Calmer heads need to examine the fate of the Norisle

Without a practical business plan, who would invest their capital in such a project?

To the Expostior:

It would be most interesting to learn the exact justification for $10.25 million in compensation claimed against the municipality, and to know exactly how far the Norisle project has progressed. It also appears that the cost to refit the vessel has more than doubled now to $35 million, yet the projected annual operating profit of $427,000 appears not to have changed and simple analyses would give a 1.2 percent return on investment, assuming an investor put all cash into the project.

There does not seem to be publicly available information as to what the finished product would look like and how it would compete against more modern cruise vessels already operating on the Great Lakes as far as service, price point and amenities. Considering that the Chi-Cheemaun cafeteria refit cost $2.4 million, money does not seem to go very far for marine renovations. Having only pictures and old movies of the Norisle to rely on, it seems that it always left a thick cloud of black smoke when it sailed and today we all know how bad burning coal is.

Finally, I would like to know how the reported $2 million spent on the vessel was raised and exactly what was received for it; it is certainly not evident from the outside appearance of the vessel. Since the bulk of the funding to refit apparently has not been raised nor is there any mention at least publicly of what commitments have been secured, such spending may ultimately prove to be unwise.

Considering the risk involved in such a venture, I doubt too many individuals will direct their pension funds be invested in the Norisle. Unless a more attractive, achievable business plan is put forth it is highly unlikely any private capital will be raised.

Ronald Kay
Brampton and Assiginack