold"

They were also told that the CPO program would pay for itself. The report commented on this and made a recommendation:

"10. Administration conduct greater research into consultant recommendations related to a new area of business when Council is making decisions that are heavily reliant upon a consultant’s recommendation about a new area of business for the Municipality."

The Inspector did not mention that the consultant WAS the CAO (I told him that).