Golden Arena users gather for feedback session

Concerns raised from different groups over the Golden Arena.

The Town of Golden, representatives from the Columbia Shuswap Regional District, and members from the various Golden Arena user groups, gathered in the lounge at the Golden Arena to discuss any concerns they might have with the facility.

The facility is owned by the CSRD, who act as landlords, but is operated by the Town of Golden.

“The All Arena Users Meeting is an annual meeting hosted around the middle of the ice sheet operational season,” said Jordan Petrovics, manager of recreation services for the Town of Golden.

“The meeting is a great opportunity to get all arena ice users together to discuss user concerns and provide clarity on the operation of the facility.”

There were several issues brought into open discussion, including the new concession operators, the possibility of wireless internet, the building’s heating, and scheduling during the Golden Rockets playoffs.

Golden Fries took over the operation of the arena’s concession after Golden Minor Hockey voluntarily pulled out. Since then there have been concerns over the hours of operation, especially with regards to tournaments.

As the official operators, under a one-year contract, Golden Fries has first opportunity to vend during special events like tournaments. But if they pass, Petrovics says the Town can then discuss the possibility of different venders working during these events, with the user groups.

The Golden Rockets have been playing very well this season, and a longer playoff run is expected for this February and March. This means there will have to be some flexibility with the arena’s current user groups.

“We know we’re not the only people using these facilities, so there will definitely be some flexibility on our part as well,” said Ty Davidson, head coach of the Rockets.

The town has been working hard to get the most out of the facility, and that includes garnering interest from out of province rentals. The increase in revenue could potentially reduce the financial burden on the local user groups.

The town is also looking at the possibility of a title sponsorship.

“You’ll notice this is happening in a lot of other communities,” said Petrovics. At the moment the Golden Rockets handle the advertising for the arena, so it’s something the two parties will discuss moving forward.

The Recreation Department is always looking for feedback, and will be launching a comment card program shortly (similar to what they did at the swimming pool near the end of summer).

There will also be a year-end survey on Survey Monkey.

“This year, the annual all arena users meeting had a great turnout from regular user groups and additional members of the public,” said Petrovics.

“The meeting resulted in a positive exchange of information and ideas on how we can all work together to continue providing great recreational services and programming at the arena for Golden and Area A.”