Article draws response

New hotel hurting business for others

Regarding the Sept 14 article: Hotel unveils plans for city. Construction of the new Fairfield Inn & Suites….. Let’s be clear!

I’m sure we can all agree that competition is good; however, I’m also sure that the current accommodators in Vernon, hotels and motels alike, would attest to the fact that they would turn little or no business away unless it falls over holiday long weekends during the busy summer season. Special events in Vernon and area (including Funtastic, Master’s Soccer Tournament, Winter Carnival & IPE) bring much needed business into hotels and motels in the city. After September, business slows and accommodators rely even more heavily on the Corporate, Sports Team and Winter Sport Markets to keep their employees busy and employed.

When Kevin Poole is quoted as saying “It will serve another segment of the hospitality market, there will be corporate travellers and they (the new Fairfield Inn & Suites) have great exposure from the highway.” Where does he think the Corporate Travellers stay now? The opening of another hotel in Vernon will not draw additional Corporate Guests into Vernon unless additional new businesses and corporation are built here. Instead, these guests will move their room business to the new Hotel property.

As well, the mention of ‘25 full-time hotel positions’ is misleading as most of these positions will likely be filled by already trained employees of the current hotel and motel properties as they see a drop in their own businesses and are forced to lay off their staff.

The article states that ‘Poole expects the hotel will also draw people visiting Silver Star and the adjacent Lake City Casino’. The Village Green Hotel has been the closest off-hill accommodator for almost 40 years and used to enjoy significant ‘Skier’ business before Silver Star Mountain Resort started building its own accommodations on the hill.

It’s a fact that the majority of out of town skiers and boarders would prefer to stay on the hill and with the great selection of accommodations on the hill, that’s just what they do. As far as the casino is concerned, I’m sure my competitors would agree, from the middle of September to the May long weekend, there are always rooms available to accommodate guests coming into town to enjoy the casino.

As many people involved in the hospitality industry in Vernon know, the City of Vernon is not truly a destination. Until Vernon attracts new Corporations, Businesses, Special Events; develops better public access to Beaches, Boat Launches and increases marketing dollars used to create awareness of our beautiful city & tourist attractions, the addition of 98 guest rooms and meeting space will only divert business from the already struggling Accommodation Sector in this city; who wouldn’t want to stay at a brand new hotel?

As a citizen of Vernon, I welcome growth in our community; however, as a citizen working in the hospitality industry, I do not appreciate some of the statements made in this article. In essence, to justify the addition of another hotel in the market place, the industry should be at a dynamic 75% capacity with clear and defined sectors not being served adequately….and we all know that just isn’t so.

Joan Spencer, Director of Sales

 

Village Green Hotel