Being somewhat of a new member of the Brainerd lakes community I have to say that I am puzzled at the responses and concern with the Brainerd Area Civic Center (Arena). I do not think there is any other recreational building in the world that gets as much ink and has as much drama surrounding it. As my husband Dean and I look into the future for Minnesota Hockey Camps, we are deeply concerned with how the city will continue to run the arena. Our business depends on that arena and right now we operate on a year to year basis waiting to see what will be decided.
Having said that, here we are again with another article and more press about the arena. It is hard for me to stand by and let Mr. Olson create more hoopla for a building that helps children develop and learn and become better human beings. In the past, I have sat by and let Mr. Olson print his creative statistics and loud opinions with no rebuttal. I am sorry but I am tired of hearing what you think. You discredit a hockey camp that your children and grandchildren attend. You have painted a picture of us that is so far off that I wouldn't even know where to begin to repair the damages. I can only imagine what the city council must go through after you post such horrendous letters and opinions.
MHC has a 28-year old relationship with the ice arena and knows the history of the building and its functions. Our relationship with the city has been one of loyalty and commitment to a great business partnership and leaving our name off of your so-called "Management Team" list is not only insulting but brings light to a personal agenda by Mr. Olson. Due to past personal conflicts, Mr. Olson has left off his list one of the most important clients of the Brainerd area ice arena. This does not sound like the beginning of a "Team" that will remain unbiased and put forth the best interest of the arena. Your whole Three Point plan is filled with nothing but personal opinions and creative statistics.
2008 is a new bench mark year for the ice arena and city. The city council made some very bold decisions last year to change the revenue coming into the arena and cut back costs. We haven't even given that a chance yet. I would like to think that the city made those decisions to increase the revenue and make cut-backs with the intention of settling the problems from the year before. Bob Olson's plan is not even needed.
Having BAHA run the arena might eliminate the time and money spent by the city's offices to make daily decisions on the arena. Who knows? We are not supporting either option until we have all of the information. However, if the city does want to maintain running the daily operations of the arena, Bob Olson's three point plan definitely needs some adjusting and the removal of his own personal agenda.
CARRIE GRILLO is a Nisswa resident and is camp director of Minnesota Hockey Camps.
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