September 25, 2013 - 5:03 PM
PENTICTON — Downtown Penticton has received an injection of vibrancy, as Fitkidz Gymnastics Club moved into the “Bus Barn” building on Ellis Street.
“We are so pleased that Fitkidz has found a new home in Downtown Penticton. Their gymnastics club not only brings jobs into the commercial core, but hundreds of youth and families are reconnecting with Downtown Penticton,” said Mayor Garry Litke. “More people will be coming Downtown to train and compete, and this translates into more foot traffic for retailers and restaurants to gain exposure. This is a win-win situation.”
Council’s strategic priority is Downtown revitalization, and 2012 was devoted to public consultation on how to kick-start economic activity in Downtown Penticton. The process ultimately produced the Downtown Plan, a long-term vision document mapping out 101 actions that, when completed incrementally, are designed to revitalize Downtown Penticton.
The plan gives an overview of Penticton’s character areas, or pockets that have a unique identity that should be nurtured and sustained by private and public investment. Within the designated Cultural/Creekside character area, the vacant building at 199 Ellis St. owned by the City of Penticton was identified as having the potential to draw more people and vibrancy. Leasing the City building is a big first step toward revitalizing this area, which is unique due to its opportunity for infill, redevelopment and reinvention and connection to water like Penticton Creek. Projects are envisioned for the area that support its eclectic and exciting mix of uses.
Fitkidz has offered provincial-level training in competitive and recreational gymnastics to a roster of 700 gymnasts from more than 600 families in the community and surrounding areas. Fitkidz employs 16 people and holds two provincial invitational events each year, bringing in more than 100 athletes and their families to Penticton for each event.
The previously vacant building has a flexible space that is perfect for Fitkidz use, and they are considering initiatives like children’s drop-in times on evenings and weekends to allow parents to enjoy a night out in Downtown Penticton and contribute to economic activity in the area.
“We are very excited to be part of the downtown family. The move opens up a lot of opportunities to expand our organization and we are looking forward to working with other businesses in the downtown area,” said Annette Card, Owner of Fitkidz Gymnastics.
“Besides offering competitive and recreational classes for all ages, we are hoping to offer drop-in times to parents who would like to go wine touring or offer things like combination classes, camps and birthday parties alongside other downtown organizations and businesses.”
Residents and businesses are invited to learn about the planning process and review the proposed Downtown Plan online at www.penticton.ca/downtown.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013