Those who opposed a bingo hall at the entrance to downtown won the day.
The rezoning application for the gaming centre that was proposed for Cleveland Avenue next to Club Flex was withdrawn, according to the proponent.
Alan Dyck of Surrey- based Bingo Country said on Wednesday (May 26) that while the application for rezoning was withdrawn, he still intends to move ahead with a facility in Squamish.
"We've been listening and hearing that there's definitely dissent about the location," Dyck said from his office in Surrey. "We've hired Colliers to start looking and seeing if they can come up with some different sites."
A public information meeting that was held last October attracted two main groups of people. Many of the people who attended were strong bingo supporters currently traveling great distances to pursue their hobby. The other major group at the meeting were those who simply oppose the idea of a bingo hall being located at what is described by many as the gateway to downtown.
Word about the proposal got out ahead of the public information meeting and those opposed to the location circulated a petition. The petition called on Squamish Council to reject the spot rezoning the proponent was looking for.
Dyck said all potential options are being explored now for a new site. The original commercial space Dyck was looking at was 9,500 square feet for his B.C. Lottery Corporation-supported gaming centre. The facility is expected to inject $432,000 into the economy in the form of staff salaries, according to the proponent. The staff will include two managers, six concession workers and 17 people for the bingo operations for a total of 25 new jobs created.
"We've got some new owners involved with us," Dyck added. "We want to be part of the community."
No time lines are set for the bingo operation to be up and running. Once the new location is decided upon, he said he expects a higher level of support from the community.
"I know that there is a good majority of people that want it there," Dyck said.