Pro shop question going to council

Skates and Blades owner Gord McQuarrie may take his quest to stop a pro shop from being put in the new arena facility to town council.
McQuarrie, who made a presentation to the arena committee, was surprised to hear the pro shop was referred to council because he’d heard “through the grapevine” that it had been eliminated from the project.
But Les Baker, who sits on the arena committee, said last week that both the pro shop and liquor licence issues had been referred to council for consideration.
McQuarrie argued the $50,000 allocated to establish a pro shop in the new arena could be better used in other areas. And he stressed the prime location inside the building would give its operator a monopoly over the business.
“I really don’t think it’s necessary,” McQuarrie said yesterday, stressing there were two established businesses–his and tagg’s Source for Sports–to handle that need.
“I don’t need any more competition,” he insisted. “The town is collecting taxes on retail sporting goods businesses at the present time. We just lost a retail location within the past year.”
tagg’s manager Russ Ling agreed, adding he didn’t believe the town could sustain a third one.
“Someone is definitely going to lose out big,” he warned yesterday, adding he also planned to call some councillors to voice his concerns.
“To throw a third party in there . . . it would just be unfair for either of us,” echoed McQuarrie. “I already hold down two jobs just to keep this going.”
If a pro shop opened at the arena, McQuarrie estimated he would lose at least a quarter of his business.
Still, he also admitted that if one did go in, he “definitely” would bid on the tender. “But it wouldn’t be fair to my competitor,” he added.
And if he did get the tender, McQuarrie didn’t know if he would keep his present Scott Street location open, noting the majority of his business is done from September through March.
“That would have to be a bridge I’d have to cross when I got there,” he said.