On Sept. 8 Gibsons residents were treated to a polished presentation of the proposal for a harbourside hotel complex touted to save our dying town.
Newsflash: Gibsons is not dying. We donít need saving!
We are a vibrant town of enterprising small businesses facing the same economic challenges as hundreds of other communities, large and small, across this country and around the world.
Obviously some folks are convinced that the proposed hotel and convention facility is the magic bullet that will save our town. But many, probably including other hotel operators with vacancy signs flashing, would not agree. A small marine hotel may indeed add vigour to the harbour. But business in Gibsons wonít be saved by transient clientele or by the few extra employee dollars another hotel might bring.
In shaky economic times, people watch their pennies. Needs trump wants: luxury fashion, home dťcor, and art occupy the back burner temporarily, rendering these businesses more marginal/seasonal. Businesses that thrive do so by offering people things they need, when they need them, at prices they can afford, and by providing outstanding customer service.
Sure, housing sales and are stagnant right now: theyíre stagnant everywhere. Sure, business is tough these days: itís tough everywhere. In this regard, Gibsons is not unique. But we are unique in many ways; and our uniqueness is one thing that will keep us alive.
We are a town of great beauty. We do small very well. Our official community plan (OCP) recognizes this, and describes how Gibsonsí essence should be preserved. Forgetting what makes us unique, and tossing our OCP out the window to build a grandiose hotel right smack in the middle of our jewel of a harbour will not save us. Bring us something that fits the OCP ó†something the whole community can support wholeheartedly.