Casual commentary about political, cultural and economic issues with a particular interest on the city of Winnipeg by John Dobbin
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
The Occidental Hotel in 1980.
There were some warnings about the problem of buy-outs when they occurred on Main Street in the last several years. The argument was that the problem would migrate to the hotels that still existed elsewhere. And so it should come as no surprise that some hotels south of Portage Avenue now have some of the customers that once populated north Main Street.
Now, there appears to be a plan for a similar buy-out for the hotels south of Portage. One would assume that they are talking about the Vendome Hotel, The Garrick Hotel and possibly some larger hotels. Personally, I don't think there is money to buy some of the larger hotels such as the Marlborough Hotel, St. Regis or a few others that have places where alcohol served.
And even if they did have the money, would it not push the problem to somewhere else?
The issue isn't only about the serving of alcohol but a question of housing for long term residents.
It would seem a waste of time and money to try and buy out hotels when alcohol enforcement would be a bigger stick to wave at places that are an ongoing menace to the surrounding area.
One last point: While the merits of ending smoking in bars and restaurants cannot be denied, the problem of smokers hovering around doors all over the downtown cannot be denied either. In some cases, the solutions some bars come up with of a outdoor smoking area can be a boisterous producer of noise as we have seen in the Exchange District.
There are no easy solutions but better enforcement of alcohol over-serving, public drunkenness and fines for establishments that violate noise by-laws would go a long way.