I am thrilled about the prospect of The George Hotel in Gibsons. One can only imagine how lively the waterfront could become and how vibrant Gibsons Landing would be with more happy tourists, especially all year round.
Some letters have indicated that Gibsons Landing business owners just need to tighten their belts during these slow economic times. We have been tightening belts for some time. I ask, are these letter writers paying the Landing rents we are? Are they home-based businesses with pared down operating costs? Do they even own a business?
The Landing merchants and businesses need a continual influx of patrons to keep afloat. Part of the magic of small seaside communities having a high tourist draw is a vibrant town centre where you find small, distinctive, interesting shops and restaurants. Places like La Connor, Steveston, Cannon Beach or Sausalito have a certain magic that draws people to them. A quality waterfront hotel will be part of our seaside appeal.
Many a day I talk with locals who tell me they only come down to the Landing to walk or shop when they have guests. Many have not been down to shop for over a year or two. If locals are not shopping in the Landing, I certainly would welcome the opportunity to see more year-round tourists. The George will be a year-round draw and will help keep the other small businesses healthy. Tourists spend dollars. If the locals are going to keep their belts tightened, then we certainly need tourists. Rents do not get paid with once-a-year shoppers.
We cannot stay still. Change is a constant. We need to embrace it and work to make it better for our lives as we move forward on a constant, changing path.
Peggy Wright, Gibsons