If you’ve been eager to play indoor beach volleyball or find a location that offers numerous pickleball or basketball courts, the Hillcrest Sports Centre could soon offer those amenities.
During the May 10 regular council meeting, city council unanimously approved a five-year lease and operating agreement between the City of Moose Jaw and Lloydminster-based Golden Ticket Sports Inc. to start June 1.
The mayor and city clerk were authorized to sign the agreement, while city hall will establish a Hillcrest Sports Centre capital reserve fund for annual capital contributions that Golden Ticket Sports will have to make.
The company — which specializes in player, coach, official and multi-sport events and clinics — plans to invest more than $300,000 into building upgrades during the next few months.
“The agreement provides the city (with) an opportunity to maximize community access to the Hillcrest Sports Centre while providing much-needed indoor gymnasium space in the community … ,” Derek Blais, director of parks and recreation, told council.
The municipality’s responsibly is to ensure the building remains structurally and mechanically functional, which requires annual funding investments, he continued. Golden Ticket will assist by providing five per cent of annual revenues to a maximum of $25,000 annually to the reserve fund.
The parks and recreation department will budget $10,000 annually for building maintenance. By June 1, the department plans to spend $50,000 to improve air quality, repair the roof, upgrade the boilers, upgrade emergency exits and assess the roof.
Golden Ticket will have to consult with city hall before establishing or increasing rent and fees, Blais said. Meanwhile, either party can terminate the agreement with one year’s notice, while city hall can terminate the agreement upon 90 days’ written notice if it is forced to close the building due to unforeseen circumstances.
Golden Ticket Sports — which has experience in operating recreation venues — submitted a detailed business plan as part of its expression of interest to operate the building, with the plan having a strong community-focused vision, said Blais.
The business expects to make improvements to the building — starting immediately and finishing by July — such as:
- Installing a hardwood gym floor
- Adding more basketball nets and portable hoops
- Creating a volleyball net system
- Adding a scoreboard
- Updating interior and exterior painting
- Replacing fixtures in washrooms and change rooms
- Adding a reception desk
- Installing a beach volleyball area
Golden Ticket Sports has committed to affordable rental rates with discounts for prime tenants and non-profit groups, Blais continued, while it is willing to work with existing tenants and groups on long-term agreements. It must also promote activities that build up the community’s social, cultural, recreational and educational aspects.
“This is good news … ,” said Coun. Heather Eby.
This deal came about because the construction of Mosaic Place left the sports centre mostly vacant, she continued. Furthermore, even before YaraCentre was built, some residents didn’t believe a recreation centre would work. That assumption was proven wrong and the YaraCentre has been successful, while this new venture will be equally successful.
“… I just think it’s fantastic,” Eby added.
With Golden Ticket taking over, the community will see the building revitalized, while it will be another recreation location, said Mayor Fraser Tolmie.
The fact the municipality will only need to invest $10,000 per year while Golden Ticket — which has a proven track record with sports — will look after the rest is a “big bang for the buck,” he added.
Pickleball and basketball will certainly be highlights, but it will be interesting to see how indoor beach volleyball works, said Coun. Crystal Froese. The last time Moose Jaw had an indoor beach volleyball court was in Jungle Joe’s on River Street.
“One thing I’m really encouraged by is the capital reserve,” she added. “This will help the building’s longevity and look after an asset of the city, which is really a key to the success of any organization.”
The next regular council meeting is Tuesday, May 25.