Champion Lakes Golf Course welcomed its new president to the quorum at a board meeting last week.
Beaver Valley resident Steve Piccolo accepted the mantle from Paul Terness, who has been a board member for six years and sat four years as president, successfully navigating the Fruitvale course through the COVID pandemic.
“I spoke to Paul a couple times golfing and he said he was interested in stepping down, and, I was interested, and thought I could bring some new ideas,” said Piccolo.
An active member of the Beaver Valley community and president of the Nitehawks, Piccolo is motivated and progressive, and says he would like to bring awareness to the unceded land that the nine-hole golf course occupies.
“My first priority is to have the Indigenous Peoples come out and take a look at the territory, take a look at the land, the totem pole, Smudge the area for us, and give us their blessing to run this as a community golf course.
“The second thing is, I want community involvement in the golf course.”
Champion Lakes is a not-for-profit golf club, also known as the Beaver Valley Golf and Recreation Society, and as such, Piccolo would like to see a more accessible and inviting course where all residents feel welcome.
Whether it’s playing golf, enjoying dinner on the patio, attending a social function, wedding, or a weekend get away, Piccolo envisions aesthetic enhancements and an upgraded outdoor camping and event area, ideal for tournaments and functions.
He is intent of continuing the course’s relationship with Special Olympics, would like to introduce more youth to the game, and attract families from throughout the Kootenay area and beyond.
“We want to get our name out there, involved in the community, having our Golf Pro teaching the kids for the Summer Games, and have them go to the schools and bring the young kids out again and get them interested in golf,” said Piccolo.
“Just to build up our clientele, show them what we have out there, and use this course more in the community than just golf.”
Champion Lakes Manager and Golf Pro Kevin Nesbitt agrees: “Steve and I talked about it last year. Basically we have the same ideas on what we can do to make it more friendly, family-orientated, and enjoyable for the whole community.”
Partnerships with local businesses and services is a high priority in securing sponsorships, contracting services, and in-kind volunteer support.
“Starting with businesses and having working partnerships actually thrive together,” said Nesbitt. “No matter what is happening businesses thrive with businesses.”
Champion Lakes also plans to renovate its pro shop and upgrade the restaurant to make it more appealing for both golfers and non-golfers alike.
And with the relaxation of COVID protocols and restrictions, the golf season can’t come soon enough.
“Having the golf tournaments back again, getting our corporate sponsors in there, it’s going be a big thing for us,” added Piccolo. “What I saw when I went to that golf course was potential that hasn’t been tapped yet.”
Joining Piccolo on the board are Dara Waterstreet, the new Treasurer, and Montrose resident, Loretta Jones.