Of six sites considered for the Sun Peaks Centre, the best two options are Parcel R, currently used for RV parking, and Parcel Q, adjacent to the Kookaburra development.
Both locations offer enough room for the planned NHL-sized hockey rink, are highly visible and within walking distance of the hotel core, according to a report released last month by an independent consultant.
Hired by Sun Peaks Mountain Resort Municipality, Coriolis Consulting Corp. looked at sites previously outlined in a 2012 analysis done for Sun Peaks Resort LLP about where to locate
Other than parcels R and Q, this included:
• land adjacent to Bento’s and the road,
• the stables, where the temporary outdoor rink exists on provincial land,
• space between the 12th and 13th holes of the golf course, known as the Master Plan Site, and
• the large vacant P5-East Village area where land work for the rink had started earlier this year until an impasse on location emerged between the municipality and resort.
The report deemed the latter four less desirable for a variety of reasons ranging from lack of space, limited parking and remote location.
The municipality wants to see a facility that will appeal to residents, accommodate a wide range of uses and “help expand and diversify the Sun Peaks economy,” the report says, while the resort views the proposed rink as a recreation asset without much potential for visitor use, thus is less concerned about it being centrally located.
Mayor Al Raine and Rob Bremner, the municipality’s chief administrative officer, have had preliminary discussions with the resort and planned to meet with the board before the end of October to discuss potential sites.
Once the location is decided, the municipality plans to start on the $1-million outdoor rink this spring. It will tout a concrete floor and refrigeration plant to keep the ice consistent, proper boards and glass, and lights.
“If the sun comes out, concrete or asphalt melts the ice from underneath,” said Bremner. “The refrigeration plant keeps the floor at zero, which keeps the floor cold and retains the ice.”
Eventually, the goal is to put a roof over the rink, he said, which could allow the space to be used for other purposes like weddings, conventions and concerts. For this winter, however, the small outdoor rink near the stable compound will have to suffice.
The Coriolis report is available online in the Sept. 28 council agenda package and can be found under New Business, Rink Facilities Report.