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The Future of Vancouver's Economy - continued

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Innovation, tourism and our proximity to Asia: A look into the factors that will shape our city's long-term prosperity

Pearce, too, has seen what looked like an economic pot of gold turn to dross. A decade ago in Niagara Falls, where he worked before coming to Vancouver, local businesses got contemptuous of tourists. Their attitude showed, and the number of overnight visits plummeted. Tourism Vancouver is working to find ways to expand the type of tourism that the city will support. “Nothing works,” he says, “if local residents don’t want it.”

Several blocks up Burrard Inlet, in a Gastown office that overlooks the railyards and the port, Lee Malleau has her own perspective. For Malleau, the 45-year-old ceo of the Vancouver Economic Development Commission, it’s not the tourists on the convention plaza that point to Vancouver’s future. And while the port is key to Vancouver, it can’t be the only economic driver. Instead, she’s looking at who’s going into the convention centre.

On this particular August day, it’s 600 or so tech entrepreneurs from around North America heading to the centre’s third floor, plastic grow 2011 badges dangling from their necks, eyes on their smartphones. Among them are some local stars, like Ryan Holmes from the rapidly expanding HootSuite, a three-year-old TweetDeck competitor that’s on the verge of breaking the 100-employee mark. In the conference room, Holmes—a Bradley Cooper-ish 36-year-old in jeans, runners, and suit jacket—uses his 10 minutes on stage (amid a lineup of speakers from Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, and other heavy hitters) to make the case for why Vancouver is such a great base for entrepreneurial operations. We’re blessed with an embarrassment of top-level local talent, he says. We’re away from the crazy, employee-poaching, rumour- and startup-filled hothouse of Silicon Valley. Venture capitalists are more willing to look outside the Valley. And the number-one reason: “We’ve got the most livable city in the world.”

Recent Comments


The Future of Vancouver’s Economy October 01.

“Once upon a time, Vancouver was a shipper of the endless resources produced in the province’s hinterland—logs, coal, minerals, oil.” Still is!

Very interesting article Frances: thanqxz . . . 

“The mantra, as found in dozens of speeches and documents: our port is a day closer to Asia than L.A. In an industry where time and fuel are money, that’s a huge advantage. (A bonus selling point: we export so much that any ship offloading here is almost guaranteed a load back across the Pacific.)”

Huge advantage. Oh really!
 We’re still shipping raw logs (I watch ‘em from my dining room window every day) coal and tar sand sludge: sorry, no jobs, no wealth for BC in that . . . 

As for hi tech, remember the 1999-2000 dot-com bubble!

“Robin Silvester, with his Lancashire accent, believes he knows where Vancouver’s future lies.” May I, with my Yorkshire accent adjust his comment to better read. “Robin Silvester . . . knows . . . Vancouver lies.”

So let’s do the mantra.

Great circle route:

Los Angeles – Singapore 7,621 nm.

Vancouver – Singapore 6,920 nm.

Marine V-S great circle route saves 690 nm by container vessel. Marine, Ridley Island-S even shorter.

However route point LA to route point S is still the same distance: something has to make up the short fall. I5 trucks can do that with one Vancouver, or RI, very costly transfer, unnecessary on the thru route.
Marine container thru costs v’s I5 trucks+transfer+marine costs, no brainer . . . 

“. . . tall, lanky 43-year-old engineer with a strong-featured face and the look of a nuclear-particle researcher,” That’s good to know, “strong featured face”, gives me no end of confidence and “ Silvester arrived from Sydney two-and-a-half years ago to take charge of Port Metro Vancouver, an entity some city-dwellers don’t even know exists.”

I hope he doesn’t do Sydney to Vancouver: “In Sydney, pressure from residential development eventually pushed operations down the coast. That’s not really a danger here . . .” Oh yes it is. Look at Richmond’s waterfront.

As for a “strong featured face”: At eighty-two I wish. I dunno though, my sailor days were over sixty years ago but I thinq we are blowing smoke again . . . 

“. . . it’s still a young, green shoot.” Now where have I heard that before?

Hang on to your jock straps. Sylvester or no Sylvester, we’re in for interesting times . . .

by Urbanismo on Oct 19 2011 at 7:22 AM

Global warming and the consequent wet cool sumers will kill Vancouvers tourism industry Our 4 to 6 weeks of nice weather per year cannot sustain this industry. People who come here once for a cold wet summer vacation will not come back no matter how many Starbucks and sushi restaurants we have. And when rich Chinese investors stop buying our real estate, watch out. I for one as someone who grew up in Vancouver will welcome the return to a slower pace and less "world class city" pretensions.

by rainmaker66 on Sep 25 2011 at 9:13 AM