July 27, 2016 - 8:00 PM
KAMLOOPS - The former casino in Hotel 540 is the most likely site for a year-round, indoor farmers' market, according to Indoor Market Task Force co-chair and consultant Jane Mastin.
“The idea that we’re looking at is an indoor market where everyone could experience the flavours and specialties of the region,” Mastin says. “We felt the market could generate $4 to $4.5 million.”
She told city council yesterday, July 26, the market would include a variety of businesses — from microbreweries to farmers to cake makers — and would ideally be 14,000 square feet with small to medium businesses.
Other sites looked at included Riverside Park and Stuart Wood school, but a consulting group’s study earlier in the year determined Hotel 540 was the best option. Mastin told council one of the reasons the hotel is attractive is its owners are interested in hosting the market and retrofitting an area for it.
A potential budget and layout has been developed for the site. Six of seven criteria the consulting group were looking have also been met, including a viable economic model and sufficient vendors. The seventh criteria, a governing body, is achievable, the consultant's report says.
The project's next steps will be to create a steering committee, secure a location, prepare a business plan and obtain vendor commitments.
Mastin was also part of the consulting group that put together the study on the feasibility of a year-round indoor farmers market released earlier this year and is now volunteering as part of the market task force.
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