Many municipalities in the Lower Mainland are gambling on casinos as their best bet for more revenue (Sorry for the puns). Today, it was announced, that Surrey city council narrowly voted against a casino project, with Mayor Watts casting the deciding vote. As we have seen in Vancouver, Casinos are controversial projects due the possibility of increased traffic, crime, and predatory practices that prey on the most vulnerable, however, the allure of more money in an era of shrinking budgets is almost too hard to pass up. Casinos also tend to leave a less than stellar footprint in our urban environment. They need large parking lots (even with transit accessibility...I'm looking at you, River Rock!) and their buildings are ugly by most standards. Here's what Surrey's would have looked like:
I'm not sure why they rendered it at night...but I assume it was to hide the fact that it was an ugly complex.
In Langley, where I grew up, the city approved a casino near the heart of 'downtown' and city hall and this is what we got:
Not exactly the built environment we aspire to create. I couldn't find parking numbers but that parkade holds about 500 cars alone.
River Rock Casino in Richmond is on the Canada Line and still has room for a few thousand cars...not to mention the hideous 7 storey parkade (though, 1200 spots are set aside as Park & Ride):
Starlight Casino in New Westminster:
Ariel shot of it unfinished but I doubt that it would make a difference on how it looks :
Good on Watts.