Bayfield Arena officially under new management

The BFIT organization held a ribbon cutting as they officially taking over management of the Bayfield Arena. Photo by Bob Montgomery.

Members of the Bayfield Facilities Initiative Team are now the new managers of the Bayfield Arena.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony was held last week to mark the five-year agreement with BFIT and the municipality of Bluewater that began on July 1.

BFIT Chair Bill Whetstone said BFIT will look after all of the marketing as well as things like ice resurfacing, cleaning, booking and all of the other day to day operations of the facility. Whetstone added involvement of the municipality is spelled out in the agreement and is limited to providing a certain amount of money each year to help with the operation and a little bit for capital expenses as well.

COVID -19 makes it difficult to do much marketing right not but it gives the BFIT team a chance to get organized.

“Over the life of the agreement we have a sub-committee that’s looking at a new build, kind of this five years is to learn more about what the community wants, how to operate and if we get the grant that we put forward for the new build, the intention is replace that facility with a new one that’ll meet the needs and wants of the community,” said Whetstone.

One thing that won’t be missed by anyone is the tractor that was used to flood the ice. It’s been replaced with a refurbished Olympia as a result of the generosity of the Goderich Kinsmen and the donations, both financial and hard work, of several volunteers.

“Gozzard Yachts provided us with the shop to look at it, tear it all apart, re-do what we needed on there and they had a paint booth so they helped out with the paint job as well,” Whetstone said. “Kinsmen of Goderich donated it and then we had the Lions Club of Bayfield who also put some money towards it.”

Whetstone said a new machine would have cost around $90,000, but thanks to the help from a lot of people, Bayfield has an Olympia for about $7,500.