Prospera Place owner offering to pay some costs to upgrade Kelowna arena | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Prospera Place owner offering to pay some costs to upgrade Kelowna arena

Prospera Place
Image Credit: Submitted/GSL Group

GSL Group, which operates Prospera Place in downtown Kelowna, is offering to pay an estimated $2.3 million in upgrades that could be done soon enough to allow the Kelowna Rockets to bid for the Memorial Cup hockey championship in 2026.

“We forecast being able to complete all of the proposed improvements in a budget range of $18 to $22 million,” says a letter company president Graham Lee sent to the city and media today, Jan. 31.

The letter says the costs could be amortized over 15 years and it would share in the payments.

GSL would also pay annual maintenance payments of $600,000 per year, the letter says.

Improvements could include a 3,000 square foot expansion to the main gate and lobby, an expanded food court, a new restaurant suite and an expansion of the south end of the building by about 24 feet to allow for two new dressing rooms with options for more back-of-house space or 530 more seats.

In addition, GSL is offering to pay another $2.3 million for things like a new score clock, sound system and 75 display screens.

“As the owner and operator of Prospera Place, GSL Group has a vision to foster a thriving, vibrant arena district in the heart of Kelowna,” the letter says, but it also points out the city is responsible for capital repairs and upgrades.

GSL built the arena in a public-private partnership with the city. It opened in 1999 and the ownership reverts to the city in 2029.

The city announced, earlier this month, that it was looking for a new operator when the lease runs out but GSL says it told the city in December this proposal would be coming forward and it wants to continue to operate the facility.

— This story was updated at 10:55 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 1, 2024. to clarify how proposed improvements would be funded.

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