Sports ‘n’ Things: Little used recreation venues abound in West Kootenay

"Driving around the area recently makes me both proud and a bit sad."

Driving around the area recently makes me both proud and a bit sad.

I often tell people of, and exhort local promoters of the area to extoll, the myriad of quite wonderful recreation facilities in this region. It should be a major selling point for the area that there are ample and excellent venues for virtually every kind of recreation close at hand.

Within an hour’s reasonable driving from anywhere in the Trail-Castlegar-Nelson-Salmo-Fruitvale-Rossland loop there are: two world class ski hills, that are generally not overcrowded; three very nice aquatic centers that most, especially large urban areas, would consider affordable, and some outside pools as well; many fairly or truly pristine lakes and many small and one giant rivers; at least eight, again fairly affordable, hockey/skating rinks and almost as many curling rinks.

Basketball courts, squash, racquetball, tennis and pickleball courts; ball, soccer, rugby (and cricket), track and field facilities and skate parks with more of those, apparently, to come.

Several very nice full size and some smaller golf courses – for which tee times are almost always available and relatively affordable.

Unmatchable opportunities for outdoor activities from walking to cycling and motorized touring; along with easy small urban access to parks and beaches and waterways right within the communities involved; a dedicated and well run bocce facility and many less formal ones.

Archery and shooting venues; etc., and, ample local access to friendly experts about accessing and using all these venues in informal or competitive ways.

We have a recreation paradise here.

And yet, in my travels around the region, I see that most of these facilities are empty most of the time in late summer and early fall – even the golf courses seem deserted by early afternoon.

Locals are a bit spoiled by the abundance of opportunity and yet local governments and private/club/ volunteer operators make a strong effort to maintain this abundance, in season, year round.

There has to be a way to, “sell,” this abundance to the wider world of recreators, many of whom struggle with limited access in larger centers.

Given that low usage is a problem, cost-wise, for almost all the organizations that maintain and operate the varied resources available, it seems almost imperative that someone comes up with an idea to increase usage, or that operators consider partially or totally shuttering some of these facilities as being too expensive to maintain at their current level.

I do not know the best marketing strategy out there, but there has to be something better than we are now doing. It seems at least worth considering by a locally partisan (collaborative rather than combative group from all communities) collective.

Sidetracking some of the funding slated for seemingly ineffectual (at revitalizing the economy) downtown renovation projects into a big promotional push about what makes this area a special place to live and visit might be a start.

Doing nothing better than what we are doing now does not seem a sustainable vision.

Just Posted

Students at Creston Valley Secondary School put together an art installation of a replica residential school room. (Photo by Kelsey Yates)
Creston students create art installation of residential school room

The replica was decorated with a small bed, school uniform, and notes written with pleas for help

A living wage sets a higher standard than the minimum wage; it is what a family needs to earn to provide the basic needs based on the actual costs of living in a community.
Fruitvale now a living wage employer

“I’m really excited that Fruitvale is leading the charge for municipalities locally,” Morissette said.

Nelson police say a man attacked two people downtown with bear spray on Wednesday afternoon. File photo
Two people attacked with bear spray in downtown Nelson: police

Police say the three people know each other

Rotary eClub of Waneta Sunshine, alongside members from the Kootenay Native Plant Society and Trail Wildlife Association, joined together for a day of planting at Fort Shepherd. The Waneta Sunshine eClub was granted funds through an Express Grant from District 5080 to plant 50 shrubs which support pollinator opportunities at Fort Shepherd. Photos: Submitted
Kootenay conservation partners plant pollinator ‘superfoods’ at Fort Shepherd

TLC welcomes community groups to Fort Shepherd who would like to help local ecosystems thrive

Harold and Sadie Holoboff are bringing great food and service to the Eagle’s Nest Restaurant at Champion Lakes Golf and Country Club. Photo: Jim Bailey
West Kootenay golf course welcomes father-daughter team to restaurant

Chef Harold Holoboff brings comfort food to another level at Champion Lakes Eagle’s Nest Restaurant

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

A Heffley Creek peacock caught not one - but two - lifts on a logging truck this month. (Photo submitted)
Heffley Creek-area peacock hops logging trucks in search of love

Peacock hitched two lifts in the past month

The Calgary skyline is seen on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
2 deaths from COVID-19 Delta variant in Alberta, 1 patient was fully immunized

Kerry Williamson with Alberta Health Services says the patients likely acquired the virus in the hospital

The first suspension bridge is the tallest in Canada, with a second suspension bridge just below it. The two are connected by a trail that’s just over 1 km. (Claire Palmer photo)
PHOTOS: The highest suspension bridges in Canada just opened in B.C.

The Skybridge in Golden allows visitors to take in views standing at 130 and 80 metres

BC Green Party leader and Cowichan Valley MLA Sonia Furstenau introduced a petition to the provincial legislature on Thursday calling for the end of old-growth logging in the province. (File photo)
BC Green leader Furstenau introduces old-growth logging petition

Party calls for the end of old-growth logging as protests in Fairy Creek continue

B.C. Premier John Horgan leaves his office for a news conference in the legislature rose garden, June 3, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. premier roasted for office budget, taxing COVID-19 benefits

Youth addiction law that triggered election hasn’t appeared

A vial containing the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is shown at a vaccination site in Marcq en Baroeul, outside Lille, northern France, Saturday, March 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Michel Spingler
mRNA vaccines ‘preferred’ for all Canadians, including as 2nd dose after AstraZeneca: NACI

New recommendations prioritizes Pfizer, Moderna in almost all cases

Most Read