The Key West Ford Show and Shine — formerly known as the Royal City Show and Shine — has been a summer tradition for 15 years.
But while the event attracts roughly 100,000 people to the city, the Downtown New Westminster Business Improvement Association says producing the show takes too much effort and the event doesn't translate into more business for local shops.
"It's certainly a great event for the city as a whole in terms of exposure, it's great for community building," said executive director Kendra Johnston in an interview with The Early Edition.
"But in terms of direct benefit to member businesses, we find it's become less and less successful."
Changing demographics, changing appeal
Johnston says the Show and Shine was started at a time when "no one was talking about New Westminster," and bringing exposure to the city was paramount. But nowadays, the business association is turning to events such as the food truck festival, which Johnston says has boosted business for local pubs and restaurants.
"A car show might attract a certain demographic really interested in cars, but a food truck festival would have a more diverse demographic and really appeal to the new New West … that's looking to come down and spend time and spend money," she said.
"It's a way to position ourselves as an entertainment district and a place to return and have fun."
Johnston, who has been involved with the Show and Shine since its early days, says cancelling it was a hard decision.
"You have an emotional attachment to something like that, especially when you put in 1,000 man hours into it every year and it becomes a big part of your life," she said.
"But looking at the data, I really think our board made the best possible decision for our membership."