Ice rink makes $100,000 loss

Kapi-Mana News - - OPINION/NEWS - By KERRY MCBRIDE

Porirua’s school hol­i­day ice rink at­tracted fewer than 12,000 peo­ple and will cost ratepay­ers about $100,000.

The Ice World rink was brought to the city cen­tre for four weeks dur­ing Septem­ber and Oc­to­ber, with tick­ets cost­ing be­tween $15 for chil­dren and $50 for a fam­ily pass.

De­tails re­leased un­der the Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Of­fi­cial In­for­ma­tion and Meet­ings Act showed the project cost Porirua City Coun­cil more than $271,000, with the fi­nal price tag about $100,000 af­ter ticket sales.

The coun­cil would have needed about 20,000 visi­tors to break even, and about 12,000 made it through the gates.

Porirua Mayor Nick Leggett said the coun­cil al­ways knew it would be run­ning at a ‘‘sig­nif­i­cant’’ loss to cover costs.

‘‘ But we spend al­most $70,000 on the Wai­tangi Day Fes­ti­val of the El­e­ments and that’s just one day – this is a whole month,’’ he said.

‘‘ Porirua kids de­serve the chance to go ice skat­ing.

‘‘The whole pro­posal was to ac­ti­vate the city cen­tre, and part of that is not just long- term things, but short- term ways to show what is here as well.’’

Fur­ther dis­cus­sions were needed to de­ter­mine whether the rink would be brought back, but feed­back from the pub­lic had been pos­i­tive, Mr Leggett said.

He re­jected crit­i­cism that the rink was too ex­pen­sive for some Porirua fam­i­lies, say­ing the coun­cil en­sured there were con­ces­sion nights and spe­cial deals avail­able.

‘‘ Go­ing to the pool or the movies will cost as well. We have the youngest com­mu­nity of any­where in New Zealand and we need to pro­vide for that.’’

Porirua Cham­ber of Com­merce chief ex­ec­u­tive Holly Thomp­son said the city cen­tre ‘‘came alive’’ while the rink was in place, with busi­nesses ben­e­fit­ing from the ex­tra cus­tomers.

The cham­ber con­trib­uted $25,000 to­wards bring­ing the ice rink to the city.

‘‘We are al­ways look­ing for ways busi­nesses can lever­age off events tak­ing place in town,’’ she said.

‘‘We need to make sure our busi­nesses can make it worth get­ting in be­hind th­ese.’’

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