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Pros Consulting was hired to draft a report to review the ice arena operations, as well as make recommendations for improvements and alternative uses of the facility. The draft report was presented to the City Council and Facilities Task Force during the joint work session on June 13, 2022.
The report includes data to help understand the existing market and current user base. The Ice Arena offers ice time for a variety of programs, including open public skate, stick & puck hockey, freestyle figure skating and curling. The rink is also rented out for games and practices by the St. Louis Rockets, Creve Coeur Figure Skating Club, St. Louis Curling Club and local high schools. In 2021, 78% of available ice time was utilized during the spring and summer, and 87% of available ice time was utilized during the fall and winter.
Community input was an essential part of the report. Pros Consulting conducted several focus groups with organizations that frequently use the rink, as well as collected community feedback through an online public comment box and questionnaire. The City received 1,395 responses to the questionnaire, of which 408 were Creve Coeur residents. Of all respondents, 96% were supportive of making improvements to continue operation of the ice arena.
Necessary improvements to continue operation of the ice arena would include replacing the dehumidifier system, replacing the ice mechanical system, and repairing or replacing the rink's backup ice resurfacer, totaling an estimated $2.2 million. Other recommended improvements include refinishing the locker rooms and upgrading the concessions operation.
The consultant's report also provided options for alternative uses for the facility, such as converting the space into a sport court facility with indoor volleyball, basketball and pickleball courts.
City Council will continue discussion of the report at a future City Council meeting. The full report is available for review online.