City, PIB reach historic agreement on joint economic development initiatives

The City of Penticton and the Penticton Indian Band (PIB) have reached a historic agreement that will move joint economic development and tourism initiatives forward for both communities over the long term.

The City and PIB have agreed upon joint initiatives in tourism, economic development and PIB zoning a portion of its land for much-needed commercial and light industrial uses. This will benefit both economies and create more jobs to support the entire South Okanagan region. In recognition of this commitment, the City will share 10 per cent of the Host Local Government (HLG) casino revenue with PIB. This agreement is the second of its type in the province, where HLG revenue is shared between communities located near gaming facilities, and the first of its type between a municipality and First Nation.

“This milestone agreement signals a commitment to enhanced collaboration and partnership with the Penticton Indian Band that will foster greater social and economic prosperity for both our communities,” said Mayor Andrew Jakubeit. “It has always been our vision to establish a true economic development partnership with the Penticton Indian Band that allows our region to move forward together to attract jobs and investment. This agreement supports that goal and I want to thank Chief Jonathan Kruger and the PIB Council for their commitment to work harmoniously to ensure our communities prosper together.”

“The Penticton Indian Band is committed to fostering a relationship with the City that will enable both of our communities to benefit from economic development,” said Chief Kruger. “By sharing a portion of the casino revenues, this agreement allows mutually beneficial economic development projects such as ensuring that Satikw Crossing meets the need for more residential, commercial and light industrial land in the region, something that will benefit both our communities by attracting more investment and jobs. I want to thank Mayor Jakubeit and his Council for their leadership in ushering in a new era of enhanced collaboration between our communities.”

Consultation from local governments affected by the casino relocation is a requirement of the Gaming Control Act.  Under the milestone agreement, PIB has provided a letter of unconditional support to BCLC for the casino relocation onto the South Okanagan Events Centre complex. BCLC has commended the City and the PIB on the innovative agreement that meets the needs of the broader community.

Details of the agreement include:

  • The City will share 10 per cent of the HLG casino revenues.
  • The City will investigate a new model of tourism marketing for the City and PIB, including consideration to advance the development of a Cultural Centre at the S.S. Sicamous as already envisioned under the master plan.
  • The City will work with the PIB to consider opportunities for facilities infrastructure where it could benefit both communities.
  • Increased opportunities for residential, commercial and light industrial uses with corresponding zoning of PIB land.

Subject to Council’s final approval, the proposed casino relocation will provide the following economic benefits to the City of Penticton:

  • The casino currently provides $1.6 million in hosting revenues every year.  This revenue is anticipated to grow with the larger development and location at the South Okanagan Events Centre complex.
  • The proposed $25 million development secures the jobs Gateway currently provides and will create 150 new jobs for a total of nearly 300 jobs.
  • Gateway will pay $250,000 annually to the City to lease of the SOEC land. When the lease ends, the facility will become property of the City of Penticton.
  • In year one of the contract, Gateway will begin paying more than $100,000 annually in school, hospital and regional district taxes. After ten years, the City will receive another $150,000 annually in tax revenues from Gateway, a significant increase from the $8,000 the City currently receives in tax revenue at that location.

Council will vote on the proposed gaming relocation this evening.