A deal that will floor you
ASPEN – The Aspen City Council agreed Tuesday to buy event flooring at a rock-bottom price so that it can be used to host special events at the city’s two ice rinks.
Aspen Recreation Director Tim Anderson said he and his colleagues have found a flooring system through an ice equipment broker that’s worth $80,000 brand new but is being offered for $15,000 as a result of an ice rink on the East Coast closing.
The broker is trying to avoid further storage costs and has to move the flooring immediately, according to Anderson. The broker has offered the flooring for $10,00, and shipping would cost $5,000.
“He offered us a deal we can’t refuse,” Anderson said.
The flooring is anticipated to bring in additional revenue to the Lewis Ice Arena at the Aspen Recreation Center and the Aspen Ice Garden because it will allow special events to occur; the flooring covers and insulates the ice.
As an example, the ice garden typically closes on weekends in the summer. By laying down the flooring, the city can begin renting the garden on the weekends from April to September, which are the five slower months of the year.
Anderson recognizes that ice rink users will be displaced and that the ice facilities can’t host events from November to March when ice time is at its highest demand. But in other months, there is enough ice time available to accommodate all user group needs. But in some cases they may have to move to another facility.
He added that users understand the facilities need to bring in additional revenue in a down economy, and events will largely be scheduled on weekends or other down times at the ice rinks.
Councilmen Torre and Steve Skadron asked about whether concerts would be an appropriate use for the Lewis Ice Arena. Anderson replied that another $50,000 would be needed to improve the acoustics for that to happen.
Jeff Woods, parks and recreation manager, said the return on the investment for flooring will pay off quickly – noting that there is one potential event organizer that would pay $20,000 for rent and agree to a five-year contract.
But the Lewis Ice Arena would likely not live up to a full concert venue, he added.
“Carnegie Hall it will never be,” Woods said.
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