The Jefferson County Lake could be the home of a new ice skating rink this winter, after Pinnacle Ridge Owner Christian Shultz pitched the idea at the Sept. 4 Jefferson County Board of Commissioners meeting.
Pinnacle Ridge is currently the watercraft vendor at the lake but after such a successful summer Shultz wants to continue his enterprise this winter.
The proposed rink would be placed on top of the two tennis courts going east-west extending partially onto the gravel parking lot. In addition to the rink, the area would include a warming hut and a skate rental shack on the north side of the rink. Bleachers would also be placed around the perimeter of the rink providing a place for parents and spectators to sit.
Once operated at Wrigley Field in Chicago, the rink is 85-feet wide, 150-feet long and will provide Olympic quality ice for patrons of the community.
Shultz said the company owns a Zamboni 500 and a chiller that will help maintain the ice. To keep the rink at a frigid 18 degrees Fahrenheit the chiller would need to operate predominantly during the daytime. Because nighttime temperatures during the winter months tend to remain at, or below 18 degrees, Shultz does not anticipate operating the chiller all-day.
One concern with the chiller addressed during the meeting was the noise it emits. Shultz said it sounds like someone operating their air conditioning, giving off decibel readings between 35 and 40 dB. To help prevent a nuisance to the neighboring houses, the commissioners recommended that it be pointed towards the lake. Since it will most likely not operate at night, they don’t expect it to be an issue.
Due to the extensive amount of work that goes into setting-up the rink, Shultz said he prefers not having to remove the rink year-after-year. Therefore the proposal would allow the rink to remain in place for five years, although the county could opt-out at anytime.
“I just want to know that I have got the ability to do business there,” Shultz said.
Parks & Recreation Director Mickey Eames said the tennis courts are rarely used throughout the year, so if they do in fact leave the rink up year-round, it would not impede on the public.
“If I get a handful of people out there once a year I’m doing well,” she said.
The proposed price to skate at the rink would be $8 for adults and $6 for kids 12 and younger, each of which comes with skates or $2 will be taken off the price if a person brings their own skates. Shultz said the county would receive six percent of the total revenue from the rink and Pinnacle Ridge would cover all operating costs.
The last time he operated the rink was in Midway, Utah. That year he said over 10,000 people utilized the rink, bringing in roughly $92,000.
“Midway doesn’t have nearly the great demographics for families as Rigby or Jefferson County,” he said. “I’m anticipating somewhere in the neighborhood of 8,000 to 12,000 people a year would visit this facility.”
Both Commissioner Brian Farnsworth and Scott Hancock said they like the proposal, however before they make a decision they need County Attorney Weston Davis to review the contract.
“Well I’m interested in looking at it,” Farnsworth said.
Commissioner Fred Martinez was not present at the meeting.
In other discussion, Shultz said this summer they have served close to 10,000 patrons. He indicated that they have possessed around 3,000 transactions, but each transaction involved three to four people.
“It was a great, great season,” he said.
He said he will provide the commissioners with a detailed report at the end of the season that outlines the exact amount of rentals and revenue.