The City of Abbotsford is asking for proposals for the operation of Tradex, which is currently run by Tourism Abbotsford. (Abbotsford News file photo)

The City of Abbotsford is asking for proposals for the operation of Tradex, which is currently run by Tourism Abbotsford. (Abbotsford News file photo)

Tourism Abbotsford ‘shocked and disappointed’ about Tradex announcement

City indicated last week that it is seeking proposals for operation of facility

The board of Tourism Abbotsford Society says it is “shocked and disappointed” to hear that the City of Abbotsford is seeking proposals for the operation of Tradex.

The city announced last Wednesday (March 24) that it has commissioned a request for proposals as the first step towards “transforming the property into a revenue-generating asset.”

At a Zoom press conference, Mayor Henry Braun did not discuss what those options could be, saying only that the city wants to see what opportunities might be available.

Tourism Abbotsford has been running Tradex since 2003, with all revenue generated reinvested into the property and Tourism Abbotsford operations.

RELATED: City of Abbotsford seeks proposals for operation of Tradex

Executive director Craig Nichols said a 2017 economic impact study detailed that the total amount spent in the community derived from Tradex events was almost $15 million.

He said the direct impacts contributed almost $7 million in gross domestic product and $5.2 million in wages, while generating 366 jobs and approximately $2.5 million in taxes.

Nichols said “a new revenue stream” for Tradex will be devastating to the local tourism and hospitality sector, including hotels, restaurants and retailers.

“Abbotsford is not a traditional leisure travel market, as it does not have beaches, lakes, and resorts, but what it does have are well-attended, revenue-generating, large-scale events. Losing Tradex would cause 80 per cent of current events to relocate to other communities and remove one of our key strengths as an event destination,” he said.

Tourism Abbotsford board president Daniel Laverick said event tourism is a strong economic driver. He said there is no other facility like Tradex in the community.

”Losing it as an event space would be pushing millions of dollars per year, and hundreds of potential jobs, into neighbouring cities. We feel that this is an incredibly short-sighted decision to remove such a highly regarded community outlet,” he said.

Just last month, Tourism Abbotsford announced its plan to reignite the local tourism economy following the negative impact of COVID-19.

RELATED: Tourism Abbotsford aiming to grow local event tourism

The formation of an events advisory committee was announced with nine representatives from Tourism Abbotsford’s staff and board, the City of Abbotsford, Abbotsford Centre, Tradex, Sport Abbotsford, the Chamber of Commerce, the Fraser Valley Indo-Canadian Business Association, and large and small event producers.

“The board of the Tourism Abbotsford Society strongly believe that Tradex should remain a large-scale event venue as events will be critical to rebuilding Abbotsford’s visitor economy post-pandemic,” Laverick said.

He said the board and staff believe the community will stand behind Tradex for this purpose.

Among the events regularly held at Tradex are the Vancouver Motorcycle Show, the West Coast Women’s Show, the Fraser Valley Home and Garden Show, the Snowbird RV Show and the BC Custom and Classic Car Show.



vhopes@abbynews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Abbotsford City HallTourism

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Workers were on scene to clean up the oil spill in Abbotsford at Trans Mountain Pipeline’s Sumas pump station in June 2020. (File photo by Shane MacKichan)
TSB releases final report on June 2020 oil spill in Abbotsford

Transportation Safety Board says pipeline fitting to blame for spill of up to 190K litres

Surrey RCMP are seeking the public's help to locate three puppies stolen from a South Surrey home on April 10. (Surrey RCMP photos)
UPDATE: One of three puppies stolen from South Surrey recovered

American Bulldog puppy recovered after being sold at Mission car show

About 80 demonstrators walked through Hope with signs in support of saving the Station House on March 23, 2021. (Photo/Christian Ward)
Public hearing now planned for Hope’s Station House decision

Council has now taken steps to remove heritage status from historic building

Chilliwack General Hospital. (Jenna Hauck/ Progress file)
Chilliwack General Hospital gets all-clear from Fraser Health as outbreak ends

The latest outbreak was 20 days from the start, on March 25, to being declared over on April 13

Cemetery staff installed the wrong headstone on the grave of Jima Kiir, even though the headstone’s photo did not match with the photo placed on the grave. (Submitted photo)
Abbotsford mother upset city placed wrong headstone on son’s grave

Cemetery staff mix up graves of 2 recently deceased men from South Sudanese community

Burnaby MLA Raj Chouhan presides as Speaker of the B.C. legislature, which opened it spring session April 12 with a speech from the throne. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C. NDP promises more health care spending, business support in 2021 budget

John Horgan government to ‘carefully return to balanced budgets’

In Ontario, COVID-19 vaccine clinics have been set up at local mosques. (Submitted photo: Rufaida Mohammed)
Getting the vaccine does not break your fast, says Muslim COVID-19 task force

Muslim community ‘strongly’ encouraging people to get their shot, whether or not during Ramadan

Shannon Claypool, president of the Cloverdale Rodeo & Exhibition Association, stands outside the Cloverdale Rec. Centre. The rec. centre has been set up as a mass vaccination site by Fraser Health and the Association has decided to cancel the rodeo in order to offer the fairgrounds for public parking. (Submitted)
Cloverdale Rodeo cancelled

Fairgrounds to be used as public parking for mass vaccination site at Cloverdale Rec. Centre

A plane is seen through the window on the tarmac of Vancouver International Airport as the waiting room is empty. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
100+ international travellers who landed in B.C. refused to quarantine

The Public Health Agency of Canada says it issued $3,000 violation tickets to each

A health-care worker holds up a vial of the AstraZeneca Covishield vaccine at a COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Montreal, Thursday, March 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
PHAC receives first report of blood clot linked to AstraZeneca

The federal agency says the person is now recovering at home

A real estate sign is pictured in Vancouver, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS Jonathan Hayward
1 in 3 young Canadians have given up on owning a home: poll

Data released Monday says 36% of adults younger than 40 have given up on home ownership entirely

Dr. Bonnie Henry gives her daily media briefing regarding Covid-19 for the province of British Columbia in Victoria, B.C, Monday, December 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. urges people to stay in their neighbourhoods, discourages out-of-household meet-ups

Dr. Bonnie Henry says there should be no travel, even to the next city over

Dr. E. Kwok administers a COVID-19 vaccine to a recipient at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Most Canadians plan to get COVID-19 vaccine, but safety fears drive hesitancy: poll

This comes as confidence in governments is plummeting in provinces being hit hardest by the pandemic

Marathon of Hope runner Terry Fox is shown in a 1981. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/CP)
Terry Fox’s legacy of resilience resonates during COVID-19 crisis, says brother

Fred Fox said his brother’s legacy of resilience has taken on renewed resonance as COVID-19 rages on

Most Read