Canadian mayor seeks Chinese capital to invest in Hilton Project

Mayor Bill McKay of Nanaimo, a city on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, reportedly wants to take a trip to China to discuss investment for a proposed Hilton hotel, which is currently seeking financing.

As the Nanaimo Bulletin reports, the bid to go overseas comes a year after Nanaimo Economic Development Corporation went to China to meet with investor groups, including for the Hilton and conference center hotels.

McKay told the Bulletin that the request came from Charles Koo, owner of Insight Holdings, the company behind the Hilton hotel project. However, the trip may not happen due to public disapproval.

“I find it hard to believe that there would actually be people within the community that would be concerned that we would spend $11,000 going on a trade mission to China to promote our city,” McKay said. “I’m having a tough time understanding that particularly when we are not taking any risk on the [hotel] project.”

Local Hilton hotel project spokesmen Brian Henning and Darwin Mahlum told the Bulletin that they were unaware of a request for the mayor to go on the trip, although the mayor has met with Koo and some of the investors in the project and discussed what was going on.

The company is currently gathering capital to build the $100-million hotel.