Dinner in the Sky dining experience moves to North Vancouver, seeks to expand
Diners take lunch suspended in the air on June 2, 2014 above the Parc du Cinquantenaire in Brussels. (GEORGES GOBET/AFP/Getty Images)
The upcoming Dinner in the Sky experience has moved to North Vancouver, just as the B.C. entrepreneur behind the event begins seeking franchise partners across Canada.
"Everything's falling into place very, very well," said organizer Jhordan Stevenson, noting everything is on track for the event's Canada Day launch.
"All of these great regulatory bodies have been working really closely with us so everything's going very smoothly."
The unique dining experience takes adrenaline-seeking foodies and a dining table 150 feet up into the air using a 200-foot crane for a sky-high meal prepared by top local chefs. The concept originated in Belgium in 2007 and 10,000 such events have since been hosted in 50 countries around the world.
Stevenson had purchased the Canadian rights to the Dinner in the Sky global franchise and initially had plans to launch the event here under the banner of Skydine Events Ltd. in Vancouver's False Creek, before it was moved over to North Vancouver's Creek Marina due to zoning challenges.
"The original location the City of Vancouver had proposed also had some zoning issues and we just though it might be a bit easier if we just re-located," he said Wednesday.
"We like the view (from North Vancouver) a lot better – you see the whole cityscape and you have the mountains behind you and it's a lot nicer than being lifted up and seeing the back of a stadium."
The event will launch as scheduled on July 1 and continue through July 31.
But because the launch of the Metro Vancouver event has been more work than anticipated and the response so overwhelming, Stevenson is now looking for franchise partners to take up the business in Alberta and Ontario while he focuses on the B.C. branch of the event.
"For us to focus on those other markets is just too much for us to handle right now so we want to find qualified partners in the eastern region to take up our licenses," he said.
Bids are now being entertained for each of its "lucrative" licenses in Ontario and Alberta, it was announced Tuesday this week.
Metro Vancouver's Dinner in the Sky event is not the first in Canada. In 2008, American Express hosted a sky-high dining event in Ontario. Ottawa will also host the Sky Lounge dining experience this summer as part of the Canada 150 celebrations.
Tickets are about 65 per cent sold out, and must be purchased in advance. They start at $296 for a two-course lunch or brunch. Big spenders can shell out for the "first class" $919 ultimate five-course experience. Stevenson also hinted at a new dining option for those with sweet tooths, to be announced next week.
It's not the first time a large-scale city event has been relocated from Vancouver to North Vancouver.
In early 2015, social media lit up with rumours of a Slide the City event coming to Vancouver. When the city refused licenses to organizers, the event was re-located to North Vancouver for the same summer. It returned to North Vancouver for a two-day event in 2016.