Confederation Park sees red again

Community May 21, 2015 by Richard Leitner Stoney Creek News

Last year’s cool summer gave Confederation Park’s bottom line another case of the goose bumps.

The lakeshore park ran a deficit of $358,000 for 2014 as revenues dropped by about five per cent, largely because of fewer customers at the Wild Waterworks wave pool.

The red ink is nearly $100,000 more than the previous year and continues a trend since 2012, when the city decided to no longer charge for parking, which brought in upwards of $200,000 per year.

The loss is on top of the $1.2 million levy the city paid toward the $3.3 million budget for the park, managed by the Hamilton Conservation Authority.

“The worst thing that can happen to us is for us to have a bad July at the wave pool,” authority chair Jim Howlett said. “It very much needs hot summer weekends and we haven’t been having them the way we used to.”

Howlett said other factors in the deficit include higher utility costs and a new health department requirement to use municipal water to top up the wave pool, a change that required a new water line.

The wave pool previously used lake water.

Authority treasurer Neil McDougall said it’s difficult to cut costs at the wave pool, which had just shy of 88,000 visitors last year, the fewest in four years and down nearly 30,000 from 2012.

“A water park is like doing a golf course. You can’t just cut six greens if you think it’s going to be a bad day. You’ve got to cut them all,” he said.

“If we’re opening the gates, we’ve got to have our lifeguards out there, whether there’s going to be 1,000 or 3,000.”

The overall budget picture for the authority was far brighter. It ran a $930,000 surplus for 2014, thanks in large part to higher than projected federal and provincial grants, and donations through its charity, the Hamilton Conservation Foundation.

The city contributed about $5.5 million toward a budget of $13.4 million as well as $489,000 in management fees the authority charged for running Confederation Park and Westfield Heritage Village.

The authority has since taken over ownership of Westfield and will no longer charge a management fee on top of the city’s levy, which was just shy of $740,000 last year, the lion’s share of $1.1 million in revenues.

Confederation Park sees red again

Community May 21, 2015 by Richard Leitner Stoney Creek News

Last year’s cool summer gave Confederation Park’s bottom line another case of the goose bumps.

The lakeshore park ran a deficit of $358,000 for 2014 as revenues dropped by about five per cent, largely because of fewer customers at the Wild Waterworks wave pool.

The red ink is nearly $100,000 more than the previous year and continues a trend since 2012, when the city decided to no longer charge for parking, which brought in upwards of $200,000 per year.

The loss is on top of the $1.2 million levy the city paid toward the $3.3 million budget for the park, managed by the Hamilton Conservation Authority.

“It very much needs hot summer weekends and we haven’t been having them the way we used to.”

“The worst thing that can happen to us is for us to have a bad July at the wave pool,” authority chair Jim Howlett said. “It very much needs hot summer weekends and we haven’t been having them the way we used to.”

Howlett said other factors in the deficit include higher utility costs and a new health department requirement to use municipal water to top up the wave pool, a change that required a new water line.

The wave pool previously used lake water.

Authority treasurer Neil McDougall said it’s difficult to cut costs at the wave pool, which had just shy of 88,000 visitors last year, the fewest in four years and down nearly 30,000 from 2012.

“A water park is like doing a golf course. You can’t just cut six greens if you think it’s going to be a bad day. You’ve got to cut them all,” he said.

“If we’re opening the gates, we’ve got to have our lifeguards out there, whether there’s going to be 1,000 or 3,000.”

The overall budget picture for the authority was far brighter. It ran a $930,000 surplus for 2014, thanks in large part to higher than projected federal and provincial grants, and donations through its charity, the Hamilton Conservation Foundation.

The city contributed about $5.5 million toward a budget of $13.4 million as well as $489,000 in management fees the authority charged for running Confederation Park and Westfield Heritage Village.

The authority has since taken over ownership of Westfield and will no longer charge a management fee on top of the city’s levy, which was just shy of $740,000 last year, the lion’s share of $1.1 million in revenues.

Confederation Park sees red again

Community May 21, 2015 by Richard Leitner Stoney Creek News

Last year’s cool summer gave Confederation Park’s bottom line another case of the goose bumps.

The lakeshore park ran a deficit of $358,000 for 2014 as revenues dropped by about five per cent, largely because of fewer customers at the Wild Waterworks wave pool.

The red ink is nearly $100,000 more than the previous year and continues a trend since 2012, when the city decided to no longer charge for parking, which brought in upwards of $200,000 per year.

The loss is on top of the $1.2 million levy the city paid toward the $3.3 million budget for the park, managed by the Hamilton Conservation Authority.

“It very much needs hot summer weekends and we haven’t been having them the way we used to.”

“The worst thing that can happen to us is for us to have a bad July at the wave pool,” authority chair Jim Howlett said. “It very much needs hot summer weekends and we haven’t been having them the way we used to.”

Howlett said other factors in the deficit include higher utility costs and a new health department requirement to use municipal water to top up the wave pool, a change that required a new water line.

The wave pool previously used lake water.

Authority treasurer Neil McDougall said it’s difficult to cut costs at the wave pool, which had just shy of 88,000 visitors last year, the fewest in four years and down nearly 30,000 from 2012.

“A water park is like doing a golf course. You can’t just cut six greens if you think it’s going to be a bad day. You’ve got to cut them all,” he said.

“If we’re opening the gates, we’ve got to have our lifeguards out there, whether there’s going to be 1,000 or 3,000.”

The overall budget picture for the authority was far brighter. It ran a $930,000 surplus for 2014, thanks in large part to higher than projected federal and provincial grants, and donations through its charity, the Hamilton Conservation Foundation.

The city contributed about $5.5 million toward a budget of $13.4 million as well as $489,000 in management fees the authority charged for running Confederation Park and Westfield Heritage Village.

The authority has since taken over ownership of Westfield and will no longer charge a management fee on top of the city’s levy, which was just shy of $740,000 last year, the lion’s share of $1.1 million in revenues.