Kelowna’s downtown open-air ice rink may be getting a concession stand but at least one city councillor wants to know why it does not have a place to rent skates.
Coun. Andre Blanleil is questioning why a skate rental operator was not sought when the city went looking for a company interested in running the concession stand at the rink in Stuart Park.
“A lot of people buy skates but members of the public or tourists walking by might want to rent a pair of skates, and go skating on a whim,”said Blanleil as council approved the awarding of the one-year concession contract to Service Stars Food and Beverage Services.
City property manager Ron Forbes told Blanleil city staff did contact one business, which expressed some interest but did not follow through. If the business can put something together, Forbes said there could be a skate rental in place before the end of the current skating season.
City property officer Tammy Abrahamson said city staff also talked to a skate rental business but it is is planning to sell off its inventory of used skates.
As for the new concession, it will be located close to the rink on the Water Street side of the park but will be located outside of the contentious area covered by a long-standing land covenant covering the area. Af few years ago, opponents of proposed development in the area used the document, called the Simpson Covenant, to argue against the city allowing the city-owned land the covenant covers to be developed.
Saying it had to be used solely for community purposes, argued against any development or commercial use for the land Stuart Park now sits on.The city says it is for that reason that the concession stand will be located away from the rink, making it less convenient than if it was closer.
Coun. Luke Stack questioned the move, pointing out that vendors currently operate in Memorial Arena, another piece of land covered by the covenant.
Operators of the planned new concession stand will pay the city $250 per month as part of the agreement and will be responsible for keeping the areas around the concession stand clean.
The stand will be open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 2 p.. and from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.