Okanagan Skate Co. owner Steven Wach closed his store at the end of December 2019 in the wake of several break-ins and a suspicious fire, but on Jan. 15, 2020, he announced on Facebook he found a new location to re-open at the Alpine Centre on Kalamalka Road. (Brendan Shykora - Vernon Morning Star)

Vernon skate shop, closed by downtown crime, finds new home

Okanagan Skate Co. closed its doors last month due to high crime

Okanagan Skate Co. has announced it’s found a new home in Alpine Centre on Kalamalka Road in Vernon.

Owner Steven (Bryce) Wach closed his downtown storefront last month due to an uptick of crime, he explained in a video posted to social media in December.

After experiencing several break-ins, a suspicious fire and more than $40,000 in merchandise loss in only five years, Wach said he had no choice but to move his store out of the core.

“How can anyone stay downtown and economically do business when these are things that are happening?” Wach asked in his video.

He noted he’s not the only store on Main Street that’s experiencing trouble.

“The Royal Bank has pulled out, Birch Hill Studio has pulled out of downtown, the lady at Casa Bella has been assaulted inside her store,” he said.

Wach said his store was going to be moving to an online-only format until he could find a new brick and mortar store.

In less than a month, he found a new spot in the Alpine Centre and he said in a Facebook post that doors should be open in February.

“Thank you, as always, for the support,” Wach wrote in his post on Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2020.

Meanwhile, the City of Vernon is taking steps to address the increased need for more security and safety measures in the core.

“City council has made several investments within the 2020 budget to address safety and security,” said City of Vernon communications manager Christy Poirier.

Some investments include the continuation of the Bylaw Compliance Seasonal Enforcement Program, Folks on Spokes, downtown cleanup program, additional overnight season security and assistance with the Downtown Vernon Association’s plan to install security cameras.

The RCMP’s Downtown Enforcement Unit (DEU) also serves the downtown area alongside other vulnerable crime areas within Vernon.

READ MORE: WATCH: Vernon skate shop closing due to crime

READ MORE: Enderby-born movie producer’s latest Hollywood film starring Ben Kingsley to hit theatres


@caitleerach
Caitlin.clow@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Penticton Indian Band stands in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en

“We’ve lived in this area for 10,000 years, and our knowledge is being disregarded…” - Chad Eneas.

Techstars Penticton took start-ups from ideas to pitches in 54 hours over the weekend

Local businesspeople worked their ideas to present before a panel of judges.

Penticton, Vernon hockey legends to be inducted into BC Hockey Hall of Fame

Vernon’s Eric Brewer and a record-breaking Penticton Vees team will join the HOF July 24

South Okanagan resident Henry Kriwokon celebrates 100th birthday

Family, friends, police officer and bagpiper gathered at restaurant on Sunday to celebrate milestone

South Okanagan ski hill reports ex-employee to RCMP, closes lift amid investigation

‘We are actively investigating and dealing with the actions of a former employee,’ said the resort

VIDEO: Canada’s first presumptive case of coronavirus officially confirmed

Both patient and wife arrived on a China Southern Airlines flight after having been to Wuhan

Swapping grape varieties can help winemakers adapt to climate change: UBC study

Report says 56% of wine-grape-growing regions would be lost if global climate warms by 2 C

Alberta premier wants feds to approve Teck mine for benefit of First Nations

Kenney: ‘Surely [reconciliation] means saying yes to economic development for First Nations people’

Quintet jazzes it up with Okanagan-wide talents

Justin Glibbery group brings twist of jazz and pop

Trans-Canada closed east of Golden due to avalanche hazard

The highway is estimated to reopen around 7 p.m.

Former Hells Angels associate in Kelowna court on gun, drug charges

Former Angels associate Dale Habib appears in Kelowna court

NDP suggests easing secondary housing rules for B.C. farmland

Lana Popham proposes guest homes not just for relatives

After four sexual assaults in the same B.C. park, RCMP ask women not to walk alone

Four sexual assaults took place in Glen Park over two months

BC Place lights up in purple and yellow to honour Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter and seven others were killed in a helicopter crash

Most Read