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Author Topic: Carolina IceZone (formerly Bladez on Ice) - Greenville, NC  (Read 378 times)

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Offline FigureSpins

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Carolina IceZone (formerly Bladez on Ice) - Greenville, NC
« on: April 23, 2017, 07:48:02 PM »
Carolina IceZone (formerly Bladez on Ice)
Greenville, NC

LTS USA learn-to-skate program
Lots of hockey stuff
I think East Carolina University skates here, but I could be wrong.
Can't figure out if there's a skating club.  Didn't find anything to indicate there is one at the rink.
No harness line, on- or off-ice.
200' x 85' with rounded corners and a hockey barrier  (NHL Sized)

This arena had operations/financial issues under the former owners, so I wasn't expecting much.  It's obvious that the new owners are trying to update within a reasonable budget, but there's room for more to happen.  There was a learn to skate display of certificates, medals and old blades in the prison entry,* but that's it.  No skating club bulletin board or flyers.  I guess they're starting over and need more time, but from the outside, I wasn't even sure if the place was open.  The small entry lobby was dark, the outside bulletin board had nothing displayed and the overhang ceiling tiles were getting ready to fall down.  Not very inviting.

Ice surface looked good (there was hockey going on) but the flooring needs some TLC.  There is little-to-no spectator seating, just a few wall-mounted benches here and there.
The four locker rooms were teeny-tiny, with stick storage outside in the hallways.  The party room was locked but it appears to have windows overlooking the end of the rink.  There's a rabbit-warren of small offices off short hallways behind the party room.

Snack bar counter-service area was clean and the staff was tidying up the big eating area, which was in good shape.  They had some arcade-style claw games along the walls.  Place was dark-dark-dark.  Maybe they had turned off the lights since they were closing up.

Had to figure out where the bathrooms were - they're sort of hidden off the snack bar area.  The bathrooms were clean and working.  Oddest thing though: there were two pseudo-stalls in the ladies room that had toilets but were wide open to anyone who walked through.  I felt like Godlilocks: the doorless one closest to the entrance was too small, the three middle stalls were just right (one was out of order) and the doorless last stall was HUGE!  Maybe they're waiting for doors to be fabricated since the dividers were cinderblock.  The doors would probably have to be custom-made.  While the sinks and toilets were all in good condition, the plastic wallboard needs a scrubbing.  'nuff said.  (People are pigs)

* The "prison entry" must have been a standard blueprint/building schematic at some point that a lot of rink builders used.  Basically, it's a very small lobby with floor-to-ceiling metal bars dividing it down the middle.  You enter through a single door on the right and have to be admitted by someone in the clerk's booth at the end of this short gangway.  There's a security door at the end that leads directly rinkside.  To get to the snack bar, you have to walk along the rink to the next set of doors to the right.  The people exiting have to come out a set of double doors on the other side of the bars.  There are lots of signs that say there's no re-admittance unless you pay again.  The lobby itself is poorly lit, so it's dark and foreboding.  Not at all welcoming.  The rink takes up most of the building.

What's interesting is that the outsides of these buildings have bricked-up windows.  Either it was designed that way to allow the building to be repurposed if the rink folded, or there's a perceived security issue. 
"If you still look good after skating practice, you didn't work hard enough."

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Online nicklaszlo

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Re: Carolina IceZone (formerly Bladez on Ice) - Greenville, NC
« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2017, 07:57:03 PM »
medals and old blades in the prison entry,

I was so confused by this until I read your other thread. 

I guess this one will not be going on the ice rink tourism bucket list. 

Offline Query

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Re: Carolina IceZone (formerly Bladez on Ice) - Greenville, NC
« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2017, 06:34:53 PM »
Architecturally, I suppose bars aren't the most attractive way to go.

But, rinks that don't have good physical security at entrances either have to pay more people to monitor whether skaters pay, or have to accept a fair amount of loss from people cheating the system. It is also a real nuisance and diversion of attention for rink guards if there are multiple ways for people to sneak in.

Ideally, the people at the desk can also see and monitor the sessions (so you don't need rink guards most of the time, unless the session is busy). At some facilities, they hand out rental skates, and maybe run the Zamboni. Perhaps there are places where they handle snacks too, during very lightly attended sessions?

At some rinks, one person runs the whole facility during non-busy sessions.

In short, good physical security reduces costs a lot. It makes it more worthwhile to run lightly attended sessions; rinks without good security often have to run fewer sessions, and are therefore less convenient for customers.

But you can do it in ways that are more appealing to the eye. I notice that their web page hides some of the picture, and doesn't show the lobby at all. Oh wait - you can see that the area beyond some glass doors is blacked out. They should have hidden that.

Oh well, I only care about the ice. Architecture is secondary, so it wouldn't bother me.