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.

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

A recent virtual gala raised $150,000 for Abbotsford Hospice Society and its Holmberg House. (Abbotsford Hospice Society photo)
Abbotsford Hospice’s Light Up the Night gala raises almost $150K

Virtual event included pre-show drive-thru pickup of farm-fresh meals

Matthew Balogh was last seen in Abbotsford on Sunday, April 18 at 10 a.m.
Police seek help in locating missing 17-year-old in Abbotsford

Matthew Balogh was last seen at 10 a.m. on Sunday, April 18

Michael Colmant, a former manager of Abbotsford International Airport, was killed in a hit-and-run in Washington state while he was riding his bicycle.
Abbotsford man dies in hit-and-run while cycling in Washington

Seattle police still searching for driver of vehicle that killed Michael Colmant

Sasquatch Days typically takes place in May but has been canceled the past two years due to COVID-19. The Sts’ailes First Nation recently announced this year’s cancelation. (Photo/Tourism Harrison)
2021 Sasquatch Days canceled due to COVID-19

Second year in a row the pandemic canceled this event

Abbotsford nurse at ‘breaking point’ pleads with public to take COVID-19 seriously

Instagram post urges general population to stay home, wear a mask and get vaccinated

FILE – NDP Leader John Horgan, right, and local candidate Mike Farnworth greet one another with an elbow bump during a campaign stop in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday, September 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. won’t be using random individual road stops to enforce travel rules: Safety Minister

Minister Mike Farnworth says travel checks only being considered at major highway junctions, ferry ports

Ambulance paramedic in full protective gear works outside Lion’s Gate Hospital, March 23, 2020. Hospitals are seeing record numbers of COVID-19 patients more than a year into the pandemic. (The Canadian Press)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate declines, 849 cases Tuesday

Up to 456 people now in hospital, 148 in intensive care

Christy Clark, who was premier from 2011 to 2017, is the first of several present and past politicians to appear this month before the Cullen Commission, which is investigating the causes and impact of B.C.’s money-laundering problem over the past decade. (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)
Christy Clark says she first learned of money-laundering spike in 2015

The former B.C. premier testified Tuesday she was concerned the problem was ‘apparently at an all-time high’

Surrey RCMP reunited three stolen puppies with their mom. (RCMP handout)
Puppies stolen from South Surrey home located, reunited with mom

Surrey RCMP said they found the stolen puppies on April 16

A woman is vaccinated at a Maple Ridge clinic. (Black Press files)
Fraser Health providing priority AZ immunization for people 40+ in COVID hotpots

Six Surrey neighbourhoods, North Delta, PoCo, South Langley Township, and West Abbotsford targeted

The city asking the public if they want to pursue legal action against the province and their decision to override the city on the Victory Church issue. (Jesse Day Western News)
Penticton ready to sue province over homeless shelter

City council voted unanimously to authorize legal action

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Most Read