TWO kiosks at Coral Bay in Paphos have gone to tender yet again, the fourth and final time in a year, according to local officials.
Councillor Linda Leblanc said that the express tender process has been launched, and bids to operate the popular blue flagged beaches two kiosks (beach bars) will need to be received by Friday June 24.
However, she noted that due to a lack of second-hand equipment at the larger kiosk, interest in an empty building is expected to be non-existent.
“This is another example of a big loss for the municipality and we have gone to emergency tender after the last one which took place in May was cancelled. None of those bids were opened and following legal advice we will go through the process again, as the situation has changed.”
The councillor noted that a recent spat between developer, Leptos, and Peyia municipality after Leptos cordoned off an area of privately owned land right above Coral Bay had played a part in cancelling the tenders. Until recently, it has been used as a car park and access point.
“The tenders had already gone out but we decided to cancel this process as there is now currently no parking here and closed access.”
However, a temporary access point for pedestrians has been opened up by the municipality across public land, but access for disabled and visitors with prams or pushchairs is difficult, she said.
The councillor said that there was an added problem of a lack of equipment at the larger of the two kiosks, after a ruling by the Auditor-general Odysseas Michaelides, prevented the intended purchase of second-hand equipment by the municipality which had been installed by previous operators.
“It’s highly unlikely that someone will bid for this kiosk for only four months of operation, knowing they have to kit it out with equipment too,” she said.
Leblanc said that past figures show an income for the municipality from both kiosks of around €250,000 in total.
She said that municipality staff are temporarily operating the smaller kiosk, providing drinks and crisps to the public. The beds and umbrellas at Coral Bay are operated by the municipality.
According to Leblanc, a number of car parks close to Coral Bay Beach are providing ample parking in the wake of the cordoned off land.
The two kiosks have proved to be a ‘headache’ for the municipality for a number of years, said Leblanc, and last summer they had to close both and install security after they discovered that the new operator – a Nicosia businessman – had failed to sign the necessary paperwork or hand over a deposit before opening to the public. The agreement was for €1.5 million for five years, but he never signed the contract or handed over a deposit.
They then had to go to emergency tender which was late in the season and the kiosks were awarded to two separate local families in business.
“We hope that by next year we will have the problems of access sorted out and that we can go to successful tender on time,” she said.