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Is Ice Skating Rink Still Coming to Elk Grove?

A contract approved Wednesday by the Elk Grove City Council was not signed, but some retain hope that the deal can be saved.

Bringing an ice skating rink to Old Town Elk Grove this winter may not be a certain thing after all.

The Elk Grove City Council on Wednesday approved a contract with Ice Unlimited to bring an ice skating rink to a newly purchased property near Elk Grove Boulevard and the railroad tracks, but that contract wasn't signed Friday as officials had hoped.

"The operator chose not to execute the contract as it was written at the council meeting," city spokeswoman Christine Brainerd said by phone. "It's a priority for city and we've already begun exploring other holiday event options for the site."

Ice Unlimited owner Rob Porter said nothing was certain yet, and declined to comment further.

City Council Member Gary Davis said he was hopeful the deal could be saved.

"The official negotiation's broken down but I've been talking to an associate of his and trying to bring everyone back together," Davis said. "At this point I think we're a ways from bringing it back. I also don't think it's totally dead."

Davis, who was not a part of the official negotiations Friday between city staff and Ice Unlimited, said if the vendor will return to the table, the city will be happy to work with him.

Council Member Sophia Scherman said she hadn't heard anything to indicate the deal could be revived.

"I'm very disappointed," Scherman said. "I was really looking forward to it, but when we can't do a contract that's in the best interest of the city, I support staff's position."

Scherman was absent from Wednesday's meeting, where a proposed deal with Ice Unlimited was approved by a 3-1 vote after being altered in a council recess. Council Member Steve Detrick voted against the deal.

Old Town Elk Grove Foundation President Paula Maita said she didn't know much except that negotiations "fell through."

Check back with Elk Grove Patch for more information on this story as it becomes available.

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Connie Conley October 27, 2012 at 01:49 AM
Something is amiss here. This was just too fast and when Pat Hume and Gary Davis saw that the contract wasn't in the best interests of the city or citizens of Elk Grove, they had the fiduciary responsiblity to look out for our money. The contractor was given a very fair counter offer. To not take it now when he accepted the "gentlemen's offer" at the council meeting is interesting. This is especially true when other cities in the region are not having their ice rinks this holiday season; so his company may have been one of the vendors who lost out on that revenue as well.
Marty October 27, 2012 at 04:26 AM
Seems Gary just saw that the contract wasn't in the best interests of the city sometime after 1:09 p.m. today from the email I received today............. Date: 10/26/2012 1:08:46 P.M. From Gary@mayorgarydavis.com Get Ready to Ice Skate in Old Town Elk Grove! "Working together for good jobs, safe neighborhoods, and a strong local economy." Friends, If you have been reading my emails, you know that one my highest priorities is transforming Elk Grove into a destination with rich cultural amenities and fun activities! A very large part of this objective includes rejuvenating Old Town Elk Grove. Well, great news! Due to a recent acquisition of property in Old Town Elk Grove, the City of Elk Grove is bringing you an ice skating rink this winter! The rink is scheduled to be open on November 17th and run through January 21st - in time for the Twenty Fifth Annual Dicken's Street Fair - and will be located just South of Elk Grove Blvd to the East of the railroad tracks. More details coming soon, but get ready to ice skate! Sincerely, Gary
Tom Waltman October 27, 2012 at 05:34 AM
The remorked contract did not change the numbers significantly. The ice rink owner still made between $220K and $270K, ($130 upfront), while the city stood to lose up to $150K. Break even would have required 29,000 skaters in the roughly 60 days the rink was to be open. That is 450 each and every day. Odds are very low that would have actually occurred. And that is break even just on the initial cash outlay, not the additional salaries and shuttle service promised. While I understand why the City Council would want to do this, and why they would vote for the contract, I wish they would have just stated that they knrew it would cost the city and they were willing to spend it for the amenity. I think it would have been worth it in the long run.
Bwood October 27, 2012 at 02:58 PM
What is "remorked?"
Tom Waltman October 27, 2012 at 04:50 PM
Pretty much the same as "remindyed."
amused in fast food city October 27, 2012 at 08:52 PM
Ol' twitchy tries to politicize everything to his advantage!
John October 28, 2012 at 12:13 AM
I dont know about the rest of EG but I can live without an Ice Rink this Christmas Season! We have serious economical issues in this city, region, and state. I think we can find a better way to use this money. I say we open up the bidding and see who wants to put an event or activity in that area at their business's expense. No different than any other business in the world! If this guy wants to put a rink and charge $9 per person plus rental then let him at his own expense. The EG citizenbs can go mand skate their if they want but this way they are only paying for it once!
John October 28, 2012 at 12:15 AM
The EG citizens can go skate there if they want but this way they are only paying for it once! Sorry for the spelling error before.
Jim Zimmerman October 28, 2012 at 08:46 PM
Good comments John. The memembers of the council that voted for this did not have the best interest for the citizens of Elk Grove. Not enough parking, Old Town is dead since the redo of the streets and sidewalks.
Jamie Carroll October 28, 2012 at 09:19 PM
The skating rink would be a good source of revenue for all the shops around the rink also. Lets see this picture as a whole please.
Jim Zimmerman October 28, 2012 at 09:47 PM
Jamie, what shops? Fireside? the Spa? who will go there after or before Ice skating? Get real.
John October 28, 2012 at 10:14 PM
I am seeing it as a whole! Perhaps the Old EG shop owners should get together and rent the space and pay to have the rink put there themselves? I am VERY doubtful the tax revenue generated would come close to justify "our" paying for it? ("our" meaning the citizens and taxpayers of EG) I would think that the council members want to think that our little Old Town EG is the equivelent to "K" St. in downtown Sacramento but the reality is that if they cannot afford it then neither can we. I wonder if they think that having an ice skating rink will draw people to Old EG from Sacramento, Galt, Folsom, etc.? For what? To go to a spa or trade in their gold? It's not like we have a measurable amount of retail stores in Old EG? Maybe Bobs Club would benefit more than anybody becuse they would be the ones open before during and after they rink is open. Makes no sense at all to me! Correct me with facts and figures if you can but just "because we want to" doesn't fly.
John October 28, 2012 at 10:18 PM
Just curious Jamie, would you agree to the city dividing up the $200,000 equally amongst Old EG business owners for them to advertise to get people to frequent their shops so their revenue would increase? Basically the same thing!
patchreader October 29, 2012 at 03:58 AM
"Revenue for shops around the rink"? What shops? There is nothing to attract people to Old Town. That is a BIG part of the problem with that area. People aren't interested in what the current businesses in Old Town offer. Adding a temporary skating rink to the area doesn't make those shops suddenly more attractive. "See the picture as a whole"? HOLE is more like it. A giant, gaping, hole sucking up money.
John October 29, 2012 at 04:29 AM
Exactly! Why spend more money? Whats next, Elephant rides or go-karts?

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