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TODAY'S QUESTION: Do you think Columbia should get an ice rink?

Monday, April 26, 2010 | 12:01 a.m. CDT; updated 9:17 a.m. CDT, Monday, April 26, 2010

For years, some Columbia residents have lobbied for a city ice rink. Now, plans are beginning to materialize.  

Boone Ice Group is an organization comprised of Columbia residents interested in bringing an ice rink to Columbia. Cofounder C.K. Hoenes said the group is working with the city’s parks and recreation department.

The closest ice rink is Washington Park Ice Arena in Jefferson City, which is open from Aug. 1 through mid-April every year, said Bill Lockwood, director of Jefferson City’s parks and recreation department.

A Columbia rink would also benefit the MU hockey club, said John Lamond, coach and Boone Ice Group member.

“It’d be enormous. We’re a nationally respected group and players still come to us, but a rink would help us get sponsors,” he said.

Hoenes said a Columbia rink would not only benefit ice athletes, but also families who are looking for something to do in the winter.

Do you think Columbia should get an ice rink? Would you use it if the city builds one?


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Comments

Mark Flakne April 26, 2010 | 7:56 a.m.

Sure, as long as they can do it without using public funds. I don't think the Washington Park rink in Jeff City makes a profit or even pays for itself. In fact, I'll bet it operates at a deficit and therefore costs the taxpayers money. If an ice rink can be built and support itself without using public funds, it’s a great idea. If it takes tax dollars to make it happen, it’s a bad idea. Columbia doesn’t need a frozen financial albatross hanging from its already burdened neck.

(Report Comment)
tom kelly April 26, 2010 | 9:38 a.m.

If you want it---buy it.
As for public funds; if most want it--buy it.

The thing about an ice rink is; if it turns out to be a loser or no one uses it, you can easily change it or put something else there.

(Report Comment)
Jason Entermyer April 26, 2010 | 10:01 a.m.

I think that a year round indoor ice rink would operate at or near a profit. It can't be worse than public swimming pools that only recover 50% of their costs. However, pool subsidies seem to be a publically accepted use of taxpayer funds. So, why shouldn't an ice rink that generates revenue at about 75-90% of operating costs be considered?

I think Council should do what they did last time...put it on the ballot issue and let voters decide. Just don't put it with a farmer's market. Let it stand alone. Then we'll know once and for all if Columbia supports an ice rink.

(Report Comment)
Jimmy Bearfield April 26, 2010 | 2:05 p.m.

If that many individuals and families would use it, then a private business should have no problem financing, building and operating it. But the city shouldn't help fund it. Instead, the city should focus strictly on basics such as fire, police and roads.

(Report Comment)
Allan Sharrock April 26, 2010 | 3:53 p.m.

I know of a guy that is huge into hockey and take his kids all over to play. He looked into the prospect of opening one here in Columbia and it wasn't viable. There are not enough hockey players in Columbia to pay for the rink and after the newness of the rink wears off people will not go. Don't we have a roller rink already? I know it is not the same but recreation skaters would probably do the roller one vs ice as it doesn't hurt as much when you fall. If it can't be done by the private sector then don't do it. Just because the pools don't make money doesn't mean we should open a business that will lose more too.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith April 26, 2010 | 3:54 p.m.

Jimmy, I'm reminded of the sales force of a corporation I once worked for. The salesmen were always carrying on about needing some product or other that we didn't currently produce. They submitted huge sales forecasts for such products.

So we developed those products. Immediately those huge forecasts vanished!

It is easy to make bold forecasts for something which doesn't yet exist.

(Report Comment)
Jon Bazzell May 23, 2010 | 5:08 p.m.

Columbia being an acadmic play ground, requires adolescent to wish we had everything in the name of play.
The people that pay Taxes and subsidize the City`s lack of opperational efficiency.
Private is the only way to go, if the MU hocking team wants use the facility, make em pay.
A public ice skating rink in the right location, with all of the kids in this town? wish I was a Titan.

(Report Comment)

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