The City of Vernon’s Recreation Services were hard hit when the COVID-19 pandemic was declared in March, but as the province moved into Phase 3 of its Restart Plan, things began to shift in time for summer programming.
In the first-quarter report from rec services in late April, director Doug Ross announced a $146,750 loss in revenue from facility rentals alone.
The global novel coronavirus pandemic cancelled all end-of-season practices, tournaments and a variety of conferences and expos. Spring camps were also axed affecting 112 kids or 560 user visits.
Greater Vernon Recreation Services staff continued to work diligently to develop summer camp options to ensure some fun could still be had by Vernon-area children.
In its third-quarter report, which spans July through September, rec services reported 373 registrations in its limited summer camp offerings — that’s 145 Vernon area families.
Physical distancing and small cohorts allowed camp leaders to keep kids engaged and active all summer, the report reads.
Full- and half-day camps held at Kal Tire Place saw 26 kids a week for eight weeks while full-day camps at Lakers Club House camps saw 18 kids per week for nine weeks.
In comparison, 837 kids attended 46 camps over nine weeks in 2019.
The arena was booked last year between July and September for 1,430 hours and this year, despite COVID-19, rec services recorded a two per cent revenue increase, the report to council reads.
In total, 1,228 hours were booked at the arena this quarter. Despite the 202-hour difference, the revenue boost is a result of who rented the facilities. Minor groups receive a 50 per cent subsidized rate in rentals, the report reads, but youth and adult groups pay 65 and 100 per cent, respectively. Since organized sport was kiboshed early on due to the pandemic, independent rentals were critical.
Field and park bookings were down 40 per cent from the year prior because the pandemic stopped competitive organized play.
Outdoor pools, which were opened in the province’s Phase 3, saw healthy attendance. More than 6,500 people took a dip in the Lavington pool — a 47 per cent increase from the year prior — while nearly 6,000 visited Lakeview’s pool.