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No elite fitness centre for Dukes hockey club at Rotary Hall

Councillors supported municipal staff’s recommendation that the Rotary Room at Wellington’s arena not become a gym and training facility for the Dukes hockey team shared with the public.

Staff’s report to Thursday’s Committee of the Whole meeting indicated other options should be considered by the Dukes and that in future the Rotary Hall should see significant increase in demand and usage.

Lisa Lindsay, manager of community centres and events marketing, told councillors several factors play in the decision – including increased costs for a proper HVAC system (at at cost of $30-$50,000 plus duct work and labour); increased use expected as the population of Wellington is expected to double within the next several years, and that the hockey club may be getting what it needs at the Rhino Sports complex in Belleville.

“An elite gym and a community gym are two very different types of gyms,” Lindsay said she has learned in consultations with the Quinte Wellness Centre and others. “In a meeting yesterday it looks like the Dukes Sports and Entertainment Group who also own Rhino Sports and Playland… and they are starting to turn that facility into an elite gym and training facility.”

“I do see it as an asset management decision we are talking about,” said Wellington councillor Mike Harper. “It needs to take into account future population growth and though the Rotary Room is under utilized right now, we recognize that the population is going to grow and the need for that room will grow. It would be pre-mature to give up on that asset especially when the facility is perceived as a community centre as well as a rec centre. I think the loss of the Rotary Room would mess with the integrity of the building’s original intent.”

The current proposal for the Rotary Room will die if adopted at council’s next meeting, but a gym proposal is still possible in the future.

“I believe through the Recreation Master Plan that the needs of Wellington are going to become much clearer. There is a need and I believe the need will be a little larger than what the Rotary Room has,” noting possibilities a gym could be part of a partnership with the new golf course or other developments coming forward.

The decision is to be finalized at the next council meeting.

Dukes propose fitness room at arena
May 16, 2019 – A new fitness room proposed by the Wellington Dukes Jr. A hockey club would allow workouts inside the arena – for the team and community – with expected revenue to equal, or surpass current levels for the Rotary room.

Randy Uens, vice-president of hockey and business operations for the Dukes, made the presentation to council at Thursday’s Committee of the Whole meeting.

Revenues for the “under-utilized” multipurpose room inside Wellington’s Community Centre are estimated at $10,000. Uens proposes the Dukes would purchase all the equipment, flooring and insurance necessary at a cost of about $60,000. The hockey club would pay $600 in monthly rent ($7,200 annually), plus 10 per cent of net proceeds at the end of the year – minimum payment at no less than $2,800.

“The County would at least garner the same revenue that has traditionally been earned by that space,” he said. “Much of revenue that has been earned previously cold most likely be moved to the Highline Hall and therefore does not become lost revenues, but rather enhanced revenues.”

The County would continue to provide water, hydro and heat and PEC facility staff would maintain and repair any plumbing or electricity.

The Dukes would begin using the facility once complete (in time for beginning of the season) and the community use would follow. Uens said memberships would be flexible at $30-$45 per month.

He noted the Dukes have been using third-party facilities for fitness needs though they’re “not geared toward the needs of performance athletes and the equipment is not up to the standard needed.”

The facility would include traditional weights, circuit training area, cardio suite and spin bikes to be attractive to all levels of clients. He noted local fitness instructors will also be engaged to offer one-on-one training for clients, “allowing fitness companies to utilize the facilities to expand their business.”

Council asked for a staff report.

Filed Under: News from Everywhere ElseSports & Recreation

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  1. John Gare says:

    The population is going to double in the next several years? Have another drink.

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