Wanna buy a struggling Ice Park for $4.1 million? Call Bob Kahn at 245-5050.
This is an important part of a vibrant downtown, and the City would be wise to make sure it continues as as ice rink.
That was my point ... the reason the rink failed is because of its location, design and a lack of understanding about how to manage and develop an ice rink that is not owned by the municipality. That rink can not survive without the city participation and funding.
My son played AAA and junior hockey. I have been to more than my share of ice rinks. I have talked to enough managers and owners to know how a rink can prosper.
A privately owned rink has to be able to generate revenue from a lot more than selling ice time @ $250-$350 an hour and the owner has to be 100% dedicated to its success.
The problem with that prediction is that powerful people in the county are doing everything they can to force clogged traffic into the middle of the city. The traffic nightmare that is going to come to downtown if the Meadowcreek Parkway gets built will make it very unappealing to be anywhere near the area most of the day.
Nothing a little design competition with a $150,000 prize wouldn't solve. That's all it took to turn those two parking lots into the envy of the free world.
Bye bye downtown mall. It is rapidly falling victim to the suburban mentality of this area. I need my big ass house, yard, kids, and pool. Downtowns are for losers and those hippies that never really want to work.
I think big abandoned buildings on the mall are a beautiful site. The city certainly seems to be spending a lot of money building a new sidewalk along the marginal structure of a luxury hotel.
Maybe UVA will buy the downtown area and make it a parking lot.
I don't think that the idea was to have a minor league hockey team on the Downtown Mall. And given that Richmond lost the Renegades, again, I don't know if Charlottesville would really want to try to support a minor league hockey team.
The skating rink seems like a nice idea and good for the community, but it's too expensive at present. Perhaps something like this actually belongs on 29 North or somewhere like that where expenses are lower and you can have a big lot.
The problem is its poor design, making it impossible to find revenue ... I would not buy it.
With 4 million dollars you can build a much better ice rink that has a sports bar and enough seats around it to generate ticket sales, attract a junior or minor club, build a triple A club ... but you have to know the ice! You can't make money buy throwing a couple of sticks in a closet and calling it a pro shop! You can't just hire somebody off the street to create and manage programs,and market them.
It takes time to build a rink and it needs community support.
Towns with well managed municipal ice rinks have a much better quality of life than we do here in Charlottesville.
With the Jefferson Theater, Paramont, and Pavilion, on the Mall and now several new art venues, as well as the McGuffey Art Center nearby--with all these one of a kind art and entertainment venues, very unlikely a suburban mall can compete. This is certainly the best place to own a restaurant or coffee shop and even if you don't like the way the Omni was financed, it is a huge plus for business.
As roads in the county clog, and baby boomers age, more people will want to live near the Mall; which will only increase it's economic viability.