by Pat Whalley
Summer is over and fall is here,. I find it interesting to note that not only has Centennial Park campground been full for every day of this long summer but has had it’s overflow area full as well.
I know that squawking about closing the park is a complete waste of time but I do think that many of those dollars spent in Oliver this year, will be spent elsewhere next summer. To my mind the hotel should have been built just north of town but if Centennial has to be the definite location, what a pity that nobody has come forward with the idea of opening another campground nearer to town.
Yes, Oliver has other campgrounds but Desert Gem has been fairly full all year, the other campgrounds are quite a hike from town and many campers want to be in walking distance to shops and restaurants. I honestly feel that instead of going to other campgrounds, people will go to other towns and take their money with them.
Thought seems to be that the new hotel will have all sorts of money coming into Oliver and will revive the town but, where are they going to spend all this money, not in all the empty stores on Main Street. For customers to spend money, there needs to be shops to spend it but business people will not open shops if they do not have customers. We have seen so many shops come and go as they haven’t been able to make a living, will a motel make any difference? I honestly do not think we will see people from area 27 wandering around the town, looking for places to spend their cash.
Both Osoyoos and Summerland are small towns but their shops are thriving and their town centres always busy, why are they successful and why is Oliver not? Whatever the secret of our neighbouring towns’ success, we need to discover it and use it here. We have a lovely little town but it is dying a not too slow, death. What can we do to change things round?