Ice bubble skates away |

Ice bubble skates away

Don Rogers

Nice that the bubble finally found a home. It was a pretty good deal for Cranston, R.I., a hockey town desperate for more ice time. Vail recently sold the fabric dome for $225,000. The town bought the dome in 2000 for $770,000.Then – Vail-style – the town spent $120,000 to $190,000 a year to put it up and take it down at the golf course. At the time, you might have found a small condo to buy for that much. Add up four years of this and well, that’s quite an investment.Presumably, Cranston will have a more permanent location for the bubble, and it’s hard to imagine anyone investing as much as Vail did in the seasonal installation and removal operations, never mind running the thing.The neighbors hated the idea of the bubble covering what had been an outdoor rink and did what they do in Vail: they sued, and lost.Their exaggerations turned out to be pretty wild. Traffic did not come to a stop at the golf course. No young children died. The noise level didn’t drown out the freeway.The youth hockey community was upset when Vail’s leaders decided the bubble was just too expensive to keep putting up and taking down, and Eagle opened its ice rink. The hockey folks didn’t carry their grievance to a lawsuit, but there was some pain that has lingered. Ice time is a premium and teams play and practice at inconvenient times. The demand remains. Vail Daily, Vail Colorado CO

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