Dome in the rough

Golfers eager to dust off their clubs at the Eaglequest Golf Dome will have to seek greener pastures for up to three months.

Golfers eager to dust off their clubs at the Eaglequest Golf Dome will have to seek greener pastures for up to three months.

Heavy snow and warm conditions caused the fabric facility to collapse yesterday with about nine people inside working on their game ahead of the spring golf season.

The popular indoor driving range at 999 23 Ave. N.E. began sagging at about 1:30 p.m. forcing the six customers and three staff members inside to evacuate as the massive dome started to cave in.

Tracy McLachlan, general manager of Eaglequest Golf, said the combination of heavy, wet snow and warm weather created the perfect storm and the facility will now likely be out of action for two to three months before it can be repaired.

“There’s not much we can do until the snow is gone and it’s that time of year when people are pulling out their clubs,” he said, while reviewing the scene yesterday afternoon.

“We got too much snow too quick — at least everybody got out safely.”

McLachlan said operators are no strangers to dealing with snow and melt any accumulation with heat and pressure, but in this case water began to pool at the top of the dome, creating a depression that grew larger.

The entire facility collapsed in about three minutes, he said.

The fire department’s heavy rescue team was scrambled to the scene and was able to stabilize the structure.

Damage is estimated at $900,000.

McLachlan said there are three staff members on salary and four part-time employees at the dome as well as instructors who will likely be out of work until the facility is repaired.

Meanwhile, business had just begun to pick up with about 100 customers per day using the driving range for lessons and practice.

In December, the fabric dome at the Calgary Soccer Centre also caved in under the weight of heavy snow, putting five indoor soccer fields out of service for months while officials tried to repair it and deal with damaged turf.

 
 
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