Ice Skating Training Facilities

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Models of Facility Ownership

      The Type of Ownership is an important consideration in raising funds to acquire the land, construct the facility, and market the services of the business.    

      There are various ways to hold the title of a facility by using one of several business models:
  • Member owned and operated as a non-profit organization
  • Privately owned and operated for Profit
  • Privately owned and leased for operation by one or more nonprofit organizations
  • Public owned and operated by:
    • City Parks and Recreation Department
    • County Parks and Recreation Department
    • State Parks and Recreation Department
    • State University Owned and operated
  • Public and private owned and operated joint ventures
  • Publicly owned and leased to groups to operate for a profit
      Another means of achieving such as venture is to sign a long term lease with a group who owns the land and will build the facility to meet the needs of the client.

      The form of a business is the way you represent yourself to banks and other financial institutions to raise funds. Deciding what type of ownership form you should use requires a lot of thought. The business structure can include one of four different legal entities:
  • Sole Proprietorship - A business organized as a sole proprietorship is not separate from its owner, but merely a different name with which the owner represents him/herself to the public. The owner is the business and the business are inseparable.
  • Partnership - partnership is not a separate legal entity from its owners. Unlike the proprietorship, however, the partnership can hold property and incur debt in its name.
    • General Partnership -  is composed of more than one person who agree to contribute money, labor, and/or skill to a business. Each partner shares the profits, losses, and management of the business and each partner is personally and equally liable for debts of the partnership. Formal terms of the partnership are usually contained in a written partnership agreement.
    • Limited Partnership - is composed of one or more than general partners and one or more limited partners. The general partners manage the business and share fully in its profits and losses. Limited partners share in the profits of the business, but their losses are limited to the extent of their investment. Limited partners are usually not involved in the day-to-day operations of the business.
  • Corporation - a incorporation allows a group of individuals to act together as one, but with an important advantage since the corporation is a separate legal entity that can be sued; However, the owners are protected against individual liability if something goes wrong with the corporation.
    • An "S" corporation is the same as any other business corporation except for one important difference - the IRS allows it to be taxed like a partnership.
    • Close Corporation - a Close Corporation does not have any shareholders only some members who share some common goal. Each member makes a contribution of some money, assets or services towards the Corporation. This form of ownership is limited to 10 members and ends with the [cc] abbreviation. The financing of a Close Corporation is often the biggest problem since there are only 10 members and members have limited liability for debts, and this leads to banks not easily giving loans towards the enterprise.
  • Limited Liability Company - a limited liability company is a hybrid entity that combines favorable aspects of the corporation and partnership. The LLC features pass-through taxation of the partnership, and limited liability of the corporation. It does have the disadvantage of being taxed as a partnership causing the business owners to lose some company-funded benefits.
  • Public Company - This form of ownership allows companies to sell shares and bonds to the general public. Most of these companies are listed on the stock exchange. One disadvantage of a public company is that they are required to publish annual reports about company performance that can provide useful information to competitors.

    A large enough private company can submit an IPO (initial public offering) to the general public to raise funds and allow shareholders to own a part of the company. The shareholders would usually receive dividends on the company profits at certain periods throughout the year.
More Effective Management 
      Obviously when a single organization - pubic or private - is involved, it is easier to achieve a consensus. As more groups become involved, the difficulty of pleasing everyone becomes more problematic. However, this also means more members of the community will receive benefits, just not to the exclusive level they would prefer.

       A rink can achieve maximum revenue potential by offering curling, speed, hockey, and figure skating programs on a year round basis to fully serve and satisfy interests of sports and recreational skaters.

       When one sheet of ice is available, it is becomes difficult to justify providing amenities that are not going to be used on a frequent basis. Among the items that are eliminated or drastically curtailed are:
  • spectator seating
  • off-ice training facilities
  • well equipped locker rooms
  • adequate parking
  • comprehensive food service.
Franchising Management
        There are many groups that can raise the money, but lack the expertise to operate/manage the business. Acquiring a franchise to training and supervise the routine business operations is an opportunity to benefit from "Brand Name Recognition" and uniformity of product, purchasing in volume, and marketing/advertisng contacts.


Predicting Seasonal Winter and Summer Ice Demand
       The demand for winter ice time for practice sessions to train for competitions, match, and games far exceeds the supply. Rink management must balance the support for ice sports programs that provide strong rink support on a year round basis.

       For many ice sports, the competitive training season starts about the time school starts in the fall. Competitive seasons are concluding as the outside weather in cold climates turns to outdoor warm weather sports after being cooped up indoors all winter. 

       Figure skating has become a year round sport for most of its disciplines. The National Showcase and the Theater on Ice Championships are held in early summer.  The Grand Prix Junior Championship series starts in late summer and continues through December. The figure skating qualifying competitions and National Junior Championships are held in the late fall.  The US National championships, World Junior Championships,  World Senior Championships, and Winter Olympics are held from early January through Early March. The National Synchronized Team Skating and Adult National Championships are held in late winter followed by the World Synchronized Team Championships.

Advances in Dehumidifying Equipment Extend Operation to Twelve Months
       The summer heat and humidity problems have been solved several decades ago. Rinks that installed the necessary dehumidifying equipment gain from the additional revenue that far exceeds the extra power and labor expenses to operate year round.

Ice Rinks as Money Makers
Having owned and operated an ice rink for 29 years, I have a unique view of the ... It doesn't matter whether they are privately owned or government owned.

New York Ice Skating History – A Brief Overview of Ice Skating ...
The evolution of ice skating on ponds, lakes, and manmade rinks in New York ... site of the privately owned Ravenhall Baths to open Abe Stark Rink in 1970.

Surface statistics: ice rink study gives the cold, hard facts ...
"in Minnesota, for example, there aren't any truly privately owned and operated

Privately Owned and Operated Skating Membership Clubs
       Only 7 or 8 Skating Clubs in the USA own their own facility.  A few older figure skating clubs, including the Skating Club of Boston and the Toronto Cricket, Skating and Curling Club are organized along the same lines as a country club.

       They effectively operate as private social clubs as well as sports organizations. Some include club activities such as dinners, teas or receptions. At these clubs, prospective members typically need to be sponsored by existing members and are expected to become acquainted with others in the club before the board votes on their membership application.
  • Princeton Skating Club
    The Princeton Skating Club is a private member owned 501(c)(7) organization. ... Membership in US Figure Skating is required for any members who plan to join.
  • Wilmington Ice Arena, Home of The Skating Club of Wilmington Delaware
    schools visit the Feb. 22, 2004... one of about five ice rinks in the United States, owned and operated by its members. Today's members are a diverse group, and membership fees are ... Groups from public and private rink each month to skate ... The Skating Club of Wilmington also operates ice skating camps
  • Skating Club of Boston
    The Skating Club of Boston is a figure skating club based in Boston, Massachusetts. Formed in 1911, it is one of the oldest skating clubs in the United States.
  • Cleveland Skating Club
    June 20, 1997 ... The Cleveland Skating Club, 2500 Kemper Rd., Shaker Heights, was one of the first figure skating clubs in the U.S. to own its own club.
  • Wissahickon Skating Club
    WSC was the host club for the 1998 US National Figure Skating Championship held in Philadelphia and is the home of the Colgate/Wissahickon Summer Hockey
City Owned and Operated Ice Rinks
       Facilities that offer a full compliment of recreational activities and services are more likely to achieve the maximum support from the community to fund larger, more expensive and comprehensive plans.
  • Montgomery Parks: Ice Skating - Wheaton Ice Arena
  • Wheaton Ice Arena is one of the two ice skating facilities owned and managed by the Montgomery Parks Department.

  • Lake Placid - Olympic Center
  • It is often said, that Lake Placid is where "miracles are made". ... 7,700 seat 1980 Rink Herb Brooks Arena (named after the Miracle on Ice coach) hosts ... to life Lake Placid's miraculous history as the world's winter sports capital.
  • Vancouver Park Board - Ice Rinks
  • A complete range of skating programs, special seasonal events and rental opportunities ... 2099 Beach Avenue, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Non Profit 501(c)(3) Tax Exempt Organizations
Recommended Reading:

Round Table Discussion of Multiple Ice Surfaces

Multiple Ice Surfaces

References:

Forms of Ownership So you are an Entrepreneur or running some kind of small business, but what forms of ownership are there and what are the advantages and disadvantages.
    
Resources:

The following internet links have been gleaned from personal communications
combined with information from public institutions and athletic organizations/
associations that have a web presence with information concerning team and
individual sports programs:

The Ultimate Ice Skating Facility
Introduction
Planning a New Ice Skating Rink
Summary - Developing New Ice Skating Rinks
Executive Summary
Formulating a Rink Proposal
Feasibility Study
Demographics
Business Financial Structures
Rink Feasibility Study
Facility Design Issues
Facilities Concerned with Design
Design Principles
Ice Skating Rink Business
PDF  When Bigger is Better
PDF  How An Ice Arena Works

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