I am a proponent of the George Hotel and Conference Centre and want to express some of the reasons I believe that Gibsons needs this development.
I believe the economic benefits are critical to the future of our town and the area. Among these benefits is a major increase in the tax base for the Town of Gibsons. I understand that currently, the total property taxes are approximately $2.3 million. The George will provide a $1 million addition — a 40 per cent increase to our property tax base — that is sorely needed.
The next economic benefit is to the business community and job market. As an example, in the early to mid ’90s, Tofino was a struggling community. The only grocery and hardware business was next to closing. A group fought to develop the first upscale resort — The Wickanninish Hotel — and since then, the tourism industry has blossomed, providing enormous economic stimulus and spinoff to the community.
It has been said that the economic spinoff from The George to our community will be $12 to 13 million annually. I believe every one of us will benefit in some way from that ripple effect.
On a personal level and dear to my heart is the hope for far more opportunity for decent paying jobs for young adults and their children. I am a grandparent who wishes my children and their children could see a strong economic future closer to me. Sadly, we see young folk having to leave the Coast in order to pursue careers and jobs. I hope that young parents can see far enough into the future to understand the importance of supporting this type of development — directly, by adding their voice to this debate.