$7M sports centre expansion announced for Sun Peaks, B.C.
Mayor hopes it will increase year-round tourism to the winter destination
The Sun Peaks, B.C., sports centre is getting some major upgrades this year — to the tune of more than $7 million.
Right now, the sports centre consists of an indoor pool and an exercise room, with an outdoor rink nearby.
The new, multi-purpose indoor facility will put a roof over the rink, turning it into a 3,000-person capacity arena, complete with local First Nations art and decor provided by the Little Shuswap Lake Indian Band.
"Everybody's just so excited," said Sun Peaks Mayor Al Raine.
"Some [people] almost just don't believe it and the others are blown away."
Sun Peaks has traditionally been a winter destination, but the resort has been working to make it a year-round option for tourists. By building the new arena, Sun Peaks will be able host concerts, large sporting events and trade shows — any time of the year.
"We are a very successful winter resort destination, but for the employees, the people who live here, we need year-round employment," Raine said.
"This facility is going to help us immensely."
The Federal Gas Tax Fund is supplying the project with $6 million, while the remaining $1.18 million will come from the Sun Peaks municipality and the local hotel tax, meant for investment in tourism infrastructure.
"Improvements to local infrastructure are so important. They make our communities even better places to live," Selina Robinson, B.C. Minister of Municipal Affairs, said in a statement.
The arena is still in the planning phase, but Raine said it will be open in the next two to three years.