Kimberley City Council received a letter from Kimberley Minor Hockey President Trevor Woynarski expressing concern over the possibility that Marysville Arena may not open for the 2020-21 season.
Kimberley closed all its indoor recreation facilities at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, and thus far only the Civic Centre has reopened.
“We firmly believe that the City should consider the opportunity to open and operate the Marysville Arena and that failing to do so would negatively affect the whole community,” the letter said.
The letter went on to say that especially with the increased cooperation between Kimberley and Cranbrook minor hockey this year, not having Marysville Arena available for providing ice time for games and tournaments would be problematic.
“We are the City of Kimberley’s most frequent ice user group. During the 2019/20 winter sports season, Kimberley Minor Hockey and BC Hockey rented nearly 700 hours of ice time, spending between $80,000 and $100,000.
“We are approaching our return to gameplay cautiously and we are confident that we will be playing in the next month or two. ViaSport BC has declared that hockey is now in Phase 3 of re-opening, enabling gameplay within a 4-team cohort. Cohort “super weekends”, where four teams will gather in communities for a series of games, are also permitted in Phase 3. However, without the Marysville Arena, the lack of available ice time will prevent us from bringing teams into the community, depriving our kids of these opportunities to compete. While these “tournaments” will be less impactful this year from a tourism standpoint, it would be disappointing for Kimberley’s small businesses and tourism operators to lose any prospective visitors in the current, challenging economic environment.”
The City discussed Marysville Arena during an in camera session after the regular meeting, and as of Tuesday, October 27, 2020, had not made a statement about a decision.