Sooke PocketNews has learned that a casino may be coming to Sooke. One possible location being considered is an area near the Castle Liquor Store.
A few details have been leaked, exclusive to SPN, by a municipal staffer who preferred to stay anonymous. The land that once housed the former Belvedere Hotel in Sooke (1912-1938, pictured, near the Castle Liquor Store) is being considered along with two other locations, Jenkins Marine (Kaltasin) or the vacant land on the west side of the Hope Centre (West Coast Road).
The district staffer said that the former Belvedere Hotel location was clearly the leading location, as it would recapture some of the past grandeur once enjoyed by Sooke.
The location is indeed historical. According to this website, The grand four story Belvedere Hotel was built on the bluffs high above the Sooke River in 1912 and boasted outstanding views in all directions of Sooke River, Sooke Harbour, Government Wharf and Whiffen Spit. The grand house was frequented by artist Emily Carr. Film stars would call the Belvedere home while on extravagant fishing and hunting excursions, and even the Prince of Whales was a guest at least twice.
The current hotel was but a stable for the hotel’s riding horses and was built in 1919, but when the mighty Belvedere was lost in a spectacular fire in 1934 and never rebuilt, those empty overgrown stables were converted into a new hotel four years later, in 1938.
The staffer indicated that a few executive types at the municipal office have been very busy thinking outside of the box.
“A casino would stimulate the economy, and would pave the way to economic diversity in Sooke,” a triple-deleted-but-rescued-from-the-recycling-bin printout reads. “Ideally, it would be located beside or near to a Tim Hortons.”
The Trump Organization, headed by Donald Trump Jr., Executive Vice President has been approached to see if they would be interested in funding the new gambling facility in Sooke. Having just completed the recent Trump International Hotel and Tower in Vancouver on February 28, Sooke was a logical expansion. At least, so it seems to those busy thinking on the outsides of boxes.
“This could be big, a very big change for Sooke,” read an scrap of correspondence on district letterhead, suggesting some sense of urgency. “In fact, it could be so completely hugely big, that it could even make Sooke great again.”
There was also some consideration to placing the Logger Pole at the front of the building, thereby recognizing and honouring the former industry that used to stimulate Sooke. Or, possibly, the cause of the fire that burnt down the Belvedere.
“There are some big changes coming to Sooke,” whispered the staffer, “very big.”
Mr. Trump Jr., has yet to respond. Apparently he’s busy, very busy. Especially on April 1, the day of fools.
- Sooke PacketNews bought by offshore investors