Mammoth’s “here today, gone tomorrow” ice rink was a hit for the December 2nd 2011/2012 season opening. Considering the impressive turn out for Friday’s opener, the ice rink’s “non-operation” from 2009-2011 apparently did not go unnoticed.
So why even consider not operating the Town’s ice rink in the first place? The answer’s all too easy: $$$$. Time and time again operation of the facility and proposed improvements have come into question due to a lack of funding. For various reasons (which will not be harped upon here) the Town just doesn’t have the money. Even so, recently the Town Council chose not to baulk at a time-sensitive $500,000 grant to install a $922,000 refrigerated slab and foundation – yes, the town is responsible for the $422,000 balance, where that will come from, who knows. And, in reality, such a facility is hard-pressed to prove itself a profitable venture; the rink is only open from early December through late February. Yet, given the outpouring of 100s of recreationists of all ages for Friday’s opener it would appear as though the community stands to benefit far more than it stands to lose. All said, here is my Top-10 reasons why Mammoth Lakes should press ahead with the operation and development of the ice rink.
TOP-10 REASONS AN ICE RINK IS GOOD FOR MAMMOTH LAKES (AND YOU):
- SLAPSHOT, the movie: How else are we going to take it back to the days of “Old School Hockey?”
- In the off-season the facility could be converted to a BMX/bike park – recently BMXers were banned from the Volcom Bros. skatepark.
- BROOMBALL LEAGUE: Have you seen Hotdog? (Don’t talk to me if you haven’t). If you’ve never played, trust me, you are missing out.
- 2026 Winter Olympics: How else is Mammoth Lakes to secure its bid?
- After all, we are a destination for Winter Recreation – more visitors = more jobs, better pay.
- Guys, the ladies love unique date-nights (such as going to the only ice-rink for 100s of miles, plopped in the middle of the picturesque Eastern Sierra); a night out at Lakanuki does not count.
- Moms & Dads: the ice rink “chaperones” the kids for 3 hours = date night somewhere other than the ice rink.
- Spend that $$$ before Raleigh Studios collects on the Hot Creek Aviation lawsuit.
- Friends slipping, sliding and falling on hard surfaces is always funny.
- Perfect opportunity to use those Blades of Glory movie quotes you’ve been holding on to.
So in the meantime, slip on some skates, have some fun, and get on that ice covered slab because the best way to show support for great local amenities like this is to use them.
UPDATE: A little bird told me that the “official” opening ceremony for the ice rink is tonight (Monday, December 5th) with complimentary skate from 5-6pm.