Arenas around the B.C. Hockey League, like Kal Tire Place in Vernon, sit empty and silent after the league followed many such leagues around North America and postponed or canceled its season in the wake of COVID-19. (Vernon Vipers photo)

Arenas around the B.C. Hockey League, like Kal Tire Place in Vernon, sit empty and silent after the league followed many such leagues around North America and postponed or canceled its season in the wake of COVID-19. (Vernon Vipers photo)

Vernon Recreation Services hit hard by COVID-19

Vernon’s recreational facilities lost $146,750 from bookings alone

The City of Vernon’s first quarterly Recreation Services report look a bit off due to mandatory closures amid the COVID-19 pandemic, but director Doug Ross said they are off to a good start.

“This quarterly report will be unique and one that hopefully will not need to be repeated again in the future,” Ross wrote to council. “As the concerns regarding the COVID-19 virus increased in February and March, programs and attendance began to be impacted.”

In March, the province declared a public state of emergency and the Provincial Health Officer banned gatherings of more than 50 people.

On March 19, all recreation facilities in Vernon were closed and the programs offered to Greater Vernon-area citizens cancelled.

“The numbers for participation, bookings and revenue all reflect the impact COVID-29 has had on Recreation Services in the first quarter,” Ross said.

In total, recreational facilities lost $146,750 from bookings alone.

COVID-19 cancelled bookings including end-of-season practices, games, tournaments for hockey, ringette, figure skating and speed skating; the Vipers playoff games for at least one more round and other major events like the Vernon Home Show, the Spring Expo, Seedy Saturday and more.

On top of that, seven spring break camps were kaput affecting 112 kids, or 560 user visits; 10 Aquafit classes (200-plus user visits), 16 Drop-In Sports Sessions (260-plus visits) and 22 swimming lessons (1,330 user visits).

“With all of the negative news that we are experiencing,” Ross wrote. “This is a good time to remind the community why we do what we do at Recreation Services.”

The Greater Vernon Recreation Master Plan identified 73 per cent of survey respondents said rec is a “must have” service, while 21 said they somewhat agree. Online, 84 per cent said they strongly agree. Residents wrote in saying, “recreation contributes to civic pride,” and “recreation helps strengthen and bring the community together.”

READ MORE: Vernon hospital staff applaud Okanagan Spirits for gift of clean hands

READ MORE: COVID-19: B.C. records four new deaths as hospitalizations dip below 100


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Officials are surveying the streets of Vernon to get a better sense of the issue of homelessness in the city, as part of the province’s point-in-time homeless count for 2021. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
Province conducting homeless count in Vernon

It’s the first time Vernon has been included in the provincial homeless count

Friends Fraser O'Brien, Chris and Ben Reinhardt and Youngbin Kim enjoy a game of hockey on Okanagan Lake off Kin Beach Friday afternoon. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Synthetic ice an option for proposed outdoor rink in Vernon

Council to consider 3 options identified by staff regarding a new rink

Al Kowalko shows off the province's first electric school bus, running kids to three elementary and two secondary schools on the West Shore. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
Okanagan schools shifting gears to electric buses

Vernon, Central Okanagan, Rocky Mountain and Okanagan-Skaha on board

Flooding around the entrance of Mission Creek into Okanagan Lake has been a reflection of the impact of climate change on the spring snowmelt across the Okanagan Valley watershed. (File photo)
B.C. water sustainability plan pitched to Okanagan stakeholders

Seeking resolution to water and land-use conflicts

Vernon Fire Rescue Services responded to a car fire on Anderson Way Friday, May 7, 2021. (Caitlin Clow - Morning Star)
Car fire snuffed in Vernon parking lot

The vehicle was fully engulfed upon crews’ arrival, according to Anderson Way Home Depot staff

Protesters attempt to stop clear-cutting of old-growth trees in Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew. (Will O’Connell photo)
VIDEO: Workers, activists clash at site of Vancouver Island logging operation

Forest license holders asking for independent investigation into incident

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix update B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, April 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count creeps up, seven more deaths

445 people in hospital, 157 in intensive care

Summerland’s positive test rate is much higher than surrounding local health areas, according to internal BC CDC documents. (BC CDC)
Summerland third behind Surrey, Abbotsford in daily per capita COVID-19 cases

Interior Health is rolling out additional vaccine availability to the community

Interior Health nurses administer Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines to seniors and care aids in Kelowna on Tuesday, March 16. (Phil McLachlan/Kelowna Capital News file)
People aged 30+ in Summerland, Rutland offered vaccine amid high transmission risk

Interior Health offers residents of Rutland and Summerland aged 30 and up chance at vaccine

Amazon is pausing its Prime Day marketing event in Canada this year amid ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks at its facilities in Ontario. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Amazon Prime Day halted in Canada due to COVID-19 outbreaks in warehouses

The postponement of the event was put in place to protect the health and safety of employees and customers, the company says

Ally Thomas, 12, seen in an undated family handout photo, died on April 14 from a suspected overdose. Her family says they are frustrated more public supports weren't available when they tried to get her help. THE CANADIAN PRESS
Minister says suspected overdose death of 12-year-old pushing B.C. to ‘do better’

Minister Sheila Malcolmson of Mental Health and Addictions says the government is working ‘as hard as we can’ to build a system of care for youths

At this Highway 3 check point, police officers will be asking for identification from drivers, documentation regarding the driver’s name and address, and the purpose for the driver’s travel. (RCMP)
No fines handed out at 1st COVID-19 roadblock as checks move across B.C.

Cpl. Chris Manseau says a total of 127 vehicles were stopped at a roadblock in the Manning Park area

A spectator looks on as the Olympic Caldron is relit in downtown Vancouver, Wednesday, February 12, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Small majority of B.C. residents in favour of a Vancouver 2030 Olympic bid: survey

A new survey shows a split over the possibility of public money being spent to organize and host the winter games

Alex Hegedus (left) with his wife and two young children. (Contributed/Kelowna RCMP)
Family offers reward for information about Peachland man’s suspicious 2018 death

Alex Hegedus died under suspicious circumstances in March 2018

Most Read