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 http://www.carolinaicezone.com
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.