Penticton’s lakefronts could be looking a little more lively in future summers.
The city is considering renewing its beach vending licensing program for another three years and expanding it by creating “beach vending hubs.”
The hubs would serve as designated zones to host between four to eight vendors in a single location. Previous vendors have sold mini doughnuts, shaved ice, clothing, jewelry, sunglasses, temporary tattoos and paddle board rentals.
The city’s beach vending program currently has 24 sites, 12 along Okanagan Lake and 12 at Skaha Lake. The three-year license to use agreements for the current vendors expired on Sept. 7, 2020.
Possible locations the city is considering expanding the vendor hubs to include the Riverside Drive Area, Lakawanna Park, the Martin Street extension parking lot, the Marina Way Area, and the South Beach Drive parking lot at Skaha Lake.
In 2020, the vendor program saw a drop in vendors due to the pandemic but still generated $17,629 in revenue for the city from vendor fees from a total of 12 sites.
If all sites are licensed in 2021, the city estimates revenue would be $30,850. Due to the pandemic, city staff are not recommending a rate increase in vendor fees.
Vendors pay $1300 to $1550 in fees to city depending on which site they occupy.
If approved, the city hopes the hubs create a more “vibrant and innovative waterfront that provides a unique experience for tourists and residents.”
If approved, the vendor market hubs could be implemented as early as the 2022 summer season.
To gather more information on beach vending, the city is inviting feedback from interested members of the community.
Those wishing to share their thoughts can do so March 2 to 9 by visiting shapeyourcitypenticton.ca.
“Council is looking forward to getting a recommendation back from the committee and hearing what the community thinks about both the renewal option and hub idea,” said mayor John Vassilaki in council’s meeting March 2.
The committee will review the community’s feedback and consider the request at their meeting on March 11.