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John-Thomson  

Thomson report

Nov 10, 2009 / 5:00 am
It is fast becoming the shopping spot of the Okanagan. It is West Kelowna's Miracle Mile of Shopping, and it is not over yet as the development continues with another shopping centre scheduled to be added to the mix. It all started when former chief of the Westbank First Nations, Ron Derrickson,...

Thomson report

Nov 5, 2009 / 5:00 am
In 2009 the average price of a single family home in the Central Okanagan was $464,132 - down a mere 1% over August 2009 when the average price was $468,728. Median prices also dipped roughly 2% over the same period comparing September 2009 ($438,400) to August 2009 ($450,000). The...

Rumours and things

Nov 4, 2009 / 5:00 am
Listed as one of the most influential advertising people of the century in 1983, Jerry Della Femina wrote the book all of us starting out had to read, "From Those Wonderful Folks Who Gave You Pearl Harbor." When asked the question, "does TVs Mad Men exaggerate?" His answer "nope." For three...

Here and there

Nov 3, 2009 / 5:00 am
Twitter users beware: This scam will not leave you ROFL. A phishing scam is circulating on Twitter that aims to steal users' login credentials and then forward scam messages to all their friends in the hope of tricking them too. The scam begins with a direct message -- one sent directly between...

Thomson report

Oct 29, 2009 / 5:00 am
Over the last couple of years we have had traffic circles open in the valley as the engineers change the flow of traffic in many of our cities. We're growing up and our traffic is becoming more congested. But we do have some problems because too many people driving today don't understand the...

Here and there

Oct 28, 2009 / 5:00 am
I was in KGH for a few days to get some repairs done and I was overwhelmed with the service and professionalism of the staff and their constant care to make everything as comfortable as possible. I certainly had no choice in the matter and at my age when the doctors say this is what has to be done,...

Thomson report

Oct 21, 2009 / 5:00 am
Sparkling Hill Resort and Wellness Hotel set to open in March 2010 is already creating a pre-opening buzz with its spectacular and unique design features. Enhancing the 152-room property is "crystal architecture" designs and components from Swarovski Crystal of Wattens, Austria. I was up there...


Here and there

Oct 20, 2009 / 5:00 am
The latest Nanos Economic Monitor tracking indicates that an increasing number of Canadians think the economy will strengthen in the next six months. With perceptions on the future direction of the economy being a leading indicator, the current mood is a clear signal that for the first time in...

Thomson report

Oct 15, 2009 / 5:00 am
What can you say about the publicity the B.C. wine industry is getting all over the world? Wine writers have followed up on the story about less expensive and not B.C. wine that has been included in the B.C. wine section in the government liquor stores. The Minister in charge, Rich Coleman making...

Here and there

Oct 13, 2009 / 5:00 am
Janinne Cleary has been in the business for twenty-five years and gained a solid reputation for her work in styling hair with the latest in knowledge about what's in and what's out. From her Excel Spa on Pandosy South we had a chance to speak on her long career which started in Golden in her...

Thomson report

Oct 8, 2009 / 5:00 am
Many of my readers don't understand completely what a Ponzi scheme is all about. A Ponzi scheme promises fantastic returns, often on an investment pitched as rare. Typically, "lulling payments" are issued early on to investors. The investor cashes that cheque. It's real money. He can't believe it....

Thomson report

Oct 7, 2009 / 5:00 am
It doesn't seem to matter how much publicity these Ponzi scams receive, there are still those out there who don't want to listen. They would sooner take the word of a huckster in a rented hotel meeting room as he explains that if you put all your money in his company accounts for him to invest for...

Thomson report

Oct 6, 2009 / 5:00 am
Certainly one of my sports hero's has been Arnold Palmer over these many years and when we got to have a fine dinner at his restaurant in LaQuinta California it was like visiting a shrine with all the Palmer memorabilia on the walls. Our friends from Toronto were knocked out by the display. I...

Thomson report

Oct 1, 2009 / 5:00 am
Do you remember when the "no-frills" food idea hit the marketplace and stores like Safeway had a couple of brands in that category? I can only remember Scotties brand, I can't remember what the other brand was called but this was the cheaper of the two, they even had no-name cigarettes back then. ...

Thomson report

Sep 30, 2009 / 5:00 am
Typically a slower month for sales. In August 2009, the Central Okanagan Real Estate residential sales totaled 173, up over 40% from August 2008 (123 sales). The average price of a single-family home for August transactions was $468,728—down by six percent compared to the same month last year...

Here and there

Sep 29, 2009 / 5:00 am
We were in the States for a few days in Whatcom County and the hotel where we stayed was busy. When I talked to the manager he said that the hotels in the area have had a good year so far with hotel bookings exceeding expectations with numbers approaching 80 per cent, nearly matching previous...

Thomson report

Sep 24, 2009 / 5:00 am
Good public policy does not always equal good politics. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the coverage of the harmonized sales tax. From a policy perspective, it is widely understood that business input taxes (like the current PST) are overly complex to administer and are a drain on...

Rumours and things

Sep 23, 2009 / 5:00 am
As I reported a few days ago there is some movement in the grocery store wars that none of the retailers like to speak about and who can blame them? The Loblaws chain, Canada's largest grocer in this market with Real Canadian Superstore and Extra Foods, are following the chain's roll-out of price...

Thomson report

Sep 22, 2009 / 5:00 am
I have been writing about this since Mike Weir toured the Okanagan with Dick Munn a couple of years ago looking for the possibility of getting into the golf course business locally or just moving his proposed Mike Weir Golf Design concept to the Okanagan and a number of other ventures. Weir had...

Here and there

Sep 17, 2009 / 5:00 am
With the announcement last week of the redesign of the Ponderosa Golf Club in Peachland by golf designers Greg Norman, it was really the only positive announcement of golf development in the past year. Let’s take a look: The Revelstoke Mountain Resort announced last year that PGA pro Nick Faldo...

Rumours and things

Sep 16, 2009 / 5:00 am
Is it finally going to happen? We have been watching the Governor's Landing site for at least three years where the new Real Canadian Superstore was to be built. It was all part of the signage for the announcement of the new mall on the site. Then there was a slow down in any work on the property...

Here and there

Sep 15, 2009 / 5:00 am
The new $495 million CrossIron Mills Mall, is open in Calgary. It is the city's first new enclosed shopping space in 20 years. The 1.1 million sq.ft. center will expand Calgary's retail space by 3.5 percent and represents the first major gamble by a retail developer in Canada since the recession...

Thomson report

Sep 10, 2009 / 5:00 am
Bert Chapman has over 39 years of real estate expertise with 13 years in the Kelowna Real Estate market. He has successfully sold properties in the Lower Fraser Valley and Vancouver in British Columbia, Canada as well as Palm Springs, California, USA and the last thirteen years has specialized in...

Thomson report

Sep 9, 2009 / 5:00 am
Things are happening in Prestige Hotel land as Joe K. Huber announces his new project for Sooke B.C. just 35 kilometers west of Victoria on the ocean. It must have been five years ago that Joe and I sat down for lunch and I posed the question, “What is next for the B.C. hospitality group started...

Thomson report

Sep 8, 2009 / 5:00 am
I met John Geha Sr., the president of the Coldwell Banker Affiliates in Canada, in Kelowna last month and was able to set up an interview with him for later in his Brampton, Ont. head office and in New Jersey where he was called to a Coldwell Banker meeting. I asked him about his background in the...

Thomson report

Sep 3, 2009 / 5:00 am
Anthem Worldwide has just wrapped up a re-branding effort for Canadian spirits brand Mike's Hard Lemonade. According to the company, the effort boosted sales considerably – they’re talking a 10 to 20 percent advantage over their competitors, which they attribute largely to the new...

Here and there

Sep 2, 2009 / 5:00 am
Word out of Lake Country is that the developers Amadon Development Group, who were planning to build a $1.87 billion resort on Woodsdale Ranch in Lake Country, are walking away from the deal and according to their spokesperson will move it to another Okanagan community. Max Tomaszewski was to be...

Thomson report

Sep 1, 2009 / 5:00 am
My son-in-law sent me this the other day from Calgary. I wonder what he had in mind? Thank goodness there's a name for this disorder. Somehow I feel better, even though I have it! Recently, I was diagnosed with A.A.A.D.D. - Age Activated Attention Deficit Disorder. This is how it manifests: I...

Thomson report

Aug 27, 2009 / 5:00 am
Sparkling Hill Resort and Wellness Hotel near Vernon, next door to the Predator Ridge Golf community is still over six months shy of the grand opening in March of 2010, but it's already creating a buzz - not just as Canada's newest destination spa hotel but because of its philosophy of Whole Body...

Rumours and things

Aug 26, 2009 / 5:00 am
The mega mall I have been writing about since it was announced for Calgary about four years ago is open this month. It is the CrossIron Mills in Balzac just outside of Calgary. This is the one I told you about that has seventeen anchor tenants and 200 stores. If you're a fisherman or woman you are...

Here and there

Aug 25, 2009 / 5:00 am
Were you and the family thinking of buying a vacation home in the U.S. this year? Many local residents are and a few have already bought down south with Phoenix being the most popular spot. Think the housing crisis is over? Think again: "The percentage of U.S. homeowners who owe more than their...

Thomson report

Aug 20, 2009 / 5:00 am
If you've ever rented a car in the U.S., you know the pitch. "Would you like the collision damage waiver to protect you in case of an accident?" the agent asks. Insurance agent calls it "hassle insurance" because they knows what a hassle it can be when a rental car is damaged or stolen — even if...

Here and there

Aug 19, 2009 / 5:00 am
Brugman Commercial Kitchens was started in Maple Ridge, in 1993. They are a supplier of restaurant equipment. As well, they design and build commercial kitchens. Golf courses, cafés, restaurants, care homes, supermarkets, deli's and food processing plants are just a few examples of food service...

Rumours and things

Aug 18, 2009 / 5:00 am
There are some big changes taking place in the motion picture industry according to the latest reports coming from Vancouver. One of the most prolific of the filmmakers in Canada, Brightlight Pictures, is moving half of its office operations to Toronto to take advantage of the new tax credits in...

Rumours and things

Aug 13, 2009 / 5:00 am
Since 2003, the government has known that drivers talking on their cell phones experience the same potentially deadly distraction whether they are using a hand held or hands-free device. Cities across the country have passed laws and ordinances requiring drivers to use hands-free phones,...

Here and there

Aug 12, 2009 / 5:00 am
Wal-Mart has announced plans to open its first Supercenters in the province of Saskatchewan, as part of its expansion across the country. The retailer will open two Supercenters in Regina and Saskatoon in early 2010, with each store covering 185,000 square feet of space. The move will see existing...

Thomson report

Aug 11, 2009 / 5:00 am
Recently I wrote a story about Affinity Fraud: Rumours and things It is one of the most difficult things for the RCMP fraud people to investigate because the people who have been scammed don’t want to tell them anything. Many are embarrassed. We have had so many of these in this valley - and...

Here and there

Aug 6, 2009 / 5:00 am
Canadians rely on their mobile phones for safety and security, but many are unaware of the actual reach of their emergency coverage, a new Angus Reid Strategies poll has found. The online survey of a representative national sample of 1,003 adult mobile phone users also found that respondents...

Here and there

Aug 5, 2009 / 5:00 am
Eleven million people watched as Jillian Harris, the Canadian prize on "The Bachelorette", got engaged to Ed at the end of the show. They have known each other a long time, almost since the beginning of the show. She plans to move in with him in September in Chicago and then get married in 18...

Here and there

Aug 4, 2009 / 5:00 am
Over the years we have booked 763 speakers into Kelowna for luncheons and conferences. In the last twenty years I always had a dream that I could talk Warren Buffett into coming to Canada, at a price of course, for one of his famous luncheons. I realized the tickets would be expensive but then...