Richmond City Council has granted the former operator of the original Richmond Night Market permission to re-open the market on a different site this summer, despite objections from the current local night market operator.
Raymond Cheung of Target Event Production Ltd. established the Richmond Night Market in 2000 and ran the popular attraction every summer until 2007, when rising rent for the site led him to close down the event.
The following year, Paul Cheung of Lions Communications Inc. launched an event on the same site, calling it the Summer Night Market, and although successfully sued for copyright infringement by Raymond, was allowed to keep operating.
Now Raymond — no relation to Paul — says he couldn't be happier to be re-opening his original market on a waterfront lot four times larger than his previous event, next door to the River Rock Casino and the Bridgeport SkyTrain station.
"I have a vision to take the night market to another level. This year will be a surprise. We've got a lot of new toys coming so we'll be selling a lot of fun things for people who come to the night market," he said.
Risk of closure
But although Paul Cheung's Summer Night Market last year saw more than a million visitors, he doesn't believe there is room for another market in the area and says there is a risk this could lead to the closure of both events.
"The type of customers that we have is quite limited. It takes a unique group of people to be vendors at the night market," he said.
"Just losing 10 vendors will be detrimental. That could affect the amount of revenue that goes back to investing in this community event."
Raymond disagrees and says competition is healthy.
"I think it's a fair market and people are willing to choose, so I think it's good competition. People can compare now," he said.
On Tuesday, council is expected to grant a three-year extension for the existing Summer Night Market, tucked west of the Knight Street Bridge, just blocks away from Raymond's new venture.