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Should City Open a Seasonal Ice Rink in Old Town Elk Grove?

The city of Elk Grove may sign an agreement with a vendor to open an ice skating rink.

Local holiday revelers may be able to go ice skating this winter without having to drive to Rancho Cordova or downtown Sacramento, but it might not be cheap for the entity bankrolling the rink.

The Elk Grove City Council this Wednesday will consider a proposal to build a seasonal ice rink in Old Town Elk Grove. The rink would be operated by Ice Unlimited, LLC., which runs rinks in Folsom, Rancho Cordova and downtown Sacramento.

If approved by the council, the ice skating rink would cost the city $80,000 to open and as much as $75,000 more for preparation of the site, utilities and cleanup.

"The City ... anticipates that it will recover at least some or all of the funds through ticket revenue sharing, advertisement sales, and concessions," a staff report for Wednesday's meeting states. "Any funds not recovered directly will be an expense."

The rink, which would be located along Elk Grove Boulevard near the railroad tracks, would be open from Nov. 17 to Jan. 21; admission and skate rentals would be $11 for adults and $9.50 for children.

More than 4,500 adults would have to go through the ice rink's turnstiles before the city would receive any share of the admission proceeds. The proposed contract with Ice Unlimited breaks down revenue sharing between the vendor and the city this way:

  • Ice Unlimited receives the first $50,000 of gross revenue from tickets and rentals
  • The city receives the next $10,000 of gross revenue from tickets and rentals
  • Ice Unlimited receives all gross ticket and rental revenues after that until it has earned a total of $140,000 (including the first $50,000).
  • The city receives all gross ticket and rental revenues after that, with no cap.

The city staff report says the city doesn't have time to ask other operators to submit proposals to operate ice rinks in Elk Grove because of the recent purchase of the property where the rink will be located.

Correction: A previous version of this article included an incorrect date for the proposed opening of the ice rink. Elk Grove Patch regrets the error.

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Elk Grove City Council Meeting
6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 24
8400 Laguna Palms Way

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Elk Grove, what do you think of this idea? Would you go ice skating in Old Town Elk Grove? Tell us in the comments section below.

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kramos October 22, 2012 at 01:45 PM
Yes, great idea
Kathryn Nobriga October 22, 2012 at 02:52 PM
Great idea for generating activity in our community! Yes!
Angel October 22, 2012 at 02:55 PM
Yes, Yes and yes. We need a newer roller skating rink and ice rink in elk grove. Great way to exercise, more family oriented activities and just a fun place to go.
Bwood October 22, 2012 at 02:59 PM
Yes, absolutely!
Tom Waltman October 22, 2012 at 03:07 PM
Um, where will people park?
Cody Kitaura (Editor) October 22, 2012 at 03:23 PM
Tom, isn't that lot on the south side of EG Boulevard (the one that had the chain across it for the longest time) open now?
Marty October 22, 2012 at 03:39 PM
Now that's some fast work. It's on the agenda for the 24th and opens Nov. 1st? The city can't even schedule "coffee with a cop" in that time frame. :-) Is it true that Folsom and Rancho Cordova are not opening theirs this year? If true, wonder why?
Hillary October 22, 2012 at 03:40 PM
Wonderful idea! That lot is open now & very convenient (and nearly always empty!). Parking is not an issue during parades & street festivals. I'm sure it will work out fine & bring much needed business to the Old Town area.
Renee snell October 22, 2012 at 04:11 PM
Yes, we live in Galt but always like an excuse to come into Elk Grove
Nancy P. Fox October 22, 2012 at 06:01 PM
Yes, the City of Sacramento has had a seasonal ice skating rink for years and it is still popular with the Sacramento folks. So I think it'd be another great venue to attract more people to Old Elk Grove and enjoy.
Camx6 October 22, 2012 at 06:10 PM
Fabulous Idea!! Not only would it bring buisness to all the little shops in Old Town and help generate revenues during the holiday season, but this would be such a great place for families to spend time during the winter break giving all our local kids something to look forward to doing while out of school... I believe its also a great way to bring those who live in cities surrounding us, into our beautiful little city and see what a great community we are here and all the great things Elk Grove has to offer...
Jim Zimmerman October 22, 2012 at 07:40 PM
Only if the City can do this with no cost to the City or its tax payers.
Connie Conley October 22, 2012 at 08:09 PM
If the city can’t go through the normal RFP process due to time constraints, which is interesting because holiday time is the same every year, then the city should be able to negotiate a better deal. Especially since both Folsom and Rancho Cordova passed this year – why is that? Hundreds of people each day would have to buy tickets in order for the taxpayers to recoup even a small return on this short-term investment. But if the reasoning is to bring more holiday enjoyment to the city of Elk Grove, that is fine. But once again not going through the normal RFP process, how do we know we are getting a good deal here? Also, why did both Folsom and Rancho tell this company “No thanks” this year? Were there problems that haven’t been disclosed?
Marty October 22, 2012 at 08:36 PM
Good points. I believe most are commenting just on the idea of having an ice skating rink and not actually reading the Agenda item and all that entails. Perhaps reading that would be a good idea. Opening is actually scheduled for Nov. 17th. From my understanding we don't even own the property yet. http://www.elkgrovecity.org/documents/agendas/attachments/attachments/2012/10-24-12_10.2.pdf
Cody Kitaura (Editor) October 22, 2012 at 08:44 PM
Ack, thanks for pointing out that error, Marty. I mis-read the agenda item: "In order to be operational for the annual Dickens Street Faire, the operator needs to commence set-up by November 1. The ice rink is expected to be open daily Saturday, November 17, through Monday, January 21, from 10am – 10pm, with the exception of Christmas Day (closed) and New Year’s Eve (open until 1:00 am on New Year’s Day)."
Cody Kitaura (Editor) October 22, 2012 at 08:53 PM
"Hundreds of people each day would have to buy tickets in order for the taxpayers to recoup even a small return on this short-term investment." Connie, according to my math, if you don't include any kind of outside revenue from sponsorships, the city would need 20,000 adults to visit the rink to break even. With the Nov. 17 - Jan. 21 time frame, that's about 300 people per day.
Marty October 22, 2012 at 09:17 PM
IMO, this is just being thrown out with not enough thought into the process. Should have been started in the spring/summer and even then I am not sure Old Town is the best location. It's so premature and "contingent' on many things coming together quickly, one being the "little" problem of closing escrow on the proposed site for the ice rink. Minor, right?
Chris October 22, 2012 at 09:38 PM
I hope this isn’t an election stunt like the one done with the new library right before another big city council election. This is the cynic in me because this has been done before. So it begs the question. Hurry up, get it done, push it through the agenda without the proper due diligence, sign the lease, have big the photo op, ribbon cutting, pats on the back, vote for me for Mayor because look how well I represented Old Town over the last 12 years. Never mind the library building had to be totally redone inside; the cost astronomical, because the second floor could never hold the weight of the books and was rendered very dangerous. And then there is the lack of parking. We shall see when the council deliberates on Wednesday night!
Connie Conley October 22, 2012 at 10:55 PM
It appears we have been given incorrect information. The city of Folsom is having their ice rink again this year. However it is not funded by the city of Folsom; it is funded by the Folsom Historic District Association. The city of Folsom only assists with the permitting process. They are going with a different vendor this year and it appears that vendor then contacted the city of Elk Grove.
Fast Food City October 22, 2012 at 11:24 PM
Sure, just keep giving the taxpayer's money away. Whatever happened to capitalism where businesses accept the risk, in return for the potential to make profits. The taxpayers have guaranteed they cannot lose! Government bureaucrats have no expertise in running businesses and should not even try to sit at the table with them.
Kathy Sachen October 23, 2012 at 12:39 AM
I would absolutely love to see a skating rink in the Elk Grove area. I know I would take my Granddaughter there to teach her how to skate. Great activity for children and adults!
David Wol October 23, 2012 at 04:33 AM
Why is the city of Elk Grove subsidizing this private enterprise? Inquiring minds like to know. Judging from the article, the city and its taxpayers are taking ALL the risk and would need a huge turnout daily in order to break even. Does the city have a lot of extra funds?
JJ Johnson October 23, 2012 at 06:19 AM
What? Wait a minute! The city of Elk Grove is rushing into things?!?!
Joey Buenaventura January 19, 2013 at 02:21 AM
Yes it's good income for Elk Grove BUT near the railroad tracks, bad idea. Keep it away from the main road please, I know there will be a lot of problems not only traffic wise but to residences around that area. Best place to put that is an area along Waterman towards Grant Line Rd and there it will not bother anyone.

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