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An underutilized 'gem' at Delta's Centennial Beach

The facility opened in the summer of 2012 but remains closed for about half the year.
Dylan Kruger believes the concession can become a bistro-style eatery that has better hours. Sandor Gyarmati photo

A Delta city councillor and member of Metro Vancouver’s Regional Parks Committee says the currently closed concession at Centennial Beach is an asset that can operate year-round.

Dylan Kruger is hoping a new business can operate the café owned by the regional district, which has been leased to a series of operators since it opened with high expectations back in 2012.

“It’s a beautiful building that opened over 10 years ago, but we just find it totally underutilized. One of the reasons I asked to be on the Metro Vancouver parks committee was to raise this very issue. We’ve got this gem here at Centennial Beach and I’m coming here more and more with my young family and in beautiful peak hours, but the concession stand is closed,” he said.

Centennial Beach is municipally-owned land that is leased to Metro Vancouver to manage as part of Boundary Bay Regional Park. Costing more than $2 million when it opened, the pavilion building houses washrooms and change rooms as well the eatery that has indoor seating and outdoor seating.

The contracted food and non-alcoholic beverage café operates only seasonally, from mid-April to mid-October.

“Wouldn’t it be nice to have a food and beverage model that allowed us to get a burger and a drink, alcoholic or non-alcoholic, and enjoy this great asset that, unfortunately had had a lot of challenges securing a quality operator. We’ve heard many times from residents and visitors to this park that it’s a missing piece for us,” said Kruger.

The regional district is now undertaking a study to determine the best use of the existing space, to help enhance visitor experience and its financial viability. Concession services will remain in place for 2024 as the current operator still has a lease for next year.

Kruger said he believes the concession can attract locals and visitors with a bistro-style eatery, which could be open not only for longer hours, but also throughout the year.

In addition, local businesses have indicated an interest in setting up food trucks or stands at certain areas of the beach during the summer, however, the current operating agreement has an exclusivity clause preventing other food, desserts or beverage businesses.

Kruger noted Centennial Beach will likely have a pilot program next year allowing responsible consumption of alcohol, which would be made all the better with more choices.

“We need to reimagine how we do food and beverage at Centennial Beach,” he said.

The Metro review will be completed in the second quarter of 2024.