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John Thomson

Soap Floats

Jun 28, 2004 / 6:00 am

Bellstar Hotels & Resorts of Calgary are building the new Spirit Ridge Vineyard Resort & Spa in Osoyoos with the Osoyoos Indian Band and they have another property in Kelowna. The Bellasera Tuscan Villas & Piazza will feature 58 luxury townhouses over looking the second hole on the...

Credit Unions Can Go Inter-provincial

Jun 27, 2004 / 6:00 am

Founded in 1947, with one office in Penticton, the Valley First Credit Union is a huge Okanagan success story. As we reach the halfway point in the year, and with more and more competition all the time, I asked President and CEO Harley Biddlecombe how it looks for the fifty seven year old ...

BC Is More Confident

Jun 26, 2004 / 6:00 am

The International polling organization Ipsos-Reid had good news for B.C. with their latest polling, just completed. We are more upbeat about the provincial economy than we have been at anytime since 1997. "Considering the economic cloud over B.C. for the last few years the shift in numbers is...

John Thomson Report

Jun 26, 2004 / 5:30 am

Martha Stewart is guilty. I can accept that. The jury, heard the evidence, arguments and convicted her of conspiracy, obstruction of justice, and lying twice to federal investigators when she was not under oath. This was all over a sale of some stock in a less than chancy company, Imclone, which...

World Hockey League Fumbles

Jun 25, 2004 / 6:00 am

It truly is a fine business story with solid roots in the Okanagan. A young man grows up here, goes to school, and helps dad in his business in the summer. Then on to university and a success story that never quits. The young man is Ryan Kalt. His family owns the Eyecraft store in Westbank. He...

Bylands Turns 50

Jun 24, 2004 / 6:00 am

Byland Nurseries is fifty years old and still growing. It is celebrating its half century in the business this week. Grandfather Adrian Byland came to Canada from Holland in 1953 and bought his first twelve acres of land on the Westside. He brought with him all with the old wise traditions of...

Central Okanagan Academy Sold

Jun 23, 2004 / 6:00 am

It is my understanding the the Central Okanagan Academy has been sold. The purchaser is Graham Illingworth of Geotivity. The deal closed yesterday. A meeting with the parents will be held Thursday evening. This will be good news for the parents and the 200 students at the school. I noticed the...

Paper Scam Is Back

Jun 22, 2004 / 6:00 am

The old paper scam is back, big-time. The calls are probably coming from Montreal. Here is how it works. The phone rings the caller will ask your employee their name, then will begin to talk to him or her like they were friends. "Thank you Betty, your copy paper order is ready to be shipped so we...

Maclean Marketing Honoured

Jun 21, 2004 / 6:00 am

David Maclean and his organization join a select group of local businesses that have been honored by Profit Magazine for their success. Maclean Marketing was named 110th best, in Canada, June 6. It is quite an honor roll in the Valley with being honored twice by the magazine, the...

Valley's Middle Class Must Grow

Jun 20, 2004 / 6:00 am

Brad Bennett one of the co chairs, along with Gordon Fitzpatrick of the Okanagan Partnership initiative was very emotional on stage this past week at the Cleland Theatre in Penticton. It was the formal presentation to begin the next phase of the exercise across the Valley, and the next step into...

Have A Business Crisis Plan

Jun 19, 2004 / 6:00 am

Last week should have been a warning call for all businesses large or small. Every company runs the risk of a crisis. Forward thinking companies are proactive about crisis management. Last week you watched, heard, and read with interest the problem that RBC was having with their computers. It...

Post-Fire Baby Boom

Jun 18, 2004 / 6:00 am

When I visited Osoyoos in March I had the opportunity to see the drawing for the new resort complex planned by the Osoyoos Indian Band land. The developer is the very successful BellStar Hotel & Resorts Company out of Calgary. The Spirit Ridge Vineyard Resort & Spa will be a premier full...

Trethewey Has 4 Big Projects

Jun 17, 2004 / 6:00 am

Nothing surprises me anymore when it comes to the Valley and what is around the corner. I had the opportunity to talk with a developer, who is new to the area but his family have owned land here for years. I have had reason to come in to contact with Derek Trethewey over the past few years. First,...

Where Did The Fire Money Go?

Jun 16, 2004 / 6:00 am

After the fires last year we were flooded with requests to support organizations with publicity who were doing different projects to raise money. There was always the catch line “a portion of the proceeds will be donated to” and then they would name the fund that would be receiving this money. ...

Local Oil & Gas Exploration?

Jun 15, 2004 / 6:00 am

Exploration, oil and gas: There were five ministries from the B.C. government attending along with numerous staff and business presenters at the World Petroleum Show in Calgary last week. They were selling B.C. to the oil industry on the successes there have been in the Northeastern part of our...

Paragon Wood Expands - Oroville

Jun 14, 2004 / 5:30 am

The owners of the Toronto Maple Leafs knowing full well there probably will be no NHL hockey next year have decided not to raise their prices. Destinations is an organization started by Grant Thornton Accountants to service the hospitality industry in the province and the people needed to fill the...

Job Gain In B.C.

Jun 13, 2004 / 5:30 am

That has to be the best headline written in years. In the Vancouver Sun on Saturday with the line from Jim Pattison and I quote, “We haven’t seen business better in this province than we’re seeing it right now!” There was a 15,000 job gain in the B.C. economy last month. The Globe and...

Gas Price Controversy

Jun 12, 2004 / 6:00 am

Gas Price Controversy Good Morning! Gas Prices Keep hearing stories about the price of gasoline going down in California or Texas? Note on my desk this morning about gas prices in Houston down 12 cents a gallon. The note said they...

John Thomson Report

Jun 11, 2004 / 5:30 am

Jim Pattison has aways liked Sun-Rype Products as a company, it was well managed he told them when he bought his first shares. Now Sun-Rype has let its anti takeover protection lapse, May 7. Until that time the company had a shareholders rights plan in place since 1994 to prevent a takeover bid. ...

The John Thomson Report

Jun 10, 2004 / 6:00 am

Willow Inn And Westcorp I first started to write about this property about two years ago. Realtor Larry Chalmers was talking a deal on the property owned by the Willow Inn on Queensway. No one was saying how big a deal this really was, but you just knew this was a big one. The first company from...

About the Author

John Thomson is the Okanagan's pre-eminent business columnist writing his column, Rumours and Things, for over 24 years. Plugged in to the valley's who's who, John keeps his readers coming back for more with his straight talk and optimistic perspective on where we are headed next.

When John is not writing his column, he runs a sixteen year old think tank called the Executive Roundtable and holds his popular "Thomson Presents" quarterly business speaker seminars.

Have a comment, question, or tip for John? 

E-mail John at
[email protected]
or send him a fax at 250-764-8255.


The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet presents its columns "as is" and does not warrant the contents.

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