What’s done is done on the Centennial RV Park property, so it’s time to move on.
The Chronicle is still receiving letters in opposition to the park being replaced by a hotel, but these letters are not going to change anything.
Last week Town council approved the development permit for the new 80-room hotel, so unless the developer surprisingly backs out of the plan, it’s a done deal.
Yes, Oliver is losing a gem. It’s losing precious green space and wildlife habitat. It’s losing some beautiful trees. It’s losing a viable business and spin-off effects. And it’s losing tourists. But it’s gaining a hotel that the town has been pining for. It will gain new business and new people looking for a place to stay during big events. No more lost business to Osoyoos and Penticton.
There will be new landscaping and new trees, and Station Street will finally see an upgrade to complement the new hotel, which will fit nicely with Oliver’s downtown revitalization plan.
We hope council will ensure that the building’s aesthetics will enhance the local environment and not detract from the neighbourhood. Time will tell.
Most people will agree that Oliver needs a new hotel. While the location may not sit well with some people, it’s an exciting turning point for the Town, whose leaders believe this venture will be the boost the community needs for future economic success.
Now, if we can only fill the empty, unsightly lot on Main Street where the old hotel used to be. That would be cause for celebration, even a block party. Last year it was reported that this property was destined to host a neighbourhood pub development, but we have learned that the developer has withdrawn this application. Too bad; it would have definitely revitalized the town.
We can only hope that someone else sees the merits of this property.
Lyonel Doherty, editor