Lease Signed For Bonnie Castle Rec Center

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At the Bonnie Castle Recreation Center in the town of Alexandria, it comes down to money.

"The ice arena is not a money maker.  It's a constant drain, so it was losing money," said Walter Dingman, facilities manager.

The recreation center was in danger of closing down. 

Now, a lease agreement with the pro hockey team the 1000 Islands Privateers means the arena's doors will stay open at least until spring. 

"Our first order of business is just to figure to what is cost effective as far as the restaurant.  We definitely want to be open on game nights, we definitely want to have the concession stand open," said Privateers owner Nicole Kirnan.

The question now is what happens in March. 

It's unclear whether the facility will be sold, leased, or closed for good.

The Privateers say it's possible the team could lease the center long term.

What we do know for sure - the community would certainly miss the center if it were to close.

"You come here, everybody knows everybody. It's very welcoming," said local resident Cheryl Davis.

"It's really been an asset.  It brings people from all over, especially with the Privateers now," said local resident Paul Wibbe.

Don Cole is the owner of Bonnie Castle Recreation Center. 

He was working on getting a license to turn the center into a combo race track/casino - a so called racino.

No word on how this week's events could affect that bid. 

See our original report

Thursday, April 24, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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