Richmond council approves one night market, mulls another

The Richmond Night Market wants to open next to River Rock Casino Resort. -
The Richmond Night Market wants to open next to River Rock Casino Resort.
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Richmond city council gave final approval to one night market Monday while it has yet to determine the fate of another.

Following a public hearing, Firework Productions Ltd. won approval to host the Richmond Night Market next to River Rock Casino Resort from May 18 to Oct. 8, and a similar period the following two years.

"We have lots of support," said Firework's Raymond Cheung. "The amount of support we're getting now is more than before."

Cheung, who hasn't operated a market in Richmond since 2007, said council's 7-0 vote "brought a lot of good memories back." He told The Review his 88-vendor food court has already sold out, 150 retail booths are booked and more are being accepted at a cost of $60 per night.

Cheung's Richmond Night Market is poised to go head-to-head with a second night market. At a council planning committee meeting yesterday, staff recommended conditional approval of the Summer Night Market, which would operate May 11 to Sept. 16 at a Vulcan Way site near Home Depot.

The Summer Night Market, organized by Paul Cheung of Lions Communications Inc., must still pass the test of a public hearing, tentatively set for April 16.

But Raymond Cheung said he's not afraid of competition. In 2003, when the Richmond Night Market operated in Lansdowne Centre mall's parking lot, a small rival market set up shop at Pacific Plaza on Cambie Road and competed with Cheung for one season.

"We don't mind seeing competition, but we want to see a fair competition," said Raymond Cheung. "The element that we will be putting in will be something very different from the other night market and past night markets. When people will come in, they'll say, 'Wow.'"

A key difference between the markets is parking.

The Richmond Night Market, next to the casino and Bridgeport Station, is offering free public parking. The Summer Night Market's Vulcan Way proposal calls for pay parking on-site, which can accommodate 476 vehicles. More Summer Night Market parking has been secured in off-site lots, according to a staff report, bringing the total available spaces to 1,136.

Nonetheless, staff are recommending approval, noting the market has operated on Vulcan Way since 2004 and consultation with property owners has already taken place.

"The event organizer is committed to addressing the concerns raised and ensure regular communication..." said planner Kevin Eng in his report.

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