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Temporary dressing rooms arrive at Jasper Arena

Jasper will still be able to host hockey teams for the 2023/24 season following the arrival of two modular trailers that will act as temporary dressing rooms.
Two modular trailers will act as temporary dressing rooms at the Jasper Arena for the 2023/24 hockey season. | Supplied photo

Tourism Jasper has been working with the Municipality of Jasper and the local business community to implement this creative solution while the Jasper Arena and the Activity Centre undergo renovations throughout the winter.

“This is really a community-led initiative, and the business community came together to make this happen, and we’re just excited that basically hockey operations in Jasper can be business as usual,” said Tyler Riopel, spokesperson for Tourism Jasper.

“It’s a temporary solution until we have the new recreation centre open, but it’ll be one that meets the needs and allows minor hockey a normal season in town, which is really exciting.”

BOXX Modular donated the trailer rentals for the hockey season while numerous other partners contributed time, energy, funds and support.

These trailers will bring the dressing room capacity up to the same levels as previous years and allow all ice user groups the opportunity to enjoy a full season of hockey.

“The direct benefit, obviously, is that it creates enough space for us to be able to host those hockey tournaments, but the spin-off advantage of this is that there’ll be the same amount of dressing room space now that there was before the renovations,” Riopel said.

Hockey tournaments in Jasper act as major annual fundraisers for teams and drive an estimated $4 million of annual economic impact, which consists of direct spending on hotels and restaurants as well as indirect spending.

“But more importantly, it’s during the winter months where we know that visitation is a little bit low in town, and so it’s a great way to ensure that we can still have people come in and enjoy the winter in the mountains,” Riopel said.

“When families have a hockey tournament in Jasper, we know there’s a lot bigger groups travelling, and families usually travel. They’ll extend their stay, they might take a day to go skiing but we know they’re eating in the restaurants, and we know they’re enjoying everything in the park to get a full experience, and it’s pretty special when they have a hockey tournament in Jasper.”

The municipality will be responsible for cleaning, maintenance and clearing snow from the pathway between the outdoor trailers and arena.

“My overall impression is I think they are going to be highly functional for the needs we have,” Christopher Read, community development director with the municipality.

“I think it's a great solution there. There is nobody who’s going to think these are JPL modular units, but they are fully functional, or they will be once we get a few little adaptations done.”

The trailers will have heat but no plumbing, which Read said would make cleaning the trailers more challenging.

“It’s definitely not an ideal situation. However, this addition will allow us to get closer to what we used to be able to offer. It’s going to be a really great stopgap measure to get us through this season. It’s going to be great, and I really can’t speak highly enough of Tourism Jasper for working so hard to make this initiative a reality.”

The cost of maintenance has yet to be determined, but Read said the cost of cleaning five dressing rooms had already been budgeted, which leaves the incremental cost of undertaking this in trailers outside the main building.

The goal is for the dressing rooms to be available for public use by mid-November.

“With the earlier discussions about our hockey season, and how it was going to look, the Minor Sports board is so thrilled with this outcome,” said Jess Prinn, president of Jasper Minor Sports, in an emailed statement to the Fitzhugh.

“To be able to give the kids a full season, and include tournaments, is the best possible scenario. We are thankful for Tourism Jasper, the Municipality of Jasper, arena staff, and all of the businesses that have donated time and funding. Although the season is going look a little different, the kids are on the ice and that’s all that matters!”

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