Friday, December 08, 2006

Cost Of Running An Ice Rink

        I originally posted this on December 8, 2006. The original post was not meant to be a tutorial for aspiring rink owners, it was just a snapshot of expenses that I thought was interesting. A wonderful thing happened since that original post, though, and literally thousands of people were directed here when doing internet searches on "cost of running an ice rink." This is just fascinating to me.
        If you have found other sites that have more useful information, business plans, etc. or if you have first-hand knowledge on the true cost of opening and running a rink, and if you would like to share, please comment or contact me. Since this link is popular on Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc. I would like to be helpful to people who are looking.

Original post:

Next time you feel grumpy about the cost of ice skating, concessions, or playing hockey for yourself or your kids, think about how expensive it is for everything around you in the ice rink.

"The amount of energy and water used for ice making and maintenance is substantial. For example, a rink must heat about 120 gallons of water to 150 degrees Fahrenheit every time the ice of the rink is flooded. Not only does this require energy to heat the water (about 90,000 Btu/flood), but the warm water creates a refrigeration load of about 260,000 Btu/flood (ASHRAE, Journal, April 1992, "Modernizing and Retrofitting Ice Skating Rinks", Russell Blades)."

"In terms of water consumption, ice making and maintenance will require about 800,000 gallons of water per year for an average sized rink. Additionally, to help speed up the melting of the ice in the ice pit, many ice rink operators apply hot water to the pit from a hose. This practice not only wastes water, but energy as well."

"For ice rinks that use cooling towers or evaporative condensers and compressors, annual water usage for this equipment is typically an additional 2,500,000 gallons."


Think about that in terms of today's energy costs alone. It works out to about $10 for every resurfacing with the Zamboni.

And this is just the cost of resurfacing alone. It costs a fortune to run the compressors, pumps, etc. to maintain the ice. Then you have to heat the rest of the building. You have liability insurance costs, payroll, benefits, and the list goes on.

Unfortunately, there is a pattern to ice rinks finally becoming successful (anywhere but up north, and sometimes still there). Somebody has to build it originally, and it costs mega-bucks. They go bankrupt and somebody acquires it at a loss. That person/group still can't handle it and they go bankrupt so someone else can acquire it at a loss.

This continues until somebody finally gets into it at a cost they can afford, and the rink lasts a while. It's happened at Sports Plus and Northern Kentucky Ice Center.

How's that for useless knowledge?


Blogger oldironnow said...

Not useless at all ;) Thanks for cluing in all us dreamers and schemers caused by the Olympics.

6:46 PM  

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