My Crystal Ball Is Clear On 2015

Since my stellar fortune telling last January, I’ve decided to use my January space to regale you with some forward looking predictions for Nanaimo in 2015.

First off, construction on the Conference Centre hotel by SS Manhao will get underway much to the relief of many. Although it will take some time to unfold, all will declare it a beautiful design and an outstanding addition to our skyline. Sometime during the year, the Hilton project will also get off the ground. How Council deals with the issue of Georgia Park is not open for prediction.

Will we or won’t we see a foot passenger ferry? That’s a tough one, but I’m going to say yes. This is a case of ‘so near yet so far’. If the community’s wishes, hopes and dreams were enough to float a boat, Island Ferry Services would be cruising back and forth already.

Business succession is a major issue as so many local owner/operators approach retirement age. Many Asian investors are seizing upon these opportunities and purchasing some of our Island’s landmark businesses. Their presence is being increasingly felt. The Chamber warmly welcomes these new business leaders.

Our new City Council is getting their engine started and kicked into gear. Getting a machine as big as city hall working smoothly is a challenge and, with so many fresh faces on board, figuring out how to get all cylinders firing doubles that challenge. Congratulations to those who now sit on Council, and to our new Mayor. It’s a huge task they’re taking on for the next four years. Input and support invited, they say.

Nanaimo is successfully attracting a cluster of high tech industry. From software development for industry to gaming, robotics to web-based developments Nanaimo will see continued growth as our community’s geographic location, cost of living, and quality of life all attract the kinds of people making this sector prosper.

Happy New Year to one and all. May your businesses thrive, may you find the right work/life balance, and may we all contribute to an increasingly successful city in 2015.

Kim Smythe, CEO

January 2015