By Angelica Ingram
The popular summer camp known as Hockey Haven is looking for a long-term home in Haliburton.
Owner of Haliburton Hockey Haven Troy Binnie made a delegation to council at their Nov. 23 meeting to formally request the summer camp have access to the A.J. LaRue arena for nine weeks during the summer months Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Binnie would like to have a guarantee on the summer ice at the Haliburton arena for the next couple of years.
The proposal was first brought up by parks and recreation director Ray Miscio at a September council meeting where Miscio said Hockey Haven was interested in signing a 10-year lease agreement with the municipality.
The director suggested council enter into a commitment with the organization however councillors wanted more information before proceeding.
Binnie told council he was looking to expand his summer camp which currently takes place at Bark Lake Leadership Centre and the arena in Haliburton.
The organization is currently paying the summer prime rate for ice which is $160 per hour according to Miscio.
Binnie told councillors he was interested in purchasing property for his summer camp however he was reluctant to do that without an ice commitment. “Even if we stay at Bark Lake we still need a long-term lease” said Binnie.
The owner/operator said he was looking into to marketing the business more to try to grow the number of kids who attend the program that focuses on hockey skill development.
This year Hockey Haven has partnered with the Highland Storm and sponsored 10 children to attend the camp. “We’re trying to keep it more Haliburton and less Toronto” said Binnie.
The owner/operator said the camp provides an economic spin-off for the town during the summer months which affect the whole community.
“It brings the parents into town … half the dads that I know that are at the arena go down to the Kosy Korner and have breakfast” said Binnie. “The economics that one child brings in … it affects the whole community.”
The arena would still be available for rental in the summer said Miscio pointing to evenings and weekends being available. Councillors seemed in favour of agreeing to a five year lease with an option to renew for another five years.
Binnie was receptive to a five-year lease saying it still gave him enough of a commitment to look into purchasing a property. Council passed a resolution directing staff to develop a five to 10 year proposal for Hockey Haven.