95-room hotel approved

Penticton City Council has given a final stamp of approval to a 95-room hotel proposed for former bingo hall property on Eckhardt Ave.

The decision followed a brief public hearing Tuesday, that saw just two people come forward with concerns.

One, a resident of nearby Caribou Street, was worried the project would exacerbate the problem of casino staff parking on her road, along with an increase of traffic towards the beach. City staff said they would be looking at installing "resident only" parking on Caribou once the results of the city-wide parking review are complete.

Gateway Casinos is also entering a long-term lease for a new staff parking lot at the corner of Eckhardt and Highway 97. Casino general manager Michael Magnusson noted that hotel staff will be invited to park in the lot.

The other concerned resident believed the property was a “missed opportunity” for the city to acquire new parkland.

Council unanimously endorsed the plan put forward by Mundi Hotel Enterprises, with Mayor Andrew Jakubeit noting it has been a very long time since the community had a new full service hotel built.

The $13.8M, four-storey Marriott Fairfield Inn & Suites will need to be rubber stamped by the Ministry of Transportation, due to its proximity to Highway 97. The hotel will aim to open in 2018.


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