The City of Delta hosted its first open house on the proposed Gateway hotel/casino Thursday at Harris Barn.
Over the course of the evening, well over 100 attended the information session that had Delta staff on hand, as well as representatives from Gateway Casinos and Entertainment Ltd., and the B.C. Lottery Corporation.
The questions posed to Delta staff included traffic, congestion during peak hours and transportation, and how that will all be impacted by the $70 million facility at the Town & Country Inn site.
“One of the questions I asked is how they can build a casino like this if they don’t even know if we’ll have a tunnel or a bridge,” said Christian Karitey.
Saying the access doesn’t appear to be good enough, Karitey also wondered if the estimated revenue Delta would receive makes it worth having the facility.
Gary and Julia Holden like the idea of the facility being located away from residences but wondered how many people would want to go through the tunnel to get to the casino. Kathy Vull was also curious about access with the existing highway infrastructure. Another resident said he wanted to know where a second tunnel, if the province decided to build another tube rather than a new bridge, would be located if a casino was already next to the existing crossing.
Businessman Ron Toigo also checked out the session. If the application is approved, his aging Town & Country hotel would be torn down and Gateway would build the new complex and lease the land from him. He noted that, even if there was no casino application, he would likely be looking at the future of the site.
Gaming facilities in B.C. contribute 10 per cent of net profits to host local governments.
The lottery corporation last week told the Optimist it estimates revenue coming to Delta will be at the top end of its initial $1.5 million to $3 million projection based on the casino opening with 500 slot machines, a figure BCLC has termed as a conservative estimate. The proposed Delta casino would be built to house up to 600 slot machines to accommodate potential future growth.
Open houses will also be held Feb. 7 at the Sungod Recreation Centre in North Delta and Feb. 8 at the Harris Barn in Ladner again. Both sessions will take place from 4 to 8 p.m.
Open to the public, a multi-civic committee meeting will be held at Harris Barn Feb. 15 at 7 p.m.
The application is tentatively set to go to council in April with a public hearing in May.