A three-day auction of snack booths for next year’s Lunar New Year Fair in Victoria Park began on Monday, but vendors seemed not as enthusiastic about the annual event as they were in the past, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.
About 400 people attended the auction at Queen Elizabeth Stadium in Wan Chai on the first day, with 180 wet goods stalls and three fast food stalls being successfully let, data from the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD) showed.
However, the combined amount earned by the government from the auction was only HK$892,000, about half of last year’s auction.
The biggest stall on offer, which covers about 36 square meters, went for HK$500,000. While higher than an opening price of HK$367,000, it was the lowest in five years and 39 percent less than that a year ago.
Club One, which operated the biggest stall in the past four years, decided not to bid this time.
After only six open outcries, the food stall near an exit of the MTR Causeway Bay Station was bagged jointly by online shopping site operator People’s Market and music retailer HMV.
A representative of People’s Market and HMV said he was satisfied with the final price, which he had expected to be about HK$800,000 like in the previous year.
The stall will sell various types of hot foods, including snake soup, curry, hot dogs and premium beef from South Korea, according to a statement by People’s Market and HMV.
Meanwhile, the two stalls next to it were both let for HK$196,000, down 44 percent and 65 percent year on year, respectively.
Compared with lukewarm bidding for fast food stalls, bidders for wet goods stalls were more enthusiastic, with the most expensive stall let for HK$87,500, or seven times the opening price.
Separately, Wong Tak-fat, senior superintendent at FEHD, said in reply to media inquiries that the government will not stop political parties from bidding for the stalls as long as they follow the rules.
Wong added the department has asked contractors to increase power supply to the event to make sure a blackout seen last year will not happen again. The fair will be held over seven days from Feb. 10 to 16, 2018.
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