Rocky Point Kayak re-opens in new digs
Rocky Point Kayak is kicking off the summer paddling season this weekend with a grand re-opening celebration to show off its new digs.
Owner Jamie Cuthbert is eager to get a jump on the season and settle in to the new space, particularly after the uncertainty of the past seven years since plans for the nearby Boathouse restaurant were announced.
In November 2005 the city of Port Moody announced the Spectra Group had won the right to build a restaurant in Rocky Point. Part of the deal was a requirement that Spectra build a number of community amenities, including a waterfront boardwalk and outdoor plaza with fireplace, as well as a building to be rented out to a kayak rental operator.
City spokesperson Leslyn Johnson revealed that the building Spectra proposed "didn't meet with the city's needs and so we accepted a cash contribution instead."
Meanwhile, Cuthbert was investigating options for a floating building at the Rocky Point docks, but the regulatory hurdles proved too onerous and expensive.
Eventually, Cuthbert proposed a deal much the same as the Boathouse's: he paid for construction of the new building, which the city owns, and he will pay an annual lease and share of profits for the next 25 years.
Johnson said the lease agreement provides the city with about $3,200 annually from 2013 to 2022, plus applicable taxes and utilities. From 2023 to 2027 the lease payments are nearly $4,300. The remaining 10 years are based on two five-year options to renew.
Cuthbert will also pay a 3.5% commission on any gross business over $200,000.
And although he estimates the construction cost him about $130,000 — money he wouldn't have had to pay under the original agreement between the city and Spectra — Cuthbert feels the deal is fair.
"For the value of the position where the building is, I think it's reasonable," he said. "I'm a pretty small business so I had to get something done."
Cuthbert said the amount he's paying is similar to other kayak rental operations.
"I guess I'll either be a genius or an idiot in 25 years," he joked.
The city did not respond to a request for information on when the Spectra deal changed, why their building proposal was rejected or what the value of the cash contribution was.