© file photo
Members of the Pepsi Centre board of directors and general manager Willie Smith met with representatives of user groups met on Thursday to discuss a 10 per cent rental increase that will begin in September.
CORNER BROOK There is a concern about the impact of the rental rate increase at the Pepsi Centre in Corner Brook, but groups are finding different ways to deal with it.
The Corner Brook Minor Hockey Association decided to absorb the additional cost it will incur as a result of this year’s 10 per cent rise in the ice rental by increasing its registration by the same 10 per cent.
Cara-Leigh Wyllie said the true impact of this measure will come in the next couple of weeks as registration is held.
“That will be a better indicator whether we lost any members or how these increased rates impacted our membership,” she said.
Registration for novice, atom, pee wee and bantam — who get three hours of ice time per week — is now $550. It drops to $385 for timbits, female and midget — who get two hours of ice time per week.
Wyllie is worried the rise in price might lead to a drop in membership. She said it seems there is already more inquiries this year as to what additional funding is available to help families out.
The Humber Valley Speed Skating Club increased its registration $50 last season. Sharon Karn said rising it above $425 was not realistic for the small and struggling club.
She said the 10 per cent increase for rental will add about $1,200 to the club’s budget, and they will increase fundraising efforts to offset that cost.
“For a small club, it is different,” Karn said. “When we lost three or four people, it has a major impact. We just could not raise price again.”
The Silver Blades Figure Skating Club also raised registration fees in previous years, so its president Corrina Murrin said that had to be avoided this year in an attempt to at least maintain membership numbers.
For the figure skating club it will be about keeping a close eye on the budget, trying to keep operational and other expenses to a minimum.
“We will have to try to put a focus on fundraising, if we are having difficulty coming up with enough revenue to offset everything,” Murrin said.
Registration fees vary for each level of skating, and also depends on how many hours the skater spends on the ice.
The recreational hockey players and groups such as broomball that use the facility are also subject to the 10 per cent increase. The rise in their hourly rate means each player will have to contribute higher registration fees — for the organized leagues — or pay more to offset the cost. Ice rentals for some groups are now as high as more than $180 per hour.