'A major part of what we sell': Tourism association pushes for quick end to Old Home Week dispute
The Tourism Industry Association of P.E.I. (TIAPEI) is urging the two sides in the Old Home Week dispute to settle their disagreement as soon as possible.
President Robert Jourdain says last week's decision by the Old Home Week board to suspend this year's event in mid-August, unless it can reach an agreement with Red Shores, has left tourism operators anxious.
"We need to get this issue solved as soon as possible so that everybody can move forward," he said.
"For all of the tourism industry, [Old Home Week] is a major part of what we sell. From the bed and breakfast, to the restaurant, to the hotel, we need to know if it's going to go forward this year, and if it will continue in the future as well."
'I don't blame them for putting their foot down'
According to Old Home Week's general manager, the board voted to suspend the event because Red Shores won't guarantee future access to its entire parking lot, which has long been used as the site for the Campbell's Amusement's Midway.
Jourdain said he does support the board's decision to suspend the event.
"I don't blame them for putting their foot down," said Jourdain. "They need to get answers and they need to get answers today. You can't plan for the future without a solid foundation of what you're going to do, and how much space you'll have."
But, he said his association is willing to help the two sides find a resolution.
"We're willing to work with them if they need our help to facilitate conversation," he said. "How do we keep this icon of P.E.I. continuing for another 120 years?"
Manager hopeful deal will be reached
In an e-mail to CBC Monday, a spokesperson for the Atlantic Lottery Corporation, which operates Red Shores, said the corporation "has been in discussion with [Old Home Week] representatives since mid-morning on Friday."
She didn't elaborate on how those discussions have gone.
Old Home Week's general manager Sandra Hodder-Acorn said Monday she's "optimistic" the two sides will come to a resolution soon.
- MORE P.E.I. NEWS | 1st cruise visits Charlottetown to launch season
- MORE P.E.I. NEWS | Pulling the traps: P.E.I. fishermen bring lobster ashore Monday