In a surprise visit to Kamloops on Thursday, B.C. Premier Christy Clark helped celebrate the grand reopening of Coast Hotel with a ribbon cutting and tremendous fanfare.
“There isn’t a better place in the world to live than Kamloops,” said Clark in a speech to those gathered in the hotel’s ballroom.
More than 200 people joined Kamloops MLAs Terry Lake and Todd Stone, deputy mayor Ken Christian and Tk’emlups Indian Band Chief Shane Gottfriedson for the flamboyant event.
“When I drove up into the parking lot and heard the shots, I thought it was election time again,” laughed Gottfriedson, referring to the confetti bombs that went off after Clark and company cut the ceremonial ribbon.
Politicians praised hotel owner Ron Mundi, a well known friend of the B.C. Liberal Party, for his vision — and most importantly for the $9-million investment he put into renovations over the last two years.
“I want to thank you for $9 million worth of capital investment,” Christian told Mundi. “I want to thank you for the jobs that you have created here in Kamloops. I want to thank you for the taxes that you pay for the City of Kamloops. And most of all I want to thank you for the confidence that you have displayed in the Kamloops economy.”
The scope of renovations included a refresh of all 202 rooms, expansion of the front entrance, improvement to the conference space and redesign of the hotel lobby and exterior landscaping.
Besides being an hotelier, Mundi has a diversity of ties to the community — connecting students from India with Thompson Rivers University among them, said Stone.
His influence was confirmed by the presence of those around him as they jubilantly noshed on an endless assortment of hors d’oeuvres and toasted the event with champagne.
“When you look around this room, what you see is Team Kamloops,” said Lake. “I see community leaders here . . . who have contributed to this community in so many different ways.
Clark also extolled the virtues of Kamloops.
“This an incredibly lucky community . . . not just because you’re blessed with natural resources but because you are blessed with people who can make the most of those natural resources.”
Those resources, she said, include people, technology, intelligence and nature.