Champion Lakes Community Golf Course is poised to put a massive improvement plan into action. Photo: Jim Bailey

Champion Lakes Community Golf Course is poised to put a massive improvement plan into action. Photo: Jim Bailey

Big changes coming to Champion Lakes golfing

“The next three years are key to the sustainability of the golf course.”

In addition to a new name, the Beaver Valley Golf and Recreation Society (Society) has big plans for the future.

Formerly the Champion Lakes Golf and Country Club, the popular nine-hole course located just outside of Fruitvale is now known as the Champion Lakes Community Golf Course.

With the name change, the not-for-profit Society hopes to extend its reach, while also opening the door to more grant opportunities for much needed upgrades.

“The Beaver Valley Golf and Recreation Society strives to support a facility that promotes outdoor recreation, appreciates our members, welcomes the public, and supports our community,” said president Stephen Piccolo.

“The next three years are key to the sustainability of the golf course.”

Champion Lakes Community Golf Course is getting set to put a massive improvement plan in process. Photo: Jim Bailey

Champion Lakes Community Golf Course is getting set to put a massive improvement plan in process. Photo: Jim Bailey

The golf course has partnered with BC Special Olympic-Trail athletes providing complimentary passes and instruction for several years, and would like to expand their community outreach by offering golf sessions to local schools as part of their physical education programs. In addition, the Society looks to bring back the BC Summer Games and Selkirk College Junior Camp programs, Teck’s Learn to Golf Health and Wellness program, and other age-friendly activities.

Champion also invites the public to schedule events and functions such as weddings, and corporate and private socials.

“The Society has identified the need to evolve into a community-based recreation facility where members and the public feel welcome to come play a round of golf, enjoy casual dining on the patio, book a work function, wedding, or a weekend camping getaway,” said Piccolo. “With the right facility upgrades, the opportunities to bring the community together for different functions grow.”

As for the golf course, Champion’s top priority is to replace the irrigation system, which will be costly, but has been in use since the course was built 31 years ago.

“This is necessary to maintain the course and to create opportunities to landscape new features for an overall revitalisation,” explained Piccolo. “The irrigation system may cost upwards of $1M and will need support from a variety of grants and a long-range plan for implementation over several years.”

Improvements to the camping area are also high on the list. The development of an outdoor barbecue-event area with seating and additional landscaping to host events and campers has a date of development set for the fall of 2023 and spring 2024.

The restaurant will also see a major overhaul to turn it into a comfortable and casual sport-themed dining/pub space.

“The Society will be inviting local sport/recreation groups to display memorabilia and photographs showcasing their achievements bringing local memories and character to the space.”

The restaurant upgrades are anticipated to be done this summer and fall, and include cosmetic renovations, improved lighting, TVs, a music system, point of sale system, and new furniture. The kitchen will also see a new char grill, fryer, stove and dishwasher thanks to a grant received from Columbia Basin Trust (CBT).

And to make the restaurant and spacious patio more accessible, the course will also see a new lift installed to accommodate people of all ages and abilities.

The Pro Shop will expand to create an office for the General Manager, freeing up space in the restaurant where his current office was situated. The project is expected to begin in September of 2022 with grant support from CBT, Area A, Kootenay Savings, Teck, ATCO and the Beaver Valley Recreation Commission.

The current power to the facility is insufficient and the course will be working with FortisBC to complete an electrical upgrade. The Society is working with Star Link in 2023 to have a satellite connection for wifi that will upgrade both the maintenance, pro shop and restaurant capabilities.

With these improvements, the goal is to enhance the overall experience for members and visitors to Champion Lakes and make the game more accessible and enjoyable for all ages.

“With this long range vision, we will secure our place in the community as a vibrant community leader that supports healthy, active lifestyles with a beautiful golf course,” added Piccolo.

The fundraising committee for Champion Lakes Community Golf Course is comprised of volunteers Steve Piccolo, Loretta Jones, Dara Waterstreet, and Lisa Lindal, and course manager and Golf Pro Kevin Nesbitt.

Read: Champion Lakes welcomes new president



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