Dominique Gross: Vancouver needs a new museum, not a casino

By Dominique Gross, Professor of Public Policy, SFU

Vancouver needs a new museum. Here is why a museum, not a casino, is the future:

The Guggenheim museum in Bilbao, Spain designed by Frank Gehry (a Canadian architect) has been attracting around 800,000 visitors per year since its opening, and 82% came EXCLUSIVELY for the museum.

The economic impact in 2001 was estimated around $150 million. It brought about 25 millions in taxes equivalent to about 4,415 jobs.

Visitors spent about $43 millions in accommodation, $35 millions in catering, $13 millions in shopping, $9.5 millions in transports and $6.6 million in leisure (numbers from Forbes).

The Bilbao museum is one of the top attractions in Spain.

The Bilbao museum cost about $190 millions in 2010 dollars ($100 millions to build in 1997 plus $20 millions endowment).

The Frank Gehry Guggenheim museum does not generate addiction that destroys individuals and their family.
The Frank Gehry Guggenheim museum does not support organised crime.
The Frank Gehry Guggenheim museum construction cost less than 1/2 of the planned casino.

Vancouver will not become a world class city with a giant casino. Who believes Nice (France), Las Vegas (US), Macao (China) are world class cities? Only those who encourage greed as a driver of human behaviour rather than culture and knowledge.

Dominique Gross is Professor at the School of Public Policy, Simon Fraser University. She has a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Toronto and has also worked for the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington , DC and the International Labour Office (ILO), in Geneva, where she had the opportunity to teach and develop economic research programmes in several Sub-Sahara African countries.

In her research, she specializes in applied international labour and finance macroeconomic questions. She is particularly interested in the relationship between domestic policies and international immigrant and foreign investment location decisions. The main geographical focuses of her research are Europe and North America. She has published in academic journals, in edited books as well as produced policy studies with an international perspective for the CD Howe Institute in Toronto , the ILO, the IMF and the World Bank.

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