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October 27, 2017 7:32 pm

New Board Guides Save The Dome Effort

Sunday, January 1, 2017 @ 11:59 AM
The fight to save the Prince George Roll-A-Dome continues into a new year. Photo 250News

The fight to save the Prince George Roll-A-Dome continues into a new year. Photo 250News

Prince George, B.C. – The Board of Directors of the group formed to preserve, and hopefully purchase, the Prince George Roll-A-Dome has several new faces following the resignations of most of the members of the original board.

Founding president of the PG Dome Society, Margaret Jackson, has informed 250 News that she resigned her position on September 30th, 2016 “with the hope that the new executive will be able to rally the troops that I was not able to.”  Minutes of the PG Dome Society meeting of Oct 12, 2016 state that Original Board members Jackson, Marveen Layte, Annette Killeen, Andrea Erwin and Jen Herkes had resigned, with three original members remaining, one of them until the appointment of a new board was complete.  Jackson says all of the resignations came  around the same time.

The new board has not been formally announced but, according to minutes of the Dome Society’s meeting of Nov. 17, 2016, consists of:  Denise Hogue – president, Jen Herkes – vice-president, Tamara Sweet – Secretary/Treasurer, original board member Ken Biron – director at large and member of the Mayor’s Committee on Accessibility, as well as new board members Nicole King Smith, Jesse Bowen and Karen Lucas who are also serving as directors at large.  All of those appointments are in effect until the society holds its initial Annual General Meeting, which must be held within 18 months of the society’s inception (which was in March, 2016).

Jackson says there were  several reasons for  stepping down “When you can’t rally the user groups, and when you can’t rally the community, even though I know that we rallied corporate support, without the user groups and the community behind it I was not willing to go forward with getting the corporate people to do what they needed to do without the actual purchase of the building or a long-term lease with the building.”

“And so when you don’t have that documentation to give you the authority to make changes to a structure, I didn’t feel like I wanted to move forward” says Jackson, who adds, “it was a job far and above what I was willing to commit to.”

Jackson says user groups  gave limited support to  what the  original board was trying to accomplish “Their mandate is to provide their own program with their own organization, their clients or their participants, not necessarily wanting to jump onto another board to secure.   So, you can only spread yourself so thin, until it doesn’t work.”

Many of the remaining members of the group of owners who purchased the Roll-A-Dome from the Prince George Golf and Curling Club back in 2002 have been hoping to retrieve their investment as they enjoy their retirement.   A developer looked at adjacent property as the possible location of a new hotel, with the roller rink building demolished and paved as a parking lot.

The PG Dome Society is firmly against losing the building and was given until June 1st, 2016 to formulate a business plan for the purchase of the Roll-A-Dome.  Jackson says that has not fully occurred.  “In some ways yes, in some ways no,” she says.  “I’m going to say, officially no, it did not occur and that was probably part of my reasoning to step aside.”

Jackson, who remains a staunch supporter of the effort to save the Roll-A-Dome and remains a member of the society, says the society is in good shape  to take the next steps “I know that there’s well over $7,000 in the bank when I left.  That’s far from the $1.3 million that the owners want, but I know with $7,000 it’s enough to take care of the society, to allow it to move forward because you need cash or capital to put together a proper business plan, to put together a meet-and-greet for those people that are in the community that’s able to open up a wallet and write a $20,000 cheque.”

“So I know the society is financially very well off to move forward to that next stage because that’s basically where we’re at, to move to the next stage.  And I think the owners are happy that they are moving forward to the next stage.”

The next PG Dome Society membership meeting is scheduled for January 10, 2017 upstairs at the Dome.  And, as the society’s web site says “if you don’t have a membership, please consider buying one to support our efforts to Save The Dome”.


I think the $7K in the bank account speaks volumes. If people were serious about saving the dome then they would put there money where their mouth is. The fact is if the done were gone people would go to other venues. Either fix up the place now or demolish it. It’s such a key property that it should be a shining example for people of the city and those who come to visit.

As it stands now it’s an eyesore. I for one think it’s time for action not more talk. Make PG Awesome!!!

    Yeah, a hotel parking lot would look so much better on that corner than that “eyesore”. Wahoo, make PG great again and put up a parking lot! /s

      Yes, I totally agree. If they want to preserve it, then make it NICE, it is an eyesore. First thing you see when you get into town is this derelict building. We need progress in that area!

      Funny how all of First Avenue, one of the first things a person actually sees when they get into town from H16 East, looks derelict from one end to the other, but nobody seems to care about that.

      In fact, the Roller Dome looks positively well maintained compared to the warehousing on First Ave.

I’m a big supporter of keeping PGs history, but this building isn’t one worth keeping. This is the most prominent intersection in the City and the space could be far better utilized. As ‘mwk’ said, with $7K to their name this Board needs to quit before they make fools of themselves.

The society’s website ? If you can’t even be bothered to add the website/URL to the article . Why should anyone be bothered to look for it ?

    If you read carefully you would know that the interview was not with the current president or any of the executives or Directors at large. One would have thought that they would let it be known that there is a new Board.

    It is the past president who resigned a couple of months ago, who decided it was time that people in the city should know what has happened.

    As far as the web page goes, it is the author who mentions the web site and it would have been reasonable for him to include it. But, then again, the promotion of the society is not his responsibility. That goes to the current Board, and we have not heard from them. Perhaps that will be the next installment.

    In the meantime, the web page is at pgdomesociety.ca. There are three meeting minutes on there under the menu heading “minutes”.

    The meeting date of Dec 6 has the minutes of the October 12 and the Oct 12 hyperlink connects with the Dec 6th meeting. Read the December 6th minutes. There is an interesting record of a meeting with Jillian Merrick, City Councillor. The reason it is especially interesting is because the Building Owners were suggesting that a non-profit Society would be able to get a low interest loan from the City.

    Little did people know that such loans were only available for profitable private corporations such as international hotel chains. ;-)

      Little did people know that such loans were only available for profitable private corporations such as international hotel chains. ;-)

      Or a massively profitable bank.

      Yes, I forgot about the $700,000 for the RBC building.

      That amount of money would have been a start to upgrade the interior of the building so that there were adequate washroom facilities and the exits met current code standards.

      The owners of the Roll-A-Dome are selling the advertising one sees outside of the building which provides them with a significant income while they wait for the first organization to give them the $1.5 million or so they say the property is valued. BC Assessment has valued it at $593,000 for the 2017 taxation year. It has not changed since the previous years despite past rising values on properties immediately to the south on Rec Place. The building is assessed at $163,000 which is an increase from $154,000 from last year. The properties to the south have not increased in land values.

      I agree with eagleone that the intersection may need to be upgraded to a grade separation. I doubt anyone is going to go to the expense “moving” the hill on the north-east quadrant since it has a key water reservoir on the top of it. In addition, if Hwy16 east will be connected via Boundary and cross the Fraser to short circuit the connection of the two highways to intersect near Haldi Road.

      A portion of the property on the south-west corner could potentially be expropriated in the future to provide an access to a grade separation of Hwy 97 from Hwy 16. I doubt that they will be a full cloverleaf. It will be quite sufficient to be a modified access with signalized T-intersections.

      The Pomeroy was going to build around 240 rooms in two buildings off Rec place. That was announced 2 years ago. That got the owners of the Roll-A-Dome all excited with $ in their eyes.

      The Casino was going to build a second hotel on the opposite side of Hwy16. That has been rumoured for some time. One of these days they may build out their site to increase gaming and possibly entertainment as well as accommodation capacity.

      Anyone interested in buying the Roll-A-Dome should do their due diligence and talk to MOT to find out their long range plans for the intersection.

Everyone is for a half finished hotel sitting on the property?

    Nah! They are all for parking lots. Because, as everyone knows, parking lots make Prince George AWESOME!

      A parking lot next to a half finished hotel, nice!

I think the interecton will need to be over/underpssed at some point in the near future. The turn lanes from 97 north to 16 west are a disgrace often waiting two or three lights to make the turn… The result is it drives most of the traffic over on to city streets using the Ferry Drive intersection going by an elementary school and residential neighbourhoods.

An overpass with traffic ramps and such will require more land to make the busiest intersection in northern BC workable for future growth. Having the province. Buying up that land now makes the most sense to me.

When an overpass is done, I think the large hill north east of the intersection should be moved into the hole at the north west side of the intersection allowing for transitioning of Ramos and such. A side benefit is it would make all corners of the intersection high profile locations for hotels and the like, as well as open up spectacular vistas of the downtown from 16 west heading east. I think t would truly transform the welcome to PG and the development of our city going forward.

Time will tell I guess.

    Ramos should have read ramps….

We need another Hotel –Why? I know the owners want to sell, but its sad we can’t find the money to turn the Dome into a big community center for all people to be able to use for different functions , it is well used now. We have lots of eye sores in this City . Thanks to Alan and Margaret for trying to save the Dome I think its worth saving. You don’t miss it until It’s gone.

    Could make for a good indoor open market until the highway upgrades go through 5-10-15-30 years from now. After which relocate roof berms to a new outer shell at a new location with a fresh business plan is the best option IMO.

The last thing that PG needs is another hotel, especially at that corner. There are already 2 disastrous hotels at or near the corner of 15th and Victoria just a few blocks north. We don’t need any more car dealerships along there either.

They should tear down the Dome and put in some nice bike lanes to those wonderful car lots.

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