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Hospitality group bails on city meeting

Penticton Mayor Garry Litke, said Monday, that representatives from the Penticton Hospitality Association, the PHA, declined to attend an important morning meeting with the city.

According to the mayor, he and Councillor Wes Hopkin had a series of meetings in December with Robert Appelman, the president of the organization,  and another staff member, along with an official facilitator.

They had reached an agreement, which was supposed to be brought to a meeting Monday morning, but the PHA did not attend.

The mayor did not elaborate on what the agreement was.

"They said they were no longer interested in continuing the discussion," said Litke. "And I'm very disappointed by the fact they chose not to attend this morning."

Appelman could not be reached for comment.

The city and organization had been meeting in December to discuss an ongoing dispute. In recent months, the city announced it was directing the two percent hotel room tax to Tourism Penticton, after stating the PHA , was not spending the money the way they were supposed to.

At the time Litke said their mandate was to spend the money on external marketing, and it was not being spent on that. The amount in question is around $400,000.

In a statement, released by the PHA in November, they stated they had been subjected to a campaign designed to ultimately hinder and derail their efforts.



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