TRURO, N.S. – Increased memberships and improved efficiencies at the Rath-Eastlink Community Centre are being credited with driving up revenues at the facility.
After two consecutive financial quarters that generated total profits of $57,505, general manager Matt Moore said he’s hopeful the financial picture will be even rosier when the third quarter figures come in at the end of December.
“We’re most excited to release the next quarter. But as far as the first two, I would attribute it to the growing membership base,” he said. “We’ve been seeing membership growth two months straight, month over month.”
As of Thursday, memberships at the facility stood at 2,957, an increase of more than 300 since the first of the year.
“On our annual budget for this year we had anticipated a seven per cent increase in our overall membership revenues. And we’re projecting about 14 per cent right now.”
During the first three fiscal months of the year – April, May and June – the RECC had budgeted for a profit of $23,899 on overall revenues of more than $800,000. Actual profits, however, came in at $44,990.
During the second quarter, which ended Sept. 30, the facility generated a profit of $12,517, after projecting a loss for the period of $40,247.
“So everything is pointing in the right direction that we are going to hit it out of the park,” Moore said, because of the continued growth in memberships and the overall level of activity at the RECC during October and November.
“But there is also the storyline of the hockey tournament and looking at the history, we always expect Canada to hit it quite far,” he added.
The World Junior A Challenge tournament that begins on Sunday is expected to bring large crowds to the facility.
But Moore also credited capital acquisitions such as the replacement of some of the glass and stanchions on the arena boards as contributing to improved revenues.
Some of the tempered glass, which weighs about 400 lbs. per panel, was replaced this year with Lexan, which weighs about 80 lbs. per panel. As well, the stanchions or metal posts that hold the glass in place were replaced with a different type that allows staff to simply slide them in or remove them for trade shows or other events.
Those and other improved efficiencies, Moore said, have all contributed to enhanced bottom line.
And overall, he believes the community at large is becoming more aware and accepting of the benefits the RECC provides.
“The community, I think for the most part, recognizes the value that the facility offers for health and wellness,” he said. “I think it is reflected in the membership and it reflects in our arena rentals, our ice rentals and other things as well. I think they are recognizing that our board and councils took some action on some of the challenges of the building, the dehumidification unit being one of them.”
Colchester County Mayor Christine Blair agreed, while acknowledging that there are some people who may never recognize the RECC for its overall value. In particular, she cited spin-off revenue generated for hotels, restaurants and other businesses when large events – such as the World Junior A Challenge – are held at the site.
“There are so many positive things happening there now,” she said. “People from outside the community are saying what a great facility it is.”