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The local hockey community is currently experiencing at least a short term ice crisis and possibly a season long one. The Rostraver Ice Garden was/is having issues making ice and over the weekend the Belmont had some sort of issue that is going to keep it down a minimum of two weeks and potentially the season. Hopefully these issues can both be resolved quickly or else PAHL and PIHL may be forced to consider some changes to the end of their respective seasons.

 

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2 hours ago, sadday4hockey said:

The local hockey community is currently experiencing at least a short term ice crisis and possibly a season long one. The Rostraver Ice Garden was/is having issues making ice and over the weekend the Belmont had some sort of issue that is going to keep it down a minimum of two weeks and potentially the season. Hopefully these issues can both be resolved quickly or else PAHL and PIHL may be forced to consider some changes to the end of their respective seasons.

 

I heard this, too. Recent word is that Belmont hopes to be back up in October, but they're not 100% sure they'll be able to have a season at all. Same goes with Rostraver, if what I heard is correct. This is a tough situation for those organizations, and for hockey in SW Pennsylvania in general. The area already doesn't have enough ice to go around.

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That stinks. At least there are a number of rinks pretty close to Belmont, might be able to absorb till October. Rostraver, however....😟

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It now sounds as though both are short term issues with the Ice Garden to be ready by Monday and Belmont soon thereafter.

It does however, illustrate just how crucial every rink is to the survival of the game locally. The worrisome part is that both of those barns are old along with some others and ice rinks are not highly profitable businesses so it certainly raises some concerns in the future.

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1 hour ago, sadday4hockey said:

It now sounds as though both are short term issues with the Ice Garden to be ready by Monday and Belmont soon thereafter.

It does however, illustrate just how crucial every rink is to the survival of the game locally. The worrisome part is that both of those barns are old along with some others and ice rinks are not highly profitable businesses so it certainly raises some concerns in the future.

Key word - "barns."

Props to the ownership groups at Frozen Pond and Baeirl for making significant improvements in their facilities.  Both rinks have gone through major changes while other rinks continue to rake in funds while their owners put nothing back into the rink from an improvement standpoint.   

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Hess rink up my way just completely redid the ice (including coils and sand) and is dropping almost 3 million dollars to add eight locker rooms, four bathrooms, pro shop etc. Trailers will be there until after the new year when the locker rooms are expected to be ready. 

This is a municipal rink owned by Neshannock township. 

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1 hour ago, Novos51 said:

Hess rink up my way just completely redid the ice (including coils and sand) and is dropping almost 3 million dollars to add eight locker rooms, four bathrooms, pro shop etc. Trailers will be there until after the new year when the locker rooms are expected to be ready. 

This is a municipal rink owned by Neshannock township. 

My son's team played up there on Saturday. The ice was horrible. They still have a ways to go, but it's good to see they are working to improve it 

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Ice is new. Still stiffening. Will get better when it cools down. Too many holes in the building to keep a good temperature 

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17 hours ago, fafa fohi said:

Props to the ownership groups at Frozen Pond and Baeirl for making significant improvements in their facilities.  Both rinks have gone through major changes while other rinks continue to rake in funds while their owners put nothing back into the rink from an improvement standpoint.   

Frozen Pond, yes. However, it is also an old barn and while there were many cosmetic improvements you have to wonder about the age of the ice making machinery there as well.

As far as Baierl, I was there about 10 days ago and the bathrooms were closed down so there were Port O' Johns outside that were so disgusting I almost vomited. They were so full the urine was backed up into the side urinal of the one that was "open" and the other one had an out of order sign on it so I assume that one was worse. I'm guessing that this was a planned renovation which begs the question why not do it in the off-season?

Belmont was renovated what 3-4 years ago and they did a great job. Same with Kirk Nevin probably 8 years ago.

The bottom line is that if the sport continues to grow as we all hope it will, a shortage of ice will always be a concern.

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Off-season? What's that?

Seriously, though, Kirk Nevin and Belmont were both renovated nicely. Hess was in desperate need of an upgrade and I have heard it's moving in the right direction. I was just at the Frozen Pond over the weekend, and while the boards and front areas are much improved, the locker rooms are still the same, as is the insulation in the roof (which is pockmarked with pucks of old and might be a feature of the decor now and not an issue in and of itself), and I wonder myself about the ice making machinery.

As for Rostraver, Kraft spent a good deal of money on lighting there.

Regarding the owners of ice rinks raking in money - it seems that owning an ice rink is likely not a high profit enterprise. If it were, there'd probably be much more ice in the region, given the explosive growth youth hockey experienced in the early years of the 2000s. Instead, several of the 'second generation' rinks (when I was a kid we had Mt. Lebo and Rostraver, and South Park when it was winter, in the South Hills, and played much of our hockey on Canonsburg Lake) in the area have changed hands at least once recently, and Bladerunners in Bethel Park became a YMCA, of all things, with only one sheet of ice. I'd speculate, like sadday did above, that rinks are not high margin operations, for the most part.

Edited by Lifelongbender
corrected a typo

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20 hours ago, sadday4hockey said:

It now sounds as though both are short term issues with the Ice Garden to be ready by Monday and Belmont soon thereafter.

It does however, illustrate just how crucial every rink is to the survival of the game locally. The worrisome part is that both of those barns are old along with some others and ice rinks are not highly profitable businesses so it certainly raises some concerns in the future.

I know that Mon Valley teams are actively pursuing scrimmages and are definitely planning to play this season. So that's very good news.

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As for Baierl, they've steadily been making improvements since new ownership took over 4-5 years ago.  Both rinks received LED lighting, The locker rooms have all been redone with new paint, ceiling tiles, flooring, doors and lighting.  The World Rink received a new cooling system a year or two ago and they moved the old dehumidifiers  to the Galaxy Rink to help with cooling there.  They've also renovated the lobby area, added a snack bar, and converted a few rooms to locker rooms because their ADM program has grown tremendously...and, as mentioned, the bathrooms were just redone.

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7 minutes ago, Saucey said:

Someone told me that Alpha in Harmar is icing over the dek hockey rink.

That is what I heard too.  Supposedly, this will start in December.  Also, involves a plan to add a pair of roller rinks behind the building.

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5 hours ago, sadday4hockey said:

Frozen Pond, yes. However, it is also an old barn and while there were many cosmetic improvements you have to wonder about the age of the ice making machinery there as well.

As far as Baierl, I was there about 10 days ago and the bathrooms were closed down so there were Port O' Johns outside that were so disgusting I almost vomited. They were so full the urine was backed up into the side urinal of the one that was "open" and the other one had an out of order sign on it so I assume that one was worse. I'm guessing that this was a planned renovation which begs the question why not do it in the off-season?

Belmont was renovated what 3-4 years ago and they did a great job. Same with Kirk Nevin probably 8 years ago.

The bottom line is that if the sport continues to grow as we all hope it will, a shortage of ice will always be a concern.

The renovations for bathrooms at Baeirl are completed and outside of UPMC, the mens is a pretty frigging nice bathroom.  Cannot attest to the ladies however I assume they are done as well.  PAHL placement games just started so from a timing standpoint I am not going to complain about that.  Well done boys at Baeirl.  

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On 9/11/2019 at 8:18 AM, sadday4hockey said:

Frozen Pond, yes. However, it is also an old barn and while there were many cosmetic improvements you have to wonder about the age of the ice making machinery there as well.

As far as Baierl, I was there about 10 days ago and the bathrooms were closed down so there were Port O' Johns outside that were so disgusting I almost vomited. They were so full the urine was backed up into the side urinal of the one that was "open" and the other one had an out of order sign on it so I assume that one was worse. I'm guessing that this was a planned renovation which begs the question why not do it in the off-season?

Belmont was renovated what 3-4 years ago and they did a great job. Same with Kirk Nevin probably 8 years ago.

The bottom line is that if the sport continues to grow as we all hope it will, a shortage of ice will always be a concern.

Blade runners in Warrendale was going down a bad road 4 or 5 years ago. Ice was not reliable, latrines were......well.....not good.

 

Not giving and props to Baierl but will give massive props to the Next Step Hockey management group. That place has come a long long way. 

As for the latrine renovation and Port-a-Johns being there and it not being in the off-season, we are only now beginning to have placement games and practices so I believe it was , in fact, the off season. Cleanliness of the temporary facilities is not the responsibility of Baierl.

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On 9/11/2019 at 10:55 AM, sarampage said:

Both rinks received LED lighting,

Many rinks received new lighting, even PIA which used to be the darkest rink rink in North America, courtesy of Constellation Energy.

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The news is not so good out of Armstrong county. Nothing "official" but it could still be months away from being fixed. An update is supposed to happen later today or tonight.

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