Can Every Month be July for Tourism in Nanaimo?

Nanaimo’s hospitality industry, bolstered by festivals and events, is enjoying its best year in recent memory. Although July has traditionally been the busiest month for Nanaimo tourism, largely due to festivals, the Greater Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce (GNCC) and local hospitality industry want to add new events to attract tourists year-round. Currently, Nanaimo’s Marine Festival is the city’s single biggest downtown event and its third major weekend one, following the city’s Dragon Boat Festival and Silly Boat Regatta. This year, according to Nanaimo Hospitality Association chairman Dan Brady, hotels were fully booked during the Dragon Boat Festival because the British Columbia (B. C.) Athletics Jamboree, a track-and-field event, occurred during the same weekend. People flew into the city and took an airport limo to their destination which was usually a nice hotel. Brady, who manages the Harbourside Howard Johnson Hotel, said the event buoyed already strong tourism numbers during the historically busy month of July. Again, this weekend, a sporting event is enhancing tourism with the B.C. Baseball 18U Midget AAA provincial baseball championships.emailDowntownNanaimo2

Although Nanaimo appreciates the recent boost in tourism, it wants to make it a more routine occurrence. To this end, the hospitality association will soon start accepting proposals for new festivals. Successful proposals will qualify for funding from a two-percent hotel tax. The ultimate goal of this grant, according to Brady, “is to have events every month of the year.” However, as experienced festival organizer GNCC CEO Kim Smythe noted, successful events need effective organizers and “it’s unfortunate [we are] lacking people with enough professional expertise to properly organize a good festival.” Smythe hoped more successful festivals could be developed like the Comox festival in July, the Pemberton Music Festival and the Burnaby Blues and Roots Festival in August. He believed that August was under-utilized and that “a concerted effort” should be made to add to its event offerings, as well as to those of September.


Nanaimo motorist, 84, injured when car flips in parking lot crash Read more: http://www.vancouversun.com/news/metro/Nanaimo+motorist+injured+when+flips+parking+crash/11237192/story.html#ixzz3grd4z6Lx

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NANAIMO – An 84-year-old Nanaimo man was taken to hospital with injuries this morning after his car careened into a parking lot, slammed into two other cars and then crashed into the side of a Nanaimo Tim Hortons before flipping over, leaving him trapped.

The man was heading northbound on the North Island Highway just before 9 a.m. when suddenly his car launched over the curb and came into the parking lot of the Brooks Landing shopping centre “at an extreme rate of speed,” said Nanaimo RCMP spokesman Const. Gary O’Brien.

His grey four-door sedan hit a parked truck so hard, it broke off the truck’s axle.
The truck was sent into another parked car and the vehicle continued into the side of the coffee shop.

“The manager thought there was an explosion in the parking lot, it shook the building that bad,” O’Brien said. “By looking at the debris, it looks like a bomb went off because there’s so much debris in the parking lot.”

The driver was pinned in the vehicle, but Nanaimo firefighters were able to extricate him.

Nanaimo RCMP and B.C. Ambulance paramedics rushed to the scene and the elderly man was taken to hospital with head injuries.

It’s still unclear what caused the man to lose control but police are looking into whether the man suffered a medical emergency. A traffic analyst remains on scene investigating.


Nanaimo Marine Festival Honors the Navy

This year, the annual Nanaimo Marine Festival is taking place Thursday (July 23) to Sunday (July 26). It will still be the same festival that everyone loves, but there have been a few changes made. For example, the Great International World Championship Bathtub Race has a different finish line. In years past, the racers have finished the race at Departure Bay beach, but this year they will start and finish at the same point: Maffeo Sutton Park. According to Bill McGuire, Nanaimo Bathtub Society commodore, this change will allow more people to watch the beginning and end of the race. In the past, people would generally only see either the starting line or the finish line, since they were in two different places. With the 50th anniversary of the festival taking place next year, the coordinators decided this year was the best chance to change the course of the featured event.


Another thing that will differ slightly this year is that there will be a large military display at the festival in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Canadian Forces Maritime Experimental and Test Ranges Ranch Point. An extensive amount of testing on different parts of the navy has been done there. There will be a parade honoring the navy on Saturday at 10:30 AM, in addition to fireworks at 10:00 PM. The Bathtub race will begin at 11:00 AM Sunday.

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