Court may be only recourse for public beach access by Kelowna’s Eldorado | infonews

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The Kelowna City Boardwalk gate that crosses the terrace of the Eldorado Hotel is locked again.

(ROB MUNRO / iNFOnews.ca)


04 May 2022 – 06:30






Once again, the gate along the promenade that crosses the patio of the Eldorado Hotel is closed to the public.

The boardwalk and public walkway runs from Rotary Beach Park to the Cook Road boat launch. The city has a right-of-way three meters wide for the portion passing through the patio of the Eldorado hotel.

Last year the hotel started locking the door to protect their guests during COVID.

The city applied for an injunction, trying to keep it open.

An October court ruling said the city was justified in protecting public access but, due to COVID restrictions, the hotel risked a crackdown from public health officials if it allowed guests potentially unvaccinated members of the public to pass near their guests.

But now that the restrictions have been lifted, the hotel is restricting access again.


READ MORE: The Eldorado Gate remains closed on the Kelowna boardwalk because people can still dine out

“We are closing the door again, based on the fact that the weather is such that we actually serve the public,” hotel general manager Mark Jeanes told iNFONews.ca last week.

The city, meanwhile, is weighing its options.

“The court’s previous decision on the interlocutory injunction suggested that there are certain courses of action that we are considering at this time,” Johannes Saveferer, the city’s director of strategic investments, told iNFOnews.ca.

The court ruling allows the hotel to lock the door to the public only on days it serves guests on the terrace. During the winter, this did not happen.

He goes on to say that the City of Kelowna may request, with three days’ notice, to rescind this part of the decision “if and when the current public health restrictions associated with the pandemic are changed in a way that would allow less restricted public access to the disputed area.

Vaccine passports are no longer mandatory in restaurants.

“We fully comply with the court order regarding the walk,” Jeanes wrote in an email to iNFOnews.ca. “Our concern, as it always has been, is the safety of hotel guests, customers, our staff, people using the boardwalk, and the inherent safety conflicts with the boat launch. We will continue to comply with court requirements for the opening/closing of the boardwalk gate.

Whether the city returns to court to try, again, to change the injunction or not, the real question is whether there will be public patio access, regardless of COVID restrictions, in the future. .

The City of Kelowna originally filed a claim against the Eldorado Hotel (identified in court documents as 1004364 BC Ltd.) in an effort to enforce its right of way.

The hotel countered this claim, saying it was unenforceable as it required them to maintain the boardwalk and keep it in good condition.

This case has yet to be brought to court. No trial date has been set because, Saveferer said, the parties cannot agree on the number of court days needed.

“The detour remains fully open,” Jeanes said in her email. “We look forward to the City addressing safety issues in a meaningful way.”

The red line indicates the detour around the hotel.

The red line indicates the detour around the hotel.

Image Credit: Submitted/Eldorado Hotel



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