The West Coast is golfing for a chance to skate this weekend at the fourth annual West Coast Multiplex Scramble.
“It’s probably the most fun golf tournament of the year,” said West Coast Multiplex Society co-chair Ryan Orr. “There is prizes for every single team, regardless of if you win or lose.”
The September 16 event will see locals in teams of four hitting the Long Beach Golf Course’s links for nine holes as well as 18 holes of mini-golf.
“That really narrows the gap. The team that does the best mini-golf is usually the one that wins the tournament,” Orr said adding the event is a “super laid back” opportunity for locals to have fun while showing their support for a multiplex. “All the board members are there and it’s a great time to find out more information about the multiplex as well.”
Orr said the scramble is the society’s largest annual fundraiser and he hopes to see locals come out to support it.
“It’s the only way we’re actually gonna get a multiplex built out here,” he said.
“People need to be behind the project in order to get it built. Six to eight volunteers on the board can only do so much if the public doesn’t support it. As soon as the public gets behind it, which I think most people are, that’s how these type of things get built.”
Anyone looking to sign up can call the Long Beach Golf Course at 250-725-3332.
The West Coast Multiplex is a proposed recreation facility that would be built in phases, with the first phase being a skating rink and the second being a swimming pool.
A referendum was held in 2012 where locals voted 679-415 in favour of covering up to $450,000 of the facility’s annual operating costs through taxation, but the capital cost to build it is up to the Multiplex Society to raise.
Orr said he is “very, very optimistic,” about the project’s fruition and he was excited to see an architect signed on to begin hammering out the facility’s design.
“We have, at this point, a very dedicated board that is determined to see this thing through,” he said.
“The contract with the architect and the actual moving forward on the design has probably been the biggest development recently, because now we’re having design meetings and we’re actually talking about the physical layout of the building and making decisions about what will, and what will not, be included.”
He said the design, expected to become public this fall, will offer a concrete cost-estimate for the rink, which is currently estimated to cost around $6 million.
“I know there is lots of people in Tofino that would much rather see the pool first. Pools are a lot more expensive to build and a lot more expensive to operate,” Orr said. “It is very much the dream of the Multiplex Society to have both. The first phase is the ice rink, but the pool is definitely still very much on the table.”
He added additional phases could be looked at once the first two are complete.
“Right now, we’re just looking at the ice rink and the pool. But, there is a significant amount of land there and certainly room to continue expanding from there,” he said. “There’s no reason there couldn’t be a gymnasium one day and other components.”
A survey is expected to be distributed across the West Coast in the coming weeks to gauge local opinions on the multiplex. The Multiplex Society’s board meetings are open to the public and held on the first Monday of every month. The next one will be held on Oct. 2.
“It’s an exciting time. There’s been a lot developing. We have a tangible product now with a design and it’s very real,” Orr said. “This is getting closer than ever to being realized and if people want to come out and show their support at the golf tournament, it’s a no pressure event and it’s a lot of fun.”