An international corporation with deep local roots is expanding its community presence.
As of June 1, Wesbild Centre on 43rd Avenue will have a new name — Kal Tire Place.
“It’s all about the community,” said Tracy Cobb, communications director for Canada’s largest independent tire dealer, which operates in a total of 19 countries.
“Vernon has been Kal Tire’s hometown for 60 years and we want to celebrate our hometown.”
As part of the naming rights, Kal Tire will pay $40,000 annually, over four years, to the Regional District of North Okanagan.
“They are a great local business and they have shown interest in recreation,” said Tannis Nelson, RDNO’s community development co-ordinator.
Just as occurred with Wesbild Holdings in 2008, Kal Tire has been given a $15,000 reduction in the first-year payment to help with the costs of signs for the building.
Wesbild Holdings had the option to renew its naming rights contract but it had earlier expressed some reservations about the extent of events occurring at the facility.
According to Nelson, the goal of the regional district is to provide an array of recreational opportunities.
“We’re constantly working with promoters,” she said, adding that RDNO had a positive relationship with Wesbild Holdings.
“We want to celebrate the partnership with Wesbild. That kind of community support is invaluable.”
The soon-to-be called Kal Tire Place has an NHL-sized ice surface with more than 3,000 seats. It also provides a year-round indoor walking area and regularly hosts trade shows and other events. The parking lot is home to the Vernon Farmers Market.
“We’re happy to support a facility for active families that encourages sport and healthy lifestyles,” said Robert Foord, Kal Tire president.
The agreement includes an option for Kal Tire to renew after four years.
“Anything beyond that will be assessed at a future date,” said Cobb.