Letter: Richmond Olympic ROX reno not worth it

Dear Editor,

Re: “$1.4 million renovation planned for ROX,” News, Jan. 13

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The thought of spending more money on the ROX white elephant museum infuriates me. There are so many better places this money could be spent...how about repairs and upgrades to the mainstream, well-established museums and historical buildings in our city, or, on our arts facilities?

Properly marketed, they have a far better chance of illuminating Canada’s and Richmond’s culture and history than the ROX’s odd mix of artifacts and arcade games.

Or, maybe there are other aspects of our tourism market that need help, given that the $1.4 million will be extracted from our local hotel guests? As a museum and sports lover, I have been to the ROX several times — alone — no one else was there, and I understand that is the norm. Why would the city throw more funds at this debacle?

While I entirely agree with curating historical Canadian Olympic and sports artifacts, this is not a job of the City of Richmond, the Richmond Olympic Oval or Tourism Richmond. It would make far more sense to reduce the Oval display to a minimum (in one or two of their display cases) and create travelling exhibits that can be displayed at local special events, taken into schools all over the Lower Mainland and shared with museums across the country. I have no idea who should fund this,  but it hardly seems like it should depend upon Richmond taxpayers and tourists. Leave the arcade games to private business and concentrate efforts on the core business(es) of the Oval to reduce the taxes Richmond residents currently pay to support its operation.

Julie Halfnights


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