Industry Reports

Penticton Voters Blame Cascades Casino Relocation for Insufficient Parking Spots in the SOEC Area

This Tuesday is an important date for the Pentincton community, as it is projected to see a very important council meeting aiming to find a proper solution to the parking issues related to the South Okanagan Events Center. Over the span of the past few days the community has expressed its opinion that Cascades Casino might be one of the main reasons why the area struggles to provide everyone with the parking spot they deserve.

One of the potential reasons for this ongoing struggle could be the relocation of the casino venue which is in operation at the South Okanagan Events Center. The report which will be thoroughly reviewed at the upcoming council meeting is expected to provide insights into the current situation and provide guidance for future actions and changes. Director of Facilities Bregje Kozak is going to have the important task to shed more light on the latest information acquired.

Casino Venue Brings a Crowd to the Area

The City staff recently sought public input on the subject and it revealed an overwhelming amount of discontentment with the current parking situation in the city. According to them, it is nearly impossible to find parking space on the occasion of major events hosted by the convention center. The casino venue operating on site also contributes to the significant reduction of parking spots number.

One of the most recurring answers was related to the Cascades Casino venue which relocated last year to the convention center. The casino venue is supposed to provide the location with parking space of as many as 80 vehicles, but at the moment there is enough space for only 65 cars in the vicinity of the venue. In order to compensate for this insufficiency, Gateway Casinos overseeing operation on site allocates CA$48.60 per parking spot on an annual basis.

The casino developer and operator also makes up for the potential inconvenience caused as it offers special free-of-charge shuttle bus services to and for the South Okanagan Events Center. The meeting this Tuesday will strive to bring a breath of fresh air to the existing parking plan which was introduced in 2015. Back then the casino venue was not in operation yet and conversations about its relocation were still in progress.

City Staff Ready to Find Appropriate Solutions

At this point, the ultimate goal of this conversation would be visible changes and alleviation of the traffic and parking situation in the area with the help of a cost-efficient approach which to bring quick results. Short-term solutions will be discussed in an attempt to better the status quo. One such potentially successful solution might be the construction of a parking lot with several levels, thus utilizing the vertical instead of the horizontal.

City staff has also highlighted the opportunity of specific restrictions being introduced for parking on the streets, as well as introducing special parking locations for members of the staff. Some CA$100,000 will be utilized for the proposed solutions, as this amount is included in the city budget for next year. Cascades Casino Pentincton itself is one of the locations enjoying quite the attention. It remained open for business throughout the entire casino strike of unionized workers.