There has been a lot of talk lately about the civic center when it comes to how it affects the Brainerd city budget. I was involved in running two ice arenas for 20 years of my life and served as president of the Minnesota Ice Arena Managers Association for a while. To make money running ice arenas you have to be very crafty indeed, and in most cases it cannot be done. The main reason is energy costs, and the price of building and maintaining one of these mechanical nightmares.
You see on one hand you are trying to keep ice at 25 degrees on the floor of the building, and on the other, keep spectators comfortable in the bleachers with no barrier except some fiberglass between the two. In most cases you are cooling one part of the building while heating the other. It's like heating your backyard in January. Add to this a humidity problem in the summer that will rot your building out from beneath you unless they are expensively taken care of, and on going costly repairs and preventive maintenance to complicated mechanical systems.
There is a reason most arenas are owned by cities and schools. They need to be subsidized. The ones who do make money usually have very aggressive managers who sell lots of advertisement, and dry floor events, shun summer ice time, and have lots of volunteer help.
To expect this facility to make money is asking a lot. Without a lot of good luck, and cheap help it's not feasible to make money. It's just the nature of the beast.
Humble thoughts on arenas
Re: Thoughts on the Civic Center in Our Opinion Dispatch Sunday, May 24.
Thank you, thank you - your thoughts were so succinct and clear. So much has been said this past year about what should and shouldn't be done with the civic center and you said it all, and humbly in a few paragraphs!
Liberals saved the world
A quick note to the writer from Baxter. We liberals did save the world, as the results from the past election proves that! Also, we are trying to bring peace to all by by trying to be fair to all, and not making the rich richer and the poor poorer!
We, seniors and vets are having trying times that were brought on by lies, lies, and more lies! An unwanted stupid war (where are the WMDs?) Outsourcing of our jobs overseas etc! So we did fall, but, we liberals are on the comeback trail! God bless.
Shame on Pawlenty
Gov. Pawlenty is to blame by insisting on no taxes to solve the budget deficit, which made the upper income group in Minnesota very happy; consequently, Pawlenty created political favors. After all, he made them even richer, while the rest of us pay our fair share. The rich mucky-mucks were spared again. Of course, Koering , Howes, Seifert and others sided with that solution that let the middle and lower classes carry the tax load and the burden of the deficit, which the Democrats tried to spread fairly.
The governor's autocratic decision will give most of the citizens exactly what they did not want: an upcoming increase in property taxes - one not based on the ability to pay. Pawlenty's decision to rule by unallotment - yes, legal - will have negative consequences locally.
Democrats have the right idea: spread the cost, don't borrow to fix it, base the solution on Minnesotans' ability to pay (via income tax which is the fairest) and not pass the burden on to future generations.
Shame on the governor for only looking at his own political future as a GOP-no, one who likes to say no to any tax even if called a fee! The fact of the matter is he will die on the political vine like most of the past IRs and national GOPs in 2008. That party is now known as the Grand Obsolete Party. Thus, the people will remember his actions and those of his cohorts when the next ballots appear.
To all the Democrats (Ward and Doty, in this area) who worked hard for a fair solution, I say thanks for a valiant try - but don't give up. The voters will support you in the next election.
M. Fritz Bertelt
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