Vail "Bubble’ on the bubble … again
Why?: Because the district can’t afford to pay the $130,000 it costs to erect and remove the bubble-covered ice rink each winter season.
“The amount of ice time requested has been going down over the last few years,” says board member Peter Cook. “In two years, Dobson could fit these demands easily.”
Vail Town Councilman Greg Moffet asks if Dobson can really handle all ice users conveniently. The father of two teen-aged daughters, Moffet says he sees young ice users having to practice “before breakfast or after dinner.”
“Eight-thirty on a school night is late. I don’t know if that really accommodates everyone’s needs,” Moffet says. “These aren’t profit centers. There is a cost to providing a service.
“If we only care about what loses money,” Moffet says, “then we are losing money on the police department (too).”
Until now, the facility has been erected from the ground up each November and disassembled each April. Outgoing district director Piet Pieters says the majority of the $130,000 is spent preparing the site each winter. Without site preparation, Pieters says, the bubble could be erected and taken down for about $10,000. A concrete ice rink – complete with compressors and refrigeration modules – could be installed and hidden under a 4-inch layer of sod for a one-time expenditure of $100,000 or so.
“I really like the idea of a permanent concrete base,” says Town Councilman Chuck Ogilby. “I think the pay-back would be good.”
The district will return to the council in mid-January to continue the discussion on how to proceed with the bubble.
Geraldine Haldner covers Vail, Minturn and Red Cliff. She can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 602, or at email@example.com.