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City of Quesnel to offer tax incentives for hotel development, revitalization

Recent feedback has shown travellers are disappointed with accommodations in Quesnel
City council is urging hotel development and revitalization in Quesnel by offering tax incentives. (Photo courtesy of City of Quesnel)

Mayor and council are taking steps to offer tax incentives to encourage hotel development and revitalization in Quesnel.

Council voted unanimously at their April 30 meeting to provide first and second readings for the proposed Hotel Revitalization Tax Exemption Bylaw, which council and staff hope will motivate new hotel development and upgrades to existing hotel/motel accommodation.

The city aims to provide a 100 per cent tax exemption on the assessed value of improvements on the municipal portion of property taxes for a period of 10 years to spur on development.

To be eligible for the program, the proposed bylaw states the building or group of buildings will contain not less than 18 sleeping units. Also, the new construction value, or the demolition and reconstruction value of the project must be $500K or more, meet the requirements set out in the city of Quesnel zoning bylaw and must be consistent with the future land use designation for the parcel, as set out in the Official Community Plan. Additionally, the form and character of the project must be consistent with the applicable development permit area design guidelines contained within the Official Community Plan.

According to background information in a city staff report, the last hotel development in Quesnel was in 1999.

“Quesnel has approximately 450 rooms currently available as hotel accommodations. This has dropped from 591 rooms as some properties either in whole or in part, are no longer operating as hotel/motel accommodation for the travelling public. In hosting events, the limiting factor on the size of events to be held in Quesnel is the number of available desirable hotel rooms. Recent feedback from Minerals North attendees indicated the lowest level of satisfaction of the overall event was in accommodation offerings,” noted the report.

“Some BC Games visitors noted dissatisfaction with available hotel accommodations. Rocky Mountaineer guests consistently express disappointment with the accommodations in Quesnel.”

The city is expected to set a public hearing on the topic for May 21.

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Angie Mindus

About the Author: Angie Mindus

I began my journalism career in daily and weekly newspapers in Alberta.
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