Saturday, May 31, 2008

Richard, "Innovation not Intervention"

Please give us a break, this is not the end of the world and we shouldn't be thinking it is. Taxpayers aren't interested in the Government running another business. Let the marketplace take care of the problem and if there is any value left in Woodleigh Replicas then someone will come forward at the sale. UPEI just released a study that said the average spend of a heritage type tourist is $57 a day and I would suggest that most golfers would spend that on a sleeve of balls during a round. I don't agree with Mr. Brown on his thinking and attitude towards golf as this type of tourist leaves a lot of money here on PEI. High end golf was here long before Woodleigh and most other Island attractions and with 30 courses averaging 15,000 rounds each a year there is considerable spin off in jobs and investment by our golf course visitors as well as Island golfers. Green Gables opened in 1937 and brought some of the first high end golfers to Cavendish some of whom built cottages in the area and today over three generations of their families continue to make Cavendish their summer home. If the Minister is not happy with golf and his Premier wants to get out of the business, then they should live up to their commitment and sell the courses. A group from Crowbush met with the Tourism Minister and her Deputy last week and it appears that they haven't got the message as they told the meeting that if the Province can get the courses back in the black (fat chance) then the Government may continue to operate them. Play a round at the "Bush" and "we'll" give you a free ticket to visit Woodleigh!!! and if that doesn't work how about a tour of our meat plant?? Richard, your new department is Innovation not Intervention.
Cavendish requires a fresh start, says Innovation minister
A mortgage sale at Woodleigh Replicas and Gardens is a wakeup call that P.E.I.’s north shore needs help, says Innovation Minister Richard Brown.Brown said he’s working on a major redevelopment plan for Cavendish. He said much of the infrastructure there was built in the 1970s and needs an infusion of cash to refresh and modernize. 'We're very concerned about this closure. This has been an institution. It's been around for many, many years. My parents took us to it,' Brown said, in an interview with The Guardian. 'There's a whole issue about the Cavendish area, the north shore area. Some major upgrading has to occur. We’re going to have to look at that.' Brown said funding will come from both the federal and provincial governments. The costs of the redevelopment plan is not known. As his government turns its focus back on family tourism — as oppose to the previous government’s focus on high-end golfers —Cavendish will play a renewed focus in the industry, Brown added. 'We're going to be sitting down with the tourism department and saying ‘What kind of infrastructure needs are required?' 'What kind of program can we set up to renew the infrastructure requirements on the north shore?' he said. Matthew Jelley, president of the Cavendish Beach and the Dune Shores Tourist Association, said investment is needed on the north shore. He said the federal government, through Parks Canada, should also be a player.'The focus recently on increased dollars for Charlottetown has moved dollars around in P.E.I. but it has not attracted new visitors,' said Jelley. 'There has been unprecedented investment, whether it's cruise ship ports, rumoured convention centres, festivals and events centered on Charlottetown, but we've shown no growth in tourism. 'Where the real growth comes in tourism is from a destination such as Cavendish that can drawn visitors from all over the world.' Jelley said if there is no owner for Woodleigh from the private sector the provincial government should operate it this year. 'I'm a strong believer that the most successful enterprises are private operators,' he said. 'But if the province is going to own it, I would prefer they keep it open rather than moth ball it.' Brown said he's asked officials at P.E.I. Business Development to look at the possibility of the P.E.I. government operating Woodleigh. But it's his hope it will be purchased by the private sector. He is not ruling out additional financial help for a potential new owner. 'We have talked to other people about it. It’s going to be a challenge to get it back open this year. We're hoping someone could come in and buy it right away and get it going right away but I'm not sure that's going to happen.'

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I can't remember the specifics, but in a story I once read regarding the closure of a long time institution, someone said that while the end of an era may be met with a tear, change is the only constant in the universe, and nowhere was it ever said that things, no matter how "traditional" they may be, should last forever.

Government should be more concerned about Cavendish in general, and the refreshing that it needs, rather than one attraction whose time,as you say, probably has passed.