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Ground breaks for New Chances Gaming Centre

Today saw ground-breaking ceremonies for a gaming centre slated to open beside the airport next June in Castlegar.

More than one official expressed relief to see the oft-delayed $6.5-million construction finally under way.

"I believe that today's groundbreaking reflects a growing confidence in Castelgar as a place of choice for new business in the West Kootenay Region," said Castlegar Mayor Lawrence Chernoff.

"The project reflects an appreciation of what Castlegar aspires to be - that is, the West Kootenay service centre, where a number of business opportunities exist for those investors who wish to service the West Kootenay market."

According to Terrim Properties' Terry Segarty,

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.

The project has come under fire as one promoting potentially addictive behaviours like gambling, but Chernoff said it's an important piece of the diversification puzzle that will leave the city less dependent on a single industry, and thus more economically viable.

He also said the city will receive a percentage of the centre's revenue, easing the burden on local taxpayers.