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Author Topic: If *I* Owned the Skating Rink  (Read 3156 times)

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Offline Crabcakes

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If *I* Owned the Skating Rink
« on: November 24, 2010, 01:10:54 AM »
I would have stools and a "bar" at the windows so parents/grandparents could sit and have a bird's eye view of the kids

Have plenty of outlets for their laptops

Have healthy AND tasty food and drinks at a REASONABLE price

Would not treat skaters and their families as if they were doing me a favor by coming to the facility

Keep a current and pleasing web site that could be relied on

Would hire a high school kid or a "special" person to keep the glass windows clean and smudge-free for pictures and viewing the skaters better.

Would NOT have TVs (That no one watches) blaring a football game or worse, Jerry Springer, only adding to the noise of the place, for nothing

Would offer advice on skates, etc. to new skaters

Sell figure skating stuff; skates, spare tights, ibuprofen,  not JUST hockey stuff. What are figure skaters, chopped liver?

Post, IN ADVANCE, when skate sharpeners will be on site

Post, IN ADVANCE, when merchants with used skate clothing will be on site

Thank you. Yes, I LOVE taking my granddaughters to the rink, but I am frustrated by the lack of facilities. Only TWO outlets available for people's laptops, and they are not located so the skaters can be seem easily.

Crabby, grouchy employees (the coaches are mostly nice though) tarnish my time at the rink.

</soapbox>



Offline Isk8NYC

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Re: If *I* Owned the Skating Rink
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2010, 06:35:14 AM »
Nice thread...

This is what my dream rink would have: 

. The TV channel tuned to figure skating or hockey  (you know which takes priority) instead of CNN and ESPN

. Provide a warm, glassed in viewing spot for shows and competitions plus rubberized bleacher seating

. Include off-ice workout facilities with well-maintained equipment and weights

. Clean bathrooms and rubber flooring throughout the facility

. Decent rental skates, sharpened regularly and replaced as needed

. Require helmets for beginners in classes

. Regular mini-exhibitions for skaters to strut their stuff

. Healthy snack bar food at affordable prices

. A ceiling-mounted harness both on- and off-ice

. A mirrored wall for studying positions and steps

How could I forget:
. TWO ICE SURFACES, each with their own resurfacing machine. 
. The machines would be in the same bay in the event of a breakdown.


I coach at a beautiful rink with most of these features, for which I am very thankful, but we can always dream.
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Offline Sierra

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Re: If *I* Owned the Skating Rink
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2010, 10:27:14 AM »
My rink has those stools and bars. But only four stools, and it only looks out on one rink (the freestyle rink.)

We have off ice facility as well. Never been in it. But it's fairly big, with weights, and windows looking over both rinks.

Bathroom has rubber flooring. I try to avoid going in there (freezing sink water.)

Ceiling mounted harness on-ice in one rink.

Our pro-shop sells tights, Mondor dresses, Zucas and extras like guards and gel sleeves. They even sell skates and blades. But about 70% of the shop is hockey.

Now, for what I want my rink to have:

Safe stools/benches for blades. They are all metal. I see kids banging their blades against it all the time.

More competitions.

More open freestyle sessions.

Heated bathroom water, and heated toilet seats :laugh:

Better quality rentals that are sharpened when needed.

Better holiday show organization.

Spray Febreze  periodically while hockey is out in the rink.

Make a rule stating beginners can only be in freestyle with a coach, so they don't cluelessly wander into my sit spin.

And I'm probably alone on this one: Remove the coffee smell from the coach's room. (Everyone likes the smell of coffee except for me.)

Offline drskater

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Re: If *I* Owned the Skating Rink
« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2010, 03:06:20 PM »
If I owned an ice rink and had unlimited funds and no expectations of making money...

I would pay the Skating Director what she's worth, provide decent health benefits for all staff, and strictly enforce the rink rules, especially the no bullies, no macho jerks, and no crazies policies.

Offline Kim to the Max

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Re: If *I* Owned the Skating Rink
« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2010, 03:18:23 PM »
If I owned the skating rink:

* Hockey and Figure Skating would be treated equally
* The ice would be cut properly before every session and in the middle of a 3 hour long session
* The heat in the lobby would work
* The bathrooms would actually be cleaned
* There would be hot water
* There would not be spit all over the boards
* No beer cans in the hockey boxes
* The floor would match up so that there weren't seams where your guards get stuck
* It wouldn't be colder in the rink than it is outside during the winter
* Ice fees would remain at a reasonable level without sacrificing quality
* The place wouldn't look like a dump

Offline icedancer

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Re: If *I* Owned the Skating Rink
« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2010, 04:58:55 PM »
 :)

LOVE this topic.

MY rink would have:

* NO Hockey
* clean, well-manicured ice available throughout the day
* regular ice for doing figures (patch sessions)
* excellent sound system
* social and practice dance sessions throughout the dayean
* kind male coaches (for dance) that make you feel like you are the best skater they have ever worked with and are willing and able to take you through tests
* lots of pleasant adult skaters and nice coaches
* have a reasonable pricing scheme
* be immune to "politics" (skating politics that is)
* separate sessions for Moves and freestyle and Dance
* have a very good snack bar with only healthy snacks and good coffee and hot chocolate
* good off-ice facilities
* clean locker rooms with lockers for your stuff and hot showers, maybe a sauna or hot tub

I have skated at rinks with some of these amenities but never all at the same place!!

Offline AgnesNitt

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Re: If *I* Owned the Skating Rink
« Reply #6 on: November 24, 2010, 07:49:04 PM »
My rink would have a designated area where parents could take pictures away from the entry door.

And people on the ice in shoes would be forbidden. (No I'm not kidding, this happens at my rink. People are told by the birthday party coordinator that it's okay to go on the ice in shoes to take pictures.)
Yes I'm in with the 90's. I have a skating blog. http://icedoesntcare.blogspot.com/

Offline katz in boots

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Re: If *I* Owned the Skating Rink
« Reply #7 on: November 26, 2010, 02:32:55 AM »
Ahhh, I dream about this frequently.

If I owned the rink it would:

*be closed down & a new, bigger one built in a more central location, with adequate parking
*have a proper resurfacer which would be used before every session
*have skate guards to enfore rules & assist beginners
*treat figure skaters like they are welcome rather than a nuisance
*have a pro shop with a good range of figure skating needs
*have a trained skate sharpener who knows what they are doing
*have a changing room, with showers, benches, hooks etc
*have a de-humidifier so condensation bumps weren't a problem
*have a comfortable, enclosed viewing area for parents & spectators
*be centred around figure skaters
*offer daily freestyle or patch sessions for reasonable cost
*have friendly, helpful staff

ah, could keep going aaalll day  :angel:

Offline Teresa

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Re: If *I* Owned the Skating Rink
« Reply #8 on: November 26, 2010, 11:29:30 PM »
1. A clean bathroom with hand soap, towels and toilet paper!  ;D

Offline icedancer

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Re: If *I* Owned the Skating Rink
« Reply #9 on: November 27, 2010, 01:14:19 PM »
1. A clean bathroom with hand soap, towels and toilet paper!  ;D

Ahhhh, sometimes it is the little things...

Offline Query

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Re: If *I* Owned the Skating Rink
« Reply #10 on: November 28, 2010, 08:03:31 AM »
I've thought a lot about this, because it seems to me many facilities are not run in an optimal way from a business perspective. Not that I have the resources to open a rink.

1. Lots of classes. Classes create customers and keep them happy. Good coaches to teach them.
2. Classes just for teens, and just for teens and adults. Learning styles are so different.
3. Lots of interesting classes and clinics outside the usual syllabuses.
4. Lots of sessions - not just in the busy part of the day. Or maybe this is more what I like, rather than what makes economic sense. But coaches sure love rinks where they can coach at all day, and students love rinks where they can skate continuously.  
5. A social ice dance program.
6. Hockey classes, sessions and lessons - if I own it, I want it to make money!
7. Speed skating classes and sessions.
8. Encouragement for clubs to form for figure skating (ISI and USFSA), synchro, production, ice dance, hockey, speed, off-ice dance, in-line skating.
9. Classes on falling and refitting boots - which I would teach. A strong recommendation posted that skaters learn to do these things.
10. An "Open Pro" policy (anyone with insurance and certification can coach). I've noticed coaches LOVE those rinks.
11. A volunteer coach assistant program, with training for assistants. The assistants get a lot out of this. Teaching is fun! In the first few classes, the students get a lot out of this. And it attracts potential coaches to the rink. But in my opinion, the lead teacher for every class should be an experienced pro. The volunteers and coaches, as well as other employees, should all have to pass a background check, and this should be advertised.
12. Some evening adult skating sessions. I don't think these are needed if you learn to fall, but a lot of skaters disagree, and customers get what they want.
13. Showers for normal customers. People need to be acceptable socially and in business environments after skating. Even paid showers might be worth it.
14. Signs in the lobby next to the rental counter showing people how to figure out what boots fit and are balanced to their bodies. Signs talking about how to lace boots right.
15. Effective advertising. I would go to other athletic venues (e.g., ballroom dance facilities) and place fliers there. Virtually none of the rinks in my area understand or budget much for advertising. I don't think they are very well run from a business perspective. Should not be confined to the immediate vicinity. Classes should be advertised through ISI and USFSA skating magazines. (Maybe impractical - not sure what that costs.) I should buy out something like skatingforums.com, and put advertisements for my rink, facilities, and classes next to posts! Should help skaters create free blogs with similar ads hosted by me. Rink clubs get freely hosted blogs and websites, with similar ads, along with bulletin boards.
16. Good facility maintenance.
17. Well trained ice surfacing people, given adequate time to do a good job.
18. A restaurant that serves reasonably priced, HEALTHY food, and prepares it quickly, or has it ready.
19. A microwave oven, and tables for eating.
20. Lockers in the lobby, where students can keep their stuff and use their own locks (also sold at the pro shop). But they have to pay to leave a lock on overnight.
21. A convenience store that sells basic groceries and other stuff that people often shop for.
22. Other recreational facilities for parents, none-skating kids and tired skaters - off-ice exercise rooms and warm-up rooms, an outdoor track, stretch barres, video games (remember - rink owners like to make money!), reading materials. I have mixed feelings about a dance studio, since other dance studios wouldn't let me post fliers if I compete with them, but I think a lot of dancers would be interested in skating, and vice versa. It should have a wide range of dance styles available.
23. Free WIFI. Paid computer use and paid assistance and lessons.
24. A quiet study room, and somewhat less quiet room where kids can be tutored. I'd like to start up a center where home school and other kids can be taught classes too.
25. Meeting rooms for many purposes - parties, business.
26. An office where a nurse, EMT or equivalent can open a practice to treat injuries, and where a podiatrist can practice, and a baby-sitting or child care facility [both short-term, while skating, and all-day, to attract customers). (All of these can be concessions.)
27. Pro shop with stuff people discover they need when they get to the rink. Gloves. Thin socks. Warm clothing. Chemical hand and foot warmers. Various types of padding and helmets. Durable skate covers, Painkillers, etc. Colorful skate covers, laces, boot covers, nice looking tee shirts and jackets with the rink logo (better than free advertising). And, yes, hockey stuff, cuz it makes money. It doesn't make economic sense, but I might sell hand-sharpening equipment.
28. If the pro shop doesn't sell figure skating clothing, I would have a list of dress-makers, etc.
29. A sharpener/boot fitter who knows what he or she is doing, on all types of skates - hockey, figure, speed.
30. A bulletin board where people can advertise used goods and various services. I want this rink to become a community center, where everyone in the community comes.

Offline Sierra

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Re: If *I* Owned the Skating Rink
« Reply #11 on: November 28, 2010, 10:00:05 AM »
Wow, Query. Just add some apartments and you've got a small city!

What my rink needs: A couple of skating director clones, to use during holiday show time. So the show doesn't consume my coach's life and cause her to forget my name.

Offline icedancer

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Re: If *I* Owned the Skating Rink
« Reply #12 on: November 28, 2010, 01:40:50 PM »
I want to skate at Query's rink!!! :)

Actually one of of the rinks that I skate at IS like Querys in the "lots of classes" category - there are tons of great classes for all levels and abilities and if you take a class you get all of your public sessions for free so there are people who take a class but never go (not a good thing actually but it is a cheap way to skate and you can always go to the class) - and the coaches for the classes are very often the top coaches at the rink and there are often assistants in the classes and that's how they eventually become Junior Coaches.

I would love to see that "Open" option for coaches in my area - it occurs to some extent but becomes problematic at some point...

Offline aussieskater

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Re: If *I* Owned the Skating Rink
« Reply #13 on: November 28, 2010, 04:13:18 PM »
I want to skate at Query's rink!!! :)

Skate there??  Heck - when can I move in??  :laugh:

Offline kiwiskater

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Re: If *I* Owned the Skating Rink
« Reply #14 on: November 28, 2010, 06:35:00 PM »
*Open more rinks so that there is more equal distribution of the population using the facilities and where in the event of a closure you don't have to trek across half the city (I live in a city of 1.5 million people (2006) and we have only 2 rinks...go figure)

This way hockey can go crazy in their own space and the figure skaters can live happily ever after without the ice-hogs at work...

*They would have professional staff who are friendly & knowledgeable about something other than hockey and can actually fit and recommend stuff to figure skaters

*Consider that the majority of adults who can afford to skate actually work during the day, so it would be a good idea to have more evening/weekend classes targeted at adults only...

*A first aid area that is manned at all times by someone with medical knowledge, not just a box in a cupboard somewhere and who can give out advice to skaters based on their knowledge of skating and medicine, not just one or the other...

Offline Query

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Re: If *I* Owned the Skating Rink
« Reply #15 on: November 28, 2010, 06:57:20 PM »
The idea of having multiple ice surfaces sounds wonderful - but must of the rinks are struggling in these economic times, because they don't have enough business.

Let me add a couple more ideas:

1. I still want the Open Pro policy. But coaches who teach group lessons for the rink, and a few others whom the figure skating director has vetted should get special "Coach" jackets that they should wear, and wear name tags. And I would post pictures and bios, so people can look for those coaches on the ice. Sure, that's favoritism, but it is to the benefit of the customers.

2. I love the idea someone just posted about mirrors. But what do we do about hockey players and others who smash into them?

3. Sound systems that work. There are a small number of rinks where that isn't true.

Offline AgnesNitt

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Re: If *I* Owned the Skating Rink
« Reply #16 on: November 28, 2010, 07:56:37 PM »
I want special ice etiquette classes.
Hockey players that rough-house on the ice are sent into time-out and reported to their parents.
Teenage boys that tick me off by playing "scare the beginner" are kicked off the ice.
Freestylers that don't get out of the way of skaters in a lesson get a good talking to with my "Mean ol' lady ice skater " (trademark) voice.

Yes I'm in with the 90's. I have a skating blog. http://icedoesntcare.blogspot.com/

Offline davincisop

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Re: If *I* Owned the Skating Rink
« Reply #17 on: January 02, 2011, 10:26:44 AM »
I'd make special freestyle times for the younger kids (regardless of skill level, you can break it up in there, too) and one for adults only.

Offline Sierra

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Re: If *I* Owned the Skating Rink
« Reply #18 on: January 02, 2011, 02:05:14 PM »
If I owned the skating rink, I would keep it open around Christmas and put out freestyle schedules two months prior. It's January... please post the January schedule already.

Offline treesprite

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Re: If *I* Owned the Skating Rink
« Reply #19 on: June 03, 2013, 01:51:54 AM »
What would it be like? The rules are to be realistic, and to limit to having 2 surfaces.

I have a pipe-dream (as in fantasy) rink called Ice Reef. It combines my two biggest hobbies, by having a reef aquarium built into the wall, where it can be viewed by the skaters as they skate, like swimming with the fishies.

The rink has to have 2 surfaces, because it needs one devoted to figure skating while still having one to make the money that pays the bills.

Adult-only public:
-  10pm to 12pm twice a week (so folks could practice after putting the kids to bed)
-  6am  1 -2x a week
-  8am 1 - 2x a week
- 10am 1 - 2x a week

Adult-only FS:
- 7am once a week
- 8pm twice a week

Adult-only MIF/Dance combo:
- 8pm once a week

Adult-only power stroking:
- 15 minutes following each 1-hr adult FS session

All ages:

30-min Patch (figures) sessions:
- one early morning
- one evening
- one weekend
- one late night

FS sessions:
- 5 days/week, 2 hrs early am (like 5-7), 2 hrs in pm

1/2 hour Jumps Only:
-  2x/week before  am FS sessions

1/2 hour Spins only:
-  2x week before am FS sessions

15-min power stroking sessions
- after each  FS session (since there are 2 FS in a row it would be after the second hour)

MIF/Dance combo sessions
- 3x week

Hockey-skate freestyle class 1x/week
Hockey-skate freestyle sessions 2x/week
Would have a hockey-skate freestyle category in any home-hosted competitions and exhibitions. 

Hockey, as in playing hockey, will only be on one rink cuz we don't like torn up ice. I'm not sure why rinks seem to not put hockey practices early in the morning. My fantasy rink would put them early in the morning and late at night. Days that have no games would give the space for other things.

Public sessions would try to get in as many as possible on both ice surfaces, but have to have times for group lessons as well. Might put some of the group lessons at a coned off end of an ice surface during public sessions and patch sessions.

Would allow advanced skaters to earn free ice time by helping with the group lessons.
 
Would find a way to have some fund raising for charities.

Would make the guards have to go through a training course, which I doubt happens at any rink currently in existence.
 
Would be quick to kick people off the ice for breaking certain rules.

Would make at least 1/3rd of every public session go clockwise direction.

Would host Special Olympics. I learned that my state has no Special Olympics ice skating category, in spite of the fact that Special Olympics is very prominent here for everything else.

Would encourage skaters to participate dually in USFSA and ISI, rather than emphasize one over the other. Participating in both gives a skater twice as many opportunities to compete and have fun (ISI now has open freestyle levels, which makes it fairly easy to use the same program for both).

It took me a long time to write all that....

Offline treesprite

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Re: If *I* Owned the Skating Rink
« Reply #20 on: June 04, 2013, 12:21:00 AM »
My post does not fit as a reply to this thread, so I don't know why my post was put onto this thread. This thread is to state one thing to add to the building of a rink - it is not people giving a full statement of details about what there own rink would be like. The whole idea of my thread is lost by sticking it in here where it is out of place. The fact that it is out of place makes me look stupid for going against the format for replies requested by the OP of this thread, when in fact I did not do any such thing. If my thread is going to be put in where it doesn't fit which makes me look foolish, I would rather it be deleted. Why anyone would dig up a 2-year old thread it doesn't fit in to bury it in, is beyond my comprehension.

Offline Isk8NYC

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Re: If *I* Owned the Skating Rink
« Reply #21 on: June 04, 2013, 08:28:53 AM »
My apologies, Treesprite - THIS was the thread I meant to merge your post with.  I got it mixed up with the "Build a Rink" topic, which is a lot of fun, but you're right: only one suggestion at a time there.  Here, you can put up your complete list and not look foolish.

Don't worry about the age of this type of thread: rink technology hasn't changed that much over two years and we don't get upset about resurrecting older topics on this board unless the new contribution is off-topic or snarky.  No one would think you foolish for continuing an older thread for two reasons:  (1) this version of the board is very young, compared to the original from ten years ago; and (2) your post was on-topic.

If we didn't want people to read old topics, we'd archive them or shut down the search feature.

My post does not fit as a reply to this thread, so I don't know why my post was put onto this thread. This thread is to state one thing to add to the building of a rink - it is not people giving a full statement of details about what there own rink would be like. The whole idea of my thread is lost by sticking it in here where it is out of place. The fact that it is out of place makes me look stupid for going against the format for replies requested by the OP of this thread, when in fact I did not do any such thing. If my thread is going to be put in where it doesn't fit which makes me look foolish, I would rather it be deleted. Why anyone would dig up a 2-year old thread it doesn't fit in to bury it in, is beyond my comprehension.
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