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Sun Bowl Arena re-opens Saturday after summer maintenance completed
Workers are busy preparing the ice surface at the Sun Bowl Arena for an opening on Saturday.
The arena has been closed since the beginning of May, but now it’s being prepared for a number of hockey and skating schools run during the summer, as well as for public skating.
Osoyoos draws many out-of-town groups to its arena in the summer because other small communities in the area don’t open their arenas as early, said Gerald Davis, community services director with the Town of Osoyoos.
Larger centres like Penticton and Kelowna also open during the summer and they run hockey schools too, he said.
The Sun Bowl has operated for 40 years and it has always been busy in the summer, Davis said.
“The attraction was to come to a warmer climate and then have an opportunity to refine your skills and skating,” he said. “That’s changing a little bit over the years, but we still get good numbers.”
Public skating and stick n’ puck start next week and some ice times are also available for booking in off-peak hours.
There is a schedule of public skating on the town’s website at www.osoyoos.ca.
Davis estimates that about a third of the summer users of the arena are local while two thirds are from out of town.
The West Coast All Starts Hockey Camp will be first to use the arena when it opens July 19. That camp runs until July 24.
The Osoyoos Hockey Camp follows from July 28 to Aug. 1.
A referee camp for the B.C. Amateur Hockey Association (BCAHA) runs from Aug. 9 to 12, partially overlapping with the Osoyoos Ringette School’s camp, which runs from Aug. 11 to 15.
The Osoyoos Coyotes hockey team runs a prep camp from Aug. 13 to 17 before holding their main camp from Aug. 28 to 31. Their first exhibition game ends the day on Aug. 31.
Other major camps throughout August include the Audrey Bakewell Power Skating Camp (Aug. 18-22), the Sun Bowl Figure Skating Club Summer School (Aug. 18-22 and 25-28) and a Minor Hockey Conditioning Camp (Aug. 25-27).
Despite outdoor weather reaching around 40 degrees C, Davis said the ice surface at the Sun Bowl is very good.
“We have guys that have been making ice for 20 years,” said Davis. “They’ve got a pretty good handle on the operations. It’s a well-respected ice surface throughout any league in the valley here.”