The long-awaited Andrée Vajda Janyk Sports Field is set to open this summer, and the Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) is moving ahead with some interim fees for the new artificial turf facility.
An update to the RMOW's parks and recreation fees and charges policy was adopted at the March 26 council meeting, while council also gave first three readings to a related bylaw.
Rates for use of the entire field range from $10/hour for local registered youth agencies ($35/hour for adults) to $100/hour for out-of-town commercial or admission-charging groups.
Local youth groups will pay $20/hour ($40 for out-of-towners), while local adult groups will pay $70/hour ($85 for out-of-towners).
"All users are required to pay if you want exclusive use of the field, but if you show up at the field, it's not being used and you're with your friends, family, you want to kick a ball around, go ahead," said manager of village animation and events Bob Andrea, in a presentation to council.
"You can use it. It's like any other play field."
The fees will be reviewed at the end of the 2019 season.
"Our fees are based on research that we did comparing market rates, looking at the facility types and attributes, seasonality, and of course, supply and demand," Andrea said.
"In the fall, the recreation department is planning to come before council to update the fees and charges bylaw, and that would include facility rental rates, and that will be an opportunity to confirm these fees at that time."
There is still work to be done on the field, mostly involving landscaping and impact testing, Andrea added.
"We don't have an exact (opening) date," he said, noting that it will depend on the rate of the snowmelt and contractor availability.
"When there is big snow years, our approach to snow clearing will be: during exceptional circumstances, we'll clear off the snow to get it open for the seasons. That's to avoid any potential issues, damage, that sort of thing," Andrea said.
"And in terms of parking, for this summer we're going to monitor it closely, see how that parking arrangement works, and we can consider adjustments later in 2019."
The anticipated total project cost is about $2.5 million, Andrea said.
The Whistler Youth Soccer Club (WYSC) has started a fundraising campaign to contribute to the field, and has already secured "some great donations" from its membership and local businesses, said president PJ O'Heany, in an email.
Exact details of the club's contributions have not been finalized with the RMOW, he added, but the WYSC expects its contribution to be "well over six figures."
"Despite the great leaps forward by the (RMOW) and the contractors last fall, the Andrée Vajda Janyk Sports Field field will still be under construction this spring," O'Heany said.
"There are many items on the to-finish list, and we are working with the (RMOW) as to how our fundraising will enhance and benefit the project."
Follow the project at www.whistler.ca/artificialturf.