Fact checked by Wilbur Thompson.
At the end of March 2023, the Municipal Planning Committee said no to a request to develop a new event centre at Red Deer Resort and Casino in Alberta. However, the owner of the gambling amenity, O’Chiese Hospitality Inc. is not happy with the decision. It was recently reported that the owner is willing to appeal the March 22 ruling from the commission.
Last month, the Municipal Planning Committee reported that its members voted 4-2 in favour of rejecting the proposal for the owner to build a new event centre as part of the redevelopment of the former Cambridge Hotel and Convention Centre. It should be mentioned that the property is located at the corner of 50th Avenue and 32nd Street.
The commission elaborated that it rejected the request for the centre on the grounds that there would be insufficient onsite parking to accommodate all of the intensified uses. Meanwhile, last year, the owner got permission to move Jackpot Casino from downtown to a site in south Red Deer. The idea is to relocate the casino into the existing hotel convention centre on the southwest side of the land.
However, that is not all, as O’Chiese Hospitality Inc. has also set its sights on replacing the convention centre by developing a new 3,028-square-metre event centre that would come with around 2,000 sets. It would be located on the site and will be in place of two former nightclubs on the northeast side of the property. But for now, plans will remain on hold.
Initial plans are to demolish the two clubs to make way for the modernized event centre that would double the space of the previous amenities. It also requests the commission to decrease parking stalls to 577. In order to accommodate the need for more parking spaces, the owner wants to build an off-site parkade across 32nd Street and directly south of the hotel.
The City of Red Deer planner advised MPC to approve the development with the suggested parking variance, but most of its members were concerned about insufficient onsite parking. According to them, it would cause traffic problems on neighbouring streets. Now, the Red Deer Subdivision and Appeal Board will listen to the appeal from the owner on April 24, 2023.