The bill is in for this year’s 4/20 smoke-up, and it’s a doozy.
The city of Vancouver says the event cost taxpayers $148,000 all told. That’s up from just under $93,000 last year.
It says the ballooning costs were in part because of a higher turnout, coupled with the event being held in two locations simultaneously.
That’s an assessment Park Boar Chair Sarah Kirby-Yung echoes.
“As I expected you have a larger site and a larger attendance and then we did also see that we had two different events going on with an activity still at the art gallery.”
The main 4/20 event was moved to Sunset Beach, while a “splinter” event took place at the traditional Vancouver Art Gallery site.
Kirby-Yung says this year’s event cost 60% more than 2015, and says she thinks the choice of venue played a big part.
“I think that if we had looked at an alternative location, which is something that the Park Board was asking for it may have been able to have had a little easier management around the site. This one was a bit tricky in terms of traffic access for example.”
The city says it’s working with the Park board to find an appropriate location for future 4/20 events.
But not everyone thinks the numbers are so bad.
President of the Downtown Vancouver Business Association Charles Gauthier says the price tag needs to be looked at in the context of broader costs to the downtown core.
READ MORE: 4/20 event cost Vancouver taxpayers $93,000
The city reports a cost breakdown as follows:
Vancouver Police Department $99,400
Vancouver Park Board $24,000
Streets and Sanitation $13,600
Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services $6,900
Traffic, Special Events & Emergency Management $4,100