Concession not making money

The concession at Strathcona Gardens lost thousands of dollars last year, calling its sustainability into question

The concession at Strathcona Gardens lost thousands of dollars last year, calling its sustainability into question.

The Strathcona Gardens Commission received a report last month “to address concerns expressed about the continued operation of the Strathcona Gardens concession” said Brian Reardon, Chief Administrative Officer for the Strathcona Regional District.

Last year the concession suffered a $16,924 loss, generating revenues of $112,873. Factoring in profits $11,254 from the vending machine, the overall loss for food services can be reduced to $5,670.

Yves Bienvenu, manager of facility services, says the concession is almost entirely dependent upon the number of customers swimming or using the area. He attributes the decline in sales to the pool closure and less people attending Storm hockey games.

“For 2010, concession revenues associated with swimming and arena accounted for 93 per cent of total food services revenues,” Bienvenu says. “Generally, the highest attended pools and arenas generate the highest concession revenues. When we consider all the pool upgrades and renovations along with declining attendance at many of our major events, our revenues followed suit showing a decline in sales.”

While pool attendance dropped from 43,621 in 2008 to 25,813 last year, concession sales also nose-dived – by 17 per cent.

Bienvenu also says attendance at Storm games is on a downward trend and could also be affecting concession sales.

The concession, which employs two full-time and four to five part-time seasonal employees, has made changes to operations and menu choices to increase revenue and reduce costs. One of those changes has been to reduce staffing hours from March to May to coincide with program activities.