Jan 17, 2013 / 2:29 pm
When it comes to concerts, truck shows or anything in between, it seems Prospera Place isn't getting the job done.
That's the opinion of Castanet readers who made their collective voices heard loud and clear in a recent poll asking, 'Is Prospera Place holding enough events and concerts?'
Nearly 86 per cent (1,295) of the 1,498 respondents said no, Prospera Place is not busy enough.
Only 3 per cent (45) answered yes while 10.55 per cent (158) didn't care.
Castanet received several letters from people disappointed at what they say is a lack of concerts in general and 'A' list concerts in general.
They point to such factors as competition from the newer South Okanagan Events Centre in Penticton and the decision to drop Ticketmaster as the ticketing agent in favour of Select Your Tickets.
Whatever the reason, the perception among concert goers is Prospera Place was busier in the years after it opened its doors in 1999 with more shows and better quality shows than in recent years.
"Not even close to being busy enough. Whoever is running the promotions should be embarrassed. I know of people who have given up their suites because of how ridiculously 'un-eventful' it is there. The Rockets alone just don't cut it. When I first moved here from Vancouver about five years ago it was great. Lots of shows etc. I'm not sure what changed but it has all but stopped. I have even contacted certain band promoters to ask why they would completely skip Kelowna on a Canadian tour and I have been told that there was no way they could come to a deal with the powers that be at Prospera."
"Regarding events at Prospera Place, I feel that they are definitely not bringing in enough concerts. When they first opened, we had big acts, like Cher, Rod Stewart, Elton John, etc. etc. and I was thrilled with our new venue. But in the past few years I am very disappointed in the lack of “big names” coming to Kelowna (as is everyone I talk to)! It’s a shame that we have to drive to Penticton or Vancouver for concerts when we have Prospera Place here. Kelowna restaurants, hotels, etc. are missing out also."
According to Prospera Place's website, there are two events booked at the facility so far in 2013, The Price Is Right in March and Jerry Serinfeld in May.
There were four major concert events in 2012 including a five day run of Cirque Du Soleil's Quidam.
Compare that to Interior Savings Centre in Kamloops which has five events booked through April, Tragically Hip, Eric Church, Canadian Tenors, Billy Talent and Disney's Beauty and the Beast.
Interior Savings Centre's website does provide information on previous year's shows.
At the South Okanagan Events Centre in Penticton, four shows are listed through the summer in 2013 including Eric Church, Harlem Globetrotters, Heart and Alan Jackson.
They indicated eight events in 2012.
"Regarding your comments for feedback on Prospera Place events and schedule, I would have to say that the events are limited. They do not have enough events, especially concerts. Penticton seems to be getting far more events at their venue. In fact I know of several people, myself included, who are going to see Heart in March. I also know a few people who have a sox (luxury suite) at Prospera Place and they have expressed that they are getting fed up with paying the expense of having a box when the only thing that seems to be happening are hockey games. I don't understand with the size of Kelowna and its surrounding areas that we don't have better entertainment. We usually have to go to Vancouver to see anything big. In the past we have had some great shows like Elton John, Kid Rock, Cher, Sting, Billy Idol and many, many others. I don't understand what has happened to Prospera Place in the last few years."
"Just saw your poll on "Is Prospera busy enough" and I think Prospera has dropped the ball in bringing in shows. Even if you look at Interior Savings Centre in Kamloops, they are getting the major concerts that Kelowna doesn't even have a chance at. I think one of the major problems with Prospera is their ticketing system. Ever since they decided to go with Select Your Tickets, the concerts haven't come. It seems as though the promoters of these events shy away from anything other than Ticketmaster. Before Ticketmaster left, Kelowna was getting events all the time. Perhaps it is a sign of times in Kelowna as well. Kelowna just isn't what it used to be."
"Very good point you raise in regard to events or lack thereof at Prospera Place. The Kelowna venue was noticeably busier until the South Okanagan Events Centre was opened. Opening another relatively large venue in the valley was a poor decision in coordination for a market that is some 300,000 people. In my opinion, the market is now split and there are not enough customers to keep them both operating at a decent profit. Not to knock Penticton, but the main valley event centre should be in Kelowna due to it's much larger population and central location."
Prospera Place officials were not available for comment.
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