'We ran into a lot of brick walls': Saskatoon curling rinks ask for change to city zoning
SASKATOON -- During curling season, business is good at the Granite Curling Club, according to general manager Steve Turner.
When the season ends the funds stop coming in, but costs remain year round.
“Six months of the year is when we make 90 per cent of our money,” he tells CTV News. “So we had to all look at our business plan and how we were doing things to try to create additional revenue streams in the summer.”
Turner says when the ice comes out, he’d like to use the space for things like flea markets or trade shows, to keep the money coming in.
City of Saskatoon zoning bylaws are standing in the way.
“We do have space to do different things, and we can get creative that way, but with the zoning restrictions, we ran into a lot of brick walls,” he said.
According to the City of Saskatoon website, The Granite is zoned IL1 for light industrial, the same as the Sutherland Curling Club, while Nutana is zoned M1 and the CN is M3.
Turner says he’d like to see curling clubs in Saskatoon utilize their space like Prairieland Park, which is zoned as an Agricultural District and can hold events such as trailer shows.
Turner says the Saskatoon curling rinks, which are a not-for-profit organizations, are “breaking even” with their current business models, and would like to see the city help out.
“The same as as a hockey rink is bringing in hockey players, or a soccer field or like that's what we're trying to do,” he said.
“We create a social space, we bring in kids, we bring in seniors and everywhere in between. We host events we bring a lot of people into curl, and it's a social aspect of it, the taxes that we have to pay to provide that service like we've we really feel like we're providing something for the City of Saskatoon, and for a lot of people to come and curl.”
Turns says with the small amount of money clubs are able to accumulate, he’s concerned about what a possible second wave of COVID-19 could do to clubs in the city.
“It will deplete funds, and clubs will start to have to start to close our doors. We would end up at a point where we're basically handing the keys to the city saying, ‘Sorry, we did the best we could.’
"Some form of help, some form of assistance relief, anything like that, and that's what we want to talk about, that's the message we're trying to get across.”