You are viewing as a Guest.

Welcome to skatingforums - over 10 years of figure skating discussions for skaters, coaches, judges and parents!

Please register to be able to access all features of this message board.

Author Topic: Help Save Our Ice!  (Read 13555 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Query

  • Gliding in the "Altitude" Position
  • ******
  • Joined: Aug 2010
  • Location: Maryland, USA
  • Posts: 2,716
  • Total GOE: 97
  • Gender: Male
    • mgrunes.com
Re: Help Save Our Ice!
« Reply #75 on: September 03, 2015, 02:03:23 PM »
The renovation page discusses "upgrading" the rink.  :)

If you can find out who plans to bid, maybe you and other skaters can submit to them your idea of what a true "upgrade" would be.  :WS:

It's amazing that a management company wouldn't ask the skating community what constitutes an "upgrade" before spending significant money on it.

An electrician who worked for a university told me about how the University of Maryland selects building architectural proposals. They don't consult with their maintenance departments regarding proposed plans. For example, they accepted and had built an athletics center in which a large light bulb that lit up a large fraction of the complex was in a high tower. There was no practical way for an electrician to get into the tower. So changing the light bulb would likely involve tearing down and rebuilding the tower. The maintenance staff looked at the plans, and realized the problem before it was built, but they were never asked for their opinion... The athletics center is absolutely gorgeous, and that's probably all that mattered to the selection committee.

That's a long way of saying that an architect's view of "upgrade" might differ from a skater's view. Beauty trumps functionality.  :)


Offline icedancer

  • Always a Flip, Never a Back Flip
  • *****
  • Joined: Aug 2010
  • Location: USA West Coast, Left Coast
  • Posts: 1,729
  • Total GOE: 142
Re: Help Save Our Ice!
« Reply #76 on: September 03, 2015, 05:01:52 PM »
Well, the new owners of the mall also own two malls in Texas which have had similar situations - turning a nearly regulation-size mall-based rink into a smaller oval, so they do have experience in this area.

Those rinks are in Houston and Dallas respectively - I believe they are both called The Galleria Mall. 

In both cases the skating community was ignored, protested the changes and generally don't run very big skating programs in these smaller, oval mall rinks.

The Save our Ice petition was intended to petition both the owners of the mall (Cypress Equities) and the original architectural firm that was hired to do the re-model of the mall including the rink.  At this point we just don't have any information about who is going to be doing the actual work so it is hard to approach them.

Our local newspapers and television stations have done pieces about the "Rink Shrinkage" problem from the point of view of the skaters.  There have been several articles and lots of discussion forums, etc.

As far as rink management I think they don't really care (mall management also) - the rink is a revenue center but they are not so interested in the developmental programs for figure skaters and see the rink as a place where recreational skaters can have some fun while shopping... or instead of shopping... or something.  So why would these recreational skaters care about how big the rink is?

A smaller rink will probably be cheaper to run since it will take less energy to run it (that is their general train of thought).

Many people in the Portland area think the work is being done or has already taken place.  Although the mall is really in the center of the central city's east side, going to the mall is really not of interest to most people - the only reason I go there is to go to the rink - of course along the way I do some shopping, there are some nice restaurants there, stores I may frequent - but frankly most of my friends never set foot in the mall.

If I had my way (which I don't) - I would turn the mall into an open-air mall, keep the rink (cover it) - I think people in this area are more open to shopping in open spaces - a lot of the suburban "malls" are more open air - they seem to attract more people.

Just my two cents.

Thanks for keeping this discussion going.  I see that our petition has gotten 10 signatures in just the last day - so maybe some of those signatures are from the people on this forum.

Thank you!

Offline icedancer

  • Always a Flip, Never a Back Flip
  • *****
  • Joined: Aug 2010
  • Location: USA West Coast, Left Coast
  • Posts: 1,729
  • Total GOE: 142
Re: Help Save Our Ice!
« Reply #77 on: September 17, 2015, 02:43:14 PM »
Just in case anyone wanted to sign our petition but couldn't because it was closed for a week - it has re-opened!

Thank you!

https://www.change.org/p/cypress-equities-save-our-ice-don-t-shrink-the-rink

Offline skategeek

  • Custom Skates
  • *****
  • Joined: Aug 2013
  • Posts: 1,889
  • Total GOE: 231
  • Gender: Female
  • or is that geekyskater?
Re: Help Save Our Ice!
« Reply #78 on: December 30, 2015, 09:09:51 AM »
Their calendar now has public skate and freestyle times listed through Jan 17, so I'm guessing that's when they're planning to shut it down?   :(

I'll be in town Jan 3-8, so I'm hoping to find some skating time then.  Do you know whether there are lockers or someplace secure to leave stuff while I skate?

Offline Query

  • Gliding in the "Altitude" Position
  • ******
  • Joined: Aug 2010
  • Location: Maryland, USA
  • Posts: 2,716
  • Total GOE: 97
  • Gender: Male
    • mgrunes.com
Re: Help Save Our Ice!
« Reply #79 on: December 31, 2015, 10:19:05 AM »
Well, the new owners of the mall also own two malls in Texas which have had similar situations - turning a nearly regulation-size mall-based rink into a smaller oval

I was just thinking. If these people own or are buying up a lot of old malls with rinks, that they plan to "improve", you could start organizing people in all those towns to protest the "upgrade"! :)

Maybe even start a movement to try to stop them from taking over more rinks.

It has the potential to spread like a plague. :)

Offline icedancer

  • Always a Flip, Never a Back Flip
  • *****
  • Joined: Aug 2010
  • Location: USA West Coast, Left Coast
  • Posts: 1,729
  • Total GOE: 142
Re: Help Save Our Ice!
« Reply #80 on: January 01, 2016, 02:35:13 PM »
Their calendar now has public skate and freestyle times listed through Jan 17, so I'm guessing that's when they're planning to shut it down?   :(

I'll be in town Jan 3-8, so I'm hoping to find some skating time then.  Do you know whether there are lockers or someplace secure to leave stuff while I skate?

There are lockers - hopefully you will get one.  If not I would recommend bringing a minimum amount of private stuff into the rink area - I usually stow a couple of things in my skate bag and put it on the boards so I can keep an eye on it.

The morning publics are usually really good - they start at 10am and go basically all day - there will be several adult skaters there - if you want to meet up let me know!

Supposedly they are closing the 17th or thereabouts - but they were supposed to close a lot of dates in the past year so I will believe it when I see it!

As far as the company buying a lot of malls with rinks in them - it is true that this same management company owns the mall in Houston and Dallas where they shrunk their rinks - I actually think that in one of the places they didn't make the rink smaller but they rounded the corners to make the rink more oval. 

I am not sure how we would find out if they are purposely buying old malls with rinks and transforming them and making them into playgrounds for shoppers... I kind of doubt it but I will also say that I don't think they care one little bit about the skating communities that they have altered with their silly plans about smaller oval rinks.

Interesting idea though -

Offline skategeek

  • Custom Skates
  • *****
  • Joined: Aug 2013
  • Posts: 1,889
  • Total GOE: 231
  • Gender: Female
  • or is that geekyskater?
Re: Help Save Our Ice!
« Reply #81 on: January 01, 2016, 07:39:54 PM »
There are lockers - hopefully you will get one.  If not I would recommend bringing a minimum amount of private stuff into the rink area - I usually stow a couple of things in my skate bag and put it on the boards so I can keep an eye on it.

The morning publics are usually really good - they start at 10am and go basically all day - there will be several adult skaters there - if you want to meet up let me know!

Supposedly they are closing the 17th or thereabouts - but they were supposed to close a lot of dates in the past year so I will believe it when I see it!

Good to know, thanks!  I can keep things to a minimum just in case I don't get a locker.  I'll let you know once I know my schedule.

Offline icedancer

  • Always a Flip, Never a Back Flip
  • *****
  • Joined: Aug 2010
  • Location: USA West Coast, Left Coast
  • Posts: 1,729
  • Total GOE: 142
Re: Help Save Our Ice!
« Reply #82 on: January 16, 2016, 04:23:54 PM »
Well, the rink is closing after tomorrow's sessions and the renovations will begin.  It is supposed to re-open in it's new incarnation in November.  My guess is that it take a lot longer than that because that is how these things go.

The skating community is pretty sad about this and many many people plan to be there for the "last-day" festivities.  Although we made a pretty good effort to try to get the powers-that-be to consider keeping (or increasing) the current size and shape all indications are that the plans for a smaller, elliptical-shaped rink will be going forward.

I don't feel that this has been a complete failure as this has drawn together people from all facets of the skating community and the Portland community who treasure this unique rink which was the first of its kind anywhere in the world.  Hopefully it will make us stronger as a community and we will still see each other at the other normal sized, cold rinks in our area.

For me it will mean more driving and probably more over-all expense as this mall rink had one of the best deals I've ever seen in skating - sign up for a class (~$40/month) and get all public sessions included (and at $11.50 - $13.50 per session this was phenomenal) - and the sessions ran basically all day from 10am - 6pm so you could go any time it fit into your schedule. 

Offline skategeek

  • Custom Skates
  • *****
  • Joined: Aug 2013
  • Posts: 1,889
  • Total GOE: 231
  • Gender: Female
  • or is that geekyskater?
Re: Help Save Our Ice!
« Reply #83 on: January 16, 2016, 05:23:48 PM »
 :( :( :(

Offline Query

  • Gliding in the "Altitude" Position
  • ******
  • Joined: Aug 2010
  • Location: Maryland, USA
  • Posts: 2,716
  • Total GOE: 97
  • Gender: Male
    • mgrunes.com
Re: Help Save Our Ice!
« Reply #84 on: January 17, 2016, 12:00:49 PM »
Awww.  You have our sympathies.

Will they raise their prices to pay for "improvements"?

Incidentally, it is possible that the shopping center has been subsidizing the operation of the rink, especially for LTS students. It's not unusual for the total costs of running a rink well, in a warm microclimate, such as inside a heated mall, to run $1-$2 million/year.

Offline icedancer

  • Always a Flip, Never a Back Flip
  • *****
  • Joined: Aug 2010
  • Location: USA West Coast, Left Coast
  • Posts: 1,729
  • Total GOE: 142
Re: Help Save Our Ice!
« Reply #85 on: January 17, 2016, 05:50:17 PM »
Awww.  You have our sympathies.

Will they raise their prices to pay for "improvements"?

Incidentally, it is possible that the shopping center has been subsidizing the operation of the rink, especially for LTS students. It's not unusual for the total costs of running a rink well, in a warm microclimate, such as inside a heated mall, to run $1-$2 million/year.

Thank you - I hope they don't raise their prices because they are the most expensive in town as it is!

And yeah, it has never been clear if the mall has been subsidizing the rink at all as the rink is run by a separate company called Rink Management Services.  That is all I know.

Sad day for all but I was there this morning and plan to go back this afternoon for "the last hour".

Offline Query

  • Gliding in the "Altitude" Position
  • ******
  • Joined: Aug 2010
  • Location: Maryland, USA
  • Posts: 2,716
  • Total GOE: 97
  • Gender: Male
    • mgrunes.com
Re: Help Save Our Ice!
« Reply #86 on: January 20, 2016, 08:38:15 PM »
Rink Management Services is "the largest operator of ice skating facilities in the U.S." They operate some ice rinks around my area (DC). They run both private and public rinks - often under contract to another company or organization, so sometimes they don't call all the shots. Some are fairly well run.

This may be the wrong time to say this, but they aren't the source of all evil. In my neighborhood.

Offline icedancer

  • Always a Flip, Never a Back Flip
  • *****
  • Joined: Aug 2010
  • Location: USA West Coast, Left Coast
  • Posts: 1,729
  • Total GOE: 142
Re: Help Save Our Ice!
« Reply #87 on: January 20, 2016, 09:23:06 PM »
Rink Management Services is "the largest operator of ice skating facilities in the U.S." They operate some ice rinks around my area (DC). They run both private and public rinks - often under contract to another company or organization, so sometimes they don't call all the shots. Some are fairly well run.

This may be the wrong time to say this, but they aren't the source of all evil. In my neighborhood.

No they are NOT the source of evil here AT ALL - the source of evil is Cypress Equities, a Texas company that bought the mall and has no idea about the Portland market.  They are all about the $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

Offline Query

  • Gliding in the "Altitude" Position
  • ******
  • Joined: Aug 2010
  • Location: Maryland, USA
  • Posts: 2,716
  • Total GOE: 97
  • Gender: Male
    • mgrunes.com
Re: Help Save Our Ice!
« Reply #88 on: January 21, 2016, 02:13:52 PM »
Cypress Equities' corporate portfolio speaks of a "Survival of the fittest" management philosophy - which might mean that if they receive a lot of complaints about local management, that management could be out. :)

What I was really saying was that lobbying Rink Management Services may have been pointless. Mall management may have directed you to talk to them as a buffer, or to keep you out of their hair.

At the RMS rinks where I've skated, RMS provides most of the troops on the ground, makes sure they have the technical know and training to do daily and somewhat less frequent maintenance, and has real experts on call. They also interface to the public, keep the facilities and the ice clean, publish schedules and usually keep to those schedules. In large part, RMS seems a solid professional company that does what they are paid to do. Very likely, they are being paid to perform all or most of the renovation of the rink itself, and will profit from it, but that doesn't mean they made all the decisions, or were consulted regarding its overall shape.

I've been told, for a lot of public and private facilities, there are architects who make a lot of upper level decisions. Most real architects have at least some engineering training, and may even be fully qualified building engineers, but there are a lot of decisions that they assume responsibility for that sometimes turn out wrong - so says the master electrician I know. The architect may have followed a vision of how the facility should be renovated to "look", and may never had heard your complaints and suggestions, nor have been aware that something as abstract (to him or her) as rink shape would make a big difference.

Were I you, I would have gone to Cypress's top level marketing and property management people, and explained the issues, in a very calm, articulate manner. Even now, knowing there is an issue will give those people something to look for - if, and only if rink usage actually drops significantly, or fails to meet goals. (Based on http://www.lloydcenter.com/renovation, they are definitely putting a lot of money into "improving" Lloyd Center. They make it sound like the result will be very beautiful, regardless of functionality. Perhaps they will actually make the rink more popular to the general public. But close the rink until November?)

If other businesses are expanding into the released area, it may be too late to do anything to give the rink a more rectangular shape again, but if not, it might be something they would consider. More likely, perhaps they would direct mall management, and/or RMS, to try to accommodate your other concerns - even if the rink is not ideal for practicing full-rink skating patterns, you can probably various types of classes, clinics, and special events there, and have other types of lessons there. Especially if you offered to help them set up some of those activities (if you aren't already), though of course that would consume some of your valuable time.

I probably would not say in public Internet forums that "the source of evil is Cypress Equities," as that might make them less eager to continue the conversation.

Though it might have been fun to organize people to skate on the last day in mourning attire.


Offline icedancer

  • Always a Flip, Never a Back Flip
  • *****
  • Joined: Aug 2010
  • Location: USA West Coast, Left Coast
  • Posts: 1,729
  • Total GOE: 142
Re: Help Save Our Ice!
« Reply #89 on: January 21, 2016, 02:44:21 PM »
Yes Query we have done all of that - very nice letters directly to Cypress Equities to voice our concerns, discussions with architects about the problems you have pointed out, discussions with mall management - it has fallen on deaf ears and now the remodel has begun. 

We shall see how it all sorts out when it opens in November  (supposedly). I'm sure the rink will be functional for LTS, patch class (!), recreational skater events, show numbers, etc.  It has always been a "small rink" at 175 x 75 BUT it was functional for competitions and tests and had a very active social ice dance presence, there were clinics there given by well-known choreographers and skaters and because there was no hockey there were evening public sessions and free-styles for the working people and LTS skaters.  Public sessions ran all day from 10am - 6pm.

The other rinks in the area are in the suburbs whereas this mall rink is in Portland proper and easily accessible because of proximity to the highway and public transportation.

Online AgnesNitt

  • Asynchronous Skating Team Leader
  • ********
  • Joined: Aug 2010
  • Location: East o' the sun; and west o' the moon
  • Posts: 4,850
  • Total GOE: 495
  • Gender: Female
    • The ice doesn't care
Re: Help Save Our Ice!
« Reply #90 on: June 14, 2016, 08:21:07 PM »
Bumping this.

I see the rink is closed with a planned opening for November. What's the status?

Also, in going through the old posts, I remember that the new rink is not going to use a zamboni. Is it going to be synthetic ice?

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

Offline Query

  • Gliding in the "Altitude" Position
  • ******
  • Joined: Aug 2010
  • Location: Maryland, USA
  • Posts: 2,716
  • Total GOE: 97
  • Gender: Male
    • mgrunes.com
Re: Help Save Our Ice!
« Reply #91 on: June 14, 2016, 10:50:13 PM »
Skaters who are only used to Olympic rinks sometimes run out of space at international competitions held in NHL-size rinks. Your students won't have that problem. :)

If you run a multi-rink competition, your students will have an ::>) 

(Incidentally, some sub-size rinks in my area run figure and hockey comps.)

Offline skatezilla

  • Searching for my back edges
  • Designated Spinner
  • *
  • Joined: Dec 2011
  • Location: Oregon
  • Posts: 17
  • Total GOE: 0
  • Gender: Female
Re: Help Save Our Ice!
« Reply #92 on: June 15, 2016, 01:37:21 AM »
The rink is still slated for a mid-November opening. It will be real ice. I'm not sure where you heard about not having a Zamboni as I've never heard that. However, it will be significantly smaller and in an oval shape. I'll just be happy to skate in a warm environment again.

Offline icedancer

  • Always a Flip, Never a Back Flip
  • *****
  • Joined: Aug 2010
  • Location: USA West Coast, Left Coast
  • Posts: 1,729
  • Total GOE: 142
Re: Help Save Our Ice!
« Reply #93 on: June 15, 2016, 01:11:00 PM »
I heard Nov 1 opening - they have been working on it since it closed - yes, there will be a zamboni and real ice.

It has been good going to the other "big rinks" but they are more of a drive for me - I live 5 minutes drive from this mall rink - so yes, looking forward to the opening.

I don't care how big it is. 

Dance patterns may be difficult but at this point I just need to get feet on the ice a little more often and I think I will be happy.