Sales show ice rink did well

MANASSAS — The Loy E. Harris Pavilion’s ice rink performed well during its first season despite a lack of advertising and an opening delayed until Dec. 22, ice rink management told the City Council on Wednesday night.

“Considering the lack of advertising, I think the word got out. And things went pretty well,” said Jim McKain, a representative of Canlan Ice Sports, the Vancouver, British Columbia-based company in charge of the rink.

Councilman Harry “Hal” Parrish Jr. agreed.

“From the city’s perspective, I think it was a good first start. I know we were expecting bigger and better. But it was a good first start,” he said.

The rink, which closed Friday, pulled in more than $75,000. Canlan sold 9,499 admission tickets and rented out skates 7,900 times.

“We either broke even or were a little on the positive side. I’m sure it’s going to be even better next year,” McKain said.

Because construction went past a Dec. 15 deadline, the city missed out on the opportunity to claim a 10 percent share of the company’s revenue. The city would have made $7,500.

The number of tickets sold during January totaled 4,058 — twice as much as any other month. But December was the most brisk month, with an average 222 tickets sold every day. The average number of tickets sold per day dwindled to 33 in March.

McKain believes December will prove to be the rink’s busiest month every year. He said Canlan hopes to open the rink a week before Thanksgiving this year.

The company also plans to launch an extensive advertising campaign, as well as promoting children’s hockey at the rink.

“The colder the weather is; the better our business will be,” he said.

City Manager Lawrence Hughes said he was impressed with the ice rink’s performance.

“From both the city and the company’s standpoint, I think this was a positive year,” he said.

The city, he said, is hoping to stage a winter festival in either January or February of next year to boost business at the rink even more.

McKain said Canlan’s relationship with the city of Manassas is one the company hopes to keep for many years. The city’s professional attitude, he said, has been impressive.

“It seems they have a can-do, will-do attitude. That pavilion is very important to them. It’s a symbol of achievement,” he said.

The pavilion is scheduled to open for warm-weather events May 3.

Staff writer Chris Newmarker can be reached at (703) 368-3101, Ext. 119.

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