DAWSON CREEK, B.C – Low usage and even lower cost recovery at the Kin Arena in Dawson Creek could lead to its closure for the rest of the 2020/2021 season.
On Jan. 25th, a report conducted by the General Manager of Community Services, Ross deBoer, was presented to council updating them on Kin Arena’s usage.
As a result of the public health orders, deBoer says the total weekly iced bookings in both the Kin Arena and Memorial Arena was just under 83 hours. With just Memorial Arena open, there was a total of 75.25 hours of booked ice. Compared with October of last year, the total ice use in 2 arenas is only 7.5 hours more than with just one sheet of ice.
The average annual cost to operate the Kin Arena is approximately $450,000, and revenue is about $150,000. In the 4 months since the Kin Arena has been open, estimated costs of operation were $147,501 with revenues of $12,762.
The difference in cost recovery is significant; in normal years, the cost recovery is around 33 per cent. This year, it is just under 9 per cent.
During the discussion period, councillors agreed that the February 5th updates to the provincial health orders would determine the Kin Arena’s future.
At their Regular Meeting in late October 2020, council discussed the challenges of operating all programs out of the Memorial Arena. The Mile 0 Figure Skating Club and the Dawson Creek Minor Hockey Association requested installing the ice at the Kin Arena to better accommodate all user groups.
At the November 9th meeting, council directed staff to install ice at the Kin Arena for the remainder of the 2020/2021 season.
Just weeks after installing the second sheet in the community, the British Columbia Provincial Health Officer issued a new order on gatherings and events.
This order sent B.C. back to phase 2 guidelines, severely restricting sports participation like hockey, figure skating, and speed skating. The order has been in place since December and is in place until February 5th, 2021.
If orders are relaxed, the arena will stay open. If orders stay the same or are increased, council will discuss the arena’s closure at their February 8th Regular Meeting.