The City of Kelowna is suing a local hotel for blocking public access to a popular boardwalk.
In 2000, Hotel Eldorado’s previous owners agreed to a perpetual public right-of-way on the promenade along Okanagan Lake during daylight hours. In exchange, the city allowed the resort to build a boat fuelling facility.
According to the city, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit last spring, Hotel Eldorado closed the boardwalk’s gate, breaching the agreement.
The city states the hotel closed the walkway due to public health concerns and “potential COVID-19 transmission allegedly posed by the proximity of the public passing along the perpetual right-of-way to food and beverage staff and patrons.” The city claims those concerns are not justifiable.
“The city has kept other public paths and walkways open and accessible while complying with all COVID-19 related orders and guidelines of the provincial health officer and Minister of Public Safety throughout the COVID pandemic,” reads the city’s lawsuit filed in BC Supreme Court last week.
The city is seeking an order from the court mandating the hotel keeps the gate open between sunrise and sunset and for the hotel to pay the city’s incurred costs.
None of the city’s claims have been tested in court. Hotel ownership has not yet filed a response to the lawsuit.
The Kelowna Capital News has reached out to Argus Properties Ltd., the company that owns the hotel, for comment.
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