The end of summer vacation brings the conclusion of what appeared to be a successful pilot project for Rocky Point Park in Port Moody.
The Summer Concert Series was the test ground for bringing food carts to the popular park.
And vendors and city politicians alike are giving the project glowing reviews.
"Our overall experience with it turned out to be great," said Allessandro Gladden, owner and operator of Hotties Panzerotti, one of four food carts chosen for the project.
He said since it was a pilot project, he didn't know exactly what to expect, but there turned out to be enough business to make it worth taking part.
In fact, Gladden told The NOW he'll come back next year if food cart vendors are invited, and he would even like to see the program expanded to the entire weekend.
The pilot project, which was originally conceived by the city's economic development committee and approved by council last spring, had food-cart vendors in the park on Sundays through Aug. 26, the length of the concert series.
In all, city staff recommended four vendors for the pilot, including Old Country Pierogi, Gourmet Hotties, This Little Piggy and Hotties Panzerotti.
Coun. Diana Dilworth echoed Gladden's sentiment.
"From start to finish, it was a good idea and a great success," she said.
Dilworth suggested some people were coming to the park just for food carts, while others who where there for the concert also enjoyed the food choices.
A report on the pilot project is expected to be in front of council later this fall.
Dilworth said the report would likely focus on several areas, including whether to open up the park to carts next year, adding more vendors and adding more days they can operate.
The councillor said she looks forward to having the discussion around the council table.
That's not to say there weren't some critiques to the project.
Council approved a second pilot project to divert compostables from regular waste at the park during the series.
The pilot would see an organic collection cart included as part of the recycling station selected for the foodvendor project.
Volunteers manned the collection carts, or "zero-waste recycling stations."
Dilworth said she isn't sure it was that successful and suggested the city could have put more focus on the project.
"It was a valid attempt, but I think we need to look at that one a little closer," she said.
Meanwhile, Gladden said he'd like to see more publicity and awareness the carts are in the park, noting some people he spoke with who came down for the concerts didn't know the food options were available.
The business owner would also like to see the concerts themselves last longer throughout the day.
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