Hundreds of kids and their families will continue to descend on the Alberni Valley for a month of hockey camp each year, thanks to a new agreement between the city and West Coast Hockey Prep Camp.
The City of Port Alberni signed a five-year deal with West Coast Hockey Prep Camp Inc. for the use of the Alberni Valley Multiplex, the Alberni Athletic Hall and Glenwood Centre. Previously, the city had signed two deals with the hockey camp—one from 2011–2012 and one from 2013–2015.
According to director of community services Theresa Kingston’s report, the new five-year deal will net the city $90,000 for rental and staff costs for the Multiplex and the Athletic Hall.
Offshoot benefits include an estimated $65,000 from catering utilizing local food and staff, $22,000 for local supply purchases and $2,000 for local advertising and promotion.
Coun. Jack McLeman said that the camp brings a lot of much needed economic activity to the town.
“This is a good thing for the town. As noted in the report, you get hockey players in, a minimum of half who come in with their parents and family who use motels, go fishing down the canal with charters and generally contribute to the economy of Port Alberni for the four weeks,” said McLeman.
This year’s deal guarantees the hockey camp a minimum of 540 hours of ice time during the four-week camp, up from 480 hours in previous years.
According to Kingston’s report, the hockey camp will pay $127 per hour of ice time in 2016 and increase that rate by five per cent each year. That adds up to $68,580 for the minimum 540 hours of ice time in 2015 and increases to $83,160 for ice time by 2020.
The deal also allows for the city to rent out ice time to local users from noon on Saturday to 7 a.m. on Monday.
Coun. Ron Paulson added that the hockey camp could get close to 1,000 applicants in 2016.
“I was at meeting in Vancouver with one of the principals of the West Coast Hockey Prep Camp a couple of weeks ago and one of the things is that they’re so pleased with the community of Port Aberni with all the facilities here, but he also let me know that they’re approaching 860 registrations this year and they may top 900.”