Rentals and food trucks to return to Kamloops's Riverside Park | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kamloops News

Rentals and food trucks to return to Kamloops's Riverside Park

Riverside Park will host another rental program for water sports and games this summer.

Tourists and residents will be able to rent sporting equipment or eat from food trucks at the newly renovated park with Tourism Kamloops leading the way to find contractors to take on the rentals.

Kamloops council approved a two-year trial at a meeting, May 30, with the expectation for a review after the 2023 season. Councillors recognized some residents may be reluctant to accept commercial activity at the city's central park, but they saw it as an opportunity for both businesses and a tourist attraction.

"This is one of those bold things where we don't have to be so afraid of what the minority will say," councillor Katie Neustaeter said.

A staff report presented to council didn't have exact details on what rental equipment would be offered, but did say the City and Tourism Kamloops would issue a news release in the future with more details for the public.

It's not the first time Tourism Kamloops tried to start a rental program at the park.

In 2021, it launched a rental program at the now-demolished concession stand. Although city council suggested the 2021 pilot program was a success, the company that rented kayaks and paddleboards at the park that summer was disappointed with the results.

"I don't know why but at the end of the day we just were not busy. It could be because we had a really crappy summer with smoke. COVID also another big contributing factor. So those two factors may have played a big role," Kevin Watt of Kamloops Water Sport Rentals said after the attempt in summer 2021. He wasn't sure whether he would take on the rentals at Riverside Park again with his own business, but 2021 was a particularly difficult summer to enjoy the outdoors in Kamloops. He believed it would be worth trying again.

Councillor Bill Sarai recognized 2021 was a poor year for a pilot project, suggesting it should be done a second time to see if residents and tourists welcome the rentals.

The park recently reopened after some improvements including a renovated spray park.

It will also have an outdoor skating rink on the site of the spray park, which was approved in April. A construction timeline and details of the project have yet to be announced.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Levi Landry or call 250-819-3723 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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