Mobile food vendors are set to become a staple at Thetis Lake regional park.
After a successful trial period last summer, View Royal council rezoned the popular beach to allow a maximum of three food carts to operate between June and September.
Park operations manager Janette Loveys with the Capital Regional District said mobile carts have less impact on the park then previous concession operators.
“Garbage at the park has reduced,” she said, noting that mobile vendors are required to demonstrate sustainable practices before they’re granted a permit.
“We’re seeing recyclable and biodegradable containers, where we used to have Styrofoam.”
Prior to last year, non-profit groups sold snacks from a building on the beach. But the structure was torn down to avoid mounting repair costs.
Last summer only three businesses applied for, and were all granted, carts on the beach — Noodle Box, Villages Pizza and Mr. TubeSteak. Each paid the CRD $1,000 per month for the spot.
“We put that money right back into the park,” Loveys said. “It’s a rare source of revenue for the CRD. Not much we do actually makes money.”
The success at Thetis Lake prompted the CRD to test vendors at Elk/Beaver Lake for the first time this year.
Both parks need the revenue to replace their outdated washrooms.
Loveys said the Thetis Lake washroom will, within five to seven years, be replaced with a facility farther from the water, opening up more beach space.
This year the CRD is looking forward to completing the final phase of its trail restoration project at Thetis Lake park.
The path around the lake will be fully wheelchair accessible by 2012.