Queensborough - The City That Never Sleeps?

New Westminster may finally be getting a night life.  A popular night time market in Richmond may be moving to he New Westminster community of Queensborough.

Click HERE for the full article in the Royal City Record


An event that's attracted thousands of people to Richmond is hoping to make the move to Queensborough.

The Richmond Night Market would like to move to a site adjacent to the Starlight Casino site for its ninth season in 2010. The market is a place where shoppers can find a range of goods, including food, purses, clothing, electronics and sunglasses.

"It's not an allowed use under the current zoning. They would need to make an application to change the zoning or get a temporary use permit," said Jim Hurst, a senior planning analyst with the city. "We don't have anything to go forward with it. My understanding is, they are preparing an application."

Hurst said the application would consider how traffic, parking and community impacts would be managed.

Gateway Casinos and Target Event are working with city and local authorities for the necessary planning approvals.

"The Richmond Night Market is a long-standing tradition in the Lower Mainland," said Raymond Cheung, founder of the official Richmond Night Market. "And I am thrilled to be partnering with Gateway Casinos and Entertainment and the Starlight Casino, and we are working towards opening for the summer season. The alignment of our two great entertainment companies will allow us to offer free admission and free parking in a convenient new location and has the potential to attract over two million visitors."

Target Event, which runs the market, believes the location is positive because it provides easy access from New Westminster, Burnaby, Surrey, Coquitlam, Richmond and Vancouver. Starlight Casino would be the market's fifth location since founding, but organizers believes it's the best location to date.

"Raymond Cheung is a highly respected talent in the outdoor entertainment industry and the founder of the best night market concept in Canada," said Starlight's general manager Darren Harding in a press release. "We are pleased to be working with Raymond to bring the Richmond Night Market to a bigger and better site adjacent to the Starlight Casino. Gateway Casinos has always worked to bring quality entertainment to our patrons, and we believe adding this one-of-a-kind spectacle for residents and visitors so Vancouver adds to the the Starlight experience."

Mayor Wayne Wright said market officials first approached the city two years ago about the possibility of locating the night market on the waterfront, but it was deemed unworkable because of access issues and parking needs. He said the market would bring about 10,000 people a week to Queensborough.

"It gives us a high profile," he said. "It helps out one of our major businesses."

Wright believes the multicultural and family-oriented event would bring people to New Westminster who may not typically come here - and they would be more likely to return and use other services.

"It won't hurt any of our businesses. It is customers that aren't coming here now," he said. "Maybe they will see New Westminster as a growth industry."

© The Record (New Westminster) 2009

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