MEDIA RELEASE: January 18, 2013
DOWNTOWN BIA MEMBERS UNRESPONSIVE TO CASINO QUESTION
Business people and property owners in Downtown Hamilton have been asked to describe their position on the proposal to locate a gaming facility in Downtown Hamilton. Over the course of the past two weeks the Downtown BIA sent out its survey by letter to all property owners, polled through Survey Monkey all those business members who they had emails and called over 45 % of those remaining members without emails by phone.
A very small number of members filled out the survey or answered the questions resulting in a somewhat disappointing 79 responses received. “Too small to make an informed and representative position” says the members of the Board of Management who reviewed the results at their monthly meeting yesterday. To validate the survey with a small margin of error the BIA would have had to obtain 240 responses for it to accurately reflect the position of the membership.
Of those 79 who filled out the survey, 55% were somewhat or strongly opposed to a gaming facility in Downtown Hamilton. 33% were
somewhat or strongly in favour. A rather large percentage (12%) reported that they were neutral or did not have an opinion.
When asked where people would prefer a casino to be located the majority of respondents who answered that question supported a Downtown location and offered suggestions of the Connaught Hotel, Jackson Square, City Centre, one of the new hotels, and the Hamilton Convention Centre. Other locations offered up included the East Mountain, the Bayfront, the east end of Hamilton, Flamborough Downs, and near Ivor Wynne.
A question was asked about the type of facility members would like to see and overwhelmingly they supported a multi-use complex including hotel, convention, restaurants, and entertainment facilities versus a stand alone building with lots of parking.
The BIA also asked what members thought about earmarking the potential revenues from a gaming facility and most thought the monies should go back into improving Downtown and helping with the renewal efforts. Others wanted to see more policing and security downtown as well as more funding for social programs. A separate Board to manage the facility was supported by the majority of respondents.
The Downtown Hamilton Business Improvement Area is a non-profit association made up of 164 property owners and 427 businesses in the area bordering MacNab, Rebecca, Mary and Hunter Streets. Its’ purpose is to provide advocacy, maintenance, promotion and preservation of Downtown Hamilton through successful public/private sector partnerships.-
For more information contact:
Kathy G. Drewitt, Executive Director