There are indications — real, anecdotal and cryptic — Parksville’s economy will have a great 2016.
Take Andy Lankester. Actually, you can’t take him anywhere, because he’s staying here. And his partner Ashley Henry isn’t about to let you take him anywhere, for that matter.
The general manager of Harris Oceanside Chevrolet has bought into the business — he’s now a partner with the Harris family, an owner of the business on Island Highway.
Big deal, you say. Well, it kind of is. And not just for Andy and Ashley.
The way we see it, with this transaction, Lankester is voting for Parksville. He is putting his money behind his faith in this region. He is showing extreme confidence in the future of this area. Lankester has been in the car business for a long time and doesn’t seem the type to make a decision like this without some serious thought and research.
You may not believe this personnel/ownership move at one car dealership amounts to big evidence of a bullish future for Parksville. Fair enough. But it’s real.
Then there’s the anecdotal/cryptic evidence. For at least a few months now, Parksville and District Chamber of Commerce executive director Kim Burden has been hinting — unintentionally teasing, really — about big news ahead for Parksville’s economy.
He can’t provide details. That’s the nature of his business. But he does say the businesses that are considering Parksville for investment would bring employment.
“I’ve been receiving a number of calls from investors who are actually seeking to build our community and some of them have taken steps in that direction,” Burden told us this week. “These are people who are really keen to participate in, and contribute to, our economy.”
That and two bucks will get you a cup of coffee, we get that. But it’s our experience that Burden isn’t quick with hyperbole. Our spidey sense tells us there is something solid brewing.
Add all this to a record year (2015) for tourism operators and there’s good reason to be bullish on Parksville. It does not look like the Canadian dollar is about to soar toward par with the U.S. greenback any time soon. That means our region will continue to attract U.S. tourists and even more Canadians who look at the exchange rate and decide against spending their money in Arizona, California or Florida.
Bullish times indeed. Now, if only we could get some solid details.
— Editorial by John Harding