Ice Rink reaping the rewards

As it turns out, the political wrangling and the financing debates have worked themselves out, adding to a record season at the newly reopened ice rink.

December attendance at the rink doubled over December 2009—the last season the rink was open.
Going into the New Year, the rink already is 85 percent of the total attendance than it had in 2009-10.

“What a time to reopen the Ice Rink,” said Stuart Brown, the Town’s recreation director.

“Attendance has been through the roof and the quality of the experience on the ice for our guests has surpassed our expectations,” he said.

In December 2009, the Ice Rink drew 3,383 customers. This past December, total attendance was 6,941 customers.

The rink is in a constant state of sellouts, with the main problem being a shortage of rental skates.

With many people skating the high-country lakes, the rink has been unable to provide skates for those people, but that is in the process of being fixed.

Brown said the recreation department has ordered more skates for rental, and they should be here soon—possibly by this weekend.

“This is the best example yet of how Measure R funds should be spent, too,” Stuart said.

To get the rink in operation, the recreation department used $154,000 in Measure R funding and an additional $500,000 in Proposition 84 funds.

The department used the funds to lay down a full-sized, hockey rink slab, along with a coolant system to keep the ice firm on warm days.

That work followed a political leasing agreement between the Town and the Mammoth Unified School District, which owns the property.

In addition to its regular schedule, the rink this week introduced “Stick Time”—a chance for hockey wannabes to learn to skate with a stick.

“Get some ‘Stick Time’ at the Mammoth Ice Rink every Wednesday during lunch (from noon to 2 p.m.).

Anyone can get on the ice and experience an introduction to ice hockey. Instruction is provided and normal skating fees apply, skate rentals, sticks, and pucks available. Helmets are recommended.

Brown introduced the attendance figures to the Town Council on Wednesday evening and said he will give the Recreation Commission a full report at its regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday.