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Vancouver pushes for a “green, urban” casino

March 30th, 2010 · 21 Comments

The province is hoping to get through the city’s rezoning process, complete with public hearings, for the downtown casino in the next eight months so that Paragon can start digging and, soon after, start paying its lease to the province to help pay for the roof.

But city types are already sending warning shots across the bow that they’re not just going to approve any old thing. More fun for all of us to watch. The last time we went through this was with the convention centre addition, which the province also took through the city’s design process. That was not a happy time, with many in the city feeling that they were making the best of a bad and unfortunate inevitability.

We’ll see how this one goes. In the meantime, I can’t help but add my two cents’ worth (two cents that I’ll never be spending on slots, no matter what, because the one and only time I tried using a slot machine on a one-day visit to Las Vegas, I was too dense to figure out how to work the machine).  Isn’t it kind of strange that Vancouver would have a big casino downtown? That’s usually something that you see in loser, rust-belt cities that can’t figure out what else to do with their depopulated downtowns.

Again, I appeal to people with more time on their hands to do research than I currently have. Is there another healthy Vancouver-like city that has a big-butt casino in the middle of its downtown?

Though I must add here that when I talked to Pavco chair David Podmore, he made this whole megaplex sound more like a second convention centre/concert venue in the city than a casino resort. He says the new arrangement, with the new roof, will allow about 40 more nights of BC Place use during the summer, likely primarily for entertainment. As well, he says it will enable Vancouver to bring in the kinds of conventions that require seating for 50,000 (the Lions, Rotary or AA were examples he cited).

Good or bad, hmmm.

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