Everyone Get Out on the Floor! It's an All Skate as City, Yet Again, Ponders Rink's Fate.
For more than a year, the city's been trying to sell it off but can find no takers, which is why, yet again, the city council's Economic Development Committee finds Southern Skates on its to-do list. But what to do? Operating the joint has cost the city close to $1,000,000 in the past five fiscal years, and city officials would love to offlload the property. Last month, the owner of Ohio-based United Skates of America said he was interested -- but only if the city kicked in an operating subsidy worth $625,000 over the first five years of operations. Ideal Family Church would like to run it -- but the pastor there "has no experience operating a facility such as this," according to committee briefing documents.
So, the city now has three options: Keep it and keep losing money (and keep HUD breathing down its neck), lease it to an outside operator or just sell the damned property without an advertised minimum bid (because to do, according to HUD, "depresses bidding"). It'll likely go with Options 2 or 3: The city guesstimates that keeping Southern Skates will cost it another half a mil over the next three years.