Sunshine Lanes is now hosting Greyhound service in Hope. Bus service is critical to a small town’s economy for many reasons, including competition for freight and affordable transportation in the absence of public transit. Since Greyhound ceased operations at the Midtown Laundromat, they have been searching for another local partner. Sunshine Lanes’ Drew Paton identified the opportunity and has a location well-suited to the bus line’s needs. Here are highlights from a recent conversation with Drew.
AdvantageHOPE (AH): What first attracted you to Hope in 2010?
Drew Paton (DP): A chance meeting with the current landowner at a golf game in Surrey. My career has always been in hospitality, and I always wanted to run my own business, so this seemed like a great opportunity.
AH: What do you see as a current advantage of doing business or investing in Hope?
DP: The same advantages I saw when I first moved here: massive potential for growth at the junction of five highways. Shipping is easy from here, and taxes are low compared to the big cities in the Lower Mainland.
AH: Diversification is often the key to success in smaller markets, can you describe how you have diversified your business since you took over Sunshine Lanes in 2010?
DP: We have renovated the business to be more family-oriented. There is an atmosphere of comfort here, as we cater to clients one to 99. The Greyhound service builds off of that orientation.
AH: You undertook significant efforts to renovate and beautify your lot and building when you took over Sunshine Lanes, how has this impacted your business?
DP: There was a significant improvement from the previous operation. The lottery alone was up 500 per cent. We saw the potential in Hope right from the beginning, and while Hope won’t ever be like the ‘80s, we look forward to a different heyday coming, led by a diverse economy including light industry, manufacturing, and tourism.
AH: What prompted your decision to take over the Greyhound service in Hope?
DP: A group of us were “shooting the breeze” trying to think of what Hope didn’t already have. Someone mentioned that Greyhound was no longer in town … I then went to the Visitor Centre the next day, who directed me to your (AdvantageHOPE’s) office where I was connected with Greyhound’s regional representative.
AH: Was it a difficult process to move the Greyhound parking zone?
DP: My inquires with the district were unfortunately interrupted by flood preparations, but once that was done a decision was quickly made and District of Hope crews painted the curbs and moved the signage.
AH: What do you most want people to know about your business?
DP: We are a clean safe place not only for adults, but also for kids with bowling, racquetball, and floor hockey available. The Greyhound depot hours will be the same as the bowling alley – 8:30 a.m. to 1 a.m. Monday to Saturday, and Sundays from 8:30 a.m. to midnight. Our business is open seven days a week, 365 days a year.
AH: How does Sunshine Lanes positively impact our community?
DP: We are a locally owned and operated business, and we cater to the needs of the town. We support local charities, for instance offering 2-for-1 bowling with a donation to the food bank. We also work collaboratively with other businesses, such as cross promotions with the River Café and Panago Pizza.
Tyler Mattheis is Executive Director of AdvantageHOPE. He can be reached at 604-860-0930 or firstname.lastname@example.org.