Ice Skating Training Facilities
San Diego Figure Skating Communications
Planning a New Ice Skating Rink
by Claude Sweet
Planning a New Ice Skating Rink and related facilities/services. Is not
as difficult as it might seem. Start by review the efforts of others as part
of not attempting to reinvent the process. The key is to seek advice and
suggestions to benefit from the collective wisdom of others.
the time to read and
consider this information before you
The extra time spent in understanding the needs of recreational or publicskating and competive curling, ice hockey, speed, and figure skating establishes the minimum size of the ice surface and if the facility will opperate year round. Never constuct a non standard size or shape and expect to grow a thriving ice skating enterprise.
Survey the community and see if there already exists a nucleus of individuals who have experience in the various ice sports. They will work tirelessly to expand the number of individuals that will become involved and form sport specific clubs or leagues that will want to rent private ice for the exclusive use of their sport.
Carefully consider if there will be a need for spectator seating with unobstructed view of the ice surface. The additional cost of extending the width of the building must consider the number of times a year the space will be used for paying customers. This also raises the question of protecting the spectators from flying pucks. Providing a comfortable temperature for the spectators can be achieved by using the exhaust heat from the compressors to dehumidify and warm the air. Beacher or padded stadium seating is another cost verses use consideration.
Consider purchasing or long term lease of an existing commercial zoned building, with a wide enough free span, that can be reconfigured as an ice rink.
The number of amenidities and their quality is an analysis that requires consideration. If the building space is maximized for the initial phase of contruction it is possible to install permanent seating later as the business generates a demand.
Explore the possibility of constructing an electrical power co-generation that provide a secure revenue stream and reduces the power associaed with making the ice.
Survey Competing Facilities
Do a Goggle search for ice skating rinks within a reasonable driving distance of your community as part of the preliminary feasibility planning process and developing a realistic Revenue and Expense analysis.
Develop a list of ice skating rinks in your community and surrounding market area.
Ice Skating Rinks for Maricopa County Arizona - Maps
Dec. 21, 2009 ... Ice Skating Rinks in Maricopa County Arizona Mapped!
Understand how existing firms have
positioned themselves in their marketplace is extremely important in
creating a business plan/model. Make a decision to provide
services that are lacking in other rinks and avoid their design
flaws. Develop a master plan to complete the construction in
phases that do not require major construction changes to the building
footprint and will not interfere with the operation of the existing
Look to see if following amenities and
services are offered:
Perform a comprehensive survey of skaters and parents in your community and adjacent communities. It is very important to understand the needs of these potential customers who provide an establish base to use off peak public skating hours.
Decide the focus of your Group Class "Learn to Skate" Program
It is essential that a high percentage of the skaters who enter your beginning group classes are retained and channeled into Hockey, Speed, and Figure Skating advanced programs sponsored by a club/league at your rink.
A well balanced marketing program must be as concerned with retaining existing customers as spending money to constantly attract new business. Do not forget the potential to develop curling and adult (over the age of 21) programs in hockey, speed, and figure skating.
Interview Experienced, Successful Rink Operators
Perform a thorough due diligence study on opening an ice skating rink. Understand that while it's a smart move on your part to have a sit down conversation with someone who is in the business. It's very possible that the owner/operator who will be in direct competition will be willing to spend the time to provide information for free, especially when it is to help you to become their competitor.
Attempt to find other communities with
geographic and demographic similarities. They are much more likely to
be willing to talk with you as
they realize that your venture does not directly compete with them in
their community. Indeed, many experienced rink owners/managers enjoy
free advice or as a consultant.
Discuss with the local skating
organizations about facilities they have visited in different cities
and do your homework before physically visiting the facilities. Always
arrange in advance any meetings. Don't just show up and expect rink
owners and managers to drop everything to meet with you.
Many years (45+) ago when I skated in the Philadelphia area there was a skating professional who opened small studio rinks in existing shopping centers. Eventually the business for the shopping center studio ice declined as skaters who became serious had to transfer to skating clubs with full size ice surfaces.
A later effort was launched on the West
Ice Capades who operated larger rinks, usually in major shopping
centers. The concept was to have a uniform product (group class
instruction). This approach eventually became uneconomical when the
shopping center aged and the owners required higher lease rates than
had previously been negotiated when the rinks first opened and were
considered a means of attracting customers to the shopping centers.
To my knowledge, there are no businesses in the USA presently using a franchised ice skating rink business model!
you are thinking about opening an ice skating rink, you may want to
investigate the advantages and disadvantages of using a "turn key" firm
to perform the design, construction, and installation of equipment
verses your acting as a general contractor coordinating the efforts of
several independent contractors/suppliers.
My advice is to hire the rink's general and operating manager while the project is in it's early design phase rather than waiting until construction has begun and changes are more difficult and expensive to implement.
Identify specific design features to be
into the ice facility design:
STAR was formed in 2000 by a joint venture between U.S. Figure Skating and USA ... state rink associations and international ice sports associations . ... education and practices to facilities and operators around the country. STAR allied members share a common goal within the industry. The organizations listed below provide resources, continuing education, extensive networking opportunities and increased programming options for ice facilities around the world. These organizations receive complimentary STAR membership and our sincere gratitude for helping us all achieve our organizational goals.
Looking for resources closer to home? STAR encourages you to become active members within your state associations.
The objectives of the Metropolitan Ice Rink Managers Association are: To encourage and promote ice skating in all of its aspects,
Ice Skating industry news - ICE SKATING INSTITUTE Construction news about new year-round facilities.
Massachusetts Youth Hockey Tournaments and Figure Skating New England Sports Center - 6 rinks under one roof host the best youth hockey tournaments in Massachusetts and all of New England.
The following articles are from a collection of resources on management of arenas and rinks - encompassing everything from design and maintenance to allocation of ice time.Resources:
Ice Skating Guidelines: Kitchener Community Services Department
Guidelines for providing a safe and enjoyable skating environment - includes food and beverage consumption, skating speed, and skating aids, use of helmets, hockey games, sitting on boards, wheelchairs, and a section on violation procedures.
Indoor Ice Arenas: Humidity Caused Problems and Suggested Solutions: Ontario Ministry of Tourism and Recreation
This technical report was prepared to assist arena managers to solve common problems. It identifies the likely causes of humidity related problems and suggests possible solutions.
Ice Allocation Policy: City of Burlington
The purpose of this policy is to establish guidelines for the allocation of ice time in City of Burlington arenas to ensure fair and equitable distribution of ice. This policy primarily deals with the winter ice season as all groups involved in the development of this policy operate winter programs.
Arena Ice Allocation Guidelines: Ramsey County Parks
In order to address the issues of changing demographics, market supply of indoor ice and distribution of ice in a fair and equitable manner, these ice allocation guidelines have been developed for the Ramsey County arena system.
Guidelines for Spectator Safety in Indoor Arenas: Canadian Standards Association (CSA)
These guidelines are intended to provide guidance to considerations in designing, constructing, and operating indoor arenas with respect to spectator safety.
Skating rink enclosures: Northwest Territories Municipal and Community Affairs
This report provides a comparative evaluation of the various types of pre-engineered structures suitable for the enclosure of skating rinks and examines the enclosures flexibility to meet current and future program requirements. The report is intended to assist communities in their review of the available pre-engineered enclosure systems and the selection of an enclosure which is most suitable for their specific requirements.
Suggested Guidelines for Evaluating Arena Boards and Glass: Ontario Recreation Facilities Association (ORFA)
Recommendations for guidelines and facility analysis to help reduce unnecessary risks and assist in maximizing the safety of patrons. The main objective of this process is to ensure that the arena facility has taken all reasonable steps to minimize risk to user groups and spectators. The guidelines include minimum standards for all arenas for glass height and dasher boards systems as well as suggested steps to ensure facility meets standard
Town of Bracebridge Culture and Recreation Department Ice Allocation Policy: Bracebridge Culture and Recreation Department Author: Willard, Catherine
This document exists to create and define categories of ice users, determine the order of consideration, and establish formulas of allocation for each of the subgroups. It also deals with rental fee structures and agreements. Applications of the formula to categories is done in tabular form.
Skating Rules: Bracebridge Culture and Recreation Department
Provides rules for safety and public enjoyment of skating sessions.
Southwestern Manitoba town simplifies ice-making while reducing costs : Case Study Canadian Parks and Recreation Association (CPRA)
province. Since construction of Describes how a unique ice pad design and a geothermal system, allows the Miami arena to take advantage of thermal storage to make ice and provide heating and air conditioning to the arena and an adjacent community hall.
New, energy efficient arena built at Val-des-Monts in Canada: Canada Center for Mineral and Energy Technology Author: Richer, Patrick
Describes a new arena which combines ground source energy and heat pump technology to reduce energy consumption and minimize emissions
Geothermal Ice Arena: IceKube Systems Inc. Author: Lohrenz, Ed
This slide show shows the advantages of integrating the ice making system with the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system in a hockey or curling rink to reduce energy costs and operating and maintenance costs.
Geothermal Ice Plant Efficiently Replaces Aging Ammonia System Energy: Case Study Canada Center for Mineral and Energy Technology
Abstract Discusses the conversion of the Oliver Curling Club, Oliver, B.C. to geothermal heat and the benefits of this system.
Facility Ownership Models
A Business Plan for an Ice Facility Complex
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:
All materials are copy protected.
The limited use of the materials for education purposes is allowed providing
credit is given for the source of the materials.