West Kelowna  

West Kelowna will take a $500,000 hit from recreation programs as a result of COVID-19

Recreation takes a hit

The City of West Kelowna expects to face significant losses within its recreation department through this year and next as a result of impacts from COVID-19.

According to a report from director of finance Warren Everton, operations within the city's recreation department and the Johnson Bentley Memorial Aquatic Centre face estimated losses in excess of $500,000.

Everton says the estimated losses are expected to reach $266,000 this year with additional losses of nearly $285,000 in 2021.

The report states that, while the city did realize savings due to reductions in wages, program supplies, office supplies, equipment rentals, contracted services and utilities, the loss in revenue due to facility closures and reduced attendance far outpaces the savings.

Projected losses this year once expense savings are factored in include $190,000 in the recreation department and $76,000 through the aquatic centre.

The hardest hit on the recreation side include the newly opened sport dome projected to lose $145,000 in rentals, and ice rentals at both Jim Lind and Royal LePage Place pegged at $130,000.

The aquatic centre will realize losses of $105,000 through aquatic instructional programs and another $100,000 in general programs.

"COVID-19 has had a significant financial impact to City of West Kelowna Recreational Services, including the Johnson Bentley Memorial Aquatic Centre," Everton concluded in his report.

"Active Living Enterprises (which operated the aquatic centre) and the recreation department continue to work with the finance department to try to find creative ways to generate revenue and reduce expenses to lessen the overall financial impacts."

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