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Hearing on tourism dispute

A hearing on the dispute between the City of Penticton and the Penticton Hospitality Association, PHA, proceeded last week before Justice Betton in Kelowna Supreme Court.

The hearing was originally scheduled for one day, but ended up taking three days of court time, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

The hearing was pursuant to a petition filed by the City and seeks the direction of the court on matters relating to an agreement between the City and the PHA, said lawyer Tyrone Duerr, who appeared for the City at the hearing.

Alfred Kempf of Pushor Mitchell in Kelowna appeared on behalf of the PHA.

The dispute has been ongoing, since the city announced late last year that it was directing the two per cent hotel room tax away from the PHA, after stating the association was not spending the money the way they were supposed to.

At the time, Mayor Garry Litke said their mandate was to spend the money on external marketing, and it was not being spent on that. Last year that amount was around $400,000.  

The PHA has stated they have been subjected to a campaign designed to ultimately hinder and derail their efforts.

Betton has reserved his decision and will likely require several weeks to consider the evidence and submissions he received before determining the matter, said Duerr.

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