The concession in Lakawanna Park isn’t going anyplace, though it may be getting a facelift.
Gordon Ferguson, who purchased the lease for the Lakeshore Drive concession, said he has no plans to turn the concession into a restaurant, despite a rumour circulating in the community.
But he is considering how to improve it.
“It’s a signature corner of the city. Penticton deserves better than what is there,” said Ferguson. “That building is in pretty bad shape to say the least and the park needs more flowers, more shrubs, more plants.”
Since picking up the concession lease earlier this year, Ferguson said he’s learned a lot and had the opportunity to talk to a couple of thousand people, both visitors and locals.
The Lakawanna Park operation needs to remain a concession, he said, but he would like to see both the park and the brown cinderblock building get an upgrade.
“This is one park that deserves to be made more of a park. The building won’t be moved or be torn down, no trees will be taken down and the food service will remain seasonal, as it is,” said Ferguson. “I am considering going over the top on adding more flowers and brush and plants, almost making it an attraction itself and making this signature corner in the park something we can all be proud of.”
Improving the park, he continued, might also help with the drug use, vandalism and crime around the building.
“It’s mind boggling. I wasn’t expecting any of that,” said Ferguson, adding that he had two break-ins in August. “This corner can really, really change. The building can be upgraded and the park deserves better.”
At present, Ferguson said any changes are just ideas in his head.
“I haven’t put anything formal down yet, even for myself,” he said. “It deserves to have its moment. If I don’t put money into it, the building probably won’t last another five years.
“I just think it is a jewel of a corner that deserves better.”