John Thomson  

John Thomson's I Didn't Know That!

My information this week includes that the new owners of the Lucaya property on Sunset Drive have hired security to look after their property. There have been skate boarders using the site and I understand people sleeping there. The project as you know was purchased by Chinese investors. I don’t know what their plans are but I’m sure when the time is right they will move along with their own development. This is a very valuable piece of land.

The original investors were a group from Calgary and their renderings of the of the proposed development were quite impressive. It really came at the wrong time in the boom cycle.

This is the location where they removed the crane a few weeks ago which had been up for well over a year.


Could there be another new hotel for the Kelowna marketplace?  Of course there could and if another development group from Alberta decide to go ahead it will be for sure, thus adding another major banner to the market. This would be considered a lakefront hotel/resort with a great view.

Of course right now Ted Callahan and his company Argus Properties Ltd. are currently building a new Sheraton Four Points hotel across the road from the entrance to the Kelowna International Airport. The 120 room hotel is being built with the traveller in mind because of their closeness to the busy airport. It will offer to the business public; meeting facilities,  an indoor pool and a 24-hour fitness centre.

We have also been told that Ric’s Grill will open a restaurant on the site. The very popular dining spot will be a highlight for the hotel. It is coming along very quickly as construction continues. It is the fifth Sheraton Four Points in B.C. and the first Sheraton in the Okanagan.


It is my understanding that the Turner Motors Group (Volkswagen and Audi) have purchased the old Winn Motors building on Enterprise Way.  This would then become their new Audi dealership. The Volkswagen dealership would remain in its present location.

The rumours had them moving the Audi dealership into the garage located by the Fire Hall on Harvey. When we came to town 34 years ago it was the Toyota dealer’s garage and showroom.


The new Cooper's Store opened on Saturday and according to those who have visited the new addition to the Overwaitea Food Group it is well designed and offers another shopping experience to those who live in North Glenmore. I’ll drop out this week and have a look. 


What will they do next?  Starbucks are testing the coffee lover’s taste buds with a new $7 cup of coffee. I thought things were crazy when it was $3 a cup.

Cost Rica Finca Palmilera is made from rare and delicate Geisha coffee beans grown with great difficulty in Costa Rica. Starbucks only got 3800 pounds of them, so they won’t last long. In fact, the beans sold out almost right away on their website.

And don’t bother looking for the green Geisha brew at Okanagan-area coffee spots. The limited edition line is only available in 48 Starbucks stores across the northwest U.S., and most of those are right near home for the java giant… Maybe next year as that’s when Starbucks plans on taking Finca Palmilera nationwide.  There is no word on whether that includes Canada as well.


Years ago when I first started writing about the new resort for Peachland one of their press releases said they would be joining the international and very prestigious Relais & Chateaux group of resorts, hotel and restaurants.

I got the R&C press release today.  I have never stopped them coming because it is always an interesting read. Then I got to thinking about the revitalized complex in Peachland when it was announced about three months ago that the partners were coming back to continue to build the project which fell into tough times well over a year ago. I had an email from one of the developers and he told me to call and he would answer all my questions. He has never called back.



Do you buy products at your grocery store or order food in your favourite restaurant because the Heart & Stroke Health seal is on the package or in the menu? I hope not because once again I think it is a money grab and a good one.

I checked with a food manufacturer and he told me about the fees they pay and that it is a yearly thing. It is expensive and what does it mean? Very little really unless they are checking the manufacturers every year. What surprised me most last week was that the new seals are bought and paid for by Harvey’s, the hamburger people. They do make the best hamburgers in Canada but are there really hamburgers on their menu with low sodium, fat, calories etc? Of course not, that is not why you order anything from Harvey’s.  It tastes good but you shouldn’t be eating one of those everyday. 

You know we’re looking for an easy way to find out if the product is healthy or not.  Heaven forbid if we read the contents label! That isn’t easy for some shoppers. The Health Check is on the front of the package to sell food.

Customers trust the label and buy accordingly in many cases. But that is really not the best answer and it does take some time to see what you are buying.

A doctor from the University of Ottawa just wrote a piece and he hits the nail right on the head.  I have asked him if we can quote some things from his editorial.


Once again the Thomson family are the richest people in Canada as the new list makes the rounds from Canadian Business magazine. Our own Jimmy Pattison is fifth.

1. Thomson Family $20.1 billion
2. Galen Weston $8.2 billion
3.  Irving Family $8.07 billion
4.  Rogers Family $6.4 billion
5. Jimmy Pattison $6.14 billion


One morning a number of years ago our youngest daughter called from her lab in Edmonton to ask if I was still taking this blood pressure pill and I answered her with a yes, every morning. She asked right back, "do you still drink grapefruit juice?" I answered that I did but not with my pills.

She had just read a story in the British Medical Journal that said this particular pill would be five times stronger if I drank grapefruit juice with it. So be careful.

I called my doctor and our druggist and neither of them had been warned about the use of grapefruit juice with this pill. Health Canada had issued no warnings at the time but the U.S. Food & Drug did so and then took the medication off the market. We were days behind in Canada.

Now it has come up again as there are more prescription drugs on the market that can react with grapefruit juice. Canadian doctors are warning us that when you have a prescription filled ask about the interaction of the juice with this pill. There are 85 listed as potentially dangerous.

More John Thomson articles