Tourism site draws protest
A Vernon resident hopes to overturn plans to relocate tourism services.
Maurie Deaton believes a rezoning public hearing Monday is a chance to tell city hall that relocating the visitors information centre next to Civic Arena is misguided.
“This is a chance to have a say,” said Deaton, who owns property in the neighbourhood.
Deaton’s primary concern is with more vehicles coming into the neighbourhood.
“The amount of traffic on 39th Avenue has increased already and to have trailers (turning off the highway) will back up traffic,” she said.
“There are a lot of people who live around there.”
Deaton isn’t convinced that converting the current building at 3004 39th Ave. into a tourism booth will benefit restaurants and other businesses.
“People won’t wander into town. It’s too hot in the summer and there’s no shade,” she said.
Deaton believes the existing tourism booths at the north and south ends of town provide the best access for tourists.
“It’s a duplication of service most people are willing to pay,” she said of the city’s contention that merging facilities will reduce operating costs.
Coun. Brian Quiring defends the city’s proposal.
“We need to do everything we can to bring people into the downtown core,” he said.
“Right now, it’s too easy to fly right through Vernon.”
He also points out that the RV sani-dump is next to Civic Arena and there is sufficient room for large vehicles to park.
Quiring says signage will allow tourists to get off the highway and find the new information centre and he insists that there are problems with vehicles getting to the south tourism booth near the army camp.
“It’s a dangerous intersection there.”
About $292,215 will be needed to convert the building on 39th Avenue into a tourism information centre.
The city is proposing to rezone the site from commercial to public institutional to allow for a tourism booth.
The public hearing will be Monday at 5:30 p.m. at city hall.