Okanagan Skate Co. owner Steven Wach closed his store at the end of December 2019 in the wake of several break-ins and a suspicious fire, but on Jan. 15, 2020, he announced on Facebook he found a new location to re-open at the Alpine Centre on Kalamalka Road. (Brendan Shykora - Vernon Morning Star)

Vernon skate shop, closed by downtown crime, finds new home

Okanagan Skate Co. closed its doors last month due to high crime

Okanagan Skate Co. has announced it’s found a new home in Alpine Centre on Kalamalka Road in Vernon.

Owner Steven (Bryce) Wach closed his downtown storefront last month due to an uptick of crime, he explained in a video posted to social media in December.

After experiencing several break-ins, a suspicious fire and more than $40,000 in merchandise loss in only five years, Wach said he had no choice but to move his store out of the core.

“How can anyone stay downtown and economically do business when these are things that are happening?” Wach asked in his video.

He noted he’s not the only store on Main Street that’s experiencing trouble.

“The Royal Bank has pulled out, Birch Hill Studio has pulled out of downtown, the lady at Casa Bella has been assaulted inside her store,” he said.

Wach said his store was going to be moving to an online-only format until he could find a new brick and mortar store.

In less than a month, he found a new spot in the Alpine Centre and he said in a Facebook post that doors should be open in February.

“Thank you, as always, for the support,” Wach wrote in his post on Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2020.

Meanwhile, the City of Vernon is taking steps to address the increased need for more security and safety measures in the core.

“City council has made several investments within the 2020 budget to address safety and security,” said City of Vernon communications manager Christy Poirier.

Some investments include the continuation of the Bylaw Compliance Seasonal Enforcement Program, Folks on Spokes, downtown cleanup program, additional overnight season security and assistance with the Downtown Vernon Association’s plan to install security cameras.

The RCMP’s Downtown Enforcement Unit (DEU) also serves the downtown area alongside other vulnerable crime areas within Vernon.

READ MORE: WATCH: Vernon skate shop closing due to crime

READ MORE: Enderby-born movie producer’s latest Hollywood film starring Ben Kingsley to hit theatres


@caitleerach
Caitlin.clow@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Recycle your smoke detector at the Revelstoke landfill

Carbon monoxide detectors are also accepted

Strip down and ski for a cause on Jan. 26

Australian living in Revelstoke hosting bikini charity ride fundraiser for Australian Red Cross

Proposed Temporary Winter Shelter on hold for the season

Revelstoke City Council is asking staff to look into winter homelessness solutions

Alberta man dies in vehicle incident on Trans Canada Highway

The collision occurred Jan. 20, closing the highway east of Revelstoke till 1:30 a.m.

Chilliwack on the map for Salmon Arm Roots and Blues

Canadian music legends confirmed for 28th annual music festival

NHL prospects returning to Penticton for Young Stars Classic

After a one-year absence the Vancouver Canucks Young Stars Classic is returning… Continue reading

Hospital patient pleads guilty to dumbbell assault of nurse in Abbotsford

Neale Heath admits to assault causing bodily harm in attack last September

‘Epic sky palace’: B.C. businesses help create dream treehouse for boy recovering from cancer

‘It was kind of a bright shining beacon at the end of a horrible, dark tunnel’

VIDEO: Nickelback gears up for nostalgia tour

Canadian band joins Stone Temple Pilots for a summer tour that includes just one stop in Canada

Break in a “poke in the eye” to Shuswap ski club

Larch Hills Nordics looking at security improvements for chalet

B.C. teacher suspended for poking student in stomach, pulling another’s ponytail

Teacher also swore in classroom, used Facebook to contact students

Opt out date for speculation tax looms for Central Okanagan residents

Declaration packages will arrive between Jan. 24 and Feb. 21 and must be completed by March 31

UBCO looking for great writers as part of annual Okanagan Short Story Contest

Deadline for submissions quickly approaching on Jan. 31

Most Read