Having been a Nelson Curling Club member for nine years I am very concerned about losing two sheets of curling ice for squash courts. This rink was built a lot of years ago by the curlers of Nelson, not by the City of Nelson for squash courts.
In the next month or so the curling club members will be asked to vote to give up two of our six sheets so the squash club can have three courts. The rumours have been going around saying that the Squash Club is going to save us. I believe just the opposite. When these sheets are gone they will never be curling ice again. This club has been struggling for a few years because of the decline in membership.
The Midsummer Bonspiel was a major moneymaker for the club. It is not there to help us out anymore. But I don’t think we should throw up our hands and give up. We have a great group of curling members who have lots of ideas for fundraisers. I have spoken to the mayor about using the ice surface for trade shows, roller blading and conventions. We have applied for grants to do the cement floor.
Impact on draws:
Friday night curling is our biggest draw and moneymaker with 18 teams with two draws. With only four sheets they will have three draws. Do you really want to start curling at 11 at night or maybe you could have a bye? This will for sure chase people away.
Tuesday and Thurday are men’s nights. Both nights are almost full with one draw. If you only have four sheets they will have to have two draws for sure so every second week you will start to curl at 9:30 p.m. This does not work for me.
Doing bonspiels with four sheets is a lot harder and most events will need to use Friday night to be completed on Sunday. Draws will run later at night and mixed will lose more nights. You need to have six sheets to host any major curling event so that door will be shut forever. I am not sure how 40 squash members will save our bacon.
We need all of our bar revenue to pay our bills. There are concerns about sharing bar revenue. How are we going to split the bar revenue with them to pay for their courts? They can only drink so much. The only revenue I see from them is tournaments and the fee they pay for playing a game. Several Squash Club members have put money up front so they can get a loan. If these people get a lifetime membership who is going to pay the bills?
Please attend the meeting, get all the facts, and vote. Curling will be here after I am gone and if I have my way it will be on six sheets even if one is a little sloped. We are not closing the doors and giving up. We need to consider other alternatives… the Squash Club proposal is only one.
Garry Meadows, Nelson