Napanee’s Strathcona Paper Centre to be renamed Best and Bash Arena

The Strathcona Paper Centre in Napanee, seen here, will be known as ‘Best and Bash Arena’ beginning September 1, 2024. Photo by Michelle Dorey Forestell.

Move over, Slush Puppie Place — the Napanee recreation centre currently known as the Strathcona Paper Centre will be called Best and Bash Arena beginning September 1, 2024.

The winning naming rights bid and name were revealed at the Tuesday, Apr. 9, 2024 meeting of the Council of the Town of Greater Napanee in a report prepared and presented by Annie Manion, Manager of Community Economic Development, Community & Corporate Services.

The report noted that in response to the Request for Proposals, one submission was received from Best Developments and Bash Developments that met the evaluation criteria. The companies plan to build several homes within Greater Napanee. Currently, 545 of those homes have received approval at Springside Meadows, a new condominium/family home development.

The naming rights agreement which gave the 16 McPherson Drive recreation centre the Strathcona Paper Centre name will expire on August 31, 2024, after 20 years. 

In December 2023, a staff report was brought before Council for the Recreation Centre Naming Rights Agreement. Since the agreement approval, staff have hand-delivered the Request for Proposals to several local companies, posted on Bids & Tenders, posted on social media accounts, and contacted companies via phone and email. 

Councillor Angela Hicks was not sold on the new name, asking, “Are they firm on the ‘arena’ part of Best and Bash? I don’t know why but I like ‘centre’… because it’s not just an arena, it’s actually a community centre.”

Manion said she would discuss that further with the winning bidders.

Regardless, before the vote was taken, Councillor Bill Martin jumped in with the comment, “Best and Bash is a great name for our hockey teams to live up to.”

“Thank you, councilman, and I was wondering when somebody was going to mention that,” responded Mayor Terry Richardson.

Deputy Mayor Brian Calver stated firmly, “I, for one, like the Best and Bash Arena; I think that’s just fantastic.”

“I’m sure there’s going to be some further conversations… with respect to refining the name,” Richardson continued, “but we welcome this company to our area and thank them for the investment that they are making… Hopefully they’ll be around for a while.”

He also noted, “We’d like to thank the Strathcona Paper Company for their continued support , they’ve had the SPC on the on the arena since it was built, and that was, what, 20-ish years ago, if I’m not mistaken. We’d like to thank them for the continued support in our municipality, and I’m sure they’ll be interested in trying to put their name on something else in the not-too-distant future. So thank you to Strathcona Paper, and welcome to Best and Bash to our community.”

The report notes that the financial offer submitted by Best and Bash Developments was for the minimum bid of $30,000 per year for a term of ten years, to be made in equal annual installments. This would be a total of $300,000 over a ten-year period.

According to their website, Best Developments is a family business that was established in the 1990s “with the vision of combining affordability and luxury.” Best Developments has won several awards for its outstanding service and homes.

BASH Developments Group Inc. is a privately held company with substantial land holdings; it develops and operates an extensive portfolio of residential, retail, commercial, and income properties. They are a partner company of Best, and their website says, “With more than five years of experience building dynamic communities in Western and Eastern Ontario, The BASH Development Group Inc. has evolved into one of the province’s largest growing land developers.”

Further, Best and BASH are a team that has been “working diligently to create an exceptional new home community in Napanee with the pending release of Springside Meadows” located on Old Hamburg Road.  The website states, “This is not a singular development for the group within Napanee, they have over 300 acres of development land and are making a long-term commitment to the Napanee Area. It was an easy commitment for the company to make given everything Napanee offers and its proximity to so much within a 30 km radius in either direction.”

The Best Developments website also indicates that they have “upcoming communities in the Deseronto area [that] offer a unique blend of natural beauty, small-town charm, and modern amenities.”

Kingstonist has reached out to Best and Bash for comment, but none has been received at publication time.

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