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Old 09-08-2005, 05:16 PM   #1
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Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Newmarket, Ont
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This RV ban is something new for Kenora, prompted by a single malcontented campground owner seeking legislative priority pecking rights on RVers visiting or passing through Kenora, Ontario.

We passed through Kenora a couple months ago, and stayed at the beautiful new Wal-Mart facility there. An RVer couldn't ask for more pleasant surroundings for spending the night. The Wal-Mart employees were really friendly; all of them giving us an enthusiastic wave as they passed by our rig, coming off shift.

By Ryan Crocker
Kenora Daily Miner and News
Friday September 02, 2005

Murray Affleck, manager of Anicinabe Park, expressed his views Thursday to the city of Kenora's planning department on the controversy surrounding an overnight parking ban for recreational vehicles at Wal-Mart.

Despite a loud but limited public outcry, Affleck says he supports the ban -- and not just because it benefits his business but because, he says, it benefits many different businesses in the area.

"This is an issue that just won't go away," Affleck says.
"You may consider my views to be slanted or biased, but I want to assure you all that I have the best interests of all businesses at heart, including my own."

Affleck pointed out the whole conflict is centered around the tourism industry, with one side suggesting the parking ban will damage the city's image, and the other suggesting it will force visitors to see (and spend) more.

The front desk employees at Anicinabe Park are often the first people RV users come into contact with once reaching Kenora and these workers have been more than happy to help out in any way possible. They provide information about all of Kenora's assets, from the museum to the recreation centre, and even target specific visitor needs.

As an example, Affleck detailed the experience a group of visitors from California had recently. Three RVs, each towing a vehicle, pulled into the Wal-Mart parking lot, noticed the signs forbidding overnight parking, and instead made their way to Anicinabe Park. They complimented the beauty of the region, and a conversation with park employees ensued. In the end, not only did the visitors stay for two days, but they also ate at local restaurants, took a tour of Lake of the Woods on the MS Kenora, shopped at local boutiques and even hired a guide for a day of fishing.

"You can't do that on the Wal-mart parking lot," Affleck says.

He stressed most visitors who stay at Wal-Mart are simply passing through Kenora on their way somewhere else and it doesn't matter to them if free parking is in the city or the middle of nowhere. Such passers-through are still finding their way to the Wal-Mart parking lot anyways. Since Aug. 3, according to Affleck, nine RVs have stayed at the park overnight, most of which pulled into Kenora very late at night. While the city will continue to monitor the situation, at least one councilor says they would be very reluctant to force out those who arrive so late and need a place to stay.
Previously the numbers had been much higher. Between May 1 and Aug. 1 (before signs informing visitors of the parking ban were installed), a total of 204 RVs spent the night at Wal-mart, an average of three per night again, according to Affleck.

Affleck says it's not that people are no longer stopping in Kenora, but -- in reality -- they're paying to stop, and staying longer. In 1999, Anicinabe Park had about 2,500 visitors, barely a fraction of whom stayed for any length of time. Last year, the park had 8,000 visitors, over 60 per cent of whom stayed for more than two nights.

Affleck recommended the city keep the overnight parking ban in effect, pointing out more than 300 Wal-Mart stores in the United States have similar bans. He also noted tourists don't seem to be traveling as far, possible due to high fuel costs. Most of the parks visitors come from Manitoba, Minnesota and Saskatchewan. Coun. Colin Wasacase thanked Affleck for providing the city with his point of view.

"We have one of the nicest parks in the country," Affleck says. "We work hard to attract and keep our guests and we need, and expect, our city's support. You've given us an opportunity to show these people what we have to offer here, and more often than not, it works to our benefit."

* * * * *

The Kenora Daily Miner and News is currently conducting an online poll to determine how many readers support the singular disgruntled campground owner; and how many support the Wal-Mart RVers:

http://www.gokenora.com/

The last time I checked the site the RVers were winning by a wide majority:

Pro RVers - 83%

Pro Campground Owner - 17%
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Old 09-08-2005, 05:16 PM   #2
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Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Newmarket, Ont
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This RV ban is something new for Kenora, prompted by a single malcontented campground owner seeking legislative priority pecking rights on RVers visiting or passing through Kenora, Ontario.

We passed through Kenora a couple months ago, and stayed at the beautiful new Wal-Mart facility there. An RVer couldn't ask for more pleasant surroundings for spending the night. The Wal-Mart employees were really friendly; all of them giving us an enthusiastic wave as they passed by our rig, coming off shift.

By Ryan Crocker
Kenora Daily Miner and News
Friday September 02, 2005

Murray Affleck, manager of Anicinabe Park, expressed his views Thursday to the city of Kenora's planning department on the controversy surrounding an overnight parking ban for recreational vehicles at Wal-Mart.

Despite a loud but limited public outcry, Affleck says he supports the ban -- and not just because it benefits his business but because, he says, it benefits many different businesses in the area.

"This is an issue that just won't go away," Affleck says.
"You may consider my views to be slanted or biased, but I want to assure you all that I have the best interests of all businesses at heart, including my own."

Affleck pointed out the whole conflict is centered around the tourism industry, with one side suggesting the parking ban will damage the city's image, and the other suggesting it will force visitors to see (and spend) more.

The front desk employees at Anicinabe Park are often the first people RV users come into contact with once reaching Kenora and these workers have been more than happy to help out in any way possible. They provide information about all of Kenora's assets, from the museum to the recreation centre, and even target specific visitor needs.

As an example, Affleck detailed the experience a group of visitors from California had recently. Three RVs, each towing a vehicle, pulled into the Wal-Mart parking lot, noticed the signs forbidding overnight parking, and instead made their way to Anicinabe Park. They complimented the beauty of the region, and a conversation with park employees ensued. In the end, not only did the visitors stay for two days, but they also ate at local restaurants, took a tour of Lake of the Woods on the MS Kenora, shopped at local boutiques and even hired a guide for a day of fishing.

"You can't do that on the Wal-mart parking lot," Affleck says.

He stressed most visitors who stay at Wal-Mart are simply passing through Kenora on their way somewhere else and it doesn't matter to them if free parking is in the city or the middle of nowhere. Such passers-through are still finding their way to the Wal-Mart parking lot anyways. Since Aug. 3, according to Affleck, nine RVs have stayed at the park overnight, most of which pulled into Kenora very late at night. While the city will continue to monitor the situation, at least one councilor says they would be very reluctant to force out those who arrive so late and need a place to stay.
Previously the numbers had been much higher. Between May 1 and Aug. 1 (before signs informing visitors of the parking ban were installed), a total of 204 RVs spent the night at Wal-mart, an average of three per night again, according to Affleck.

Affleck says it's not that people are no longer stopping in Kenora, but -- in reality -- they're paying to stop, and staying longer. In 1999, Anicinabe Park had about 2,500 visitors, barely a fraction of whom stayed for any length of time. Last year, the park had 8,000 visitors, over 60 per cent of whom stayed for more than two nights.

Affleck recommended the city keep the overnight parking ban in effect, pointing out more than 300 Wal-Mart stores in the United States have similar bans. He also noted tourists don't seem to be traveling as far, possible due to high fuel costs. Most of the parks visitors come from Manitoba, Minnesota and Saskatchewan. Coun. Colin Wasacase thanked Affleck for providing the city with his point of view.

"We have one of the nicest parks in the country," Affleck says. "We work hard to attract and keep our guests and we need, and expect, our city's support. You've given us an opportunity to show these people what we have to offer here, and more often than not, it works to our benefit."

* * * * *

The Kenora Daily Miner and News is currently conducting an online poll to determine how many readers support the singular disgruntled campground owner; and how many support the Wal-Mart RVers:

http://www.gokenora.com/

The last time I checked the site the RVers were winning by a wide majority:

Pro RVers - 83%

Pro Campground Owner - 17%
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Old 09-08-2005, 07:30 PM   #3
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You know Stan, there is just too much of this news going on. Business men lobbying law makers to use legal sanctions to limit another business. The sad thing is that Mr Affleck might think that his revenue will increase by such a ban. The trend is to boycott communities as being "Non-RV Friendly". Such a boycott would reduce the revenue of the "manny different" businesses, as Mr. Affleck refers to.

George
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Old 09-09-2005, 04:57 AM   #4
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From their Website, it certainly appears that Mr Affleck does run a very nice park! However, with 8,000 visitors last year, most of them staying two nights or more, and with only 27 full service sites and 26 two service sites, a total of 53 serviced sites with 15 or some 30 amps, it is evident the place is booked out solid most nights, consider that the main travel months for that area are Mid June to Mid Sept.

Rates are $25. to $30. per night, two persons with a $4. per person extra charge for additional passengers, children are $2. pp! No mention of pets being allowed or not?

There is a $6. reservation charge over and above the camping fee????? Not refundable! Cancellations must be made at least 3 days in advance!

All in all, it may be a very nice place to spend some time on a full service lot and explore the Kenora area, but Mr Affleck is certainly not running an overnight stopover park for someone who is simply looking for an eight hour sleep at reasonable costs.

I also find that WallMart employees are just as knowledgeable and helpfull in providing information about their area as Campground employees, often more so.

All in all, the 83% in favor of repeal in the Newspaper's survey tend to bear out that Mr Affleck is considered to be somewhat narrow minded and self serving in his efforts.

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