Wants equal play­ing field

Penticton Herald - - OPINION - El­vena Slump Pen­tic­ton

Dear Edi­tor: Be­tween Wendy’s on Main and the Chi­nese Buf­fet on Skaha Lake lo­cal restau­rants pro­vide about 429 park­ing spa­ces for their cus­tomers. This is ex­clud­ing restau­rants such as Earl’s, Joey’s or Cherry Lane which have min­gled park­ing for var­i­ous out­lets.

Each of th­ese restau­rants pro­vides free park­ing for their cus­tomers on valu­able land which is part of their cap­i­tal cost ex­pen­di­ture. Th­ese park­ing spa­ces are taxed an­nu­ally by the City at com­mer­cial rates along with their restau­rant.

Now com­pare this to the casino, a gam­bling venue with two restau­rants and a bistro with a to­tal of 24 park­ing spa­ces. For com­par­i­son pur­poses McDon­alds has 53 park­ing spots; Bos­ton Pizza 45.

This past week­end we had Young Stars hockey and the City was charg­ing $10 per car for park­ing at the SOEC.

On at least one oc­ca­sion I ob­served a casino pa­tron’s car be­ing al­lowed to park for free in an over­flow sec­tion at Me­mo­rial Arena. This is in ad­di­tion to the casino’s al­lot­ted 24 park­ing spa­ces. Now I have no idea if the Me­mo­rial Arena area was full of free park­ing for Casino pa­trons or not but for every casino car they al­lowed park­ing in that area the tax­pay­ers of Pen­tic­ton saw $10 si­phoned out of their pocket as di­rect sub­sidy to the casino.

I have seen 50 peo­ple lined up for the casino’s buf­fet sup­per; as th­ese peo­ple were pro­cessed 50 more or so took their place. Where are they park­ing? Why is the City al­low­ing free casino park­ing on tax­payer-owned land and tax­ing restau­rants in town for the park­ing they pro­vide their cus­tomers?

Why is the City al­low­ing free park­ing dur­ing events for casino cus­tomers when every other car driv­ing onto that lot which has al­ready paid to at­tend an event is forced to pay an ad­di­tional $10?

If I owned a restau­rant in this city I would be ask­ing for an equal play­ing field.

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