The $883.2 million new convention centre is set to open on schedule on March 15, 2009. According to David Podmore (project boss) it will also be on budget. Yes you heard correctly it will be on budget. No, not the original estimated budget of $495 million, but the revised budget.
The convention centre has been a topic of discussion for many bloggers out there. Some good discussion, however, the main topic is usually centres around the cost overruns plaguing the project. It doesn’t help that many bloggers simply hate the Liberal government, not giving them credit for anything positive brought to the province in the past few years. To those bloggers, I implore you to pick up a book on finance and economics.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Fast Ferries! What did that “investment” yield us over the years? Nothing, as it was a fucking sunk cost that we will never see again. At least the convention centre will pay for itself in 8 to 10 years, not to mention the numerous jobs it will provide. Don’t you guys always bitch and complain about job creation? Egregious asshattery at its finest.
Here is a quote from from Tourism Minister Bill Bennett in todays province:
“The people who argue that we should not have built this, the people who argue we should have just stayed with the smaller facility, are people who don’t understand the difference between investment and a straight cost.”
With a 159 bookings already set to generate $2 BILLION in economic activity, why was this such a bad idea? Sure the bookings extend to 2018, however remember that 54 of these bookings would not have been made if we didn’t expand our convention centre. Believe it or not, businesses love to book convention here.
On a side note, I had a few of my development friends take a tour of the convention centre and they were blown away by the interior. Apparently the renderings of the interior don’t do this project justice. From the outside it looks like a some sort of space ship but the inside is quite grand.
photo courtesy of subdude @ SSP.com