Should You Opt for a Seasonal or Permanent Ice Rink?

04/29/2016 08:00:00

If you are planning to run an ice skating rink, you’ll already have a number of things to consider. But one of the most important questions you’ll have to answer before approaching investors or town boards with plans is whether you will be building a permanent or seasonal structure. This will not only have a big impact on the budget, it will also determine the places you can operate and what types of attention and revenue you bring in. Here are some of the pros of both options:

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Pros of Seasonal Ice Rinks

  • More affordable – As may be expected, a seasonal ice rink is a lot cheaper than a permanent one. The materials, the time it takes to build, and the amount of construction involved with a temporary location just isn’t as intensive as with a permanent structure. Depending on your budget, this can be a major factor in your decision.
  • More customizable – Once a permanent ice rink is in place, that’s kind of it. Changing anything would then necessitate a major reconstruction that would cost a lot of money. However, seasonal rinks are built to be put up and easily taken back down again, so that means that adjusting the shape or size of one isn’t as big a deal.
  • Can cover existing, currently unused spaces – For instance, if you have a large public tennis court in the town that lies vacant all winter because of the cold, you can convert it into an ice rink for the season! All that ice rinks require is a flat, stable surface, so things like sports arenas and tennis courts can easily be retrofitted without disrupting or damaging the current structure.
  • You can do other things with the space in the warmer seasons – Having a temporary ice rink allows you to use the space in which it stands for something else when the weather warms up. You could easily have town events like craft fairs or carnivals, or leave the area open for soccer matches. This way, your space can be a rotating place of fun where there’s always something going on!

Pros of Permanent Ice Rinks

  • Year-round revenue – One of the obvious benefits of running an ice skating rink all year is that you will get more revenue. If you have other endeavors during the warm months, this may not matter to you, but for those who derive their income primarily from the ownership and management of the rink, more time open means more money to work with. This can assist you in everything from investing in other projects to making improvements to the current ice rink facility.
  • Appeal to athletes – What do you imagine when you think of an ice skating rink? Maybe couples cozily cruising the ice, parents holding their small children up to keep them from falling, robust senior citizens enjoying a casual lope around the rink. And that’s what the winter season often is – especially on the weekends. But what about the local hockey teams or aspiring figure skaters who are looking for a place to practice? Most of them can’t afford to take a 6-month break while the rink is gone, and might have to drive many miles to find an alternative. Your rink can provide an ideal place for those athletes to go.
  • Consistent costs – Having a seasonal rink is great, but changing locations or even simply rink sizes can mean a whole lot of other fluctuating costs that may be hard to account for when you’re budgeting. The cost of water, electricity, equipment, supplies, and the lease itself, can all vary depending on the area and job. A permanent ice rink generally offers more stability.
  • Better seating options and roofing – One of the things you might notice when looking at seasonal rinks is how they often don’t have seating or roofing – and if they do, it’s cheap. Most rink owners don’t bother with nice seating or serious roofing options for anything less than a permanent structure. This makes sense, as sturdier options are often unneeded for smaller, recreational- and tourism-based operations. If you are trying to create a place for people to be able to watch events, however, a permanent rink is your best choice.

Whichever option you choose, Carrier Rental Systems can provide ice rink chillers to suit it. Our solutions can even be customized for preexisting structures, and don’t have to be designed with the rink! Call or contact us today for more details.

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