At the Port Alice Council meeting on Sept. 13, councillors received a letter from seasonal resident Colleen Talbert requesting Port Alice convert the curling rink into a 10 pin bowling alley.
“We are sorry to see our beautiful little town downsize so much, so we propose an idea to inspire growth within our community,” read Talbert’s letter, which stated “we feel that replacing the curling rink with a bowling centre will turn a profit, save money, attract newcomers, and give people of all ages a chance to have fun.”
Talbert said the interest in curling has dwindled over the years, and a 10 pin bowling centre would bring people from all over the North Island to Port Alice year round.
“I think it’s a great idea, but I’m not sure if it’s something we could look into right now because of the cost,” said Mayor Jan Allen, and Chief Administrative Officer Paul Carver added he wasn’t much of a bowler.
“There is nothing to keep people from driving in and then driving right out of Port Alice with no restaurant, hotel, or entertainment,” read Talbert’s letter. “Old Port Alice had a bowling alley and a theatre, it would be nice to bring a little of that back.”
Finance Officer Bonnie Danyk said, “we have a bowling alley in Port Hardy and it closes every summer because they don’t make enough money.”
A similar concern was echoed by Coun. Christine Martin, who said she thinks “the demographic for bowling is the same as curling – you look around at bowling alleys and they aren’t making much money.”
Allen then said council had the option of writing a letter to thank Talbert for her suggestion, or ask staff to do a report on the cost of the project. Coun. Marnie Chase then put forward the motion that staff report on the project, which resulted in a tie of two votes in favour and two votes against.
“It’s two-two and this is when the Mayor gets a chance to vote and it doesn’t happen very often,” said Allen, who then voted in favour of the report and made a further amendment that council also write a letter to thank Talbert for her letter and intention.