The View Royal Casino is looking to make good on some old plans by prettying up an empty lot and turning it into additional parking.
The casino purchased the former Imperial Oil property on Wilfert Road as part of an expansion started in 2007. That plan was never fully realized due to the economic downturn the following year.
While expansion is still not in the cards, the casino is working with the town to tie up a few loose ends. Upgrades to Island Highway in 2013 set the stage for improvements to Wilfert Road and the property to go ahead, pending approval from View Royal council.
The intent is to combine the vacant lot with the rest of the casino property. The rear part of the property, bordering Millstream Creek estuary, will be dedicated to the town as parkland. The rest will become a parking lot, with some aesthetic upgrades.
“The corner’s not overly attractive from a landscaping point of view,” said Terrance Doyle, VP of property development and operations services for Great Canadian Gaming Corporation. The hope, he said, is for work to commence later this year or early 2015.
“We’ve been just taking our time moving through this with the city and all the commitments and all the requirements. It’s been really co-operative. It’s been a real pleasure working with the Town of View Royal.”
A public hearing will be held Tuesday, April 15 at View Royal town hall (45 View Royal Ave.) and both Doyle and casino general manager Kwai Lam will be available to answer questions.
Although a broader expansion isn’t on the horizon, the casino is in the midst of a refresh of the gaming floor and is bringing in around 100 new machines. Lam said keeping things fresh is essential to pleasing current guests and attracting new ones.
“It’s still challenging, like it is for all businesses,” he said. “We’re an entertainment business, we’re always fighting for that entertainment dollar. That hasn’t changed.”