The District Ice Centre in Taylor has been left in the lurch and needs a new concession contractor after the existing one left for personal reasons mid-season.
Since Jan. 11, the concession has been empty, and with an upcoming pre-novice tournament, the district is keen to find a replacement.
It issued a request for proposals Jan. 12, but hasn’t yet had much interest from the community.
“The sky is the limit of what a person can do, especially in Taylor, because there’s not a whole lot of restaurants for competition,” said Troy Gould, parks and facilities director.
He says there’s “potential, depending on the product served and consistency of hours” to have it be a profitable venture.
“During the regular usage it’s not a very busy arena, you have mom and dad or maybe the odd sibling that will purchase, but when you get an event, like especially a hockey tournament, you pretty well have teams arriving at 5 a.m. and going until 10 o’clock at night,” Gould said.
While any type of food or business model would be considered, Gould believes that fair-priced, typical concession food—hotdogs, hamburgers and fries—would be a good fit.
In the past, a contractor attempted to sell healthy food.
“The problem with the healthy food was there wasn’t a whole lot of people buying it, and it was hard to keep it in stock because two or three days of a salad sitting in the fridge, it would (go bad),” he said. “When people go to the arena they’re kind of wanting quick, fatty (food).”
He added that it’s hard to operate the concession with restaurant priced foods.
“You have the same people coming in multiple times a week, and it becomes quite expensive if you’re paying restaurant priced hamburgers and meals,” Gould said.
Another past contractor got creative, and catered to local industry as well as ran the concession.
“She would have dinner specials, like 12:00 p.m. specials, every day, and utilized not only the clientele from the arena usage, but also the community,” Gould said.