ALLOWING THE ALMIGHTY DOLLAR into Riverside Park has long been a worry for the denizens of Kamloops. Commercialization of the city’s gem must be avoided at all costs, according to one way of thinking.
There’s validity to those concerns and they’ve been expressed any time there’s a plan for a hotel tower, a multi-story parkade, a big farmer’s market complex or even a river tube concession. None of them has gotten traction.
But those kinds of enterprises are a world apart from allowing fitness studios and gyms to hold outdoor classes in the park during the pandemic. Yet Mayor Ken Christian has already noted concerns that such a move would open the doors to the dreaded commercialization of that revered space.
Christian also says the City must not be perceived to be offering businesses a direct benefit by giving them a special rate.
Neither of those two points stands up to scrutiny.
Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and a retired newspaper editor. He is a regular contributor to CFJC, publishes the ArmchairMayor.ca opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.