Insurance to cover cost of replacing damaged tents at Westerner Park

A pair of Westerner Park tent structures that collapsed under heavy snow loads this winter are being replaced at a cost of $810,000.

A pair of Westerner Park tent structures that collapsed under heavy snow loads this winter are being replaced at a cost of $810,000.

That expense will be covered by insurance, less a $10,000 deductible, said Westerner Park CEO John Harms. The replacement structures are already being manufactured and are expected to be delivered the week of May 12 and erected by June 15.

“We’ll be in great shape if we can get them done by then,” said Harms.

The tents, which were among four at Westerner Park, were used for stabling horses but left empty during the winter months.

The first one, which measured 160 feet by 100 feet, came down the night of Dec. 30. The second, which was 140 feet by 100 feet, followed a week later — also during the night.

“We were in the process of removing the snow when the second one came down,” said Harms.

Initially it was believed that enough parts from the two structures could be salvaged to repair one. But ultimately, both were ordered replaced.

“The insurance company went out and sought bids for both new and repair, and that’s what they decided,” said Harms.

The trusses on the new tents will be 14 feet apart, which will make those structures stronger than their predecessors with 20-foot truss spans.

Harms said the remaining two tents survived the winter, with a lot of help from Westerner staff.

“We were sure diligent about keeping the snow off of them and away from them for the rest of the winter.”

Other buildings at Westerner Park received close attention as well.

“We had the Centrium inspected prior to the Band Perry concert that we had in January, just because they were flying so many speakers and lights. We didn’t want to compromise the weight load restrictions because of the snow on the roof.”

Harms said the insurance claim is expected to have a “small impact” on the premiums paid by the Westerner in the future.

Other Central Alberta buildings succumbed to this winter’s record snowfall as well. These included several rural barns, with more than 20 cattle killed when the roof of one near Bentley collapsed.

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