Social media misinformation has clouded just about every step of the Kingsway Entertainment District’s progress, with the naming of a hotel partner no exemption.
Genesis Hospitality executive president Kevin Swark told Sudbury.com that his company’s intent is to “build a hotel, own and operate it.”
The company is based in Brandon, Man., and they own and operate 12 hotels in three provinces, including four in Manitoba, three in Alberta and five in Ontario.
Swark said they’re still looking for a brand to operate under, but described it as a franchisee situation wherein Genesis Hospitality would be responsible for the facility, including its construction.
“We own and operate the hotel, manage the people, and pay a royalty to use their brand,” he said.
Social media misinformation appears to have latched on to the fact Genesis Hospitality offers various management, training and development services in addition to owning and operating their own portfolio. As such, it was claimed the company would have a lesser role than they actually intend on playing.
“I don’t really pay attention to too much social media,” Swark said. “It is a hot topic there, for sure, this hotel.”
On Dec. 20, the City of Greater Sudbury issued a statement on Facebook clarifying another source of misinformation in which some people have claimed there is a legally binding commitment for all partners to carry through with their respective projects to completion.
In reality, “current commitments for development at the site known as the Kingsway Entertainment District are currently limited to site preparation,” which the city notes will include “blasting, grading, intersection improvements, new road construction, sanitary sewer, water and stormwater management.”
The statement came as the result of a successful motion that Ward 3 Coun. Gerry Montpellier tabled requesting city administration to set the record straight.
Despite this, Ward 5 Coun. Robert Kirwan has continued to insist that city administration (including two lawyers) and the majority of council are all wrong and that there is a legally binding commitment within the project’s cost-sharing agreement — a position he outlined in a Facebook message issued on Dec. 20.
On the role the hotel partner is expected to play, the City of Greater Sudbury’s communications department deferred comment to Genesis Hospitality and project developer Dario Zulich. Zulich did not respond to requests for comment.
Tyler Clarke covers city hall and political affairs for Sudbury.com.