le Vendredi 9 Décembre 2022
le Jeudi 18 février 2021 15:52 Autres - Others

Arena to reopen as ice time extended

Vankleek Hill arena will reopen with limited capacity after being closed for more than a month during the province-wide lockdown. — file photo
Vankleek Hill arena will reopen with limited capacity after being closed for more than a month during the province-wide lockdown.
file photo
Vankleek Hill arena will reopen to the public with a reduced capacity and the ice will remain for an additional two weeks after the venue was forced to close during the province-wide lockdown.

Champlain Township council voted to approve the reopening of the Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) area emerged from the lockdown at the orange “restrict” level or lower on the province’s colour-coded COVID-19 measures framework until April 18. However, if the situation worsened and the region was transferred to the red “control” level by March 2, the arena would close immediately and the ice pad would be removed.

In a report to the council, Parks and Recreation director Lisa Burroughs said the township had lost about $25,400 in revenue from the shutdown between December 26 and January 31. She said the shutdown in March last year had only cut about two weeks of ice time for the arena.

“The Parks and Recreation team has done all they can to reduce costs at the facility; minimizing ice maintenance, keeping lights off and adjusting temperature,” she said. “In a typical year, weekly ice rentals would average 50.5 hours which would represent about $7,900 in revenues.”

Burroughs recommended that, in addition to reopening the arena, the ice pad remain in place for two weeks longer than usual. While the ice was usually removed at the end of March, she suggested that the pad remain in place until April 18, as long as the region did not enter the red zone.

Under orange zone restrictions, capacity is limited to 50 people at indoor sports and recreational fitness facilities. Spectators are not permitted, but children can be accompanied by a parent or guardian. “Reopening the arena will also provide groups and leagues a chance to make up for lost time and hopefully enable their survival for the 2021-22 season,” Burroughs said.