Dear Mayor & Council,
Since the city announced a formal process to seek other options for the management and utilization of Tradex last March, Abbotsford’s 200+ tourism and hospitality businesses have been concerned about the possibility of losing this valuable community and event venue. Many local and regional industry stakeholders including the Tourism Industry Association of British Columbia (TIABC) and the British Columbia Hotel Association (BCHA) voiced their opposition to sell or lease Tradex to a proponent that chooses to operate it for purposes other than for community events for which it was originally intended.
Recognizing the issues Abbotsford has faced in recent months vis-à-vis the damage caused by widespread flooding and the city’s focus on relief and recovery for residents, we nonetheless write today to seek an update on the process and Council’s impending decision on the future of Tradex. Given its importance to the tourism and hospitality sector, there are many current Tradex clients and partners such as hotels and retailers that are anxiously awaiting further information and direction by both the city and the venue’s management team in order to prepare for the remainder of the year and beyond.
As you know, tourism and event related businesses in the city and region continue to be hit hard by the pandemic. Moreover, the long road to recovery in Abbotsford will largely be tied to the events and activities generated by Tradex as a vital community venue. The local visitor economy can ill afford to lose this important venue and the $19+ million it generates each year. This is particularly true for the months and years ahead where local businesses need every possible avenue to survive and rebuild, including a stable and secure future for Tradex.
Mayor and Council, we look forward to hearing from you at your earliest convenience. Thank you,
Board President, TAS
President & CEO, BCHA
Cc: Peter Sparanese, City Manager, City of Abbotsford (COA)
Katherine Treloar, General Manager, Innovation, Strategy and Intergovernmental Relations, COA Komal Basatia, General Manager, Finance and Procurement Services, COA
Aniz Alani, General Manager, Legal and Legislative Services, COA
Jody Young, Manager, Vancouver Coast & Mountains – Destination BC
Craig Nichols, Executive Director, Tourism Abbotsford