Gaming centre construction to begin this month

Gaming centre construction to begin this month

Photo: artist's rendering of the proposed new gaming centre, courtesy the City of Castlegar.

The more-than-$6.5-million gaming centre project slated for Castlegar will finally see ground-breaking this month, with a new stakeholder on board.

According to Terrim Properties' Terry Segarty, the project has been stalled out for more than a year due to financing issues.

“The delay has been because of the reluctance of the bank to fund any project in Western Canada – it's very, very difficult to get financing for any project,” Segarty said, explaining he instead went shopping for a partner to construct the building for the gaming centre, which Terrim Properties will then lease, eliminating the need to get construction funding from the bank.

He said the project has been scaled back from the original $7.9-million price tag.

“We've trimmed our costs, had architects go over (our plans) with a fine-toothed comb,” he said.

The new partner overseeing the construction will be Langley-based Berezan Management Ltd.

“We're working hard to make (this project) a reality,” said Ralph Berezan, adding his company has ample experience constructing office, retail and industrial spaces, but a gaming centre will be a new addition to the Berezan portfolio. “This is a new venture for us.”

“Hopefully, a year from now, the building will be there and the doors will be open.”

Berezan associate Babu Kadiyala will be overseeing the contruction, beginning with a meeting with City of Castlegar staff next week to secure a building permit.

If all goes according to plan, construction can then begin before month's end, with an anticipated completion in May or June 2011.

Castlegar mayor Lawrence Chernoff said he's enthusiastic about the potential of the project, but the long delays have been frustrating.

“I really want to see the equipment in there, digging the first hole, before I get too excited,” he said.

The gaming centre is expected to create 60 new jobs in the community.

Comments

In the long term

Many residents in and around this project are waiting to see the results of such a large venture in its town. The long term affects will either make or break the social fabric and the community as we currently enjoy.

CASINO JOBS

They have a great plan for hiring people with disabilities< THEY JUST DO NOT HIRE THEM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! But your money is good to spend there. The worst thing to ever happen to Castlegar. DO I HEAR BOYCOTT???????????

It's been a long battle, but

It's been a long battle, but the City of Castlegar has finally cleared the various court cases and has the green light to tear down the City Centre Motel downtown.

It’s a good thing Premier

It’s a good thing Premier Christy Clark announced increases to the minimum wage this week otherwise many people will not be able to put gas in their car or pay their electrical bills.

Major projects usually bring

Major projects usually bring drawback of this kind, there's no reason to be frustrated about this as long as the project is still ongoing. Finding new ways to save while building the gaming center is an actual alternative. We used to go for or reusable materials in our former projects, there's plenty potential on that.

casino games

I read your article.........nice

I personally believe the

I personally believe the "past" should be used to learn from...Evidently some missed the point. Today and in the future, damage control should be put in place first and foremost, then bring in the problem (in this case the Casinos). But doing things the old way... Dealing with the problems when we get to that bridge, trying to fix instead of preventing style of doing things, well i think that`s archaic, just look around you and see the results, may it be on a small local scale or international scale. Money isn't everything, but if it's the only reason for living for some concerned then think about how much it's going to cost the Castlegar people in taxes, to at the very least, try to control somewhat the negative impacts. I personally have nothing against Casinos. Viiva Las Vegas Baby ! Please make sure you understand and have no illusions what so ever that the world will not come to Castlegar to play in this Casino, but actually the only the locals will. As far as some of the dying towns around, well if they would be less selfish, anal, etc.... That's another debate.... lol !

Its obvious some people who

Its obvious some people who live in the past have a hard time accepting change. That said, these same people must absolutely LOVE Castlegar's downtown core.... as it has not changed (ever??). Castlegar needs new business, more taxbase, and businesses that actually pay their Taxes. You cannot shrink your way to prosperity, If Castlegar has a hope of not ending up like some nearby communities it needs to welcome new business and make it worth their while to locate here. T

Castlowna

Congratulations to Castlegar from wanting more crime, bringing property value down, create addicts, destroy families and so on... . Real productive and positive decision / solution, if only you could build a Waltmart now already... Then the one in Trail would disappear... .

Overstated

I think this might be a bit of an overstatement. Property value may be a legit concern, but people always have the choice of how to act. Addicts will always find something to be addicted to even if this complex didn't go up. I don't think you can blame all of these things on this one project. People have free will, you know. Alex Jackson Small Business Owner www.alert-1.com

Free Will

For a great read, and a much greater understanding of the complexities of addiction, please take a look at Gabor Mate's book - In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts. Some knowledge of the neurochemistry of the brain and how it is impacted by addictions (not just drugs and alcohol), would add a lot to this discussion, especially around the social costs of this project. Hard core addicts, (again, not just drugs and alcohol), have had the consequences of their actions visited upon them in spades (eg: horrific diseases, infections, homelessness, rape, beatings, loss of employment, loss of relationships, financial ruin, incarceration), the list goes on and on, and yet addiction still holds many people in its grip. There is something else at play, Mate's book sheds some light upon the complex issue of addictions. Yes, there is some element of "free will", but that is far too a simplistic view to be taken seriously.

Thanks, Kootenay Gal. Anytime

Thanks, Kootenay Gal. Anytime anyone brings up Gabor Mate I'm quick to jump in and pump my fist in the air.

In The Realm of the Hungry Ghosts is a crucial book for anyone who sincerely wants to understand addiction. To claim that 'free will' plays a decisive factor in such 'decisions', as the prevous poster argued, is simply not borne out by the objective facts of modern science.

My own belief is that 'free will' (the ability to weigh choices and make intelligent decisions free from undue outside influence) is a highly desirable thing, but a skill set that people must develop throughout the course of a lifetime. Many of us, due to deprivation and trauma, have the deck stacked against us from birth. To pretend that we're all on a 'level playing field' and that the FAS single parent who gets hooked on slots or crack has the same 'free will' as the secure and loved child of professionals is not only wrong, it's dangerously simplistic.

None of this is intended to dump on the business owner who posted earlier: before reading Mate I'd likely have said the same thing--and I used to work in the 'gaming' industry myself.

For anyone interested in a serious understanding of what some of our fellow Canadians are up against when facilities like this open, please check out the book or at least read this interview with the doctor. It's not an argument against gaming centres--if anything, it's just a call for compassion when the inevitable traumas take place in the wake of the centre's opening.

I don't think we should try to legislate temptation out of existence, but I do think we need to support the weak when they stumble. And they will stumble when this place opens.

I have to get a copy of that

I have to get a copy of that book. It's now on my Amazon wish list.

The Castlegar Library has a copy

...of Gabor Mate's book. It's brilliant, insightful, and readable.

If I had to choose a single must-read book for Westerners in the New Millennium, this would be it.

This is the last thing

This is the last thing Castlegar needs, or the area in general. 60 whole jobs? Seriously? I hardly think the environmental impact is going to be worth it, either, in addition to the social issues that are inevitably going to arise. Not to mention the tawdriness factor... This is a good place to post this link to a blog post by Mike Thomas, Rossland's city engineer and resident of Castlegar who has long been opposed to the casino project: http://urbanworkbench.com/reality-kootenay-style Very well-put stuff in there.

Casino a good idea?

I would like to invite the people of Castlegar to reconsider the purported appeal of having a Casino in their town.

I think this is tragic news for the entire region.  While there may be certain immediate financial outcomes, the eventual social ills that will inevitably incur far outweigh the benefits.

Studies have shown that 6.3% of the general population are potential problem gamblers, whereas as at least 2%, and often more, are actual problem gamblers.  For Castlegar, that would translate into approx. 150 people.

However, the real concern is that these same problem gamblers statistically account for between 25 and 40% of Casino revenues.

And from there, the problems multiply.  Gambling is associated with 6% of all relationship problems, 5% of all financial problems, between 5-10% of all personal bankruptcy cases, and 6.3% of suicides.

The more aggravated issue is the crime that inevitably follows gambling, particularly loan-sharking, and the related issues also of narcotics and prostitution.

Consider the experience of Richmond as an example.

The Vancouver Sun was already reporting in 2006, two years after the River Rock Casino there first opened, BC's most popular casino, that the city's RCMP was "struggling to keep up with a rash of crimes – including loan-sharking, extortion and kidnapping".

In that year alone, three of five kidnappings in Richmond involved possible extortions involving gambling, and two of the 11 kidnappings were gambling-related.  There had also been at least two suicides in Richmond related to gambling debts.

Loan sharking is defined by the Criminal Code as any loan that carries a "criminal rate of interest" of more than 60 per cent a year.  Some loan sharks in Richmond have charged rates as high as 20 percent a day.

Statistics provided by BCLC indicate that more than half of the suspected loan-sharking incidents in B.C. over the past year have taken place at River Rock.

Basically, as another article reports, "the opening of the casino led to a quadrupling of casino-related crime and allowed new organized crime groups to gain a foothold in the city."

Gambling

Not all are serious and addicted gamblers. There are a number of busloads of decent ordinary people who get on a chartered bus and head to the many casinos state side. They have a good time. No one I've heard of comes back with serious loss. Most know when to quit and just hang around the many restaurants until it's time to leave again. All our small towns have drug related crime and profit. No one in that circle escapes...unless they make so much money they can pay for protection from....whatever. - r